Friday, 18 July 2014

Five for Friday!

Friends, I am tired!  The first week back at school after break really kicked my butt!  We had two full days at a statewide conference and three days back at school for meetings.  In amongst all of that I had a bazillion things that I wanted to do in my classroom... I got about 0.002% of those things done! My Five for Friday this week shares a few things I did complete as well as some random thoughts.

My main goal for the beginning of this term was to have my classroom library reorganised.  That turned out to be A MASSIVE DRAMA! I don't have a heap of space in my classroom so I bought 4 small sets of shelves - that was no big deal. Then came the issue of finding book boxes that would fit on the shelves and would be wide enough for the larger picture books to fit in (some of them are close to 25cm wide!)... as well as being nice, bright colours.  My classroom decor theme is Crayola factory explosion, after all. :)  I scoured the web, visited every store on the coast - and came up with nothing except for small blue, pink and green baskets to store my levelled readers.  I finally ended up buying white baskets and attaching bright labels.  Here's a photo journey of my last two days! 

In the end I was happy with how my little library turned out... but there were a few moments of crankiness in the mix!  I sorted my books into a few categories - readers are in baskets of two levels each and I have a basket each for Mem Fox, Dr. Seuss, Pamela Allen and Jez Alborough.  There's two non-fiction baskets and the other six I labelled just as picture books - because I ran out of time! :)  In the next few weeks I can sort and label the random other baskets.  I also need a rug and a few more decorations... but I'm not sure that those things will help the kidlets to be better readers. :)

Although the library took a heap of time (in the scarce free time we had this week!), I also managed to get new desk labels printed - using the same scrappy kids as I did on my kidlets' book box labels.  I matched each kidlet to a scrappy kid from Mel's 100 Scrappy Kids pack and use their clipart image for anything personalised I create for them!

I got my new chair set up (the metal stool from Ikea I had been using was ruining my back), and re-aligned my SitSpots.

I also threw a my reading pointers and glasses into a new basket I grabbed.  I plan to keep this on my teaching table instead of hunting around for things before guided reading time.  I need to add our sight words on rings and a 'talking stick'.  Anything else that you think is vital to have in a guided reading basket? 

The glasses are just dollar store sunglasses with the lenses popped out.  Kidlets are so much more focussed when they have their 'reading glasses' on! :)

I went to a Whole Brain Teaching workshop at the conference we went to earlier in the week.  I've been using a few WBT techniques with my kidlets - Teach, OK and Mirror mostly - but came away from the workshop super excited to more consciously implement WBT in my classroom.  I don't have a photo for this - how sad!  I've ordered Chris Biffle's book, but if you are a whole brain teacher and can point me in the best direction for resources/articles to read or could share some advice with me I'd love to hear from you.

Have you seen Abby's Pretty Little Printables?  They are just gorgeous, and I particularly loved this quote from the pack:

I have the talent of putting words together effectively (especially for comedic value), combined with the habit of making quick judgements... totally fine if my opinion is positive but it can get me into trouble if I've decided I don't like something.  When I saw this quote again (it's one of my favourites!) I was reminded to always be careful with my words.  Thanks Abby! (Click on the image to read her post.)

When I got home this afternoon I was totally exhausted!  After an accidental 20 minute snooze on the couch, I had a hot shower (it's freezing here today!) and settled in for a relaxing night.  I made sure to light my tealight candles - my favourite Friday night ritual.

Something about the soft light makes me feel so much more calm.  What's your go-to relaxation trick?

Hmmm... I don't think I should admit to watching 'I Wanna Marry Harry' two Five for Fridays in a row, so let's just say I'm finishing up this post to go and read War & Peace. :)  

Happy weekend!


  1. I love your sit spots. What did you use!?

    1. Hi I was wondering the same thing, I googled it and I do believe they are called sit spots. I was just on their website and ordered a sample. I see that this comment was left a long time ago so if you have already found them then sorry for bothering you

  2. I love, love, lover your library! It's so organized and bright (two of my favorite things).

    I would love to see your kids with those glasses on. So cute! I can imagine them looking cute yet very serious during reading time. I did the same thing years ago in my classroom library. Even the "cool" kids would wear them :)

    New follower,
    Second Grade Sweetie Pies

    1. Thanks so much Stacy! The kidlets used it for the first time today and they loved the new shelves and baskets. :)

  3. The library looks fantastic!
    I have a timer in my guided reading basket, because some days the time for rotations runs away from me, and a timer helps me to stay on track.

    Luck's Little Learners

  4. Your library turned out so cute! I love the big containers of stuffed animals. My kids would love reading to stuffed animals in the library center. Thanks for the idea!

  5. Congrats on making the newsletter Miss Lauren x


Thanks for popping by!