Sunday, August 7, 2011


We will meet our new group of little friends tomorrow!  "Meet the Teacher" is tomorrow morning and "Parent Night" is tomorrow night.  Ready or not, the new school year is about to begin.  Tanya and I have worked our fannies off (wish that was really possible...) in our new classroom.  We are thrilled how it all turned out.  After being very cramped in a smaller classroom for 2 years with 40 students, we are more than just a little bit tickled to death to have such a big space to teach, encourage, and nurture our new babies!  Here are some more pictures of the finished project.
This is one of our "Listening to Reading" stations.  Two students will be at this station at a time listening to a book on a cd.  We are using some of  our awesome crate seats here.  

We display our "Giving Tree" during "Meet the Teacher" and "Parent Night".  On each apple, we have written something that we will need but was not on the supply lists.  These are simple things like extra snacks, electronic cleaning wipes, and card stock paper.  We ask parents to please pick one if they can and donate the extra supply.

We are very fortunate to have 2 closets in our classroom.  Tanya's very sweet husband and father in-law made these boards of hooks and hung boards with 21 hooks in each closet.  Above the hook, we attached labels with the student's names on them.  In our class, Mrs. Hutter's students are known as "yellow dots" and Mrs. Wildman's students are know as "green dots".  This is because when they go into the gym for PE, each class has a certain color dot to sit on while they are getting instructions for the day.  My class sits on yellow dots and Tanya's class sits on green dots.  On each student's name tag on their desk, there is either a yellow circle or a green circle.  That is how the student will know which color dot they are.  We put a large yellow circle over the door of one closet door and a large green circle over the other closet door.  The students with a yellow circle on their name tag will go into the closet with the yellow circle over the door and find their name over a hook and the same with the students with a green circle on their name tag.  Clear as mud for you??

This is the bulletin board outside one of the doors of our classroom.  Tanya did a fabulous job with her handy dandy Cricut!  Each horse has a student's name on it.  So super cute!  We love it!

This is on the wall in the hallway between the 2 doors of our classroom.  Another terrific job done by Tanya and her trusty Cricut!  This is where we will display the student's art work, etc.  We have already received lots of kind words about the display.  

On each end of our classroom, we have a set of cabinets and counter tops like this.  We are also lucky to have 2 sinks!!  We use the clear bins on the counter for the student's snacks. We have groups of desks set up like 5 tables.  Each group has a number hanging above it.  (you can see the number 1 in this picture)  Each morning we place the corresponding bin on the right group of desks.  In the bottom of the empty bin, we place a small trash bag or sometimes we use plastic store bags.  When the students come in and start to unpack their backpacks, they put their snack in this bin on top of the empty bag.  Once everyone is done doing that, we put the bins back on the counter.  At snack time, we put the bins back out and the students get their snack.  When it is time to clean up, they put their trash in the plastic bag that we placed in the bottom of the bins.  That way, we just have 5 bags of garbage and all 40 students don't have to make a trip to the garbage can.  We simply put each bag of trash in our large class garbage can.  Saves lots of time!!  We read to our students while they eat their snacks.

 This is the view of our classroom from our whole group area.  Notice the signs hanging over each group of desks.  Tanya made these with her Cricut, too.  We added the number and dots like on a die so that the students could count if they couldn't recognize the number at the beginning of the year.  We will call out the numbers when we want them to line up, or to give out praise, like "Group 4 is doing a great job working quietly", etc.  At each end of the large white board, we have our "Cowpoke of the Week" boards.  Each week we will draw 2 students names out of paper sacks.  These students will be our "Cowpokes of the Week".  These students decorate a poster, bring family photos, trophies, favorite toys, etc. and we display them.  We read about these students during snack and they get to be helpers in the classroom.  We start each year with Tanya and myself being the first "Cowpokes".  Our posters and family photos are displayed now.

We sorted through every book in our classroom.  It took a couple of days.  Most of them were already in a labeled bin but we did find several that were in bins that they shouldn't be in.  We made new western style labels using a really cute font we got from "Lettering Delights".  We have 8 or 9 shelves like this one full of bins of books.

We tried to place the bins in alphabetical order so when we are looking for a certain bin, it will be easier to find.  Some of them aren't exactly in alphabetical order because we had to use bigger bins for bigger subjects like "Christmas".  We are going to be soooo glad we took the time to do this!

This is our whole group area.  We are so excited about the SMART Board!  And that we will have room for all the students to sit on the carpet or floor.  The last 2 years we didn't have enough room for everyone to sit in front of the rocker at once.  
So, I may not get much sleep tonight due to nerves and excitement!  Is anyone else like this?  This will be my 12th "Meet the Teacher" and "Parent Night".  WOW!!  I guess it has gotten a little easier but not less nerve wracking!  


  1. You're ready to go, everything looks awesome!!! Have a fantastic day tomorrow! I loved your giving tree idea so much that I "pinned" it. =) Thanks for the inspiration!!
    Sister Teachers

  2. I LOVE your classroom! I even pinned your Giving Tree! We planned on doing something similar, but weren't quite sure how to do it. Now we know! Thanks!


    Camp Kindergarten

  3. Thank you so much, Jackie! I just went to your blog and I am now a follower!! And I liked you on FB!! HAHA!! I feel so honored that we were "pinned"!! LOL!! Have a great week!

  4. I am so glad we could help, Jody! Some years all the apples get taken and some years just a few. But, it is always worth a try. Good luck with your version!

  5. Looks SO wonderful, y'all! Your classroom is HUGE! I love, love your listening station and crate seats around the carpet area!

  6. AWWWW! Thank you Sarah!! Your kind words mean so much!