As winter break comes to an end…

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WOW!  The past 2 weeks have been awesome for my motivation, energy, and sanity!  
My break started off with 4 days in Breckenridge on my first ski trip ever.  Let me tell you… It only took one trip, and I am ADDICTED to skiing!  I can’t wait until next year to go back.  After our trip to Breckenridge, Dustin and I traveled up to South Dakota to visit some of his family.  It was a great and relaxing time for sure.
After taking a full week off from any work related activities, I felt rejuvenated and ready to tackle the second half of the school year.  I spent the week prepping lessons and working in my classroom.  It was so nice to go back and finish some things that I never got to before the school year started, and it was also nice to change some things around now that I know how I work.  I never posted pictures of my classroom at the beginning of the year because I never got around to it.  OK OK OK, I admit it… My classroom was never really presentable (for my blog anyway) until now.  It’s still nothing as amazing as some of the rooms I’ve seen on many blogs, but… here are some pictures of Room 123!
 Closer view of my desk and the ever-exciting sink/storage area!
In an effort to become a little more organized, I created these western-inspired labels for the trays on me desk.
Because our school wasn’t finished until right before school started, I didn’t have much time to get my classroom ready this year.  That compounded with it being my first year teaching, my idea of having a western-themed classroom fell a little (ok a lot) short this year.  These little labels make me smile though because they are a nod to what I wanted to do throughout the class!

 Keeping with the organization theme, this is what I did with our Target Reading materials.  Target Reading is a reading program we use every morning that helps spiral in a lot of the concepts the kids have learned over the year.  All of the materials were a little overwhelming for me, that is until I decided to laminate the folders and stick them inside the closet door!

My new “math” board may not be very attractive at the moment, but it is definitely functional.  ๐Ÿ™‚

This was a big project for me this week.  Our new Homeworkopoly board!  I’ve been struggling with some of my students bringing their homework completed on Fridays (big surprise, right?) so I am hoping that this little gem will help encourage them to complete it!  You can get the template and read more about the rules at this TeachersPayTeachers store.

I found plastic business card holders at OfficeDepot for around $1.50 and attached a magnet strip to the back of each to hold the “Community Lunchbox” and “Chance” cards once I finish making them.

This is our reading goal chart that hangs right by the front door to the room.  When I tested all my kids at the beginning of the year to find out their reading level, they all got a “goal” level based on the amount of growth we would hope to see from them.  I tested all of my kiddos again before we went on winter break and they got to chart how many levels they have grown.  I think this is an awesome way to give them a visual representation of where they need to be and how much further they have to get there.  The kids of really gotten into to; I catch them pointing to their number and counting levels to see how far they are from their goals all the time!

And last but not least is the writing showcase wall (below).  This wall is not actually in my classroom because of space issues, so I put it right outside in the hallway :).  I got the idea to use gallon sized plastic bags from some of the 4th grade teachers (who I’m sure borrowed it from someone else).  It really makes changing out the work so easy and the kids can even help!  The work in them right now is a rough draft of a personal story.

Last but not least… Because it is Friday and I am actually posting a blog, I HAD to include a 5 for Friday post!!
1.  I think that finally sharing some pictures of my classroom (in January) is definitely random enough to qualify as the number one spot this week ๐Ÿ™‚
2.  A picture of Dustin and I right after I finished my first blue run of our ski trip.  Such a great workout for your legs and so much fun!

3.  ANOTHER picture of Breckenridge because I think it is so beautiful there ๐Ÿ™‚

4.  No more cracked iPhone 4s!!! I upgraded today to a pretty new white and gold 5s!  Now I need to find a truly life proof case to protect it (the actual LifeProof case proved not to be so life proof)…

5.  Over the break we also started watching Game of Thrones (from Season 1).  It may be a little nerdy, but I really like it!!  I am super excited to start the 2nd season tonight.  The first season left off with some pretty big events and I can’t wait to see what happens.
I hope that everyone has been enjoying their time off with family and friends and that you all feel rejuvenated and ready to continue making a positive change in our future!

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