Room 851: #BeTheDifference

Well...things are finally settling down in my classroom. We are into our daily routine and curriculum is well under way. I was able to put together some photos of my classroom and the beautiful decor courtesy of Schoolgirl Style! I am just loving the calm colors and warm feel it gives the room. Let me walk you through room 851...

Bin and paint can labels make everything look coordinated.
(The stand holding the iPads is a teal chevron file stand from Office Depot. It is perfect for my 3 little iPads!)

I wanted to keep the Focus Wall and CAFE board neat and simple! (I've added standards since taking the picture.) Coniglio's Captains are my weekly helpers. I pick 3 students that help with everything. No more job board. The kids are really liking this and it's neat to watch how the three divide up tasks like line leader, door holder, lights, homework checker, etc. (Thanks to my BFF Denise over at Sunny Days for the idea.)


Room arrangement before...



After...



This is the view from the door. There is lots of natural light from the 4 big windows.


This is another view from the door. The room is not very big at all but it works for my 18 third graders. I changed to tables at the end of last year and so far so good!
(Spray painted rocker adds a pop of color.)


Teacher desk view! I haven't been able to give up my desk...I know lots of teachers have, but I like my personal space and my "things". The white metal pencil holders are from Office Depot and the teal bins are from Target. I'm much more color coordinated than I was last year!
Personal items.
 Family photos are a MUST for me! The students like to see that we are "real" people. I do share my photos when I'm introducing myself to the class.
(Saw the Sharpie cookie jar idea on Pinterest. Had to do it!)












I think my most favorite new addition is my framed rules! I bought the collage frame at Walmart ($10) and created the rules using clipart from Educlips and Melonheadz. My goal was to create a cute simple display for the rules that wouldn't take up too much space. I only have 4 bulletin boards and I like to use those for student work.

Hope you enjoyed your tour of room 851!

Now on to a fun little giveaway from Mailbox Magazine. I was contacted this summer to take part in their #BeTheDifference movement. Of course, I did not hesitate to say YES!! I received this cute box filled with some goodies and ideas to start the year. 
During our Drop-In Day, I had each student take a selfie with an iPad. I used those photos (and mine, too) to tape on to the beach ball. I started by picking a student closest to my right thumb on the ball and asking a question. I tossed the ball, they answered, and then did the same to the next student. They had fun coming up with questions and finding out about each other. Activities like these allow students to find out what they have in common with their classmates.
We can use this ball all year for a variety of quick assessments like math facts. I think they will love that!

Creating a classroom environment that makes your students feel warm and safe, promotes a sense of security and calm and invites learning. Your classroom space should be free of clutter and distractions. Don't let your room get too busy. 
Being prepared for the day, keeping your classroom well-organized, and designing a room that is welcoming can #BeTheDifference in academics and behavior. 

How can you #BeTheDifference this year? Go to Mailbox on Facebook and share your own photo and story. You will be entered into their amazing giveaway, too!!

You can also enter here for a chance to win a Gold Membership to Mailbox Magazine! (Watch this video to learn more about it.) I will be picking TEN (yes 10) winners at the end of the day on Saturday, August 30th. All you have to do is enter! No jumping through hoops for this one! Just enter! Good luck and #BeTheDifference!!

First Week & a Educents 3-5 Pack!

I made it through the first week back! My kiddos are adorable and sweet. They LOVE to read which makes my job a thousand times easier and makes me SUPER happy! The first days back were filled with establishing routines and procedures, get-to-know-you activities, and paperwork! Starting Monday we will be fully immersed into our daily schedule and curriculum.

Here is a rundown of some of what we accomplished this past week:
*Beginning of the year math test
*Oral reading fluency tests
*Goal setting activity
*Set up reader's notebooks
*Practiced Read to Self (I was SO impressed with their stamina)
*Introduced Check for Understanding on the CAFE board
*Started our read aloud Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
*Survived the first fire drill
*Got up and moved with Back to School Scoot. Playing this game was good practice for the other scoot games we will play throughout the year.

*Another fun BTS activity was this gallery walk. I placed chart paper around the room with various questions/surveys on them. (Favorite Snack. Favorite Subject. Why is school important? How do you feel about 3rd grade? Do you bring lunch or buy lunch?) The students walked around and, using Post-Its or stickers, answered the questions. We talked about how we are alike and different in so many ways. This activity got them up out of their seats and gave them a chance to get to know one another as the walked around the room.


*Started chapter 1 in math
*Decorated writer's notebooks (homework) and social studies/science notebooks. They cut up science and social studies books from our old series to create a collage on their notebooks. Then I cover them with clear packing tape. 

*Introduced Whole Brain Teaching  techniques: Class/Yes and Mirror, Hands & Eyes and Teach/Ok (loving these...A LOT!!!)


Whew!!! What a week! I think this week's activities were a great investment of time for a smooth school year. 

Planning ahead is, of course, key to a successful year, too. Having resources at your fingertips can be a huge help!
Educents is offering this AMAZING pack of resources to get you started this year!




My product included in this set, President Pack, will enhance your study of the leaders of our country. Here are the activities you will find in my pack that will get your kids thinking creatively:


But that's not all... the bundle covers the following topics that you will need to teach this year:
Multiplication and division
Explorers & Scientists
Grammar including:  Common Nouns, Verb Tenses, 
Graphic Organizer
Informational Text
Full Grade Level Math Assessments for 3rd, 4th, & 5th
Full Grade Level Personal Word Walls for 3rd, 4th, & 5th
Presidents
Math Problem of the Week
Vocabulary
A couple activities for Fall including Candy Corn Science & Turkey Writing & Craft

For a limited time it is $24.99 from Educents which is about 78% off!  33 products for  literacy, math, and science - resources that will stretch you long into your year.  And over 705 pages of materials ready for you to use - there is sure to be tons you will love!



Don't miss out on this pack! It's only available for a limited time!!

A Second Chance

The students are baaaaccckkk! I LOVE my little cuties already (I mean that sincerely!) There are some personalities in room 851 this year! They are super sweet and eager to learn. I'll be posting classroom photos and first week activities in a few days. (I'm STILL making finishing touches on my new decor!)

In case you haven't heard...TpT is hosting a Second Chance ONE DAY BTS to sale. My store will be marked down the full 20% and be sure to use the code BOOST for the extra 10% from TpT. Don't forget to leave feedback for items already purchased and earn FREE MONEY!


Meet the Teacher Linky


It's back to school time!!! Teachers started back today and the first day for kids is August 18th. On Friday, my new kiddos will be dropping in to meet me and see the room they will spend the next 10 months. I love meeting my new class and I hope they are excited to meet me.

To kick off the new year, I'm linking up with Stephanie over at Falling into First for this fun get-to-know-you linky. 


Well, here I am taking a selfie in Central Park this summer...I LOVE NYC!!
If you don't know, my name is Gina. I live in South Florida. I'm going into my 26th year of teaching (WHAT???). I can barely believe it! How can this be? Approximately 700 students have passed through my classroom. WOW!! What kind of impact have I made on those kids? Where are they now? It's mind boggling!

I've been married for 16 years. My hubby is a teacher, too. We have taught in the same school for many years so we drive to work together. He drives and I take selfies! We have 2 of the BEST kids in the world. Sometimes I wonder how we got SO very lucky! Our son is turning 14 and our daughter will be 12 very soon.

Here we are after Lily's dance recital. I took part in a special "mom dance". I had a blast performing!

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...

Family. Friends. Traveling. Starbucks. Disney. Teaching. My rescue pups. The ocean. The color blue. Movies. Sharpies. 

IF I WASN'T A TEACHER I WOULD BE...
a chef. I'm not even a great cook, but it's something I wish I could be!

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME...
Humble. Funny. Intuitive.

FINISH THE SENTENCE " _____________ SAID NO TEACHER EVER".
I love this one!

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?
Walt Disney, for sure!! I would love to meet the man behind the magic!

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?
A Sunshiny Day

Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
I want to be a super chef...the power to cook and bake ANYTHING...and to have my kids eat it ALL!

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
Just ONE of many favorites

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 
This is a hard one...but if I had to pick right now then it would be "Say Something" by Great Big World. Love that song!

 Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?
MORNING for sure. I don't have time for sleep!

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?
One of my favorites is a new product
Students will act out their responses to reading. I think it's such a different addition to reading time and it gives kids a chance to stretch their creative thinking muscles. Something they need to do more of!

Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU!
I'm learning how to tap dance. It's a lot of fun and I get to hang out with my "dance mom" friends. My daughter takes the adult tap class, too. I enjoy our mommy/daughter time. (She's quite the tapper!!)


So that's it for me! Head on over to the linky to meet other bloggers and/or link up yourself! 
Have a great week!!



August Currently!

AUGUST?!! NO!! Say it isn't so! I love love love Farley's Currently linky, but it's also a reminder that another month has gone by and, for me, summer is just about over! Time sure does fly!
I'm in my last week of summer break. It's a rainy Saturday morning, but I'm sure in no time the sun will be shining (probably by the time I'm done writing this post). Our South Florida rain doesn't usually last very long. Thank goodness! I hate the rain!

Even though I have one week left, I do have a little something to look forward to. Next weekend I'm heading up to Orlando. My daughter will be dancing at Universal Studios' City Walk and at Downtown Disney. It's not so much a "vacation" because there is some work involved (hair, make-up, rehearsals, schedules to follow), but I do LOVE to watch her dance, so it's all worth it!

Let's talk about the summer TO DO list...I'm sure you all have one, too! Every teacher does. I feel like the summer flew by and I didn't make a dent in mine. Since I am a procrastinator it doesn't shock my that the list didn't get finished.  I'll kick into high gear this last week and somehow get a ton done! Just the way I work! How about you?

I'll be fighting the crowds today doing some BTS shopping. It's Tax Free weekend. Do you have this in your area? The state gives us a break on sales tax for 3 days. No tax on school supplies, shoes, and clothing. There are sales going on all over and the stores are packed, but every little savings helps.



Don't forget that the big BTS sale on TpT is August 4th and 5th. I'll be filling my cart this weekend (like I have nothing else to do). Check out some of the products I will have on sale.

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