Saturday, August 30, 2014

It's Finally Time!!!

It's here! My 2014-2015 classroom reveal! I'm linking up with three fabulous link ups! Head on over to Laugh, Eat, Learn, The Primary Gal, and Just a Primary Girl to check out some other fabulous classrooms! Here we go..
This is the wall to your right when you walk into my classroom (the blue to the right is the door molding).  Those cute little cupcakes are my birthday display. The cupcake wrappers have the months of the year, and the candles have the students' names and date.
The blue pocket chart houses my poetry station once my guided reading groups begin.
Turning to the right when you enter my classroom, you will find my Question of the Day wall. Each day, there is a different question. The students will use their name magnets to answer the question. Last year I stuck with yes/no questions, but this year I am going to venture out into other types of questions. 
I keep my job display on my bathroom door. I love having a display that has pictures and words because my kinders know exactly what job they have. I made this display using library pockets from Lakeshore. I use popsicle sticks with my students' names on them, and place them in the pockets!
Right to the left of the bathroom is our sink and water fountain. The best purchase I made this year was my little stool. My kinders had such a hard time reaching the sink and water fountain at the beginning of last year! The little stool saved us!
Next, you will see my mailboxes. I used binder clips and labels to label each mailbox with one of my student's names. This made it very easy for me to change the labels from last year's students' names to this year's.
The blue bin is where my students put their communication bags every morning when they unpack. These are just large plastic bags with handles that we use to transport important papers back and forth.
Right next to the mailboxes are the computers. I can't wait until I have some student work to display behind the computers; it looks so bare!!! I am also going to be posting my focus wall on the cabinets above the computers. {Also, please don't mind the MESS above the cabinets! I can't stand it, but I can't find any other place to store all of these things!!}
Here are my math stations. Once we start guided math, they will be filled with activities, and the pocket chart will hold our rotations. Above the chart, I post my math word wall.
Now you're facing the back of my room. The recess door is to the right in this photo. This is where I store all of our math manipulatives in labeled buckets. On top of the math manipulatives are my M-F bins. This is my favorite purchase for this year! I can now be super organized and keep all of the things I need for each day in one place!
Here is my guided reading table which serves double duty as my teacher desk. On the shelves behind this desk are all of my guided reading supplies, planning binders, and file/grade/copy bins.
To the left of my guided reading table is my classroom library. I will be posting our Daily 5 anchor charts on the bulletin board there. I used cork roll to create the bulletin board, because it was nonexistent! Last year, I just had to tape everything to the wall.
Here is our days in school bulletin board and Star of the Week bulletin board. I do every aspect of our calendar (calendar, days of the week, months of the year, hundreds chart, and weather graph) on the SmartBoard, but I wanted to have a more hands on approach to the tens frames, place value, and eventually base ten blocks. Underneath this board is the end half of my new interactive word wall. I've been using clothespins to attach our sight words and students' names to the word wall, and I LOVE how my students can remove the words to take to their seats!
Here is the left side of that wall with my SmartBoard, whiteboard, and teaching easel. I use both Sit Spots and duct tape on my floor. The Sit Spots give students defined places to sit during guided reading or when we are working on the SmartBoard. The duct tape helps to define spaces for our Morning Meeting or any other time we need to be in a circle. 
We've finally come to my favorite bulletin board and writing center! I did not have a writing center last year, so I'm excited to launch one this year. I especially love how I lowered the table so that students can sit on the floor to work! This idea came from one of my teammates, Barb!
If you turn to your left one more time, you will find yourself in our coat nook.  I labeled the hooks with student names so that they know where to put their belongings each day.
I have 4 tables in my classroom. This year, I bought pencil boxes at WalMart during back to school for less than $1 each! I labeled each one with a number so that I can keep using them year after year. The name tags you see there are in adhesive pockets from Lakeshore. They are a life saver! It is super easy to change seats during the year. I just have to peel the pockets off, and re-stick them on another table!
I hope you enjoyed visiting my classroom! As one of my students was leaving for his bus yesterday, he said to me, "Miss Peluso, I love our classroom." How sweet!? That totally made my whole week! I hope you love it too!
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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kindergarten Visitation!

The beginning of the year is always a whirlwind with the first few days of school and Open House/Visitation. Whether you have your Open House/Visitation before school starts, or once the year is already in full swing, it's still a huge undertaking! 
Today I'm sharing with you my 5 favorite tips for your Open House or Visitation!
Here's the outside of my classroom.  Those cute little monkeys are actually PAPER PLATES from The Dollar Tree! Who woulda guessed!? I used a simple bow template and cut the bows out of pink paper (for girls) and blue paper (for boys). All of my incoming kinders LOVED finding their monkey!
When families came in, they headed straight to the back of our room to my guided reading table. Do you love the cute signs? The frames were only $1 from IKEA! Here's a close up at each of the stations:
I had the grown ups sign in when they first entered. This told me who attended visitation. {surprisingly, a lot of my kinders wrote their own names on the "student name" lines!!!}
Next, the grownups helped the students go on a scavenger hunt throughout the room. They had a blast!
Then, the families chose a teacher information magnet to take home with them! They all loved the idea of being able to keep my information on their fridge.
Here is the "Question of the Day" that the students answered as number 1 on their Scavenger Hunt. Sorry for the glare, it reads "Are you excited to start kindergarten?" Number 2 had the students find the bathroom and flush the VERY LOUD toilet. Then, they checked out my "Spotted!" bulletin board that told all about me. Next, they located their coat hook so that they knew where to hang their backpack on the first day of school. The Scavenger Hunt ended with students finding their seats. On their table, I left an envelope filled with all of the sheets that I wanted parents to complete and return to school (photograph permission, class website information, students information, etc.) I also left them some Ready Confetti- one of my favorite new projects for this year! 
Visitation ended with a practice bus ride for the kindergarteners! It was a great day! How do you run your visitation or open house? Leave me a comment!
{All of the resources pictured in this blog post can be found in my Back to School Night Teacher Must Haves pack here!}
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Markdown Monday!

Well, here we are, folks! Today was the first day back to school for teachers. I am exhausted!!! In celebration of the first day back, I am linking up with Kelly and Kim's Kindergarten Kreations for MARKDOWN MONDAY!
What's a better way to kick off the new school year than with a write the room year long bundle?! For today only, this bundle will be 20% off!

Here's a sneak peak into what you'll get:

-110 monthly themed word cards with pictures
-11 themed units (September-June and Back to School)
-33 total recording sheet masters (3 per unit)
**for pre-writers: search and circle the matching word
**for beginning writers: search and write the room
**for advanced readers: search and complete the sentence

Don't miss out on savings! Click {here} to check it out on TPT!
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Back to School BOOST!

Who else found tons of resources that they want to buy AFTER the TPT back to school sale was over?! I know I did! That's why I'm so excited to announce…
That's right! Today ONLY, you can grab everything in my store for a total of 28% off! Here are some of my favorite back to school resources that have helped me get ready!
Are you getting ready for your back to school night or open house? This pack has everything you need including:
*Editable teacher information magnets
*Back to school student information sheet
*Back to school night sign in sheet
*Classroom website information form and permission slip
*Photography permission slip
*Editable volunteer information sheet
*Editable classroom scavenger hunt
*Editable folder or communication bag labels
*Welcome to Pre-k, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th folder covers
*Editable helping hands
*Welcome bunting banner
*Editable full page open house signs
*Editable half page open house signs
*Parent note to student template
{GET IT NOW!}
How about a new behavior management system for the new school year? Check out Busy Bee Behavior Management which will turn your kiddos into busy bees in no time at all! {GET IT NOW!}
Looking for a new, EASY way to establish positive home-school communication with parents? Try my newest product, Positive Postcards! They are a simple way to send little notes of positivity home to parents to let them hear some good news! Best of all, they're editable! {GET IT NOW!}
Finally, my blogging friend Amber Masters from Mrs. Masters' Kinder Love, created an awesome August and September writing station! I know that I am trying to strengthen my writing station this year, and will absolutely be giving this pack a try! You'll get all of this: 
-August and September Writing Station signs

-5 example writing posters (lists, labels, stories, letters, recipes)
-Headers for 5 types of writing
-30 picture/vocab cards (seasonal, community helpers, apple non-fiction)
-5 types of writing papers (lists, labels, stories, letters, recipes)
Check it out {here}!

Happy shopping, everyone!
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Positive Postcards- Establishing Positive Home/School Communication Early On!

Happy Monday, everyone! Today I am linking up with Kelly and Kim's Kindergarten Kreations to join in on Markdown Monday! I am putting my newest product, Positive Postcards, on sale for 20% off THIS WEEK ONLY! Here's a little bit about Positive Postcards…

I created Positive Postcards out of my own personal need. I am a firm believer in "happy calls," and try to call each one of my students' families during the first week of school to give them some positive news. I think that this is a great way to establish positive home-school communication. I even find that families are much more receptive when I have to call with not-so-good news when I have previously shared something positive with them.
However, although I try to personally call during the first week, sometimes the day gets away from me during the rest of the year.  I find that my "happy calls" seriously dwindle after that first week of school.  Enter… POSITIVE POSTCARDS!
By printing and prepping these postcards at the beginning of the year, I always have them on hand to send home with one of my kinders! All I have to do is choose the appropriate postcard (there are 8 different versions in 5 colors- even printer friendly!), write the student's name, and slide it in their folder! My name is even already printed on the postcard! No longer do I plan to send a positive note home and remember while I'm cooking dinner that I never got around to it!
Want Positive Postcards as part of your classroom this year? Grab them for 20% off at my TPT store today! Click {here} to check them out!
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Classroom Sneak Peak!

Hello. My name is Gina, and I am addicted to zebra print. Seriously. I went the whole year last year without having zebra print in my classroom, and it was SO hard!!! I am obsessed. My bedroom is zebra print, my bathroom is zebra print, and most accessories I have are zebra print. Pretty much anytime I see something that is zebra print, I buy it.

So, I gave into my addiction, and decided to add some jungle accents to my bright classroom this year. After staring at my bulletin boards for the whole week, I finally dove in yesterday and allowed the zebra to take over.

Here's a sneak peak at my two favorite bulletin boards thus far.
These bulletin boards are behind my guided reading table. Last year, I didn't have bulletin boards here and had to tape everything to the wall. It was quite tedious. This year I am blessed that my custodians found me two smaller bulletin boards that create a larger one! Originally, this was going to be the extent of the zebra print in my room. I figured I could be happy while not going over board.

Then, I ran out of green polka dot borders and had to go to the store to get more. Needless to say, the green polka dot border is in my closet because I found THIS ONE at the store..
It's double sided (zebra and gingham). What could be better!
I am just OBSESSED with this bulletin board. Please don't mind the wrinkled background paper. I can't wait to hang anchor charts there so I don't have to stare at it anymore! 

I hope you enjoyed this sneak peak! Be sure to follow my NEW Facebook page to check out some other sneak peaks and freebies! Click {here} to find Miss Peluso's Kindergarten on Facebook!
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Five for Friday!

Hey, guys! I completely forgot it was Friday today! I guess that's what I get for spending all of my time thinking about the upcoming school year. Good thing Five for Friday is one of my favorite linky parties… here goes!

Last weekend, I came back home from a cruise vacation. It was fabulous and very relaxing, but I was so eager to get into my classroom and start getting ready for the new school year. Seriously, I made lists of things that I had to do while at the beach! Here's a picture from my room's balcony..

On Monday, my room was finally cleaned and waxed, so I could start going in! I began working on a few projects that have been on my to-do list all summer. Here's a sneak peak at a few things I've been working on…

I made these snazzy clothespins with mini glitter duct tape. It was probably the easiest project I've ever done! All I had to do was put the duct tape on the clothespin, and cut off the excess.  Easy peasy! I also glued some thumb tacks to the back so that I can use them on a bulletin board, but I'm beginning to think I will use them on the clothesline across my ceiling instead. I'll keep ya posted!


While I was re-organizing my classroom library, I began to pull out some of my favorite first day of school books.  Last year, I read Back to School Tortoise and Edward and the Pirates on the first day of school.  Some of the others were read at other times during the week.  I am working on my plans for the first week of school, so I'll let you know my plans for all of these books! Have you read any of these to your class on the first day of school? I'd love your input!



Here's a sneak peak at the new word wall that I'm working on.  My plan is to use a clothespin to hang the sight words from the ribbon so that my students can unclip the word and bring it to their desk when they are writing. Then, it will be easy for them to clip it back on. I was originally going to use velcro, but I think that the clothespins might be easier for little hands. The velcro is kind of heavy duty!



I FINALLY bit the bullet and found a way to organize my anchor charts! If you'd like to read about what I did, check it out {here}! I promise it is a lifesaver for those of you who don't have long drawers capable of storing these large charts!
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