Guess What Everyone!

     I will admit it, I have some major issues.  One, being that I might be just a little obsessed with my classroom decor.  The other is, this obsession leads to hours of online and in store shopping for that very room. I’ve been out of school for two weeks and I know I’ve spent 20 hours searching for digital paper I find acceptable for making signs for my room. I still haven’t found any.  I also hit a scrapbook store, Michaels, and Walmart.  So I guess Hobby Lobby will be getting a visit this week.  Yes…Issues! I know.  
     Last week after a fun little morning of Chuck E Cheese, tokens and tickets, the boys and I made a stop at another one of my favorite places for classroom decor.  That would be IKEA! Anyone who has seen my classroom will tell you that my room is full of Ikea. So we actually only went for bags for my kiddos to keep their book bags and coats in during the day, courtesy of my wonderful PTO, but of course lots of money later I came out with this:

I bought the black frames because I’m going to put our school rules in them and my subway art I made.  I bought the black planters, (now garbage cans) to fancy up, and put under each of my tables. This way my kiddos don’t have to walk to the garbage 400 times a day. I’m still not sure what I’m doing with the cute two sided picture frames with stands, but I’m thinking. And the metal buckets are going to get ribbon and vellum and I’ll do something fantastic with them.  When I figure out what, I’ll let you know. 🙂 
This is what it’s like shopping with Landon. Drew is also under a garbage can. 
They were pretty happy with their IKEA purchases as well. 
 I also purchased these this week:
I’m also working on a little organizational project this summer. I’m starting with the beginning of the year and creating a binder for each quarter. In it I will separate each weeks lessons, ideas, etc. I pin tons of stuff and then the weeks creep up on me and I totally forget about the cute activity I pinned. 
So I’m doing this:
For example: I really want to remember the first or second week of school to do Cara’s Peacemaker activity, so I took photos from her post and made a sheet of ideas for the lesson. I also printed out her freebie. This way I won’t forget to include this in my plans when the time comes.  I’ll post pictures of my binder and it’s contents when I get more completed. 
 I also already printed my entire first unit of Reader’s Workshop plans so I can just take them out, add the date and insert them in my lesson plan binder as needed. Aren’t you proud of me?
As far as TpT items, my goals are to get a word family fun unit completed for you all. It will be huge, like my Sight Word unit, and will include a years worth of word families/spelling patterns and activities.  Big Goals here! I am also going to try to put together a farm unit, as I had lots of requests for my activities last year. 
Also, for those of you who have purchased My First Grade Helper and the bottom is cut off, please do the following while printing:
Because I had to use every space on the page to fit all of the info. Some printers may cut off the bottom.  You will have to go to print and you will see something similar to this:
If you look at “Page Sizing & Handling you’ll see that under size options I have clicked “Fit”. You can also hit Shrink oversized pages. 
There are also an awful lot of graphics on this small document. Sometimes this overwhelms printers a bit.  Another simple fix to printing this document with ease is to go to print and click the advanced button.
You will then see something like this:
If you simply click the button that says “Print as Image” it will all print perfectly! 
I hope you love my First Grade Helper. I also have them with Kindergarten and 2nd Grade headers. I made a Canadian Version as well.  My students use them constantly! I print them out, laminate them and they are easy for my students to pull out whenever they need important information.  
Have a great Monday friends. I’m off to play with my boys! 


Michelle Oakes

Michelle Oakes

Wife, mom of 2 boys and a bulldog, reading specialist, Target frequenting lover of fashion, home decorating, Cincinnati girl.

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20 thoughts on “Guess What Everyone!”

  1. I'm the same way about my classroom. I've been buying owl stuff for weeks. I love those lanterns. Where did you get them? I also love Ikea but I have to drive to Atlanta for the closest one. It kinda limits my buying. Oh well! Have a fabulous day!

    Swimming into Second

  2. Your not the only one! And Ikea forget about it. . . I always come out with stuff and of coure there are always things for my classroom. Ikea is about 30 minutes away from me . . . I little to close 😉 Binder organization IS the way to go. I love your idea for lessons you find on blogs and pin. Putting some pictures together etc. is super smart. Can't wait to see your finished product.


    Sweet Seconds

  3. IKEA also has white, cardboard magazine holders (like 5 for $3) which work great in the classroom to hold individual students books and journal for independant reading time and for separating books by themes or different authors. The students like to decorate them with markers to make them individualized. (The printed ones cost more).


  4. L.O.V.E. the binder idea… was just what I needed to help me sort through my HUGE pile of papers that have been stacking up all year from TpT and blogland. Thanks for throwing me a lifeline! 🙂 By the way, I think you could be a "personal IKEA classroom shopper" for those of us (ME) who are creatively challenged!!!! I am going this summer and I'm afraid that I'll just wander around and not see the true value in something until I'm home in bed and drifting off to sleep (does this happen to anyone else???). Hope I get a chance to meet you at the Vegas blogger/teacher get together. I will be there! Thanks again for the binder idea! Catherine in Vegas

  5. I have a less organized version of what you're doing to organize. I have started printing screenshots or images/anchor charts of ideas to go along with the units I download or purchase. I like one of your comments about a binder. I may try that…my folders are getting husky.

    I have a summer trip planned to IKEA! The nearest is about 2hrs away and I have some good ideas.

    I've been reading your blog for a while but just figured out this Google Friend Connect thing, lol. I'm your newest follower!

    You Might Be a First Grader…

  6. I did the same thing with binders but my quarter binders turned into 1" monthly binders which I liked better since my quarterly one kept getting bigger and bigger. I love it cuz I have everything I need in one place to take with me.


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