Friday, July 25, 2014

Five for Friday- Supply shelves, sewing blinds, and library fun!

I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for a five for Friday!
I've had a few people ask me about the supply shelves I have at each of the tables in my classroom, so I decided to find some pictures of them from last year and talk about how I use them.
I got four of these shelves from Walmart and they have held up pretty well. I am going to repaint them before school starts, but that's only because the finish I used to cover the polka dots I added got pretty flaky mid-year.
Each table has its own shelf that is color coded so that things stay where they are supposed to. I keep the arrangement of materials the same at all of the tables so that it is easy for the kids to find things when I switch their seats.
On the top of each shelf is a caddy with spots for sharpened pencils, unsharpened pencils, markers, talking chips for cooperative learning activities, and cards for checking understanding. I use the black magnetic stand for team pictures, which we take whenever they switch tables. The kids love taking pictures with their new team and I love that I end up with a ton of pictures to put into their memory books at the end of the year!
I have a basket for completed work with binder clips so that the table captain can turn in all of the table's papers together. I have found that it really helps to figure out those no-name papers if you can narrow it down to one table!
The metal tub on the top shelf is where I keep index cards and post-its, which we use regularly for surveys and notebooking. The mini crate is where we keep our accordion files-

We use these to store cards with sight words we are working on, spelling words, crayon coupons for our supply store, and our teamwork cards.
On the middle shelf we have a tub with our DVD case dry erase boards, wet wipes for cleaning up after snack, and cooperative learning activity supplies (partnering plate, colored pencils, etc.). The book tub is where we keep leveled readers that they can read when they finish early as well as a folder with extra practice papers/scholastic news magazines.
The bottom shelf is where we keep math manipulatives- pattern blocks, snap cubes, cards, and color tiles.
 As for the extras on the floor, on one side we keep our "tidy tub" which we use to collect any scraps when we are cutting things out.  The metal bin on the other side keeps our clipboards (which are painted to match the table color!) and our test covers and writing helper folders.
 So that's it for my supply shelves! I am updating a few things for this year- the table captain signs I talked about last week and the supply caddy signs I am still working on. I am also thinking about adding some binders with extra practice pages in page protectors so that the kids can use dry erase markers and I can save paper!

I recently signed up to volunteer at the local library, and just started there last week. I am responsible for shelving books that are returned, which is rather like what I do in my retail job, but somehow turns out to be much better, I am loving it!
I am going to be starting on my master's degree in library and information studies with a focus on school media in January, so I think it will end up being good experience.
Also, who doesn't love the smell of books?!

In addition to my time at the library, I have been helping my mom sew her classroom security blinds so that she can keep up with all of the orders coming in!
I forgot to take a picture of the actual blinds that I finished, so I am just going to pretend that it is this lovely stack-

I haven't had much time for sewing lately, so it was a bit nerve-wracking to be working on an order for a school, but I survived!

I went to Target the other day and found the most amazing new additions to my classroom!
I have been wanting a black pocket chart to keep the folders for my reading groups for years and I just happened to find this one-
Not only is it black, but the four folders it came with are the colors of my reading groups, and it will fit on the back edge of my white table.  All of these amazing features for.... $3.99! I could not have been more excited!
I also came across this storage ottoman for my library. I am changing up some things in my library this year, getting rid of the cheap pink rug I got from Walmart and replacing it with the most amazing black and white polka dot rug. I am also adding a bright green bean bag chair, so this pink ottoman will be perfect!
I am thinking about keeping some of the stuffed animals that the students can keep at their desk as a reward inside the ottoman so that they are out of the way when we aren't using them.

Last, I have to mention my dear little Maggie. She has recently been diagnosed with arthritis in her tail and two of her legs. :( The vet gave me some steroids to give her because she was in pain at the time, but I was concerned at some of the potential side effects- diabetes and kidney problems!
Well, I thought that was too much of a risk to take when she is still moving normally and only complaining about pain occasionally, so I have started a very strict anti-arthritis regimen with her!
Maggie receives one capsule of cosequin every day and is given mandatory playtime to keep her joints active! Naturally, the playtime is the favorite of the two.
She is a very clever cat and tells me that her arthritis is bothering her by sitting next to me and holding her paw out. It usually seems to feel better after a few minutes of massage. :)
I can't always be there to give Maggie's elbow a massage though, so I got her this-
a heating bed!
It doesn't get too warm, just enough to make her want to be in it all the time, she loves it!
And now Maggie is back to her old self- living dangerously!


  1. Your classroom looks AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love those colors!!!!!!!!! I also love the pocket folder thing from Target!!!
    Mixing it up in Middle

  2. I love the idea of the supply shelves at each group! So creative! I’m gearing up for a big giveaway on my blog on August 11 - come stop by so you don’t miss it!!
    Beyond The Gradebook

  3. Your room is adorable!! If I had more room I would so do that!! :)

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I love Kindergarten

  4. Maggie is gorgeous! Love the picture of her in the sink!
    Growing Little Learners

  5. Your storage shelves are AMAZING! The color-coordinated-ness makes the OCD in me so happy. Also, I NEED that little pocket chart from good old Target. Going today. :)

    My Carolina Classroom

  6. I love your organization!!! That's so great that you found some alternatives to help your kitty, cats in sinks are the cutest!