Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Wreath

Have you seen the DIY book wreaths?  This has been on my "Summer To Do List" since school got out in June.  Last week I finally found the perfect old book to tear the pages out of,  got out my glue gun, stapler and a foam wreath.  It was pretty easy and I love how it turned out.

The project took about 2 hours and was fun to make.  But now I think I want to change the wall color in my living room to a darker shade!  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Book Labels

I am constantly adding books to my class book collection and I needed an easy way to label them.   I started using custom address labels that say:  

                                This belongs to Julie Mooney   
                                           Please return

It's so easy to just peel and stick them inside a book cover.  They can also be put on other things such as crates, baskets,  games, etc.    Here is a picture of one:

I lend out my books to students and I have a good return rate because these labels really stand out in the front of a book.  I prefer to use the shiny jewel tone labels.    What do you do to label things?

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's HUGE!

We are so lucky to have four blueberry bushes growing in our backyard.  This year we've had jumbo blueberries that are so delicious.   Take a look at Alex holding one as Dave measures it.  I just noticed that I'll have to teach Dave to start at the end of the tape measurer!  We made two blueberry pies (with homemade crust) and they are to die for! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Desk arrangements

At the beginning of the year I like to arrange students in what I call a "U shape".  This has every student sitting next to a partner and has the most number of students with desks facing the front of the room.  Here is an example:

(You can also see the pencil cups in action that I posted a picture of not too long ago).

It doesn't take long before I make some changes.  Who knew that a few students were best friends outside of school or which students are not good role models for each other??  

As the year goes on I actually survey students to see if they prefer to have their desks arranged in a table,  U shape or row.   Usually they are honest with how they learn best and I honor their request.

How do you arrange your desks  or tables?

Sunday, July 10, 2011


This year is the first time I am designing our classroom around a theme.  I picked sports because it appeals to girls and boys and I value to the concept of working as a team.  Here are some things I have picked up for the room: wall decals, a soccer bowl, popcorn cups, a baseball bank and double sided ball decorations for a bulletin board or hanging from the ceiling.  

I've been keeping an eye out for things related to this theme and checking blogs for sports themed classrooms.  Our jobs are going to be on baseballs and have the saying "Look who's pitching in".
The Inclusion teacher and I are going to be "Coaches" of  "Room 36".   I'm really excited to see how this year is different using a theme. 

Do you use a theme in your classroom? 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fish meets cat

One of my students moved to N.C. this summer and gave me her fish, Fresco, and his many accessories to keep as a class pet.  The class loved having him in our 3rd grade classroom.
 Fresco is in my son Alex's bedroom and was enjoying his summer vacation until he met our cat, Katarina.  We've been keeping an eye on Katarina's interest in Fresco.  Here she is caught in action:

Friday, July 8, 2011

basket addiction

Hello,  I'm Julie and I have a basket addiction.  I'm not sure exactly when it started, but I can't resist buying baskets for my classroom.  Whenever I go to a yard sale I always find a basket for a quarter.  As you can see from this picture, I do use them for books, but most of them get stacked in my closet.  Any creative suggestions for all these colorful baskets?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

desk cup holder

These are gatorade containers that my co-teacher saved for me.  I used velcro to adhere them to the desk so they don't fall off.  It has made finding materials so easy for my Third Graders and I love upcycling!  I'm sure that you could use any large plastic cup to do this. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

classroom clean up

I was inspired by all the classroom organization several people have been blogging about.   At the end of the school year (which was only 2 weeks ago) I had to pack up my classroom.  Before I did this I knew I had to tackle the mess in my closet.  Here is the before and after:

Now I just have to keep it this way when school starts in September!  Thanks for the extra push. : P