Sunday, August 31, 2014

New Ideas For the New Year

As I sit here with my second cup of coffee, I am in one word EXHAUSTED! The past two weeks have been absolutely crazy. We sold our house in 12 hours, but had to move out in 10 days. That meant packing up all of our belonging, during this first week of school with a 16 month old! I have never been so thankful for Labor Day! I get an extra day to relax! Woo hoo! Since my daughter is down for her nap, it's time for a much needed blog post! I feel like I have neglected my blog with all of this craziness! So here I go...

I love getting my classroom ready for a new school year! Everything is so fresh and clean. You finally get to use all of the wonderful Pinterest ideas and crafts you've worked so hard on over the summer. I added a couple of new items/ideas to my classroom that I wanted to share with you.

The first item I wanted to share is my birthday display board. I absolutely love how it turned out! I made little three-dimensional cupcakes for each month. This display was super easy to make. I used chalkboard foam boards, cupcake papers, tissue paper, colored craft sticks, a white paint pen, glitter pom poms, and a hot glue gun. Each student has a candle with their name and birthday written on it. This display has been a hit in my classroom! My students love the cupcakes and had fun finding their candle.

I also wanted to share an organization idea I had for my classroom library. Every summer I reorganize my classroom library, and every year my students mess up that organization. So, over the summer I was trying to come up with some ideas to stop this annoying cycle. The books in my library are organized by genre, and the books are placed into genre baskets. I found great baskets at Wal-Mart that are intended for CD storage, but they work perfectly with chapter book. I have used these baskets for years, but my students always put the books back in the wrong baskets. So, this year I have a new system in place! 

Behind each genre label, I placed a library book pocket that you can find at the dollar store or any teacher store. I then labeled small craft sticks with my students names. Each student has two sticks, so they can check out two books from my library. Whenever they take a book from my library, they have to place one of their sticks into the pocket in front of the genre basket. When they finish reading their book, they will know where to place their book, and they can take out their stick and check out another book. I keep the extra sticks in a container on the top shelf of my library.

So far this system has been working really well in my classroom. I hope that I have finally broken the library organization cycle! What new ideas are you trying in your classroom this year? 


  1. Love that idea, Sarah! I made some book place markers out of those free paint stirrers from Home Depot, but never could find them after I painted them (sheesh!) I love the Popsicle stick idea! Also, cute cupcakes! I miss you and I hope you get some rest today!

  2. Thanks Carrie! I miss working with you too! It's so weird not talking to you everyday. I think that the cupcakes are my favorite display in my room this year. I hope that all is well!