Classroom decor makes my teacher heart so happy. The colors. The fonts. The adorable graphics. It just gets me! Last week I shared 3 reasons that I love having a classroom theme . So maybe you are thinking about that new decor, but you don't know where to start and you are working with a measly teacher's salary. Decorating can get pricey if you are not careful. Over the years, I have discovered a few tips to decorating a classroom on a budget.  All of the teaching stores are filled with beautiful classroom decor. And if money is not an issue, by all means buy it all! But if you want to save a ton, buy your decor on TpT. There are so many themes and styles available. The best part about buying a theme kit on TpT is that many kits are editable. You are able to create the exact labels, rules, schedule, etc to meet your classroom needs. You can't do this with the expensive decor at your local teaching store.  Click HERE to see the classroom theme kits that I c...
During my first couple of years as a teacher, I always had a class read aloud sitting on my desk. It would take months to actually finish it because I so rarely had time to just sit and read to my third graders. Too many standards and assessments. Too many interruptions and mandates. I am embarrassed to admit that I started to feel like taking a break and reading to my kids was a luxury that I didn't have time for. Thank goodness that I have evolved as an educator! My thinking has done a 360 degree change! A day does not go by in my classroom when I don't take the time to read to my students. It is one of the best parts of our day and something that I am passionate about! Why use read alouds? There are numerous reasons that reading to your students is a daily must- even in upper elementary classrooms. Reading aloud gives teachers the opportunity to introduce reluctant readers to new authors, series and genres. I cannot tell you how many times a parent has tol...
I am one of those strange teachers that had my classroom theme planned and designed in my head before I was ever hired for my first teaching job! Over the years, I have had many different themes in my classroom and I have loved it. Classroom themes can be elaborate with fancy bulletin boards or simple with just a set of colors or patterns. A classroom theme is by no means a requirement of a great teacher or a fun classroom. However, a classroom theme has many advantages. Let me tell you why I love having a theme so much... A room with a theme will generally look more organized. When everything coordinates, it just looks more put together! Using the same colors, graphics and fonts throughout the room is easier on the eyes. And an added bonus- when I am labeling and decorating my classroom, I end up getting everything more organized. I don't set out to do that, but it just happens.  Parents love to see a coordinated and organized classroom when they first meet y...
Summer is about family, friends, sleeping in, barbecues, beaches and BOOKS! I read during the school year, but I am much more limited on time so I don't read as much as I'd like to. So I make up for it during the summer. I read steamy romance novels, children's literature and professional development books. Yes, I read school books during the summer! It's the perfect time to reflect on your year and your craft and learn some new strategies for the coming year. It energizes me and keeps me excited about going back to school. During the last few summers, I have read some awesome teacher books and I wanted to share some of my favorites in case you are looking for some new books for your summer reading list. If you click on the book pictures, you will be directed to Amazon where you read more about the book. This post does contain affiliate links. I think every teacher should read this book! It transformed the way I managed my classroom and helped me to rele...