Saturday, August 25, 2012

I'm back!!

Wow I can't believe it has been almost a month since my last post. I have been so busy with my father and adjusting to my new school, my new team, and being back in kindergarten. We just completed our first week of school and it was a good but stressful week. I have 17 littles and they are a challenging group. I have 11 boys and 6 girls. 6 of my littles just turned 5 and one of them is actually turning 5 today so I have a young class and it definately shows.

I have been working hard to adjust to a new school, new team, and new principal. My principal has requirements that I have never had before so it has been interesting to find ways to accomodate. For example our kiddos have 3 or 4 workbooks they use throughout the day, those workbooks cannot be in their cubbies, they must be within reach of the students so that no teaching time is wasted passing out or going to get their workbooks. We are required to have a bin on the table or chair pockets to hold their workbooks. Plus we do community supplies so the supplis have to be on the table as well, and when the kiddos are doing a benchmark assessment or math quick check (which is a mini asessment that we do every day after our math lesson) the kids have to use a privacy board. Oh and a bin for them to put their finished work, as well as a book bin for early finishers. That's a LOT to have on/near  a table so I have been working to try to figure out how to keep all these things within easy reach and yet not overwhelming the tables. Here is what I have come up with:

 Workbooks - I have baskets from Really Good Stuff that fit the workbooks perfectly so I have a basket for each table and their workbooks are in the baskets - each workbook has a label on it with the student's name so they can easily find their own workbook.

Finished work - I have some "flat" bins I got from Lakeshore many moons ago, so I have one of those on each table for completed work

Books - I bought the skinny book bins from Lakeshore and I put one on each table with easy reader books. They look like these.

Supplies - I have always loved the Lakeshore Carry All Caddy with the colored cups like these:

But I didn't want to spend $20 each for 3 of them (1 for each table). One of my teammates said at the beginning of the summer, she found some at Michael's that were just like the Lakeshore ones (except they had 2 red, 2 blue, 2 green and 2 yellow cups instead of 8 different colored cups) but they were only $15 instead of $20. Still a little more than I wanted to spend but figured that saving $15 was better than nothing so hubby and I went to Michael's today to see if I could find them. I was getting disappointed as we walked around and around and couldn't find them. As we were about to leave I saw them! The best part was there were only 3 left - exactly how many I needed AND they were on clearance for $5!!!!!!!!! I was SO excited!! I grabbed all 3 of them. Then I got to the register and showed my teacher ID to get my 20% off and the cashier asked me if I had the latest email coupon, I said no, and she said "You're a teacher and teachers always spend their own money, I'm gonna give it to you anyway" and she gave me 40% off one of them! So I got ALL 3 of them for less than the original price of 1!!

Finally, one of my teammates came up with an AWESOME and VERY inexpensive way to create chair pockets for workbooks that won't fit in the basket, and it makes a great place for my kiddos to keep their library book - Kinders aren't allowed to take librarybooks home - Check out the pictures of these GREAT chair pockets!

My green table

My red table

My yellow table

Close up of my "chair pocket" - Can you figure out what they are made of?
We bought the stretchy, Jumbo Book Covers for $1 each at Target and put one end over the back of the chair and the other end is the pocket! How super easy and cute are these??? They are stretchy but durable! If you are going to do this you HAVE to get the JUMBO ones (I could only find them at Target) the regular size book covers were too small. I know this because I accidentally grabbed one regular sized one instead of a jumbo one and it kept coming off the chair.

So I am feeling pretty organized and the only thing I haven't figured out yet is how to store the privacy boards so they are easily gotten out and put away.


  1. Wow! You have accomplished so much and found creative ways to store the kiddos' supplies! I never would have thought of using book covers for chair pockets. I was blessed to receive chair back pockets last year from Donors Choose. I really can't imagine not having them now! :) Have a great school year!

    ~ Lisa
    Teaching Kindergarten Kiddos

    1. Lisa, I would love to get a set of "real" chair pockets, but the ones I see all look like they would be way too big for my little people chairs. You said you got yours through DonorsChoose, what vendor did you use? The book covers are super cute and they work for a couple of books but they are too flimsy for the workbooks. I would ultimately like to get ones that will hold all their workbooks as well as their media book.

  2. You sure have been busy this last month. Hope everything is ok with your dad. I love the pockets for your chairs!

  3. Your room looks great!
    I was wondering how your dad is doing?
    Have a great year!