Saturday, January 4, 2014


Whew!  You know that feeling you get every year thinking about all the things you need to get done before school starts in the fall?  I just had that feeling all over again and I'm pooped!

Back story:  My old school (Emerson Elementary) and my new school (Irving Elementary) were the two elementary schools that were destroyed in the May 2011 F-5 tornado that ripped our town of Joplin, Missouri in half.  Both schools were placed in temporary facilities comprised of several FEMA modulars and small school buildings.  This year, both schools were merged into one new school, Irving, and split into a K-2 and 3-5 campus for the first half of the year while our new "super school" was being built.  The construction was completed late in November and on December 2, we got our first look. 
The front entrance to the building

My empty classroom waiting to be filled!

Our Learning Neighborhood
There are 3 neighborhoods-K-1, 2-3 and 4-5.  Each neighborhood has it's own theme.  Ours is The Park.  The colors and "decorations" reflect the theme.  These areas have several SmartBoards and will have tables and comfortable seating for collaborative learning.

We started the big move on December 20th and furniture was moved December 23 and 26th.  To say that I have had any sort of break this holiday would be a misnomer.  I feel like I really do live at school.  But it will be so worth it when the kiddos come in on the 6th to see the building!

Here's a 360 degree tour of my new room! 
Welcome to Room A128!  All rooms has interior glass walls so that the learning that is going on is evident!

Check in area
Writing Center.  The black shelf on the right holds different kinds of paper, pre-made books, magnetic letters and magnet boards.  The blank wall is kind of bothering me, but I can't figure out what I want to put up there.
Reading Center.  I am so excited about this area!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my seating bench on the left!!

Calendar and meeting area.  My rug is on back order.  :-(
Front of the room.
Our voice level chart, daily schedule and my bulletin board.  
My "desk"/small group area.
Science Center.  I have BIG plans for this one come Spring!  Under the table is my sensory tub. 
This is our "think spot".  As a PBiS school, we have these spots so that students can reflect on their behavior choices.  I have some cards that need to be laminated for the pocket chart that show some calming techniques and the basket in the window sill has some calm down jars, a notebook and crayons, some squeezy Eagles and a really soft turtle puppet.  I love that they can also just sit and chill out and look out the window if need be. 
My storage cabinets.  You can see the extra crayon drawers and supply buckets on the counter, pocket charts for all our station rotations on the tall door and our work station drawers on the left.
Now....don't be (too) jealous....I also have a storage CLOSET!!!!

student cubbies

more student cubbies (I have 30 kiddos!), Puzzles and Games Center and the Building Center.  And behind that door is...

the tiny toilets!  My principal brings everyone down when she gives tours just so they can see them!  They are VERY tiny!!  I share this bathroom with the teacher next door.  Only Kindergarten has these.  I'm not sure if I'm too keen on it or not.  
Is your head spinning yet?  Mine is!  And I've had a month to get used to the idea of it all.  I can just say that I am so very thankful for everyone who has given time, energy, money, thoughts and prayers to help us through this whole ordeal. 

Our little Eagles are finally home!!

Now, if you have gotten this far, you deserve a little somethin' somethin'.  Here is a freebie I whipped up to use this week with my kiddos as we are relearning everything, getting back in the hang of school and adjusting to schedule changes and a new home.  It correlates to my new best seller, Hibernate? Or Migrate?  If you are interested, you can check out the mini unit  by clicking on the cover below or click on the worksheet picture to snag it.

I'm off now to cut out about five pounds of laminating that I drug home!  Have a great weekend!


  1. Your room looks amazing! You have TONS of space :)
    Thanks for the freebie!
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  2. Nice classroom! Thank you for the animal freebie!

  3. Happened upon your blog from a Pinterest pin. I attended Irving Elementary from 3rd to 5th grade. What an AMAZING building they have built!