Monday, July 29, 2013

Whooo has a NEW classroom theme?!

I do! I've been WILD for 8 years, which is long overdue for a change. I've decided to go with owls. When school got out for summer, I knew I wanted to make a theme change. Everywhere I went, I was seeing OWL stuff--fabric, notebooks, cups, border, die cuts, pictures, etc. It's like it was hitting me right in the face! 

My creative sister, Christa (Sweet Life of Second Grade), was busy making some themes for herself and friends. Lucky for me, she was creating some OWL themed cuteness! Here's a peek at just a few of the super cute things she's made for me and my classroom. The set is from her "It's An Owl-Standing Classroom Theme 2" on her TeachersPayTeachers page. Check it out!

These are some of the numbers for my calendar and some "Happy Birthday!" tags to note student birthdays.

Here are the letters for my word wall and the months of the year for my calendar.

The cute alphabet line to go above my whiteboard.

Tens frame posters and table signs to hang over table groups.

I'm going to use these colorful birthday tags for my student birthday bags. Love them!

I am LOVIN' my new homework folders!!

This theme has cute little owls, of course, and bright colors that I was looking for. I can't wait to start decorating my classroom for the new school year! Thanks sissy for the OWL-standing new theme!

Friday, July 5, 2013


This past school year I had a very active group of kids (remember 22 boys!!). Of my 33 kids, 2 were diagnosed with ADHD and 3 others could've been the "poster child" for it. I had tried many things during the school year to help improve focus with listening and doing work. One thing I wish I tried was a physical change with their seating (cushion, band for chair legs, stability ball, etc.) I was so overwhelmed with management and lack of resources that it got pushed aside.

After looking online these past few weeks at other teachers' classrooms, I decided I wanted to try using stability balls for these active students. I'm sure you've seen blogs or pictures on Pinterest, of teachers who have used these balls in the classroom as alternatives to regular chairs. I read how some people used 5 or 6 in their classroom and rotated students each day; some used them only with specific students; and one teacher (I can't remember exactly who) used them for the whole class! 

I did a search online for "stability balls" and was very disappointed at prices--$20 - 35 each! Yikes! Then I found a price that was too good to be true...$6!!! What?!?! Althea Medical Group has these balls for $6. I bought one to see how it was quality-wise. It seems pretty good! I bought the 45 cm one which would be the right size for people under 4 feet 8 inches tall. I told my son he had to try it out for me. He sat on it for about 1.6 seconds and then tried to see how many other ways he could use it. 

 This is him using it as a drum.

Here is my daughter using it to stretch herself on.
After seeing them use it as a basketball, something to throw at each other, drums, footrest, push up ledge, soccer ball, bouncy seat, etc; it seems like it's very sturdy and well liked by my kids. I can't wait to actually use it in the classroom and hopefully, see how it benefits my students. I'm thinking of getting a few more to have and use them for specific students. I want to have them on hand for kids to use as they or I feel needed. You can't beat the price!!

If you have used these in your classroom before, I'd love to hear how you used them and if they were helpful for your students. Thanks!!