Saturday, August 11, 2012

First Grade Jitters

Well the dreams have already started! You know the ones right before school begins where you show up to school not wearing any pants, or you somehow cannot manage to control your students on their first day? Yup, here they are, invading my peaceful slumber! But OH how these dreams are welcomed because this year I will be starting a new grade at a new school, and I couldn't be happier! I've spent the past three years teaching third grade and although I loved my children, I couldn't wait for the day that I could teach first grade. So now that I am in first grade, I am excited to start a new adventure using glitter and glue as much as possible. 

To start off I wanted to share a few things that I've stolen from various people and places to implement this year. You know how you get on Pinterest and plan to only spend a couple minutes surfing what your friends have recently pinned, but somehow end up spending hours repinning 35 education pins to your boards only to never look at them again? Well, I've decided to go through all these pins and pick out the really cute ideas and get a head start! 

Displaying Student Work

So one of the things that I find to be very important as a teacher is to make a conscious effort to display current student work outside the classroom and inside the classroom. The catch here was the word "current." There is always a beautiful art project or A+ paper to hang out in the hallway, but the problem is taking the time to get the staples out of the previous paper from the cork strip then staple a new piece of work onto the wall for all 20 children. This takes more time than I normally have and is normally the first thing to get pushed to the side when I don't have any time. So I decided to brainstorm a way for students to be able to choose and hang their own work outside the classroom when they get back a paper they are proud of. Because clipboards are safe for students to clip their paper to, this is something I can make them responsible for and it saves me time! Plus I think it adds color to the hallway with a cute display too!

Teacher Information Card

This is another idea that I saw on Pinterest and then remembered to do it when one of my friends Laura showed me her teacher information card! I created this card using a Microsoft Publisher business card template. I simply put my information on the card and clicked print! Then, backed it and laminated it to make it look more professional. Finally, I added a magnet to the back so that parents can stick this on the fridge and always have easy access to my contact information. 

Birthday Balloons

When I was in elementary school, some of my best memories were when my teachers gave me a special treat on my birthday. One of my teachers used to buy us our favorite candy bar and it would be sitting on my desk when I walked in on my birthday. So, for the past three years I used this idea in my classroom. However, the only problem was when I forgot to buy the candy bar the night before, or it accidentally melted in my car, or my husband ate it for a midnight snack. This broke my heart the next morning as I had to scramble to find something to give the child, and sometimes it ended up not being so cool, or special. When I saw this idea on Pinterest I decided this was the perfect way to give a special gift to the kids on their birthday without ever having the chance to miss it! This way, kids can look at the balloons all year long and it will be special when the day comes that they can actually pick out their birthday treat! I found this idea from the blog Teaching in Flip Flops. The link to her blog is

Birthday Bags 

Now that I have the birthday present solved, I have to make sure that I remember their birthday to begin with! I used to have a poster hung on the wall that categorized the children by their birthday month. The problem with that was it was so small and sometimes I would forget to even look at it! Well, another teacher friend Samantha introduced me to the idea of birthday bags! I have hung these super cute bags at the top of my wall. On each bag I will add the student's name and the date of their birthday. This way it is a colorful and big visual reminder of each child's birthday. It is also big enough that the students can see the date and help remind me!

More to come when my room gets finished!

Mrs. McKillop


  1. New follower. Super cute clipboards and birthday bags.

  2. How are your clipboards attached to the wall? I would love to make some similar, but not sure how to securely attach to our cork strips. I can't put anything permanent on the wall itself. Thanks.