Blood, sweat, JOY, and freebies!

It's done!! This is my absolute favorite time of year. I geek out so hard on school supplies, planning for the new year, and CLASSROOM SET UP! I've spent the last 4 days alternately panicking and having the time of my life. I don't know why I let myself get so stressed out about things, it ALWAYS comes together in the end. :) The title of this post might seem a bit over dramatic but I did slice my finger on a razor blade, hence the blood, it was 90 degrees here today, and with no air conditioning, I sweat my tuckus off, and the joy? Well, I already told you how much I love setting up my classroom. This year I  made myself some promises though. At the end of every year I feel the need to take down every. single. thing. and tuck it away, neatly, in my too-small-closet. It's like I have to "purge" myself of the ending school year. Well, this leaves me with a completely blank slate and limited time. This then fuels my panic. In June I will do better, I vow this to myself right now. No here's the photo bomb!
This is what it looked like 4 days ago, after I just arranged the furniture.
View from the doorway.
My word wall and Open Court sound/spelling cards. Don't they take up a TON of room? Sheesh.
My gathering area.
Classroom library, center tubs (empty for now), and focus wall. The tree was a last minute addition. I found this tutorial on Pinterest.
Close-up of my Focus Wall- Rules/behavior chart, CAFE board, standards focus for displaying the common core, and our class timeline. I NEVER use my white board and I do all of my calendar activities on my Smartboard so this was the perfect use of this space.
Smartboard and teaching nook.
My desk and improvised listening center.
Close-up of my little listening center. I  love my little walkmans. My kids always think those are sooo cool. Many have never seen one before. *Man, I'm old.*
The back table will house my 2 desktop computers we are, supposedly, getting. The display area above is for the self portraits I have my kids do every year based on the book "The Colors of Us". If you have a diverse group of children and don't own this book, I highly recommend it. So cute! Great for descriptive language, as well.
Back wall and sink area. There are hooks below the bulletin boards to hang all of our anchor charts, as we generate them, together, of course. I haven't put down any name tags because I'm still living in my fantasy dreamworld where my back-ordered chair pockets from Really Good Stuff come on Tuesday, just in time for school to start. It'll happen, right?! Pray for me.  :)
Cubbies, supply cabinet, and closet.
Cubbie corner.
 Line-up numbers. I used that adorable patterned duct tape that seems to be everywhere and then used contact paper to stick the numbers on. I find contact paper to be way more durable than packing tape. It's easier to remove at the end of the year, too. If you'd like the numbers and line-up chart click here for a freebie. (hmm... well, google docs doesn't like that file. I'll have to load it on TpT later. Sorry!)
More leveled books. If you'd like a copy of these labels click here for a freebie.
My small group area.
My student badges all ready to be passed out. For a copy of the badges click here. I made them for K, 1st, and 2nd. Laminate them so you can wipe the names off and use them again!
I feel so great going in to Labor Day weekend knowing that my room is ready for kids. I just have to plan what I'm doing with these kiddos! Looking forward to some quality time with family and friends as we say good bye to summer.  Back to the grind next week! Kids start Wednesday!! Here's to a fabulous 2012-2013 school year!
PS. Let's play a game. How many ideas can you spot that I stole off Pinterest? How many penguins did you count? I tried to hide them throughout the room. I thought it would be a fun game for the first week of school. :)  Leave me a comment with your guesses.

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