August 22, 2017

Classroom Tour & Open House 2017

Tonight was open house!  I had way more time to prepare for this night and yet still felt completely unprepared!  Here's a peek at what my room looked like. :)

This is my library which is sorted by guided reading level.  I managed to score those Pidgeon and Knuffle Bunny stuffed animals from Khols this summer and am so excited to show them to my kiddos!  I made the Persevere wall decal with my cricut this summer and am so excited about how it looks!

These are my math shelves with all my student materials.  I have my stem bins, flash cards, privacy folders, etc all located on these shelves.  My lime green scissors container and my pink dry erase marker container can be seen on my instagram (@vkshappykampers). 

This awesome book shelf was from DonorsChoose.  A lot of the books were from the same donors choose projects.  On my very dim Promethean Board screen you can see the title page of my open house slide show. As you can see, I couldn't resist adding my little campers. :) 

My teacher area!  We don't have desks in our rooms, and I wouldn't have room for one even if I could have one.  The dots on my table are awesome for small group work and save SO much time of getting materials ready.  I used these last year and they lasted for the whole year so I bought another set for this year.  Click below to check them out: (affiliate link)

Close up of the flip book, trifold, and mints I gave out at the open house.  Parents loved the flip book because all the information was all in one place and they didn't have a stack of papers to carry.  I loved the mints because wintergreen is the best and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.  

My sign in sheet and parent volunteer sheet.  These can be found in my teachers pay teachers store as a back to school FREEBIE 😃 

Click here to be taken to this freebie :)

So there you have it.  My second home for the next ten months!  

August 18, 2017

Tiny House: Classroom Edition

Well, it finally happened, as I've been expecting for years.  Second grade has been moved to the tiniest rooms in our building.  UGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.  Not only are these rooms way smaller than the other classrooms in the buildings, but they also have the added perk of being stacked on top of each other in a stairwell.

Guess who is in the top classroom...Yup, me!  Now, I actually picked this room.  It's out of the way of the foot traffic through the bathroom.  We're the only classroom on the third floor which means we don't have to worry about being too loud or being interrupted by other classes.

I got purged a lot of my classroom stuff, which was a great thing!  Stuff I'd been holding on to for years got sold or given away to a classroom that might use it.

But its on the third floor...You know what is located on the first floor?  All the student bathrooms.  😱😱😱 So twice a day, we wander down two flights of stairs to get to the bathroom and in between I cross my fingers that no one has an accident.

Every classroom comes with it's own challenges, and this classroom is better than a lot of other classrooms in other schools.  I have air conditioning, a smart board, and a lot of freedom when it comes to decorations.  Plus, we have a lot of natural lighting, and a really cool view.  My kids favorite spot to work is at desks right by the window.  It's my favorite spot to work too!

I guess it could be worse, two sets of stairs isn't that bad, and on the plus side, I should have calves of steel by the end of this year.

My Classroom, home to 23 second graders and myself :)

My view looking down the stairs

July 14, 2017


Sorry, guys.  I've been a little busy lately, having a baby and all! 😂  Baby Nolan is 2 months old now!  Hannah is a great big sister and everything is finally settling down.

Big sister Hannah and baby Nolan

It was a very weird school year for me.  I ended up being put on "modified bedrest" in February and actual bedrest in April before Nolan was born in May.  He's such a great baby!  He is very calm and content, which is perfect because his sister is not!

I went back to school on the last day and it was hard to walk into my classroom with my kids and not be their teacher.  Bittersweet, would have been the best word.  The time I got to spend with my babies (and am still spending) is some of the happiest times I've ever had.  But man, I missed those kids.

Giving up control is apparently really hard for me, and it's not something I realized until I had to give up all the control of my classroom and hand it to someone else.  You pour your heart, soul, tears, and countless hours into the running of your classroom only to give it all up!

I love, love, love this time I get to spend with my babies.  But I'd be flat out lying if I said that I'm not itching to get back in the classroom.

January 14, 2017

Creating Kindness!

It's about this time of the year every year that my kids are getting a little too familiar with each other. They're finding it harder and harder to be polite, and are snipping at each other more and more.  Honeymoon is WAY over, right?

My school doesn't have a character education program, and I know that it would be beneficial to our school.  So I've decided to start making my own!  My first part of the program is a trait that my kiddos desperately need to practice: kindness!

Check it out HERE!

This program is meant to be 4 weeks long, and focuses on a different aspect of kindness each week.  Each week is also centered around a book that teaches kindness in different ways.  I really wanted to show kids that there are more ways to be kind than just the normal please and thank you manners.  Kindness goes a lot deeper than that!  I wanted my kids to think of being kind in easy and new ways.  

We're two weeks in and I've already noticed a change in my kiddos.  They are much more focused on kindness.  They point out kind acts when they see them, and are more likely to perform kind acts without being told to.  

This is one of the activities that we worked on independently.  I loved that she drew pictures of examples of kindness and unkindness!  It made me smile, because this is one of my friends that sometimes struggles with kindness! 

How do you promote kindness in your classroom?

January 4, 2017

Baby on the way!

The title says it all!  My husband and I are expected a baby at the end of May!  So, I haven't been the best at updating my blog, despite the best of intentions.  I have a really good excuse, I promise.  Here's my excuse...Pregnancy is hard.  Being pregnant and chasing a toddler is hard!  Being pregnant, chasing a toddler, AND teaching all day?!  Safe to say I fall asleep at about 8pm most nights these days.

But look at this handsome man's little face!

I announced to my kiddos about 10 minutes before they got on the bus for Christmas Break.  We did this super cute product from Miss DeCarbo!  It had a great announcement word search and some really great activities for afterward!  My kiddos loved it!

We made a great graph showing our predictions for what baby is going to be.  Most the girls said girl and most of the boys said boy...shocker 😜.

Here's the link to the packet I used!

Any tips on keeping my energy up?  I'm only halfway through, and the hardest half is yet to come!