Tuesday, July 24, 2012 & my first FREEBIE!

Have you ever just felt in-over-your-head by a project? That is how I felt the last few days in my classroom.'s still not complete! Thank goodness I still have a few weeks before school starts (so sorry to those of you who have already started meetings...and SCHOOL! unbelievable...)

Quick backstory, last year when I was hired, I barely went through my room to de-clutter the things the former teacher had left. My sweet principal and school secretary had gone through a few things, but mostly it was up to me to sort through what I wanted to keep and what I wanted to pitch get rid of donate (to the landfill). This year, going through the ENTIRE ROOM was first on my priority list...but somehow it has wound up being one of the last things I have done. Any of you have that problem?

You will still see some piles and, what appears to be, clutter...but trust me, it is a FAR cry from what it was in the middle of June!

Without further ado, current photos of my home-away-from-home!
One wall of my library...the other side was MUCH too cluttered to photograph!
Writing station, just behind library
More Writing/Word Work stations....That long black wall will hold our sight words
Calendar/Gathering Place...I L-O-V-E my lantern lights:)
 (btw, the calendar board is unfinished, in case you wondered! See, still more work...)
My teacher desk (above)....I gave it to my para & aide last year, I so RARELY used it.
The Bulletin Board you see as soon as you walk in my room.
Our building theme is HEROES this year...I'm stoked!!
That's all I have for now...stay tuned for more!

Oh, yeah...I promised you a freebie; as in, my FIRST FREEBIE! I hope you like it:)

When I introduced the CAFE strategies last year, I found the coolest website that introduced each component with an animal character. I absolutely loved this idea, but altered it slightly to fit my OCD perfectionist personality. I kept two of her original characters (Cool Comp Cat & Expanding Ellie Elephant), but added two of my own (Fluent Finnyus Fish & Accurate Annie-Conda). Together, they are: The CAFE Friends! Each animal depicts the reading component perfectly (I think), and the kiddos really liked deciding "who" they wanted to read like each time.

If you like this idea as much as I do, feel free to download these character mini-posters to display on your CAFE board, or simply to use during Guided Reading. This is my first time using Google Docs...I'm a little nervioso! So if this doesn't work, leave a comment with your email and I'll send you the PDF directly:) If it did happen to work, just click on any of the characters to download your copy!

Okay, I am off to bed because I have a TON of stuff to do for my new home....I close (hopefully, say some prayers!) on Friday:) Night, sweet friends!

Oh!  Don't forget to go shopping tomorrow! It's that fabulous Christmas in July sale!!! Yay!


  1. Those look so cute Amber. Way to go for posting your first Google Docs goodie! =)

    Heather's Heart

    1. I wasn't sure how it would go...I've heard many people talk about how tricky Google Docs can be:) Thanks for the compliment; I hope you can use them in your room this year!

  2. Super cute Amber!! :) Your room is coming our GREAT!! How many kiddos will you have this year??

    A Day in First Grade

    1. At this time, I think I have 22, but I started the year last year with 23:) I know that is not nearly what some teachers have, so I'm thankful! I honestly don't think my room could comfortably fit more than 23 kiddos!