As you are reading this, I am most likely sitting in class with my students on the first day of school.  
It's going to be a learning year for me, like I probably haven't had since my first year of teaching.  This year I am switching grade levels and taking the jump into a new program.  Each grade level in our class will have an accelerated model (ALM) classroom.  I will be the teacher for the second grade one.

I am excited, overwhelmed, motivated and inspired.  

But now onto the fun (and not so fun) stuff!

Recently, I was fortunate enough to have a giveaway for one of those amazing Classroom Friendly Pencil Sharpeners.  Well, guess what?!?!!?  We're having ANOTHER one!  Woooo-hoooo!!!!

I must admit I am a wee bit jealous of this pink one!

You may, or may not know this about me, but I am one lucky girl.  When my son was in preschool, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I am one of the lucky ones...I am here today.  Facing the fears of cancer is a difficult process.  Fortunately for me I had the most absolutely amazing people surrounding me and my sweet son through this ordeal.  

I had the, chemo and radiation.  Lost my hair, but tried really hard never to lose my sense of humor.  I learned through all of this that I am tougher than I thought, that I truly do have the most amazing friends and family...I mean A-MAZING!

Plus, I got to
I also discovered that I had the absolutely, positively sweetest son in the whole wide world.  I will never, ever forget the morning that we were sitting at breakfast and my bald head was probably just shining away...that is the morning that my sweet four year old boy put his hand on mine and looked at mean and said, "Mommy, you're beautiful!"  Oh, how I love that boy!!!

This was Cayden just a little bit before I was diagnosed.  I mean, how cute is he?!??!  (OK, I'm biased!)
 Of course during that time was when he discovered that mommies really don't have eyes in the back of their head...because he could see for himself!  LOL!

Anyway, so now you know why when Troy over at Classroom Friendly Supplies asked if I would be interested in giving away one of these fabulous pencil sharpeners, he was met with a resounding YES!  
Not only are these pencil sharpeners simply fabulous, part of the cost of the sharpeners will be donated to fund cancer research.  YIPPPPEEEE!!!
I'm going to get these for some friends at school.  Shhhh!!!  Don't tell!

So, here's your chance to win one.  It's simple.  All you have to do is "like" Classroom Friendly Supplies on Facebook.  You do have to reside in the USA to win.

Well, ready or not, the kiddos come on Monday.  I am mostly ready.  As you may or may not know, I have struggled with my theme.  I originally picked it when I thought I was going to go to a classroom that had a large brown wall.  But I ended up staying in my own classroom.  I then worried about the brown and black being too drab until my sweet friend Christi from Ms. Fultz's Corner suggested adding some bright green.  Much better!

So, here it is...our Learning Safari Classroom!

 One side of my classroom is all bulletin board.  (It's actually a removable wall.)  So we have the Focus Wall that is a work in progress (a closeup is below), my CRAFT board for Daily 5 and the work display board that will soon have some Safari Face Its on it.  

On a side note, I used CRAFT instead of CAFE last year after reading this post by Ladybug's Teacher Files and LOVED it.  If you are doing CCSS and Daily 5, you should check it out.  It aligns with the CCSS wonderfully!

This is my Banana Cabana named by Kristin during a contest on my FB page.  My new book boxes are also pictured as well as a closeup of the book box labels I made.  I found the fabulous pockets at Michaels!

This is a closeup of my Focus Wall.  I have my Effort Rubric, my 2nd grade CCSS and my 2nd grade writing non-negotiables listed.  More will be added later.

Here are the working spaces.  "My" not-desk...thank you so much for suggesting I get rid of my desk.  The table is much smaller and friendly for the kids that I let sit there during the day.  My principal brought down the grass around the reading table.  I tried to get a closeup of the Learning Safari banner.  I used a wide variety of background papers...even some with sparkles and glitter!

You can also see that the cushions are missing from my glider rocker (the one I rocked my sweet boy in).  The cushions are at home getting recovered in new brown fabric.

These are my birthday cupcakes, my clipchart and poms and lanterns hanging from the ceiling.  My amazing next door teaching friend who is also my outside of school friend hung them for me in about 5 minutes flat!  Thank you, Gary, you rock!!

This pic is of some of my favorite things.  First up are the leopard spotted Smartie Pants.  Filled with Smarties and waiting to be eaten by my brilliant students!  
Next, is a lamp that I used Fusion black spray paint on and covered with a lampshade I got on clearance from Walmart.
Last up is my chart holder made from a magnetic curtain rod.  I got the idea from Christina over at Sugar and Spice.  You can read about it here.

Well, that's it.  All it need is to add some darling second graders.  I can't wait!!  It's going to be a fabulous year!!
Are you ready for some bargains????

You've waited long enough!  The BIG Back to School TPT sale is coming!

Start loading up your cart, because this one is going to be a big one!
On Saturday through Tuesday, I will be offering 20% off everything in my store.
On Sunday and Monday, TPT will add to the discount making the total discount 28%.

I have my shopping cart all filled up, do you?

If you haven't left feedback for recent purchases on TPT, be sure to do it soon.
Then you can use those credits toward TPT purchases!

I'm relisting some of my products, just in case you need some ideas.  ;-)
{Clicking on the pictures will take you to that section of my store.}

Do you still need some decor for your classroom?  I have added quite a few themes over the summer.

How about some book box labels to coordinate with your theme?  These are all editable so you can add your own information.  I have also had many buyers tell me that they are great for a wide variety of uses. 

Are you looking for some Common Core units?  Maybe there is something in here that's perfect 
for your class.

How about some Common Core and various skill games for centers or early finishers?

I've just added some editable clip charts or maybe you prefer one that is already done for you.

If you're teaching the Common Core, these posters help keep you right on track and make administrators happy that you're displaying what you're teaching.  The second grade one will be available by the sale. 

Here is a brand new product that has been selling very well!  These are called Face Its.  They have a craftivity and writing prompts as well.  Perfect for bulletin boards!

If you decide to take advantage of the sale or not, one thing is certain, I am wishing all of you the very best year ever!
So who is already back to work?  Sometimes I think the anticipation that looms over us is worse than the actual thing.  Dreading the end of summer, wondering who will be in our class, curious to see what little gem your school springs on you that you need to accomplish during the upcoming school year.  I honestly am trying to enjoy these last few days of summer as well as gearing up for the new year.
In fact, I'm just back from a nice relaxing day with some school friends and all our kids.  We ate, talked and sat by the pool.  FUN!

I have spent some time working in my classroom.  I used to have this HIDEOUSLY salmon color wall in my classroom.  Every time I looked at it next to the yellow of my bee theme last year, well...I won't lie, it made me a little nauseous!  But, over the summer, my sweet principal...yep! read that correctly, my PRINCIPAL painted the wall.  She also painted 4 other classrooms.  Isn't she just a little go-getter?

So, if you remember, I was heading on a Learning Safari for our theme this year, but then along the way, I got sidetracked by hot air balloons, but I decided I was already so invested in the safari decor I continued on and that is where we are today.  It is by no means finished, but I thought I'd give you a little peek.

...and doesn't it always make your room a lot better when you add in your sweet kiddos?

First, a little ambiance music...

This year I got rid of my wardrobe (moved into the greatroom), 1 four drawer filing cabinet, and 2 bookshelves.  Oh, and after listening to all of you, my desk!  (Replaced by a much smaller table.)

Walking in this is what we were greeted with...

Before I set up the furniture I always put up the paper.  The wall to the left in the pic above is all bulletin board, so it leaves me pretty wide open for ideas (minus what the inspector expects).

So...up goes the paper.

Getting out some supplies...

Next a little furniture arranging, but it still needs some fine tuning.

I have not been super thrilled with the decor this year, but we're working on some tweaking.  

A quick trip to Walmart helps, but it's definitely still a work in progress!

Stay tuned!

P.S.  Anyone else doing a safari theme?  I'd LOVE to see your ideas!
Hi there!  Today I'm hooking up with the AMAZING Christi from Ms. Fultz's Corner for a Creating a Caring Classroom Linky.

I'm linking up and old post about the Josh Stevens Foundation and their Be Kind Movement. 
You can check it all out by clicking on their logo below.

Every once in a while one of those amazing "Wow!  I can't believe this is happening!" opportunities comes along.  I can't believe that I am in the middle of one of those opportunities!  

Have you heard of Educents?  

 Well, sweet little ol' me has been bestowed the honor of being featured in their program!

Are you still looking for some classroom decor for your classroom? 
Well, then you should hop on over and check out this deal!

You can get all three of these for FREE!  Yep, FREE!
Well, the price is definitely right...right?

You can check it all by clicking on the picture above with the room themes.

If you're looking for a different theme, I have many, many more in my TPT store!

Click on my logo to take you there.

 If you're looking to purchase something from Educents, I would LOVE it if you'd use my referral link over to the side------>

And while we're talking Educents, be sure to enter their AMAZING 31 days of giveaways!  Still plenty of time left!  

Click on the picture to take you there.

 A huge thank you to Educents (especially Kaitlyn who was the brain child behind this and kept me organized and on-track!).  
To anyone one new who is popping in, welcome and I hope you'll stick around...there's always something new and exciting going on!

Happy Decorating!
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