Classroom COLORS!!! Needing a change....

Ok people.....I'm only 2 days into my summer vacay and already got a bug to completely do over my classroom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Someone talk me off this cliff!!!!! 
 
Here are some pics of my room for the past 2 years:

I LOVE this but want a change.......Making my whole classroom over is silly and not in the budget.....so, here are my thoughts and the direction I am heading with a few changes.....
 
I LOVE my black and white.....and last year added some gray from Creative Teaching Press.
Super love the Doodles and Dots Border.
 
I saw Glitzy in First Grade's classroom on Pinterest and was totally inspired!!! 
Glitzy in 1st Grade
I think my problem is.....
 
I'm over the pink......and pink is my fave color but kinda over it.  (It may not look like a lot of pink, but trust me...it is...you can see more pics of my classroom and the pink, HERE)
 
So here's what I'm thinking......
I have lots of lime and some turquoise....so I think I'm gonna focus on those colors WITH the black/white and gray! 
 
My buddy Elizabeth did some scouting for me yesterday and sent these pics...

LOVE the turquoise/black/white/gray/lime!!!! 
I'm in need of some fabric for my first summer Monday Made It!!  Hint, hint!
 
Love these from Schoolgirl Style
I have these for our book luggage but am going to change half out to turquoise and will remake some fun tags...of course;)
I also have several turquoise baskets I could switch out with the pink....
 
I also love these from Creative Teaching Press

 
SOOOOOO, I'm just thinking out loud and looking for some feedback:) 
Any ideas, thoughts, comments, suggestions.......talk me through this ya'll!
 
AND don't forget......weekly Monday Made It starts this Monday!!!!!!!
Just the thought already has me in gear!!!  You can also link up your Made Its on Instagram at
#mondaymadeit
See ya'll here and there!!!
Please leave me some help of the classroom colors:D
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What Will I DEF be Doing Next Year???

I am thrilled to be joining the first linky of my sweet friend and  kindest person I know, Kim at Finding Joy in 6th Grade!
 
This linky is a must for me......my summer officially started yesterday afternoon and although I haven't had a lot of time to reflect, I do know what I def. will be doing next year....
 
I was super inspired last summer by Stephanie at Teaching in Room 6 and her calendar math.  (If you haven't read about it, you MUST)  Anywho, because of time constraints, I had to tweak it a little bit and my morning math meeting was born.  My kiddos showed some great gains in math this year and I strongly believe it was due to our morning math meeting and incorporating math workshop this year.  So, I will definitely be doing it again next year and trying to make it better.  I do have one big challenge ahead of me though....our master schedule is being changed.....math was first for us so that worked perfect with the meeting.....now, not sure how things will work.....BUT I WILL make it work:)
 
I had my T.O.T. this year that really helped me with organization BUT I still had some loose ends paperwork that I needed to be more organized with......and I am a hot mess when it comes to filing the kids paperwork weekly.  I need to come up with a system for that, like sending things home and be organized about it.......thoughts?
 
This is a biggie.....I need to let more things "roll off me" and not sweat the small stuff.  Maybe some deep breathing techniques...lol.  Last year was full of changes and at times I let them get the best of me:/  This next year will be even more challenging...we are finally rolling out common core BUT still state testing our state standards.......yikes!  I've got lots of common core reading and learning to do over this summer!  If anyone has any suggestions PLEASE leave them in a comment:)
 
Last summer I worked my butt of (literally) and lost 33 pounds!  I did that by eating right and running every day.  When school started my exercise routine took a back seat....thankfully I didn't gain tons back BUT some........I have already started running everyday since Saturday (up to 3.3 miles...woop! woop!) and want to keep that up, not only over the summer but for sure when school starts again!  Running (exercise in general) is such a great stress reliever....at least it is for me, so I want to make sure I put that at the top of my list and not push it off!
 
I have tons of other things I could go on and on about but I think I'll stop with these 4:)  Happy hump day everyone!  Pop over to Kim's and see what everyone else is doing next year!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sad Goodbye and Teacher Talk Tuesday!! (Early!)

Friday I had to say goodbye to my sweet, wonderful, and creative class:,(
 
I cannot tell you how hard it was this year.......really.....3 of my boys were in tears in the morning when they came in:(  One of them said I have been like a substitute mom and he didn't want to leave me.  So sad people!  Love these kids!!
 
Tomorrow I go in for my "last day" (don't think it will be although I am hopeful) to finish up paperwork and packing!
 
I am linking up with What the Teacher Wants and Apples and ABCs and joining the world of....
 
 
INSTAGRAM!!!!
 
 
I am so excited and have been having a blast with all the fun apps that go along with it and make pics and collages!  You can follow me on Instagram
I debated and debated about the direction of my Instagram....should it be only 4th Grade Frolics....should I set up a second one for my fam........what to do, what to do??????  Well, I decided to have an "all or none" Instagram:)  Teaching is such a huge part of my life, but that's just it....it a part of my life....so there will be pics of everything, school related, family, me, silliness.....you name it:)
 
Here are a couple of my Instagram pics I wanted to share:
 
This is one of the activities my kiddos did last week before our goodbye:/  It's my Warm Fuzzy Book and it's free at my TPT store:)
 
Another fun thing we did this last week were make reading buddies for the summer!  I have worked very hard this year to instill a love of reading in my kiddos and don't want them to lose that over the summer!  As teachers, we teach our kids that "Reading Rocks!"  So, we made reading rocks to be buddies to read to over the summer!
I think they turned out super cute and my kiddos LOVED them.  I didn't tell them until they had eyeballs what they were and they were so excited when they found out.
I also made Reading Rocks Reading Response Journals to go along with the craft if you would like to check that out:)
 
Here are a few other pics I was playing with...



Happy almost Tuesday everyone!  I'll soon be off to finish packing and paperwork......
 
and before you get too jealous of me being out, remember.......I go back in......
JULY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S.  I wanted to give you a heads up!!!!!!!  Next Monday will be the kickoff to going back to weekly Monday Made It posts!!!  Get your craft and creativity on!!!

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Organized....Maybe.....Getting There:D

I am a little OCD in the organization department (although you would never be able to tell that if you walked into my classroom today or tomorrow......it's the last 2 days with kids....enough said)
I am more than happy and excited to link up with 2 awesome bloggers and their Optimum Organization Linky!  Can't wait to browse through all the link ups and hopefully get some great organizational tips to end my year right (and start my next year righter!!!  Yep, word, I called it!)
 
 
I'm going to share a few things that I used this year that really worked for me:)
Of course the all too wonderful Teacher Toolbox!  I have seen so very many of these all over the internet!  Tons of them were linked up to my Monday Made It last year!
I don't sit at a desk....my desk is my small group table so this little puppy sits right behind me.  I love it.  Everything is right where it belongs.  Easy for me to find, easy for my kids to find if they need to:)
The inside of the drawers are actually decorated with pieces of border cut down to fit!
Love it, will use it again next year!!
 
This was another thing I tried at the end of last year.  I was soooooo frustrated with so many borders (I have a problem....lol) and no way to store them.  Then I decided to use one of the little 3 drawer carts I got from Target to store it all.
 
 
Love this too!  Will def use it again:)  Actually was filling it up today as I was slowly taking things down from my classroom.
 
Another wonderful thing I used this year was my T.O.T.
Can I tell you how organized this binder has kept me this year?!  (You can read more about it here)
Last year I was ALWAYS misplacing a paper or 2!!!  I would eventually find it BUT sometimes it took forever and caused LOTS of frustration.  Now, everything has a place and I can find what ever I need when I need it! 

There is NO doubt I will be using this again next year....probably adding to it:)))
 
What is not quite tweaked for me yet are my cabinets.  I'm a container and label it all gal....

This isn't working for me........a lot of my problem is that it all won't fit where I want it to.....I know it may look organized but my cabinets are a hot mess right now.  I really want to get things neatly put away so when I come back, it's all neat and ready to go.....the problem is, I tend to get tired and "done" and just start shoving and then have a bigger mess to come back to......
So, this is still a project in the making.....gonna go look for some ideas at the linky!
 
I also wanted to let ya all know I'm moving and shaking in the techno dept. and now have an Instagram.  Let me warn you ahead of time.....it's me, Tara Instagram, which means my classroom, my family, my yard, my likes........my life!  So it's not exclusively 4th Grade Frolics.
My user name is taraeiken
Have a great Thursday!  I am going to energize up for my last day with peeps!!!!  Love them to pieces but these unstructured fun days are draining!!!!!! LOL!
 

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Watercolor Journal Page - End of the Year Activity

My heart is absolutely broken over what has happened in Oklahoma.  I have been in constant prayer for all involved by this tragedy.  I actually started crying on my way to work this morning while I was praying.  Please keep these people lifted up in prayer!
Sending love and prayers out to those in Oklahoma.... xox
Melonheadz Illustrating

So, I have been trying to come up with some fun activities to do this last week with my wonderful kiddos!  I have been scouring Pinterest and looking for DIFFERENT......
 
well, when I saw a  journal page from Jessica Sporn Designs  (link HERE) I fell in love!!!
Oh my how I wish I could journal as beautifully as she does.....that's a whole other blog post...lol.
 
How could I do something like this and make it work with my peeps?????
I decided to have my kiddos make an end of the year, watercolor journal page.
They had to have a "section" for each of the subject areas we have covered this year:
Reading
Math
Science
Social Studies
Writing
 
I also wanted them to put a section called:
What I learned the most about myself this year...
 
Finally, I asked them to add any words that make them think of their school year....
Believe, Fun, Hard Work.....
 
First they drew them with black ink pens.

Then they wrote in their words.  In the subject areas, they could write the favorite thing they learned in that subject or their favorite activity with that subject, favorite book they read....
 
Next, it was time to paint with watercolors

Here are how some of them turned out...





My kids really enjoyed this and I think they all turned out great:)
I am so sad to be saying goodbye to this group and am loving having some last minute fun with them:)

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