Monday, September 3, 2012

Bird's-Eye View

It's Labor Day weekend!


Well, I have been in school for three weeks now, and I am finally getting around to writing a post about how my classroom is set up! ugh. Setting up took forever! I had some drama for a little while and was stalled, but I got it done!

Let's take a tour!!!

the outside of my room

here's my parent board of information

 the first thing you see when you walk in

where the kids sign in each morning

all hands on deck (my helper wall)

 the bathroom door

cubbies for the kids' things

 extra board to do with as I choose

the start of where we will count up to 100 days of school

our behavior bay of rules

our clip chart to reward positive behavior and give consequences for negative behavior

surfin' the web

bulletin board to display work!

library center

my ocean of words! (one of my favorite parts of the room this year)

the title of my word wall

 my color wall


my religion corner (i teach at a private school)

weather panda that we get to dress up each day!

we started a rotating schedule this year, and I made this to help me remember what day it is
the panda wears a different colored pair of goggles each day

another way we're counting up to 100! (and learning grouping)

name of my circle time!

birthday wall

my work area (excuse the mess!)

 table set up

my quiet area

circle time area, aka the splash zone

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

School Has Started!

I did it!

I made it through the first two days.

My feet hurt.

I fell asleep at my home computer.

I need quiet time.


My classroom looks flipping awesome!!!!!!!!!

Pictures will be coming soon as I have take many many many pictures.

I'm so proud of the design.

If I could get a job doing that, then I'd be a happy camper.

That's one of my favorite parts about being a teacher.

Have you started school?

How'd it go??

Saturday, August 4, 2012


I have been avoiding my blog!

I don't know what to write about because school starts in one week!! And, one week from tomorrow is Parent Orientaion night.

It's crunch time!!

I was hoping to have finished my room by now so that I could take pictures and blog about how it's set up, but they haven't finished our floors!!!!!!!! AAAAAAGHHHHH!

I'm slowly dying...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Alabama Kindergarten Conference

After my beautiful vacation in Gulf Shores, AL, I drove approximately 6 hours up the state to Huntsville for the Alabama Kindergarten Conference.

On Friday, I got to spend the day learning with Dr. Jean Feldman!!! She's my hero. She even took the time to pose for a photo with me. Normally, I'm not the type of person to go up and ask for a photo, but she made a standing offer to the group and decided to take her up on it! We also danced with paper plates too. That was fun, and I'll definitely be using that in my class...and maybe some straws too!

Then, on Saturday, I got to meet some other teachers who gave me a lot of ideas to use in my classroom.

The keynote speaker was Steven Layne. Honestly, I didn't think that I'd like him when I first walked into the conference, but he blew me away! I loved his humor and his honesty. He has a book out about reading called Igniting a Passion for Reading that I will also be picking up soon. There are too many kids nowadays that just don't enjoy reading, and I want to help curb that distaste!

I took a class from Heidi Butkus of She gave me some great ideas on how to get my kids up and moving in my classroom.

I took another class from Peggy Campbell-Rush. She taught me all about the brain and made me want to research it even more, which is good because it's been on my back burner for awhile now. She also has a new book coming out called Get a Grip! all about fostering fine motor development in young children. I will definitely be getting this book!

The last class I took before rushing home for my niece's 2nd birthday party was by Kimberly Jordano. She has some great journaling ideas that I can't wait to implement into my classroom this fall!

I would have to say that Dr. Jean and Peggy were my two favorite speakers of the weekend. I'm so glad I went, and I hope you have broadened your teaching spectrum this summer with some professional development this summer too!

{I'm going into my classroom today for the first time all summer to start putting it together. Wish me luck!}

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Joy of Being a Teacher

Summer Vacation!
I'm doing this right now so I won't be blogging this week!

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Versatile Blogger


Thank you to Alison @ Toad-ally Exceptional Learners {one of the newest followers of my panda-monium} for my first blog award for my teaching blog!

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their blog.

3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.

5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their blog.

7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.
Okay...7 random facts about myself...
1. I am running in the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2013. {join me!}
2. I love to be on stage and perform.
3. I am married to my college sweetheart.
4. I collect Disney Princess movies.
5. I love to bake and hope to open my own bakery one day.
6. Reading is a passion of mine.
7. According to my husband, I'm a "nerd." ;)

So, now...
Here are the 15 bloggers I nominate!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

My Best Friend

It's July, and I have been slaving away over my curriculum and getting all my back to school stuff put together so I can relax in a week and half because I'll be at the BEACH with one of my teacher friends. We are so excited!

But, I digress...

I have a very special friend that has been getting me through this summer, and it always gets me through the school year too!

My very, very BEST friend for my classroom is my Cricut Expression!
I have been slaving away on the Cricut Craft Room program designing all the @ Sea elements for my classroom. Once I'm finished, all I'll have to do is load the cartridges and switch the paper for the many different cuts. I love my Cricut as it allows me to use "homemade" items rather than "premade" items in the classroom. Plus, in the long run, I believe it to be much cheaper.

Once my classroom is all set up, I'll be sure to take many pictures so you can see all the different elements I employ in my classroom! Right now, my room is not ready to be put together; it'll probably be August before I get any pictures or videos posted.

I use my Cricut Expression for E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. I make my signs with it. I make birthday cards for the kids with it. I made activities with it or templates with it. It is a huge timesaver. For example, if I need bodies for the kids to do an art project with, instead of copying them on paper and then cutting them out, all I have to do is program my Cricut with an amount and let it do the work. Super simple. Super easy. Super fun!

Here's a little sneak peek at what my Cricut does and how I am using it in the classroom:

Do you have a Cricut Expression or another Cricut product? How do you use it in your classroom?

{source :: cartridge helper}

{{p.s. I was not asked to write or discuss any Cricut products on my blog nor was I compensated for this blog post.}}

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Teacher Contact Info

I have been super busy trying to get all my paperwork ready for next school year by the end of June! I know that I'm going to want to enjoy July as much as possible before it's time to set my classroom up.

Each year, I make a magnet that has my contact information on it for my parents to take home on orientation night, which is the day before school starts where I teach. When I taught Kindergarten two years ago {my first official classroom}, I bought name tags from the Parent Teacher store and printed labels in the same color to match and glued them on. Then, I laminated them and stuck a magnet on the back. When I taught PreK last year, I changed up my information {since I was married now!!!} and pasted it onto a piece of panda shaped notebook paper. Again, I laminated them and stuck a magnet on the back.

Well, this year, I've already made the brochure {featured previously} that has my contact info on it, but I want something the parents can stick on the fridge too! This led me to business cards! I was given a stack of cards when I first began teaching at my school...but they're no longer relevant since I am teaching a different grade and have a different last name too. Plus, the ones I have are super plain Jane, which may work for some people but I'm not one of them!

Sooooooo, I sat down to my computer yesterday and knocked out a cute little design in no time flat. Obviously, it matches my theme for the year too. The husband thinks I need to have a panda on it since my theme is "Panda-monium @ Sea," but pandas don't swim in the sea! Silly man. One day, he'll understand my logic...I hope. ;)

Anywho, here's a peek at what I've created in my spare summer time!

{graphics are from lettering delights and font is from kevin and amanda}

After I created my cards, I went looking to see if there were templates that I could buy at the store to print on. Less cutting is always good in my book! Well, I found some that Avery makes that are already magnetic. Score!!! I will definitely be trying those out this summer, and I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Curriculum

As I mentioned earlier, I am teaching PreK for the second year next year! And, I'm uber excited to actually be teaching the same grade level again while using the same curriculum again! Every year that I've taught has been in a different grade with a different curriculum {obviously}, but this year will be different. I have the same grade and the same curriculum.

Here's a run down of the curriculum that I use in my classroom:
Opening the World of Learning by Pearson {isn't he a cutie?!}
Word Time by Handwriting Without Tears {he's cute too!}
Get Set for School by Handwriting Without Tears
And, since I teach at a school that has a religious affliation, Stories of God's Love by RCL Benziger

There's no doubt that I absolutely love my curriculums, but OWL is a new one on the block. I have been scouring the interwebs trying to find others who have used this program in their PreK classroom. If you know of anybody, let me know. I would love to pick their brain!!

As I always tell me students, whom I always call my kids, {and my husband}: sharing is caring, and it can be fun!

Monday, June 18, 2012

@ Sea

This year in PreK, my "pandas" are going out to sea!

I am currently working on compiling all of my ideas into one place so that I know what I'm going to be doing. Once that happens, I will be sure to post them {that way I'll remember and you'll know too}! I'm putting all my ideas into a notebook too, which I do every year. I started doing this last year when I realized that I hated having 50 bajillion pieces of paper strewn all over my desk. Here's what the first page of my book looks like!

As you can tell, I messed up the dates of the year. I was so consumed with how cute it was turning out that I wrote 2012-2012. Oops!

Until I get all my ideas straightened out, be sure to check out my Pinterest board on the topic - Oceans Away. I think I've practically pinned every single PreK activity on the site! If I've missed one, be sure to let me know. ;)

I also found this super cute Orientation Night/Open House/Parent Night brochure while on Pinterest. It is by Ms. White over at First Grade Blue Skies!

Isn't so super cute?! Obviously, it inspired me to create my own! Mine is still in the works, but here's a little sneak peek of it.

I only have one more picture to add to it, and then, it'll be complete! The picture I need to add though is on my work computer, which has been dismantled for the summer. Bummer! I have to wait all summer before I can add my last little cute piece of clip art.

Hope you like it! I sure do, and I'm having a blast thinking up all the ideas that I like to share with you.

{I hope I give everyone their due credit if I promote something of yours. Let me know if I don't.}

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Hello World!

I am Cassie, and I am a teacher.

This coming school year {2012-2013} will be my third full year of teaching, and I am super excited!

I graduated from college in 2009 with my bachelor's in Elementary Education.

I started my teaching career in a Montessori school and worked there for about 6 months.

Then, I found an interim teaching position at one of my alma maters, which has since blossomed into a full-time position.

I started as an interim teacher in second grade, which I enjoyed more than I had anticipated.

Then, the following school year, I was moved down to Kindergarten, my passion {or so I thought at the time}! It was a wonderful year where I began to find myself as a teacher.

Right before that school year ended, my principal approached me and asked if I wanted to teach PreK as we had just started a program and were growing by leaps and bounds. Obviously, I said YES! I had had a great experience with that age group while working at the Montessori school.

Last year, I taught PreK for the first time in my entire life, and I think I did a fairly good job. I had my moments where I wondered what I was doing because nothing was going right, but I pushed through.

Which brings us to this year! I'll be teaching PreK again. Thankfully, I will not be moving to another grade level so I can really start to hammer out this curriculum I was handed last year a few weeks before school started.

Welcome to Panda-monium in PreK! This year, we're venturing off into the sea. Wish us luck!!!