Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I'm already in my 4th week?

Hi! Where has the time gone? Is anyone else experiencing time literally flying by? I'm hoping I am not alone over here! We are completely in the grove over at my school! I have such an amazing class this year! I just wanted to stop in and say that I hope everyone is off to a great start this school year. I will be writing some posts this weekend that I cannot wait to share! I know its short, but hope you have a happy Wednesday tomorrow!


Monday, August 17, 2015


Hi all! I am so sorry I have been M.I.A. lately! The first 2 weeks of school have been crazy and have flown by! We are already on the ground running this year. 

For the first two weeks of school, we did review in math. Review...that can sometimes be boring, so I made sure it was not! I took an idea from the amazing Hope King. She is amazing! She recently periscoped about how she was going to use Giant Jenga in her class. I tweaked it to work for my class. As a second year teacher, I don't have the budget to buy the Giant Jenga, so I went and bought the normal Jenga from Target. I'm pretty sure the lady at the checkout line thought I was crazy when I walked up with 5 Jenga games, but when I told her I was a teacher, but she just smiled and said, "Oh you teachers, you've always got something up your sleeve." She has no idea!

I chose 9 different colors. Each Jenga game has 54 pieces, so each game had 6 pieces that were the same color. I went to Michaels for my paint, and got it on sale! SCORE! I used the acrylic paint that comes in the little tubes! I also have a ton left over! Painting these little blocks were easier than I originally thought (thank goodness). With a sponge brush it took my a total of 1 hour to paint all the pieces! It honestly took 2 dabs on each end. The nice thing was it dried super quick, so I didn't take up my entire dinning room table for too long!

Once I was done painting and they were all dried, I was ready to store my new games. My OCD self did not want to put them back in the cardboard box they came in, so I threw those away and went back to Target! I'm surprised they don't know me by name yet! I found these great storage containers that came in a pack of 5, could it be any more perfect? They also were right around $5. I counted and divided out my games and put one game per container. These are great because they stack great, and they are easy to store, especially at school!

Like I said earlier in the post, I first introduced it to my class by using it to review certain topics from fourth grade! We reviewed long division, multiples, factors, math facts, subtraction, and prime/composite. If you want a copy of my recording sheet, email me at crazinessinfifth@gmail.com. My kids had a blast! I cannot begin to thank Hope and her amazing idea! There are so many ways I want to use it this year! I also have a class at all different levels, so the beautiful thing about this activity is it is easily differentiated. My students played in their math groups, but not one kid noticed that their group's paper was different than the next. BEAUTIFUL! 

Check out Hope's blog post about here to get more details from the expert, this is just my experience with it! I hope my tips can help you make this for your classroom! It is totally worth your time, I promise, and it is kid approved! "Miss Schaar, this is so awesome!"


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Week 1 is in the Books!

Sorry I have been a little MIA over here this week, but I have been busy getting to know my new 24 fifth graders! We just finished our first week, and man, was it a busy/exciting one? I have a wonderful group of students this year! I cannot wait for all of the ideas I can actually put into place this year because they are capable of handling it. (long story made short-my class last year was unbelievable and I couldn't do anything fun without having to stop in the middle of an activity) I have been trying to get back into the routine of going to bed earlier and getting up earlier, but I've realized its kind of like riding a bike, takes no time and you're back in the groove of things! We were so busy this week, I didn't have time to take many pictures, but there will be more details on the first week in a later post! Come back to hear in more detail about my first week and what I did with my students!

To those who are getting ready to start, happy beginning of the year!


Sunday, August 2, 2015

#2getherwearebetter LINKY! My Bulletin Boards!

Hi all! I am so excited to be linked up on my first linky party! For those who are new to my blog, ignore the not so pretty design, I am currently on a waitlist for one that will be just beautiful! Please don't let the ugly design scare you away, stay and look around! I am so excited you're here!

Bulletin boards. Two words that I have mixed feelings about! I guess I call it a love/hate relationship. In my fifth grade class my goal is to keep it simple and classic. You will not walk into my classroom and see bright bulletin boards, its neutral and works great for my fifth graders!

My best advice I got last year as I was starting out with bulletin boards is use FABRIC! Yes, you veteran teachers all probably knew this, but I didn't and will never go back to paper! Walmart has single sheets that are very inexpensive, but the colors are limited! I also got my polka dot fabric at Hobby Lobby!

 This is the big bulletin board you see when you walk into my classroom. I have it in 2 pictures because it is so big! On the left is an about Miss Schaar board that includes pictures and things my friends gave to me last year for my classroom! I love it! The posters are from Hope King's TPT store! I love inspirational quotes, so these fit perfectly with my neutral theme! (Ignore the mess on my counter!)

 This is the other side of the bulletin board. These pictures aren't very good because the lighting was not cooperating! I'm so sorry! To the upper left is my classroom jobs, and when students are here, their numbers are next to their jobs! More to come on that! To the right is my birthday board. On the first day of school, I take my students' pictures holding up the number for their birthday date! I post those pictures under each month! I love have the kids pictures up and around my room!

This is my focus wall. In our school we are required to hang up our learning objectives. Over the course of last year, I had tired many different places and ways to hang my I can statements, but this ended up working great. It's one central location for my kids to look to! The banners are labeled, math, reading, writing, and content! 

 This is the other half of the bulletin board. These are the genre posters from Brown Bag Teacher. They right in my classroom library. Not only are the cute, they are helpful for my kids when they are looking for books! 

We are getting to my 2 favorite boards in my classroom! So let me explain the wall you're looking at. This is my back wall and it is a retractable wall between me and team member, and it is UGLY! Under where the polka dot fabric is, is a gross colored carpet. So, my first to-do when I got into my classroom last year, was to cover the ugly carpet. I chose polka dot fabric to spice things up! 

My precept board a big part of our classroom! The idea came from the book Wonder. Every month I have a new quote that is posted, students write about it in their Friday journals that week and we talk about it on the following Monday! My kids love it!

This is by far my favorite bulletin (carpet) board in my classroom! Obviously it is blank and looks kid of boring, but I am assuming most everyone reading is familiar with Instagram, and by the end of the year, this is filled with our classroom memories! I love documenting my students learning, and the fun we have throughout the year! It is also fun for the kids to look back on the fun memories throughout the year! I will definitely post about it when it is filled with pictures!

 These are the bulletin boards in my classroom! I am not the best at them, and I know they need work, but they are perfect for my classroom and the vibe I am going for! If you have any questions about anything leave a comment and I'll get back with you! Thank you for stopping by! Come back later this week and I will be talking about my first day/week!