It's Monday! Which means absolutely nothing in the summer, yay! Seriously, I'm only up this early because the phone rang - don't people know I'm on vacation and not to call until noon?!  My children are all night owls like myself, so during the summer we stay up late and wake up late - they still get their 8-10 hours a night though - my youngest is still sleeping like a rock - the phone didn't even phase him lol! (Edit: it's not early any more, this post took a few hours to finish, mostly because of things like eating breakfast, playing games and reading to a very persistent 5 year old!)

I'm moving on from organizing - it didn't get completely finished, but good enough for now! I am waiting for some of the Back to School sales to get get 100% finished. Well, not the sales actually, I don't think prices will go down, but I am hoping for more availability! Right now there are no crates or pencil boxes and very few color options for desk organizers! Hopefully all of that will change next month and I can finish the last little bit!

Since I'm headed back to kindergarten (yahoo!), I am thinking about beginning of the year things! One of my absolute favorites is my folders. Each child will get a basic manilla folder, laminated for durability. We keep them at our tables under the caddy and any unfinished work gets stored there. The front of their folder is also their placemat, with handy dandy information and a space for them to practice their names.

I go with the placemat format because I don't do desk strips or nameplates. Too easy to pick at and peel up, plus I like to have the option to move students around at a moment's notice. I know I've seen teachers attach the name strips with velcro, but I haven't seen it work really well - still too much picking going on!

I've also found that cliques are less likely to form when I have the children change tables regularly. Usually I have everyone move tables at the beginning of the month, sometimes I let it go a little longer, depending on the class. With the placemats I can quickly move any children who are distracting others or not getting along too (most of the time we try to work out those personality clashes, but there are times when you just cannot sit Billy Bob next to Johnny or when Getrude and Minerva just can't stop talking to each other.) We just gather up the folder and change chairs, without having to worry about nameplates or desk strips.

Anyways, I revamped my placemats to go along with my "Where the Wild Things Are" theme and added a few things too:

Then I made a cat one too:
You can grab either of them in my TPT store by clicking on the picture. I have a monster and bumblebee placemat in my store as well now. Please let me know if you need a different theme, I'd be glad to make it!

I still have my placemat from last year for free if you'd prefer a forest theme!
Classroom Placemat Freebie

If you have any ideas for other themes, please let me know! And, as always, comments make my day :)

11 Rustle Up A Response!:

Unknown said... Reply to comment

I am loving the Pete ones!!
First Grade Blue SKies

Kindertrips said... Reply to comment

What a great idea! I don't like nametags either, but we have to have them. I use a regular nametag until a week into school, then I replace them with neat typed names on a label mounted on cardstock. These are super cute. Thank your for the freebie!

Unknown said... Reply to comment

These are TOO Cute! I love them and I'm your newest follower!

Kinder-Craze on Facebook

karen thomas said... Reply to comment

I am a new follower and am enjoying your blog.I would really like to use this placemat this year, but can't download it. Is there a way to down load this from Scribd if I don't have an account.
Thanks for sharing!

Nicole said... Reply to comment

Oh!!!! That makes so much more sense! For two years now I've been dealing with the peeling and re-taping and stickiness... place mats are such a better option! Thank you!

beachliesl said... Reply to comment

I'm loving these...but would love MONKEYS even more! :) If you start feeling creative, and want to whip another one up, I'd be loving it! :)


Unknown said... Reply to comment

I love the idea of placemats!!!! GENIUS!! I would love a monster theme placemat!!

I'm also your newest follower! I hope you'll check out my new "manly" teaching blog!

Smedley's Smorgasboard of Kindergarten

Kelly said... Reply to comment

Very cute! I, like you, also hate nameplates. I have never used them and we have always managed OK. When I taught kdg, I had number/phonics/abc charts available if anyone needed one.

Now that I'm in 1st, the kids have folders in their desks with word walls, phonics charts, 100's charts etc...

Kelly @ I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

Erv said... Reply to comment

I just love it when I am inspired in a new direction. No nameplates.....dare I? It's really sounding like a great idea! I spend so much money and time taping them down only to have the students peel them up and scribble all over them. If you are feeling creative, I would love a bumblebee theme. (I'm sure the ladybug fans are next in line.)

Erv said... Reply to comment

Oh....and another request! Is there any chance we could get an option of the placemat with the color words in all lowercase letters?

Nicole said... Reply to comment

Genius! I never thought of using place mats, but I can't wait to try. I whipped up my own version here. Thank you for the inspiration!