A Blank Canvas

I finally had a chance to see my new classroom yesterday.  For those of you wondering, I’m teaching KINDERGARTEN this year!!!!!!  Back to my roots!!!!  I swear I wasn’t trying to keep it a secret.  I’m not a superstitious person by any means, but I wanted to make sure I had a classroom before I made the announcement :)  I’m so excited!  I taught Kindergarten for 7 years and I’m excited to go back.  I’ll still be posting lots of 1st grade ideas as well, so for those of you that have emailed me wondering if I’ll be doing that, the answer is “yes” :)

Now onto my classroom.  My friends, it’s definitely a blank canvas.  I spent a little while surveying the room and making a plan yesterday.  A couple of hours to be exact.  Didn’t move a thing, just tried to figure out what direction I wanted to go.

I have to say…I’m pretty excited.

classroom1

I love a good challenge.

classroom2

I’m spending the next couple of days working on classroom projects before I head up to tackle everything.

classroom3

For the next 10 months, this will be my home away from home.  It will be that way for my babies, too.  So…I want it to feel like home.  Warm and cozy.  Bright and fun. 

classroom4

The possibilities are endless.

classroom5

I’ve consulted my favorite teaching friends to find out what works best with cinder block walls.  Just incase you’re wondering, I hear that teacher tape, velcro dots, serious amounts of packing tape, stikki clips, and {gasp!!!!} hot glue work pretty well.  I’m getting ready to order some teacher tape, so we’ll see how that goes.

classroom6

I have a “vision” and I’m excited to see it all take shape.

Stay tuned for the before and after :)

98 comments:

  1. Wow! How exciting to go back to kindergarten! I taught kindergarten (and pre-k) before jumping up to first last year so I know how much fun the little ones are! Just a tip, hot glue will work and it won't pull paint off the walls (as long as it's dry!). Good luck with your new room!

    Caroline

    A Tale of 2 First Grades

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  2. Wahoo! Congrats on kindergarten. I remember moving back to K after teaching first for eight years. Oh my! Yes, you will be more tired than first, but hey, it's the best workout in town! Good luck and I can't wait to hear about your new adventures!

    Allison

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  3. Congrats! Decorating a new room is always so exciting! Can't wait to see what you come up with and good luck with the new upcoming school year!!

    Kiah
    kiah.m.berg@gmail.com

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  4. Congrats! Can't wait to see all of the fun decorating and organizing you will do. I have taught kindergarten for several years and love it!! Good luck with your new adventure~
    Robynn
    BusyBees

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  5. Yeah! Hot glue does work and to get it off, I have usually used my staple remover..ya know the kind with the straight edge that collects a ton of staples that then you throw into the garbage at once. Good luck! I can't wait to see the transformation.

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  6. Such a beautiful room, Cara! I am so excited to see what you do with it. I have to admit, I am a tad bit jealous...KINDERGARTEN!!! I love that grade level and to have such a nice room too...how exciting!!! ~hugs~

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  7. Love your new room!!! Can't wait to see your fabulous ideas too!!! Yea friend!!

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  8. Hot Glue works! My school is very old- built in 1925. Every morning as I would unlock my door I would think to myself, "What has fallen down overnight now?" Several teachers in my wing started to glue stuff to the walls. It works- and you can peel whatever you hang off the walls. You just will have glue marks on the back of what you hang.

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  9. Ditto to the hot glue. It's my adhesive of choice.

    Congrats on the K position. So much fun!

    I'm totally in love with those table desks. It's the best of both worlds. I can't wait to see what you dream up in that space. :) Jodi from The Clutter-Free Classroom

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  10. I am so excited that you are teaching kinder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to see what you do with your room! :)
    Michelle


    Apples and ABC's

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  11. I am ecstatic that you are going to bein kindergarten!! I can't wait to see all of your great ideas!
    Vickie

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  12. We use mavalus tape a lot at my schoool! They actually give us roles of it in hopes teachers won't use the dreaded stapler on painted walls!
    http://www.mavalus.com/

    Have fun creating!
    Alisha

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    Replies
    1. ugggg... roles=rolls! I need to proof-read:)

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  13. If you didn't buy Teacher Tape, I was pretty sure Lindsey would drive out to Texas and bring you some! :) I KNOW your room will be AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  14. Ahhh! SO envious of your tables with cubbies. Love the independence of the storage, but the FLAT table tops. My desks are never even. Seriously I fight them all year. Any chance you have an extra plane ticket to fly me down to Texas to see this transformation take place!. I know you will work wonders my friend!

    Katie
    Queen of the First Grade Jungle

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  15. Hot glue is the way to go! I was scared but I swear it pops right off. :) Best of luck to you!

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  16. I am so excited to see you K posts this year!

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  17. So excited for you! I taught First for 18 years, then left and did Literacy for 5 years, last year I went to Kinder, where I will be again this year! Welcome my friend! Congrats on the new job! Ditto on the hot glue, works great, that is what I use!
    Enjoy setting up the new room!

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  18. So exciting! Congrats on being back in K.
    Michele

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  19. Soooo exciting!! Congrats on the return to K! I have taught both K & 1st!! I LOVE them both, but there is something about doing everything FIRST w/ Kindergartners!! They are just in awe of the magic before them!! LOVE! Congrats! I too cant wait to see your room!! I am plotting mine ....now!

    Congrats!!
    Sarah
    shetrick@gmail.com

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  20. Woo hoo!! Congratulations!!
    I had a feeling it was kindergarten, and I am so excited!! That is the grade I teach, and I returned to Kindergarten three years ago after being in two other grades for fifteen years. I love it, and can't wait to see your Kindergarten ideas and magic! You are an amazing teacher!

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  21. Congratulations!
    Hot Glue is a MUST I use it for everything in my classroom.
    Peeling glue off posters was a favorite last day of school activity in my classroom. Hope the transition goes smoothly.

    Paige
    Mrs. Brown's Bonanza

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  22. You definitely need to link up with my party when you are done. Classroom design and bulletin board ideas kinky party.
    Jessica

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    Replies
    1. Oops, linky LOL so much for my naughty auto-correct

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  23. Woo Hoo! So excited you will be in Kindergarten. I loved your 1st grade products but I will be ALL OVER your K products! Thanks so much!

    Sarah
    Kindergarten Korner

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  24. Congratulations Cara! This is bittersweet for all us Firsties out there, but I know we are all thrilled everything is working out for you and you are happy. You are amazing and your transformation will also be just as amazing. You are a gifted person and your students will benefit so much from all your hard work. I will be watching in anticipation!

    Ashley

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  25. IF you're allowed, ceiling tiles can be flipped over, glued to the walls and used as bulletin boards (stapled into!). Sounds like you already have a plan, but in case your plans change it's good to know! My first classroom was in a 1920's school building - LOTS of cinder block and green chalkboards! Ha!

    Good luck getting it all together! Can't wait to see the pictures!

    Kate
    Second Grade Sparkle

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  26. Wow, what a terrific space! I can't wait to see what you do with it and how you make it cozy. I just moved into a new space last year and after a year of teaching in it, I am hoping to create some more centers areas...I have a hard time knowing how to set that up? What furniture to use and so on. I love your blog and all the fabulous inspiration you provide. Thank you!
    Lesley in Canada

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  27. I'm sure your classroom will be spectacular!! I will miss you greatly in 1st. :( However, I'm sure I will still be able to borrow many of the great ideas you come up with for Kindergarten!
    ❀Jodi
    Fun In First

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  28. Congrats on getting a position in Kinder. I was secretly hoping you'd get 2nd because that's where I'm going. :)

    Amy
    Krazy About Kiddos

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  29. I cannot wait to see how your room unfolds! I'll be watchin' from the cheap seats . . . not sure what that means, but it sounds better than "stalking" you. Hehehehehe.

    Kelley Dolling
    Teacher Idea Factory

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  30. Thanks for the heads up on Teacher Tape... I need some!!! And I can't wait to see what your classroom is going to look like! I'm starting with a blank canvas again this year, too!!
    ❤Teri
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

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  31. you have GREAT wall space - that is a super PLUS!! Cannot wait to see it transformed soon!! Best of luck, sweetie:) I use hot glue, as it is the best on those blocks!

    ~ Kimberlee ~

    Two Fulbright Hugs

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  32. Can't wait to see it, sister!

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  33. YAY! So now I can buy your Kindergarten products! :))) Can't wait to see what you do with the room! Those cabinets are wonderful and it looks like a nice big space!!
    Nicole
    Rowdy in Room 300

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  34. How exciting! Can't wait to see your after pictures, it looks like you have a wonderful space to "play" with.

    Catherine
    Kinder Cuties

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  35. I am so excited that you will be in kinder! Good luck setting up. I am also moving schools but have not been allowed in yet and I am getting so anxious to get in.

    Erica
    Sprinkles to Kindergarten
    erica_crowder0612@yahoo.com

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  36. Welcome back to Kindergarten! I love your room! My room is in the basement, so I have cinder block walls and concrete...NOTHING sticks to my walls except hot glue!!! Have fun decorating, I can't wait to see pics!!

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  37. Wow, that classroom is massive! I am sure you will create a beautiful, cozy classroom for your students!

    I am a big fan of that strapping tape for my cinder block walls. I don't know what it's actually called, but it has strings through it. It holds up great! I dislike hot glue guns because they rip the papers you hang up. One teacher in our school used it and there were little pieces of glue and paper stuck to the walls at the end of the year when she took it down.

    I'm happy and sad that you're moving to K. It seems like everybody is moving out of 1st! I taught K for 3 years before moving to 1st last year, and I miss it so much. I am so jealous of you! Good luck in K!

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  38. I cannot wait to see what you do with this space!! Your last classroom was so cute. I know you're going to hit it out of the park!

    ❤ -Stephanie
    Falling Into First

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  39. Oh wow - I know you'll have a great year with those little people! Can't wait to see all the creative ideas you pack into that little space! :D

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  40. I don't know if anyone mentioned this already, but this tape is awesome. They sell it at my local teacher store, but you can also order it online.

    http://www.mavalus.com/

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  41. Yay! I'm moving from 4th to kindergarten this year so I can't wait to see your ideas and room! Also, I tried hot glue on cinder blocks in my room and since they were painted it peeled off the paint and was hard to get off. I'd like to know the trick if there is one!

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  42. I cannot wait to see the finished product. I know it will look great!

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  43. I'm moving to kindergarten from first this year too. Excited to see what you do with your room! I use hot glue on EVERYTHING and wet it with germ-x or rubbing alcohol for easy removal. Good luck with getting started!

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  44. I am SOOOO JEAL of those tables and that MASSIVE wall around your white board. LOVE! Oh...the possibilities are ENDLESS! Now, go get working, sister! We are dying to see what the sweet Cara Carroll has planned this year. Love you, girlfriend. You are AMAZING!

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  45. Congratulations on going back to kindergarten where your heart is!! I am excited to see your classroom as you decorate it. I can only imagine the ideas that you have already. Good luck with everything & you know we'll be following along every step of the way! :)
    Lisa
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

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  46. Hi there! Your room looks huge...how nice! If you have time, join in on my Classroom Tours Linky Party!! I just started on on my blog! Once you are finished or have updated things in your room you can link up! Can't wait to see what you do with your room! You are always such an inspiration!!! Best of luck this school year! Go to my blog and link up!
    Brigid
    Brigid's Daily Lesson Log

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  47. I know the whole "hot glue" thing can freak you out, but I PROMISE it is the best stuff ever! NOTHING will fall off your cinder block walls and when you get ready to take it down (make sure things are laminated if you use hot glue) it peels RIGHT OFF! No mess, nothing! It is nothing short of a-maz-ing! All of us KG teachers could not be happier for you returning to KG this year! Good luck and I can't WAIT to see what you do with that HUGE room! I know it will be fab-u-lous!

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  48. Low temp hot glue works like a charm. It will be your cheapest option too!!! It peels off easily at the end of the year. I use it and swear by it! Don't use a high temp - its very difficult to get off the walls.

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  49. I might be more excited about your room than you are! You have such fantastic, creative ideas!! I cannot wait to see what you come up with :))))

    Halle

    Across the Hall in 2nd Grade

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  50. Oh sadness for me but THRILLED for you! :)
    I was offered a kinder position this year but turned it down. It would have been fun to take on the adventure with my favorite bloggy guru! I am SO excited for your new adventure! Prayers for a wonderful experience for you, your team, your boys (all three), and your school!
    Much Love!
    Reagan

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  51. HOTGLUE!!! So great for my cinder block walls...just be careful, if it's too hot when you attach it, it doesn't seem to come off as easily. I LOVE that I can stick it on and pop it right off at the end of the year with no damage. Can't wait to see how your room turns out :)

    Kimberly
    The Learning Tree

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  52. Congratulations! I can't wait to see how you transform the room. In my room I use strapping tape to hang things on my cinder blocks. It usually holds up my posters/anchor charts for the whole year.

    BeverlyAnn
    Fun and Learning in First

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  53. Can I just saw how excited I am that you are going to teach kindergarten???? =) Your blog has always been one of my favorites... but I can't wait see all your adorable Kdg ideas! Can't wait to see your classroom too! =) I've got some pictures of my classroom up (with cinder block walls) if you'd like to see!

    Jessica
    Under the Alphabet Tree

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  54. My school won't let us use hot glue on our cinder block walls, but 3M Command strips work great! I've never had anything fall.

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  55. I also have a blank canvas and moved from 1st to 2nd grade. My canvas is a much smaller size so it will be interesting how my canvas turns out. I will be checking back to see your new room.

    Have a great year,
    Kelly

    www.thereadingbuddies.blogspot.com

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  56. A my walls are cinder blOck. I hot glue everything. No problem except trying to hot gluing large sheets
    Those cabinets and countertops are great!

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  57. Can't wait to see the after pictures!

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  58. I have developed a new LOVE for hot glue! I can't wait to see your classroom. I am excited for you to be in kindergarten. Have fun : )

    Yeehaw! Teaching in Texas

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  59. Congrats on the new Kindergarten position! I'm also planning out my classroom set up! Such an exciting time, it's like Christmas or a birthday, but better haha! So awesome that you will still be posting first grade stuff! Thank you!!

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  60. Congrats on your new position! I love kindergarten. Wow I am envious of all the space you have to work with. I don't have cinder block walls, but love stikki clips, and they also make stikki dots which are a little cheaper. I am excited to see your "vision" come to life.

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  61. Stikki Wax....same material as the clips...only you use it on the back of your material like sticky putty. Works awesome! Nothing has ever fallen off of my cinder block walls with it.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001AZ1EB8/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B0022SJMNO&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=05DJMYESCCWAC5Q1DFSH

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  62. You're so lucky to get a classroom that doesn't have the previous teacher's junk in it! I've been in 4 rooms that were dumping grounds for the school...takes a lot of work sorting and trashing other people's stuff.

    I have cinder block walls and hot glue is the best and cheapest way to hang things! I've tried the teacher tape but it took forever to apply and I had to use a lot of it! (expensive too)

    Can't wait to see your completed room! Thanks for sharing!
    Nicole
    Lanier's Kindergarten Lions

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  63. Congrats to you! You are a blessing to your babies regardless of their ages! Can't wait to see the finished product!

    Laura
    Peace, Love, and First Grade

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  64. I can't wait to see what you come up with. My first child is going to Kindergarten this year and I wish you were my child's Kindergarten teacher.
    ஐRikki
    The Hive

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  65. My old classroom was cinder block. You can get things to stick... and I found cinder block is very easy to paint! :D
    Congrats on all the wonderful changes and the blank slate. I enjoy blank slates!
    ❤Dragonflies in First ❤

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  66. Sister I had all cement walls the last FOUR years! I highly recommend the hot glue gun! Get a cordless one and before you put anything up make sure it is laminated first! If it is not the paper will not come off very friendly. :( I know by personal experience HA!
    Can't wait to see your classroom!

    -Ms. Thomas

    {thefirstgradejungle.blogspot.com}

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  67. I think you are amazing and am sad you are leaving grade one. I find your blog inspiring! Can't wait to see what you do with your Kindergarten classroom!

    Dynelle
    http://firstgradefunmrsdunn.blogspot.ca

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  68. Keep taking day-to-day pictures! Would love to see the progress and your wonderful ideas.

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  69. Try Mauvelous Tape. It's absolutely marvelous (and comes in many colors) It's usually around $3.79 and I've seen it at the Teacher's Heavens in Houston when I visit and Lakeshore near the Galleria!
    Lauren
    Go Fourth and Inspire

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  70. Oh I am so excited you will be teaching kinder! That's what I teach too so I am thrilled to see what new ideas you will post that I will most definitely use! I've bought some of your units before and modified them for kinder so I'm glad you'll be making stuff specifically for the grade now. Love teaching this age of kiddos!!

    Caitlin
    The Kinder Garden

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  71. So excited you are moving to kinder!!

    Heather (heathernnance@yahoo.com)

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  72. Kindergarten! Yay! So does that mean your blog name will change?

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  73. Congratulations! I'm so excited to hear you will be teaching kindergarten. I started following your blog last year as a 1st grade teacher and I'm making the switch to kinder as well. I can't wait to see your room. I have been using a lot of the Command hooks and strips and they stick VERY well.

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  74. The kinder-grade parade? You will be missed in first but my, oh my those kinder teachers are so excited to have you!! Can't wait to see what your class looks like when it's all done! Best wishes in the upcoming year!

    Susan
    T.G.I.F.

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  75. Congratulations!! What an exciting move! I'm really looking forward to getting a peek into your classroom over the next few weeks. Have fun decorating!!!
    Maria

    http://curiousfirsties.blogspot.com

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  76. Congrats on being a Kinder teacher! I love your table/desks they area so cool. It seems like the great thing about your room is that you can move things around a lot and you have tons of wall space. I can't wait to see what a creative home you make for your Kinderbabies! Oh and I've have cinderblock walls for 4 years-hot glue is the only thing that will last all year!

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  77. Congratulations! Your room looks huge in the pictures! Blue sticky works until the school turns off AC. It's pricey but the 3M sticky and hooks is what works the best. I have two walls where nothings sticks and no staples allowed! (WAAAAA!) Hot glue works really well! I just play like I had NO IDEA you weren't supposed to use hot glue!

    Rowdy in First Grade

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  78. I am so envious of all of your space! I have only started following your blog recently, but I have to admit, that I have stalked your blog for the past couple of years. I can't wait to see your amazing ideas to transform this room. I have just completed my bright classroom makeover. I'd love for you to check it out on my new blog and let me know what you think.

    Kelly
    Teaching Fourth

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  79. Congrats on K!!! We both use hot glue on our cinder block walls and it is easy to put up, stays up, and comes down easy!
    Lisen & Katie
    www.wearesecondgradesmartypants.blogspot

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  80. Your new classroom looks nice and big! Congrats on the grade...I co-taught kindergarten before I got my license and they are so adorable, but sure keep you on your toes! :)

    Sarah
    teachingiscolorful.blogspot.com

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  81. Wow! What a great size!! I know you have gotten a lot of suggestions, but here is another just in case you can't use hot glue in your building (which works great, it is not allowed in mine). It is product called Blu Tack. http://www.blutack.com/ It is amazing and is reusable. It holds things up all year long, comes off clean, and is reusable. I even was able to hold up a 2X3 cork board with a big clump on the back. I share it with everyone I know!! Good luck and I can't wait to see your room completed. :)

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  82. You have such a positive attitude. I love it! I can't wait to see your new room all fancified!
    I'm teaching Kinders and Firsties reading this year, so I can't wait to see what you do with your babies. I just did a day long Kinder-Camp today and one of the littles said they were so excited to come to their new school. We asked her what was the name of her new school and she said, "My new school is called KINDERGARTEN!" Seriously, too precious!
    ~Andi

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  83. I am SOOO excited to see that room transformed Cara-style! ....on pins and needles:)
    I have no doubt it will be fabulous!
    Synonym Rolls & Antonym Moments

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  84. I cannot wait to see your before and after pics...and hopefully some looks along the way too! I am also moving to a new classroom this year and have just spent the last 3 days moving my furniture, books, and stuff to the new room! I am excited and am also pondering over the layout and all the possibilities. I will be blog-stalking over the next weeks to see what you come up with...good luck!

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  85. The Duck Tape brand masking tape is the only thing that works on our brick walls. Good luck in kindergarten this year!

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  86. I'm sure you will turn that room into an amazing space! We'll miss you in first but glad you are happy.
    Jenn
    Finally in First

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  87. I am so excited that you will be teaching Kindergarten!!! I loved your first grade ideas, but I am really looking forward to reading about your K ideas this year!

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  88. Hi,
    Congrats on your new class/grade! I'm your latest follower (out of your Zillions!). I am a Newbie Blogger, so I appreciate all of the sharing of advice and ideas. In your spare time (Ha!), come on over for a visit sometime.
    Corinna :)
    Teaching Fabulous Firsties!

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  89. The hot glue works so well! I have two brick walls in my room this year and I found that the glue was the best...kind of a pain if you don't have an extension cord but I recommend it!

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  90. Hot glue is the way to go. I live in Florida so it's always humid and sometimes muggy. Also, our district requires the school to turn off the air after school. Anything but hot glue will result in droopy posters and everything on the floor. I had to learn it the hard way. The best part about using hot glue is that it comes right off after it cools down. Good luck!

    Your Newest Follower,

    Lindsey
    Fantastic First Grade Friends

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  91. Your kiddos and school are so lucky to have you. Best of luck this year! New name for your blog~ Primary Parade so as not to leave out anyone:)

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  92. Congrats on the Kindergarten position! So jealous! I'm a firstie... again. I can't wait to see what you share this year!

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  93. Hot glue works wonders on cement block walls! I used it during my internship, and the only issue was that the wire didn't always reach where I was trying to hang things.

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  94. HOORAY for K!!! I know you'll love being back to your "roots"! I agree with so many who said hot glue... that's how I get things to stick to the cinder blocks. Also, I did a Donor's Choose this year for some hallway bulletin boards (didn't have any). So, that's another option!
    Karen :o)
    Mrs. Stamp's Kindergarten

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