Saturday, August 20, 2011

What a week!

The first week of school is done. It was a pretty hectic week.  We've been working on our classroom routines and rules.
I'm trying Whole Brain Teaching for classroom management and the kids love it. It's so simple, too.  We will be getting down to our curriculum this up coming week.  I've posted before about our district getting new reading curriculum.  It's a good curriculum but there is so much stuff to learn about it.  We just got our teacher editions on Friday so I'm spending my weekend looking through it to get ready for Monday. 
We are still missing a lot of the stuff we were supposed to have before school started but they said we should get it all before the end of the month.
It's making it a little difficult for my planning because I have to make some of the materials they tell us to use. Hopefully, the craziness will subside some once we get all of our materials.
I'm a very anal person and I like to have everything planned and organized the week before but this is making it a little difficult to do.  It's driving me crazy not being able to really do that.
I have a pretty great class this year. Minimal behavior problems. Mostly, just talking. I can deal with this compared to the disrespect and major behavior problems I had last year.  Plus, I only have 20 students.  Last year, I had 26! 
Im really excited about this year and I think after these bumps in the road we've been starting with, it's going to get so much better.
I'm posting this from my cell so sorry if there are any errors. Lol.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day One is Done

I made it through day one.  It was a very exhausting day.

My new class seems like they’re going to be pretty great.  I have 21 kids, however only 20 showed up.  I have a few talkers but nothing too severe.

The morning started off pretty rough.  I picked up the kids at 7:55 and walked them into our room.  I had them get started on their morning work and had them take out all their supplies.  I decided to keep their scissors, glue sticks, glue, and pencils.

Last year, I had a major problem with scissors and glue sticks so that’s why I decided to keep them this year.  Last year I had kids making confetti out of the papers in their desks and gluing everything together.

Our school is a Title 1 school so all the students are on a free breakfast and lunch program.  Last year the district started a breakfast in the classroom program.  I have a love/hate relationship with it.

Once I got all the kids seated and working, I start to get their breakfasts to them.  I have parents in my room wanting to talk to me and I realize I have no breakfast.  I had to call the secretary to find out where the breakfasts are at.

We also had an assembly at 8:30 so by the time I get breakfast, it’s 8:15.  I had the kids eat quickly and get to the assembly on time.  It was a very rushed morning but the students handled it well.

After that, the day felt off but it all went pretty well.  I got everything I needed done so I can’t really complain.  I’m excited for tomorrow because I feel things should go a lot smoother.

I have a few things to get done for tomorrow but I’m ready for it.  Bring it on!!!  LOL

Well, I’m super exhausted and I probably should get things done so I can hit the hay!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Room’s pretty much done…

What a week!

I did get my room pretty much finished.  There are still a few things I need to finish before the first day.  Which is Monday!

I will probably go in tomorrow to clean up the small things I still have left.  I also need to make copies and get everything ready for the first day. 

Well, I promised you all photos of my room, so without further ado:








So, there it all is.  I’m really liking it.  I still need to tape down their name tags.  I also need to get the computers hooked up.  I need a little box (called a switch, apparently) to connect them all to the network.  We won’t be using them for a few days so I have a little time for that. 

We’re still missing a lot of things for our new reading curriculum but we got what we had unpacked and put away.  One of the other first grade teachers was picking up a box out in the hallway and felt this on her hand (be prepared to be shocked)


Gross, right!?  Living in the desert of New Mexico we have these little guys sometimes in our classrooms.  This is actually only the second one we’ve found, but still!

Last year on the playground the kids found a small tarantula.  They loved it.  I thought it was pretty scary.  I hate spiders and I’m always afraid that they just want to eat my face off.  I know they do, they’re sneaky little creatures!

Well, that is all for now.  I'm so happy that I get to sleep in tomorrow.  I really need it!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Long time, no write

I have been so busy this week.  I've been trying to get my room completed along with staff meetings, trainings, and grade level meetings.  It’s been a crazy week.

Today was our building work day.  Our district doesn’t have our open house until the end of August (we start Monday).  We decided as a grade level to hold a Meet the Teacher Night.  We decided to do it today.

So, even though today was a building work day for us to work in our classroom.  I spent my day getting ready for Meet the Teacher Night.  Not a lot got done in my room.  On top of it all, I had only 5 out of my 21 students parents show up. 

My room is pretty much done except for piles of papers and a bunch of small things to get done.  The bad thing is, the small things always add up to be a lot.  Luckily, the furniture is in place and bulletin boards are done.

I’m loving the way I have it set-up.  I’m really glad I decided to do a color scheme because it makes everything come together.  I meant to take pictures but I forgot with the craziness.  I will try to get some tomorrow.

I am so exhausted.  I can’t even imagine how I’m going to feel after Monday is done.  I am really excited to get the year started.  We’ve had so many changes to things this year.  I’ve been racking my brain to make sure I’ve got it all covered.

We got new reading curriculum.  We had a ton of boxes to empty and sort this week.  After all the unpacking, we have no teacher editions, testing materials, or a bunch of small things we need to do a full on lesson.  It’s horrible.  Hopefully, they’ll get it all straightened out soon.  They want us to do a baseline test (which I’ve mentioned we don’t have the stuff for) by the end of next week.

Then we need to start the curriculum on the 22nd (did I mention we have no teacher editions).  AHHHH!

They have also decided to make all the specials (P.E., computers, art, music, etc.) in the mornings.  They’ve changed our start time to 7:55 a.m.  Oh, they’ve also increased our reading block to 2 hours (previously 1 1/2 hours) and math to 90 minutes (previously 60 minutes).  I’m having so much trouble trying to fit it all in.

I’m so tired! Lol

Well, I guess I should start getting ready for bed and worry about it all tomorrow. 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Last day of freedom

Today is my last day of summer vacation.  We go back tomorrow to start the busy week of meetings.  I have a day or so of working in my classroom, too.  I can’t believe it’s over.  I am excited though to get the year started.

I got my enrollment for this year and so far I have 19 kids.  That’s pretty great because last year I had 25!  I’m looking forward to less bodies in the room.

I got a crazy idea today to change my word wall.  I know I had it all done but I wasn’t really liking it.  I didn’t match my color scheme very well. 

So, I went to the teacher store (and also treated myself to a Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks) and bought new borders.  I tried to get ones that had the avocado-ish green color I am doing.  I found two I liked so tomorrow when I go in I have to take down the old borders and put up the new ones.

Then I need to decide how I am going to do the colors for the word wall themselves.  If you look at my older posts with my word wall, I had red, orange, and yellow stripes.  I’m trying to think of a way to incorporate the colors for my theme. 

If you remember, I was unable to locate the green construction paper.  Hopefully, tomorrow when I go in I will be able to locate it.  Cross your fingers! 

Another idea I had is heading down to Hobby Lobby and buying some scrapbook paper.  I might still do that.  Decisions, decisions!

I will post pics when I get it all figured out. 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Word Wall and Calendar

I was able to get a lot more done yesterday in my classroom.  Besides tons of little things I was able to get done, I also got my word wall finished.  Thanks to Reagan at Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits for posting her word wall.  I have borrowed the idea for my own word wall. 


I changed the color scheme a bit.  I used precut letters from the teaching store.  I wanted to do a green theme with it but I couldn’t find the green construction paper.  Our school has been moving around the storage closets and who knows where they put everything!

I also did my math wrong… it’s summer and my brain hasn’t been working to full capacity yet.  I had to double up a few of them so I could get them all up.  I may redo it to fit more on it.  We’ll see…


I also finished the first part of my calendar board.  I put up money, my “yesterday was, today is, and tomorrow will be” that I got from Target’s Dollar Spot, and the months of the year I got from Dollar Tree.  I finished it all off with a cute robot border I also got from Dollar Tree.  Oh, and  I got the blue magnetic holder that holds the days of the week we are not using at Dollar Tree.

Notice the clock!  I had no where to hang it for the time (no pun intended) being.  After taking the picture I put a nail in higher up so it’s out of the way.  I just put it there so I can see what time it was while I was working.

I’m pretty excited. Not too much more to go!  My todo list is getting smaller each time I redo it.  Of course, I keep adding new stuff to it as I’m crossing off other things.  It’s a never ending process, I guess!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

From cans to pencil holders

I’m sure you all have seen this done before.  I took some old vegetable cans and made them into pencil holders for my classroom.


Here’s what you will need.

  • Soup or vegetable can
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Pencil
  • Invisible tape
  • Ruler
  • Scissors

What to do:

First I pick my scrapbook paper that will match with the theme in my room.  I’m doing a green theme this year so I chose paper that had the same color green I was using.  Take the ruler and measure the can from top ring to the bottom ring.  Mark your scrapbook paper on both sides with this measurement.  Draw lines to connect the two sides and cut it out.  I taped one side to the can then wrapped it around then taped the seam down.  Easy, right?


You can also take some acrylic paint and paint the top lip and the bottom of the can to match.  I did that on two cans and the other two I left the way they were.  Make sure to paint them before taping the paper on.


More done and more to go!

Well, I went in today for 3 hours.  I seems like the more I go in the less I get done.  I was able to get some bulletin boards done though. 

I got half of my large bulletin board done when I realized my AC is leaking… again!  Grrr!  Which reminds me, I need to put a work order in for that. 

I got my birthday board done.  Here’s a pic.


The green thing next to the birthday board is a shoe holder that’s meant to go on a door.  I’m using it to hold the ActivExpression voter dealies that go with my Promethean Board.  I’m going to put numbers on the backs of them and then I can see if one is missing after the students put them away.

In my room, I have these weird little bulletin board areas that are above the whiteboards.  They run the whole length of the wall and are about a foot tall.  So I got this crazy idea to jazz them up with some wrapping paper.  I got it from Target’s Dollar Spot.  I love the way it looks up there.


It’s hard to tell in the picture but it’s a red background with yellow, green, and blue polka dots.  I looks busy but it really isn’t. 

I’ll post some more pics when I get more done. 


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 2 of Classroom Setup… With Photos

I went in for 2 hours today.  I got quite a bit done.  I went through more stuff trying to organize.  Unfortunately, they are still working on my A/C so I can’t work on my library and small group area.

Now I’m thinking about it, I moved my small group area over to the back corner.  See in the picture.


I think I will move the bookcase I was going to use for small groups over to that side.  I also got my student desks put into groups.  I was going to do 4 groups of 5 desks but then changed my mind because I didn’t like the way it looked.


This is a photo of my desk and all the crap I still have to get put away and organized.  I cleaned up the shelves and I’m putting my teacher editions there.  I figured it would be easier to get to them when I doing lesson plans and things.


This is my carpet area.  Notice the green chair I blogged about before?  I love that chair.  I can’t wait to sit in it and read to the kiddos. 

I still have a lot to do, but I thought I would show you the progress thus far.  I’m pretty proud of how far I’ve gotten.  I also like the changes I’ve made to the room. 


Monday, August 1, 2011

Day 1 of Classroom Set-up

I started unpacking my room today.  It was all so overwhelming!

I started my day by making an iced coffee and heading out to the school.  Got to my classroom around 10 and just didn’t know where to start.  Moving classrooms sucks!

First off, my first thought was “Wow, the last teacher in this room really cleaned it up.”  Then I opened my cupboards and there was a ton of random useless stuff in there.  Then I open up the desk and guess what was in there!?  More random useless stuff.  That’s where I decided I needed start.

I pulled everything out of every drawer, cupboard, and cabinet in the room.  I put it all on my desk and spent forever going through it all. 

After all that crud, I unpacked all the boxes in the room.  I put everything in it’s general location that I want it to be.  As I’m putting things where I want them, I notice the top of one of my bookcases is wet.  I look up and see the A/C is leaking water.  


Then, I have people on my room on a ladder and their tools everywhere trying to fix my A/C.  On top of that, they were not able to fix it today, so they have to come back tomorrow.

On an exciting note, I got to play with my Promethean Board.  It’s been almost 2 months since I took training for it.  I had so much trouble getting it turned on and I could not figure out how to calibrate the screen.  I did a quick Google search and figured it out. 

I still have so much to do and maybe tomorrow I will get some pictures once I get more done.  I have yet to get one area completely done.

I guess we’ll see how tomorrow goes!