Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The One Where I Finally Got In My Classroom

That's right!  You read that correctly.  We FINALLY are able to get in.  I didn't get a lot done.  I've decided to rearrange a lot of stuff.  Plus, I'm going to do it.  I'm giving up my teacher desk.
It seems sort of scary to let it go.  However, I've read on many blogs that once it's gone, you don't even miss it.  We'll see!  I don't think I will miss it.  I sit mostly at my small group table to work and I use my laptop. Anyway, I've taken some photos when I first walk in my room.  Here they are:

 While I was moving stuff around, I found this (below).  It is how I organize my sight words for the year.  They are just printed on plain paper and laminated.  We use Reading Street as our reading curriculum and Reading Street uses a Unit/Week system.  So I divided them all up by their unit and the week within that unit (eg. Unit 1, Week 3).  I also wrote each unit and week on the back of each sight word so at the end of the year I can put them all back in the correct section.  I used index cards I got from Dollar Tree and rectangle colored labels that I cut in half.  I stick it to the front side then fold it over and stick it to the back, thus making a little tab.  I'm pretty sure I also got the labels and holder from Dollar Tree but I'm not positive.
 Now are the photos from what I actually did in the room.  Still looks like a mess but it's progress.

Well, that is it for now.  I'm going in tomorrow and getting some more done so I will probably have more photos.  Tell then!

Monday, July 30, 2012

The One With The "Behind Closed Doors" Linky Party

I saw that Amanda at One Extra Degree is having a Behind Closed Doors linky party.  This will be my first linky party and I'm excited to do it.

Unfortunately, the custodian is still working on our floors so the pictures I'm about to post are from last year.  Hopefully, this will be okay. ;)

Alright, to get started.  This photo below is my teacher area.  The book shelf (not filled yet) holds my teacher editions for math, reading, writing, social studies, and science.  I might get rid of my teacher desk this year... I haven't decided yet.  So this area might change some this year.  The green crate on the right side holds the students' portfolios.
This photo is our carpet area.  I know that I'm getting a new carpet this year-which I'm super excited for.  I have an overhead projector cart (not pictured) that goes on the side of my Promethean Board to hold my laptop, document camera, and Slate.
This is again the carpet area.  The green shoe holder is holding our Activision Voters.  If you don't know about them, they are clickers that the students use if I want to give the whole class a quiz and they can push letters, numbers, or they can text in their answers.  The small multi-colored shelf on the floor holds a lot of stuff that goes with calendar and Number Literacy (that's what we use for math).  Above that, one the white board, is a blue magnetic holder I bought from Dollar Tree and it holds more of calendar things, index cards, and pens/markers.
 This area is my writing area.  The small tan shelf has a white board on the front.  The shelves holds clip boards, markers, crayons, and big books.  The top shelf has cups for pencils and paper.
This area has my word wall on the top.  The blue cubbies on the right are the students' mailboxes.  It holds all their papers and things that need to go home each day.  I use the number system in my classroom, this way I don't have to redo it each year.  The bookshelf on the bottom holds our classroom supplies (the green baskets) and classroom library (blue baskets).  I keep all the students' glues, glue sticks, pencils, rulers, and scissors.   
 This area has all the student books for our math and reading curriculum.  The shelf is getting a make over this year.  I am putting black poster board up over the shelves and adding a border to it.  This was it will hide all the clutter on those shelves.  It looks hideous!
 I got this table toward the end of last year so it was kind of just put in this space.  My old table was smaller so I had to do some rearranging spur-of-the-moment.  This area may change some.  The book book shelf on the right holds all my small group and centers materials and manipulatives.  Sorry, I don't have a close-up picture of that shelf.
 Last, but not least, is the computers.  This area might go under a little change.  I'm going to add paper and a border to the side by the computers to hold my Daily 5 bulletin board.
 Sorry, I didn't have any current pictures to show all my classroom organization.  I wanted to join the linky party but I'm not allowed in my building yet.  I'm hoping for tomorrow!  Cross your fingers!

If you would also like to join the linky party, click here.  Can't wait to see how everyone is organizing their classrooms.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The One With The Box Of Letters

This will be a quick little post.  I just wanted to share this idea I saw on Pinterest.  It's a great because it won't cost you anymore than what you already spend of food.  And you're recycling... bonus!  :) Plus, if the little ones in your classroom lose any of the letters, it won't be that big of a deal.

I have been cutting apart all the boxes I can find in my house. I've been getting super excited when I finish whatever is in a box so I can cut the letters out.  Nerd, I know!  My roommate saw the container sitting on the counter the other day and thought I was sending out a ransom note. LOL

What you will need are empty boxes, such as cereal boxes.  Cut out the letters and put them in a storage container.  That is it!

I've asked my own parents to save their boxes, too.  Another idea is to ask your students' parents to send empty food boxes to school.

If you would like to see the original idea from Pinterest, here it is.

I just thought I would forward on this neat little piece if you haven't seen it on Pinterest yourself.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The One With The Class Dojo

While doing our Common Core State Standard mapping and pacing guides a friend showed me this really neat website.  It's called ClassDojo

It's a website dedicated to managing classroom behavior.  You are able to give points and/or take points away from each student, or the entire class.  It also has a mobile browser so you can quickly click the icon  on your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android device and give or take away a point.

If you have an interactive whiteboard, you can keep the website open (but have it minimized) and then give/take a point for a student and it will show up at the bottom of the screen.  You may also keep it up and the students can give or take away a point themselves.

Each student gets their own avatar.  If you use the number system, like I do, you don't even need to enter in a student's name-just their number.

Best of all, if you have their parent's email address you can email out the report straight to them.  I know that by the end of the day it's hard to remember who got a color change (or whatever system you use) for what.  You can put in your own things for points such as, talking, being off-task, not participating, etc.

If you are interested in it, click on the link and check it out.  They give you a demo class to play around with.
It's worth a look at.

Just so you know, I am in no way affiliated with ClassDojo.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The One Where I Am Getting Antsy

We start school in little over 2 weeks!  I need to start getting stuff done in my room and I feel like I am so far behind.  We are not allowed in our building because they are redoing the floors.  We were supposed to be able to get into our rooms on Monday, but I just got an email stating it maybe Tuesday before we can get in.  Grrr!  So irritating.

Well, I've been trying to get as much stuff as I can done at home.  I need to start getting lesson plans done for the first week of school.

I am starting Daily 5 and Cafe this year.  I'm really excited but also a little nervous.  I have been looking over The Cafe Book so I know how to start on day one.  Anybody have any suggestions for great books to read for the first day that goes well with Cafe?

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I also wanted to blog about a fabulous "End of Summer" Week of Giveaways and Freebies! from The Fabulous First Grade.  Each day this week she is giving away a freebie.  They are pretty great!  There are only 3 days left so get over there and get entered into the giveaway and grab your freebies.

Her blog can be found here: The Fabulous First Grade 

Monday, July 9, 2012

The One With The Common Core Pacing Guides

I can not believe that it is already July.  Not only July, but the second week of July.  Today, and for the next 2 weeks, I will be sitting with 2 other first grade teachers planning our CCSS pacing guides.  The two teachers I'm with are pretty great.  We get along well and seem to have the same personality type as me.  These pacing guides are to help the district determine what each grade needs to have mastered by each quarter.

It was kind of hard to get started but the next thing we know, we were on a roll.  After we complete the quarterly pacing guides, we need to determine and plan our assessments.  I'm pretty excited about planning out the assessments.

On my way home from the CCSS pacing guide meeting, I stopped at Target to get a few things for my nephew's birthday.  I stopped by the dollar area and they are starting to get some teacher stuff in.  I was SO excited.  I bought 2 pre-inked stamps and a set of hand die-cuts that I will probably use for a bulletin board or something.

They had a lot of other school related items but I need to figure out what I need first before spending all my money.  I need to plan out things I really need to buy.  I want to eventually get rid of my teacher desk so I'm slowing trying to figure out ways to make that transition an easy one.  It may not be this year, though.  I don't think I'm really ready yet. LOL

Anyway, with a little over a month left, I feel like I have so much to do.  I really thought I was going to get so much done this summer but I haven't done much of anything.  It has been going by so fast.  Hopefully, it slows down some so I can get some stuff done.