Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good news or Bad news?

I am one of those people who prefer bad news first so that the good news follows the bad news.

I went in my school yesterday, keeping my fingers crossed that my classroom was being started (cleaning), but BAD NEWS, it was not. I swear it looks worse now than it did in June.

Please notice the tissue- yuck!

Can we say GROSS! Notice my new whiteboard next to my smartboard though :)

Here is what my shelves look like when they are not organized.. Oh so much to do :(

I am going through the helpless feelings that come when one's classroom (our home away from home) looks like a hurricane ran through it (ironic for us on the east coast since we are in the middle of a hurricane right now). Teachers in services begin next Thursday. By this point in summer my room would be done and the last minute decorative details would be left.


Today I was awaiting the arrival of Irene and bumming over the fact that my laptop's battery was donzo. Good news was when I walked outside and found the new battery had arrived 3 days early!! I was so excited. When I went on my computer I found that THE Cara Carroll had posted on my blog! To say I was excited is an understatement. Cara- You are truly a celebrity in my eyes. So thank you for your sweet response :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three for Three

Here are my three favorites. Much like the rest of us, everything is my favorite, but here goes.

1. My favorite font- I seem to change this one every season. I would say this is why my computer's memory is full. It is full of fonts! Right now I am in between spellstone and soft compound. Both have been downloaded on some free site. I LOVE them right now.

2. My favorite blog- Like most of you I also have a million favorite blogs. I really love all the education blogs out there. Especially Cara at The First Grade Parade and Abby at The Inspired Apple! They inspire me everyday to be better and more creative. They are my teaching idols!

My favorite blog is PinkLouLou at Confessions of a 20 Something. She inspires me to do my hair and makeup, she makes me laugh and cry. More so, she makes me want to visit Kentucky. :)

3. My favorite online resource- Without a doubt the AMAZING teachers at The Second Grade Teacher's Club! When I was told I was being moved from first to second grade I knew I needed some help. Then came this site and I knew I was saved.
I am off to my school, which is no where near ready for school in two weeks. Oh joy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Earthquake and my classroom pics

So I survived my first earthquake. Cross that off the bucket list. It was beyond a doubt the weirdest feeling. I was napping at the beach, when my chair shook. I assumed it was my father-in-law, but then heard everyone else say, "Did we just have an earthquake?" Quite cool, but also scary not knowing what was really going on. West coast people are brave for dealing with such bigger earthquakes.

Now for the sad news. I still have not been allowed in my classroom. Today was suppose to be the first day, but on Monday I received an email from my principal that our classrooms were still not ready. They "hope" they are ready the day before teacher's report back next Thursday. I believe I stopped breathing for a second to gather my thoughts. I am not quite sure how I will get the room ready in time, so cross your fingers for me that the room is done in time. The pictures below are from last year.

This is from the back of my room looking towards the front.

This is from my back corner towards my guided reading table and monthly books.

This is my wall of shelves. Quite challenging to look at the open shelves all day and we can't cover them with fabric or curtains. But it forces you to be organized!

This is my reading area and my books. I have a lot more books, but they are only presented at the beginning of each month.

The coat closet area. We don't have enough hooks, so the kids put their backpacks in the bins.

My desk area :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Advice for New Teachers

I will first state I am NOT an expert. However I have been teaching for 6 years now, so I do have some tips to offer.
1. Take time to laugh every day with your students in some way. Tell jokes, sing or dance.
2. When you feel your patience is wearing thin, walk out into the hallway, take a deep breathe, and come back in, ready to begin again.
3. Teach the students to make mistakes and then move on. Then, as the teacher, make lots of mistakes and move on.
4. Do not buy everything you want. Teachers tend to go through their classrooms in the beginning of the year and get rid of things they don't want or need. One man's trash, is another man's treasure is so true!
5. Borrow as much as you can from other teachers and then give THEM the credit. It's the worst feeling when one is not appreciated for their hard work. Don't forget to also share your fabulous ideas!

Meet The Teacher

Over at Blog Hoppin' they are hosting Teacher Week, so I decided since I still have two and half weeks off (I know.. sorry guys) I would participate and get to meet EVEN MORE amazing bloggy teachers.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Classroom setup

Let's talk about anxiety. School starts Sept 1st for teachers, but we are not allowed in until August 24th to begin setting up. I am of course predicting it to be the best beach weather the few days I'll be setting up. Anyways.. I thought I'd show my room before I left on the last day.. just to make me feel more crazy about what awaits me.
This is a picture of my house with all my teacher purchases. I hate that when I don't even spend a lot, I still spend a lot. You know what I mean, right? PS- ignore Roofio's bone and the white cubby that I accidently put the back onto the front. Haha..

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Class Mascot Roo

I have been doing a class mascot since my first year and it is beyond a doubt my favorite thing, year after year. My upcoming students, whose neighbors or family members had me, come in asking me about Roo. It's adorable! Over the years I've received 3 "new" Roos because my original one was kinda sad looking.
I start every year explaining why I picked Roo and why he is important to me. Why I picked Roo: As a child I liked Kangaroos because they began with the letter K, like in my name! He is important to me because he was mine when I was a child. We still use the "old" Roo in class during sharing time, but one of the new Roos is the one that goes home every weekend. He is joined in the bag with a notebook. The notebook had directions that state what to do and to be careful with him. Then there are blank notebook pages inside sheet protectors. They student write about their weekend with Roo and can take pictures to add to the notebook or draw pictures if they don't have a camera. They can also ask to take him on vacations with them. (Sidenote: Last year, after Back to School night, I had 3 parents give me their vacation dates so they would definitely get Roo.) Roo has been to Disney every year twice, Baltimore, Hershey, NYC, California, and Phillies Spring Training.
The coolest part is that I save all the notebooks and put them out in my non-fiction section for the new students to read. Let me tell you how popular those are! I haven't been teaching that long yet, but my first years class is now in 6th grade (I had them when I taught first) so it's sweet when they come back to look at their Roo Book.