Thursday, July 31, 2014

Classroom Sneak Peek

If you follow me then you know that I will be having surgery on Monday which means my room had to be arranged in decorated before summer school ended because I'm not sure how long my recovery will be. I took a few pics before leaving today to give you a sneak peak. I'll probably post more during teacher work week, assuming I'll be well enough to report back to work by then.

Writing Station, Whole Brain Teaching Board
Behavior Chart
White Board
Super Improvers Board, Calendar, 7 Habits
Math and Writing Wall
Carpet Area
Classroom Library
Vocabulary Word Wall, Organizational Items
Reading Group Area {please excuse the table, those are my back to school copies and story books, all ready for me to lesson plan}
Guided Reading Bulletin Board

Monday, July 21, 2014

Back to School Goals

I'm linking up with I {heart} Recess on my
2014/2015 Back to School Goals.
I find myself eating out a lot during the school week. I'll take food out to thaw, but then stay late at school so by the time I leave I'm starving and end up stopping at Wendy's or Chickfila or something. I want to wake up early enough to fix be a hot breakfast and leave school early enough to get home and cook dinner.
If you see my classroom set up now (I will be posting pics within the next two weeks) there is absolutely no room for a teacher desk! We don't have traditional desks so that contributes to the massive amount of space I need in my classroom for them. Unfortunately our class sizes aren't getting any smaller, they are putting 9 sections of 2nd graders into 6 sections of 3rd grade and we are busting at the seams. I always have my reading group table to sit at if needed, I just won't have my own desk space.
I posted about my long range lesson plans weeks ago. It's just an outline to keep me on track during the school year. For the last three years my team has been a revolving door. Only half of us remain from when I joined the team back in 2011. Now that we'll have the same team as last year and our newbies have got a year under their belt, I'm hoping to collaboratively plan with them this year. I know for a fact me and one teammate share two sets of twin siblings so it will be helpful for parents if we're on the same page.
I think I'm good with the Leader in Me program. I'm still reading Whole Brain Teaching and even if I don't implement the entire program the way it's written, I at least want to do parts of it.
When you hear 21st Century Learning Skills most people think of digital citizenship and technology but I think of leadership. Every child is a leader, whether positive or negative, I want to cultivate positive leadership within my students.
In the words of Ms. Sweet Brown... "Ain't Nobody Got Time for That!". I find myself saying this quite often during the school year, especially when the powers that be consistently place more and more demands on my time, none of which are or even have to do with the actual teaching of my students! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Five for Friday

This is my first Five for Friday, which is ironic because during the summer I can't keep up with what day it is. 


I had the awesome opportunity to attend the VA Bloggers Meet Up in Richmond on Thursday. I meet an awesome blogger who works in the same district as I do so that was exciting, she actually works at the school 2 minutes from my house. Do you see me? I'm the brown one on the end...LOL!
So I got rid of my teacher desk in my classroom because there is not enough room for 30 student desks, that are in a funky triangle shape that only fit together in groups of four! If you've ever looked at my classroom tours you'd see what I was talking about. I found this awesome store on TpT, Learning in Wonderland, and bought her Melonheadz Organizing Set as well as her Mini Card Set. So basically, everything that was on or in my desk fit in all these organizing bins. My Teacher Toolbox is from Lowe's, I spray painted it black. The Steralite containers came from Walmart and the colorful bins came from the Container Store. I got them on sale, they were smaller than I envisioned, I wouldn't have paid full price for them.
So I think I'm finally going to take the plunge and purchase an Erin Condren lesson planner for this school. I completed 10 years of teaching in June and I think this is what I'll treat myself to. I have looked at the ones for sale on TpT but I also looked into the printing and binding at the local office store and I didn't see much price difference.

My creative juices have been flowing since being on vacation. I use to be a die hard Thistle Girl Design fan and her graphics were the only ones I'd use. But now I have two new favorite artists. Creative Clips and Melonheadz. I know... I know... I'm late.
Three weeks of summer school down and two more to go. Then my annual trip to Lakeshore. On August 4th I'll finally be having my surgery. I had a scare this week when I received a letter from the insurance company saying they weren't going to cover the surgery or the hospital stay or something, saying it wasn't medically necessary. Called my doctor in a panic and now everything has been approved. Looking forward to starting my 11th year of teaching PAIN FREE!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Library Book Bins

Last year I wanted to redo my classroom library but didn't want to spend the money on new baskets. So I put it off. So this year I did my shopping around and realized I still didn't want to spend the money. Then came Dollar You can buy just about anything from there by the case. I scoped out their "plastic bins" and settled on the bright rectangular plastic bins with handles. Now they aren't as sturdy as the bins from Really Good Stuff, but if students are using both hands to carry them then they should be okay. I spent $39 on 36 bins with free shipping to the store for pick up. My order took about a week to come in.  

I'm currently in the process of labeling my entire classroom library for Accelerated Reader and sorting them by AR Level as opposed to Genre/Author/Theme. The bins fit chapter books and picture books if turned the other way. Looking forward to sharing pictures of my revised library when it's finished, which will hopefully be by the end of next week!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Currently July

Listening- welp my husband's home which means he's watching FIFA on television.
Loving- most of you know that I'll be having surgery on August 4th to remove the uterine fibroids. The custodians were kind enough to clean my room first and put my furniture back where I wanted it. I've spent a few afternoons this week unpacking boxes and getting my room set up. It needs to be finished by the end of summer school just in case I'm not released to come back teacher work week, everything will be set for a sub.
Thinking- after working in my classroom I took a trip to Pearl's to get some cupcakes for my friends birthday tomorrow and got one for myself too... I've earned it.
Wanting- I was in pain when I woke up Saturday. While laying in the bed on Sunday my heating pad decided to quit on me, so I drug myself to Target to buy a new one... but seriously, that's the only time I left the bed this weekend. I'm having a pain free moment right now so I'm going to capitalize on it and get some work done on the computer.
Needing- I have a strict July schedule to finish all the things I want to create. This week... finish these last three units of these Treasures Interactive Notebook templates I've been working on.
4th of July- My husband's family is having a reunion in Raleigh this weekend. I'm more excited that we're near a Container Store. I don't have one where I live and there are some organizers I need for my classroom now that I got rid of my teacher desk at school.