Sunday, August 26, 2012

WoW! What a Whirlwind!

School has officially started and I have survived the first seven days with my new AMAZING class! I love everyone of my new students and I know we are going to have a fantastic year! However, I am making so many new changes to my curriculum, due to the new Common Core Standards, that I feel VERY overwhelmed. Does anyone else feel the same way? We have completely thrown out our old math curriculum and I am starting Math Workshop, which I have never done before. (We are using bits of Everyday Math ideas and what I can find online and on TPT. I do love it so far, but I have a few kinks to work out too! I am also continuing with the Daily 5, but I am now implementing the CAFE this year too. My project for this weekend was to set up my Teacher's Pensieve (Reading Notebook). I think I am going to like it. I also want to create a Math Pensieve too... for Math Workshop.

Also, this week, I came to realize that I needed to start a Book Nook rotation in my classroom. I have so many new and fun spots for my students to read, that it was a little chaotic the first few days with who goes where, so I created a Book Nook rotation chart. I read the idea a few years ago over at Beth Newingham's website. If you haven't checked her out, YOU MUST! She is amazing. (However, her site seems to be down right now, but you can Google her and read her Scholastic Articles.)

Here are pictures of my new Book Nook chart:

It seems to be working out great so far! Once I get my Teacher's Pensieve Binder the way I like it, I will be posting pics of it! Have a great day!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Wow, have I been busy! I return to school on Monday for three days of professional development meetings, while the students enjoy the last three days of summer vacation. Thursday will be the first day of school and I am so excited to meet my new students. I just know I am going to have a wonderful class this year. At the same time, I am getting sadder by the minute that my summer with my little boy is coming to an end. Garrett will be turning TWO on Friday, so that means I will be planning a birthday party on top of starting school this week. We are giving him a Toy Story party next Sunday, so I will plan to post a few pictures of the event next week.

I did want to post some updated pictures of my classroom to show my progress and several projects I have completed in the past week. It is finally all coming together!

Monday, July 30, 2012

More Work in the Room Today!

I wanted to post a few new pictures of my accomplishments in my room today! My little sister came with me today, but the majority of our time was spent printing, cutting, laminating, and cutting again all the wonderful new things I got from TPT! We did however set up my classroom library and reorganize it a little bit. I also put up my Daily 5 bulletin board, just to see my plan. I will be taking down each Daily 5 poster until I have covered each skill in my room. I also covered a donated office chair with a large piece of polka dot fabric and threw a Mickey hand pillow on it too!

Oh, today I also was given a great new area rug with Mickey and Minnie on it. It is perfect!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Another Classroom Project Complete!

In years past, I have never thought about making curtains for my classroom. I have a huge wall of windows in my room and have always just used the vertical blinds as needed. However, as you all may have realized about me by now, I am having a polka dot obsession this year!  I saw a pin on Pinterest about making no-sew curtains out of Stich-Witchery and handkerchiefs from Hobby Lobby, and since I DO NOT SEW, this was right up my alley! So, I took ANOTHER wonderful trip to Hobby Lobby yesterday and cleaned out their stock of black and white polka dot handkerchiefs for only 99 cents a piece. I already had a package of Stich-Witchery at home, so I only needed to find eight extension curtain rods. I went to Dollar General and bought them for $3 each.

This project was so simple once I got a system down. I "no-sewed" sixteen curtains so I could have two panels on each curtain rod. I had a blast with the iron and my pretty new curtains. When my husband returned from work that afternoon, we took them to my classroom to hang them! I LOVE THEM! You will see in the pictures that I actually have thirteen windows in my room. I did not cover the windows that open. It created a nice little pattern though and didn't look bad at all!

The corner by that yellow bulletin board is were my classroom library is set up every year. I have yet to do that. I always like to organize and fix any labels while I set it up each summer.

I made my husband drive me around to the front of my room, as we were leaving, so I could see the beautiful curtains. I know, it doesn't show up very well with the vertical blinds closed and the lights off. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Join the Party!

Join the Party and discuss your personal teaching story!

My story isn't an exciting one! I do remember loving school as an elementary student and middle school student. I had many great teachers and always had a feeling that I would like to do that someday. After graduating from high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do. I went to a local community college and worked at Kmart while I decided what I really wanted to do. Education was always in the back of my mind. When it came time to schedule my last semester at OTC, I decided to take an Intro to Education class. I did and I really enjoyed it. I graduated with my Associative of Arts degree which transfered to the university in my home town. I attended Missouri State University as an Elementary Education major with an emphasis in Reading Development. After my first practicum experience, I knew I had chosen the right path. I graduated in December 2006 and then substitute taught during the spring while I  joined that job hunt. I was hired by my amazing school district as a fourth grade teacher in May 2007 and started my first school year that August! The rest is history!

My Morning in My Classroom!

Well, I spent the morning in my classroom today. I left my husband with my son at home and had a "relaxing" time all to myself in my room! I felt like I got several things accomplished that had been swimming around in my mind for days. Here are some pictures of what I accomplished this morning!

The first thing I worked on was my Math Workshop Rotation Board. I am changing the way I teach math this year by implementing a Math Workshop. I am super excited. I got the Math Workshop Rotation Board idea from the amazing Clutter-Free Classroom. You can check hers out by clicking HERE

The next thing I worked on was my new table cloths. I purchased the material at Hobby Lobby and it covered three buffet tables and a small desk that my mailboxes sit on. I purchased 6 yards of black and 3 yards of red fabric. This fabric was the same pattern that I used for my crate seats and my office chairs. I also had some fabric left over for a curtain for my door window!

The next thing I completed was a few of my bulletin boards. I used my Cricut for the Mickey Font letters. Then I changed my Classroom Rules Board and Lunch Menu Chart to black and red polka dot boards that I purchased at my local educational supply store.

I also placed boarder on my white board and posted my calendar and my objectives.

Finally, I revamped my student book boxes with black and red duct tape and new polka dot numbers.


I also wanted to post about a few things I already had completed that I haven't posted about in the last week. I purchased these really creative hand signal signs from Clutter-free Classroom.

I also covered one of my plastic drawer shelves with scrapbook paper.... an idea from Pinterest, of course!

LASTLY, I finally took a picture of my lesson plan drawers. I have used this system since my first year of teaching six years ago. I got the idea from  my cooperating teacher during student teaching. I use these mulit-colored drawers that I have labels Mon.-Fri. and it holds two weeks worth of lesson plan materials. Each afternoon before I leave for the day, I place the next day's drawer on the corner of my desk. I then cycle through the drawers depending on what day of the week it is.