Friday, September 30, 2011

6 Weeks Later...

So sorry to leave all of my avid readers hanging... ;)

We've just finished our 6th week of school, and I feel like it's flown by. Can you believe it's already October (tomorrow)?!

So, to catch up on my first few weeks as a teacher...

1. I love my job. Even though I'm tired. And even though there have been some not-good days. I have a great job- one that I think I may have been made for (although my co-workers may not agree: it IS my first year, and there are a LOT of things I still have to learn).

2. I sincerely appreciate the veteran teachers I work with. They are extraordinarily helpful, and I feel like they really want me to succeed at this.

3. I love my students. Even when they aren't great, they're great.
4. The little things that make a big difference:
Giving little notes of praise.

Letting Mr. Owl sit with students when he sees them behaving and working hard.

Relating. The kids love how much I love Phineas and Ferb.

Getting along.

The beautiful owl my dear friend, Kate, made for me. She is always hanging out.

6. Exciting news!
We just got our new SMART Boards this week! Yay!!

Well, now you're caught up. Enjoy October. It will be gone before you know it. :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Oh Captain, My Captain!

I love movies about really good teachers. "Mr. Holland's Opus." "Dangerous Minds." "...School of Rock..."

But my ultimate favorite is "The Dead Poets Society." If you've never seen this movie, watch it immediately. (The title of this post only makes sense if you've seen it.)

On to other things...

School starts 2 weeks from tomorrow. I've been working feverishly (feverishly?) on my classroom. I'm almost done. It actually looks like a classroom now- MY classroom. Can you say "surreal?"

I thought I would post some pictures of the classroom, for those of you who would like to see it. The school-wide theme this year is camping. I had fun with it.

Oh, and a shout out to Lauri Osbourn, Jenny Osbourn, Cassie Brewster, and Jacarei Bailey for helping out this weekend. And a special shout out to Kady Sanchez and Shelby Welch for "above-and-beyond" help. :)

This is the wall in the hallway, where students will be able to display their work. (Props to
Shelby Welch for creating that amazing fire.)

This is the door. Once I get my list of students, their names will be written on lightening bugs.

This is the "Rules" bulletin board. The behavior chart is right next to it. I love this chart- it's a great improvement on the traditional "stop light" chart (with only green, yellow, and red). I like that this chart allows for both consequences AND praise/encouragement. I found it online and made it from construction paper.

My morning calendar area is incomplete, but it's coming along.

I love my reading center. (Props to Kady Sanchez for the awesome bulletin board.)

And this is my desk. :) :)

And here is a view of the room as a whole.

A lot of work has been put into setting up this classroom. Arranging and rearranging. Pinning up, taking down, and pinning up again. It's very tiring. Sometimes the troops just gotta take a nap...

I'm very excited about this upcoming school year. I can't wait until this classroom is filled up with kids, ready to learn. I have a feeling it's going to be the time of my life. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The old is new...

This post is all about recycling.

There are two things I want to say about recycling. The first is just a bit of "housekeeping," so bear with me please.

Part I

I have to razz the teachers out there just a little bit. It has been my experience that teachers waste more paper than any other people I know. I do know a few teachers that use recycling bins, but only a few.


Even the podunk town I live in has a recycling center, so there is probably one near you too. It is so easy to have a seperate waste bin for paper that you can take once a week or so to the recycling center. Heck, a lot of those centers have people that will come collect it- ZERO WORK.

Sometimes it seems to me that one person recycling does very little for the environment. But I've found that if you are willing to do that little extra, you will influence others around you, and "voila!" we're saving the planet.

Part II

This part is much more fun! I have been finding fun projects all over the internet that involve "repurposing" items. I know teachers are no strangers to "repurposing," but here are a few ideas anyway.

Do you throw away cans after you've eaten the veggies/soups/etc? NEVER! They can be cleaned up, decorated, and used to hold a myriad of things from pencils to rulers, and so on.

Have an old "Lazy Susan" laying around the house (pun intended)? Turn it into a spinner for center activities (or a number of other things).

Have any old pieces of wood lying around? Turn it into an adorable sign for your reading center.

Old  cookie sheets, plastic easter eggs, legos, CandyLand, and nuts and bolts are turned into word work activities.

Turn that old dish rack into a holder for books and pencils.

There are so so many fun ways to re-use items from around the house. It saves money, too! Try it sometime. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Getting Started...

For the last two weeks I've been trying to make sure that I'm ready for the upcoming school year- my first as a teacher. But where to start?...

I've found that a good place to start when preparing for your first year of teaching is the World Wide Web.  I advise you to write down the good ideas you find so that you don't have to find them again.  I have found the following list of websites and blogs to be very helpful, so I want to share them with you.

WARNING: There are so many great ideas floating around cyber space that it may add to your overwhelming sense of un-readiness. USE CAUTION.

Teacher Tipster Mr. Smith is a 1st grade teacher and he has wonderfully fun ideas. I used many of his tips while both student teaching and substitute teaching. I highly recommend watching his videos.

The Cornerstone There is so much information on this site, it's like first-year-teacher-Heaven. Heck, a 30-year teaching veteran would probably find this site valuable. But pace yourselves. This site can overwhelm you.

Mrs. Smith's Blog Be sure to visit her Teacher Resources page- she has a ton of good stuff.

Mrs. Meacham's Blog Another blog with lots of resources.

First Grader At Last This is one of my favorite teacher blogs. Be sure to visit!

Seussville Enough cannot be said of Dr. Seuss...

Starfall Filled with fun activities for kids.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Getting the Call

I got the call on Monday, June 20th, 2011, at approximately 11 am. Not that I paid any attention to the details...

The principal's exact words were, "You're it. You're who we want."

And just like that I became a 1st Grade Teacher.

Now my days are full of finding fun lessons, apprehension, original classroom management ideas, worrying, stalking teacher blogs, uncertainty, and being encouraged by all the people who have supported me all along. 

Of all of those things, stalking teacher blogs is my favorite. I'm learning so many fun things from so many creative teachers.

This blog will be dedicated to sharing everything that I learn throughout my first year as a teacher. I'm hoping that it will encourage/teach other first year teachers. Mostly, I'm hoping it entertains at least one person. :)