Saturday, December 18, 2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree... and some patterns

This is our Christmas tree. The kids decorated it themselves. They loved getting to do that!

Making patterns with bear counters. They love hands-on math. 

I thought this one was great because it was a color and size pattern. Very smart!

Another pattern. :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm Awful...

I got so irritated Friday I told my kids if they didn't behave as well as I knew they could I'd write a letter to Santa (our town is having a thing where the kids write letters to Santa and the newspaper picks them up) and tell him how bad they were being and that they needed to be on the naughty list.

I think this officially puts me on the naughty list.

My kids were stunned. They were like, "really? You're really going to do that?" I'm like, "yeah if you don't act right."

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Jingle Bells For Teachers

One of my friends sent me this and I just had to post it. Too funny (and so true)! lol

Jingle Bells For Teachers

Dashing through the halls
With a list two pages long
Copier is down,
What more can go wrong?

A dad enrolling twins,
Oh no, they're in my grade,
I missed a meeting hours ago,
But my tray favors are made.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
One more day begins.
"Teacher, I forgot my lunch,"
Oh how the head does spin.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Sing it with a smile
After nine more days of this
We'll get to rest a while!

Before and after school
Appointments keep me here,
They don't understand
The holidays are near.

I've gifts to buy and wrap,
And cards to send away,
Christmas is a time of joy
(Or so the headlines say!)

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
One more day begins.
"Teacher, I forgot my lunch,"
Oh how the head does spin.

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Sing it with a smile
After nine more days of this
We'll get to rest a while!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What A Week

What a week I've had. What a week. I can't talk about most of the stuff that's gone on, but today just topped the cake and I can say some stuff about it.
1. I told a little girl in my room to change her color (on the behavior chart) because she was out of her seat and talking and I'm just up there trying to teach. ;) She says, "you used to be nice when we first got here." I said, "oh yeah? And you used to behave and do as you were told when we first got here. I guess we've both changed." I mean, seriously?
2. I had on a short sweater over a long tank top. So, one of my girls says, "your sweater is small." I say, "yeah. It's supposed to be like that." She gives me this funny look and says, "oh."
3. Same girl- says to me, "I think your pants are on backwards." (Because of the design.) I say, "nope. Sure aren't. Why are you hatin' on my outfit today?" lol She's too funny.

We're getting closer to holiday breaks and my life should get MUCH more interesting! lol

Friday, November 12, 2010

On a Soapbox

I hear all the time about how "easy" teaching must be and how "nice" it is to have weekends and holidays off. Excuse me, but do you teach? Obviously not. If these people taught they would know that there is no such thing as a weekend off and summers? Summers are for professional development and pre-planning and making games and things for your future students. Summers are not for breaks. Weekends are not for sleeping. Weekends are for grading papers and finishing lesson plans. Get real people. Teaching is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year job. It is NOT 8-3 Monday through Friday, August to June. No. It is so much more than that. Many people have jobs where they are DONE when they leave the building. That is simply not how it is for a teacher. Even if you don't physically take home any work, you are constantly thinking of new ways to teach things and how to reach your kids and how to make a difference. It's not something you leave at the door when you walk out. You can't. You have more than your time invested in this job, you have your heart in it.

That is all. I am done now. Thanks for listening to the rant.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A... something...

So, one of my little girls says, "how do you spell again?" One of my boys (who is much stronger at math than spelling) looks at her and says, "a something." I laughed so hard. I was like, "thanks for that." He said, "I thought I'd help all I could. That's just all I could help this time." Too funny!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Good Life Lesson

They get it.

I was "preaching" to them about how tired I am of working so hard for them and I feel like they are not working hard for me. I was telling them how I am tired of them talking when I am talking and being down right disrespectful. I told them it's just not right and I'm not going to take it anymore.

I told them that Mr. (insert my last name here) hears all about them at night. I told them I tell people stuff about "my kids" all the time... like, "my kids did the coolest thing today!" I told them that I care about each and every one of them. I want them to succeed. I want them to work hard and earn what they get and feel the awesome feeling of success.

I'm saying all this and they're looking at me intently... soaking it all in. I ask them, "Why do you think I do all of this? Why did I work hard to get yall that listening center?..." A sweet little girl raises her hand and says, "because you care about us. Because we matter to you." "Exactly!" Exactly....

They get it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I Told Myself...

I told myself I'd tell the truth on here. I wouldn't make it flowery and pretty with polka dots and swirls. I need to tell the truth.

This is a hard job. It's not hard like "I can't handle it", but it's hard like "holy cow, I'm exhausted."

There are days that are wonderful. There are days that are so difficult I just want to sit down and cry... and sometimes I actually do... once I get home, of course.
I have days when my kids are awesome and my instruction is right-on and my assessments actually assess what they know and challenge them to push their limits. I have days when that's not the case.
I suppose every job has ups and downs. Every job has good days and bad days.
I love my kids. I love them so much and I want the best for them. It is hard to give them the best when I am so worn out at the end of the day... but, my new motto is, "I can do it. I am doing it. I will do it. I can make this work. I do not have to be everything to everyone. The people who mean the most should get the most."
I have found I am wearing myself out trying to please too many people and do too many things. My number one priority at work is my kids. It always has been, but I have problems saying no to other things. Learn that word, Mrs Teacher, learn the word "no." Use the word. It is ok. It is ok to say no.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Note to Self

This job is much harder than you thought it would be.

But it is worth it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lesson Learned

I said to my students the other day, "yall, all this talking is making me want to pull my hair out." Today as they are running their mouths and I am about to start a new lesson I hear one child say to her group, "you better be quiet before Mrs. (insert my name here) pulls all her hair out!" lolol I need to watch my mouth.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Little Rearrangement...

I moved the desks back into groups. We shall see what tomorrow holds in store for us. We may be back in a U-shape by the end of the day, but I'm willing to give it another go.

I added the green paper to the cabinets today. As the kids finish their current assignment they are hanging them on the green paper. I'm thinking it'll look pretty good and also incorporate their work into the room.

 I moved my computer to the back of the room so the kids can use it. I just couldn't figure out a way to have a computer work station and only have one computer. I am hoping that I'll be able to afford a laptop soon and then all of my computer issues will be solved.
 I've been posting work station assignments and descriptions on the chart paper on the right of the board. I've also been putting morning work on the board as well as other things for work station time.
My desk looks so cluttered without the computer... I need some organizational tools or something. I'll get there eventually.

I told my students today about our Donors Choose project being funded. They were thrilled!! They wanted to know when we would get it and they were shocked that it is being shipped. So funny... the world through the eyes of seven year olds. They were mostly concerned to know if it would be coming in a box and whether or not they could help open it. You've just got to love their pure innocent excitement over opening a box! :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Just a Poem I Wrote

I am a teacher.

I am a teacher.
I have my kids’ best interest at heart.
I give hugs and high-fives.
I can tell handwriting apart.

I am a teacher.
My expectations for my kids are high.
I teach reading, writing, and even manners.
I never let a cross word get by.

I am a teacher.
I love what I do.
I work hard for other people’s children.
I make a difference. Do you?

Donors Choose

My Donors Choose project was fully funded yesterday! I am thrilled! I was so excited and touched by the generosity of others that I cried! It is so nice to see that people do truly care about education and want to help. It is so refreshing to know that others see that there are difficulties, but know that I am trying to do what is best for my kids, and are willing to lend a hand. I am so touched.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tell Me How You Really Feel

So, I'm sitting at lunch on Friday and as we're about to leave this little girl looks at me and says (fill in student's name here) is mean. I said, "tell me how ya really feel, why don't ya?" She just smiled.
I would have questioned her about it, but to be honest I know said child is mean to other children so why push the issue. Haha! They're brutal honesty cracks me up.

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Spend Half My Time...

counting down. lol That's a huge part of my classroom management, so I spend lots of time going "by the time I get to one (fill in the blank). Five, four, three, two, one." Well, I'm sick of counting down. So now when I count down if I get to one they lose a minute off recess. They lost 8 minutes today. Perhaps they will do better tomorrow. We shall see.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

So Much Extra Stuff

Have you ever noticed the insane amount of extra stuff to do? I never knew my life could be so consumed by paper work, grades, making things for my class, etc. I am constantly living in a state of "overwhelmed". It stinks. I hope that next year will be better! I have heard by the third year things tend to calm down. Let's hope so!!

You know, I am constantly reminding myself that I chose this job. I had other offers and I chose this one. I know it is where I should be. I am just feeling like I am working super hard and getting no where. I will say that the kids make it worth it. They always say just the right thing at just the right time. LOVE them! They are, after all, the reason I'm there!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

You Don't Get To Say No to the Teacher...

I don't think I'm really a bossy person. In fact, I really tend to allow others to make the decisions and just go with it. However, when it comes to my students if I say "jump" I want them to jump. I don't want them to ask when or why or how high. I just want them to give it their best shot and jump. Ya know?
So, today I am sitting at a table with a small group and (of course, not naming the child) girl child has a silly band in her mouth. (For those of you who don't know, a silly band is the most annoying thing ever invented. It's a bracelet made out of a rubber band in the shape of some sort of animal, etc.) Well, girl child's silly band was broken and so she had it in her mouth. I get so grossed out by that sort of behavior and the kids know that. I cannot stand for them to put things in their mouths that don't belong there. So, I say to girl child, "get that out of your mouth and throw it away please." Girl child says, "no. I want to keep it. I like to play with it." I say, "no, hunny, it is broken. It is trash. Throw it away." Girl child says, "no." I (in a not nice tone) say, "GET THAT OUT OF YOUR MOUTH. PUT IT IN THE TRASH CAN. NOW!" Girl child says nothing and stomps over to the trash can. On the way to the trash can, girl child bucks up at another child who looked at her funny. I tell her to stop acting like that and she tells me that the child looked at her funny. I say, "too bad. That is still no reason to behave that way." So, she stomps back to the chair at the table and sits down. Now, she refuses to do her work. I was so mad by this point I sent her to her desk. I mean, really???
I have truly had one crazy week... take into account that we had no school Monday and today is only Wednesday and you'll see why things like saying "no" to me have sent me over the edge. I am tired of defiant children. I moved their desks around Tuesday morning and hoped that would cut down on the talking. I will soon be moving them again. I so wish they could sit in groups but they simply cannot stop talking.
Another thing is that I work very hard with them to get them to be on task and working hard and behaving. As soon as another adult walks in the room and needs my attention the kids act like they don't have a clue... they're up out of their seat running around, they're being mean to each other, they're interrupting me... I just don't get it. I think I need a sign on my door that says, "Please. Please, just don't come to the door if I am in the middle of teaching." Would that be horrible? lol
Alright, enough complaining. On the bright side, while they have been wild after lunch every day, they have been perfect in the mornings. I am so proud of what they have accomplished in the mornings. They behave well. They do well with using their manners. They work well together. They walk down the hall quietly. They really are perfect. I have just got to work even harder to get the afternoons under control. Wish me luck!

Oh, and one more thing!! Yesterday we started learning about greater than and less than. One of my sweet children (I call her and one other girl in my class my "little ladies" because they are so tiny) said, "I get it!! I didn't get that other stuff we were doing, but I get this!!" She was so excited and had the biggest smile on her face. Oh, I love that child!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Please Help Me Out

I mentioned before that I posted on Donor's Choose and I could really use your help. I'm not asking you to donate, but simply to spread the word. If you have a facebook it's easy to help. You just click the link to share it on your facebook. I'd really be so grateful for any help I can get with spreading the word about this need for a listening station!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ok, I have friends who use all the time. So, I decided to have a go at it. I filled out the online forms and shopped for a listening center which is what my classroom is really lacking. My request can be seen here. I am so excited to have my request posted... now I just need to work on getting it funded. I posted it on my facebook and I hope my friends on there will spread the word. I'm very excited! I'll keep everyone posted about this.
Anyhow, it's a great site and I know it has great impacts on schools. My best friend has gotten many things from there and so have people at her school. I hope it works for me!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What a Busy Life

You know, I never imagined my life could be so busy. School work consumes my entire life! I hope that one day I will get to the point where I have a weekend. I am going shopping today, so at least that's a break from school.

Anyhow, this weekend I am starting to write my long range plans. I am a bit unclear about them, but have a document to look through that I haven't gotten out yet so hopefully that will clear some things up.

I also plan to figure out how to run my small group/workstation time in my literacy block. We devote 2 hours each day to literacy and work with the students in small groups doing a curriculum called Project Read. This brings me to another point... I need to figure out how to teach Project Read. I brought the books home and plan to look on the internet for help, too. I can do most of it because it's basically scripted, but I don't know the hand movements that go with it. So, I need to work on that. I'm pretty excited to learn about it and hope that it will really help my students!

As for the work stations, I need to revamp them. I had too many going on last week and the kids were just crazy. I was thinking more would mean small groups at each one, but it really just means the kids get confused and talk to the other groups. They didn't seem to understand that they needed to read the directions left at the stations and since I had grouped them by ability, it was nearly impossible for some of them to read those written directions. Sometimes I just think I am clueless. I mean, obviously that wouldn't work, but I didn't think it out as well as I should have before hand. I'm learning though. So, this week will be different. We are starting Project Read this week, too. I think we'll only have it for 3 days this week though because it's a four day week and we have tests and stuff Friday, so it really only leaves Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

I also want to try to get some math groups started, but I think that might be taking on too much at one time, so I might just try to have those going by second semester. We'll see.

Well, I'm off to shop! Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

And Another Thing...

Student (who shall always remain nameless) said something so funny today. It wasn't meant to be funny and I certainly didn't laugh at him, but sometimes I just have to smile to myself... we're lining up and he looks at me and says, "Mrs. (enter my name here), I think I know how to be good now." He said it just honest as can be. I so wanted to say, "well, thank goodness for that!" :) Of course, I just smiled and said, "good, sweetie. I'm so glad." You know, we have our problems but I can really see myself missing him next year. He's a handful, but he's growing on me.

This is Hard

You know, you don't really know just how hard this job is until you do it. I mean, really, though. There's so much to think about all the time... I wake up in the middle of the night wondering if I have enough supplies for the science experiment for tomorrow or if I should have called so-and-so's Mom about such-and-such... I think about how different things will effect my kids... what will they think of this or that? How will whatever-the-case-may-be-today effect their day? Will they be so excited over the new things we're doing or bored to tears? Will it be too hard and too frustrating? Will it be too easy and I'll need more for them to do? I mean, if you don't teach you just really can't have a clue all of the thinking and planning and organization and preparation that goes into each and every minute of the day. For instance, I work with an awesome team of teachers. I mean it. They are GREAT and I am so blessed. They have truly helped me so much. Even with the plans being mostly done for me and everything I still spend hours on plans and organization and stuff. For example, we are working on magnets right now in science, so I bought 40 magnets. Then, I put 4 items in 16 envelopes so that the kids would have their own kit to see what "stuck" to the magnet. Then, I get to school and we finally get to science (which is unfortunately at the smack end of the day) and they are so excited over the magnets that we hardly get to do the lesson. Of course, I know better. I should have allowed them to play with the tools before expecting them to learn with them. This is a common problem and I know how to do it- I just simply did not have the time today. Time. Time is always an issue. There is just never enough time in my day. I was so excited to see the kids excited over science though! It was so cool!
There are things to plan besides lessons. For example, I never knew how much thought went in to lining up... or coming back in the room... or getting water... or picking a book... I mean, you name it and I should have thought about it in depth... and didn't. That's ok though because I am learning as I go and the kids seem to adapt when I need to change something. Though they don't say it, I think they can all tell I'm new at this. It's so funny to see them though when I have to change something. I have found that if I just say what I'm changing and why they go right along with it. They like to know the "why"s to everything. They're so curious.
I will say that I am worn out. I am finding that I need to stop worrying about the little things and see the big picture. Honestly, if I continue to worry myself over all the tiny things I will worry myself sick. I'm trying to learn to just let it go. Are they always on task at work stations? No. Does that really matter? Not really. They get their work done and this is new to them... now, this time next week if we're still having issues I'll have to figure something else out. These days I'm finding that my life is kind of trial and error. I try to maintain consistency because that's really what kids need... so, I'm giving the work station thing a little more time before I decide to revamp it. who knows, maybe they will figure it out and we can work it out together. I hope so! I have faith in them.
Really, the most important thing is that they are learning. I can tell they are. Most of them are working very hard and I am so proud of them. I just need to get a few to step it up and we will be right on track.
Overall, I am very pleased with the year so far. I feel like I am finally earning the kids' trust and that makes me really happy.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Difficult Sometimes...

To say that I did not grow up like my students would be an understatement. I don't think I've really talked about it much on my blog, but I teach in a small rural town... a poor, small rural town. My children do not have it all by any means. They have dealt with more difficult situations in their short seven years than I have in my 24. That being said, it breaks my heart to know what some of them deal with... Which leads me to my story...

We were at lunch. I pack my lunch every day. It's nothing new. I have never liked cafeteria food and have always packed my lunch... even when I was in elementary school. So, I had my normal sandwich, fruit, bottled water, and crackers... this day the crackers were goldfish crackers. I noticed some of the kids eyeing them and I had plenty... so, when I finished with what I wanted I walked around the table and handed each child one (yes, one) goldfish cracker. They were in heaven. They each thanked me and were so excited. It made me happy to make their day, but also broke my heart... one tiny goldfish. How often have I taken for granted things? How often have I grabbed a handful of whatever snack food and thought nothing of it? My sweet children were so pleased with only one.

I know I am the teacher, but I think that most days I am still the student. This day in particular, I was a student in the thing called life. Mine is far from perfect, but I am learning each and every day just how good I've got it.

I know without a doubt I am at that school with those children for a reason. My dream, my goal, is to make a difference for them. I'll do whatever it takes... one goldfish cracker... or 190 days of hard service. I don't care.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Am So Proud!

My kids were really good today. We shall see how tomorrow goes. I was really pleased with them. They took to new ideas I implemented and we had our first trial-run of work stations and they did so well! I even impressed the lunch ladies by having my kids says "thank you" as they went through the line. Gosh, I figured I was the only one who didn't... but apparently most classes don't. I was so proud of them. They even said it like they meant it!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

So Excited!!

You know, it's funny... but I am so excited to go back tomorrow. I did not really get to enjoy my weekend. I spent most of it making sure I have everything ready for next week as well as writing emergency sub plans and making sure they would have everything needed should something happen and I need to be out for five days. I'm tellin' ya, if I end up out for more than five days it will be just awful. It took me forever to plan all of that. I do feel better about it though if something did happen because the kids would be taken care of and have everything they need.
Jake and I went to Target today and I found some cute things to buy as prizes as well as some things for them to play with at recess. We are not fortunate enough to have a play ground (we're working on raising the money though) so the kids play in a big field. The other teachers have all sorts of balls and jump ropes and stuff. I was lucky enough to find a couple of jump ropes in my room as well as two or three frisbees... but no balls. So, when Jake and I went to Target today we got the kids a football, kickball, and huge bouncy ball (I don't really think that's what it's called but it's great). I am so excited to show them the stuff!
I went to Walgreens today and printed off tons (94 to be exact) of photos. We will be making a scrapbook throughout the year which will be like a portfolio and have some photos in it as well. At the end of the year each child will be able to take home his/her scrapbook. I also printed off a copy of our class photo (that I took) for each child as well as an 8x10 to put up in the room. I just cannot wait to see what they think of the photo. I'm not giving them the other photos until they are working on their books, but I am prepared and pretty excited. I can tie it into all sorts of standards and they will be able to see their growth through their writing and other work throughout the year as well as their physical growth through the photos. I can't wait!
You know, it's funny... they're growing on me. I've never been a huggy person. I've never been one of "those" teachers... but I'm finding that I am quickly becoming one. They are just so sweet. Don't get me wrong... they challenge me every single day, but I think that's what makes the challenges all worth it- that they depend on me and that I am responsible for them and their success. I am determined to make this a good year for them (and me, of course).
On to week two... and SUPER EXCITED!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I Still Like You...

So yesterday near the end of the day I got the kids to help me make a list on the board of things they liked about their first week in second grade. During this activity one student looked at me and said, "Mrs. (insert my name here), it's Friday and I still like you." I said, "That's good. It's Friday and I still like you, too." They're just so funny sometimes!

I had a very interesting day yesterday. that's the only way I can put it and not sound negative. I had one child hit others with a ruler, one make two horrible comments aloud, one crying like crazy because she got caught being very mean... the list goes on and on. Very interesting to say the least. lol

We also had some changes at our school on the way we will be doing a few things. While I understand the necessity of these changes, I still find them inconvenient. Oh well. Such is life. I have heard things could be (and have been) worse, so I'll take it as that I'm still on top of the game and move on. I am slowly learning to roll with the punches. Wish me luck!

You know what they say, flexible people never get bent out of shape!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh The Joys...

of lunch time conversations...
I'm sitting at the head of the table. 16 cute little faces eating their lunch. The precious girl to my right looks at me and says, "Mrs. (Enter my name here), I want to be you." I say, "Aw sweetie, you'd still have to come to school every day." She looks at me (honest as can be) and says, "oh. Never mind then." hahahahaha!!! I smiled at her and forced myself to hold back a laugh. It's so funny to get a glimpse into how they think.

Monday, August 16, 2010

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school! It went well. We will have to work on our talking, but other than that everyone was well-behaved and very sweet! By lunch time I had so many telling me they like being in my class... of course, it's only the first day- we'll see if they think that once the hard work starts! :) Seriously, though, it went well and I am looking forward to a busy and challenging year. We'll see how the rest of the week goes.

I'm exhausted, but I did come through the day with a smile on my face. I think that's really my goal. If I can end each day smiling then it's all ok!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Open House Excitement!

Today was Open House/Family Fun Day. It was so exciting to meet some of my students and their parents. I had about six students and their parents come today. I found out yesterday that I have 18 kids in my class... the numbers may change though. I am just so excited for Monday- The First Day of School!! The kids were all very sweet. I have worked so hard in my room and it all paid off today when one child walked in and said (wide-eyed and mouth open) "Wow! This room is NICE!" I said, "Thank you. Are you excited to come to school on Monday?" He replied, "I am now!" Priceless!

Monday, August 9, 2010

It Is FINALLY Finished!!!

My classroom is finally ready for the first day of school (minus the name plates and a few other things that need names on them... don't have the list yet). Be sure to check out the "after" photos on the page at the top! :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

My Happy Dance!

Ok, if you know me (in person) you know that I am not one to brag on myself... but I was so thrilled yesterday that I just have to share this with you! I have worked so hard in my classroom. I have spent days upon days and hours upon endless hour in that room... and I am really starting to be proud of my room. (I'm not letting it go to my head, though... don't worry!) Anyhow, yesterday our district had a Back to School Bash (an academic and health fair). I decided to head over there (I haven't mentioned this before, but I drive 50 minutes to work and 50 minutes back) and see what this Bash was all about. I found our school's table and hung out there with the teacher who had volunteered her time for the day to be in charge of our table. Anyhow, I got to meet all sorts of people in the district and everyone was so nice! My principal got there and was shocked to see me there! I was so pleased with myself. I didn't think anything of going, because I really want to be a part of my school, but I think she was surprised because it was not required and I live nearly an hour away. She introduced me to all sorts of board members and other people in the district.  She told the board members that my room is awesome and that when they come to the school they just have to stop in and see it! I was so pleased with myself! I mean, I love my room... but I just thought it was such a huge compliment coming from her. She also told people that I have such a positive attitude and energy and she is excited to see how my first year goes. I am thrilled! I cannot wait to see how it goes, either! I am so glad that I work with/for such a wonderful woman. I am so thankful for this opportunity. One week from tomorrow my school year begins with the kids. Wish me luck!

I've Been Reading

I have been reading "Teaching With Love and Logic" and I love it. I have not finished the entire book, nor do I expect to be an expert after reading it one time, but I do plan to put some of it's ideas into use in my classroom. I love the idea of not explaining a consequence to a child in anger or when the child is upset. They suggest waiting until the child (and you) can think logically and not emotionally. I mean, it seems so simple, but how often do teachers say, "GO OUT IN THE HALL WAY!" (Or something to that affect?) It happens all the time. Then, you're mad, the kid is mad, and the situation turns ugly. The teacher ends up going home stressed out and the kid is crushed. No ones like to be yelled at... and I really don't like yelling at people. So, I'm thinking I'll try their approach of telling the child that you are disappointed in their actions (or however you want to phrase it) and then telling them you are busy teaching now and will speak to them about a consequence later. The thing I like about this idea, too, is that many times a kid punishes themself more than I ever would just by thinking about how awful whatever they did was. Not that I want them to think negatively about themselves, but that I want them to own up to their actions/mistakes and take responsibility for them. It's all about teaching them to grow up and be responsible.

Friday, August 6, 2010

More Pictures of the Classroom

It's almost finished!!
leaves over the cabinets... still missing 2.

Posters over the cubbies and I put a cute little boarder on the top of the cubbies... it's amazing what a little hot glue can do!

Back corner of the classroom... computer area and reading nook. Almost done!

Hanging decorations above my desk area and new banner that says "What's the Buzz?" over the curriculum board. 

Closer view of my desk.

Behavior chart and consequences clearly stated.

Celebrations board. We use Dr. Jean's celebrations. 

I have spent the day working on work station activities. I have made about 10 more activities. I am really excited about the way they are turning out. I think so far I have about twenty activities. Seems like a lot... but they won't last me for too long because the kids can really only do the same activity once or maybe twice depending on the activity. I bought a hanging file box and am storing all of my work station stuff in it. A lot of my work stations are file folder activities, so it works well for that purpose. I also bought a laminator machine at Walmart last night. It was only $25. I have used it to make game boards and things like that. I'm pretty excited and it works really well!
I have so much to do between now and the day school starts. I have been working on activities to do the first few days. I'm worried about feeling stressed out when school starts so I am trying to get a ton of things planned so I don't run out of activities. Of course, I plan to spend a great deal of time on procedures the first week because I have been told and have read that if you spend time on that the first couple of weeks you don't have to constantly spend time on it later in that year. Then, since you have taught the procedures and the kids know them you can say, "And what is the procedure for that?" and they should be able to tell you. We shall see!
I am very excited about school starting. The kids come back on the 16th. I can't wait to meet them and get this year started. I am a littler nervous, but I think the more I plan and prepare the less nervous I will be. Wish me luck!!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Work In Progress

Just a sneak peek of my work-in-progress! :) I have worked in the room for 3 full days. I had no idea it takes so much work to set up a classroom!
Cabinet of math manipulatives.

Writing cabinet...

My desk area.

The mess. View from back corner of room.

The beginning of the classroom library.

A bulletin board we'll use each day during morning meeting.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This Should Be Fun...

The pile of stuff that has to go to my classroom is growing. Yikes! It is currently taking up a large portion of my dining room. Should be fun to move all of this! I also have stuff in the attic and at my Mom's that has to go to my classroom too. This is certainly take more than one trip. Great. hahaha!
I am really excited that about half of these boxes are books. I really want to provide the kids with an awesome classroom library. The tiny desk is for our bunny (that is yet to be named) who will go home with a student each weekend and they will write a journal entry about the bunny's weekend and take a few pictures. During the week, the bunny will sit in the desk that will be located in our classroom library.