Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day

Happy first day of school!  I woke up early, got to school early, and then it all went down hill.  Rapidly.  I needed two sheets of paper laminated.... The laminator was broken!  Then, my laptop wouldn't work.  Neither would my iPad.  Somewhere in the fray, I lost my back-to-school rules and procedures checklist due to the technical difficulties!  Once I discovered that, I ran to the desktop computer and found a generic one.  (We may have to revisit rules and procedures again tomorrow, because I am sure I left something out!)  Then, I plugged my laptop in (I only needed a pages document), and the projector projected everything blue!  I was frustrated and decided that I would just use my phone to project the Class Dojo introduction video.  My adapter was missing.  I had to borrow another teacher's.  Needless to say, it was a rocky start!!!

Once the technology component of our day was done (poorly because you can't see much off of my phone), we moved into some basic things.  First, I had the kids decorate their names.  These will be displayed on the back wall once they are all finished.  They turned out GREAT and I can't wait to hang them and get a picture of them all!  In the mean time....

Then, we decided to define some expectations.  Here is our paraphrased chart of everyone's job:

Finally, we set the ground rules for behavior, expectation, and what our classroom needs to look like/sound like.  I will compile the answers to the questions and post about it later.  But here are a few pictures:

 What you don't see is all the learning style surveys I made the kids fill out.  We are going to be big on data this year, and we are laying the foundation.  (I'm sure they found it terribly boring, but it helps me assess our needs.) 

Overall, I think it was a pretty good first day.  It went buy super fast and I am E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D!  I can't wait for tomorrow when we get into routines!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Snacks and Water (Oops!)

I COMPLETELY forgot to type something about snacks and water bottles in my information packet.  I AM SO SORRY!!!!  Since our lunch is at 10:55, students may bring a healthy snack to eat in the afternoon.  Also, students are permitted to bring bottles of WATER to school.
Again, I am sorry for the oversight!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Our classroom

Setting up my classroom typically consists of tweaking things from the previous year.  I spend maybe two half-days on it.  Not this year!!! This summer all of the classrooms in the main building were tiled.  (We did have carpet.)  We had to pack up our entire classroom for this project.  It ran a little way over schedule, so we were not able to get into our classrooms until mid-August.  I am normally DONE with my classroom by that time!!  Panic set in!  I called in a few former students to help me.  When I walked in, this is what I had.

Things Piled in random places. (And writing still on my white board!)

More things in random places.  Hello heavy (and full) filing cabinet!

I have no words for this!  Some of this stuff didn't even belong in my room!

I wish I had taken a close picture of all the boxes piled in the back.  The mountain is in the backpack nook behind all the furniture.   Honestly, I was terrified of it!

After several hours of hard work by me and my helpers, it began taking shape.  Here are a few pictures of the end of Day 1:

I did spend a few more days working before I was satisfied.  I have only taught science and social studies for the last few years, so I had to do some changing to turn my classroom back into a traditional one.  I THOUGHT I was done with my classroom, but I had a few ideas over the weekend.  So I will be changing a couple of things.  But here is the (almost) finished project:

The computer area still needed a little work.  Mrs. Ungerer and I fixed it up after this picture was taken.

I put these polka dots around the backpack nook.  I found them at Dollar Tree and three packages did the trick!  They are hiding peeled off paint!

Alright.  Enough of the general classroom pictures.  Here are a few specific things in our classroom that we will be using this year.

This is our book check out system for our classroom library.  I somehow got a bit crooked and my OCD is going nuts over it.  Anyway, the kids will write the title of the book they are borrowing on their card.  I am trying this for the first time this year.  I have 'lost' an average of 50 books a year in the past, so I am trying to prevent that!  
This is our Boggle board.  I will be changing the letters out every other week or so.  It is a great literacy activity for students to do when they finish their work early.  Notice that my squares are MUCH straighter on this bulletin board than the book check out one?  Well, I was stapling instead of gluing.  Plus, I had an INGENIOUS epiphany while trying to figure out how to keep the squares straight without help from anyone.
I tacked a yard stick to the bulletin board! This kept them straight and evenly spaced!  I have no idea why it took me 6 years to figure this out!
I measured from the top of the bulletin board, pushed in a tack, measured the other side, pushed in another tack, and hung up the yard stick.  SOOOO easy!!!
Poker chips with numbers on them....  I thought about having y'all guess what these are for.  However, I don't think I have enough people reading the blog yet to actually get the answer in a timely manner ;)  They are bathroom chips!  Every day each student will receive two bathroom chips.  They can use the bathroom at any time that I am not teaching the entire class.  This ensures me that kids aren't spending too much time in the bathroom (and missing instructional time as a result).  I have used this method before, and I finally got smart realized that if I put clear fingernail polish over the numbers, they won't wear off mid year!

Check back soon to see our classroom in action.  And all that blank space on the back wall?  We will be working on filling it up on Monday!  Oh, and sorry for the semi-blurry iPhone pictures.  I was too impatient to wait for it to focus....
See you soon!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Welcome Back/Important Information

Welcome back to school!  I am so excited about this school year!

Please check back soon for some updates about our classroom, policies, and procedures.  In the mean time, here is some information you will need.

Required Supply List

  • Backpack
  • Paper
  • Composition/Spiral Notebooks (at least 2 to start the year off)
  • Pencils
  • Folders
  • Pencil Pouch
  • Baby Wipes
  • Kleenex

Classroom Needs/Wish List:

  • Cardstock- any color
  • Printer Paper
  • Colored Printer Paper
  • Gallon sized Ziploc Bags
  • Colored Pencils for student use
  • Dry erase markers for student use (preferably the thin ones)
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Index Cards

Saturday, August 11, 2012


I just wanted to say that if you are looking for tips to work on skills at home, blogs are GREAT resources.  I have spent most of my summer 'blog stalking'.  Many things on Pinterest are pinned from blogs.  I am so excited to try out some of the ideas I stole found this summer!

 Also.... A fourth grade teacher (and blogger) created these "Currently" posters.  I figure that I would fill them out so that you can get to know me a little better.

Here goes!   Currently...

So apparently I need to work on centering my text boxes better.  Lesson learned!
Anyway, I can't wait to meet you! 

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Welcome to my our classroom blog!

Why a blog?

I am creating this blog for several reasons.  First of all, I hope to let you (parents) get a glimpse into what is happening in our classroom.  I will be posting pictures so you can actually SEE what we are going.  I also plan on using this to help with our writing.  I plan on having each student be a 'guest blogger' during the school year.  This will help them with their writing skills, typing skills, editing skills, and more!

I chose to use a blog rather than a regular website for a variety of reasons.  First, I am unlimited in the amount of things I post.  Secondly, it keeps things in chronological order.  Finally, it is searchable!  This is great to review policies and assignments, or to review for the EOG's.

My goal is to post at least once a week.  I hope to be able to post more!  However, I do want to stress that this is not a guarantee!  I also want to state that typos happen, so please be kind!

Please feel free to post comments at any time.  I would love to hear your feedback!

Also- if anyone is a blog pro, I could use some help!  I would like a different layout, but I am unsure of how to create my own.  I also want a fancy signature with graphics.   Thanks!

Edit: I know the font I am using makes exclamation points look funny, but I love the font!