Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Favorites and a Freebie

I'm still catching up from last week's teacher week over at Blog Hoppin'! Here we go:

Three for Thursday:

My favorite font: I've been in a "CK Handprint" rut for about 3-4 years... it's definitely my go to! More recently I've been using a little more "Doodle Basic" and "Doodle Tipsy". My current favorite bold font or title font is "Wish I Were Taller".

My favorite blog: There's no way I can choose one! The two bloggers that orignally got me hooked on blogs and made me a blog stalker are Cara and Abby. I also love collaborating with my {former} teammate Mrs. Claborn so her's has to be one of my favorites too!

My favorite web resource: Ummm.... google? I say that like I'm joking, but REALLY, is there ANYTHING you can't find that way? As far as classroom tools go, I REALLY love XtraMath and KidBlog.

Friday Freebie:

I'm not sure how many of you are new to Daily 5, but I sure am and I am loving it so far. Today was our 6th day and my kiddos read for 9 minutes! We're building up that stamina! Anyway, we just did our I PICK lesson today, and here's a small chart that I typed up to post in the room for reference. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where It All Goes Down - A Classroom Photo Tour!

This post is going to be short and sweet (by my standards at least). Before I get to the photos, I have to put up this disclaimer: I just moved into this room. I really haven't entirely made it my own yet and there is so much empty space right now, especially on my walls. I took all of these pictures before I put up anything with student names, before I put up any focus walls, and with the idea that I wanted to leave empty space for anchor charts that we will make together. It's still a work in progress.

That said... here it is! Room B107!

 The bulletin board outside of my room. I took a close up of the letters because I thought the stitching was too cute with my orange border. Hook 'em!

This is my whole group area, calendar and bucket filling board (the empty yellow one is where our buckets will be). It's [the calendar] kind of crammed in there on the side of the whiteboard, but I really wanted to set it up there because I can staple in to that  blue wall, but not the other.
This is my very empty guided reading area, word wall and focus wall. On the doors of my metal cabinet I will have my Daily 5 choice chart and my math stations. Again, I took all the pictures before putting anything up with names or pictures of my kiddos. The white bookshelf holds my leveled readers and the plastic drawers are where I store all of my guided reading materials.

This is the back of the room. We are super lucky and all have 6 student stations. I L-O-V-E having those built in cabinets! I don't think you can tell in the picture, but all of the drawers and cabinets on the bottom are labeled with our supplies - pencils, crayons, markers, index cards, glue, glue sticks, handwriting paper, notebook paper, manila paper, construction paper and white paper. My Daily 5 I-charts are going to go on the doors of those bottom cabinets. Today was our second day of training for Read to Self and they like to lay on the floor back there so I think it will be the perfect spot for those! Our mailboxes are on that counter and I store all of my "junk" in plastic bins on top of the cabinets. It's hard to see, but there is a small plastic shelf unit between the cabinets and computers. That's for all of my word work supplies.

 A view of the room from the back! That's my desk/workspace in the right corner, under the tv. We watch our 6th graders do the announcements on our tvs every morning. It's pretty cool, especially when a firstie has an older sibling to watch!

I love having a wall of windows, even if it means less space to hang things. Having all of that natural light and being able to see the outside world is wonderful! I plan on using that table as a place to set up science materials when I'm prepping for science, and as a little writing area during Daily 5 time.

Here you can see where I'm storing our book boxes and math manipulatives. The colorful drawers and brown drawers are going to be used to store my math games and math stations. I wanted to store my word work things here too, but they didn't quite fit so the mini shelf that holds those things is on the back wall between my cabinets and computers. It doesn't really look like it belongs there, but it's easily accessible and that's what counts right? I'm not sure if you can really see this, but I am really excited about the clothesline that I hung up above these shelves. It runs to the other end of the room and I can't wait to hang student work up there!

That's it! Remember... it's a work in progress. Also, my digital camera died so I had to take these pictures with my iPhone. They're not terrible but they could be better! Link up over at Blog Hoppin' and share your classroom photos!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday... on Tuesday

Even though I'm a day behind, I wanted to link up with Blog Hoppin' for Meet the Teacher Monday. Yesterday was our first day of school and by the time I cleaned everything up and got ready for today, it was 5:00, my feet hurt and I'd pretty much lost my voice. So, I went home and was instantly refreshed by the flowers and Starbucks giftcard that my sweet, sweet boyfriend left for me. He's pretty awesome. But I still didn't quite get to blogging, so here I am.

This is my 7th year teaching. I really can't believe it's been that long! I spent 3 years in 2nd grade and then moved down to first where I've stayed. That was a hard transition at first... I couldn't believe how SMALL they were and how much they needed from me. I've been at my same school for 7 years, and I absolutely love it here. I've just moved to my fourth room in our building, and I hope I get to stay in this one for awhile because it's by far my fave. You'll get to see pictures when I link up again tomorrow.

I did not always know that I wanted to be a teacher, but I come from a long line of teachers and had a variety of child-centered jobs in high school and college that led me to where I am now. I actually majored in French and thought I might want to teach high school. My first semester in the UTeach program (that's a program at The University of Texas for students who want to teach secondary), they put me in a Kindergarten classroom for field experience and I was hooked! I decided to just finish my BA in French and then head off to graduate school for my certification and M. Ed. I have never once questioned my decision to become a teacher. I truly feel that this is the best thing I do.

I know I've had other getting to know you posts, like this one, which was my first ever post,  and this one about my favorite things, so if you want to know more go check those out!

Is there anything else you want to know? Leave me a comment! I'm pretty open and chatty!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Welcome Back!

I simply cannot believe that summer is over and the first day of school is MONDAY! I have missed reading and sharing out here in blog world, but I really needed a break so I could come back refreshed and ready to go! I'm experiencing lots of new things this year, the first one being my new room. As I mentioned last May, I lost my teammate Mrs. Claborn to 2nd grade (She's starting a new blog, but I'm not sure of the address yet.), which was very sad, but the silver lining was that I got to move into her giant room! It may have taken me 7 years, but I am finally in a room that is the same size as everyone else's and I am PUMPED! I have been VERY busy moving, unpacking, rearranging, rearranging again, hanging, hot glueing, organizing and labeling. I finally have MOST of my things up and where I want them. I will post pictures soon because I'm just so excited about my new space that I have to share! I'm also going to be doing The Daily 5 this year, which I am very excited about, as well as participating (with Mrs. Claborn) in a differentiation program that my district is piloting in a few schools. It's going to be quite an adventure and I can't wait to get started! As I type this, I'm actually sitting in my classroom working, and seeing as it's Saturday afternoon, I think it's time for me to get home and enjoy a little bit of my weekend. I do however want to leave you with one back to school tidbit: my lining up song. Disclaimer: I can't take credit for it. I learned it from my mentor teacher when I student taught in Kindergarten. I love it and it does help remind the kids of our hallway behavior expectations!

Are We Ready? (to the tune of Frere Jacques)
Are we ready?
Are we ready?
Check and see!
Check and see!
Are you facing forward?
Is your mouth quiet?
Are your hands behind your back?
Are your hands behind your back?

I've used this song every year with my second and first graders and only once did one of them ask me how their mouths could be quiet if they were singing my song. 

I hope you all have had or will have a great first week back!