Tuesday, August 28, 2012

First day and I'm still standing - sort of!

Whew, what a day!  I was so nervous about my first day as a classroom teacher and my students ended up being great!   They came in quietly and worked hard all day.  I absolutely see a few that I will need to be aware of, but overall a terrific group!

So, I made it through the day without any major traumas!  I did, however, forget to take my kids to P.E..  I ended up taking them 10 minutes late because I was so frazzled when I realized the time that I  looked at my Monday specials schedule and took them to computers, then had to run (terrible example for students!!!) back to my classroom to find out where they really belonged. I'm totally playing the new teacher card on that one!

My daughter had a great first day in Kindergarten and it was so great to see her sweet little face smiling at me in the first day assembly :-)  Unfortunately, the big day and all the craziness in our household took it's toll tonight.  Major melt downs left and right.  We both eventually ended up crying - we must have needed the stress relief!

I'm hoping that I can still walk tomorrow!  I took my shoes off after last recess and finished the day in socks.  My feet want flip flops desperately!!!  Perhaps I should bring slippers for tomorrow...

Monday, August 27, 2012

Can you say STRESSED OUT???

Wow - what a crazy day!  I'm am exhausted, my feet hurt (and have blisters) and the kids don't even start until tomorrow!!! 

Today was Meet and Greet.  I had a great turn out, only 1 family didn't come.  But, oh boy, was it different from Meet and Greet as a sped teacher!!!  Usually, I would use the time as prep and one or two parents would wonder in.  No prep time today :-)  It was soooo fun to meet my students though!

My daughter starts Kindergarten and I start Second grade tomorrow.  Talk about an emotional mess!  I will work really hard to stop crying before my students come in!

I'm off to attempt to plan and finish up a few last minute things.  I hope I can turn my mind off enough to get at least some sleep tonight!

To all of you starting school tomorrow also...

Have a wonderful first day :-)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Therapeutic Thursday!

Today is my last official day of summer vacation!  So, like any sane teacher, I'm going into my classroom :-/  Tomorrow is our first day back on contract and the kiddos start on Tuesday. 

After the next week, I am going to really need my Therapeutic Thursday advice!  I'm going to lay it out for you before I get to the "therapy!"  Then you will understand :-)

Friday - First day on contract
            Catch flight to CA (get in at 11 p.m.)

Saturday - Grandma's 90th b-day party

Sunday - Family brunch
              Flight back to ID (get in at 11 p.m.)

Monday - 2nd day on contract and Meet and Greet

Tuesday - My first day teaching 2nd grade
               My daughter's first day of Kindergarten
               (I should be perfectly calm and together for the first day - ha, ha!!!)

Wednesday - Day 2 of school
                    Jane's Addiction Concert

Thursday - FACE PLANT!!! 

*** Here is where the therapy begins ***

Friday - Happy hour with teacher friend!

Saturday - Pedicure.  My feet are going to be sore, sore, sore!!!

Sunday - Curl up with a good (non-education) book!

A Discovery of Witches: A Novel (All Souls Trilogy)

If you haven't read this book - you need to!!!

Be sure to link up with Blog Hoppin and share your therapy!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Where I Teach Wednesday!

I teach in Meridian, Idaho!  Here is a classroom tour.  My room is not completely done yet, but pretty darn close :-)

Library Area

Small Group Area
Word work and math station bins (still need to be labeled) on left and classroom jobs, daily schedule, and mailboxes on right.
Morning circle/floor area
CAFE and Word Wall

Writing Area - this area still needs lots of work!  It's looking sad right now!
Class/Desk Area
Close-up of owls!  I got the idea from Learning with Mrs. Brinn
Hope you enjoyed the tour :-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Technology Tip Tuesday!

Here are a couple resources that may be helpful in your classroom.  I haven't had to integrate a ton of technology into my classroom in the past, so I'm still learning!  I can't wait to read everyone else's post and learn from the rest of you :-)

Bookshare is great site for students with disabilities. It's a great resource for audio books and large print books - and it's free for schools!  Can be used for listening centers as well.

ReadWorks is a fabulous resource for teaching reading. It has tons of lesson plans and resources that align to Common Core Standards.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Teacher Week - Must Have Monday!!!

Yay!  I'm so excited to link up for Teacher Week this year!!!

Here are my "Must-Haves" for this year:

Scotch Laminator - only $30 on Amazon!  This has saved my booty this year.  It was so nice to be able to laminate at home, plus the quality of the laminating is sooo much better than the one at school.

Scotch Thermal Laminator 2 Roller System (TL901)
Contigo Coffee Cup - This thing can fly across your car, get knocked over on your desk... and it will not spill!!!  It also keeps your coffee warm for hours!

 Contigo West Loop Mug - Blue

Duck tape.  This stuff is so fun!  I used it for lots of classroom projects this summer!

Duck Tape Zig-Zag Zebra Duct Tape 1.88"x10-yd.

Stinky Stickers (I remember them as smelly stickers from when I was a kid!)  Students love them! 

Product Details

Be sure to link up with Blog Hoppin' and join in on the fun!

Blog Hoppin

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Communication with Parents

I admit that I have not always been the best at communicating what goes on in the classroom with parents!  Coming from special education I had LOTS of parent contact, but it was in the form of IEP meetings, discussions of behaviors, and creating plans to help the student be more successful in the general education setting. 

I had a newsletter, but not for parents... my newsletter was to communicate with the various schools, assistants, and other programs and their staff that I worked closely with in the two schools I managed.  (Wow, just thinking about this again makes me soooo happy I'm not dealing with it this year!)

As I embark into the world of general education, I've been thinking about what I have wanted to know as a parent.  My daughter would tell me everyday that she did nothing at pre-school!  I tried to re-phrase things - What was your favorite part of the day?  What did you work on during reading time? But still got the nothing or I don't know answers only to find out later that they were studying Mt. Vesuvius and had made a volcano and errupted it during class (hmm, doesn't sound like nothing to me!!!)

I thought about a newsletter, but honestly, as a parent I read a few and when it's the same format each week I just don't read it anymore (bad parent! bad!) They rarely tell me anything I really want to know.  What do I want to know?  I want to know what work my kids are producing!  How are they learning math?  What do they do doing reading time?  What is my child doing in that classroom all day?  Are they sitting around doing worksheets or are they errupting volcanoes and working in groups? 

So, this year I started a classroom blog.  Click  <here> to see the beginning stages of it.  It has all of the general information that a parent may need to access during the year.  My goal is to post pictures, videos, etc. of what the students are working on, so that parents get an idea of what their child is actually doing during the day!  I think the kids will be excited to be able to show their parents what we've posted also.  Hopefully, engaging both students and parents!

I posted this part earlier, but it ties in so I'm posting it again!  I had magnets made through Vista Print that has all of my contact information and the address for the blog.

Do you have a classroom blog or website?  How do you find it best to communicate with parents?  As a parent, what information do you want from your children's teachers?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Sneak a Peek TPT Purchases!

Thank goodness for TPT!  I would be lost without all these wonderful teacher creations!

My latest purchase was the Super in Second beginning of the year activities from Babbling Abby.  This has sooo many cute activities to get the year started.  I can't wait to use them!

Super in Second! {Beginning of the Year Activities for 2nd Grade}

I got these super cute classroom organization labels from Clutter Free Classroom.  They are still in my large pile of laminating that needs to be cut out, but I'm so excited to get the organization started!

I have this writing center set up just like in the picture and everyone who walks in my room ooohs and ahhhs about it!  It came from A Cupcake For The Teacher.

writing center starter kit! {printables}

This "How do you get home?" is also a show stopper in my room!  It came from the The Lesson Plan Diva

How do you get home? (Transportation Display)

Thank you to all these awesome ladies for making me look good! :-)

Be sure to hop on over to Blog Hoppin and join in on the fun!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Balancing School and Home Linky -Tips for Teaching Moms!

I had already posted when April at Idea Backpack pointed out that this was perfect for her Balancing School and Home Linky - and she was right!  So I changed my post a bit.  Please forgive the breach of blog etiquette :-)

I realized that since I started this blog I haven't addressed the "mom" side of things! 

Being Mom always comes first with me.  However, creating that balance between being a teacher and a mom is difficult (to say the least) at times!!! I'm already starting to feel it and the school year hasn't even started yet! 

My lovely children are bouncing off the walls of my classroom because they are so tired of being there!  Little does my daughter know, that this is only the beginning of being subjected to my classroom.  She starts kindergarten this year and will being going to my school - poor thing :-)

I enrolled her in daycare today and lunch is included... what does she say?  "Good Mommy, because lunches always make us late!"  Ugghhh, sooo true... but it smacks a bit coming from a 5 year old!

The thought of the mad rush to get out the door in the mornings, homework, thinking ahead about dinner, on top of preparing for, spending the day with, and recovering from a room full of 7 year olds...  Yikes, I may not be ready for this year yet!!!

Here are a few tips that help me (ok, for part of the year before I'm really tired and the people at Papa Murphy's know me by name!)

1. Lunch at school/daycare - new this year! Ha ha ha (I crack myself up!)
 Ok, really... Making lunches the night before worked well when I actually did it.  This year will be much easier for me!!!

2. Freeze leftovers for lunch,  then you have something easy to pull out of the freezer for your lunch.  Leave it out until lunch time and it's ready for the micro!  I often make lots of zuccchini recipies before school starts and freeze them for lunches.

3. Homework at school. Last year my step-son came to school with me.  By the time we got home, we were both starving and the last thing either of us wanted to do was homework!  So, we started doing homework in the mornings before school started.  He had to be there early with me anyway, we were both refreshed and ready for the day, and the thought of helping another kiddo through an assignment didn't completely overwhelm me!

4. Crockpot!!!  The crockpot is, by far, the greatest invention ever!!!  Ok, it takes planning ahead, which I'm not always great about. However, you can get it ready the night before, pull it out in the morning, plug it in, and you have dinner ready when you walk in the door.

So, these are all pretty obvious tricks of the trade!  But, they're simple time savers that open up time for family and the extremely rare few minutes of relaxation :-)

What I really want to know is what all you other mothers out there do to keep things running smoothly during the school year???  Hop on over to Idea Backpack to link up and share some of those "WonderMom" tips :-)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Back to School Jitters Linky

This is the perfect linky for me right now!  I have such a crazy range of emotions going on right now - from excitement to sheer terror!!!  I've been worrying about things as silly as how I bring the kids in on the first day, yet feel equally excited about the same things I'm worried about!  Anyway, this pretty much sums up my feelings :-)

Click on the link (or the picture below) to join in on this linky at A Turn to Learn

Back to School Jitters Linky Party

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Contact Magnets

I love Vista Print!  I ordered business card magnets with my contact information to give to parents. This way they can stick it on their fridge and all of the info they need to contact me or the school is handy!

Edit: I decided I probably shouldn't post all of my contact info, so I coverd some info!

I think they are super cute!!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

25 Followers and 25% Off Sale!!!

I am so excited to have 25 followers!  In honor of this momentous occassion I'm having a 25% off sale on all of my items at my Teacher's Notebook store!  This weekend only!  Get your classroom ready for the new year with super cute themes :-) 

Thank you (all 25 of you!) for following me!  I'm so excited to start a new year teaching second grade and to share my experiences with you along the way! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Teacher's Fashion Linky

I could not pass up this linky!  I love to shop!!!  Stop by From Blood to Books to link up.  I have become much more "sensible" in my teacher attire over the years, but I think it's important to look professional and up-to-date!

1. Tell me your favorite store(s) that you like to get your "teacher's fashion"

I love Kohl's.  I really like the Apt. 9 pants (see below) because they look professional and hide my "muffin top" without making me feel like an old lady with my pants up to my chest!!!  I love dresses, but rarely wear them to work.  I'm always on the ground with the kids and dresses and skirts just aren't good for that!

Apt. 9 Modern Fit Plaid Straight-Leg Pants

I also like New York and Co. and Maurices for tops.  We don't have a NY&C near me anymore, so I shop when I visit my mom.  I only buy tops that don't need to be ironed or they just hang in my closet!

I just got this in blue from NY&C, I accidently stumbled on a 50% off everything sale. Woo Hoo!

2. What are some of your favorite accessories?

At work I usually wear my pearl drop earrings or my sapphire earrings from my husband.  I'm not a morning person and I have kids... so pretty much it's a small miracle I get out the door each day, let alone accessorize! 

I love necklaces, but we are required to wear our ID badges so I wear a beaded lanyard (similar to below) to fancy it up :-)

AND, I don't go anywhere without sunglasses!  My eyes are really sensitive so this is where I don't cut corners.  Here are my latest!

Jackie Ohh Brown Gradient  / Crystal MG Chocolate Gradient

3. What type of shoes do you teach in? (i.e. heels, flats, wedges, etc.)
Ok, ok, I know that Danskos are not super cute... but I LOVE them!  They are so comfy and I do actually think they're kinda cute... they grow on you... really!

Here are my new ones for this year.  I also have a black tooled pair that I love. 

4. Do you have a "go-to" item in your closet? (i.e. sweater you wear weekly, shoes you wear daily, etc.)

I have lots of cardigan sets, so they are my "go to" items.

Here is a new one I got at NY&C (remember the sale!!!) It's even that color!

5. Have you ever had a fashion "uh-oh" at school? (i.e. heel broke, button popped off of blouse)

I think I'm probably a walking fashion uh-oh!  I often have coffee spilled down the front of me.  I can't hem pants and I must step on the back of them (I'm a whopping 5'3) because my hems fall out all the time! But for the most part nothing major... but if I ever do my hubby better come running - he owes me for the time his pants split in the butt when he bent over and I rushed over with a fresh (bigger size) for him :-) 

This has been so much fun!  I should be sleeping, but this is almost like shopping all over again :-)