Sunday, November 4, 2012

Monday Made it

Hello friends!  It's actually Sunday night and I am contemplating my weekend and lack of photos for this month's Monday Made It. (Be thankful I didn't take a picture of my beginning crochet bowl!)  I didn't even get a post in last month!  I have no photos for you this month, but some thoughts.....

*I've been making our math curriculum from start to finish.  I decided to go ahead and try Guided Math and I love it.  Unfortunately, it's a lot more work for me.  I don't have a lot of our curriculum to guide me as most of my students do well in math.  I will say that it is completely worth the effort!  After teaching through Guided Reading for so many years, I can't believe I never thought of Guided Math.  It is so much more effective to teach to a small group instead of a whole class.

*I made it through the first quarter of the year.  I have a wonderful class this year and that has been great!  The politics, lack of curriculum and working without a contract haven't been as good!  This weekend I finally forced myself to totally look at things the way they really are.  I chose this job. I love this job. It involves extra work and effort. I will work hard to balance my life knowing that my job is not a typical 9 to 5!

*At home, I'm working hard on making my Christmas list smaller and smaller.  I hate the running around and craziness of last minute shopping.  I like to take the time to buy gifts that my family and friends will truly like.  I also want to have a January without extra bills:)  Here's to enjoying the season and the blessings that it brings.

*I will make Thanksgiving a priority for my students and my family.  We will work on being thankful every day in November.

Happy Fall!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Trying something new...and a freebie!!

Learning never stops!  I'm trying to see if I can get a document from my Google Drive to my blog. It's a measurement freebie for you:)  The idea isn't mine; I got the idea researching for our 2nd Grade Common Core math measurement unit.  I decided to make it into a document so that my students could do it on their own during our math stations.

If you have the chance, please let me know if this works!  Thanks!  You'll be helping me learn:)
*I see now that the date line moved when I transferred the doc.  I'll have to work on that!!
**Yay!!  I fixed it:)  When you click on the document it should be correct:)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tell Me Something Good

I found this awesome linky today!!  I have to link up even though it's a day late.
Something good about school:
I have an awesome class this year!  They know how to be good friends, work together and follow routines.  I am so excited for what is to come:)
Something good about home:
My husband made my mom's macaroni and cheese last night.  It was the perfect comfort food!!!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Monday Made-It: Name tags and grouping

Happy Sunday/Monday!  Last Monday was my first full day of school, so I missed posting a Monday Made It.   I made sure to check out everyone's awesome ideas, though!  I've had my kids for 2 1/2 days.  I think it's going to be a great year:)  I have to say that this weekend was pretty much dedicated to school.  I have FIVE bags that I am going to be taking back with me tomorrow.  Don't call me a nerd, but I labeled them 1 - 5 so that I would know which bag needed to be attacked first Monday morning!

 My Monday Made It came from a teacher magazine a while ago.  This is a sample of a student nametag with the name covered up.  I start the year with temporary tags and then make these when I'm sure of the names.  The obvious part is the name and the number.  I don't use numbers a lot in the classroom, but I do use them for things that I don't want to label every year, such as hallway bins, book boxes and "calling on" sticks.

The stickers indicate groups that students are in.  The letter sticker is a partner sticker.  I have the kids  in partners with a student of the same/close reading ability.  I have the information from last year and from what I've observed so far.  The second sticker is for my groups of 4.  There are six different colored groups.  These groups are a mix of abilities.  I have a large pawprint in each of the colors.  When I want the kids to get in these groups, I just put the large pawprint where they need to meet.  Other years I've had other groups, but this is it for now.  I plan on laminating the tags and possibly velcroing them to the desks.  I just might leave them loose too.  Then the students can put them in their desk if the tags are in their way.

The first weeks of the year are crazy and fun.  It's great to meet all the wonderful personalities that I will be with for the whole year.  The amount of work is overwhelming!  Have a great start to your year!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Made It - Classroom Design

Happy Monday!!  My Monday Made-It today is my classroom design for the year. My first thoughts about my classroom design came from Melanie at Schoolgirl Style.  She has so many awesome ideas that I used to help me in my planning.  The book, Classroom Spaces That Work, helped me to really analyze my classroom and the message it sends to students.  As you journey through my photos, you'll see the projects that I've posted throughout the summer.  If you have any questions, please ask!!
My first picture is the pile of furniture that met me at the door last Monday.  Luckily my husband was there with a hand cart because we ended up moving one file cabinet, one teacher desk, and three tables from/to my room.
This first picture is my classroom library.  This summer my husband and I painted the bookshelves black.  My nephew, Doug, helped too!  The bookshelves were all different colors and needed to look more cohesive.  You can see the pennant that I made that is hanging on the window wall in my classroom.  I also made the curtains this year to hide my storage.  One of my good friends at school had curtains like this and I loved them!  On the chalkboard are the name magnets that I sweated over at the beginning of the summer.  Do you see the short table with the globe on it?  The table is a regular height table with the legs taken off.  Another great idea from another teacher friend!!
The next picture is of my meeting area and back bulletin boards.  My classroom doesn't get cleaned every day, so instead of a carpet, I have carpet squares that the students grab to sit on if they want.  You can see the green, fluffy pillow that is at one of my "safe places" in the classroom.  The thought behind this idea is from the book, Conscious Discipline.  I also used fabric to cover two tables in my room.  This helps hide the storage that goes under the tables.

Here is my back bulletin board.  The first two boards are anchor chart holders, an idea from The Clutter-Free Classroom.  She has lots of great ideas that I recommend you checking out!  The third board is my incomplete math board and the fourth board is my CAFE menu board for the daily five.

You may notice that I do not have a word wall board up.  After lots of thinking, I've decided that I am going to have my students use individual word walls at their desk.  They will have a special folder for them and will write in the new words each week.  There will also be room to add in math vocab when necessary.

Obviously I'm not finished!!!  I will try to get more pictures taken when I'm totally done.  I'm trying lots of new ideas this year and I can't wait to see how they work out.  I'm feeling pretty positive about the whole package!  School starts with meetings next Monday.  Wish me luck:)

Thanks again to Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for hosting this linky.  Click on the icon at the top of the blog to go check out her post and all the other great links.