Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fabulous Favorites in Photos

is having a fun linky party and I thought it was an easy one to join in on for my first linky party experience. Here is her post: Fabulous Favorites in Photos!

So, here are a few of MY favorite things!

Favorite Color:
Favorite Store:

Favorite Teacher Supplies:

Favorite TV Shows:

Favorite Drink:
Cherry Vanilla Diet Coke

Favorite Game:

What are some of your favorite things?

Wowie! It has been one crazy week! We started our teacher meetings last Friday and had more meetings Monday. Monday night was our Back to School Night, where I got to meet all my wonderful children, and Tuesday was our first day of school. I was overwhelmed with 30 wonderful children! Our school is one of the choice schools for those that didn't make AYP in our district and in the two weeks before school started, I think we gained about 8 first graders between our 2 classes.

We spent the first few days wondering if we were going to get another section and were told on Thursday that we wouldn't. We'd each be getting a paraprofessional instead. So, I had our WONDERFUL custodian switch out my tables for desks. 30 children was just TOO crowded at my tables. Then, Thursday evening, we were told we actually WERE getting another section. Oh well! Desks it is! I didn't want to make that wonderful man move all those desks back out. So, he's only moving out 10! Tomorrow, I will only have 20 students! It's so exciting!

So, now I get to really start getting to know my children and helping them get to know each other. It was so hard to build community when I didn't know if we were going to be staying together or not. What's your favorite community building activity?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Who has a wonderful husband? (and a cute sign)

I do! Thanks to him, my classroom is ready for the first day of school! We don't start until Tuesday, but tomorrow begins our district meetings. So, today he spent the entire day helping me in my room and putting up with my OCD tendencies (I made him tape yard sticks to my tables so that I could make sure they were evenly spaced and at right angles...yes, I'm THAT bad). Unfortunately, I didn't have a camera today, so I don't have pictures yet, but I promise I'll post them tomorrow.

I spent this evening making a cute sign for my room.

You can download it here.

I'd be glad to change it to for your grade level, just let me know!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Student Self Assessment

Our school has recently been studying Seven Strategies of Assessment for Learning by Jan Chappuis. One of our first steps was to have the students keep track of their own learning.  We created "data notebooks" for each student to keep track of their learning.  Students set goals for themselves and tracked their progress.  Right now, our notebooks are very simple.  I'm sure someone out there could fancy them up and make them much cuter.  (If you do, please send me a copy!) I'm looking forward to trying to utilize them more this year.  Take a look at what we have made so far and let me know if you have any ideas for how we could improve upon them.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Classrom Progress

I didn't work as much this week as I wanted to, but did get some stuff done. As promised, here are some pics: (Sorry for the poor quality.  I only had my iPod.)

This is the east wall.  I am lucky enough that I don't have to take down my bulletin boards each year.  I left these two up.  Saved me a lot of work!
Here's a closeup of each bulletin board:
My award-winning reading board.       
Writing process board.  Each boat has a step in the writing process on it (prewriting, drafting, peer conference, revising, editing, publishing).  The students' names are written on fish taped to clothespins.  The students move their fish as they move through the steps.  On the right side, I'll put anchor charts for writing.
Two views from the door into the room.  As you can see, I still have a lot of work to do.
 I got my easel all organized and ready for teaching:

I also covered these two bulletin boards on the North wall.  Nothing special, but here they are:
This one I use just to put up reminders and such, because it's behind the big metal cabinet.

New this year will be a classroom behavior matrix.   It will go here.

I am working on curtains for my windows. Hopefully, I'll be able to post pictures of them soon.

Monday, August 1, 2011


Today was day one of working in my classroom.  I was there from about 7:15 to 9:15 am and it was already almost 90 degrees when I left and I was dripping with sweat. 

I got my goal accomplished - with the help of my wonderful husband.  He helped me move the furniture around without scuffing up the newly waxed floor. 

I had to go on a small scavenger hunt - I was missing my desk chair.  Found it in the room next door.  Other than that, nothing too eventful.  Forgot my camera, so no pictures yet, but I will do my best to remember it tomorrow.