Looking for something?

Teacher Envy

Powered by Blogger.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Twilight Zone

So. Last year. Let's just fast forward through last year, taking only a few moments to remember the crazy twilight zone of my room where zebra costumes, 2 ft high elf hats, toilet paper strewn throughout the bathroom, and forgetting names of letters in April was a common occurrence.

This year, my THIRD year, will be the charm. Great room, great organization, small class, chevrons everywhere, and we're getting a reading program. PTL, friends, because making up the lessons on my own certainly could not have been the best things for my little ones. (See: forgetting letter names)

We're officially getting rid of our 90s version of Rigby and are adopting McGraw-Hill Wonders series in grades 1-6. 1st grade wasn't supposed to get the program until next year, but my principal was able to play around with the budget and get us the series this year, too.

So my classroom set-up this year has been spookily painless, thanks to hot glue and not ripping down the walls cathartically like I did at the end of year 1. Almost everything stayed up over the summer, hooray!

Today I laminated and cut my word wall cards for our new series. I made a set last year just using the Dolch word lists, but I'm so excited to actually implement something that goes with what I'm actually teaching.

I went through my library today to make sure I had all of my books in the correct bin. Labeling them will be another job for another day. And #firstworldteacherprobs I have too many books for my library right now, so I have to run to Ikea to get more of the Expedit shelves I got last year.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Classroom Reveal!

I can't believe it's only the second of day of school and I'm already so exhausted! And there are no children yet. I'm in big trouble.

I've been working like crazy trying to get my room finished. And not just finished for day one, but planned and considered for the entire year. Because I'm not moving anything. At. All.

So here's my room when I first walked back in after the summer:


I decided to do a chevron theme in my room this year--bye bye, Dr. Suess!-- so I've gone a little zig zag crazy and Pinterest obsessed.

First, I remade new word wall cards while I was stil at camp. This year they're all typed, framed in chevron, and color coded for their level. Now, I can change the word cards easily throughout the year quickly. Or at least that's the plan.
Old word wall cards

New cards! And guinea pig lovin'

After being inspired by these pins:

I headed to Ikea to get 2 Expedit bookshelves and a plain white Erslev rug. After navigating my wild cart solo (and making friends with another young teacher buying bookcases for her room, too), I got to calculating. I think I picked the absolute hardest pattern to create, and even had to call in the math-grad-school boyfriend for consulting.

First ever solo Ikea trip... not a good idea

All the math and mosquitos and time spent were worth it, because here's my baby:
New extended library area
Inspired by this, which I saw sometime last year:

I made this one with my Cricut:

And Abby Mullins' calendar board to go with Cara Carroll's calendar companion.

My Carbon Copy

So after all of those projects, here is my new room! I am absolutely in love, I will never move a thing and am never changing my theme. It was so much easier this year to get it set up because I had a clear expectation for what I needed each area to provide for students. I really thought about the functionality of the space, their eye level, and what would be the easiest maintenance for me day to day.

New Whole group area: bigger easel, bigger space, comfier chair (not in this picture yet), ABCs are lower on the wall

Teacher books grouped in a way that makes sense to me, consolidated materials that I need

Question of the day, calendar area

New password of the day with magnet instead of dry erase, this way I can just switch the words in 5 seconds as opposed to scrubbing off markers while kids are walking on top of me to get in 

Writing center is blank for now until we do launch lessons, all month word banks are printed and laminated and hung up

Author's chair new pom pom flair!

New book sox chair pockets so they can't play with white boards and their pennies and dice in secret inside their desks

Transportation tags with clothespins so it's easier to change

Magnetic surface from file cabinet for word sorts in word work

New condensed focus board, next to whole group area so we can reference them more

Class job list
Oh yeah. I faux-upholstered my chair in chevron.
Word wall is ready and waiting

And, my best friend in this entire process:

(And Caitlin M for helping me on day 1 and not blocking my number after sending her picture after picture of my progress all week)

So that's it! I have all day tomorrow in my room and then firsties come on Friday. No plans are done or copies made. 
But I still haven't cried or puked.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Summer camp depression and it's almost September?!!

Take me back to the candy land where the cotton candy grows... pufffffff, puffffff.
Take me back to summer camp. I miss the sunshine, the people, the bugle, the craziness. It's weird being able to be by myself for longer than an hour or so. It's weird not being able to be twins with AnneMarie every day (on purpose or not).

And I definitely am not ready to go back to school.

A few things making BTS time better is 1) three of my best friends are either teaching, long term subbing, or student teaching this year (2/3 are in first grade!); 2) my idol Cara Carroll and I are doing the same classroom theme: chevron; and 3) THIS IS MY SECOND YEAR!

Yep, when I went to make my welcome letter to all the little firsties, all I had to do was search my computer for "welcome letter," change some fonts, add some chevron, and print!

I tried to go into school earlier to drop them off, but a large sign on the door let me know that school was closed from 1-2. I'm off to try again and then even take a walk around my room. I'm not moving, unpacking, or doing anything today, just easing myself back in. You know why?

for TWELVE more days!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Holla for a dolla!

Heeeeeeyyyyyy! Today I was finally able to get online to Scholastic's Teacher Express to view all of the great Dollar Deals.


After my cart was jammed pack at lunch, it was cleared out after I had to do an annoying little thing called  "teaching" and couldn't complete my order. After school, I immediately purchased a few books. (Like 70.) And then I realized I hadn't finished all of the essential purchases I needed and bought just a couple more. (30.)

But I needed all of them, most definitely. As I was browsing through them, a poem from this book totally captured my afternoon today

Only 20 more school days left!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

EXCITING NEWS! and a linky

It's official... today I got my contract for teaching at my school next year! I am so happy and proud of the work that I have done this year--and so indebted to all of the amazing teacher bloggers I stalk daily. Truly, without their wonderful ideas, pinterest, and my friends' and family's support, I never would be here.

And even though I am proud of what I have accomplished this year, I am already furiously planning at the back of my mind what I want to change/do differently next year (in whatever grade I wind up!)

SO I'm linking up with Mrs. Stanford's Good Reads Linky to get new ideas of summer books.

Here's what I already plan on taking with me to camp:

  1. I received a copy of this in October from my financial planner and subsequently threw it in a pile of things. I can't wait to have the time to sit back and read this one, especially because my friend Megan is OBSESSED with Ron Clark. Like, in college we watched the Ron Clark Story on Lifetime at least 5 times.

  2. After reading some interesting blog posts about inquiry-based  learning, I wanted to learn some more. A few clicks and an Amazon prime order later, It is already packed in my backpack for camp.

  3. Anything "Common Core" and Lucy Calkin catches my eye, so I'm hoping this will be useful next year as I attempt to long-term plan instead of jast having a mad rush every Sunday night.

  4.  and 
    These are two I'll definitely be rereading and rereading and rereading this summer. I'm really proud of the growth of my students in reading, and I definitely think this structure helped foster their love of reading.

  5. I need more minilesson ideas than Lucy Calkins has in her books, so I'm using this to help me structure writing. Minilessons for each month? Please and thank you.

  6. This is our district's summer reading book this year. I'm excited because I have been told it also has lesson ideas inside! Hooray for an idea of curriculum! Hooray for structure! Hooray for not mapping my own curriculum!

  7. Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades TrilogyOf course.

  8. Miscellaneous thrillers and mysteries? I need more fun books to read! {Hence the linky!}
Click the link below to link up and share your summer reading list!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I already had a cinco

Forgot about yesterday's infamous share session where one student told us all about his Cinco de Mayo party...

Apparently said student--let's call him Cinnamon because he was the same one who said he had become really smart by eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch-- went to bed on Saturday night early because his parents were having a "cincodemayoh". After Cinnamon woke up, he went downstairs to find his father. In his words:

My dad was wearing his cinco hat and he was walking around bumping into things and his eyes were kind of shut and he knocked over his cup and then my mom yelled at me to go back to bed!

Dear parents, I'll forget what the kids say about you if you forget the things they say about me. Deal?


Friday, May 4, 2012


Sitting on the bus coming back from the zoo! So proud and amazed the trip went so painlessly. Miss Megan and Miss Lauren were absolute life savers today helping out with my group. Some favorite memories before I forget:

My boys using the map to navigate-looked like little men
Their schema for the animals they remembered from our animal research this week
When asked whether they wanted to play on computers or see more animals, one cherub said "I want to see more animals so I can learn more!"
Seeing their eyes light up when they saw a new animal
How unbelievably smart my little babies have become this year

Almost back to watch lion king and decorate our zoo frames!
Best day in first grade!! (and only 29 more to go!)