Friday, August 24, 2012

the big reveal

Oh my word, we are off and running. Although mostly not literally. The stench of chlorine offends one of my littles with autism. Some of my small people are . . . not so small anymore. My schedule is erratic, at best; people are constantly in and out. I had a phone thrown at my head. One little came back to school a different child (in a good way.) The lids to Nalgene bottles will shatter. I now need to add birds to the many esoteric subjects I'm supposed to be an expert on. I'm exhausted, but it's been pretty good so far.

Here's my classroom. It's mostly done now, considering we're already in session. Sorry about the quality, I haven't taken my good camera to school in a while.

The view from the door.

Our counter with writing supplies, word wall, clip chart, cabinets, and CAFE board. I'm putting seasonal boxes on top of our cabinets, but I'm still working on it.

A close-up of our CAFE signs.

One of our group areas. This area is mostly for reading/writing "whole group," as we do math "whole group" on the SMARTboard. (I feel a little weird that my whole group is usually 4 or less, hence the quotation marks.)


Magnet center, post office, and clip boards.

View of one of the work spaces. The kidney table will also be used for individual or pair reading instruction. You can also see our listening center, cubbies, and my wingman's desk.

My awesome new document camera!

My lovely schedule. . .

I'm pretty happy with the way my room turned out, and I think it's very functional and not just cutesy. I know there are some other changes I would like to make, but that aren't practical with my particular class.

I hope everyone is having a great start to their year!


Monday, August 20, 2012

must have . . . sleep?

Kicking off Teacher Week today is Must Have Monday. I've been kind of busy and slack with the blog lately, but I'd figured I'd pop in. Mostly because tomorrow is day 1 and I am terrified. Only not as much as last year. And I'm more prepared this year, but not as well as I'd like. Ho hum.

So, a quick list of my must-haves.

(a very quick list, because I was awake for masters swimming at 4:45 this morning and I'm about to crash.)

1. Starbucks. Or maybe a iced vanilla coffee K Cup, if I'm feeling broke. But, I need coffee. I am absolutely positive I wouldn't have graduated without it. And I probably wouldn't have a job without it. Cofffffffeeeeee. A coworker called me Friday morning before school to ask me what she should order at Starbucks. Yes.


2. Books. Lots of books for the littles and for me. I need more informational texts in my classroom library. For reals. I got my supply allotment money, and I'm considering getting the D-I leveled math/social studies/science readers. Also, my nook needs more books, but that has nothing to do with my supply allotment.


3. Paper. Oh goodness, they finally started limiting copies at my school. I'm not usually prone to such hyperbole, but I actually remarked to a coworker today that I felt like I was in hell. The temperature didn't help, though, so it might not have just been the paper limits. I made 45 copies total of behavior sheets for 3/4's of my babies before I ran out. Sheesh.

4. My blackbook. It is lovely. It is greatly superior to my work computer, too. Sorry, windows.

5. A wingman to back me up. This is not essential, as I've proven this can be done sans assistant, but it's a must-have for my sanity. For reals.

Yeah, so the littles arrive tomorrow and my room looks like a wreck. It's a little better/worse than the pictures I'm going to show below, but I'm coming early tomorrow to give it some extra TLC.


Thursday, August 2, 2012


When I left my classroom at the end of May, everything was packed up and it all looked very empty and lonely. I went back this week to start unpacking and organizing my room. We don't have to go back to work for a while yet, but I know I have a lot of planning to do this year before we get started. I want to do all the decorating and stuff before we have to be back at work. I'll do my planning then, because I will get my teacher manuals checked back out to me. Also, I think our general education classes are getting a new reading series this year (or next year, they already picked out Literacy by Design.) I really want to see the materials for that when I'm planning out everything, so hopefully there are a few extra copies of things.

Anyway, I lugged a bunch of stuff down with me. I think I have a school supply problem. This is not all of what I purchased for my room so far. Nor is it even all of the glue sticks.

Sorry for the bad quality on the second one. I bought a ton of Dots on Turquoise stuff. I really want my room to look nice and neat, but I'm also super opposed to commercially-made bulletin board sets and posters. I thought that maybe I could put the anchor charts that the littles complete onto the posters, and I have a few other ideas. Anyway. Lots of stuff. I think all of my money from my second job went back into my first one. Oh well.

And here's what I amused myself with as I worked on my classroom:

Yes, I watched Tuesday morning prelims on my SmartBoard. Then watched women's gymnastics live. I would have watched finals live, too, but my sister was with me and we had to leave before 2:30.

This is my new word wall. It is super-messy. I do not understand how all of you ladies are so good at cutting straight lines and aligning things. It is obviously not a talent of mine. Or a talent of my sisters. I'm kind of worried about how this turned out, and having enough room for all the words. And applying words without tearing up the paper. I'm going to change the sign out, too; it looks way too small.

I have a lot more work to do, but this is what my classroom looks like now:

Yes. A wreck. It's a process. Hopefully it will start coming together soon. I'm not going back until next week, so in the meantime I'm going to work on making some things for my class on the computer. I thought that my computer was on it's way out, as the trackpad was not working consistently and the replacement cost was going to be enormous. Considering that my macbook is old enough that I can't upgrade to OSX mountain lion, I was planning to buy a new one during tax-free weekend. I was conflicted, though. I love my computer. Also, I am not made of money.

Then, I noticed my computer no longer was sitting very flat on the table. I turned it over, and the battery was bulging out of the computer. Yikes! Since the battery is under the trackpad, I was wondering if maybe this was the source of my problems.

So now I have a new battery and my computer is working much better. (Yes, I have a blackbook. It's amazing.) So, no new computer this August. I'm okay with that.