Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the teacher...again! :)

First off let me say I am all kinds of exhausted after my first day back.  Holy mackrell I forgot how ridiculously tiring it is!!!  Okay, here's the meet and greet:
Tell us a little something about you:
 The above picture is of me and my hubby on our 4 year anniversary this June.  Not the best pic but it will do! :) This is actually 10 years for us this October!  Met at the sweet age of 18!
This picture is of me and my sweet friend and coworker.  I truly lucked out! I began sharing an office with my sweet friend {whose room is right next door to mine} 3 years ago and we have become inseparable.  So much so that I'm still in a kindergarten classroom surrounded by the babies with my "big kid" first graders {our Principal won't separate us's pretty awesome}.

 These sweet little pups are my babies!  Nelly {closest to the camera} is 3 and Milo is 2. They are AWESOME puppers!  But don't worry {MOM} real babies are not too, too far away!

How long have you been teaching?
This is my fourth year teaching.  I taught kindergarten for two years before moving to first.  This is now my second year in first grade and I. LOVE. IT!  My mother has been in education for 34 {?} years now and is on her way to retirement! woohoo! She was my *inspiration* for getting into education, even though she teaches at the high school level.  My husband said I'm not allowed to teach high school until my boobs are sagging to my knees! ha

You might not know...
Teaching was not my first career choice.  I actually began college interested in tv productions, then journalism, then advertising and somewhere along the way I found myself in an education course! :)  I also really would love to be a forensic scientist.  Maybe in my next life! 
Another fun tidbit:  Doc Hollywood {the movie with Michael J. Fox} was filmed in my hometown of McIntosh/Micanopy FL! Small towns are good for something!  I got to meet some of the famous actors and watch some of the scenes being filmed.  I, myself, was just *a little bit* in elementary school!

What are you looking most forward to this school year?
Mastering the art of the Daily Five/CAFE and Math Workstations.  I'm really excited to do all the activities that I've "stolen" from all of you with my kiddos.  We did Jitter Juice from Abby's Fun with Firsties package today and it was a HUGE hit!  I love that I have been able to become a better educator because of each of you.  It's just so much fun!!!

What do you need to improve?
Classroom management.  I've always been a softy and have found myself worrying that the kiddos won't like me if I'm too strict.  I would like to say that I've started off A LOT better today!  I was firm and consistent and sent one kid home with a color change. Yes, on the first day of school.  Holy macaroni!! I would also like to improve on my writing lessons.  Last year I emphasized so much on reading and literacy that I totally flaked on the writing component. 

What teaching supplies could you *not* live without?
Sharpies, baskets, colorful pens, my rolling cart easel/dry-erase board, and my mac computer!  OH and most importantly my Grande {this week: Venti} Mocha from Starbucks and my stash of bottled water!

So there you have it! I'm off to finish up some last minute stuff for tomorrow and then GO. TO. BED!!!  

Head over to Blog Hoppin' to link up!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

For my Mamma Jamma!!

As the title of the post clearly states I am doing this post for my wonderful mama!  She lives in a different county and was unable to make it to see my room before school started {which is TOMORROW...YIKES!}.  
I first wanted to show you a fun and ridiculously easy DIY project I whipped up last minute on Wednesday last week.  I needed a place to display my "Captain of the Week" {this is my first year doing such a thing} and when I went searching for a pinboard I decided to make my own.  I bought the cork board frame from Hobby Lobby {love, love, LOVE that store} for $5 and painted it black.  Got some ribbon and went to town!
 Of course the image won't show correctly.  I first stapled the ribbon in and later found black push pins.
 Then just added the cute little details for the finishing touches!  I'm super excited.  I'm going to let the kids wear a pirate hat for the week they are "Captain!" So fun!
 The following pictures are of my classroom right before all the parents and their firsties came to see me on orientation Friday.  This is looking in from our door and to the right.
 This is the view looking straight into my classroom {I'm still in a kindergarten classroom so I do have much bigger space then my fellow first grade teachers}
 This is my book nook area {the classroom library and book luggage are to the left}.  The board says "work we treasure" and will hold all our creative writing projects and such.  I glued plastic gold coins onto the clothespin clips and they look so cute.  Of course, there's also my palm tree!!!  Man, I love Deanna Jump!
 This is my desk and small group reading area.  My listening center is also stationed behind me to the left, however, I have many individual CD players that allows them to locate themselves somewhere else in the room.  I have my schedule and the common core standards posted on the door, one of my work on writing stations is to the right and the cones now have icecream on them listing our birthdays!
 Front of the classroom! 

 This was my version of the donation 'door' and wish list.
 Here's the other side of my classroom.  We were given four new Dell Computers for our classroom!!!  Very excited.
 Our classroom library and Captain of the Week area.  I will also be posting up our pirate pictures this week {I will take a picture of each kiddo with a pirate hat and patch and place it on our tree}.
I have so many emotions running through me about tomorrow.  I feel like summer came and went in a blink of an eye!  I just finished getting my Jitter Juice ready for tomorrow and can't wait to complete all the fun First Day Jitter activities that I got from Abby's Fun with Firsties packet!  I know the kids are going to LOVE it!  I also just finished putting together the THOUSANDS of activities that I've purchased/downloaded from so many of you amazing teachers.  I feel so blessed to have found this little teacher world!! :)  May God bless you these first weeks of school and give you some sort of peace of mind during the crazy and stressful times!  Cheers to loving what I's no "JOB" to me!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Michaels...GET THERE!!!

Okay.  This is more for anyone doing a pirate theme in their classroom.  Again, my awesome team leader guided me towards this 'too-cute-for-words' find:
 {annoyed with the glare}  This bad boy was a whooping $4.99!  I bought 2 packets.  I was worried they wouldn't stick to my concrete walls well but luckily THEY DID!!!!

How freakin' cute are these?!?!?!  {don't judge my half-way finished boards} Here's the sad news...they're on clearance so get to your nearest Micheal's ASAP!!! :)   They also have cute-cute team sports wall decor stickers.

I'm about to begin another "DIY" project.  I'll post again later with more fun stuff!  Love, Love!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Soothing Preparation

As my to-do list continues to grow while days continue to dwindle, I'm left feeling a little overwhelmed, all kinds of stressed, anxious, and excited all at the same time.  After having only a solid 3 weeks of a summer vacation (after all was said and done), I go back to school tomorrow.  Granted I have spent some time already in my classroom {as you already know}, there is still a GOBZILLION things to do.

I was searching for a funny quote to send to my very dear teaching buddy when I stumbled upon this and thought I would share! 

How to Tell You're a Real Teacher {Don't you just love these?!}:

Real teachers grade papers in the car, during commercials, in faculty meeting, and in the bathroom!

Real teachers drive older cars owned by credit unions!!!!!

Real teachers have disjointed necks from writing on boards without turning their back on the class.

Real teachers have been timed gulping down a full lunch in 2 minutes, 18 seconds.  Master teachers can eat faster than that!

Real teachers can predict exactly which parents will show up at Open House.

Real teachers know the best end of a themed lesson plan can come from Blockbuster.

Real teachers know the rules don't really apply to them! :)

*Real teachers hear the heartbeats of crisis; always have time to listen; know they teacher students, not subjects; and they are absolutely non-expendable!!!*

The year is here for me, no turning back, and I am S.O. excited! I feel that I have grown as an educator solely by learning from those around me {ON THIS BLOG-WORLD}!  Thank you for helping me to master my craft! :) If it wasn't for teachers like you, willing to share, I wouldn't be where I am today! Woohoo!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Busy Little Bee

Man-oh-man what a busy couple weeks!  Between my limited summer vacation, working two summer jobs, revamping my room with a new theme, and preparing for another year (not to mention the hours spent blogging) time has just FLOWN by!  I wanted to share  a little bit of what I've been doing:
(note: there a TON of pictures :)

 Here is my new word wall!  This is my 'pride and joy!' I've been wanting an interactive word wall and struggled with where in my room to place it.  Since deciding on a pirate/nautical theme the banner word wall just made sense!  I'm so excited!  Below is a close up look at my awesome new word wall! :)

 Deanna Jump was my inspiration for this new job chart! Mine is a little different.  I used cardboard that I had readily available and made a some what smaller version.  I just got cute letters to write "All Hands on Deck" somewhere near the ship too!  Below is a close up (not so good...sorry) picture of how the job chart ship will work.  I printed and laminated 20 little pirates and then a map with the "job" labeled on it.  Each student in my class is assigned a number.  Under each pirate will be a number.  I will simply place the job map on the pirate when it's there turn for the job.  I hope that sounds right!
 Below is my "Sparkle" word wall of synonyms {took this idea from my amazing team leader}!  These were SOOO simple to make and they look so cute and they "sparkle" so well.  I just used my trusty glue and glitter! :) 
Two years ago I attended a kindergarten conference where Shari Sloane presented.  She had made these amazing Kindergarten Offices.  Since I moved up to first grade last year, I decided that I would make first grade offices!  I used a "freebie" of a office from Michelle Oakes at Fantastic First Grade.
 Above is a picture of the back.  

 I must say my kiddos LOVE these things!!
Below is my new Math Station area!! Another project I am BEYOND excited about! :)  On each shelves to the left and right are all my math supplies.  I am still in a kindergarten room so I have lots of extra space/storage that I can use! I also like that everything I need is right at hand.  I still have some more goodies to include in there but I think it's a great start!

Below is my new CAFE board!  Since the picture was taken I've added gold coins and stuff around the board.  The brown background is sandpaper and the border is ribbon.  I think it really makes it pop!
This is my new math wall. I wanted to keep all things math somewhat all together.  I making curtains to put on the shelves to hide all the chaos! Still has some work but it's on its way! 

 My final picture is of my amazing find at Target! I've been looking for a cute rug for my classroom and I finally found one!  For only $30 it was mine!  

Life continues to get crazy and as school is fast approaching (I go back next week), my husband is also in limbo with a job.  The economy has really taken its toll on our sweet family and I could really use all the extra prayers as he searches for a new job.  I know the power of prayer is amazing and I'm praying for some wonderful new things to come our way!

Happy new school year everyone! :)