Saturday, August 18, 2012

I think I can, I think I can. . .

I think I can make it to the first day! 

Our first "official" days back to work have come and gone!  Teacher meetings and trainings started each of the days and then back into the classroom to keep on working . . . I think even if I had tons of time to prepare I still would never be ready!  But, oh how excited I get when I start to see the room come together.  I look forward to seeing the other teachers, visiting and catching up. . .miss those guys!  I really begin to crave my routine!

Yesterday was our kindergarten orientation!  A big thank you to ALL of my parents for making it and bearing with me as I went over sooo many little details.  I want this to be a fabulous year for all!  The room was crowded with families!  I think there were about 50 bodies squished into that little space, and you could feel the energy.  I was sure one of my little kinder-friends was going to explode with excitement!  I love seeing their faces for the first time and learning a bit about them - the shy ones, the outgoing ones, the ones you knew, but didn't know you knew, and the parents - big smiles and eager to volunteer.  I can't wait!!

Finally a few pictures to show a peek into my room.  I rushed out on Friday, but will take more before the room has the "lived in" look.  I am proud of how things turned out and thankful for my daughter and her BFF for all their help.

Those ugly cupboards are finally covered.  Love how they turned out.

My calendar wall.  A few things are missing, but you get the idea.  My rules are at the top.  (Modified from WBT.) We do them with gestures every morning and whenever we need a gentle reminder.  I added #5 this year - Love that one!

My clip chart - minus the clips.  Hadn't gotten our class list yet.

A little cozy space.  The magazine rack is going to hold my teacher read alouds.  I like them to have their own special place so I don't lose them.  Still need to make a cute label.  It was a dingy white.  Painted it and looks much better!  Cute pillows from Hobby Lobby - on clearance - love!

My daily schedule.  I want to make a cute header for it.  I know the cards aren't very cute.  They were made for a former student and are very functional.  I'm planning on redoing them next summer - already working on that classroom bucket list!

And then there's my kiddos - ok, not really the big one with the goatee - but he can call me mom any day!  I have enjoyed summer with ALL of them, but am so ready to have us all get back to school. 
(Can you tell we are Giants fans? - Go G-Men!)

Mrs. M

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho. . . It's off to work I go!

Today was the last day of  "bootcamp" and I am going to have to say I enjoyed working with the bigger kiddos.  It was a pleasure to get to know them, and hopefully the work we did will make a difference as they start their new school year.  I am definitely planning on checking in with them. 

But. . . I am so glad my little kiddos will be making their way to my room soon.  I have been working in my room over the past couple of weeks - a very little bit at a time.  Today I feel like I made some real headway.  I still have some piles to deal with and bulletin boards are not complete, but I think I might be able to sleep tonight.  When I think of our 3rd grade teachers and the fact that they just got to move into their rooms today with cabinets not even finished - I know I will be OK.  My hope is, I can get to a place in my room so that I can help them.  School starts Monday people!  Hoping to have picture to post tomorrow!

Blessings to my old staff as they begin their new school year tomorrow.  It was a special place to work and is and amazing school.  May all the teachers and students have an exciting and peaceful beginning. 

Mrs. M

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Expanding Our Territory

A few weeks ago I agreed to teach "bootcamp" for a group of our ELL students - 4th and 5th graders to be exact.  I haven't taught kids that big for almost 15 years.  Needless to say I was a little nervous.

But excited . . .

When I changed schools last year,  one of my goals was to stretch myself, get out of my comfort zone and "expand my territory".   Our librarian has shared that that was how she felt when she left the classroom to take on the position of Library Media Teacher.  She wanted to reach more kids!  In an article referencing the Prayer of Jabez on it was suggested there are many ways we can do this.  Influence, responsibility, time and family were just a few examples. 

Well, I sure have worked on building up my territory!  I am challenging myself by learning new things and hopefully reaching students in a new way. 

These past 4 days of bootcamp have helped me to develop ideas for how I will work with my ELL kindergartners this year.  My focus on on their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills has been sharpened. and I am eager to begin.  My heart has also grown for these 4th and 5th graders.  My desire to see them succeed and take to heart the importance of being multi-lingual in today's world is so strong.  They have such an opportunity!

As teachers we have such a responsibility to be the positive influence in our students' lives.  I want to reach so many!  I will continue to work to "expand my territory". 

How will you work to expand yours this school year?

Mrs. M

Monday, August 6, 2012

Making progress. . .

One of the things I have always struggled with was what to do with my kids school stuff.  I have four children and keeping all of it is not realistic.  For the past 14 years the collection has grown and been stashed all over our closet, our garage, the kids' rooms . . . you get the idea!  Well, this summer I was inspired by this:

School Paper Organization

Danyelle at had a great solution.  Be sure to visit her site to get the specifics.  But I thought, "I can do this!" 
So the undertaking began. . .I unearthed all the papers, projects, and collectibles and gathered them in my dining room.  Got the supplies and started to sort. . .and sort and sort. . . I did say that I have 4 kids, right?

Here's what I came up with. . .Pretty cute, right?  I made this sweet little cover page for each school year and attached a school picture from that year.  It is a great way to help remember those special teachers and all the hard work!  My goal is that each child will consolidate their things into one box for grades PK-8.  We'll see how it goes.  I have had to be very picky about what to keep and what to let go of.  And I still have a looooooooooooong way to go!

I did mention I have 4 kids, right?

Mrs. M