Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Today was finally the day!!!! I was so excited by the time I got to school this morning (giant iced coffee + Lady Gaga jam session in the car + Open House excitement + bee bopper headband my mom sent me = OVERLY ENERGENTIC KVH) that I think I may have freaked several people out at our 8 am training for our Bright Links interactive white board.

Anyway. The administration (bless them) gave us the entire day to get our rooms ready, so I was very productive and my room has never.looked.better. Organization has never been a strong suit of mine (understatement of the year) but with all of the storage (and so few supplies so far) I am actually managing!

Here are some pics and details about my classroom and school:
Main entrance/office in the background.

2nd -5th grade wing in the background.

beautiful playground.

My door!

Work display board... "the bee's knees!"

Classroom library view one.

Classroom library view two.

Ribsy (as named by my first class of students). Just hangin' out on my file cabinet.

The fab easel that my wonderful Hubs put together on Saturday.

Welcome Message for Open House!

"Bee Day" board... I'm pretty proud of my hand-drawn "hives"

Featured Student (or teacher, as it were, for the first week) - I don't do a ton with it, but they do get to put pictures up and we have an Oprah-style "Interview" at the end of the week. It's really high energy and dorky.

Carpet area white board / book boxes / fun stuff

My cubbies look super boring right now because I have no supplies or kids' stuff yet!

Since there's not very much wall space, I'm using cabinet doors for a lot. Here are our "Math BUZZwords" - where I will post math vocabulary words corresponding to our topic, and our schedule for Specials. (Theater, dance, PE, music, art, AND Spanish!)

"Help Yourself Shelf" - supply shelf that students have free access to.

Tables and names on chairs. I don't know how it never occurred to me to put names on chairs instead of tables - SO much easier when they switch seats!

The Giving Tree for parents who are able to take a leaf and donate extra supplies to our room.

My impression of the kids and families was very mixed. I can tell I have a VERY high-energy group, and we will have to work on routines and procedures A LOT. I also laughed about how many parents came up to me and said, "Listen, my kid loves to talk. If he/she's acting up, YOU JUST CALL ME and I will take care of it."

Hopefully I won't need to!

I'm going to attempt to post some of my "bee" themed classroom materials later this week. Wish me luck going into the first day on Thursday!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers... or just my family so far.

I promise, promise, promise I'm planning a major blog post tomorrow (or realistically, this weekend) with tons of fun pictures of my classroom. Once I learn how to get documents on here, I'm even going to share my bee-related cr@p that I've made for my classroom.

Sorry to call it crap. It's not that I'm not psyched about my room (my last classroom NEVER looked this organized!)... but I have a headache that just reached critical mass and I will probably be at school for 13 hours tomorrow, as we have Open House. I can't seem to keep up with the awesomeness of the teachers around me (no, I am not yet planned for the next 2 weeks and do not yet have units finished for math... good for you, though!) Seriously, it's hard to convey tone in print... but that snarkiness was directed only at myself and not the aforementioned awesomeness of the teachers around me.

I am actually REALLY excited about Open House! At my old school, we did not have one before school started, which I always thought was kind of weird. I am thrilled that my students will have a glimpse of where they are going to sit and get to know the "lay of the land" so to speak. I think it will make the usually bewildered and slightly terrified faces that walk into my classroom on the first day a little less bewildered and terrified. And that's a good thing.

The other thing I'm super excited about right now is that I put up a project on donorschoose.org. In case you don't know, that's a fantastic charity/website where people can browse teacher's project requests and help to fund them. I wrote a project proposal asking for sets of books on CD so that I can actually have a "Listen to Reading" section of my literacy block.

Anyway, I emailed my project page to my family and friends, hoping to get people excited to fund my (or even other people's, I guess) projects. So far my brother, dad, aunt, uncle, and friend have given. Amazing stuff! I highly recommend browsing the site if you're feeling charitable. (Even if you don't give to me. I guess.) You can give any amount - and so many of these teachers are working in incredibly underfunded schools with poverty-stricken students.