Saturday, June 16, 2012

Task Cards

One huge hurdle I have this summer is my "task cards". Before I switched schools, I copied a bunch of task cards so that I could get them ready for the next school year. When my mom was visiting for a week, she helped me cut them out. Now I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all of them. How am I going to get them ready for the school year, laminated, on card stock, and training the kids. Not feeling ready. Not feeling it at all actually. So my thought is that I spend this year getting them ready and doing them well so that next year they are ready? Ugh. What are your thoughts? I would love some advice. I was all excited about them and now, just not feeling it.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Spending Money

As a teacher, I have spent thousands and probably thousands of dollars on my classroom. When I was single it didn't really matter. I didn't have anyone to report or explain to. When I got married (10 years ago) I have to explain my purchases all the time. Every summer, I go a little overboard. Part of it is having the little guy, he does better when we go out and do field trips. Well, today, got in trouble with the big man (his nickname is Money Nazi). Anyway, so I have to be a little more careful about my projects...maybe...

On a better note, I have been working hard on getting ready for the new school and new grade. I am feeling a little overwhelmed. New school, grade, curriculum, harder expectations...don't get me wrong, I am SOSOOO excited. Next week I go in for a week of PD to prepare for the next school year. My personal goal was to be done with all my work before I went on vacation on July 5th. Not sure if that is going to happen, but working on it.

I can't wait to show pictures...and how everything fits into my classroom...


Monday, May 14, 2012

End of the Year

With 9 days left...Yahoo!!!! I started taking down stuff in the classroom. We are supposed to have our classrooms done by Friday so that the kiddos have all their stuff  and the recycling bins aren't overflowing the last week of school. As I was taking it down, I noticed that I really did not have a lot up. The kids have been very helpful! They emptied my bins, washed them out, removed all the staples from the bulletin boards and helped weed out the dried out markers from the ones that still work. It's amazing how helpful they were today. The whole time I kept thinking about my new classroom...what does it look like, how much space will I have, what materials will be in there, bulletin boards...the mind is a workin.

On May 29th, I have to stop at my old school and do the official drop off the keys and then I am going to go over to my new school and see if I can get in and take some measurements and pictures. From what I remember of the other classrooms, there is not a lot of bulletin board space so I know that I will have to use wall space. There are some amazing Pinterest ideas for word walls and such.

Here is my favorite: Word Wall. Last I night on TPT, I found fish word wall letters that will use and then color coordinate with scrap-booking paper.

I have been trying to figure out what else I want to do in my classroom besides colorful fish and finally, it came to me...blues and lime greens. I found material at Hobby Lobby and made some crate benches for my reading table and decided to go with that.
Blue, Aqua and Lime Green Hanging Lanterns I need to find these!!!!!

Tonight, report cards and SGOs :( yuck!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My first attempt

During Teacher Appreciation week I download Terri Thornton's Math Calendar. I loved the design and the whole concept. One wish I had was to make it one page (to save paper) and there were a few items that I didn't want on mine. I thought that I would take this one inspiration to attempt my first publishing. It's not perfect and I might change it before the finally printing, but I am proud of it. Hopefully, this is the start of something great :)

My Math Calendar based on Terri Thornton.

This and That

I am down to 2 weeks (10 days) and I can hardly wait. This year has been hell. The AP has been a really PITA. He is one of those people that when it gets stressed...he takes it out on everyone else. The P doesn't like him and everyone knows it, so therefore he has taken to nonrenew or force out about 7 teachers. I have my final review with him on Friday - not expecting a great one based on this year, but you can be sure that I am bringing the union with me. 10 days...I can do this.

So for the next 10 days, I have some special things planned. We are continuing with the theme of the day but in overload for the next couple of weeks.

I am also feeling very frustrated that I am not one of those amazing bloggers who can produce wonderful products. Last night I had this great thought for a lesson plan format, but for the life of me, I could not figure out how to get it out of my head and onto the computer. That is one of my goals this summer...figure out how to create things on the computer.

Happy Mother's Day


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Math Posters

I wish I could take credit for finding this, but it all goes to Dr. Nicki's Guided Math Blog. These are fabulous math posters (and other great stuff). I am going to print them off and laminate them for instruction next year.

Here is the link: Fabulous Math Posters

There are also literacy posters and information...what a gold mine..Literacy Info and Posters

Thursday, May 3, 2012

CCSS...Core Knowledge...and more

As I prepare for next year in 3rd grade, I am surrounded, dreaming, and consumed with common core standards, core knowledge, and planning. So I decided that I was going to go through each subject and try to figure out everything and work myself out of the closet that is my world right now. I started with math. It seemed like it was the easiest subject to start with and um...yeah, not so much. Trying to figure out which end is up is a struggle. I took all the documents that I have been collecting and sorted through them, combined them and hopefully figured out what I am doing. I made a chart that determines the differences between common core and Core Knowledge. Took a couple of different scope and sequences and combined them into a sort of planning guide. I then took the CCSS and made checklists, cheat sheets, skill sheets and galore. I honestly not sure if it is going to help me at all, but I am hoping that once I sit down and start hard core planning, this helps. My plan is to somehow make a section in my data binder for each student and also document when I am teaching the various standards. What I am realizing is that there is a lot more work and accountability that goes along with CCSS and there is a lot of teaching on my plate with Core Knowledge. I am hoping that it makes sense soon.

Here are the documents that I made combining a lot of information that I found online.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Themed Days - Banana Day

In an effort to keep my kiddos from completely losing their minds...I have decided to do themed days until the end of the year. This has been one of the most interesting classes I have had in a long time. It is May and they still cannot hold it together all day. This class is fabulous in the morning, but after lunch they are completely different. was the first day of the themes.

I got some of the ideas from

Banana Day!
We started by doing some DEAR time so I could finish getting everything set up. Students then had "center" rotations in the computer lab playing games and learning facts about bananas. After about 45 min, we then went back to our room and made one of my favorite banana treats (sliced bananas, sugar, and milk). We have been writing recipes and how-to reviews and this fit in perfectly. Students then were all wound up so I took them outside and they wrote stories that went with "The Day My Teacher Went Bananas". They were really cute. After lunch, we made up directions and recipe for their favorite banana sundaes. As a review students did a color sheet in the shape of a banana using fractions. All in all, it was a good day.

Tomorrow: Rainbow day.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Next Year Mode

I have entered next year mode. Until this last week, I have been hiding behind anything and everything. Total denial that I didn't have a job yet, but now that I have a job...I am going at it. I have already started making stuff and doing my summer rounds looking for good deals.

I have decided on a fish theme. I keep finding really cute stuff for "ocean" but kinda want to stay with just fish. I have my mom (who lives in Minnesota) on a hunt for cute fish fabric.I am tying in bright colors and animated fish! Eventually I will get some actual fish for my new room, but need to make sure I have space.

I have made a couple of things thus far. My father in law cut out some wood benches for me to use with my new crates. I will use those for storage and for my guided reading seats.

I have been using these book boxes in my classroom for the past two years, and I found a couple more in the various colors.

I got some paintsticks from Home Depot and Lowes today which I am going to sandpaper and paint this week in a blue/green color to use as name plates.

Slowly I have been gathering up different materials for fish...I will be looking for more fish things, so if you find anything...let me know. I am so excited.

I have been also joining third grade blogs and getting ideas. In all my years of teaching, I can't believe that third grade is the only year that I have not ever taught...SO EXCITED!!!!

18 days left of school...can not wait. The last three years have been HELL!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

It's been a year

I am just now noticing that I haven't been on here since October. A lot has been happening and I have been in shut down mode. My AP has been trying to get me out of the building. He has been lying and spreading rumors about me which were obviously not true. It's been really hard staying motivated for my students and really focus on my job, while worrying about money and everything else. The hard part is that I love this school. I love the kids, the teachers, but when you have a toxic work environment and the principal is breathing down your back looking for that one wrong is so hard. Since January, I have been hitting the pavement looking for a new job. My husband and I counted last night and I realized that since I first started looking, I have gone on 35 different interviews. Well, yesterday, I found out that I got the job that I wanted and the pay that my husband wanted! I am so excited. I am finally feeling like I can start planning for next year and get's been a long year! 26 days left!!!!