Saturday, August 20, 2011

NEW classroom pics!!

Well, after the LONGEST week of my life, I have come to terms with my situation and have made the best of it. I have also gotten a LOT done including, but not limited to.... taking apart my old room, taking down my bulletin boards, moving ALL my stuff down the hall (with some help from our custodian - props to Dave), figuring out where to put all my stuff in a MUCH smaller room :(, organizing my room for Kindergarten - not second grade, putting up bulletin boards, getting ready for meet your teacher and attending a Handwriting without Tears workshop - which was WAY pointless (as I have already blogged about before).

Anyway... after all of that, I took some pictures before the parents came on Thursday night and figured I would share my room with you all.

Instructions for what to do when they come in. I had labels around the room for the each of the supplies - like a treasure hunt! It worked well two years ago but wow, this year was a mess! They were all very confused. The other two teachers had no problems with this of course but oh well. I got it all put away! :)

My hallway bulletin board. It seems so empty and I would have added more but it was one of those things that got put aside for other things that needed to be done... :(

My teamie's bulletin board. I thought it was clever and cute! She is getting married soon so this is the last year she can use that! :)

The view from the door.

View from the door (straight in). You can see my kidney table and my math manipulatives. That adorable little circle table will be my word work station but I have mini crates there now to collect supplies.

I bought these tubs initially to solve my math manipulative problem I had in my second grade classroom. However, I decided to use them for something else in Kindergarten.... supply boxes! :) They were 97 cents at Lowes and snap apart and together super easily. They will go on the shelves (you can see the empty shelves in the back) when we are not using them. The red folders underneath are their take-home folders we do each year. I had all the information they'd need inside them.

My word wall. I made these letters before I even started teaching - by hand! I didn't have a cricut then and although I do now I thought I could still get use out of these cause they still look so good! :)

My center board. The rotation for each group will stay the same each day. Although, I don't know what I was thinking putting a teacher center in there... I am going to pull them. So, I have to change that to something else or just take it out and only do four rotations. 

Calendar and makeshift carpet. My books are sorted by topic but I did it for second grade and its something I haven't had a chance to do yet so I am going in tomorrow to work on that before the first day. I want them to be able to use it as soon as possible.

Another view of my 'carpet' with my awesome easel and rocking chair. That chair was my grandmas and its still rocking away however i'd like to jazz it up a bit. Its wood and a little wicker. Any suggestions?? I haven't found anything like it on Pinterest. My desk is behind that colorful shelf that my hubby built.

Cubbies... I had to make a makeshift 3 because they go so high on the sides so the kids can't reach! I will have to see if the crates work and figure out something else if not. I am only having them put their coats and bookbags in there so it should be okay... The colorful bins in the middle are going to be for their Handwriting books, their writing journals and their 'not finished' folders. Behind my beautiful 'curtains' (fabric folded in half and hanging on a rod - im not a sewer) are art things, reading things, etc.

My counter with all of the curriculum and my daily organizational tools that I need to keep myself sane.

Shelf next to my desk. Fan is a necessity - there is no air! Scentsy is also neccessary.... I have my sub tub up there and some books for our reading series. I bought one of those organizers I've been seeing all over Pinterest but I haven't had time to make the labels. I am glad its yellow though cause its bright and cheery... I love it! The sad, or good? thing about it is I've used it so much I know where everything is without the labels so I guess I can wait until I do have time. :)

My desk is a bit of a mess but not too bad considering the insane amount I've been doing lately.

The view from my desk... Its small and its not where I thought I'd be this year but .... Its growing on me. :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

No more crying, suck it up!

Yesterday I felt like I was grieving someone, I kept crying over the littlest thing - like realizing that I created something that I can't use or that I can't watch Andy Griffith this year (we watched it on Fridays and discussed it).

Yesterday as I was moving my things down the hall I had waves of being okay and waves of being angry! This is what I found out yesterday... they are making the higher grades bigger classes instead of the elementary classes - which is good. However, that means that some of the older grades lose a teacher or two and since we lost two teachers to different schools this year we needed more teachers. I just assumed we would hire for K and 1 but nope, they moved me. I taught Kindergarten my first year and I am guessing the teacher who is taking my room taught some higher grade so they wouldn't want to move her down. They were going to wait until today to tell me or even Monday because it doesn't become "official" until then... I would have been very angry but my principal fought to tell me sooner so I really do appreciate that.

After talking with my mom she told me to make a list of all the positives about it and look at it when I am feeling down. (My mom was moved - at the end of last year - from High school to first and second grade. She teaches special ed and went through the same thing as I did... and she was teaching HS for 24 years!) Making the list helped her a lot so here it is. Before I start, I tried to do this yesterday but every time I thought of a positive, it made me think of three negatives. I'm hoping today will be better....

-No grading papers
-I love the Kindergarten team
-I am closer to the bathroom
-I have already taught K, at least they didn't move me to the open first
-I'm in the same building - they could have moved me to a different building.
-I have an amazing support of teachers in my building who have offered help or anything I need in the next few days
-Meet your teacher is before school instead of after so all the kiddos bring all their stuff and I get to meet them. I love that!
-I have tables - I don't like desks! :)

Its sad but that's all I can think of. I didn't mind K my first year but I am way more of a second grade teacher. If you can think of anything that I can add to my list please comment and let me know. I have decided to be as positive about this as I can be.

With that being said, I will need to read up on all the Kindergarten blogs because I have gotten so many ideas from 2nd grade blogs this summer that I need to now backtrack. So, if you are K and have any advice for me... HELP! :)

Alrighty, on to shower and head to school. I've got lots more to move and put up and decorate and plan and........

Thursday, August 11, 2011

After some massave sobbing....

....I have gotten myself under control. I just recieved a phone call that I am moving back to Kindergarten this year! (we go back next thursday).

I was REALLY looking forward to not moving anything this year, I loved my room and it was ALL ready!!! I have so many frustrations that go with this but I am not going to be negative because I don't have time!! I am getting ready and heading in to work to move my classroom and figure out my life and will probably be there the majority of my life so.....

See you all on the flip side!! (All the exclamations are me trying to keep a happy face on)

I can do this, I can do this, I can do this.......

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What I did this summer; an ode to making me feel better

In the last month I've been getting excited about going back to school - especially with all the blogs I've been stalking following and Pinterest which is ruling filling improving my life. Then, it occurred to me - today actually - that I essentially have one week left!! AHHHHH!!!!! I've spent my last few weeks on my laptop, creating, watching TV, relaxing, etc. and now I realize that I am cutting it close for planning time. On the plus side, two weeks ago I spent lots of hours in my room and I pretty much finished it minus a few details. I need to figure out my schedule and label items with student names but I don't have either one so at least I feel comfortable about that. I just all of a sudden feel like my summer flew away from me...

So, to make me feel better, here are some things I did this summer.....
We redid our main bathroom.... love the colors, they're SO relaxing! (I can't get it to turn, sorry)

My new 63 gallon tub.... its AMAZING.... I can't wait to use it after a long day of teaching!

My amazing (little) brother was commissioned into the Army as a Second Lieutenant... I am uber-proud of him! He is getting married memorial day weekend too!!

Went to the zoo with my parents... this is my hubby and my dad.... typical.

We went to Vegas and had a FANTASTIC time! :) (again, can't get it to turn - boo)
I also painted our bedroom/bathroom upstairs but apparently have not uploaded any pictures.... Oh well. I feel much better about my summer now. :) I also tutored and took two masters classes (which I also start up again next Thursday).

So, here is my plan for the next week and the one day.... I have a gyno appt tomorrow... boo. But, then I have a mani/pedi in the afternoon. I think I'll go into school in between. Then on Thursday I tutor for the last time - probably will go into school then as well. Friday I have a haircut/color! VERY excited about that. I'm going boating this Saturday with some close friends and people I don't know. :) Then I've just got next week; Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to figure everything out.

What have I been doing with myself??? Oh, besides all the above pictures, I've mostly been cuddling with this adorable guy.... It's going to be hard not to see him all day. I can't imagine how its going to be when I have kids!!

Oh, for those of you who read my last post - Teresa is doing a little bit better. Her kidneys have not shut down, they are just 'thinking about it.' She will be up at Mayo for a while but it was good to see her and spend some time with her. I am glad it is not as bad as I thought it was however, she is going to take a lot of prayers and healing to get better! Her good attitude and resilience amazes me every time I see her. She is constantly joking around with the nurses and her family and always has a smile on her face - even when she rates the pain at a 9! You would never guess how much pain she is in! She always makes me put my life into perspective and she will never know how much that really means to me!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My 4th R; Randomness.....

Today was a CRAZY day!!

-went to school to drop off my new buys from Target and my room is HOT! I know I said this on my last post but OMG! My classroom is rediculous.... We are going to have some fainting kids - or teachers - if it is like this when the kids come!!

-I was so excited about being in the AIR for registration.... come to find out, the gym is not air conditioned! WHAT? It wasn't as bad as my classroom because the air was seeping in from the hallways but man, oh, man.... it was bad. I was there from 3-7:30! It was supposed to end at 6:30 but there were some stragglers then my money pile didn't match up with my log and I had a mild freak out. Come to find out I counted wrong - 4 times. Guess I need to practice counting money before school starts! :)

-I found out some interesting news about our numbers. My first year there were 3 of each grade... Last year there were not enough Kindergarteners for 3 classes and luckily one of the 2nd grade teachers moved so I got that spot. This year the same thing happened... only enough for 2 Kindergarten classes. (This worried me for next year because my teamies are tenured). Anywho.... we now have enough for three kindergartens!! 60 kids!! AND.... we lost two more teachers (one moved districts and one moved schools - both by choice). So, after ALL of that..... We are going to have to hire TWO MORE TEACHERS!!! We have such a small staff - about 15 - and this is going to be HUGE! (It also helps me relax because that gives me a leg up on two new teachers for next year.) :)

-On a not so great note... my beautiful wonderful sister-in-law, Teresa is in the hospital. She almost constantly lives there with all her health issues. I won't go into all the problems but right now her kidneys are failing. She is on dialysis right now up at Mayo clinic so my husband and I are going to head up there tomorrow.... She is there all the time for all sorts of things but this is different, this is much different. Please say a prayer or send a thought or whatever your beliefs are....

The Three R's: Resources, Registration and Rediculous Heat


Two wonderful teachers have created a page with a wonderful resource - a page full of 2nd grade blogs!!!!!! They just started it up and plan on offering a place for all the teachers to share and collaborate. Head on over and check it out!!


Today is registration and I am SO excited!! The sight of those kiddos coming in, getting all excited about coming to school!! I get to go in and 'work' this afternoon and I can't wait. :) We have always done it at our school in our gym. However, who wants to come into a gym that is 90 degrees??? Not this girl! They always have the doors open and the fans on but no matter what, you get discusting! (none of our buildings have air except the jr.high/district office) So, this year we are changing it up. Registration for all 7 schools (3 K-2, 3 3-5 & Jr. High) is all going to be at the Jr. High! I am excited about being in the air but I am a little curious about how organized this is going to be and how its going to go.

Rediculous Heat....

Okay, I know other people have said this but it is HOT!!! Don't get me wrong, I love summer, I love heat and I hate being cold. But when I have to bring my dog in after five minutes to prevent heat stroke and I am already drenched in sweat, its just rediculous! I feel like I've spent 90% of my summer inside. :(

On that note.... I am going to finish cutting up my laminate stuff, shower and probably head to school. My classroom is almost ready and we start on the 18th! What am I going to do?? Probably blog stalk and possibly create some things from Pinterest.... who knows!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Giveaway - Awesome Bags!!

Finally in first is having an awesome giveaway of one of my favorite things... BAGS!!! And they are GREEN!!! Can't get better than that!

Head on over and check it out!

Handwriting without Tears - causes tears!

I want to start off by saying I am very proud of myself.... I am almost ready for school!! I spent a good 6 hours at school today organizing, laminating and adjusting some bulletin boards and I really don't have that much more to do beyond lesson plans and labeling.... and we start on the 18th!!! What am I going to do till then?? Maybe I'll do some scrapbooking or take on some projects in the "make me" section of my Pinterest page....

Anyway, on to a COMPLETELY different subject and the topic of this post - handwriting. Two years ago - my first year of teaching - my district implemented Handwriting without Tears. It is a wonderful, very tactile program for individual students or small groups. When they implemented it the Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade teachers went through the 3 hour training. I paid attention and learned a lot as I was teaching Kindergarten at that point however I know the rest of my staff did not - they weren't teaching it until next year or the year after! (so they didn't pay attention - I know, their fault). Now that it has moved up two years I will be teaching it again - to some of the same kids! :)

Anyway, I just got that wonderful pamphlet that tells you the schedule for the inservice days - we only have two. I found out that we are doing the training again!! Now don't get me wrong, I love learning, I'm getting my masters right now and I am a teacher for goodness sake but some things are just unnecessary! Not only do the Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers have to go through something they already teach but they are making the 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teachers go through it as well. I can deal with it, I haven't taught it for two years and teaching it in 2nd is going to be way different but I would be very upset if I was a 5th grade teacher who isn't going to teach it for four more years or a Kindergarten teacher who has already taught it twice!

I think my biggest problem with this is it is a waste of money. They are paying the people to come for two half days and with all the budget issues going on I feel like there would be a more productive way to spend that money. (Besides my argument that as I said before, it's good for individual or small group but VERY difficult to do whole group).

Anyway, thank you for letting me vent about this... I am a little frustrated. I am going to go look through the Teachers' Manual and see if I can make sense of it...

Would you be upset if you went to an inservice that does not apply to you? (My husband says I'm getting paid either way so I should just get over it but... see my 'waste of $$' argument.) What do you do for handwriting? Do you teach it in the younger grades? In the older grades?