Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Night Before School Starts

'Twas the night before school starts 
And the teacher can't sleep
Hoping there are no first day disasters
And children who weep!

My dad used to tell us about how my grandmother gave them "sleeping pills,", aka Good and Plenty candies, on Christmas Eve.  I may need to go buy a box so I can sleep tonight.  I've made a list and checked it twice two hundred times.  The playdough is ready, the activities are laid out on my table, and I've got a stack of books to read as tall as a first grader.  I met most of my new first graders at Meet and Greet, and they are absolutely adorable, even the one who bounced around my room like a ping pong ball!  I've identified the potential criers, (both first graders and parents!) and am prepared to comfort the students and gently push the mommies out the door!  My clothes, although not the size 10 I wish for,  are ironed and ready to put on, and I don't think they look too "grandmotherly."  (For the past 2 years during the first few days of school I have been told I look/smell/sound like someone's grandma!)

So why am I so nervous?  Because I know that these next few days will have a tremendous impact on the rest of the year.  Because I have been given this awesome responsibility to influence 22 little people and teach them as much as I can.  Because after 30 years, I know what lies ahead, and after 30 years, I know that there will still be a lot of surprises coming my way!

Now it's time to check my list once more, set my alarm for 4:30 and eat a box of Good & Plenty candy!
Have a wonderful school year everyone!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Classroom Progress

Slowly, but surely, my classroom is coming together!  Here's what it looks like right now:

I need to make new FACE (CAFE) headers.

Math stations and pocket chart for rotation.
I do calendar on my smart board but I  like to have one visible all day.  Need to find the missing numbers!
Still a lot of stuff to put away!
The biggest job remaining is to organize my books.  I ordered a set of new shelves that haven't arrived yet for my classroom library.  Then I need to figure out what I am going to do with all of my mentor texts.

I had hoped to have a project to share for Made it Monday, but other than cut some bulletin board letters for myself and my husband (he's a PE teacher in another district) I didn't get any crafting done.  I did make a number book for my team to use during the first few weeks of school.  I had seen several books on different blogs but the ones that covered the right skills didn't have the correct handwriting.  So I tried making my own!  I don't think it turned out too bad!  Click the caption if you would like a copy.

                                                                   My Number Book
Tomorrow's tasks:  Finish FACE board and get started on classroom library.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

TPT Love!

I love a sale, especially on Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) right before school starts.  I didn't buy a whole lot (yet), but I found some fabulous resources.
Here's a couple of things I purchased:
Morning menu
Michelle Oakes wrote about this on her blog recently and I knew it was something I had to try!  Read her post here.
Fall Math Journal Prompts
Then I purchased another volume of Anna's wonderful math journal prompts.  I started using these with my class last year and we loved them!  I make enough copies for a couple of weeks, cut them and store them in manila envelopes so all I have to do each day is pass them out.  The kids glue them in their journals (we use the black composition books) and they get to work.

Workstation Activity Cards

Back to School Number Cards

Another math purchase- I got these activity cards to go with the Back-to-School number cards I bought earlier this summer.  Donna is a math coach in my district, and I love her blog and the things she creates!  These cards will be great to use all year.  Donna has several other themed number card sets, and I like that I can differentiate by choosing the number range the kids will use.

Camping Unit

My final purchase for today- the sale is still going on!- is this camping unit from the wonderful Cara Carroll.  The First Grade Parade was one of the first blogs I ever followed, and am continually amazed and inspired every time I visit.  I thought a little camping unit this fall or maybe next spring would be fun.

Now it's time to fire up the printer and laminator and get busy making all these great activities.  One more week until I am officially back to work!

Edited on August 16 to link up with Blog Hoppin'!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Let the Games Begin!

I went in to school for the first time today.  This is what awaited me:

This is how I left it 2 hours later:

It may have looked better before I started!  Because I moved into a new room, I had a hard time finding some things.  Never did find my stapler!

I am so excited about having a mounted Smart board this year.  The mobile board and cart with computer, projector and document camera took up so much space.  I was worried about the new position of the computer table at the front of the room.  They redid all of our wiring and that was the non-negotiable location for the computers.  But now that I've seen it, I think I can live with it.  It does leave a partially obstructed bulletin board to deal with.  Any suggestions?
Notice the Sonic drink- an absolute essential for back-to-school!