Monday, August 8, 2016

So much done, so much more to do

I got to work in my room today.  The building was finally open after having the floors in the hallways waxed.  My husband loaded my car down with stuff from the storage building Saturday evening.  We actually had to take stuff out so that my kids could fit in it Sunday...I told him not to do that.  
I took that load to school today and unloaded it.  None of the big stuff is in there yet, so I'm just stacking things on tables. 

Speaking of tables, I was surprised to see regular sized first grade desks in my room when I walked in.  I was giddy.  There's so much more room now.  
I also finished the back area where my brag tags and birthdays will be.
I've got to clean that area real good and take down the clips.  Then I'll be dying my 120 chart in order to put my brag tags in it. If you don't know about brag tags, check out Angie Olson over at Lucky Little Learners.
I covered my cubby holes with washi tape that I found at Target.  It wasn't the best at sticking to this painted surface, so I had to staple in some places.  I broke my favorite possession in the old timey Swingline stapler.  Oh how my heart hurts.
I also got my Secret Story wall put up.  I was going to outline my boards with border, but the order I placed from a certain teacher store on July 29th hadn't come in yet.  So, I called them only to find out that everything was on back order for 3-4 weeks.  
NO CAN DO!!!!  
I cancelled my order and will be going to my local shop tomorrow morning.
I get my classroom key tomorrow and my ID badge on Thursday or Friday so that I can get in the building without texting someone to let me in.  Thank goodness because the sun is sitting on S.E. Texas right now and it's unbearable.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bulletin Boards Will Be the Death of Me!

I have never despised doing bulletin boards more than I did today.  When I say that my front wall is nothing but a giant bulletin board, I ain't lyin'.  The only downfall is that one side is about to be covered up by an 8 foot whiteboard because there is no where else to put it.  The sucker is huge, and there isn't really a wall with 8 foot space except right where I don't really want it.  Oh well.  I'll manage.  By the way, I ordered all new border to go with my chalkboard and brights theme.  It'll be here some time this week. Here's the progress I made today:
This is going to be my calendar wall and carpet area.

There's the giant whiteboard.  That's also where my desk is going.  It'll be here Thursday!

I need to finish the areas around the Smartboard, but I just couldn't do it anymore.

My husband put cork board here and then I covered it.  It was a very hard wood and I really don't want to break my stapler.

Since everything else is covered in black paper, I'm going to do a lime green here and put awnings above it with the border that matches the awnings.  This will be where my brag tags and birthdays are.

The desks are HUGE!  They take up so much valuable space.  I'm going to BEG my principal to scrounge up some smaller desks.  I haven't even unloaded my 10X10 storage building yet and there's like no room.

My husband was supposed to start bringing me some of the stuff from the storage building I'm renting, but then this happened...
The bottom fell out.  It poured...forever!  The lightening was HORRIBLE.  I was just praying that the lights didn't go out while I was there by myself.
When I got home, I received my first district letter in the mail regarding new teacher orientation.  It'll be August 11th and 12th.  I'm also supposed to go on the 3rd for about an hour and half, but I'm not sure what it's for.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

My Idea Book

I had mentioned in another post about how my Pinterest boards are a bit overwhelming and I'm not sure what's on there anymore.  I've taken some time this summer to go through some of them.  As I go through the links, I save the picture of the idea that I like, print, and glue into my Idea Book.  I write notes out to the side if I need to know where to find an item or how to adjust the idea to fit my needs.  Take a look:

Since I don't have a computer yet and my phone isn't connected to wifi at school, this was a HUGE lifesaver today.

Too Many Ideas!!!

I got to take a peek at my new classroom last week.  My mind has been going 100 mph trying to figure out how to transform the space into something conducive to a safe, fun, engaging learning environment.  Here's what my classroom looks like now:
The view from the door.

Another view from the door.  I'm so excited to have windows.  I haven't had them in 5 years!

These are not desks that are suitable for 1st graders.  I've asked that we switch them for smaller ones.  We'll see.

Lots of storage space.

2 closets!

I'm wondering how I can utilize the space above the door.  Not sure yet.

I'm loving all of the closets.

More storage space.

Possibly a space for guided reading books?

I won't have to hang my own hooks!  I do have a mailbox thing for students, so I'm not sure what I'll do with 30 cubbies.


I'm definitely going to touchup that paint back there.

Those are restrooms that we share with the classroom next door.  Not sure how that works, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.

3 filing cabinets!  I'm not sure that I'll need them all, but we'll see.

So, the ideas have been piling in and my Pinterest boards are filled to the brim which makes it a little overwhelming.  I've come up with a way to fix that.  I purchased a notebook for my ideas.  As I go through my Organization/Decor Board, I print out the pictures of ideas that I want to use.  I then glue them into the notebook and write my thoughts next to the pictures.  I'll post pictures of that later.  They didn't show up in my Dropbox.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The End of An Era

I've worked approximately 40 minutes from my home for the past 5 years.  I absolutely LOVE the district I worked at, my co-workers/friends, and my administration.  My goal when I first started was to stay for 5 years to gain experience and then, if I wanted to, I would look for a job closer to home.  I also wanted that 5 year jacket that all of my friends sported every day.  I wanted that jacket!

As time went by, I found that it was becoming increasingly hard to be so far away.  Waking up at 4 AM was hard.  Waking my child up (when she went to school with me) was hard.  Leaving my house by 6:20 AM was hard.  Driving through the worst weather EVER over the tallest bridges in the country was hard.  Not being able to go home to refresh myself on nights that we had Open House, STARR Night, etc. was hard. Being pregnant and a nursing mom with a baby that never slept was extra hard.  It was H-A-R-D period.

With 2 years left to reach my 5 year goal, I began praying specifically for what I wanted after the 2 years was up.  I prayed for a 1st grade position (1st holds a dear place in my heart) in one of the 2 school districts that I lived in/near.  I prayed HARD.

At the end of my 5th year, I told my principal my plans and began looking for "that" job that I had been praying for.  I ended up getting an offer at a charter school that was opening in a town close by.  No bridges, 15 minutes from my house, and a pay increase.  I accepted.  However, this isn't exactly what I had prayed for.   I continued to pray about it and continued looking because they have no contracts in this charter school.  I went on 3 interviews in the 2 different school districts that I was praying for and was hopeful.

The first interview wasn't all that great.  I had had a stomach virus with a fever (chills included) the night before the interview.  I went anyway, but I was a HOT mess!  The following week I went on another interview for a 3rd grade spot and the principal called to tell me that I didn't get that position, but he wanted me to wait until the end of July and apply for a possible kindergarten position that may come available after registration.  I went on the 3rd interview and killed it.  I got the call a couple of days later that I had landed the job I had prayed for.  A first grade position in one of the school districts that I wanted and it's 6 minutes from my home.  I'm sooooooooooo excited and I can't wait to get started.

I've already met my team members (they interviewed me) and we went out to eat last week.  They brought me to the school to see my room and now I'm itching to get started.

Prayer is a powerful thing!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Time and Maternity Leave

It's July 9th and I'm ready to get back into my classroom.  I've been off now since April 18th for maternity leave. I had my sweet baby boy on April 22nd.  We've had a great time getting to know one another, and I LOVE spending time with him every day, but it's time.  I can't stand being cooped up in my house and my other two babies are ready for this summer to be over as well.  My oldest informed me that this is the worst summer ever because we haven't been our normal busy selves due to the baby. 
My 3rd little nugget!

My 2nd little nugget.

My 1st little nugget.

We have seriously done nothing this summer.  We usually do our Summer Bucket List.  Which consists of 2 buckets of fun things for us to do.  We've done ZIP, ZERO, NADA.  And they are not to thrilled about it.  My sweet husband has, however, brought them to the Bounce House and to Toys R Us were the Elsa doll has still not shown her face.  We've been to my sister's house a few times to swim and then we've cleaned the house umpteen times.

When I left my classroom in April, I had scrubbed it down and organized it so well for my sub.  When I returned to pack up the day after the last day of school, I couldn't find anything.  Which is to be expected since someone else was in my room.  So, instead of organizing everything nicely, I pretty much threw everything into boxes and on bookshelves and called it quits.  Plus, they turn off the A/C during the summer and my little man was with us.  I had to strip him down to a diaper and do the best I could to keep him cool.  Summer in S.E. Texas is not too kind to us.

So, now that I've been off for 2 months, it's time to go back.  I can't wait to get in there and do some things a little differently.

My Pinterest boards are overflowing with ideas that I must try.  I've been steadily going through them and writing down the ones I want to try this year.  I'll keep you posted on what I've done to get ready for school.  For now, I'm going to get some shut  eye.  My little man is stirring and like they all say, "Sleep when the baby sleeps."

First School Blog for Me

I am constantly looking for new ideas to use in my classroom, and have found thousands that I would like to try to incorporate into my daily hectic schedule in first grade.  Ain't nobody got time for all that.  So, I must be picky and choose only what will work for my babies.

I'm starting this blog to keep track of the different activities, lessons, classroom management procedures, etc. that I try and have liked and vice versa.  I will give feedback on how things worked, or if I would improvise or try something completely different with and for them.

One thing I've noticed in the blogosphere is that there are a ton of blogs dedicated to the Common Core. Texas does not participate in Common Core; therefore, most of the resources available do not follow along with the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) that I must follow in order to ensure that my babies have been taught everything they must know and master before moving on to 2nd grade in the great state of Texas.

So, here I am.  I'm joining thousands of other educators that love their jobs so much that we're willing to stay up a few extra hours when we should be cleaning house, folding laundry, or in my case when I should be sleeping because my 2 month old baby is snoozing away and will probably wake as soon as I turn off my computer.