Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Classroom Set Up - Here We Go!

So, it's not officially work week yet but I was able to get in and see how things were going in my room.   Happily, I'm not changing rooms this year so I was able to keep things on the wall. Yea! I requested some work to be done over the summer and it's finished! I had three cabinets on the floor by the wall and I had them moved to the wall. Much more space and I can always put kids work on the fronts of the cabinets. I'm in a modular so every little bit of space counts!

I was going to get rid of my desk but I'm just not ready to bite that bullet yet! Last year I started moving all of my things out of the desk and into the file cabinet thinking to wean myself off of using it. I think I'll keep it for one more year.

Finally, here's a picture of the mess waiting for me:

You can see all the things I was able to leave up. Last year the entire campus moved and it was a huge job figuring out where everything was going to go and getting everything put up. I'm heading in today to see what I can get done. I always feel like when I get my carpet rolled out I'm half way there!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party!

Flying into First Grade is having a Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party! The topic is upcoming school year goals.

I'll admit I haven't thought about this too much over the summer but I think my goal this year is to get really organized. I got a good start on it last year and this year I'm really ready to get it done! This is my third year teaching first grade and each year I get a little better grip on things.

At the end of the year I was able to go through and get rid of a LOT of things the previous teacher had left behind. Each year we have a room/table for teachers to put items that they no longer use. I'm sure the previous teacher had great ways to use the books and activities but they just weren't me, you know? After two years, I can honestly say I won't be using those items. I also purged a lot of posters that were really just things to put on the wall. I'd much rather have the children's work or resource items taking up  my precious wall space!

One thing I really want to do is keep better records of how lessons went. I hope to make notes weekly and keep them in a file. I purchased a bin for each month and when I finish a center or activity I'll put it in the bin along with the file of notes so that next year it will all be ready to go!

Well, that's my goal, anyway!

Another big organizational struggle for me is my desk!! Each year I push it back a little and it doesn't take up much space anymore. The big thing for me is the inside! It quickly becomes a place to dump things that I just don't know what to do with! I'm really not sure how to deal with that one. Any ideas would be appreciated!

I go back in two weeks and I'll be sure to take lots of pictures to show how things are coming along.

Thanks to Flying into First Grade for hosting the party! (It's my first linky party and I'm very excited!)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Happy Days in the Jungle!

Yesterday was a big day! We bit the bullet and bought a MacBook! It's beautiful and there is no more waiting until everyone is in bed to get to the computer. I'm having a great time getting used to it. It's very intuitive and it really hasn't been much work at all to switch everything over.

On top of that, once the laptop was up and running, I checked into my TpT store and...I have 10 followers! Yea! It seemed like I was at 9 forever!

All in all, a pretty great day!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Focus Walls are Finished!

Noooo! I just finished this post and somehow deleted it before I published it!!!

Well, as I was saying....

The Houghton Mifflin Focus Walls are finished and posted to TpT--Themes 1-10! Yea! I used these at the end of last year and I'm excited to start the year with them this time around. After using them for a couple of weeks last year I noticed that the kids would flock to the focus wall on Monday to find out what we were going to be doing that week. When I would get around to introducing a skill someone would always say "I already knew that...I read it on the focus wall!" LOVE that!

I'm currently working on a calendar set to go with the schedule cards that are already posted. Last year I started keeping my calendar on the Promethean board but I needed somewhere to put up the date for the kids to reference throughout the day. I have very little wall space so I used the schedule pocket chart. I'm planning on printing out the set and setting it up in the pocket chart and taking picture because I'm sure that will make it much clearer!!! But first, we're off to the library. There has been WAY too much Minecraft in my house!!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Half Way There!!!

I just posted Theme 5 out of 10 of my first grade Houghton Mifflin reading Focus Walls! I'm half way done. Yea! I'm so excited to have these done and ready for next year. I couldn't believe how interested the kids were when I started using focus walls at the end of last year. I would find them up at the front of the room when their work was done going over the different things on the wall! I also got lots of "I already knew we were going to learn that because it's on the wall."!!!!