Thursday, August 22, 2013

Class of 2027 -- Are You Ready?

    Tomorrow is the big day -- I will meet the children and families who will become the focus of my year.  I am excited about having the opportunity to teach a much smaller class than last year's 27 -- we only have 16 registered so far, and that sounds wonderful. I hope to open their minds to a whole new world, and build the foundation for a lifetime of learning.

    I've been busy all week getting everything in my classroom ready.  I am so glad to have the resources available from other teachers who share their great ideas on Teachers Pay Teachers.
I used a tri-fold board to make a new writing center combining resources from about 4 different people -- I think it looks great! It will give the kids lots of options as they practice writing.

I also made some anchor charts using Kim Adsit's ideas for launching the Daily 5 and guided reading groups-- here's one I made this week.  I am putting all my anchor charts in one chart tablet so I can find them when I need them.  Within a few weeks, I hope to have the whole class trained to "read" books independently for at least 15 minutes. This doesn't mean they will read the words, but if I do it right, they will be able to stay engrossed in their baskets of books as they begin the process of learning to read the words.

   I had to make one last trip to Wal-Mart after work today -- I realized that I didn't have any environmental print for the first letter of some of the names I will work on.  I was lucky enough to find an empty Kool-aid box on the shelf -- I needed a word kids would recognize for the letter K.  I still needed L and N, and no more empty boxes.  So I bought a box of Nilla Wafers -- my husband was happy to empty that box for me. For L, I chose a box of Life cereal.  Is there anyone besides a teacher who goes grocery shopping just to get the box??  Anyway, I have done all I feel like doing tonight, so I am propping my feet up for the rest of the evening. Tomorrow I get to start the job of making a difference in some lives -- I feel blessed!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

New Stuff for my Classroom

So, I went up to my classroom -- again -- and there were boxes of supplies stacked in the office -- and some has MY name on them! Woohoo!!  It has been about 2 months since I turned in my wish list, so I had totally forgotten what I ordered. It was like Christmas, wondering what Santa had brought.  I was so excited to see a big box of dry erase pockets -- there are 25 or 30 of them in there!  I almost bought some on Groupon last month, but they were sold out by the time I decided to order them, lucky for me. These will be so great for Daily 5, math, reading groups -- practicing writing -- saving on copy paper and laminating film and providing lots of practice.  

The next big box was a put-it-together project that I needed badly.  My construction paper has been a big mess every year because I had stacks crammed in the top shelf of my cabinet.  I know my assistant will be so happy to see that I have it all organized so she can easily find what we need and see when we are running out of certain colors. And I even read the directions and put it together by myself.  And it fit exactly in the space I had inside that cabinet.  I am so proud of me!

I didn't take pictures of the rest of the order, because it was mostly boring stuff like post-it notes, staples, and tape. Honestly, I have bought so much stuff myself that I really didn't order much this year. Every shelf and cabinet is stuffed full.  Since I will probably retire at the end of this next year, I didn't think I would need much -- especially since I'm supposed to have a smaller class (THANK YOU, GOD!). But TPT has had some wonderful products to make life easier for me, so how could I pass that up?  And there are new Pete the Cat books coming out, so I had to pre-order those. And of course I needed to laminate -- and buy printer ink -- and card stock -- and a pretty purple Sharpie -- and new baskets for pencils and crayons, and some smelly stamps ..and a couple professional development books.  And more that I have forgotten.  Sam says I will save so much on gas and school supplies next year that we probably won't miss my paycheck much -- he might be right.

I have all my new shelves dividing the tables now, and baskets ready to fill.  I'll try to finish up on Wednesday when I have to go in for a workshop.  I still have more cutting and glueing and laminating to do, and my to do list is getting longer as time gets closer.  Two weeks from tomorrow, I will have the privilege of introducing a group of 5 year olds to a whole new world or reading, writing, and arithmetic -- I hope we will all be ready!