Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Day in the Life (A Linky Party!)

So, I didn't take pictures today but wanted to link up with this fun linky! This is our 3rd week in school and I am just plain exhausted.  No to mention, I had one heckuva day to say the least.  Busy, non-stop.... ya know the typical teacher day.. Head on over to Second Grade Nest to take a look at the life of other teachers!

Are you ready for this? I'm not sure you are... Ok, here we go. A typical day in the life of Ms. G

It's 5a.m. Beep Beep Beep.  My alarm clock is calling to me...but my body says stay in bed.  Rise and SH-UT UP! Yep, that's me hitting that lovely snooze button.  And you know you never hit it just once. I'm usually up by 5:20, 5:30 to shower, get ready, feed and take out the dog, make my lunch, and make sure my bag is ready.

6:30- Vroom Vroom time for that 30 minute drive.  Luckily- No traffic!  Arrive to school by 7:00, check mailbox, unpack bag, take down chairs, turn on computer & pull up morning message on smartboard, bathroom because I know I'm not going to be able to go for another 4 hours...

7:35 Ding, Ding, Ding- The school bell rings telling my lovely 2nd graders that they are now allowed to enter the building (Though by this point I usually have a least 1 already in the room)  Time for me to check homework, kids do morning work,  tell kid to stop running, explain to kid where their homework goes for the 1 millionth time, tell kid to talk quieter, listen to a kids excuse about why they don't have their homework, take a breath, tell another kid to sit down and work..

8:00 "Boys and Girls, It's time for morning meeting.  Please find a spot on the carpet near somebody who you don't normally sit by... quietly........without talking.....sitting still....showing me you are ready.... Oh I give up" Greeting/Schedule/Team Building

8:20-9:30 Reader's Workshop
"Please work really really realllllly hard to read for a whole 45 minutes today (Even though you are only 6 & 7) so that Ms. G can get these darn assessments done!"

9:30 Snack & Read Aloud : Oh wait, while kids are using the restroom I can get ONE MORE ASSESSMENT IN! 

9:45 Specials.. Time to get ready for the rest of the day/answer emails/receipt money/check over work/and maybe 5 minutes to chat with teammates about questions

10:30 Word Study - Quick lesson, lets practice, Got it? Good!

10:50 Writer's Workshop... Today we were publishing (Ok SOME were publishing the rest of them were elsewhere in the writing process & asking me what they need to do even though we've been over it like 100 times- Oh how I love them though) I wish every child was an enthusiastic about writing at the child in this picture is!

11:40 Science Time! Time to learn about the Inquiry Process so we can actually do some fun things! Hooray.  Brain Pop Jr is so wonderful even if just for a 5 minute silent/no talking break.  *Ahhh chair, I've missed you, you are so comfy*

12:10 Bathroom/Lunch/Recess
Microwave doesn't work? Search for another one.. Watch my kids? I"ll heat up BOTH of our lunches... 10 minutes later and 5 minutes left of lunch I sit only to be approached by a sickly looking love who has a belly ache.. Back on my feet to walk to the nurse.. "Watch my kids?"  Walking/Eating/Talking.. "Pleease bring her out to recess if she isn't sick- we are late.." .. *whistling* and eating...  and walking.. Mrs. C is having problems too.. Student in bathroom... "My poop is coming out, it's just coming out reeeaaallllly slow!" "OK you didn't have to share...Take my kids out to recess?  We're later than you!" My class & Mrs C's class, please clean up your trash and line up for recess...

Heading out to recess... Eating, and talking, and walking.. Ugh now I feel sick

1:20 Math Workshop.. Let's see how long we can take a nap!! Just kidding :) Story Problems!

2:10 Write Down HW & Pack up

2:20 Car Rider with many lovely students who DO NOT listen for their name to be called.. then I'm all confused.. and sweaty in the hot sun. I just want these kids to listen for their name!!! And those poor little Kinders who are just learning this routine look like little lost puppies coming out, not knowing where to go...So cute!

2:45 Clean up/Planning/ Student Support Team/Faculty Meeting/ Technology Tuesdays/ Grade Level Meeting/Parent Conferences..hmmm What else?? 

4:00 Meep Meep, time to head home with a sweltering headache from that Pepsi that I so desperately needed that I should not have had. #CaffeineHeadache

4:30 Make Dinner/ Walk Dog/ Clean Kitchen

6:30 More planning (Yes Blogging and Pinteresting DO COUNT!) And of course some TV in between

9:00- What? Relax? Yea right it's time for....

Just to start all over and do it again tomorrow

Monday, July 22, 2013

Building a Positive Classroom Community

We all have our own ways to make our classroom a comfortable, welcoming place for all of our students.  I have found that the best ways to make my classroom that welcoming "second home" where everyone feels loved is through Morning Meeting and our Trust Board.

I know many teachers come up with class rules or a class contract collaboratively with their kids (And I have absolutely nothing against them).   You talk about expectations, come with up rules, and sign to promise you will do your best to follow the classroom rules.  Our Trust board is essentially the same thing but we write them as "Trust Statements."  And let me tell you...  Kids are really heartbroken when you tell them.. "You broke my trust and your classmates trust.. and most of all, you disappointed yourself.  You promised that you would do your best to be a trustworthy student in our class.  How are you going to prove that we can trust you again?"  

We created our trust board by thinking of 3 things:

1.) What do you need to do in our classroom to achieve your goals?

2.) What should students in our room be doing to be sure our classroom runs as smoothly as possible and is a fun/welcoming place for everyone?

3.) What do you need from Ms. G to make this the best year ever?

After, we talk about the word "Trust" and come up with these trust statements. (See picture!)  We refer to these often during Morning Meeting & throughout the day.  We also take some time during Morning Meeting to dive right into one of our statements and break it apart.  What does it look like?  What does it feel like?  What does it sound like?  Why is it important for us to have this trust statement?  How does it help make our classroom make a fun/enjoyable/welcoming place?

We love our trust board! :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Our first day in pictures

Day 1=Success.  We had so much fun today!! I'm convinced I have the best class in the whole entire world.. yes {W.O.R.L.D.}We wrote about our first day jitters, created Rockstar profiles, practiced remembering everyone's name, and share our hopes for the year!  Check out our first day in pictures! 

I love these kiddos already!  One even asked if she could come stay at my house and have a sleepover tonight.  She also insisted on sharing her lunch with me.  They are all just darling.  Off to plan for Day 2!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

First Day Plans! (with a freebie)

I cannot... I repeat, cannot believe that tomorrow is the first day of the school year!  It snuck up on me real fast!  I am happy, nervous, freaking out, relaxed.. a ton of mixed emotions.  Most of all, I'm excited to start with a brand new group of kiddos!  Normally my plans don't look like this because I write them down in my handy dandy teacher planner (I haven't quite gotten into typing them yet, I like my plan book! Hoping to make the switch this year.).  Since I did type them up this time, I thought I'd share! :)  Click on one of the pictures to take you to the PDF where you can click the links to take you to some fab products!

I am anticipating not getting all of this done because my plan is to teach routines & expectations within each activity so that we can practice & start making I Charts by mid week.  Monday's are always crazy days because we have our grade level meetings and the 15 minutes in between Recess/Specials won't be quite enough time this early on in the year to get them packed up so we're going to get packed up super early.  Makes it seem like we barely have any time.  What else is new, right?

Freebie Alert!: I also wanted to share with you a strategy I use to keep students accountable for their behaviors during Specials.  I put this Specials Report on a clipboard and send it with my Teacher's Assisstant (This job rotates 1x per quarter).  

At the end of specials, the teacher gives the class a check minus, check, or check plus.  If most of the class deserves a check and just 2 kids deserve a check minus, those students names will be written on the board while the rest of the class gets a check.  If we get an entire week of check or check plus we have a little bit of extra recess on Mondays (10-15 minutes) (which is our loong day so it works out perfectly!)  I've made the form editable for you so you can input your own specials.  

Guess I should head off to finish a few things before getting some much needed rest before my early morning.  Wish me luck!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Liebster Award! Woo Woooo

Baby, baby, baby, oooooh.  Something about "liebster" makes me want to sing some Beiber!! :) Hooray, I was nominated for a Liebster award.  A lovely honor for us new bloggy guys and gals.  Thanks to Stacey at Teaching Ever After for nominating me!

Here are the rules:
1. Link Back to award giving blogger (Check)
2. Answer questions by said blogger (Check)
3. Share 11 Random facts about me (11? Oh my word I'm not sure I'm going to be able to do that) (Check)
4. Nominate 5-11 blogs with less than 200 followers (Check)
5. Contact nominated bloggers to let them know the honor! (check)

Ok here goes....

1.  Why did you choose to go into teaching?
I was actually going to become a music teacher but one day when I was in a teacher store, I saw all this fun stuff that I wouldn't be able to do in just a music class and viola, my decision to be a teacher.  I am lovin' every minute of it!2.  What are your 3 favorite books to read to your class?
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White- They {Heart} this book!  It's always the first chapter book I read about to start off the school year.
The Witches by Roald Dahl- Another favorite.  I love the looks on their faces when I read that even their teacher might be a witch and I chuckle when I see them staring at my nails and watching for my scratching my head.  "Maybe she does have a wig??"
The other one that my students L.O.V.E.D. this year was The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. We probably could have finished it in one day.  There were sighs and whines everyday when read aloud was over!
3.  What do you do in your free time?
I like to hang out with my pup, relax with some Gordon Ramsay, and enjoy the sun.
4.  Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
My parents.  They are the most amazing people on the face of the planet.  They have always and always will be there for me no matter what.  I could never thank them enough for all the sacrifices they've made for myself, my sisters, and my brother.  They love us unconditionally.5.  If you were stuck on a desert island, what is the one thing you would have to have (not including the essential things to survive)? Why?My Pup!! He always makes me smile and loves to cuddle so I could never be cold! I would also need Music. Can't live without it. So I guess that's 2 things (but technically music would b an essential!!)
6.  What is your biggest pet peeve in the classroom?
Dirty Tabletops! ugh hate them.7.  Why did you join the bloggy world?
I wanted to be a part of all the fun that I read everyday and share the ideas I had for other teachers to use in the classroom.  It's also a place for me to just blog about the everyday trials (Stressful and enjoyable) of being a teacher.8.  What are you most proud of?
This is a tough one...I might have to come back to this9.  Where would you go on your dream vacation?
Iceland!  10. What toy do you miss from your childhood?
I was an outside gal, I still have that! :)11.  What is your favorite song?
Right now I love anything Luke Bryan.  I've also been listening to a lot of Chase Rice.  I'm a country gal at heart!

11 Random Facts about myself
1. I'm originally from N.Y.
2. I served and bar tended for 6 years.
3. I didn't always want to be a teacher.
4. I play 3 instruments.. Flute, piccolo, and Bari Sax.  
5. I did everything possible that had to do with music in H.S. (Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, Music Theory, Chorus..) I basically lived in the music room.
6. I played field hockey for 6 years.
7. I coached little league baseball & cheerleading.
8. My first job was serving ice cream.  I twisted a kick butt cone!
9. I started volunteering for /Giving to the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation when I was 10 months old! (My parents still have the video of me dropping my dollar into the pot on T.V.!)
10. I took dance classes for 1 year when I was about 5 and wish I would have continued.
11. I took figure skating lessons in college.  So much fun!

Blog Nominations

Here are my questions:
1. Why did you become a teacher?
2. What is your favorite thing to do outside of school?
3. What is your favorite type of music?
4. What is your favorite animal? Why?  
5.  Funny story from school?
6. What is your favorite book to read to your students?
7. What is your least favorite thing about being a teacher?
8. What do you like most about blogging?
9. If you weren't a teacher, what would you be?
10. What is the best teaching advice you've ever gotten?
11. Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Phew that was tiring.  Night Y'all

Friday, July 5, 2013

Come take a tour with me!

It is so hard to believe that I go back to a JAM PACKED teacher work week Monday and my new kiddos start the following Monday.  Summer is the one time when I feel like I haven't had enough time to recuperate, relax, and get planned for the year ahead!  Probably because I spend quite a bit of time over the summer in my room, but it will all be worth it when that September intersession comes and I have 3 glorious weeks of relaxation! (who am I kiddin'? It'll be more like 1 & 1/2)..

To start of the year I thought I'd take you on a little tour of my room.  It's not completely ready yet but I'm pretty proud of it! :)

Coming in from my door... That wall on the left is going to be painted blue to bring a little bit of pop! Sadly the paint is chipping off like crazy and it looks terrible.  

Library/Meeting area. SO proud of my organization here!! It took me foreva and a day and I still have a bucket full of books to put out.

Math area is in this little corner.  All of our fun math materials are kept here!  White boards, dry erase markers, amc work stations, place value blocks, unifix cubes, etc.) Behind this is also our table to use our mini laptops.

Looking from one corner...

My small group area.  Tried to make it a little home-y.  

Behavior plan/ Sticker Charts.  

Back Wall/Writing Area.  I love the caterpillar above the bulletin board.  My kiddos from this past year made it for me.  There's 1 circle for every kid in the class and they all signed it!

Cubbies (Ugh they take up SO much room! Anyone want to build me one that's a whole lot smaller?? :)) And look at that junk on top! : o

Fun little reading/working nook.  I have so many things for the kids to sit on Including 4 camping chairs, 4 milk crates with cushions, and carpet squares!

 Extra supplies.  All my kiddos will bring their own supplies and keep them in their pencil box.  I tried community materials last year so decided this year I'd try individual supplies and see which one I like the best!

Check in/Mailboxes


Hallway Bulletin Board that I am SO proud of!! Guitars/Second Grade Rocks writing stolen (OK actually purchased) from Hope King! :)

Book Boxes (Really Good Stuff- Theses things ROCK!!)

Thanks for taking a tour with me!  It's definitely not complete but once it is full of my little sweeties, bulletin board will start to get filled & the walls will be covered (And I'm sure it will be A LOT less organized!)