Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two Days down

I feel soo behind! I had have all these plans of really fun activities, and not so fun activities (math assessments). I wish there were a few more hours in our day so we could finish. Just kidding!! Seriously though, how am I going to catch my friends up? This is normal, right?

BTW, I have a bunch of files that I want to share with everyone. That's why I missed my Friday post during Teacher Week last week. Every time I try to upload something, it doesn't work. I'm also new to all this blogging stuff too. Any advice/help you could give me would be awesome.

Overall, I have really enjoyed my class so far. We have had a great time getting to know one another. We've laughed and made new friends. I've learned to pronounce new names by writing in Sharpie on my hand so that I wouldn't sound silly trying to say them. I have all my students names and faces memorized, I did by the end of the first day. I'm just not confident saying all their names yet, but I'm getting there!

How are your first days of school coming along? Are you behind too?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Three for Thursday

This has been a great teacher week so far! I love checking out everyone's fabulous blogs. It's so inspiring! Below are some of my favorite things. Enjoy :)

Favorite Font

One of my favorite fonts is Century Gothic. I also love downloading fun fonts like smiley monster from Kevin and Amanda.

Favorite Blog
I have many favorite blogs, but I thought that I would share two with you, one teaching related and one food related. Mrs. Mimi writes great posts. When she was in the classroom, her posts would crack me up about the ups and downs of her daily teaching life. Check out It's Not All Flowers and Sausages for a good laugh. She has even published a book of some of her best stories!

As you may know from my earlier post, I LOVE baking. I have been so inspired by all the yummy things I have found on Our Best Bites. They, too, have published a book.

Favorite Online Resources 

So, let me actually give you something educationally relevant: for those upper grade teachers, I find that Kahn Academy is a wonderful resource of videos for teaching complex math concepts, along with chemistry, and a little bit of history. Many of you probably don't teach concepts this complex, but maybe you have a high schooler that could benefit from the resources available. There is even SAT prep! 
Something that the majority of use could use:  Education World

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Classroom Tour

I have just a few pictures to share with everyone.I previewed some of your fabulous classroom pictures before posting mine. You all have very bright and inviting classrooms. There are a few areas in my room that I would like to spruce up just a little bit more, but you'll get the general idea from the pictures below. Enjoy!
Right above the classroom door
Right inside the door. The silverware tray is for lunch choices that students make using the popsicle sticks next to them. I have a pencil pick up and drop off bucket too.
View from the classroom door towards the back corner of the room.

I love the multicolored trays on the left. I put extra copies of handouts in each one depending on the week of school. The colored bins are from Target. I have labeled them with different subject areas so that students can place their homework into each bin. The brown cart holds construction paper and classroom posters.

I'm using this long bulletin board for two purposes: Left is the 6 Traits writing program. I will add more to it as we cover each trait of writing. Ideas is up first as well as conventions because we will cover those first. The right side is where I will place some student work. I have sort of leveled my classroom library by AR book levels. There is an empty bin there because I want students to put recommended books in that one. I'm hoping this will encourage them to find more books without spending a lot of time at the bookcase. 

Back wall that needs a little more work. I need to make a cute sign for the social studies section on the right tonight because open house is Friday morning! On the very far left is a Newbery Award poster with all the current award winners. I am planning on adding little stars to the poster as I continue to read books that have won the award. It's a goal of mine to read a bunch throughout the school year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday - A day late

Can I still get partial credit for doing it?? LOL. 

Tell something about you
I am married to my dear husband Patrick and a mom to a dog named Gage. Patrick and I met and were close friends in high school, he moved away, and we reconnected nearly ten years later when I finally checked my myspace account after nearly 3 months. Do you remember how awesome we thought myspace was? I didn't get too far into it like most people, but it was pretty cool for the time. Patrick and I got Gage after a year or so of dating. He is an English field spaniel with a beautiful silky chocolate brown coat. He gets told many times that he is very handsome, but Gage can be very B-A-D sometimes. I spell it for him though because I don't want him to know that even though he tore into a plastic bag of lady things, he is still so cute when he brings one over to show me that he opened them. I love baking and frequently use it as an excuse to avoid doing schoolwork. Or cleaning.

My baby Gage

My hobby

How long have you been a teacher
I have been a teacher all my life. My sister was my first student. I loved playing school and making her do "work". She has me to thank for her smartness! Seriously though, this marks my ninth year as a teacher. I graduated from Old Dominion University with a Master's in Elementary Education in 2003. I began my teaching career working in Norfolk, Virginia. After two years, I needed a change and moved to northern Virginia. I have loved every minute of working where I do for the county I live in. 

You might not know...
If I wasn't a teacher, I would love to be on Saturday Night Live. I can do the BEST impressions. I really love putting on a show. Getting people to laugh makes me happy. For now, I'll just keep pretending that the carpet in the front of my room is a stage, and the show will go on!
What are you most looking forward to this school year?
This year I am looking forward to maintaining a classroom blog and starting post graduate work. Short, but sweet answer, I know.
What do you need to improve?
 To improve, I would like to take less work home. I need to enjoy my time after school focused more on my family and renewing my spirit. It's easy to allow school to become such a major focus, but I need to remember to take more time for myself and my family. 

What teaching supplies can you not live without?
I am fortunate to work with two ladies that have become my inspiration, friend, co-conspirators, supporter, cheerleader, shoulder to cry on. They are my ultimate teaching "supply". I can live without everything else. Don't get me wrong, I love Sharpies, my timer, neon colored folders, and sparkly pens, but these ladies make my day rock.


Teacher Talk Tuesday

I'm joining in all the fun a day late, but I really wanted to participate in BlogHoppin's  Teacher Week AND I think I'm really good at advice giving. :] So, I'll start with Teacher Talk Tuesday, then post about Meet the Teacher Monday afterwards!  Here are some of the best pieces of advice that I can give a new teacher:

1. You know that graph that school districts show you about the emotional levels of new teachers as the school year progresses? It's TRUE!! The anticipation and excitement you feel are so contagious even for a 9 year teaching veteran like me. Yikes! When did that happen? Then reality sets in and things start to get a little more difficult, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. It will get easier, I promise you. Keep this as a reference and know that you are not alone in your feelings. Join an online support group for your grade level OR refer back to all of these wonderful teacher blogs for an additional pep talk to help you work through your first year. You can and will do it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"My name is Roseanne, (Hi Roseanne) and....

I'm a hoarder." Of school supplies that is. I have an obsession with the smell of brand new school supplies. I don't walk into the office supply stores. I can't. There are too many awesome products that come out every year that are better than last year. For example: NEON whiteboard markers - love them, want them.
Don't need them though :(

 I took a picture of my wardrobe that houses all these supplies that I have collected and NOT USED over the years. I figured it was time to once and for all organize all that is my obsession. See below:

 There are some baskets, that's good, right??

Monday, August 8, 2011

FLY Lady

It's the Most WONDERFUL Time of the Year!

I love the commercials I saw last summer that depicted parents gliding blissfully down the aisle at supply stores tossing in school supplies while their children trailed behind them dragging their feet. Hysterical! Watch below...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Here We Go Again.....

It seems to me that every year I begin a new school year, I change the way I write my lesson plans. Why? I don't know. I've tried creating a form and filling in the boxes, typing them up on the computer, and some combination of both. I've tried doing one day at a time and stapling a week at a time together. The traditional plan book approach (see below) was really effective for me last year and I was ready to use the same process again. 
Lots to say...not a lot of room

Glued in nine weeks plans

Then I saw Kristen's post on Ladybug's Teacher Files and once again thought of changing my method for the ninth year in a row! Just look at those cute labels marking where the calendar is, where the lesson plans go, where she keeps notes of meetings....I just got lost in the fabulosity (not a real word - I know) of keeping everything in one place. Kristen was so kind and posted a few of the files she uses in her all-in-one binder, but I must have it all if I'm going to change things for the umpteenth time! Using a picture of her lesson plan template, I created the most generic one I could that resembled hers as best as I could. I tried my best to upload my version, but then I figured out that the only way to keep all the formatting you want is to publish in pdf form, which defeats the purpose of sharing because then you can't modify it. Argh! In the meantime, what method do you use to plan your lessons? Do you switch your approach every year or is it just me?! :)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Kleinspiration Giveaway

I love shopping at Target! I try to limit myself to visiting to once, o.k., maybe twice a week. Well, Erin Klein at   Kleinspiration is giving away a Target Gift Card for her 500th follower.  The deadline is Tuesday Aug. 9th.

Good Luck to All!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Classroom Set Up

Ah...the start of a brand new year! If you are like me, then you start to get anxious for the year to begin. With that comes the task of setting up the classroom. Every year I think about switching the overall layout, but I end up keeping my desk in the same place, the wardrobe on the back wall, the sign in table at the front door, you get the idea. So, I will post pics of my progress.
View from the door
Behind the desk

Welcome to my Blog :)

First, I would like to welcome everyone to my blog! I hope to post new ideas and inspire you as you plan your lessons and survive the day-to-day life of being an elementary school teacher. Of course I look forward to being inspired by everyone else in the bloggy world. I love that we have an opportunity to grow as a community!