Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Jewel of An Author

Hello bloggy friends!
I owe all of you a sincere apology for not having yet posted pics of my bulletin boards. My luck with cameras and SD cards this year is God awful. First the grade level SD card was missing, then the camera, then the SD card with all of my pics on, what can you do? Guess I need to really invest a new personal camera....sigh!

So, yesterday morning I was flipping through channels and on CNN, I saw that Jewel (country music singer and mother extraordinaire), is now a children's book author. Her book That's What I'd Do is all about the love she has for her son and includes rhyming and rhythm, because she figured that through her book she could begin to teach her son those skills---that's one awesome mom I'll say! The book has also been turned into a song and the CD of the song comes with the book. I got to hear a snippet of the book/song and it seemed quite lovely. Definitely something to look into for all the bloggy/teacher moms out there.  I'm always amazed when I see celebrities crossing into the children's lit world! You can read more about it HERE !

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Okay, so I missed posting yesterday for the week long Open House linky party, but it was my birthday and I was allowed to cry or not post on my blog if I wanted to, right??? Anyways, click HERE to get a copy of my parent volunteer sign up sheet. I pass this form out at Meet The Teacher night every year as a means of enlisting parent volunteers.

Onto what I'm really supposed to be posting today...bulletin board pics...about camera is still stinking royally and I'm refusing to post icky pics.

Open House Week

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday...Classroom Photos

Open House Week

I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the following photos...I'm not sure what's up with my camera lately. Maybe I should invest in a new one, this Kodak is about 6-7 years old. Ehhhh...

Outside my door! It's a tradition in our school to make a display with all student names outside of our doors. They stay up all year and match the building/school theme. For our construction theme this year I did "Miss White's Might Minions...Build a bright future." I made a unique minion for each student using an online minion maker and voila!

Facing the front of the room. My calendar board is on the right and my soon to be bucket filler board on the left. Hanging from the ceiling is my projector, and although you can't see it, I have a SOLO! It's like a smartboard that doesn't need the physical smartboard. My whiteboard actually gets turned into an interactive surface. Love my Epson SOLO. :)

Facing the back of the room. I have my CAFE board on the right and KIDSTRUCTION (great work board) on the left. In the middle is my Word Wall. I got the kids holding letters from Lakeshore and they happen to match my calendar decor. I also have 4 desktops this year! In the middle is my library. On the left is my small groups table that my aide works at. 

"Many Hands Make Light Work"-Job chart and student mailboxes.

Coat hooks and Part 2 of the library. My seasonal boxes are up these shelves. I take them down and add them to my regular library as the seasons/units of study change. Down really low by the coat hooks is my "little table." I took the legs off of a table last year and usually this is where you can find laptops...figured the closer they are to the ground, the better. The "little table" this year might also turn into the writing center.

Close up of my seasonal books and coat hooks.

Center Charts close up. I actually put the charts on or below the students' eye level this year. This should make choosing centers (Daily 5) a bit easier for them physically. I always try to make my group names stick with the theme. Construction was tough, but I enlarged some mini-accents that I bought for lunch count and now I have 4 animal themed/construction groups!

Close up of my library in the back of the room and my 3 year old goldfish Spike!

I think this is the AC unit, but this year I'm using it for my Fancy Nancy (vocabulary) words. Everything should be centered, but I think the custodians may have moved it over when opening/working on the unit. Oops! 

Clip chart! New this year and I'm loving it.

Okay, you can see the SOLO in this pic. It's right between "R" and "S" and kind of looks like an arm. I plug a cord into my USB slot and my regular whiteboard becomes interactive AND no big, bulky Smartboard/Promethean board to worry about. 

My desk/work area. Students do lunch count on the front of my desk with magnetic pieces. We have FIVE choices this year, that's about FOUR too many! You can also see my Star of the Week board. Students make posters that I hang here. 

Calendar, easel, comfy pink chair..

View from the door when you walk in. I have windows this year! For 3 years I was in the 1 window room. I lost my bathroom, but got a ton of windows. Fair trade I'd say :) My fav feature of my school is our loooong countertops. This year I have extra storage space, never thought I'd say that!

First week pics...I broke out the watercolors early. We wrote "In first grade, I want to learn..."

We have bulletin boards that line the top of our ceilings. Since I need a ladder to change everything I put up there, they're not really practical. Here, I have my turtle months of the year and my Horton poster, he just makes me smile. :)

 Come back for close ups of my bulletin boards tomorrow!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Meet the Teacher

Open House Week

Fun Facts About ME:

  • This is my 4th year teaching. I don't know where the time has gone, the past 3 years have flown by! While I'm super happy to be an "experienced" and "permanent" professional employee, I'm starting to feel a bit old...I think I liked being the youngin'/new kid on the block. :)
  • I have taught first grade all four years, but interned/student taught in 5th for an entire year. I sometimes miss the upper grades.
  • Just finished my coursework from my ESL Specialist, wahoo!!!
  • I've played the clarinet since 4th grade through college, and toured South Africa in a Philharmonic Orchestra a few years back. Safe to say, I LOVE music and I use it all the time to help with transitions between activities and to set the mood during Writing.  I'm also going to learn how to play the Ukele this year so that I can add some chords to a lot of the songs I sing daily. 
  • I have an undergraduate degree in Psychology. I actually did a 5 year BA/M.Ed. program at Lehigh University (we beat you Duke haha). Being a child psychologist is my 2nd career choice, teaching would be the first. :)
  • I'm a bit of a reality TV junkie. My favs include: The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Dance Moms (love me some Miss Abby), Dancing with the Stars, and Survivor! I feel like I could start a blog just writing about my reality TV lineup haha.
My Teaching Style: I believe that a little silliness and a lot of positivity can go a long way. It's not uncommon to find me singing and dancing to random songs I've made up in my classroom. I want my firsties to know that learning can be fun! I also believe that positive reinforcement is powerful, but consequences. boundaries, and expectations are necessary. Kids appreciate adults that are firm, fair, consistent, and loving. I try to be all of that every day and incorporate a lot of technology along the way. Inclusion is normalcy to me; I think that we're all citizens of the same community and thus, I support inclusion (in varying forms) of all students. To be concise, I make sure every student feels safe, loved, and successful.