Monday, August 17, 2015

2015-2016 Classroom

Hi all!  School starts tomorrow already!  I can't believe how fast the summer has gone!!!  I have spent the past couple weeks up in my classroom setting up the room.  This year, we are going with a bird-themed decor in the Kindergarten rooms!  Here are some pictures of how it turned out.

My first step was to shop!!---Usually, not a problem for me.  :)  Look at all the cute stuff I found at the teacher store.  I am keeping all of my classroom colors the same, so I just needed to add some "bird" elements.  It is always a bit overwhelming coming in after summer.  So, I decided to start with the layout of the room, which I kept pretty much the same as last year, just a few minor changes.  Once that was set up, I went to decorate my door.  
Now I'm a little bit of a perfectionist at times, but  this silly door took me about an hour and a half to complete.  #yikes!!  This particular evening my husband watched the kids while I went up to work and when I got home he said, "So..., did you get a lot done?"  ....."I got my door done."  ha ha -I think he expected a lot more to get done!  :)  But I know I'm not alone in this craziness.  --I look around my school and know that the other teachers get it b/c I see it with them too. 

This is where I put my classroom jobs.  I also put shelves in that space for the Writing Center.  

Next, the sight word wall alphabet had to be changed from beach to birds, so I created the above to switch them out.  

My desk area.  I have to keep my desk in this spot b/c of the computer hook ups.  So I use the board behind it as a general display for lost teeth, birthdays, AR quizzes, etc.  The shelves next to it is my teacher survival organization station.  :)  I've got everything I need for the week and teaching materials all organized and labeled.  It keeps me sane!

I wanted to stop using my whiteboard as a space to hang charts we are focusing on in the classroom so I made one of my bulleting boards a space for anchor charts.  The other one has become a focus wall with a combination of things we will be working on in the classroom.  I'm very excited about this change!!  PS please ignore the border paper that fell off, I will have to fix that. :)

Here I converted last year's Tiki torches into trees to fit our bird theme.  The blue table is where our Star Student will get to sit one day out of their special week...the "tweet seat".  They get sunglasses and a few other special things that day.  

Our carpet area where we will gather for stories, etc.  There is also a poster to write who we are praying for.  

Table storage and signs.  The nest--I found those at Hobby Lobby about 3 years ago for $1!!!  I grabbed 4 and knew I would use them someday.  They work perfect for our table signs.  

Here are a few other various pictures of the classroom.  

And there you have it.  That's what the classroom looks like this year.  I am so excited to start a new school year and can't wait to meet my class!  The first day is tomorrow!  I hope all the teachers out there have a fantastic school year!  

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Summer Reflections

Before the school year begins in full swing on Monday, I'd like to take a moment and reflect on this past Summer.  I feel like a broken record sometimes when I say it has been a long time since I blogged...:)  I set goals for myself personally, for my family and I, and for myself as a teacher to meet this summer.  **Most** got accomplished, so that's about all you can ask for.  :)

I think everyone can understand how a person--teacher or not--values extra time with the family.  This summer, we were blessed enough to go on 2 trips: Florida and South Carolina.  My brother lives in SC, so he is always kind enough to offer up his house as a place to stay during a trip out there, which makes it pretty much impossible to pass up.  My Dad used to always be a big advocate on taking family trips.  His theory was, "we work so hard during the year, that we deserve to treat ourselves to a family vacation every year--Life's too short."  That has always stuck with me whether or not we are traveling 2 hours away or 18 hours away.  So, anyway, this year we went to 2 different beaches, and had a great, relaxing time.  I have always been a beach bum, and it's becoming pretty clear to me that my kids are as well!!!!  Here are some pictures:

I completely see what my Dad was saying:  It is so good to decompress, to unwind, to make these memories.  I'd like to take a minute to pay tribute to my Dad.  Sadly, this summer, my Dad grew very ill, and passed on to a better place.  --Sad for us, happy for him.  I know this is a classroom blog and 99% of what I post is classroom related, but I wanted to share this with you because I am the person that I am--which then makes me the teacher that I am, because of the people in my life, because of personal circumstances that shape me.  My Dad leaves many, many memories behind, and in his lifetime has taught me so much that I hold close to me, he will be greatly missed.  He battled Parkinson's Disease for 25 yrs.  I'm so proud to call him my Dad.  There is a Carrie Underwood song --See You Again--that has spoken to my heart since his passing.  I cling to, and firmly believe, the chorus of that song, which says:
"I will see you again
This is not where it ends,
I will carry you with me,
Til I see you again"

Before I move on to my goals met this summer as a teacher, I just want to thank everyone in the SPPCS community who offered such kindness during a difficult time this summer.  Living in the small town that I do, and teaching at a Catholic school in that small town, I really do feel like I have a second family in my community of faith--thank you! 

Switching gears and moving on to what I worked on this summer as a teacher:
Every year in May I make a list of things that I want to improve on, things that can make my life a little easier in August, organization ideas, etc. Pinterest gets alot of attention from me in the summer months!!!  This year, I wanted to find some new resources for our reading groups--check, make new behavior calendars--check, and compile some bird themed items--check, organize, organize, organize--check.  :)  Here are some of the cute things I found at the teacher store to decorate my classroom.  I'll have a blog post on my classroom later this week, but here is a sneak peek.

I am ready and excited for the new school year to begin.  I cannot wait to meet all of my students and have a great year together!!  I found the following picture on a blog that a teacher posted in her classroom.  I think it is very fitting for the beginning of the school year:

May all teachers strive for the above!  <3