Friday, July 17, 2015

Quick week recap

So I didn't stop by my classroom this week, and I am only feeling this much guilty.  :o)  This week instead was spent looking at houses (we might be moving!,) date night with the hubby, cleaning the house, playing with the 4 y.o. and in general being lazy....it was wonderful!

That being said, I have BIG PLANS to head into my room next week to finish all the projects I started:
1) Desk painting
2) Fabric on 2 more walls
3) Borders and titles
4) Organization of centers/task cards
5) Desk placement for all 33 kiddos I currently have rostered
6) Anything else I think of!

I am also meeting with my fabulous team Wednesday and Thursday to discuss next year, assessment days, open house, and some general house keeping/printing items.  Seeing some teachers on Facebook already headed back to school in a week (crazy!!) has given me even more of an itch to get myself prepared!

Hope your week went well!  I am looking forward to sharing my organized and updated classroom with y'all in a few weeks, as well as getting back into the grind of the school year.  I need some routine and structure--as much as I love summer, I also enjoy schedules and predictability!


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Classroom revamp...a work in progress

I have been thinking for sometime that my classroom is "too busy."  I loved the bright colors and such, they made me happy, but also wanted my room to be more functional and fell more in-sync or put together.

I named my table groups Red, Green, and Blue last year because I had gotten some cute caddies from the Dollar Tree in those colors.  I really liked the three of them together, and didn't want a themed room, so decided to just go with that color pallet.  Throw in some black/white accents, maybe a little bit of light yellow, and we're set.  Here are some of the the baskets and such I got from Dollar Tree:
 


Earlier this summer I went to Ikea and went a little cray-cray shopping!  I received some extra money for doing a professional portfolio/reflection, so of course I spent it on classroom stuff. Here are a few of the things I got, although I haven't even started to put them together.





New desk chair and small group table chair...I hate the one provided by my school and these are actually super comfy!


























Cart for small group table storage....I haven't decided which one I like better...
 

Cute little storage baskets!

Easel Whiteboard/Chalkboard....I think I am putting this by my small group station.

Small group chairs/work around the room stools.  I already had 3 of these, so I purchased 2 more!


Clothes rack....saw this on another blog to use as a anchor chart stand!  I am not sure if I am going to do this or put hooks and a curtain rod on an unused board, but I nabbed it while I was there!
 
Trofast storage system...I already had these green bins.  I bought a couple more and am going to have the tall shelf hold bins labeled Monday-Friday and "Additional" or "Extras"  and then use the other 6 spots for my bins for math/language centers.  I figure if I put a few baskets on top I can <hopefully> keep materials organized!

 

How fun are these large decorations?!  I think the green one I am going to label "What you need" with a place for Math, Social Studies/Science and Reading/Language on it.  We switch for classes, so this will be helpful for students to look at.












I also went to Jo-Anne Fabrics yesterday and spent way too much money on fabric for the walls.  I probably should have waited until I got a good deal, hoarded coupons, etc., but I wanted to get to work.  I did get the largest fabric (black, which I haven't put up yet!) for 40% off and used my teacher discount of 15%, so it wasn't too bad....

I have also hated my desk for the 3 years I have been at my school.  It looks like junk--yellowing metal.  So, I decided to paint it!  I am going to go back in tomorrow with a roller and small brush to finish up, but I am loving the way it looks!  I went to Michael's and got black chalkboard paint.  I have some chalkboard markers so I plan on writing my name and some info on the desk.  I could've painted it straight black, but I liked the idea of being able to write on it!  I painted secretly in my room with a fan on full blast---I didn't tell the custodians what I was doing (or my principal) for fear of getting a "no."  Plus, I didn't want them to have me drag that lug of a desk outside---it is HEAVY!  It's better to ask for forgiveness than permission, right?!

I spent about 3 1/2 hours in my room today doing various tasks.  I am a little ADHD when it comes to organizing/cleaning...I start a project and get distracted!  Forgive the mess in the photos, I will put up more when it is all done and organized!

Before

Before (Back wall will have black fabric-not done yet!)

Going to match the other wall with R/B/G AND a light grey chevron print/space for class information) 

Desk before

Desk in progress, one quick coat!

After, wall 1.  I need to add boarders and flatten the fabric, but LOVE the way it turned out so far!

And the entire time I was there my little guy spent time in a pup-tent I set up just for him watching videos...these pictures are yesterday, when I stopped by quickly to asses the space.  Today he was actually feeling ill and just laid there :o(.  Tomorrow's plan is to go in the morning to paint the desk with a roller and then spend the day having fun outside with my little man, as long a this bug passes!




Sunday, July 5, 2015

Personal Reflection...can (and should) I really do this?

I started this blog last August, 11 months ago.  I thought this was going to be an amazing experience.  I love to write and talk about teaching--both things I can't really do or share with my husband and circle of friends.  They just don't get it.

In short, it was very therapeutic and exciting to write about my teaching!  I was having fun.  However, I just couldn't find the time.  I went back to school to get a Reading Endorsement added to my license (just passed the tests on Monday, whoop whoop!) which required 5 classes and lots of online discussion board postings and reading.  This is on top of having a 4 year old, who told his teacher for my Mother's Day Card that:



Additionally, I was comparing myself to other well-known bloggers in the teaching world and feeling very low; I just wasn't cutting it.  I hated feeling that way.

With some self-reflection, as well as NOT blogging for most of those 11 months haha! :o) I actually decided that I wanted to blog.  Not for others, but for me.  I wanted to "document" what I was doing in the classroom.  Not only my successes, but more importantly, my failures.  I think a light bulb went on after reading an Adventures of Room 129 post.

Blogging is not going to make me the greatest teacher ever, but it will make me a better teacher than the one I am today.  I cannot only connect with others in the field who are doing wonderful things, but look at what I am doing in my classroom and how it is working.

Will I be a regular blogger?  I hope so, but I am going to set my expectations low.  After all, I have this cutie to hangout with for the rest of the summer (and during the school year if I want to change my Mother's Day card!)