Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Next Year I Will...

I am joining the linky party by Kim over at Joy in 6th. 
I am making plans for next year--on this the second day of my summer break. I'm on my way to Hobby Lobby--to browse in a s l o w manner because it is Tuesday! I don't have lesson plans to do or laundry piled up. Because...it is Tuesday and there is no school for NINE weeks!

What I am thinking....
This choice was probably made for me since we are now using Benchmark Literacy as our ELA curriculum. There is NO basal in this program. I hope that I can adjust... We actually have staff development this week in order to receive some of the teacher manuals and toolkits.

With the change in a basal toss it will challenge me to work more with small groups and working with kids on their needs. I've used a Booky4First plan for Daily 5. I have a hard time with turning some of the choices loose--so this will probably be as big a challenge as learning to use a total balanced literacy approach.

I am on my Chevron hunt today. The colors I will use as the accent are the issue I face. Should I just toss the chair covers totally? Should I use a beige as the background for my word wall or use something a little brighter? After all, I spend more waking hours at school than home during the school year. I think it needs to be pleasing!

I have made so many beautiful, laminated work stations that somehow don't get used. This will need to change! All the $$$ I spend on TPT, copy paper, ink, and laminating film needs to actually be used!

 Kind of follows along with the previous one doesn't it? I really need to work with kids on their levels. Last year I began using Math journals and this could be the Math writing station.

This is the New Year's Resolutions for teachers! Can't wait to read your thoughts too!

Monday, May 27, 2013


Summer! (Cue music--singing from the mountaintop!)

Nine weeks off.

Time to relax, read, sleep--all those things I've been missing.

Today is actually my first day of vacation. I'm not counting the weekend although I didn't have to grade papers, make lesson plans, write newsletters, update the class website, etc.

You would think I could turn my "teacher brain" off but it isn't working. After taking apart my classroom I began (gasp) thinking of how it should look next year. I am tired of blue and green. I am tired of polka dots. But the dilemma is that next year will probably be my last year teaching. Why would I want to spend $$$ on decorating? Well, I can rationalize that this last year will be forever etched in my memory. (Dramatic)

I have been looking at this:    

Things I like: 

  • The brightness.
  • The banner flags.
  • The similarity of colors.
Things I am tired of:
  • Blue and green polka dots.
  • Polka dots.
  • The word wall across the top of the whiteboard.
  • The falling apart chair covers.
I am loving chevron. So I ran to Hobby Lobby last week and they have several "new" colors of chevron. Yellow, aqua, yellowish-green so different from my green currently used, red, navy blue, and gray. I purchased two yards of the aqua and yellowish green. I was thinking I could incorporate it into the use of my blue fabric bulletin boards so I wouldn't have to spend $$$ replacing those.

I was inspired by this:

You can see the actual tour here. Tunstall's teaching inspires me. Her room seems so calm!

I felt better when I saw that Amy Lemon was having the same need to thinking of how to set up her classroom...and...she visited Hobby Lobby also. And she picked up the yellow chevron. Read about her thoughts here

I did remove the fabric lined word wall above my whiteboard. I had already purchased the chevron alphabet so I printed those off, laminated, and hung them before I left last week. Already it is beginning to look less "cluttered". I am thinking of making the word wall similar to Tunstall's. They will be more accessible and at eye level for the kids. Sorry no pictures because I am sitting in the recliner with my laptop. I am not at school!

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Me VS Windows 8

I spent hours HOURS last weekend making my end of the year slideshow. I always use Movie Maker and add tons of memories with pictures. After adding my music it becomes a lasting memory for the kids, their families, but in reality I think it is actually for ME.  

I see the kids as a group. Families see their child! I want it to be perfect so of course there is a lot of moving pictures around, getting the music at just the right point to begin and end.

That wasn't the issue. I was ready to burn a copy on DVD. But...Windows 8 did not contain an option for that on the Movie Maker version. Yes, you could save a copy. But not the finished beautiful tear jerky DVD I craved.


I started O V E R on my old computer workstation. I had to download all my pictures again from both cameras, move my music, etc. 

I am burning a copy now. I only hope it works.

I am regretting the new laptop.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

15 days?

How is this possible? We have 15 days left (for teachers and staff) but only 12 for the kids! This year is almost over!

We have finished our testing of TCAP. We tried to have a little inspiration:
Hats off to TCAP!

Shine Brightly!

Now we are having a different type of study. Reading a lot!
I bought this unit from TPT and along with Cara Carroll's unit on Camping, we've been having the most fun! Using flashlights to find our spelling words and reading by flashlights had my kids saying this was the best day ever.  

Aren't these the greatest? With one more year until I probably retire--my heart melts with love for these sweeties.

Link up to tell me about your end of the year feelings!