Tuesday, July 31, 2012

In the beginning......

I went into my classroom this morning and was in such furniture shock that I immediately text my brother & sis-in-law for HELP.  Long story short I exchanged kids {C for my brother} with my sis-in-law and headed to Pals to 'pay' for my brother's help and then STRAIGHT to SCHOOL!!!

My furniture was so spastically thrown in the room we had to move furniture to be able to move furniture to move furniture!!  AHHHHH!!!!

After my brother's cell phone dies, he visits my 2nd grade buddy's room twice & repaired her bumble bee, bounced a ball off my word wall thousands of times, I FINALLY finished thinking about where stuff went & moved stuff around.  Oh and I also lost my debit card & sent him back to town to find it.  After calling and telling me it wasn't in the parking lot where we switched drivers he suggested that I call the bank & see if any charges have been made to it.  So I called the bank & said at least 14 non-sentences to the bank lady {I am AWESOME at non-sentences} while apparently I was going in and out of signal and it was then that my brother text me and said the glorious words, and I quote, "Found it." It was in my car.  I looked there & he looked there.  There is NO way he found it in my car.  I tore it apart!!  Apparently it was standing on its side between my seat and the thing between my front seats.  {I hope Husband just skims this part of the post or I am in DEEP doo doo again!!!}

But anyWHO I was talking classroom right?

So here is what the room looked like we I finally got so frustrated with Big Momma I had to leave.  Of course that meant that I totally ate myself STUPID at Amigos with the fam.

After loading these photos I realize they don't look much different from the first ones.  Oh well.  I will try again Monday.  It's fast approaching my birthday weekend and I all boycott all school stuff during my birthday weekend.  Oh well exceptt the fact that it is tax free weekend so there will be back to school clothes shopping!! {and maybe a little bit of school supplies purchases}

Happy shopping!!


Monday, July 30, 2012

Classroom Design

I am sitting here thinking about my what I need to do in my classroom.{cause I finally get my KEYS back TOMORROW!!!!}  Not all the paperwork icky stuff but the fun stuff.  You know what I am talking about............making it PRETTY!!!

With that being said.........

I am going to be going against what seems to be the norm in classroom design.  I may say some things that you might think "oh no she didn't!!" but these are some of my thoughts about classroom design.  Some are research based, some are from my personal experiences.  I may or may not differentiate between the two.
In a world of overwhelming sensory explosion we wonder why kids are spastic, wild animals, so unfocused.  I know that there are many other underlying factors that contribute to this epidemic that seems to be affecting so many of our students but I try to do what I can to help minimize distractions.  Oh don't think that this is a "I think I know so much, blah, blah, blah" type of post.  I don't just do this for my kids...........it helps me keep my sanity as well.  I can't handle all the variety of colors & STUFF that seem to be around just filling space.   It is such NOISE in my head and on my skin that I can't take it!  AHHHHH!!!!  So with that said it's mostly for the kids.  Yeah the kids.  It's all about the kids.

Ok.......so here is the biggie.......


If it the kids don't use it don't hang it.  If you hang it interact with it so that the kids will use it.  Once it has served it's purpose, take it down. Not saying get rid of it........you may need it again.  And no I am not a hoarder. And I do have a lot of stuff in my room.  I was told by one of my principals that if any more furniture came into my room that it could only be traded by moving furniture out.  I was just thinking more furniture = less running.  That's how it's supposed to work right?!

Black borders on your bulletin boards make what you put on the board POP! {The Sisters}

Think about the pathways you need in your room.  This affects behavior!!

Lighting...........lighting...........lighting.  Natural is best.  Incandescant is better.  Flourescent is WORST but as you know that is usually what we have.  I am lucky to have a wall of windows, it's not good for wall space but is awesome for all the light it brings.  I rarely if ever turn my lights on.  That makes me one super happy teacher.

Over all think nature.  Live plants, fake plants.  Doesn't matter.  Classroom pets are so cool.  Our fish Bob died last year.  It was my first attempt at a class pet.  It may be my last.  I was very tramatized.  The kids were not.

Tables, chairs, floors. There are places to work everywhere and you will find my students everywhere in the room. I do draw the line that they are not to be under anything. Last year was the first year I had to make that rule though. We had a little get together last week and made the ever famous crate storage seats that are all over Pintrest. This adds to the seating/workspace in our classroom. Again I know I am adding more furniture of such but chairs are coming out of my room so it's all cool!  Funny thing............3 of us made crates and we all got black crates & did totally different seats.  The first is Mrs. Shelton of Mrs. Shelton's Kinders

 These beauties are by our very preggers 2nd grade friend.

And here are mine.  No padding as with our 2nd grade friend's & just a bubble of color.

 Ok I am off of my classroom design soapbox.  Best wishes to your classroom set up!!  I may be in heap of trouble with mine.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

An Award {just a bit delayed}

MARKEETA over at

A Teacher and a Blog

nominated me this award {on July 6th.........I know, I know you are shaking your head and rolling your eyes right now 'cause that was ages ago}!!  Thank you, Markeeta for including me in this category!!  So sweet!!!  Made me smile REAL BIG!!

Here are the rules of the award:
1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2.  Include a link to their site.
3.  Include the award image in your post.
4.  Give 7 random facts about yourself.
5.  Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6.  When nominating, include a link to their site.
7.  Let the bloggers know that they have been nominated.

<> I have worked in all of the elementary schools in our system but 2.  This ranges from teaching, volunteering, After Care and interim positions.

<> I am backwards shy in new situations.  Which is the complete opposite to my everyday personality.

<> I have 2 high school diplomas.  My senior year my dad got a job in Sydney, Australia and we moved there for a year.

<> I can't stand the taste of tea, coffee or fake sweeteners.

<> I have been in 4 places at once.

<> I am a Michigan football fan but have never been to Michigan.

<> I am a homebody who doesn't 'go to town' unless I ABSOLUTELY have to and yet my family thinks I go all the time.

These are some of my new finds that I am so excited about sharing!!!

AND THE NOMINATIONS GO TO...........................................

All That Glitters in First Grade

First Grade Bloomabilities

Ok.  My brain hurts and I am hungry and C is napping so I will only be awarding 4 awards.  I know, total slacker.

Summer is on the downward slide.  That is all I am saying about that.  Gotta find my To Do list and get started! AHH!!!


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Calling all East TN, Western NC, Western VA bloggers

Calling all East TN, Western NC, Western VA bloggers:


When: Wednesday, August 1st

Where: Jack's City Grill in Johnson City, TN
Time: 1:00

If you are near I-26 or I-81, it will bring you straight to Johnson City! Jack's City Grill is on the main road off the interstate!

Please grab the picture above and promote our little meeting together. Hopefully we can make a new blogging friend or two.

Please contact Heather Shelton at higgystyx@yahoo.com if you are interested in coming!

Can't wait to see you there!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Common Core Addition & Subtraction

Fashew.  The whole presentation thing went better than I thought.  No shaking hands.  Not too many words stumbles.  Squirrels were minimal.  Questions answered.  I just hope it made sense.  It always makes sense in my head but not always in other peoples' heads. 

The majority of the information I shared during this presentation I found on blogs and Pintrest.  I referenced and linked everything I found.  {Click on the pictures to go to their origin.}  There are a couple of interactive charts that came from Picasso so if you know their orignal postings please pass on that info!!

{Just a little background..............I was asked to present for 1st & 2nd grade teachers on the mastery of addition and subtraction up to 20 to go along with Common Core 2.OA.1 and 2.OA.2.}

I started my portion of the presentation reviewing the Common Core areas in which the information I was sharing would plug into.  We also discussed throughout the day about how we must "DIG DEEPER" into Common Core so that we can dig deeper with our students.

We then moved on to vocabulary.  Linsey at The Teacher Wife created these lovely charts.  I came across them earlier last school year and they helped my students so very much.  One thing I forgot to share during my presentation was how important it is to interact with charts in the classroom for them to become truely effective.  With no interaction they just take up space. {I hung the addition chart on the right end of our classroom number line and the subtration chart on the left end.  You know because you go right when you add and left when you subtract.}

Here are a few more charts that we discussed {from Picasso}.


Melissa over at F is for First Grade has a wonderful post about equations!!

While working on this presentation I came across some information on Daily 5 Math.  I decided that since I do Daily 5 in my classroom and I was really UNHAPPY with the way math went last year that I would create my own Daily 5 Math so to speak.  So this is what came next in my presentation. {Inspired by Renee at The Reading Corner}
Math with Someone
Math by Myself
Math Writing
Math Work

Students will work with partners playing games that help strengthen their math skills. 
The list could go on and on.  Debbie Dillard's Math Stations book is AMAZING for activities to use for Daily 4 Math!
Differientation is KEY here!!  Because the students are working on their own they are still CHOOSING what to do {which is very important} but you are able to guide their choices to fit their skill level!
This is very important for the students to learn to do.  With constructive response testing starting in 3rd grade, Math Writing is laying the ground work!!

There you have it.  That is the majority of what I presented.  I hope that you are just as inspired to try something new in your classroom as I was by Renee!!

I am very excited about starting Daily 4 Math!!  I hope that it works out better than math did last year!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Math to Come {addition & subtraction}


Yup that is the magic number.  {Technically it is 36 but who needs technically, right?}

I was expecting a good solid number, you know like, 7.  I was ready for 7.  10 even sounded good.  But that is not what I got. 

That is how many 1st & 2nd grade teachers are coming to the SD tomorrow that I am presenting at.  Oh and did I mention it is my first one ever.  EVER.  and it's in MATH.  Not just any old math. 2nd grade math.

So the plan is all laid out.  Notes done.  Supplies organized.  Charts completed.  Yup.....I am ready.

Those were all lies.  Lies I tell you.  Lies.

Well I'm off to take this 2nd grade Common Core addition and subtraction down baby!!!