Friday, August 31, 2012

Whew! Friday is finally here!

I always feel a sense of accomplishment as the students leave on Friday afternoon of the first week of school. As I am sitting here typing this, my first thought is, "It wasn't so bad." But, as I think deeper, the first week was crazy! I think that God plays a little trick on teachers, as he does on mothers. If you're a mom, you can relate. You know how horrible it is to give birth (now, don't get all "giving birth is wonderful" on me...the result of giving birth is wonderful, but the actual process IS NOT)? But then, soon after, you're brain somehow forgets all that, and you think to yourself, "Oh, that wasn't so bad." If your brain didn't forget all that, we'd never reproduce. Well, as teachers, our brains forget how bad that first week is too. It is one of many factors that keeps us coming back year after year.

In reality, my first week went well, aside from the first day (that is always crazy). I have a great group of kids, and I'm so excited to work with them this year. We took it very slow this week, as we started to learn and practice all the routines and procedures of our classroom.

I truly believe that the classroom should be pretty much empty when the students arrive. Then, it is up to the teacher and students to create a classroom together. After all, it's not MY classroom, it is  OUR classroom. Some students questioned why the class library, the shelves and walls were empty. My response was, "We will build our classroom together in time." And, we are starting to do that. During the week, I introduced the rules, we practiced them, and now they are posted. We discussed the use of the class library, I introduced some math themed books, Kevin Henkes books(author of month) and a few other categories of  books through read alouds and "book commercials". These are now displayed in the class library. Some kids get impatient with this slow process at first, but then they get it. This classroom is a place for them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Great Buy at Costco!!!

I went to Costco tonight, and as usual, I found myself wondering the aisles. I was just talking to my mom about that old laminator she has, and guess what I saw? A laminator on sale for $14 and some change!!! Before I bought it, I looked online to see if the refill film would be affordable. I'd say that 100 sheets for $12 is reasonable, so I bought the laminator. Lamination is at a premium where I work, so I am very happy to have found this baby at Costco. I didn't use it yet, so I don't know if it works well. But, I read some reviews online, and they were good. 

Inservice started today. We are starting a new math program this year called Everyday Math. My son, who goes to school in a different school district, has this program at his school. He just finished first grade, so I have some idea of what the program is about. It was a long day, and my head is spinning as I am trying to wrap my brain around all the new information! 

I didn't post class pics yet because, quite honestly, I didn't have time. I do plan on posting them, though. Maybe tomorrow? 

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Almost Here!

Well, I officially did it. I've entered the blogging world. My friends, Hannah and Wendy, introduced me to all this awesomeness! Last year, Hannah casually mentioned that teachers are all about blogging now. Me, being the curious person I am, checked some of these blogs out. Now, it took me a few months to do that because of my hectic life as mom of 3 wonderful (but very, very busy) little boys and a full-time first grade teacher, but eventually I got to where I am now (a very primitive blog). I checked out my friend's teaching blog at, and I knew that I had to get this started (even if I'm the only one who reads it). I think it will be neat to document my year and reflect on it. I am addicted to teaching blogs, and hopefully, plan to make and sell some of my stuff on TPT. But, that may take another few months ;).

I don't know why, but every year about this same time, I am filled with "first day jitters" (yes, I also love the book by the same name). It's like all the calm of those carefree summer days, well as calm as a house with 3 little boys can be, has come to a screeching halt. Craziness has officially set in. Sleep, if you can call it that, is down to an average of 6 hours from 8. I've been hogging our computer for the past few weeks. And, I am preparing for this school year at a frightening pace.

My husband, a middle school teacher, doesn't understand this crazy culture of elementary teachers. He says he feels bad for me, with all the work I've been doing, but he shouldn't. I actually enjoy all the work I've been doing to prepare my first grade classroom. Don't get me wrong, he spends time preparing too. But, it's a little different preparing for 1-2 different classes as compared to preparing for a whole day with 6-year olds.

Today will be my 4th full day that I've spent in my classroom, getting everything just right. This is my 17th year teaching (12th teaching 1st), and I still spend all this time preparing. That's not normal, but it is what it is. This year, I've decided to go with a classroom theme. Really, it took me this long to do this? The classroom theme is owls, and every time I turn around, I find another really cute idea.

 I plan to post pictures of my classroom later today. But first I need to calm myself by exercising while no one else is awake. This is my "me time", even if I get it at 5:00a.m.