Friday, August 24, 2012

First Week of School is Over!

Before I get started on the events of the week, here is what my classroom looks like finished!

This week has been an interesting week meeting and getting to know my students. They're just doing things that just CRACK ME UP! This class is wonderful too. There are things that they do which shows that they have lots of room to grow throughout the year, but I know that they are a group that will do it in a spectacular fashion!

Since I know that kiddos are nervous their first day of school and have lots of questions, I gave them an opportunity to ask me anything they wanted to know. Well, the results were pretty funny. My favorite was "how do you do hair to do dat?" My hair is curly so I guess they don't know that it can be that way naturally.

Also, I read The First Day Jitters and had various activities that were related to the book which included a "4 square". The first square was about being nervous before school then progressed into how they felt after finishing their first day. There is the website that my team used to find activities for this book. 

The school's counselor has the whole school going through 7 Habits of Happy Kids this year as a part of our school-wide discipline plan. The first week is "Be Proactive". I am hoping that this helps my students think about their behavior. Have any of you guys ever gone through this book with your kids??

I do have to say--I have never been so tired in all my life! After work I have to come home and get crackin' with grad school stuff until my eyeballs are going to fall out! This teacher can not wait until she gets used to going to work AND doing grad school again.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Meeting the Students...First Day Jitters

I've been teaching for 6 years and I still get just as nervous as I did my first year when it's time to meet my new students. I think of a thousand things that I need to get done the night before then when those things are finished, I come up with a thousand more things to do.

This was my first official week back to work, but without the kids. On Monday, they walk through the door (aaaahhhhhhh!!). I've put the finishing touches on my room, but I still don't feel ready. I'm sure that I will have dreams of what the first day is like. When things into to full swing the dream escalate to me teaching in my sleep. There are many nights I wake up trying to find out why my bed is in my classroom when I'm supposed to be finding my kids. The nice thing is at least I get to dream with correct faces since Thursday was "Meet and Greet" night.

The girls and I right before "Meet and Greet" (I'm in the black dress and NOT pregnant)

The kids were supposed to bring their school supplies while getting a chance to me, their teacher. I can't tell you the number of times that I was asked about the instructional goals for the school year or the first 6 weeks of school. This has NEVER happened to me before!! Also, there we some very comical encounters with students and parents. There were some parents threatening their children with "beatings" if they acted up. One of my students was TWIRLING in my room like a

For the first week of school we will:

  • Read the First Day Jitters then make a book about being nervous for the first day of school. 
  • Make a time capsule where the students will write about their interests and their goals for the school year. At the end of the year they will open it up to see how they have changed and see if they meet their goals. 
  • Start an E.B. White author study since we are going to Children's Theatre
  • Complete "get to know you" surveys then making Venn diagrams with a partner, comparing how they are similar and different.
What are some things that you are going to do the first week/few days of school?

Our principal had a "trick" up his sleeve for the teacher's first week back. Today we did a team building activity...and it WAS an ACTIVITY. Everyone had to download a code scanner onto their phones first of all. He placed games coded with pictures around the school, and each team had to work together in order to complete the games. In order to go to the next game, we had to scan a bar code telling us where to go. Since it was a contest, there were about 60 teachers RUNNING (full speed with sweat and all) all over the school (3 stories high) for about an hour. It was the most fun I have had on a teacher work day!! Each game was a challenge if you didn't work with your team, and the competitiveness of finding each game around the school was exciting. Of course he through in a little "hiccups" to confuse us. What a great way to start the year ;)

Did you all do anything special on those "lovely" teacher workdays??

Thursday, August 9, 2012

School is Starting...Ready or Not!

Well, I only have 3 more days of "freedom" before I am required to go back to work! I'm ready to get back in the routine of working again. I miss teaching my little rug rats! This week has been FILLED with work detail in order to be on top of my game this year (one of which was making a few chalkboards for my room). It's hard not being stressed when you know that your year is going to be jammed packed with stressful things

  • Having a new group of kids to get to know
  • Teaching a new math curriculum that has LOTS of parts to get together
  • Observation year (this only requires TONS of paper work to go with it and hoping that my kids don't "cut up" too much when the principal is in my room)
  • Final year of grad school which includes a practicum that will be done in my room
  • Having to make sure that I have everything translated into Spanish this year since I will have a few families that don't speak English (first year doing this, so I'm sure that I will become a pro by the time the year is over with)
This weekend will be filled with just a few last minute things to get done so I can at least take my stress level down to about a 5 instead of a 9.
  • First 9 weeks of math planning
  • Newsletters for the first 2 weeks
  • Full lesson plans for the first 2 weeks
  • Trips to the store to get a flash drive (mine died at the end of the year) and storage containers
  • Pick up one of my grad school books
  • Plan some meals to be cooked in the crock pot
Ready or not school will be starting for the teachers on Monday then comes the kiddos on the following Monday! On yeah, I almost forgot that "Meet the Teacher" night is next week too!! Oh my!!! The school dreams have already started and I am sure that they will get even worse as "The Day" approaches. 

I will TRY TRY to remember to talk pictures of my room now that it's finally d-o-n-e.