Monday, July 30, 2012

Ideas I have for classroom management AND Newbie Blog Hop

Hi all!
Soon (in 2 weeks) I will have my first orientation day. I am going a little crazy on Pinterest (it's like crack for crafty people) but have come up with many cute ideas.
I present them for thoughts/advice:

Quiet critters
Everyone gets a quiet critter at the beginning of every quiet time (SSR, individual activities) whoever is caught talking loses their quiet critter. Whoever still has a quiet critter at the end of the activity can move their clip up. If the whole class keeps their quiet critter, we’ll add a shell to the beach.
Clip chart
This is standard, but I like the idea better than card flipping... mainly because I can add stick on gems and also because it gives the better behaved kids somewhere to go too...Clips can move up or down. When you hit the top you can get a stick on gem. If you are even better you get a second gem and a good note home to mom. If clips move down we lose Friday Free time.

Friday Free time is something my mentor teacher always did. 20 minutes after lunch every friday the kids could do whatever they wanted within reason; read, play games, color, write, or just talk. It was a very big deal so needless to say, losing Friday Free time is a very big deal. I don't think it's quite cool enough to be a whole class reward for filling our beach, and I honestly think on Friday, the free time helps them focus better in the afternoon (and it gives the teacher time to get stuff done :) )
Class beach
Every time the whole class does something good they add a shell or sea glass to our class beach. Going to the beach is super fun so whenever we make our beach we’ll do something super fun! (extra recess, play a game, watch a movie)
Library cards
Each student has a library pocket with a card in it. Whenever they (long term) borrow a book from the library they mush write the name on the library card. Students can borrow 2 books at a time. When a book is returned students write an R and the date next to the title. Whenever a card is edited it goes in the small pink bucket on my desk.

I also got myself some of those magazine holder things (5 to be exact) my plan is to label them for days of the week and fill them with a weeks worth of lesson plans and supplies (so copies that I need and stuff).  The plan, as of now. Is that at the end of Monday, when the holder is empty, I will fill it with the things I need for the following Monday... same for the rest of the days. Then I don't have to scramble for things... It is and excellent plan... however we all know what happens to the best laid plans. This though, in my opinion, would also be great for emergency subbing. The lesson plans and activities would be right there, in a box, for the sub...

Which reminds me, I also plan on making the While you were out folders for my kids. The theory behind this is that I have folders in a specific spot in the room so that these are kid run. I may make it a job or a part of a job like secretary or something. Anyway, when a child is out, the student next to them will go get a folder and put it on the absent students desk. Then, whenever papers are passed out, the responsible student puts them in a folder for the absent student. The next day, no one has to ask me for what they missed or anything because it's all right there on their desk. I'll also make copies of any missed notes and put them in the folders at the end of the day.

These are my plans thus far, how do we like them?

Oh and, I've been wanting to do the Newbie Blogger Linkup with Grade Three is the Place for Me... So here we are:

    1.  what state you are in

    2.  your current teaching position

    3.  your teaching experience
    4.  when you started blogging
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource

1.  I'm in NJ but I will be moving to NC in less than two weeks to teach!
2.  I will be teaching 3rd!
3.  So far most of my experience is in Subbing since I subbed full time last year. So... I've taught grade K-8 at some point. I also student taught third grade so I'm very excited to be teaching it.
4.  I had a regular blog from my sophomore year of high school til my freshman year of college (My room mates father was using it to stalk her... so weird) but I just started this blog last weekish and my oh my has blogger changed lol.
5.  I would say attempting to learn more about customization would be good (I'm working on this, things have changed since 2004). If you don't have the time or inclination, pay someone else to customize for you. Your design should tell people what your blog is about without even having to read it and no one wants to see the same layout on ever blog...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Jitters Link up and a good day of shopping!

So today I decided to do a link up with Fierce in Fourth for First Day Jitters.

Since this is my first year teaching, I'm sure you can imagine, I have all kinds of worries. One top of that, I know next to nothing about the area I'm teaching in. All I know is that I'm teaching third grade and the school rates pretty well on great schools.
So here we go:
1) I'm super nervous that maybe all of the training and subbing I've done doesn't show anything and I'm not as prepared for this as I think I am.
2) The closer I get to moving the more new kid in school thoughts I'm having 'What if no one likes me' etc.
3) I will be working just outside a military base so theoretically I will have kids moving out and in all year long. I worry that I don't know how to handle that (because I've never had to) and it will cause way too much disruption just because I'm being stupid lol.

Aside from that I just have a general case of the squeams. I feel like I'm getting ready to go off to College again. And the nearest five below to this place is about 2 hours away. Same for the Christmas Tree Shop. JoAnn and Books-A-Million are both about 45 minutes... how do these people get their teaching supplies?!

Moving on:
I'm packing some and making some stuff today. I have a nice little pile going on in my parents living room involving books and posters my Aunt sent me. My kitchen stuff and classroom stuff since I don't need that any time soon. I'm moving in 16 days. My mother is pretty annoyed that I'm not completely packed. I don't think she realizes that I'm still here longer than 2 weeks and still need things like... my clothes.
Yesterday I went to five below and got 2 packs of hi-lighters, a squishy ball (for silent ball), 4 pencil cups (sharp, unsharp, hi-lighters, pens), some dry erase crayons, playing cards, and some window markers... oh and some dice! all for under 15 dollars. I also went to the dollar spot at Target and got some foam clocks for them 'What time is..?' bulletin board circulating Pinterest, some trays for completed papers, some more of those wipe off math cards (I'm obsessed!), and a lesson book. And then I went to Hobby Lobby and got some pom poms and goggly eyes for Quiet Critters and some card stock and magnets. I plan on pasting all the stuff I've printed to the card stock before I laminate it to make it sturdier. I plan on making subject labels for the homework board and putting magnets on the back to put them on the board.
These are my plans... lets see if I accomplish them :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


So, I feel bad that I went a couple days without blogging... mainly it was because I'm trying to figure out how to use Gimp. It may not happen. I may have to break down and buy Photoshop after the first paycheck... Photoshop I know how to use.
Blogger on the other hand. It's odd because as people get more technologically savvy I think some sites are making it harder and harder to use their services. Blogger being one of them. I used to have the option to just open up the HTML editor and go at it. Now I can't find any way of doing that... which annoys me. ANYway...
Last night I made Spanish class room labels because everyone I spoke to seemed so excited that I have a basic knowledge of Spanish lol. I just used markers and sentence strips which I hope to laminate. I hope one day to get an image editing software so I can make cute owlie ones :).

Oh so... to the point of this post. Today I hit up the dollar spot. OH EM GEE you guys! I found this write on wipe off multiplication and division cards! I bought 6 sets. I figure they can be a center of some kind. I AM SO EXCITED! I also got cardboard magazine bins. I figure I'll put each days plans in one (I got five) including copies made and everything. Then on Monday at the end of the day when the bin is empty I'll get everything together for the next Monday and drop it in the box. That way I'm not scrambling on the day of. I also got some stamps and stickers for the kiddos :)

My mentor teacher did multiplication sheep where the kids drew circles for each times table and when they passed a test they glued a cotton ball to the sheep so it was all fuzzy by the end of the year. I'm was trying to figure out a way to do this with owls but I don't think it would work so well with feathers.  My Aunt Lynn just retired from teaching (35 years in 4th and 5th) and saved a lot of her stuff for me. One of the things was a giant wall giraffe. I am planning on doing a reading island (area of the room with a carpet, pillows and palm trees and parrots on the wall) and I am planning on putting my giraffe in that area. I may try to incorporate our multiplication bulletin board in with the giraffe by having them color a giraffe yellow and draw his spots with the numbers inside, and then as we pass the test we can glue brown felt over the spots. Thoughts? I also thought briefly of monsters since I have the bulletin board set for Furry Friends from trend. They can draw their monsters and divide it into 12ths to color in as they pass the test?

ANYway, again, it is almost 1 am! off to bed I go!

Monday, July 23, 2012

My name is Heather and I was just recently offered a job teaching third grade in North Carolina. I'm from NJ. Clearly this has caused a bit of a whirlwind as I start 2 weeks into August. In the meantime I need to wrap up my life in NJ and MD (where my college friends are) figure out how to afford to move on an hourly salary from JoAnn and figure out how one plans the first day of school. As I'm sure you (if anyone reads this) can imagine this has led to Pinterest being my favorite procrastination tool.

Oh Pinterest...

Anywho, a little bit about me. Like I said my name is Heather. I'm 27 and was born and raised in the great state of NJ. Lived at the shore when I was a kid (No, I do not have a snookie bump, tan, get in fights a lot, or talk like that) and now live in the suburbs of Philadelphia. I had heard that there were many openings in NC just by the beach and a Marine base and decided I may as well drive down for a job fair. At the fair I spoke with my new principal and the rest is history. I was offered a position teaching third grade. This is super exciting as I student taught third grade and third graders have a special place in my heart.

So far I've found all kinds of cute resources for the classroom. I got the Trend Owl Stars Job Chart and Study Habits bulletin board sets with a gift card given to me by my mentor teacher. I plan on making my room owl themed, which seems to be a trend, but I actually do love owls in general. I like that they are a symbol of wisdom, they remind me of Harry Potter and, as a parrot owner, I like that they are birds lol. I also got a bb kit with pal trees a parrots. I plan on putting them near my Reading Island (idea stolen from Pinterest) and then adding a Twitter Board so the kids can tweet about what they're reading or learning. I also just found an idea to use QR codes on hw to explain directions to parents or post them around school so kids can scan them for extra credit. I believe that at the school I'm going to be working for I can write a grant to get I Pads and MacBooks in the classroom as well as the Smartboards and Computers that are already there. I plan on writing for the grant as soon as I can get comfortable with my kids because there are so many WONDERFUL ways to use technology in the classroom.

I am not a stranger to blogging. In high school and college I owned three domains. One was, which was my first website. This was how I learned to create web graphics and code HTML. I also owned for many years and averaged 1000 hits a week. I also owned a writing portfolio called where I hosted short stories written by myself and friends. I have been without the time and proper photo editing software for a couple of years but recently downloaded Gimp to make stuff for my classroom and thought I might give the whole teaching blog thing a try.

This blog is a space for me to document and reflect on my first year of teaching. I imagine it will be helpful to me as a teacher to write things down and see how my kids react to things and how I react to them. I am also sure that more experienced teachers... heck probably any teacher... will find it entertaining. I plan on also doing some crafty things (maybe a made it monday) and book reviews. I little of my book background. I worked at Border's for about three years as the Kids, Independent Reader, and Teen specialist meaning I read most of the books and could generally match a kid to a book that was on level (thanks to my teacher training) and would keep them engaged. After Border's closed I took a job at Books-A-Million doing the same thing.

ANYway, it's almost 1 a.m. and I am sleepy.