Sunday, September 16, 2012

Composition Notebooks!

I found a great deal at Target last night.  I have come to love composition notebooks.  They are small, stay together, and don't have the wire binding that can unravel throughout the year.  I love using them for writing notebooks and Science interactive notebooks.  My Target has them for 70% off!  They were only $0.22 each!!  Needless to say, we picked up 35 of them, and thinking of going back to get more.  I love a good school supply clearance!  What do you like to pick up at back to school clearance sales?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My Classroom

Here are some pics of my classroom this year.  I think I finally got it the way I want it!  Sorry if the pics look cruddy...they were taken with my phone!

 This is outside of my class door so the kids can see it when they walk in.  I found it on Pinterest and changed it just a little.  I have gotten many compliments in it...from other staff, administration, even the kiddos!
 This is my "evil squirrel".  I DO NOT like squirrels and every year it comes up.  The other day, when I came in to my class after lunch, this little bugger was sitting under my desk.  I found out later that the aide I had last year put it there.  It is the ugliest thing I have ever seen...yes, it lights up!  So I added some improvements...red eyes, horns, and an appropriate "title"...evil.  The kids love him!  I think we need to come up for a name for him!
 This is the view from my desk.
 My library genre board.
 My homework station.
 Full view of the class library.  Can never have too many books.
 This board is outside of my class.  It tells them what they need to bring to each class.
 HUGE bulletin board above lockers in hallway.  (The first word is "coyote".)  There are pawprints with each kiddo's name on them.  

 Our Reading Rocks board.  Every time they read a book, they fill out a shape with the title, author, and their name.  I love seeing it get filled up!
 Revising vs. Editing board.  Also found on Pinterest.  This was a fun activity for the kids.
 Class rules.
My desk.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer reading...I teach a section of 5th grade advanced ELA.  They were required to read Bridge to Terabithia over the summer.  I was struggling with what to do with them and this book.  I did not feel right giving them a test on it...they did not read it under my "supervision", there were no class discussions on it, and some of the kids could have read it in June.  I found a file on my computer that I got off of proteacher.com awhile ago.  It is called "characterbook" and it is a facebook-type assignment.  I know they are only in 5th grade and should not be on FB, but face it, we all know many of them are!  I don't think by doing this assignment, I am promoting FB, as there are very specific directions to this assignment.  I am handing it out tomorrow...I think they will enjoy it.  What do you guys do with required summer reading?

Here is the link to the proteacher page that has a link to the characterbook file and directions.
http://www.proteacher.net/discussions/showthread.php?t=285005&highlight=characterbook
Communication with parents...I am a huge believer in communicating with the parents of my students.  Sometimes, I think I might communicate too much and come off as a pain in the you-know-what.  But I think the more informed the parents are, the better chance their child will have a successful year.  I email the parents every Friday to inform them of the tests and quizzes for the upcoming week.  I also email the parents Friday of any student that did not turn in an assignment for that week.  (We switch for every subject in my school in 5th grade, so this sometimes takes awhile, but I think it is a worthy way to spend my time).  I provide parents with a homework hotline nightly...basically I change my outgoing voice message to include the night's homework.  I also recently started using remind101 nightly for homework assignments. (see previous post for description of this awesome service!).  Sometimes I think I am overdoing it, but I have had several parents tell me they appreciate the updates.  I have never once been told there are too many notices (but then again, maybe they wouldn't feel comfortable telling me that!).  I feel that this communication has saved me more than one time.  The parent cannot say they didn't know what the homework was...all they had to do was make a phone call.  They cannot claim they do not understand why their child's grade is so low...they get a weekly notice of missing work.

How do you communicate with your parents and how often?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I've got a new attitude!  I did not get the 3rd or 4th grade advanced position...I am teaching 5th grade again this year (which I love) and we are switching for every class again (which I don't love)!  I have decided to make the most of it, have fun, and think of the kids!

Have y'all heard of remind101?  It is a website that you create names for your classes, the parents sign up, and you can send out texts to their phones...they never see your number and you never see theirs.  Genius!!! I have several parents signed up and will start using it tomorrow for a homework hotline type thingy.  Check out the website at www.remind101.com.

Do any of you do CHAMPS in your class?  The school wants the 5th grade to do it this year.  The elementary schools do it, so this incoming group of 5th graders already know what it is, all we have to do is implement it.  Share your pros and cons about CHAMPS....and any tips you have.

My classes seem to be a great group of kiddos this year...a bit chatty, though.  I am planning to provide more posts this year...it is part of my new attitude I have gained.  Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Bad Blogger! Bad, Bad!

Yes, I know.  I have been MIA this whole year.  It has not been a good year...as I stated previously, they pulled a fast one on us 5th grade teachers and, surprise!  Fifth grade is now switching every class and you are still teaching every subject.  So, needless to say, I have not been very excited about teaching this year and have been  in a big funk.  I have sent in a letter of interest to teach 3rd or 4th grade high ability next year at one of the elementary schools.  I feel like my chances are good, but I don't want to put the cart before the horse, if you know what I mean.  I tend to get excited about things before they happen, then get a big let-down when they don't happen.  I need to take a few gifted-talented courses that start in June and am pretty excited about that.  I love college!  If that could be a full time job, sign me up!  Thanks and sorry to my followers...if you are still out there.  How do you deal with a blah year?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Thanks For Following...Sorry For Not Posting

Well, I haven't been on my blog, as you can see, all summer.  I was surprised to see my "follower" numbers increase!  I am hoping to post more now that the school year is starting up.  Thanks for following!