Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day of School!

Whew! First day of school came and went! I wanted to do an entry this weekend to show the completed classroom but I was so exhausted after being in the classroom on Saturday from 9-4 that I just needed a break!

A preview of the classroom:
Completed hallway bulletin

Door bulletin
Teacher's area

ANYWAYS. Onto day one! The first day of school literally zoomed right by, I think I probably got half of my lesson plan for today completed. During the whole day, I swear I felt like I was getting nothing done. But after reflecting on the day, I actually did get some things done.  
Some things we did:
  • We read "The Monster Who Came to School". Then we talked about the classroom rules and our classroom 4Rs: Respect others, Respect the environment, Respect yourself, and be Responsible. We also created a chart of what Respect looks like and sounds like (from Pinterest). Then we did an activity from Mrs. Bainbridge which can be found here along with the story.
  • We colored our name cards for attendance and M.O.N.K.E.Y. covers for our folders (which will be explained in a future entry). 
  • We read The Night Before First Grade and came up with some feeling words about how we felt the night before. Then we completed an activity and the students finished the sentence frame "Last night I felt ______" and included an illustration.
Well I guess we did get some stuff done after all. :)

Now onto to planning day two!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hello there (one year later)!

So, I originally created this blog probably a year ago with the title "Diary of a First Year Teacher". As you can see, the first year simply went by so fast (not!) that the blogging never actually happened! Well, now that I made it through first year of teaching, let's see if I can actually keep a blog for the second year! I used to be an active blogger in high school some 8 or so years ago so we will see how well this turns out.

A short bio about myself. I've always been working with kids since I can remember. I knew probably since high school that I wanted to have a career working with kids. When I started college, the goal was to become a pediatrician and then be a kindergarten teacher when I retired. Not sure what I was thinking then but one course of physics made me drop my doctor route and head straight towards the teacher route. I received my Masters in Teaching and credential at the University of Southern California (USC) in 2012 and was very fortunate to find a teaching job the summer after. I am currently on my second year of teaching first grade in Oakland. Not going to lie, the first year was rough. But I did have some wonderful kids and parents, colleagues, and principal who all helped me get through the year. Now, I am ready to face this second year head-on (I think)! Woohoo!

School officially starts next Monday. I have been working on getting the classroom ready for the kids and oh my, there is so much to do! On my first day back in the classroom, I literally just sat in the middle of the classroom for a good couple minutes and just stared. Now it's been two days spent in the classroom (plus a BTSA orientation, yuck!) and I've made some changes that I'm happy with but still not ready for any kids. And now we have two full days of PD and one full day left in the classroom. I sure hope everything gets finished in time!

There's still so much to say and share about my back to school preparations but I feel like this entry is getting long enough. I guess I'll end for now with some pictures!

My hallway bulletin board. The monkeys are actually swinging into the classroom!
My Vistaprint creations. There's also an "I PICK" poster I made that's not in here.
Can you guess my classroom theme this year? :) 
Adios for now! Hopefully I'll be back again soon! :)