Friday, August 22, 2014

Five for Fraturday - New Year, New School, Old Grade

Hello! It's been a while since I've blogged. Why is that? I've been SUPER busy with some recent unexpected changes. Two weeks ago, I interviewed and was offered (on the same day) a job at a different school district. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved the school I was at, however it was far away from the family and boyfriend (around an hour drive one way), so I've been wanting to find a school that's closer to home. The district I interviewed with is only a 20 minute drive from the family, so obviously I accepted the offer right away. The only catch was that the school year was going to start in TWO weeks and the grade level the position was for was not the one that I had be preparing for all summer.

That's right! I'm not teaching second grade this year. I am back in first grade! This also means a need for a blog name change, but that will have to wait until I am settled into my new job. Anyways, after a full week of trainings and setting up the classroom, we started school on Wednesday this week. So I'm back to Five for Friday (well...Saturday now) to share what we did during our first three days!

First thing's first...some classroom pictures! To be honest, I'm not completely satisfied with how the classroom looks decoration-wise. Most of my time was spent getting manipulatives and books organized. But eventually things will look the way I want them to (I hope)! 

Sorry for the horrible picture. Can't really avoid the glare and reflection.
But, below are two part of the room that I'm proud of.

The previous teacher in this room left her bulletins up so rather than start all over again, I just did some changing things out so that the decor matched my classroom theme, Magnificent Monsters!
Before (left), After (right)
I'm only semi-proud of this, but I do like all the colors! This is my classroom library.

The top two shelves are student book bins (from Steps to Literacy) that I still have to label with numbers. The right shelf is sorted by F&P levels in bins from Dollar Tree. The books on left shelf are not leveled but organized by categories: class books ("Create" basket from Michaels), Spanish books (my class is mainly Hispanic students), Readers, Picture Books, and Non-fiction books. The green bins are from Dollar Tree and the light blue bins are from the Target dollar spot. I plan to switch out the Dr. Seuss cut-outs with monster ones. 

I definitely feel like my classroom library is lacking in comparison to my previous school. When I started working at my previous school, the classrooms were all filled with books that previous teachers accumulated and left behind. This new classroom had no books left behind so all I have right now are books I've purchased in the past and books my previous colleagues gave to me. I could definitely use some more books, especially ones that are leveled so I created a DonorsChoose project to help me out with that. Maybe you can help me out? It's half off thanks to the generosity of the Bill & Miranda Gates Foundation if it gets fully funded by Sunday. Plus, if you use the promo code INSPIRE you get your donation matched. So essentially I only need around $115 to reach my goal! Please help spread the word and help a fellow teacher out here! :D

First day of school! This is what the kids saw when they entered the classroom.

On the desks were their MONSTER folder cover and a monster bookmark to decorate. 

More will be explained about these in a bit.

We had a lot of read alouds this week to get us settled into first grade. (click pictures of the books covers to buy it on Amazon through my affiliate link)

We read The Night Before First Grade and First Grade Jitters and talked about how we felt the night before the first day of school. 

We read First Grade Stinks! and did a kindergarten and first grade comparison.

We also read Monsters Love School (of course) and talked about what school is for.

We also talked about the school rules and classroom rules, along with how to listen with our whole body.

The poster above is from Growing Kinders. Perfect for my monster theme and free too! Click below to get it yourself!

Had this printed and laminated at Office Depot. I LOVE Office Depot lamination! I wish I could take their machine home with me!

Our Fridays are short days (thank goodness!) so I was able to get a bit more decorating done including putting up some student work! So this is where that picture of monster cut-outs on the table comes in. I had the kids pick a monster to represent them and wrote their name on it with a Sharpie. I no longer have a hallway bulletin like my previous school since we have an outside campus. I still wanted to display some work for parents to see without having to come into the classroom so I decided to turn my window into a bulletin board instead!

I taped (well..rather, the boyfriend helped me put all this together) a mini clothespin to the back of the monster cut-out.

I also used pen to write the kid's name on the back of the monster cut-out so I know which monster belongs to who when I'm putting up the work. Then I taped the cut-outs to my classroom window so they are facing out and viola!

I apologize for the glare and reflection, but that was the best I could do!

Phew! That was a long article. Hopefully you made it through! I'm super glad it's the weekend although there's still SO much to do!

Hope everyone's first week of school goes well, whenever it is!

Please help share the word of my DonorsChoose project! Thank you! :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Your room looks wonderful and beautifully organized. I use the Monster Goes to School too and the kids always enjoy it. Happy school year to you!