Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Day of Firsts

First times of anything always cause anxiety for many people.  I am no stranger to anxiety myself.  It's not that I get nervous to start a first day with a new group of kids, it's just that I get anxious and excited.  Usually I feel super prepared and thrilled to have the first day, but since I had to work the night before, I felt a little stressed.  There were some things that I wish I had done, and had more time to do other things.  

One thing that I always do for my students is give them a few of the essentials.  The goodies are just a little something extra from me.  It is amazing a few students actually do say thank you for these things.  I don't think they realize that items at the dollar store can really add up.  I found the "Keep Calm" picture on Pinterest, and I thought it was perfect.  Usually I make some fancy embellishments using my Cricut, but. Was a little short on time this year.  After watching the students rip into their bags, I was relieved that I did not spend hours making the bags look fancier.  




Decorating my room is usually one of my favorite parts about getting ready for a new school year.  Since I spend more time in my classroom during the week, I wanted to make it a comfortable and inviting place not just for the students, but for me as well.  Here are some pictures of my room on the first day of school.  


This is a view of my classroom from my desk.  I was hoping to put up some curtains this year on the windows to brighten up the room, but I found out that they are a fire hazard.  The lanterns will have to do.  


This summer I was busy repainting my mailboxes.  I spray painted them blue on the inside and then all of the shelves and the outside are white.  I used binder clips to label each of the students' mailboxes.  I haven't done this before, but I like it so much better than just taping the names in.  

For my attendance board I use those clear stones and put their names on them.  I will post pictures of this process another day.  


Since I hate clutter so much, I covered all my shelves and open spaces with fabric.  I bout different colors and used them around the room.  It makes it look clean even if what is behind it is not that clean.  


This is my second year teaching 2 different classes, so I need to have a spot to write homework for each class.  The magnets with the class on them are from Vista Print.  


Despicable Me might be one of my favorite cartoon movies.  I am sad to say that I haven't seen the second one yet, but I know a tons of my students loved it.  I found this idea on Pinterest.  On the first day of school I will have the students color minions and then write what makes them not despicable.  We are going to relate this to religion and vocabulary.  



I could read all day if I was given the opportunity.  I always like to recommend books, and I think it is great when students recommend books to their classmates.  On this part of the board I will leave post its for students to stick to the board with book suggestions.  


I guess you can tell I love books.  I have had to get rid of many old ones to make way for some new ones.  I also have a ton of other hiding places for books.  


Even though we have a great science lab in our building for the classes to use, I love to have a ton of resources in the room for students.  Sometimes we are not able to get into the lab, so this is where I keep the science things that we need.  


Exit tickets are all the rage right now.  I started this last year, and love having it up.  At the end of the day, or the end of a lesson, I have students answer a question, ask a question, or reflect on something that they learned.  They then stick it to the door so they can see what other people have written.  


On the first day of school I take mugshots of the students holding up the day of their birth and put them up here.  I will post the finished product later.  


This is my cozy corner.  Some people at a time will seat here for silent reading or we will do whole class instruction here for guided reading or a religion lesson. 



After switching from self contained to rotation, I put a piece of dry erase paper on the wall outside my room.  Every morning I write what time we are rotating and the materials they need to bring to class.  This is so they do not have to interrupt a lesson with a class to find out what to bring.  

People generally ask my if I live in my classroom.  I think it is because I spend so much time there.  I want my room to feel comfortable.  After all, it is where I am for most of my day.  



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