Friday, July 30, 2010

Reality Sinking In

Well folks, it's official - I have the keys to my room and the building! I spent 3 hours this morning in my room. I wish I could say I whipped the room into shape during that time but we ALL know that is far from the truth!!! I walked in and it looked so much cleaner and orderly than what it was like when I first saw it. The first thing that caught my attention was how much stuff there was! Boxes, books, files, boxes, and more boxes! I was convinced that most of it probably wasn't mine because many of the boxes had other names/rm #'s on them. Well, I asked the office manager and she said that only one of the boxes belonged to someone other words, all that stuff is mine!

This is both great and not so great at the same time. I have no clue where to even start with going through the tons of boxes, organizing books, creating space for work stations, small group teaching, and of course the list goes on! So after talking to our fabulous Office Manager for about 15 mins and standing in pure awe at the task that was in front of me for another 15 mins, I decided to start 'small'. I went straight for the teacher's desk and file cabinet. There were so many handwriting and math practice packets, I almost couldn't stand it (poor trees!). I didn't want to throw them away because as a newbie, I have NO CLUE what I will end up using or not using. So I filed them away in color-coded file folders (purple-handwriting and manilla- math packets). I organzied the supplies in the teacher's desk. I also organized the storage drawers that housed wall charts (content specific), construction paper, and Language Arts/Math binder resources the previous teacher left behind.

With these minor tasks complete, I have no clue where to go from here!! I took my hero Debbie Diller's advice and drew a map of my classroom in order to plan for instructional space, however I feel like I need to get all the stuff in my room organized and put away before I even think about moving furniture!!

I think I'm going to first- NAP! Then I think I will finish up my planning for the first week of writing. After that, I really have no idea what to tackle next. Time is winding down and I want to be as efficient as possible with my time. Considering what I've done so far- What would your next plan of action be??

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Changing Names

Okay, every time I look at my blog title, I have the urge to change it. As I am done with student teaching, I feel like it is slightly misinformative as to what I will talk about on this blog. Does anyone know how I can change the title of my blog with out changing my URL- I really don't want to throw off my followers?? Thanks!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gearing Up

It has been a whirlwind of a week! Taking all of the suggestions I received from my last post, I decided to start full-force with planning. I have planned out the first week of Math and am starting on the first week of Writing. Last night, I wrote several pieces for my Writer’s Folder for Workshop. I will be using the pieces as the foundation of my minilessons for the first week. I also did the overall plan for unit 1 so now I will start working on my daily lesson plans for writing during the first week. I am really hesitant about planning more than 1 week in advance because I have no clue who my students are, let alone where they are academically. All teachers must submit lesson plans the Thursday before the week they are to be taught, so right now I am feeling pretty good.

I also got news that I will be meeting with my principal next Friday as a part of New Teacher Week. Hopefully then, or sometime soon after, I will learn who my students are so I can mail out an introductory letter to them and their families!
Best News of the Day: I get to pick up the keys to my classroom on Friday morning!!! I plan to stick around for a few hours and navigate my way through the tons of stuff in the room. For some reason, I feel like some of it belongs to other teachers, so I’m gonna try and determine to whom it really belongs.

Plan of Attack for the Next Week (in no particular order):
• Plan out first week of Writing
• Aug 4- Plan Literacy Block with Literacy Coach
• Get more info about science/social studies curriculum and plan to teach (I would almost think we didn’t teach science/s.s. because since May, I have only heard these subjects referenced maybe twice- compared to 1,000,202 references to Math and Literacy)
• Complete Classroom Newsletter
• Finish and Mail Intro Letter to Parents
• Create Plan/Activities for First Day of School
Our first day of school is a half day. What does your very first day of school look like?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bundle of Emotion

I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed lately. I just moved into my new apartment and have been busy unpacking and organizing. With school starting in 4 weeks, I am starting to feel the pressure of getting ready for this school year. I have so much stuff on my To-Do list but I have no clue where to begin. I have been working on my Classroom Management Plan and thinking through various routines and procedures. I am currently working on setting up my class newsletter and intro letter to my students' families. I have also spent quite a bit of time reviewing curriculum, but now I feel like I need to just start planning. I would love to meet with my grade level teachers but I do not know who they are (long story) and my principal and vice-principal are on maternity leave. Needless to say, I am a big bundle of emotions right now!!! Advice....suggestions on how to effectively navigate these next few weeks?