Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Double Duty! Classroom Tour Linky and Liebster Nomination :D

Alrighty friends. . . I have SO MUCH to tell you all! And I apologize in advance for the length of this post!  Let's start with something I am extremely excited about!

I woke up to a blog comment from the lovely Becca over at Kindergarten A to Z letting me know that she had nominated me for a Liebster Award. . . how wonderful is she?!?!!  (Pretty wonderful, in case you were wondering).  Go check out all of her adventures in teaching kinders!  Personally, I think kinders teachers have special superpowers because those little tykes are something else :) 
The second for this post is to showcase my (almost) finished classroom!  Woohoo!  I'm linking up for Teacher Week '13 and today is the day that I show you all around my lovely classroom. . . so lets get started!

For those who don't know, the Liebster Award is given to blogs with less than 200 followers (which is definitely me!). There are some specific things I need to do to accept this award...

1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5 - 11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted by my nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about myself
5. Create 11 questions for my nominees
6. Contact my nominees to let them know I nominated them

I am nominating
1)Erin @ Adventures in Third Grade
2)Kristen @ For the Love of 4th Grade
3)Rissa @ Keep Calm and Hoot On
4)Mrs. Mariano @That First Grade Blog
5)   @ The Big Apple Teacher
* Go check out all of these wonderful ladies after you are done here!*

Here are the questions Becca asked me!

1. Why did you want to become a teacher?
    I want to change the world!  Does that sound corny?  yeah. . . it does.  But I am serious.  I just wanna   make a difference, all this ambition might as well go to something good right?

2. What story/activity do you love teaching with students, and why?
      I love teaching any topic that I have to do more research on.  I get so excited that I learn right along with  my kiddos

3.  Do you have a theme for your classroom? If so, what is it, and why? If not, why not?
    Being a fresh grad, I didn't have a whole lot of money to spend on decorations for a theme, so I just chose bright colors as my theme!

4. Do you have any pets? What are they?
   I have one kitty. . . and I am coming to terms with being a twenty something cat lady

5. What is one piece of advice you wish you had been given about teaching?
    I suppose I won't be able to answer this one till after my first year :)

6. Why do you blog?
   I blog to share my adventures and meet all of these incredible teacher bloggers!

7. What is your favorite non-education related book?

      I just finished reading The Book Thief and I LOVED it!

8. What do you love to do to unwind and "get away from it all"?
    I love swinging.  Doesn't matter if its on a playground or porch.  I think its just so magical :)

9. What is your least favorite household chore?
    I'm fine with any chore except cleaning the bathroom, gross

10. If you watch TV, what is your favorite TV show? 
    I am hopelessly addicted to New Girl. . . who doesn't love Zoey?!

11. What is your favorite snack food?
  I am a sucker for about any snack/junk food but I am a huge fan of cheeto puffs and oreos!

11 things about me?  Go check out yesterday's post and my 11th fun fact is that I love country music!

These are my questions for the nominees
1) If you could teach any grade, which would it be and why?
2) What's your favorite Starbucks beverage?
3)Did you always want to be a teacher?
4)What's your favorite part about blogging?
5)Got a best friend?  Tell us about them!
6)Favorite subject to teach?
7)What's your favorite time of the school year?
8)Who was your favorite teacher growing up?
9) What is the best vacation you've ever been on?
10)Coke or Pepsi?
11)Favorite Disney movie?

Now for the classroom tour!

This is what you'd see walking into room 207 :D  My word wall is up above  garage doors (which you'll see later) and my library is right in the middle.  I am so excited to have 26 little 3rd graders sittin' in those desks in 13 short days!!!

Here is my little teacher corner complete with my own little closet in the back!  On the garage door next to my desk in my birthday chart.  Each kiddo will have a candle with their name and day of their big day!!

This is the wall with my door.  My writing center is a little pathetic right now, but without access to a laminator I am holding off putting all of my do dads up there for the sun to bake.  The board on the left is command central that will hold out classroom rules, jobs, and the chart to track where the kiddos are throughout the day.  Curious about the NOISE letters?  Come back on Thursday and I'll tell you!

This is the view from the back of my room.  Like my chalkboard?  I am hoping to get whiteboards before school starts, but I'm up for the adventure :) 
See my beautiful wall of windows?!?!  My only plight with them is that it gets awfully hot in the afternoon!  :(

There you have it folks!  A whole lot awesome all packed into one lengthy post. 

 If you feel the need to comment. . . I'd be more than okay with that  :)  Share the love!!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Meet The Teacher '13

Holy guacamole friends!!  Can you believe the first day of school is almost here?!!?  Although for some of you that day has come and gone :)   I am incredibly excited to be linking up for Teacher Week '13!

Here is the low down on this first year teacher. . .

1) I am an rural Idaho girl to my roots!  Nothing beats a BBQ in the backyard with the neighbors and a beautiful (unobstructed) sunset :)

This year has been a year of firsts for me, so we'll just start there.

2) I graduated from the a-ma-zing Carroll College in good 'ol Helena Montana
{Here I am with three of my ed friends!  We all have grown up teaching jobs now, woohoo!}

3)   Right after graduation I started the Camino de Santiago with my dad!  We only made it 100 miles before our injuries got the better of us :(  But maybe someday we will go back and finish the trip?
{My dad and I at our pre-walk stop in Paris!}

Now I am spending the rest of my summer gearing up for the school year that starts on August 26th!! Gaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!    I am excited/nervous/gitty/terrified and so many other adjectives! 

4)  Speaking of school. . . lets talk about that!  I am starting my first year at a new-ish charter school with about 200 students.  Moving home to work was actually my backup plan, but turned out to be the best place for me.  If you wanna read about that whirlwind experience, click HERE!  

Now for some more fun facts about yours truly
5) I am {capital L} Love Dr. Pepper...and its pretty serious 
6) I am a hopeless romantic, the sappy stuff gets me every time!
7) If I weren't teaching, I'd be a photographer, or a journalist, or a baker
8) Making new friends is one of my favorite pastimes
9) I was born to teach!!

10)  I'm thinking this post should have been longer, but as I write this I am getting pretty tired from all of the pages and do-dads for my classroom :)

Have a wonderful Monday friends 

Now would be a great time to check out all of the other fabulous teachers that are joining Teacher Week '13

***updated 8/12/13***

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Worth It All

I don't think love is a strong enough word to describe how I feel about teaching.   True, I have only student taught this far, but I know in the deepest part of my soul that I was meant to teach.  It's a conviction so strong that I can never fully explain how teaching makes me feel.  Do you feel that way too?

I am taking a week long class (professional development at its finest) and I have been thinking about key moments during my student teaching experience that really solidified this calling for me.  A few weeks after I had taken over teaching every subject, my wonderful master teacher Jane had to go to a conference for two days.  Legally she had to get a guest teacher, but I was the one teaching all the material for those two days.

The first day was a-maz-ing.  The entire day went so smoothly and we just had a rockin' day!  I called Jane completely ecstatic to let her know just how fantastic the day really was.

Then the second day arrived. 

It was terrible.  The kids were unruly and the day just became a downward spiral ending in tears.  Ever been there before?  My second phone conversation with Jane was a complete 180 from the previous day.  But at the end of our conversation I told her "you know, even though today was completely awful, I can't wait to come back tomorrow and start again."  And you know what?  I meant it with my whole heart.  I had already started thinking of new ways to handle situations that came up and I was already revamping my lessons to better suite the needs of the classroom.  I think that's when you know you found where you're supposed to be.  At the end of a terrible, awful day, you still want to come back and do it again tomorrow!

We never had another day quite as bad as that one, but when I had had a particularly long day, I would think of that moment, put on my big girl pant(ies) and keep movin' forward.

Another memory that I often find in the front of my mind is from my very last day of student teaching.  Now, let's back track for a second.  I had one boy in my class who craved attention with every fiber of his being.  I knew from my master teacher that he didn't get his fill of attention at home and he was constantly looking for it from me.  Sometimes it would be sweet little notes or comments about how much he loved me as his teacher.  Other days it would be refusing to do his work or starting quarrels with other students.  Do you know the kiddo I'm talking about?  The one that makes you want to pull your hair out and take him home all at the same time.  Fast forward back to my last day of school

The students were coming up to give me cards and little presents, and B came up with tears in his big sad eyes and handed me this note. . .

Doesn't that just melt your heart?  Well it sure melted mine!  I started crying and gave that sweet boy a great big hug!!   While I know he would have learned if I hadn't been his teacher, to know I made an impact on this little person struck me to my core.  As teachers we are blessed with such a special gift to be a part of these little one's lives, even if it's only for a year (or in my case one semester).  But the impact we can have on these kiddos is truly astounding. Mushy mushy gushy I know, but in all seriousness?  Teachers make a difference, so keep up the phenomenal work.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Monday Made It - 20 days!

Holy cow folks!  I have 20, yes, 20 days till my very first day as a teacher!!  This is ca-ra-zy!!!   I feel so prepared and unprepared all at the same time but I am confident that with the help of all the amazing teachers at my school I'll do just fine :)  In celebration of my first day coming ever so soon I am linking up with Jessica over at Literacy Spark for . . .
Now for the biggest reason for this post - my Monday Made It!  This linky party is hosted by Tara at 4th Grade Frolics, so after you're done here go check out all of the other Made Its and show them some love :)

Made It #1

I am all for giving my kiddos numbers to keep everyone organized!  I also think it is incredibly helpful when they leave the classroom, to know who is where and keeping all that info on something relatively small.  (did that make ANY sense?)  Anywho. . . I have seen variations of this all over and my master teacher used something like this last year, except hers was only for the bathroom. I wanted my to cover a wider range of locations and this is my final creation!  I am thrilled with how it turned out!!  

I found this magnetic whiteboard on sale at Fred Meyers-$6 what what?!?! 

 I found these colorful magnets at Walmart and just wrote the numbers on them.  The painters tape, washi tape and sharpie I already had on hand.


Made It #2

I couldn't help but smile as a made these cute little Quiet Critters!  I'm still working on their container but the important part is done right?!  I originally found this idea from Teaching Chick (thank you Pinterest for putting all of these fabulous ideas in one convenient place!!) Now, her critters had feet, but I thought mine were adorable as is. . . and I forgot to buy feet while out and about :)  

All I used were the pompoms, wiggly eyes and good 'ol Elmers glue! 

Silly me!  I didn't take any pictures of those critters all by themselves, but here are both my projects all done and ready to be put into my classroom!!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Get Your SLANT Box Before It's Too Late!

Have you heard of a magical program called SLANT?  Neither had I till a few hours ago!  Click on the picture to learn the details from Lessons With Coffee and sign up for your every own SLANT box! 

The SLANT Box Exchange
SLANT stands for Sending Love Across the Nation to Teachers, how sweet is that?!

*****Now this is important!*****

 You must sign up by the 11:59 pm on the 3rd of the month (Central Standard Time.). That's really soon!  So get crackin' to be a part of this marvelous program!  

And if someone would be so kind as to tell me what I am doing wrong with the SLANT button I would be ever so grateful!  I can't figure out how to get rid of that darn box around it :(

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Currently {August}

Can you believe its AUGUST already?!?!    in exactly 26 days (yes, 26 days!) I will start my very first day as a teacher ever!  Woohoo!  To celebrate such a fantastic month, I am linking up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the Currently August linky par tay!


So. . . here is my {first}Currently!

I just love love this show!  To be honest, the characters remind me of my group of friend (although we're not that smart) but they are a rather witty bunch :)

Watching lightning and rain outside my window is just one of the many things I love about summer. And rain doesn't come all that often in my neck of the woods, so whenever it does show itself I can't help but drop everything and watch

I only started teacher blogging mid summer and I am so thankful for all of the fantastic resources I have found and I can't wait for all of the connections I hope to make in the years to come!

Dr. Pepper is my go to drink when I go anywhere. . . its just 29 flavors combining to make one fantastical drink

I'm thinking that the Dr. Pepper could really help me with this!  I'm about half way done setting up my classroom but I haven't even started on my curriculum yikes!  On second thought, I might need 2 sodas...

B2s Must Haves
  • I am a planning machine!  And having one place to put all my appointments and to-dos is a must!
  • Correcting piles of papers is just so much more fun with colorful pens!
  • I have been going through all of my clothes to find the perfect first day ever as a brand new teacher outfit but so far I have been unsuccessful.  But I still have 26 days right?!

There it is, my currently August ...happy blogging everyone!

Oh!  One more thing!  I just added an adorable Bloglovin' button from Courtney, you should go check out all of the fabulous things on her blog!