Sunday, November 11, 2012

Schedule Update

PhotobucketSo in my last post (which was forever and a day ago), I mentioned some issues I was having with scheduling.

I was so intrigued by those of you that said you had essentially no time limitations on how long you had to teach certain subjects.

We have district wide expectations, but I also think because I teach in a Title I school, they are extra concerned with whether or not I'm teaching what I should and for how long I should.

So, I was FINALLY able to come up with a solution.  It involves lots of stopping in the middle of instruction, but you gotta do what you gotta do I guess.  My room basically looks like a wreck ALL DAY LONG, but whatever.

So, here is my new schedule:

Monday, Thursday, & Friday:
7:10-7:45:  Math Morning Work, Morning News, Review Morning Work
7:45-8:00:  Morning Meeting & Restroom Break
8:00-8:45:  Whole Group ELA:  Phonics, Grammar, Vocabulary, & Writing
8:45-9:30:  Guided Reading Centers
9:30-10:00:  Math Centers
10:05-10:45:  Special Area
10:50-11:30:  Finish Math Centers
11:30-12:00:  S.S.
12:05-12:50:  Lunch & Recess
12:50-1:00:  Finish S.S.
1:00-1:40:  Science
1:40-1:45:  Amazing Race
1:45-2:05:  DEAR
2:05-2:10:  Find It, Fix It


Tuesday
7:10-7:45:  Math Morning Work, Morning News, Review Morning Work
7:45-8:00:  Morning Meeting & Restroom Break
8:00-8:45:  Whole Group ELA:  Phonics, Grammar, Vocabulary, & Writing
8:45-9:30:  Guided Reading Centers
9:30-10:00:  Math Centers
10:05-10:45:  Special Area
10:50-11:30:  Finish Math Centers
11:30-12:00:  S.S.
12:05-12:50:  Lunch & Recess
12:50-1:40:  Finish S.S.
1:40-1:45:  Amazing Race
1:45-2:05:  DEAR
2:05-2:10:  Find It, Fix It


Wednesday
7:10-7:45:  Math Morning Work, Morning News, Review Morning Work
7:45-8:00:  Morning Meeting & Restroom Break
8:00-8:45:  Whole Group ELA:  Phonics, Grammar, Vocabulary, & Writing
8:45-9:30:  Guided Reading Centers
9:30-10:00:  Math Centers
10:05-10:45:  Special Area
10:50-12:00:  Garden Classroom (Science)
12:05-12:50:  Lunch & Recess
12:50-1:40:  Finish Math Centers & Complete Weekly Multiplication Timed Test
1:40-1:45:  Amazing Race
1:45-2:05:  DEAR
2:05-2:10:  Find It, Fix It

The reason I have 3 schedules is we go to our school's Garden Classroom on Wednesday for an hour.  This counts as Science and I don't have a chance to do S.S. on these days.

So that's my updated schedules.  Thanks SO much to those of you that commented and helped me!  I hope everyone is doing well.  Sorry I have been absent.  I've also been completely absent from stalking all of your wonderful blogs!  Boo :(  I hope everyone is doing fabulous :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I Need Your Help

Yes, I know it's been forever since I posted on here.

I've been busy growing a little baby boy and writing this blog for our son.  You can see I'm not so great at updating that either!

So, a few weeks ago, we found out that we would have a mandatory DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) time at the end of the day.  Well that's all fine and good, but I knew I would have to change my schedule.  These are our daily teaching minute requirements:

ELA:  200 minutes
Math:  90 minutes
Science:  40 minutes
S.S.: 40 minutes

Kiddos start rolling into my room at 7:10.  School officially starts at 7:30.  We have a news program that is supposed to start around that time, but usually doesn't.

Here is what my original schedule looked like:
Monday, Thursday, & Friday
7:10-7:30:  Eat breakfast & Complete Morning Work
7:30-7:45:  Morning News
7:45-8:00:  Morning Meeting & Read Aloud
8:00-9:15:  ELA:  Phonics, Vocabulary, Grammar, & Writing
9:15-10:00:  Guided Reading & Centers
10:05-10:45:  Special Area
10:50-11:25:  Social Studies
11:25-12:00:  Science
12:05-12:50:  Lunch & Recess
12:55-2:10:  Math
2:10-2:20:  Pack Up, Clean Up, & Dismissal


Tuesday
7:10-7:30:  Eat breakfast & Complete Morning Work
7:30-7:45:  Morning News
7:45-8:00:  Morning Meeting & Read Aloud
8:00-9:15:  ELA:  Phonics, Vocabulary, Grammar, & Writing
9:15-10:00:  Guided Reading & Centers
10:05-10:45:  Special Area
10:50-12:00:  Social Studies
12:05-12:50:  Lunch & Recess
12:55-2:10:  Math
2:10-2:20:  Pack Up, Clean Up, & Dismissal


Wednesday
7:10-7:30:  Eat breakfast & Complete Morning Work
7:30-7:45:  Morning News
7:45-8:00:  Morning Meeting & Read Aloud
8:00-9:15:  ELA:  Phonics, Vocabulary, Grammar, & Writing
9:15-10:00:  Guided Reading & Centers
10:05-10:45:  Special Area
10:50-12:00:  Garden Classroom {Science}
12:05-12:50:  Lunch & Recess
12:55-2:10:  Math
2:10-2:20:  Pack Up, Clean Up, & Dismissal

A couple of issues with this schedule:

  • Not enough time for Math.  It has me ending at 2:10, but that's not happening.  Y'all we are dismissing AT 2:10.  So I have to stop no later than 2:00 and that's STILL pushing it for us being ready to leave at 2:00
  • Not enough time for Science & S.S.
  • I rarely started at 8:00
  • I had no time for Find It, Fix It!
So, when I found out we had to have DEAR, I knew I would have to move math.  My plan is to have students packed up and ready to go BEFORE DEAR starts.  That means I am going to have to stop teaching no later than 1:40.  

So, since DEAR is ELA related, I am going to need to cut out 20 minutes of my ELA block.  I hate to do it especially since I'm barely fitting it all in as it is, but I don't see any other option.  

So, what would you do?  This is what I'm thinking:

Monday, Thursday, & Friday
7:10-7:30:  Eat breakfast & Complete Math Morning Work
7:30-7:45:  Morning News
7:45-8:00:  Morning Meeting & Bathroom Break (NO read aloud)
8:00-8:50:  ELA:  Phonics, Vocabulary, Grammar, & Writing
8:50-9:40:  Guided Reading & Centers
9:40-10:00:  Math Message & Mental Math
10:05-10:45:  Special Area
10:50-12:00:  Math (Possibly with centers)
12:05-12:50:  Lunch & Recess
12:55-1:40:  Science & S.S.
1:40-1:45:  Pack Up
1:45-2:05:  DEAR
2:05-2:10:  Find It, Fix It, Raffle, Dismissal


Tuesday
7:10-7:30:  Eat breakfast & Complete Math Morning Work
7:30-7:45:  Morning News
7:45-8:00:  Morning Meeting & Bathroom Break (NO read aloud)
8:00-8:50:  ELA:  Phonics, Vocabulary, Grammar, & Writing
8:50-9:40:  Guided Reading & Centers
9:40-10:00:  Math Message & Mental Math
10:05-10:45:  Special Area
10:50-12:00:  Math (Possibly with centers)
12:05-12:50:  Lunch & Recess
12:55-1:40:  S.S.
1:40-1:45:  Pack Up
1:45-2:05:  DEAR
2:05-2:10:  Find It, Fix It, Raffle, Dismissal


Monday, Thursday, & Friday
7:10-7:30:  Eat breakfast & Complete Math Morning Work
7:30-7:45:  Morning News
7:45-8:00:  Morning Meeting & Bathroom Break (NO read aloud)
8:00-8:50:  ELA:  Phonics, Vocabulary, Grammar, & Writing
8:50-9:40:  Guided Reading & Centers
9:40-10:00:  Math Message & Mental Math
10:05-10:45:  Special Area
10:50-12:00:  Garden Classroom {Science}
12:05-12:50:  Lunch & Recess
12:55-1:40:  Math
1:40-1:45:  Pack Up
1:45-2:05:  DEAR
2:05-2:10:  Find It, Fix It, Raffle, Dismissal



The only problem with this schedule is not enough time for Science & S.S.  Plus, there's not enough time for Math on Wednesdays due to Garden Classroom.

So what do you think?  What would you do?

I really appreciate the help and insight, especially since I've been SO absent lately.  Hope your year is going well.  I have quite the class this year so that has kept me busy as well.



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Monday, August 20, 2012

My Must-Haves

Hey y'all!

First off, thanks SOOOOOO much for all of your super sweet comments on my last post!  I will not lie...I am totally worried about functioning when school starts back because I am straight up exhausted.  I'm officially in the second trimester so I'm hoping to get my energy back soon!  Just an FYI:  I slept between 10.5 and 11 hours Friday night and proceeded to take not one, but two naps on Saturday.  Geesh...I can't imagine what I'll be like after a full workweek with kids!

Anyways, I'm linking up over at Blog Hoppin for my must haves!


So, here are my absolute must haves in no particular order.

My laminator.  This is the one I have, although it is in black.  We basically had a nonexistent laminator at work this past year and when we did finally get one it was shoddy at best.  This is a HUGE lifesaver.  Click the picture for the link!  I also use these laminating sheets.  I'm sure there are some cheaper ones out there, but I just love these.  


My pencil sharpener.  Again, I am in LOVE.  I know most of you have the super quiet one, but I have yet to invest in that one.  This sharpener has great reviews and works really well.  However, I am a total control freak and do not allow kids within a 5 step radius.  Okay, kidding, but seriously, they are not to sharpen pencils in this.  No way...not happening.


My hot glue gun.  I put everything up in my room with hot glue.  It peels off easily {usually} and allows lamination to stick.  This is the exact same one I have and I bought it at Wal-Mart.  Seriously, if you do not have one, you must get one.  Everyone at work knows me as the hot glue gun girl!  Ha!

Colorful pens and markers.  Oh dear, I have quite the obsession.  Here are some of my favorites...




Post-Its, Tabs, Paperclips, & Binderclips.  I need to mark where I am in a book and where to find certain things.  A binder clip is great at marking your place!  I love all of these to be colorful, of course!

Coke Zero or Diet Dr. Pepper.  I always have one with my lunch, but since I'm preggers, I won't be having any this school year.  Kill me now!

Snacks.  Preferably chocolate, but I'll eat granola bars, fruit snacks, etc.  My lunch time is 30 minutes later this year so I'll definitely be inhaling this probably 4/5 days of the week:


Seriously, the best ever.  I may also be known as popcorn girl at faculty meetings ;)

So those are my must haves.  I'm sure as soon as I check out everyone else's I'll be hitting myself in the head in a 'doh!' moment because I forgot to include that.  Oh well.  Hubby wants to eat, so off to make dinner I go.  I hope you link up!  

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

BIG News!

Hey y'all!

Hope everyone is doing well :)  Thanks SO much for all of the wonderful feedback y'all gave me on my classroom library.  My room is still in shambles, but luckily I have time to work on it before Open House on Friday.

Remember my Currently and how I said I couldn't wait until August 14.

Well, we're finally here and I can share my big news with you!

Did you notice I was more MIA than usual during the summer?

Well, the reason is...

video
Yup!  I'm having a baby :)

We found out on June 10 and I immediately scheduled my first doctors appointment.  I'm pretty sure it was the only time {and still is} I looked forward going to the OBGYN!

So I figured I should have been about 6 weeks then.  However, we did not see much at our ultrasound:

I told the hubby when we got home that I just wasn't sure if the pregnancy was viable.  To begin with, our due date was 8 days later than I thought it should be and the ultrasound showed hardly anything.

So, we decided to not tell anyone until after our next appointment.  So, we went back on July 17 and were absolutely amazed at what we saw!


It was unreal the difference!  The video is from the same appointment.

So, we told our parents the following Friday using this announcement:


video


So that's why I've been MIA more so than usual.  I had NO energy whatsoever.  I took many naps on the couch...during the summer!  I've never napped during the summer.

Hope you all are doing well...I'm prepping to head back to work tomorrow.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Setting Up The Classroom: Library

Hey y'all!

Boy, I am pooped.  I have been super busy in my classroom.  I spent some of Tuesday, most of Wednesday, and all of Thursday and today working on my classroom library.  This is a picture heavy post so be warned!

Here's a picture from last year so you can see how it was organized.

Not terrible.  It was organized by genre.  I used stickers to distinguish between the different genres.

However, I was never super pleased with my library.

Well, I finally decided this year, I would tackle it.

So, the first thing I did was use child labor have my sweet adorable niece unpack ALL of my books.  It looked like this when she was done:


Sorry, that's the only picture I have of the before.  This was after I requested she even out the books.  

Then, on Tuesday, I sorted through every single basket of books and sorted them into categories.  I didn't take any pictures of this, but I'm sure you can mentally picture just piles and piles of books on the floor and on desks.  

Then, I came home and made my labels.  I bought a pack of labels at Wal-Mart and started typing away.  My original idea was to use a large label that would wrap around the spine of the book (partially onto the back).  Kind of like this:

Then on Wednesday, I had the great idea to just use a smaller label and put it on the front of the book.  DUH!  Plus, it would be much cheaper since Costco sells the smaller labels.  

So, while I was running errands, I picked up the labels from Costco and Wednesday evening I spent the entire night making all of my labels & printing them.  It took forever!

Thursday I spent the entire day putting labels on all of my books.  I got about 1/3 of the way through and I realized the labels peel off rather easily.  Obviously I should have known that, but I was trying to save some time.  So, I went back and put a layer of packing tape on every single book.


Hard to tell, but here is the label with the tape on top.  The pictures on the labels match the pictures on the bin.

I also took this time to make sure each book was labeled with my name.  A lot of books had my maiden name in them.  However, no one knows that name since I was married before I came to my current school.  Dare I show you the books that needed to be labeled with my name?  This is what it all looked like when I left for the weekend on Thursday.

Yup...every single one of these books either has no name or my maiden name.

These are my books that are actually labeled with my name...those are some sorry bins.

I forgot to make the History labels :/


.
I ran out of labels for all of these books.

Shelf eagerly awaiting to be filled.

So that brings me to today.  I finished labeling all of the remaining books and that took me until about lunchtime.  When I came back, I stamped all of my books that needed it using my awesome stamp that I won from Miss Nelson!
Run Miss Nelsons got the Camera


Isn't it puuurrrty?

So, I stamped all of the books, put them in their appropriate bin and arranged all of the bins how I wanted them.  I grouped like bins together (Science related, History related, etc.).  Here's how it looked with old labels.


These would always fall off...


Bye-Bye 4 year old labels!  Siyonara :)

Here we are with our brand new library labels courtesy of Teaching in Flip Flops.  I did add color to them and I am in love!


S

Labels falling off?  Problem solved!  I love Velcro :)




I am SO happy with how it all turned out.  I honestly feel so good about my library now.  How do you organize your library?  
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Setting Up the Classroom Day 2

Hey y'all!

I just realized I'm pretty sure about 99% of my posts start that way.  Oh well...that's totally how I would address you in person.

So, I worked today in my room and as promised, I have some pictures of what I accomplished yesterday.  You know this will be a picture heavy post!  Be ready for the explosion that is my classroom...












 Phew!  I have been working since I got home on new library labels.  This is a short but sweet post...I'm pooped!


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Monday, August 6, 2012

The Best Part of the Olympics...

I am so glad other people agreed with me about the Olympics coverage.  I just hate finding things out before they happen, especially when they could show it live.  They just don't want to because of primetime ratings.

Anyways, I'm sure you all have seen this, but OMG, I am in ♥ with this video.  I cannot get enough and probably watch it at least once a day.

Seriously, obsessed.  Have you seen this?  Do you love it as much as I do?  I also really like to read the comments and find out who's who.  I recognized so many more swimmers this year because of this video (ahem, Nathan Adrian, Brendan Hansen, Rebecca Soni...)

In school related new, I got into my classroom today....Hallelujah!  My mom came and helped and we got a lot done.  BUT, I forgot my camera.  I'll take some pics when I get in tomorrow to show the bomb that has exploded progress in Room 313.  When I started, it looked like this.

Well, I'm off to bed, but I'll be sure to update tomorrow with a hopefully neater classroom :)
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