Monday, July 30, 2012

Getting Organized

So I visited my classroom today to tackle my library.  And to my surprise, I didn't have much to do.  The last teachers did an awesome job in maintaining and organizing the classroom library.  As promised, my niece helped me to cover my books with contact paper.  I also had additional help from my sister-in-law.  The three of us managed to cover 100+ plus books in five hours.  I'm so thankful for them!  It would have taken much longer, had I done it by myself.

While in my classroom I took a look around to see what I did/didn't need.  I was delighted to see some board games that I have on my Lakeshore wish list, inside the cabinets.  I took the boardgames out to see if all the pieces were present, and sadly they were not.  I wonder if I contacted Lakeshore would they sell me the pieces.  I probably could make the missing pieces, but who has that amount of time?  I would hate to have to buy those same games again...........

I'm going back to my classroom again to begin cleaning and organizing my cabinets.  I can't really do anything else until the floors are done.  I'm trying to get ahead of the game because I tend to be a huge procrastinator at times.  I don't want to be freaking out a week before school begins, because I don't have enough time to organize my classroom.  So I'll spend a few hours in my classroom for the next week or so.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Taking Care of Your Classroom Library

Back in June I went to the Scholastic Books Warehouse and walked out with a great selection of books.  I purchased about 50-60 books and only paid $85.  Sweet!!!!!  These books will be added to my classroom library, I'm bringing about 100 of my own books.  Because they are soft covered books I was worried about the condition the books will be in, once students start reading.  While browsing another teacher's blog (my newest hobby) I came across Mrs. Siegel's (The Teachaholic) method of making your classroom library last longer.  It's pretty simple and I thought of doing this, but it's oh so time consuming.  But I enlisted the help of my niece who happens to be home for summer break, to help with this project.

All you need is clear contact paper and scissors and your books will come out like this...... 

Click on The Teachaholic above for step by step directions

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Upper Elementary Linky Party

Hey All!  As you already know I'm a newbie to the blogging world.  Lately I have been spending a lot of time browsing various blogs and my new addiction Pinterest!  I found this blog linking numerous blogs of teachers who teach 3rd-5th grade.  If you're an upper elementary teacher looking for more ideas, join the party by clicking on the link.....


My Classroom

I visited the school today to drop off some materials for my classroom.  I love my new classroom!  It's spacious with lots of windows.  It probably won't be as spacious when furniture and students are added to the equation.  LOL!  I can't wait to decorate!  I originally planned to go with a frog theme but I have since changed to an owl theme.  That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.  LOL!  Here are a few pics of my classroom, it is in the process of being painted.

Last Day of School

June 22, 2012

Today is the day, the last day of the 2011-2012 school year! Thank you Jesus! I'm sooooo tired, I may go straight home, shower and sleep til Sunday. But I had a great time in first grade with a GREAT group of kids.  As I dismissed my students, one student came back with a card.  I later opened my card and inside was a letter and a check.  Let me tell you this was the best gift (letter) a teacher could receive!  It's better than flowers or gift cards, simply because those things will fade away, but that letter will remain with me forever. Some of it reads like this "We would like to thank you for your patience and professionalism in teaching our child, 'Kenya'..........."Your efforts are the stepping stones to "Kenya's" success in life." Tears, but happy ones!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Great News

June 11, 2012

What a way to end my graduation celebration!  This morning, I was called into the office by my Head of School and Principal.  They set me down and gave me the sweetest news ever!  I was offered a teaching position for the 2012-2013 school year.  I will be one of three third grade teachers, I'm so excited!!!!!!  I was told that I didn't need an interview, my five years working at the school (Kindergarten TA) was my interview!  

I'm thinking of purchasing this shirt for the first day of school!

Graduation Day

June 9, 2012
Well today is the day! It's finally here and I'm sharing it with my niece who is graduating from high school.  Today I will walk across the stage and receive my diploma - Masters of Arts in Education/Early Childhood Education. 

On my way to Philadelphia to participate in the commencement ceremony

The Parents & I
Proud Sisters

Proud Big Brother
Sister-n-law & my God-son

Nephew & I

On a personal note......

May 15, 2012

Last year I chopped off my hair in an effort to get rid of my relaxed ends. Since then I've noticed several girls at my school chop their hair as well. I'm not saying it's because of me, it could be the influence of a family member. Either way, I'm proud to see these young ladies feeling comfortable in their own skin and choosing at such a young age to be proud of the texture they were born with. Natural girls rock!

The day after I chopped off my hair - Mother's Day 2011!

Back to Work - Hello First Grade!

April 23, 2012

It's funny how things play out. I had a discussion with my CT about which grades I would like to teach.  Right away I said I don't think I could teach first grade. Well that same day I received a call from my school's Administrative Assistant.  I was asked if I would be interested in filling in as a sub (first grade) for the remainder of the school year.  I gave it some thought.  I really loved working with my kindergarten classroom teacher and was anxious to get back to our classroom and kids.  Although I would miss working in our classroom, this would be a great opportunity for me to gain more classroom experience as the lead teacher.  And with me searching for a classroom position for the 2012-2013 school year, what better way than to show what I have learned and applied them in the classroom?  I would love to work in my current school next September, so now is the time to put my best foot forward and show and prove how much of an asset I could be to the school. 

So, after seven weeks away from my job, I returned back to work!  I'm so happy to be back!  The sad part, is that I will not be with my kindergarten kids :-( The good thing is that I will be right across the hall from them so I will still see them every day.

Wish me luck!

Student Teaching Experience

Well it's Friday, April 20, 2012 and my student teaching experience is officially over!  This was the best experience ever.  My CT and her assistant were great.  They were very supportive in my endeavor of becoming a certified teacher.  Whatever I needed she gave, I felt very welcomed in the class.  This was my second placement in a pre-k classroom.  My first setting was in my very own classroom where I assist kindergarten students.  I'm an Instructional Assistant at a K-8 charter school.  Now that I think about it my first placement really didn't "feel" like student teaching.  Like I stated before, this was my normal classroom, therefore I knew all the students and the classroom routine.  Student teaching in the classroom where you work, has its pros and cons.  If I had to do it over again, I would have chosen a different grade level.  But I learned from the experience and had an awesome CT, so that's all the matters.   

In case you didn't know, the Master of Arts in Education/Early Childhood Education  program is different from other Teacher Education programs.  One being is that student teaching takes place in two different settings - preschool and elementary.  Each placement is six weeks long, totaling 12 weeks.  There have been cases where students were able to remain at the same school only if the school included pre-k.  Well my school starts at kindergarten so I had to take a leave of absence for six weeks to complete student teaching in a pre-k classroom.   

Those six weeks flew by very quickly!  I'm very pleased with my growth as well as the student's growth.  My CT gave me an awesome recommendation letter that I will use in my portfolio.  Speaking of portfolio I really need to get on the ball of finalizing mine.  Although my placement is finished, I'm definitely not finished with the program.  I still have one more week to go in seminar with much work to do.  I really should have taken a week off before heading back to work, I'm exhausted!  Oh and by the way, I was offered a long term substitute position in first grade.  So when I return to work I will get my first experience of having my own classroom in an elementary setting, well at least until the next nine weeks. 

For those of you still working towards your degree, please don't give up!  Yes it's hard at times but the end reward will be so much worth it! 

My CT surprised me with a farewell breakfast and wonderful gifts.  I was so overwhelmed and cried like a baby.  I wasn't expecting this at all!

I'm a Newbie!

Hello All!

I'm new to the blogging world so please bare with me.  My intentions were to create a blog during my student teaching experience but I never got around to creating one.  While I didn't create an official blog I did write my thoughts down and shared with my online classmates as well as my Facebook family.  Although the date is stamped with July, I'm going to take you back to April.  I hope you enjoy reading my blog! 

Thanks for stopping by!