Friday, August 31, 2012

The Last Weekend

Okay so the classroom is 98% complete.  I'm still waiting on a few things that were previously ordered.  Once they arrive, my classroom will be complete!  This is the last weekend before the 2012-2013 school year begins.  I have still have sooooooo much to do but I also need to take the time out to just relax.  I haven't been to the beach all summer long and my family is planning to go in the morning.  I think I'm going to take them up on their offer and go.  Maybe I can lay on the beach and read a book, hopefully I won't fall asleep ;-)

Here's an updated picture of my math wall.  As you can see I still don't have my book bin labels, I'm printing them out tomorrow.


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Summer Vacation is Over!

Summer vacation is officially over.  Where did the summer go?  Yesterday was a very eventful day, my first day of orientation.  Although I've worked at this school for five years, it is my first year as a teacher.  In addition to myself, we have five new teachers.  For the most part orientation was good.  What I enjoyed the most was the Principal's slide show.  She showcased her k-8 school years, and spoke of how each teacher had an impact (positive and negative) on her life.  It was really cute and I'm thinking of doing the same thing for my students.  She also asked each of us to think of a song that describes us, my pick was "God in Me" by Mary Mary.  But I thought of two more that I love, "Beautiful Flower" and "I Choose" both by India Arie.  I consider "I Choose" to be my theme song (click on the songs to listen).  Anyway, as stated before, I'm going to create a slide show for the first day of school, so that my students can get to know me a little better.  I'm going to end the slide show with "Who are You?" or something along those lines.  This will start the dialogue up and break the ice. 

BTW.......Can you believe that I'm still organizing and arranging my classroom?  After today, I feel much better with my progress, I'm about 90% complete.  I have two more days (in between meetings) to prepare.  Wish me luck!  Pics soon to follow!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Library is Complete

This is going to be a short and sweet post.  I'm happy to report that after four days of organizing, my library is now finished!  Yay!!!!!  I never thought it would take this long!  I'm so glad I decided to get a head start on working in my classroom.  Tomorrow I will begin working on my bulletin boards.........

I have to add labels.....

I'm going to switch out these bins to make them all uniform

Need to add labels and decide if I want alternating colors or all red......

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Books, Books, Books and More Books!

I visited the school yesterday and today, to start cleaning and arranging my furniture.  I like the arrangement I have, and loving the fact that I will have only 13 students.  Sweet!!!!!!  This year third grade is split between three rooms, thus the small number of students.  There are 40 total students in grade three.  

So far, I spent about eight hours total, arranging my classroom and it doesn't look like I accomplished much.  I've spent most of the time organizing my classroom library.  In a previous post I stated that I would spend a few hours a day in my class, at least twice a week.  Well that was weeks ago and I didn't keep my I'm spending a great deal of time organizing.  There are so many books in my classroom, every-time I think I'm finished with the books, I find another bin.  Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful for the books it's just taking much more time than I expected on getting organized.  Let's see what I can tackle tomorrow.

This is the only organized area in the classroom so far........

I'm arranging the chapter books by author.  To get organized, I placed these letter punch-outs on the floor and begin sorting by last name......


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I Decided.....

So I have been going back and forth on how to organize my classroom library.  Should I organize by level or not?  I have finally decided to organize books by topic and authors.  I want my students to learn how to choose books that are the right fit for them.  I don't want students to limit their book choices based on level.  I remember substituting a class where one child wanted to choose a book that was in the level 4 bin and she was a level 2 reader.  All the students knew she was a level 2 reader and insisted that she was not to read any of the higher leveled books.  The student really wanted to read this particular book.  So I told the student to read the book to me and if she struggled with it, then she would have to choose a different book.  I'm glad I allowed her to read the book because she read it with very little help from me.  She did an awesome job!  From then on she would choose a book in the level 4 bin and ask to read a few pages to me, I would oblige.  We kept the same agreement.  On her own, she learned how to choose books that were the right fit.  So now that my mind is made up, it's now time to create labels and purchase additional book bins.