July 27, 2012

Preparing for School Linky Party

Mrs. Crouse is having her  first ever linky party and she's looking for participants!
Click here to join the linky party
There's 3 rules:
1. Post about this linky party on your blog
2. Follow Mrs. Crouse's blog ({6th Grade} All-Stars)
3. Answer the following 5 questions (include documents if you have them):

- What grade do you teach?
***I'm teaching 4th grade this year. 
- What is the greatest advice you received during your 1st year of teaching?
***Pick one thing and one thing only to focus on--if you have too many goals for yourself, you'll become frustrated, stressed, and your to-do list will never end. (Even now, after 9 years of teaching, my to-do list still doesn't end. But I've learned to balance work with the rest of my life. Before work was my life.)
- Do you have a checklist that you follow when preparing your classroom (include the checklist)?
 ***Unfortunately, I've never used a classroom checklist to prepare my room. I've learned to take pictures of the classroom in June, so I can think about what I want to do with it over the summer.  

- What are some must haves in your classroom that you cannot live without (ex. items, books, posters, management strategies)?
***I must have A LOT of books for my kiddos to read! I also cannot live without fabric, which I use to cover my bulletin boards and those unsightly tops of closets that store all my teacher stuff. I definitely cannot live without a glue gun!! I hot glue EVERYTHING!! The best part is that it peels right off and if it doesn't, the kids love pulling it off the wall :o)
- What is something that all teachers should have in their classroom?
***I have a lot of inspirational quotes in my room. This year, a student I had in my test prep class, said to me, "You must be really proud of your students. I can tell you really believe in them." I asked her how she knew, and she started reading off some of the signs I had up in the room! It was sweet :o)
(Another reason why I have so many quotes, I figure when they stop listening to me, they can look around and read the valuable life lessons on the wall :o)

July 14, 2012

Communication Folder

So long story short, I'm moving to fourth grade this school year. I have mixed feelings about this, especially because this the group that caused teachers to retire and go on sabbatical. 

Don't get me wrong, I've had tough classes before, but I've been spoiled with a lot of good ones in between. 

I've already started to think about how I can be proactive about the behavior, which leads me to my inspiration...Leslie at KindergartenWorks! She instills responsibility in her kindergarten students using her awesome communication folder. Thanks Leslie!

Seeing that I teach 4th grade, I had to adapt a few aspects of the folder to fit my friends; here's what I did...

This section is for anything that needs to be signed and returned.

I inserted a plastic sleeve in all the folders for notes to and from home.

There is a whole year's worth of calendars in the folder. I wrote in days off and half days using the school system's calendar.

Part of my behavior plan is the clip chart system, which is outlined on the upper left side of the calendar.

 Here's my thinking with the calendars...each day the students color in where they fell on the clip chart by the end of the day. If anyone has to move their clothespin down the chart, I plan on writing in a code showing what the student did that caused the move. Here's the code and offenses...

***I don't know the author of the original file (which is below)--I'd love to give this teacher credit. If you are the author or know where this came from, please let me know so I can give appropriate credit. Thanks!!**
    **This form is from Mrs. Nichols at Polka Dot Patch.
You have to love Pinterest!!**

My intention is to have all parents sign the colored box each day, that way they know how the day went. 

The back of the folder is for any notices that don't need to be returned.

That's it...my Communication Folder for 2012-2013 put together and ready to go! Let me know what you think :o)

July 11, 2012

Advice for New Bloggers Linky Party

I'm linking up with Patti from  Tales From a Fourth (and Fifth) Grade Teacher with advice for new bloggers.

I want to premise this by saying...I am not an expert blogger! I still consider myself a beginner--nonetheless, I love learning from all types of bloggers and I'm sure I'll learn a few tricks through this linky party!

Click here to join the linky party!

This is something I need to do with my own blog--it's definitely on my summer to do list! 

July 10, 2012

Two Awards and Nominations

I know I've been a little MIA with the blogging...I'm one of those 'I need to be in the mood' people, so getting motivated and inspired to post has been difficult for me!

Hopefully though, with my summer vacation only two weeks in, I can find some inspiration :o)

In the meantime, Olivia at Classroom Craft has awarded me two awards...

Thank you Olivia!! I really appreciate receiving these two awards :o)

Here are the rules for the 'One Lovely Blog Award':
1. Follow the person who gave you the award.
2. Link back to the person who gave you the award.
3. Share the love! Pass the award onto 15 new bloggers!

Rules for "The Versatile Blogger" Award:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Include a link to their site.
3. Include the award image in your post.
4. Give 7 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
6. When nominating, include a link to their site.
7. Let other bloggers know they've been nominated.

7 Random Facts about myself:
1.  My hubby and I picked out strong names for our twins with nicknames of Luke and Leia (from Star Wars!). (yes, we have a boy and a girl!)

2. I love shopping at the Gap--and if it's an Outlet Store with a kid's section, it gets very dangerous!

3. I have over 20 subscriptions to magazines! It's bad...really it is!

4. I love journals and pens--I have a collection of journals that I haven't used yet. My reason...they're just too pretty! 

5. I've started knitting about 5 different projects and have finished none of them!

6. I was on a bowling league with my hubby and BFF (usually there's 4 people on a team, we had 3) and during our second year on the league, we came in third place! I went from an average of 110 to well over 150 and had bowled two games over 200!! I was just getting good and we had to stop bowling because of the babies, but hopefully we'll join again!

7. I was named after my great grandma (first name) and my grandma (middle name).

Here's the 15 blogs I'm nominating for both awards...
--Lisa at Fourth and Ten
--Donna at Math Coach's Corner
--Mandy at Mandy's Tips For Teachers
--Lauren at Life in Middle School
--Lana at 4 the love of teaching
--Amanda at The Teaching Thief
--Marcia at Learning in Bliss
--Nicole at Colorful Teaching
--Leea at Set This Circus Down
--Mary at Pitner's Potpourri
--Becca at Simply Second Resources
--Amanda at Mrs. McDonald's 4th Grade
--Colleen at Fantastically Fun and Fresh Fourth Grade Ideas
--Emily at In My Classroom: The Forest and the Trees
--Katie at Teaching: The Art of Possibility