Monday, July 20, 2015

Back to school, Back to school....

I'm not even kidding. I've already raided the Target $1 section for classroom materials and begun planning what changes I want to make in my classroom routine for this year. I even bought a laminator.

A very sweet and dear friend of mine, Kate from Kate's Recipe Box, sent me a classroom care package earlier in the summer full of goodies she thought I would be able to use. I'm now the proud owner of a calendar set, weather bulletin board materials, an alphabet banner with picture and word cues, and a few other very helpful things I'm looking forward to using. Thanks, Kate!

I think I mentioned before that I am in a new classroom this year. It's still a trailer (we gained 15 new ones this year and an entire grade level moved outside; indoor space is at a premium), but this one is rather nice, as far as portable classrooms go. Unlike last year, this room has two windows that can be opened for fresh air, a storage closet, and well maintained stairs with no splintery or pointy parts. It's also much closer to the building entrance which means less time out in the elements for the kiddos and me and is the only other trailer classroom whose heating/cooling system didn't malfunction last year.

It also has a lovely patch of irises planted on the parking lot end that bloom after spring break. :)

My grade level team was proactive and created a curriculum map during post planning, so I have been able to begin lesson planning already. That's a HUGE improvement over last year when I had no idea what we were doing until halfway through pre-planning.

On Friday of this week I am actually meeting with another member of the first grade team to do some longitudinal planning and I am really excited. This teacher is moving up from Kindergarten and is one of four new faces on our grade level team. She has a lot of excitement over the grade level change and, of course, I'm always happy to work with anyone who has a good attitude.

We are launching the Daily 5 as a grade level initiative this year and I will be putting forward a structural plan for math as well (more on that in another post). I have a good feeling about this organizational structure for our students and I really think we are going to see them make incredible amounts of progress this year.

Last but certainly not least, I'M GETTING iPADS FOR MY CLASS!!! Yes, that needed to be in all caps. The district is providing 5 iPads for my classroom use this year and I'm so happy I danced a little happy dance when I got the email telling us about it. Some of my fantastic teacher friends provided me with a long list of apps to look into or my kiddos, so you can bet I will be doing some exploring once I'm in my classroom for pre-planning.

To my fellow teachers: I hope you are getting excited for the next school year as well!

To my fellow teachers who teach in the north where nobody starts school until Labor Day: Sorry for the heart attack. :)