Monday, August 27, 2012

Chair Pockets

So This is kind of my Monday Made it from last week. I spent last week making chair pockets for my desks in my classroom. My classrooom is kind of small and the students are not allowed to have backpacks, so they leave their stuff all over the floor and I end up tripping over things (at least that's what used to happen when I subbed last year). So I got to thinking about what I could do in order to make my room a little neater and a lot safer for me, lol. Side note: The students have a cubbyhole in their desks but i don't like them to use it. All the desks are turned so they can't use them. I just found that my students were trying to hide and eat in class or put trash in them. I hate that, so that was the inspiration behind these!

 I made them in four colors! I thought that would be a cool way to group the students!  I used heavy duty black corduroy (sp) and heavy duty thread and they colored part i just a ribbon. I measured the chair at my school. kind of at the middle so I knew it would be big enough. I used fifteen yards of fabric to make 30 pockets and they were super simple. I cut out each pocket, ironed across the top and made a seam. Then I folded the bottom up, so the pockets are actually only one piece of fabric. I sewed down the sides to make it pretty and neat! They look awesome. I will post a picture of them in the room sometime soon!

Always Faithful,


Forgive me Bloggers, for I have sinnned!

Hello Blog family!!!

Deepest apologies for the extended amount of time in which I have not blogged. Life has dealt me quite the hand recently. I have been dealing with some issues with my family and my personal life. I have been through the fire and the flood. I have been through the mud recently!! But my Christianity is stronger! I know all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and have been called according to HIS purpose! Therefore, I am okay. No matter what a situation looks like, no matter how dire that situation, understand that God knows who we are and whom we are to become.
Jeremiah 29:11 declares "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and to give you a hope." Hallelujah!

Today was the first day of in service teacher workweek, but last week I had new teacher trainings and orientations. Its been a whirlwind! My classroom is coming together. I will have some pictures up of the finished product pretty soon, but here go the before pics!

My classroom is supper small and I have hardly any bulletin boards, BUT where there is a will there is a way! I plan on making use of the wall space  You might notice felt on the botton of all the desk feet. Our floors get really scratched up, SO in order to change that I covered the desks. I also thought it may minimalize distractions so that the students wont make a screeching time everytime they move. So far its been amazing as I have been moving the desks around! The updated class will be coming at the end of the week, and I'll see you then!
Always Faithful,

Monday, August 13, 2012

Made It Monday

Good Evening Everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Mine was blessed! God definitely answered one of my prayers over the weekend.

Today is Monday, and I wanted to do my first ever made it Monday! I actually went to the fabric store today to make some chair pockets for my desks (I will put those up next week) and some vinyl for a map I am making for my class. I actually ended up making a teacher's tool kit. I saw this on Pinterest and LOVED it and knew I had to have it for my class this year. To see the original go to Create, Teach, Share. Her toolbox is so cute! She is using it to replace her teacher desk. I just want mine to be on the bookshelf for student use. If they need an eraser or something, then they can just go and get it. All items should be returned (not band-aids of course, lol).

This is the tool box. I bought it from Home Depot for like 17 dollars. They also have it at Lowe's. This one is gray and they also have it in blue. This is my toolbox now:
I used black and white scrapbook paper and colored card stock paper. It was super simple to make. I used an index card to measure how big each label would need to be. I printed the labels off of the computer, used a glue stick to get them to stick to the card stock. I used spray adhesive to get the labels to stick to the plastic on the iside of each box. That part was kind of tricky because the spray glue was all over my hands and my craft table dining room table! Acetone and baby oil took it right off. I'm so excited to use this in the coming year. If you have a cute trick up your sleeve, I'd love to read all about it!

Always Faithful,

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Writing Classroom Procedures

Today I am writing procedures for my classroom. This has me thinking about my first interview for teaching three years ago. I had just graduated from college, where I did not major in education, and had recently decided to be a teacher. The principal asked me about my classroom management plan. I had no clue what she meant, so I said something along the lines of: "Students need chances, so I believe in a three strikes, you're out system." Looking back, I realize why I didn't get that job, and I'm so grateful they didn't hire me.
In grad school, one of my professors always focused on classroom management. She always talked about how a teacher could have flawless lesson plans: your lessons could be inquiry based and differentiated, but without classroom management, your lessons would never come to fruition the way you may have imagined. She suggested have twenty to thirty classroom procedures. When she first suggested that number, I was overwhelmed! How on Earth would I be able to write 30 classroom procedures?? I remember thinking about whether kids could chew gum or not and thinking that was a procedure. At that point, I could only think of about six classroom procedures. I turned in my assignment, and boy did I regret that! Se gave me clarity that day. A class rule is not a class procedure. While my students won't be given a handbook of procedures for my classroom, it is a great tool for me to have. I will need to teach students these procedures, and I cannot make them up on a whim. So far, I have written procedures to address the following issues:
  • entering the room
  • leaving the room
  • heading a paper
  • going to the bathroom
  • handing in assignments
  • returning assignments
  • borrowing supplies
  • organizing your notebook
  • fire drills
  • assemblies
  • morning announcements
  • classroom visitors
  • going to lunch
  • throwing away thrash
  • sharpening pencils
  • completing group work
  • storing student supplies
  • passing out handouts
  • make-up work
  • coming to attention
I am close to having thirty and I can see why she gave that number. I would like to know about some procedures you all may have. Are there any I am missing? What are you doing to prepare for the school year?

Always Faithful,

Monday, August 6, 2012

Linky Party

Good Afternoon! In order to meet more teachers I am joining a linky party. Mrs. Crouse at 6th Grade All-stars wants to know how teachers prepare for the first days of school! I am very interested to see what others have said, but my answers are below. A great resource for preparing your classroom management system is a book called The First Days of School, written by Harry Wong. It is also an easy read.

- What grade do you teach?

I will be teaching sixth grade Social Studies. U.S. History from the very beginnings to 1865. I am also the collaborative teacher this year.

- What is the greatest advice you received during your 1st year of teaching?

Technically, this is my first year teaching.. My grad advisor always said that you can only teach the subject matter after teaching classroom management. She said you need to have a procedure for everything, because if something can go wrong it will. She said spend at least two weeks teaching your classroom management system, and if the students ever need a reminder, teach the procedures again

- Do you have a checklist that you follow when preparing your classroom (include the checklist)?

No. But I would love to see some!

- What are some must haves in your classroom that you cannot live without (ex. items, books, posters, management strategies)?

I have a THINK poster, that I saw on Pinterest. It says before you speak THINK: T-is it true? H-is it helpful? I-is it inspiring? N-is it necessary? K-is it kind?

I love that poster because 6th graders can be bullies, I do not want anyone feeling inferior in my classroom. I want them to share opinions openly without fear of rejection.

- What is something that all teachers should have in their classroom?

Tissues and pencils. Students always need tissues and it can be a huge distraction for someone to have to run and get a roll of toilet paper. Pencils is a given…they need pencils to complete work. I also want a spray bottle and paper towels nearby, just in case I need to clean something.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Are We There Yet?

My church has been collecting school supplies to give to others less fortunate. So in order to be obedient, I trooped to Wal-Mart, so that I could buy supplies to turn in. Its interesting, because as I was walking the aisles pulling notebooks and pencils, I thought about the things I needed to start preparing for my classroom. I started teaching in February of last year, mid-month and I am not ashamed to say I was unprepared. It was difficult too, as the students already had their way of doing things, which was not how I wanted thngs to operate! Through the grace of God, I survived last year, but I still don't feel like I have been a true first year teacher. So there I am in Wal-Mart glancing at lamps and expo markers and a green trashcan (random assortment of things, I know, however my classroom does not have a trashcan suitable for my desk) and I think to myself, what will this year be like?

I run home with my supplies for church, and I had a NIGHTMARE! I was totally unprepared and the students could tell! I went to church today and turned in my school supplies and my pastor reminded us all that it was almost that time again. I got home and checked my calendar....I have 29 days left. That's 29 days to organize my lesson plans, 29 days to create my classroom procedures, 29 days to organiize my classroom, 29 days to get ready for what I consider to be my first year of teaching! I fully plan on utilizing these 29 days, so that my nightmare doesn't come true. If anyone has any tips or suggestions I am open to them....and please forgive me, for this is my first blog posting EVER! I am excited about networking with all of you, and for however many days you have left, I pray that you have much success in getting there!

Remaining Faithful,