Monday, August 13, 2012

Day 1 "Whirlwind"


What a crazy, amazing, unreal, whirlwind of a day. The first day of school is always a blast, but on the teacher's end it seemed to go by faster than any day I have ever taught.

Unfortunately, I do not have fun photos and anecdotes to share, due to the complete lack of remembrance on by part. However, I can share just how the day went...

Once the craziness of the first day morning routines subsided (attendance, going home routines, interest survey, etc.), it was time to begin the day with a story. Although it is somewhat young for my third graders, I read "Franklin Goes to School."

 I chose this book for my kiddos because I wanted to model making connections for them.  This book is about Franklin being nervous about his first day, but soon forgetting about his nervousness because he had so much fun.  This story seemed the most fitting since I am a new kid in a new school (even though I AM the teacher).

After the story, the students began to browse through the reading center and chose several books to begin reading, if possible.  We quickly went over a "Just Right Book" so the students would be prepared to find a book that best suited them.  Then, it was silent reading time.  I used this time to disburse some of the school supplies to the students (assignment book, take home folder, etc.).

Then, my favorite time of the day had arrived, MATH! I was so excited to get started with math that I just couldn't help but to start early. Today's topic was beginning to review with place-value. it took the students a moment to remember what they had learned from 2nd grade in place-value, but soon came around to remembering.  We reviewed with place-value on and off throughout the day in order for me to get an idea of where to go next. I also had the students take a placement test for math. This test will help me track where the students are before we get into the "meat" of the year.

Once we got through some of the boring stuff (expectations, procedures, blah blah blah), it was time to pull out a somewhat "fun" activity.  I had the students write their name in the middle of a piece of construction paper, then draw all around the name with things that they like or that represent them.  Some of the kiddos didn't quite understand the assignment, but still worked hard to make their pictures nice.  Although they DID NOT like it, i made them present their piece to the class with an explanation.  This was like pulling teeth, but they did a great job!

Lunch and recess came and went entirely too fast, but afterwards I wanted to talk with the students about some more procedures that we missed earlier in the day. Then, I wanted to check to see what they knew as far as basic sentence structure, and luckily for me, they were spot on! They knew right off the bat that a sentence begins with a capital letter, and ends with a punctuation mark. I was elated! SUCCESS in the language department. So, we then did some Daily Fix-it sentences to test what I thought they knew, and by golly they got it! Whoop! I was proud :)

Before I knew it, it came time to discuss the afternoon dismissal procedures and going home. I missed my babies as soon as they left, but am thankful for a time of rest.

The first day was great, but I look forward to the rest of the days with my Rockstars. I think this is going to be a rockin' year.

Until next time....


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's almost here!

Hello, All!

Well, I decided to take my last day before school begins for teachers away from school and post something else about the construction of the Rock star room. On Monday, I was able to finish up a lot of what I wanted to get done before school started. Although it isn't completely done, I believe what I have done so far is great for starting off the year right.

Here are some photos and explanations of my successful Monday:

 All classrooms need a good word wall in order to post words the students are focusing on in certain content areas.  From what I have gathered through my New Teacher meetings is that math and reading devote the most attention to words for the word wall.  

This bulletin board was constructed solely for the purpose of posting outstanding work from the students.  Goin along with the theme of Rockstars, I chose to title the wall 'Rockstar Swag." I thought the students might get a kick out of this since swag is a "happenin" term. :)

Next, I knew I needed to finalize my voice levels board before I could go further. This one still needs some work. I am not totally sold on using the sentence strip holders for the Noise-O-Meter. I may just post it on a poster board instead. I haven't totally figured it out....

THIS, however, I am in love with. Posting objectives for different subjects is a must-have in an effective classroom.  After seeing this concept used from a teacher (whom I adore), I knew this would be a no-brainer. The sentence strips are wet erase, so I can reuse them. Conservation, people... Conservation.

This is my cute little "everything" station.  Once I get a label maker, the drawers will be labeled with different subjects and tasks so the students have a drawer for turning in work.

The top of the "everything" station holds the contents which makes me name is the "everything" station.  I have a whiteboard titled "Who's Out" in which students will sign in and out on whenever they leave class, accompanied by the homemade hall passes.  Also, the sharp and dull pencils along with the pencil sharpener are positioned on the front.  On the back of the station are the contents used for updating the calender. As you can see, this station holds everything.

Now, on to my favorite part of the room, the reading nook. I finally obtained rugs and got all of my book boxes labeled. This will be a cozy area for the students to read and write during the different workshops. If I could teach here all day with my kiddos, I totally would.

These are the labeled book boxes. I put my books in genres, collections, and levels (just leveled readers put together). This way, when either myself or my students are looking for a certain book,  they will know where to find it by the box it belongs to.

Here I have my chapter books and miscellaneous picture books for students to look through as well. I didn't want to sort all the books because I wanted to give the students the option of trying something new without a label if they wanted to.

OVERALL, Monday was a great, successful day in the classroom. I was able to accomplish a lot of what I wanted to accomplish. I also moved the desks to a different setup for the first few weeks. It will make it easier to figure out the students names and figure them out as people; then we will move to pods.

Thanks for reading up on my progress. I appreciate all of the views I have had so far.

Until next time,