Thursday, August 29, 2013

New look

Sometime in July or maybe June I could not stand the look of this here blog...which explains my lack of posting at the end of last school year.  I knew I did not want to design the layout myself because that just did not seem like fun. So I set out to find a new look. I headed over to Etsy to see what was offered and found an abundance of talented people that designed blogs. Perfect! Then came the part of shifting though all the options...there were several! 

After flipping though several designers I decided to go with Theresa from Always in Bluhm blog and graphic design studio. Her designs were unique, beautiful and well priced. If you are looking for a new design I suggest you head on over to Always In Bluhm. She is quick with installation and has fantastic communication. I am so glad that I found her on Etsy because without this new look you all would be experiencing radio silence on this blog.
I love the new look. It's crisp and clean! Plus it makes me look like I "know" what I am doing when it comes to blogging...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

These three goals

This year I am teaching a decision making class for 6th graders. For the first two weeks we have discussed goals for the year and the steps they need to take to achieve these goals. I found this pin through pinterest that requires students to draw themselves holding up a piece of paper. On the paper students wrote three goals for their first year of middle school. They all turned out pretty cute if I do say so myself!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The slump

I hit the dog days of summer these last couple of months in terms of Donors Choose.
What I mean by this is there was very little action on my two projects. In fact I believe my bookshelf project ended today without a dime donated. Summer time has always been hard to solicit donations towards projects, but it's better to try than do nothing at all. 

I currently have a project for an I-pad mini which has received $6 thus far and has less than 25 days left. Thankfully, this past week a box from a donation completed last year was delivered to my school. So even though this summer has been slow as far as donations to my projects this box renewed my perseverance in creating new projects. It's better to have a project up on Donors Choose than to not have one up at all...because you never know who is out there that is looking for a classroom to support.
If you would like to donate to my I-pad mini project there is an icon on the right side bar, the blue desk, that will take you to my project page. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

And so it begins

Well summer is officially over since the first week of school has come and gone!
I love how students are all, well a majority of them, quiet.
They come in bright eyed and bushy tail ready for the new school year and it's not until a couple weeks later when they start to show their true colors. I hope the newness of them lasts for a month or two. 
Last week was full of procedures and the ever so popular bio poem for the beginning of the year. I somehow managed to skip the bio poem last year and I was slightly reminded why this year...the poem has been done numerous times 4th grade, 5th grade and now 6th grade. The bio poem should retire. 

Last year my 8th graders wrote an"I am from" poem which is a rendition of the bio poem just more mature. But my 8th graders this year dove head first into writing essays and might I add that if I read another lame prompt I might throw up!
The principal at your school is considering having students wear uniforms...write to convince your principal whether or not students should wear uniforms.
Well here's to week number two let it go as smoothly as the first week

Saturday, August 17, 2013

and then this one...

M.E. Hall teaches language arts to middle schoolers with mild disabilities and understands the challenges her students face, given that she has a special need of her own that stems from birth. The Oh Happy Day creator fills her site with candid reflections about her daily work experiences, using her writing as an outlet to compensate for those moments at school when she must refrain from comment and judgment.

My favorite part of this write up has to be the last sentence!
Truer words have never been spoken!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The name game

Gone are the days of Sally, Tom and Jim
Names today take on their own form of interesting. 
When I was reviewing my class roaster prior to school starting all I could do was sit back and laugh because I hadn't the slightest clue on how to pronounce my students names. 
We are on day six of school and I am just starting to grasp how to say some of their names. In fact after day three of trying to pronounce this students name she said she was not going to respond to me unless I learned how to say her name correctly! Truth be told if I am calling a student by their last name there is a small chance I forgot how to say their first name. 
 I do thankfully have a Frank...I can manage saying that name. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

They're finally coming!

I don't know about you, but my classroom always feels strange when students are not there.
I'm missing a huge portion of my job that I love.
Don't get me wrong I love the adults around me, but I'm not there for them I'm there for my students.
They are the reason why I show up everyday at work.
Is every single day great?...absolutely not
I cannot wait until we are all reunited and luckily for me I don't have to wait any longer because they are coming tomorrow!

Monday, August 5, 2013

A little reminder

This past weekend was my school's open house 
Everything went as planned parents and students came and were given information about the upcoming school year.

With this being my fifth year of teaching I had some special visitors as well
Previous students as well as parents filtered in throughout the open house to catch up 
At one point they were all in my classroom at once just hanging out and chatting about their favorite memories. I loved every minute!
Like I mentioned before parents were also there and one parent and her student stayed in my classroom for a good hour just relaxing and talking. As new students came in I would give them the song and dance about vocabulary, writing, homework and supplies they would need. While I was talking I could hear the mother talking to her son telling him what an amazing teacher I was and so on. New students continued to walk through my door and I would walk them through my open house talk and the mom was quietly singing my praises behind me. This scenario continued for a while and I really didn't realize the amazingness of this situation until the next day and when I did tears automatically fell from my eyes.

There are multiple times throughout the year that I don't think I'm doing my best. What this mom did proved that even though I don't think I'm giving it my all there are those out there that do. I had her son for three years and she appreciated everything I did. I need to keep her gentle praises in mind for those days that seem a little gloomy.

I am so grateful that she filled my classroom with positive affirmations for the upcoming school year! I cannot imagine a better way to start the school year with!