Tuesday, September 2

Welcome to My Second Home!!

It is time for the big classroom reveal. But we all know it is more than just a classroom.
It is my second home.
It is a safe place for my students and me.
It is where magic happens.

View from the entrance. All three tables ready with goodies and an activity for tomorrow. Also that's our word garden on the real chalkboard. Forgot to get a close up of it. 

Probably my favorite area of the whole room. Reading nook filled with books pillows but also where calendar and math instruction will be thanks to great finds at Costco and Jo-Anns. 

Two shelves of math manipulatives. Why yes please!

Book boxes, daily supplies, games, and my "desk" area. 


The entrance way. Students will be picking what cubby is theirs tomorrow. 

Another view of our tables and all the word work materials and reading games. 

Art supplies, BRAVO door, and sink area. I really don't know why all lower elementary classrooms don't all come with sinks.

Four years but I finally have a love seat in my room. Makes my heart happy. 

Tomorrow the fun begins in second grade. Hope all of you who started today had a wonderful first day and are resting up!


Monday, September 1

September Currently

Oh September, your arrival is so bittersweet. Excited about all the new possibilities you bring but bummed you bring the ending of the summer that never was. 


Listening: Spending my last days of summer at the cabin doing a mix of family time, last minute school prep, reading and playing tourist. It is particularly wavy today.

Loving: My new school. Classroom pics soon. I can't believe a gem like this school exists or that I am encouraged to be as creative as I can be as a teacher. 

Thinking: My first day is Wednesday and the plans for the first day and week keep changing. So much I want to fit in. 

Wanting & Needing: As a small town let's just say we have been hit hard with bad news this summer. As has my family. I just keep praying that soon it will be good news filling the papers and phones. Praying for a successful camping trip at the end of the month and everyone that should be there will.

3 Trips: I have wanted to go to Italy forever. I want to do the bourbon trail in Kentucky. I would love to just go exploring in Alaska. Then probably return there because I know there is no way I could fit it all in. 

Happy September to all!! 

Saturday, August 23

Thoughts of A "Summer" Student - What I Hope For My Students

For the past two summers I spent my summer days donning a tool belt. This summer it even expanded to a pink hard hat. Today was the day I had to put it all on the shelf until next summer. Not gonna lie, I'm sad bummed.
Added more tools to my collection this year. Pry bar does wonders. 

Safety first! Does it suit me?

Not gonna lie I love working in construction. LOVE IT! Every day I learned something new became more confident in my abilities, climbed the taller ladders, hauled one more piece of wood on my pile, tried a tricker angle with the nail gun, tried slightly more difficult cuts with the various saws. 

When these thoughts cross my mind, I realize how much it relates to school. For the summer, I get to be the student. Luckily I have a great teacher. Sometimes he let me figure things out myself, other times jump in to help or fix my mistakes. Because of this I know how to:
put a roof on, 
install wood floors
install insulation
build closet shelves
put up trim and base
pour concrete
install and place beams
the importance of priming
install beadboard ceiling
helped design a fireplace
install stairs
know construction jargon -legs, beveled, plumb, 45, sheet, stud, plate, rip, header, OSB

And yes there were times I messed up. I made the wrong cuts...sometimes multiple times. Used the wrong type of wood. Put dents in walls or accidentally wrote on the walls with my pencil (thank goodness for great painters). Even cut my finger with a circular saw. BUT everyday I was still excited to show up. 

I can only hope that the same is true for my students. That they learn something everyday. That they are excited to come to school. That they feel safe enough to try something new. That they feel supported. That they feel comfortable to share their ideas. That someone takes an interest in them and wants to listen to them and help them. That they are excited about what they have learned and can't wait to show what they know. 

Which is true about me. Here is just a sampling of how I spent my summer days. 


Alas it is time to hit school mode full board. I have been working on stuff (printing and laminating mostly), some classroom organizing, and planning. This is the week to start getting it altogether.  


Monday, August 18

Who Doesn't Love Mail?

Raise your hand if you love a good mail day.  

I'm talking those days where you get real mail that comes in cute or maybe not so cute hand addressed envelope or postcard filled with a thoughtful note and photo.  Not those days with ads, bills, and more applications for credit cards than you need.

Well I am thinking just about most people and that includes students. 

This is where my new packet comes in. It is filled with postcards to send to your students throughout the year for many reasons or a just because reason.


Last year we had to make a positive contact to students outside of the every day to day contact we had with students and parents. It could be an email, postcard, phone call, or a quick little note. I usually choose postcards.
Yes it took a ton of time to write 29 postcards each month but I was always amazed at the thank yous I received from students and parents once their mail arrived. I even had one parent say I turned the entire week around for them with my quick little postcard.

How did I come up with all those ideas to write? 
What I would do was each month I would look for something from each student where they just stood out. Examples for such times:
  • Taking time to pull me up a chair so I didn't kneel at the guided reading table
  • Taking extra time to help a friend
  • Finally feeling comfortable to join in our role plays
  • Taking the leap to read chapter books and loving it
  • Realizing the floor was a little extra messy and cleaning it up without an instruction
  • Helping younger students on the playground
  • When they brought their folder in every day for a week or two after I hadn't since the folder in months
In You've Got Mail, are two postcard designs for each month, two designs for back to school and end of the year, different postcard designs for thank you, Happy Birthday, Congratulations, and Just for Fun!
Go check it out! I have it on sale now through the Back to School Boost Sale!

Happy Writing!

Monday, August 11

Meet The Teacher

I also love learning more about the teachers behind all these amazing blog. So I had to link up with Stephanie for Meet the Teacher Linky
 Teaching Facts: 
I am in my fourth full year of teaching. 
I have taught first, second, third, fourth grade. Never was I quite sure what grade I was teaching until the week before school started. 
Not this year- second grade all the way!! Second grade might be my favorite. 
I have taught as many as 30 students. 

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...

The great outdoors, a campfire surrounded by my family & friends, pizza, bikes, running, beach days, snow, skiing, racing, nail guns, starry nights, crisp cool mornings, sleeping with a ton of blankets, being greeted by a dog, honesty, the ability to laugh no matter the situation, Target, book stores, northern Michigan, farmers markets, the country life, working with my hands. 


 IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
It has changed in the last few years but things I have considered: environmental education, construction worker, personal trainer, massage therapist, designing and creating :)

Or in a dream world- a ESPN sportscaster. That way I could end up on Dancing with the Stars.

THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
Loyal, Passionate, Adventurous 

 
FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________,  SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"

"I really love sharpening pencils every day"..said no teacher EVER!!"
 

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?

For fun: The entire cast of New Girl!! , Justin Timberlake, Ellen.  

My Grandpa

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?

 Barefoot and Fancy Free


 Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
 
The ability to teleport. I would be scared to know how much time I have spent driving these last few years. Plus traffic is crazy here once summer hits. 

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?
I love quotes. I have quite the collection so I can't just pick one. My top two: 

What do you plan to do with your wild and precious life? - Mary Oliver

Also "To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two is think- spend some time in thought. Number three, you should have your emotions moved to tears. It could be happiness or joy. But think about it if you laugh, think and cry that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. Do that seven days a week you're going to have something special." - Jim Valvano. 

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

"River and Roads" by The Head and the Heart
or
"Automatic" Miranda Lambert (my current favorite)
or
 "Take Me Home Country Roads" John Denver

 Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

I'm both. It doesn't work out too well. There is something about those early morning hours and late night hours. I love the peace of both. 

 
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?

 Multiplication is one of my favorite things to teach especially the beginning of it when students think it is so hard, but when they get it that lightbulb clicks so bright. I have used my Monster Multiplication Mania pack in second, third and fourth grade classrooms. 


Q: SHARE SOMETHING WE MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU! 

I attended the same school Kindergarten to 12th grade. 
The only kind of car I have owned are Jeeps. 
I love racing. I have completed 5 triathlons and training for a half marathon right now. 

Tuesday, August 5

Show Me What You Bought


My plan was to commit to my shopping cart after work today. My internet had a different plan in mind. Like I am not going to work even after you tried all the normal tricks that get me back working.

What does a teacher who loves a deal do?

Drive to the next available internet source, double the size of my shopping cart. Now I will spend my night sorting and oogling all the amazing resources I purchased. 
I am totally preparing for math centers/stations with Amy Lemons and Katie King's packets. Love them!!
Also Be A Reading Expert by Lyndsey Kuster- so excited to use this beginning of the year.
and...
Love this adorable classroom posters and decor from Lyndsey Kuster.
Since my summer job is construction and I have plans for the clip art from Graphics from the Pond.
Absolutely love the deal you Lovin' Lit has with this bundle of frames, buntings and all things cute. 

Happy Shopping!!

Saturday, August 2

And BAM It's August...

Time for my favorite linky (Thank Farley for hosting!)

Listening: It is too nice to ever stay inside so I am out at the patio table catching up on blogging, TpTing. I live a mile away from one of the cherry processing plants so huge trucks drive by all day and into the night with tanks of cherries. Definitely a sign of summer in Michigan. 

Loving: Who doesn't love summer? I have been working mine away and still love it. The running is a whole new thing. Started to really get into since July. I can honestly say after a day of work I still look forward to my run. 

Thinking: I would rather be outside so I am slightly or really unmotivated to hang out with my computer. So many ideas and packets and not enough cold rainy weather to get it all done. I am not complaining though. 

Wanting: This computer would help with my thinking part. 

Needing: I got my classroom yesterday. I have so many ideas that I really need to play around and narrow it all down. Interested in taking a before look at my classroom check it out here

1st Days: I see so many of you getting super prepared for school. It makes me sad that summer is almost over until I learned yesterday I have over a month before school actually starts. I feel like I am the last school in the country to start (which makes me feel very special).  Most Michigan schools start the day after Labor Day and we start TWO days after. 

Happy August!