The first week of school has come and gone, and I have been keeping long hours. This past weekend, I needed to destress and zone out. When I need to relax, I love to turn on some trashy reality TV (Real Housewives is my fav!) and knit up a new project. Since I seem to be in the school mode recently, I knit this cute little apple. I think it will be the perfect accent to my classroom, and integrate my career and hobby!
Today was my first day with my new kiddos, and I think every teacher experiences those first day butterflies- just like their students!
I spent hours this weekend making sure that everything was perfect in my classroom and that I felt ready for Day 1. The desks had to be organized, bulletin boards up, and of course the endless copying and paperwork to be completed.
Now, everyone has to pick out their spiffy first day of school outfit. My husband helped me decide between countless outfits so that I looked and felt my best!
With a matching outfit and an organized classroom, the first day was a success! Now, I ready for an early bedtime.
As I mentioned, my school year is about to start and I have spent the past few days in my classroom. This year, my goal is to start with my classroom completely organized. The best way for me to do this with 29 students, is to make sure that EVERYTHING has a clearly labeled home. Amazon must love the bulk ordering I do! 🙂
Yesterday, I started organizing my classroom library, which seems to grow exponentially every year! Recently, I came across this great post from Nerdy Book Club about introducing students to the classroom library. Since I rely heavily on procedures in my classroom, I realized that I could be better about modeling the expectations of the class library, rather than just how to check in/out books.
I use Booksource’s Classroom Organizer to electronically catalog my books. Yes, scanning each and every book was very time consuming. However, it is worth in the long run! Now when a student asks if I have a certain book, it is easy to look up which titles are in our class library and which are not. My students use our shared desktop computers to check in and out books, so they are more independent. Additionally, I am able to keep track of their reading habits. The procedure of checking in/out books is easy to introduce, but the organization component is quickly lost when taking out and putting books away.
I organize my books by genre, as there is a big emphasis on my 4th graders knowing the various genres of both informational and fictional texts. Last year, I organized the bins in our library myself. However, by the end of the year, the books were a mess and my students did not fully comprehend all genres. The control freak in me could not let this chaos continue another year.
With the new Common Core State Standards being introduced, there is a shift in the expectations of each grade level. As we are undergoing this change, I cannot expect that my incoming 4th graders are well versed in each of the genres. Therefore, I must teach them the names and characteristics of each genre. In the past, I have introduced the names, but we have not investigated the characteristics. As the Nerdy Book Club suggests, I will begin this year by reading a mentor text from each of the genres. We will then discuss the characteristics and keep notes in our Reader’s Notebooks.
Once I feel that the students have a grasp of the genre names and characteristics, I will then give each table group a few bins of books from our library. The group will have to work together to identify the genre and create a label for the bin. This process will encourage students to reflect on their learning, and apply it to a real life scenario.
As of right now,the books are a bit out of sort. With this routine, let’s hope that we can keep our library organized this year!
Hi there! I’m Kelly, and I’m new to this whole blogging world, so bear with me. I’m excited to share my life stories, projects, discoveries, and epic fails with you all!
As a teacher, I am wrapping up the end of a busy summer. Since I have the luxury of enjoying 2 months of time off each year, I often feel as though my “New Year” starts in August. This morning, I spent a few moments to reflect on what I have accomplished in the past few months and what I am most looking forward to in the coming year.
My husband and I purchased our first house in June and the past couple weeks have been a whirlwind of projects and opportunity! We have experienced some of the complications that come with home ownership, but every time I drive up to our adorable home, I am reminded how lucky we are.
School will begin again in just a few days, and I am eager to meet my new students. Each year brings new successes and challenges, but I am feeling ready to tackle this year head on. This will be my 6th year teaching and my 4th year in 4th grade (do golden anniversaries exist in teaching?). Of all the grades I have taught, 4th grade is my favorite! Our school will be involved in Common Core State Standards this year, so I have no doubt that this will be a year of growth and innovation.
I am ready to begin this new year, and feel optimistic about the future!