July 30, 2015

My Classroom! 2015

Tonight was Meet The Teacher for me at my new school! So, I'm ready to reveal my new-to-me classroom! It has certainly been a whirlwind of a week. I moved into my classroom on last Friday and have been doing my best to transform it during preplanning (which always seem to have less time to work in your classroom than you'd like it to). When I start planning to decorate and prepare, I always keep in mind that this space is my home away from home. It has to be happy, neat, and cute. It's so easy to walk through the door every day when you have a beautiful space! Well, easier.

When I visited my classroom on the last day of school last year, I discovered that, along with gorgeous windows and an amazing storage closet, there were red tables. RED. That didn't match my lime green, aqua, and black and white theme that I've had going on for the last few years, so I did a little switcheroo this year.

I kept the black and white and added red! Voila! It was a little bit of work and a little bit of purchasing, but it wasn't too bad! Now my classroom is fit for this UGA fan!  

I love this view from the front!

The view from small group table (the door on the left is my storage closet).

I'm learning to work with tables this year! The supply baskets will only come out when needed. I made my own name tags this year to match the room. The treat bags say "I'm glad you're here! Welcome to the TEAM!"
Touches to add pride to our classroom-a timeline for photos and an Owl mascot!

Slightly updated TEAM letters, new bulletin board letters, and bunting were projects I completed over the summer. 

A few "personal touches" that I've added. 
A door that's ready for my students to finish decorating & letters from last year's team greeted families as they entered the room.

Now I should probably get back to doing some sort of errand to get ready for school to actually begin. Or, maybe not! I hope you all have a great start to your school year!

July 24, 2015

Moving On In

I've spent the last few days at new teacher orientation. Whew! It's often a lot to take in, but it's been a great experience. I told my fellow new teacher posse at lunch today that I've felt like I'm "drinking the Kool Aid". All I keep hearing is how lucky I am, how lucky they are to have me, how much everyone loves working here, and how exciting the changes in this district have been in the past ten years.

So far I'm loving it. This is a small district within a big city. People know each other. I've spoken with all of the instructional coaches from the other schools and they've learned my name. People who don't live here or don't even have children in school here have met my "I'm going to be working at..." with nods of appreciation and smiles about what is going on here. I can definitely tell it's a special place.

Today I finally got to work in my classroom! I'm so glad! Setting up this classroom is a way to invite myself into the space. There is so much hope and promise despite the fact that there is also so much to do!  

Here's a picture of what I worked on today. It is definitely a work in progress:

I am blessed with huge windows, tons of resources, and a storage closet! Whoo hoo!

I can't wait to keep working and make a place for myself here! 

July 20, 2015

Monday Made It: July 20

Welcome to Monday Made It! I've missed linking up for a few weeks since I put myself on an official summer break. I really enjoy this link up, though. It's inspiring to see everyone's creativity and fun ideas. I hope that if you are a new reader of my blog, you will leave a comment with a link back to your blog! 

Home Made It
Watermelon Basil Mojitos
Just a Wednesday night Date Night!
Recently, my fiance and I had a lovely midweek Date Night. Our original plans unfortunately got rained out, but we had a great night anyways! We tried out a new (to us) Thai restaurant, and then came home and I made some Watermelon Basil Mojitos. They were delicious! I had extra watermelon and basil that needed to be used, so I just typed those words into my Pinterest feed, and voila! The recipe is here

TPT Made It

FREE 2nd Grade Common Core Math Quizzes-Sample

Last week, I managed to put together a FREE sample for my "Masterpiece" of 2nd Grade Math Quizzes. Hop on over to my store to check it out. The full file is half off for the rest of the summer if you like what you see!

Classroom Made It
The Door Hanger
The Process
I'm moving to a new school that has an owl mascot. So, I decided to make an owl out of burlap and in my new classroom colors. My Mom helped out while I was visiting, because I do not have a sewing machine (nor do I really know how to use one!). But other than the sewing, it was easy peasy! I'll attach a wire hanger to it when I get it to school.


July 19, 2015

The Sunday Blues & A Challenge to ME

It's time to get back to the grind! I begin New Teacher Orientation on Wednesday, which means I started suffering from insomnia and back to school nightmares last week! The only other time I've been at a district's New Teacher Orientation, I was actually a new baby teacher. 7 years ago. I thought this time it would be easier or at least less nerve wracking, but it seems I was wrong!

I know that I will learn lots of valuable information about my new district during the orientation, but I also know that meetings like this are prime time for me to daydream, make endless to do lists, and, frankly, stress myself out. As a result of this impending doom (dramatic, I know), I decided to challenge myself to take care of ME this week.

Sound selfish? I don't think so! I can't give anyone my best if I haven't given it to myself first. And I believe that's true for everyone. I'm fighting the Sunday Blues with a different type of to do list. A short and totally DOABLE list of some ways I'd like to take care of myself this week!

Check it out:

1. I want to go sit by my pool at least once this week! Gotta get that Vitamin E!
2. I need to make sure to pack some good food and water (I might even get fancy and infuse it!) to get through my long meeting days with a clear head.
3. I'll diffuse some relaxing lavender in my home and remind myself to breathe.

Ahh, even typing it makes me feel better! Will you join me? Teachers, please take care of yourselves in the coming weeks.

July 17, 2015

Five For Friday: It's Almost Over, Y'all

fiveforfriday2_thumb[3]  Teaching Blog Addict Freebie Downloads
Welcome to Five For Friday AND Freebie Friday (because I'm still too summer-lazy to do 2 posts, so scroll to number 5 if that's what you're here for!). Maybe I'm welcoming myself, because it feels like it has been ages since I blogged. I meant to take a week off of all of this blogging, social media-ing, and TPTing. I ended up taking more than two weeks, and I am a-ok with that! It's summer!

And the title of this post? It is a little sad. This time next week I will be sitting in my 3rd and final day of New Teacher Orientation. Where did summer go? Here are a few answers to that:

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So it wasn't this week, but it's been a while since I last posted so I'm going to do a little catch up! For July 4th, we went to Savannah to visit with my folks. As usual, we ate a lot of food, including low country shrimp boil. Yummy! We also went to the theater to see Inside Out, which was so good!

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I've also gotten all my paperwork completed to begin my new job! Now I can look official with my ID badge, and more importantly, go back to getting my teacher discount at Michael's.

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Spanish Bay

Golden Gate
Wedding Day

This past weekend, we went to my fiance's sister's wedding in Carmel, California. It was so gorgeous and a lot of fun! The weather in that part of the country is absolutely amazing and a wonderful reprieve from our Georgia summers. We can't wait to go back to visit his sister in San Francisco. I've never been, so I really want to do some touristy things! 

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While I was on the plane to SF, my sister was in labor. By the end of that night, Cora Ann was born! So, this week, I have been spending time getting to know her. It's been so  nice to have this last full week of summer to help out my sister and spend time with her babies! 

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FREE 2nd Grade Common Core Math Quizzes-Sample

This week, I managed to put together a FREE sample for my "Masterpiece" of 2nd Grade Math Quizzes. Hop on over to my store to check it out. The full file is half off for the rest of the summer if you like what you see! 

July 1, 2015

I Made My "Masterpiece"!

Ok, so for week 3 of the TPT challenge, we were inspired to make our masterpiece. Now, I've put "masterpiece" in quotation marks, because I don't really feel like this is my masterpiece, but it is what I was in the middle of working on already.

And I told myself I couldn't do anything else until I got it finished. And I didn't actually think I would ever be finished with it. But I am now! Eeek! So there. 

I had served as the "Math Expert" on my 2nd grade team for about six years. Since then, we have done so much work as a team to monitor our students' progress, build their knowledge, and make improvements overall in our school's Math performance and curriculum...Data Teams, Professional Learning, Common Core...it was constant work.

But this year, I finally felt like I had the time to work on something that we could make work for US. We needed a way to more closely monitor the daily and weekly progress of our students. So,we began administering weekly quizzes and recording that info on our spreadsheets for grading. We use standards based report cards, so having this extra piece of info was so helpful! 

As a bonus-this was a great thing to grade and send home! With the advent of interactive notebooks, group work, and performance tasks, all of which often stay at school, parents don't always get the clearest picture of how THEIR student is doing! 

But of course, being a blogger/seller newbie, none of what I was creating on a weekly basis was TPT-ready! So that was my summer project. 

I went kind of crazy. I made sure every standard has its own quiz...or two...or more! There are 70+ quizzes so far. I expect it to grow throughout the years because I am always mixing and matching and tweaking, and I would like to offer this to my buyers as well.

I am going to sell it all summer for only $5! I think that this is a great deal for something any 2nd grade teacher can use all year to track student progress and help your students and parents track progress as well.

Also, I figured out how to make a gif. And uploaded it to Pinterest. Bam.