Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blog Hoppin' Linky!

Instead of telling you how my first two full days of teaching have gone, I'm going to show you my favorite part from my first day:

My parents are absolutely amazing!!!! Such a nice surprise :)

Now it's LINKY TIME from Blog Hoppin'!!

Prezi is pretty much PowerPoint on steroids and I am addicted!!Here's the link to check it out:Prezi

I made some amazing presentations when I student taught and I use my first one tomorrow with my own classes. The kids are absolutely amazed by them and they are able to focus sooooo much better! 

I mean, really...look how awesome this looks!

Has anyone else used this and have any tips they want to share?

Your turn!! Link up!!

Y'all Enjoy

Sunday, August 19, 2012

First Day of School

Friday was the first day of school. With new things, I am typically nervously excited and struggle sleeping. Because of this I went to bed at 9 Thursday night, read for a little bit, and fell asleep around 10. I did not wake up until MY ALARM WENT OFF! It was amazing! I love my new bed and mattress.

Our first day was a half day and it FLEW by. The majority of my students were there and I was so excited to finally get to meet them. 

Since our school changed times, we now start at 7:10, I was nervous that my first hour would be half asleep. Surprisingly, they seemed pretty alert and ready to meet me! (First day of 8th grade nerves, maybe??)

I know you want to know how it went so here it goes:
On a scale of 0 (me running from the room crying and wanting to quit) to 10 (perfection)...IT WAS A 9.5!!!!! It was almost creepy how well my first day went. I felt like I was actually connecting with most of my students and they were eager to listen to me. 

Now I know that things will not always be like that, but I hope the overall feeling of the year is just as positive. WOOHOO!!! Now to start the first full week...

Y'all Enjoy


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So Soon!

My students come FRIDAY!! If you didn't catch that....this FRIDAY!! 3 days from today! OH SNAP!! I'm excited and nervous so I guess the best word to use in anxious. And I know it's only going to get worse from here!

I've been putting so much time/energy/effort into my classroom and I finally finished it today (ok, 99% done). Thanks to my amazing parents and some wonderful friends, my room looks AMAZING, if I do say so myself.

Yesterday was my first 'official' day as an employee of the school board and we've got a week packed! Everyone was moaning a little bit about summer vacation being over, which I would have joined in on just a little bit had I even gotten a summer vacation. :/ Oh well! This makes the 4th week the 8th grade math department has been together in various workshops and I am SOOO glad we get along so well! I am super pumped about this year!

Here's my classroom!! I think my 8th graders will love it and the bright colors may make math seem a little less dreadful (fingers crossed!) I know there are a lot of pics...sorry!
Storage and Learning Log bins

view from front right
Storage and 10-drawer unit where students will turn in assignments
School information board...love the newspaper for background. Will post sports' schedules, bell schedules, etc. 
Where I will right the agenda for in class and homework. Made with electrical tape! (7th hour is honors) 
Filing cabinets and textbook storage. That's one of the posters I wrote about previously! 
Top 5 for 5 Wall & tissue paper pompon balls (they're all of my ceiling!)
SmartBoard (with some border added) and ELMO on my technology cart. 
Absentee assignment pickup area...found a similar idea on Pinterest and loved it! Mine are stuck together with Velcro 
view from front left

Awesome firework valances that a wonderful friend of mine made! The colors go perfectly with everything in my room 
Awesome math clock, school motto, and my adorable hallpasses...you can't see the red M 
My desk area and the sweet teacher toolbox two of my friends made me for my birthday! The beach ball is for my 1st day of school activity. It's covered in questions and we'll throw it around the room with each student answering a question. I will provide my answer as well so they can get to know me more :)
view from back right
view from back left 

Like I said....I LOVE IT!!!! :)

Y'all Enjoy!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

So this is going to be a short post because I am exhausted. I've been putting in about 5 hours each day in my classroom for the last 4 days as well as working my part time job. All I can think about when I'm at work is how ready I am for that first teacher paycheck (note to self: the time does not go by any faster). My room is looking AMAZING and my parents have been such a blessing to me during this transition period!! I could not have asked for it to go any better.

Today, some friends of mine came up to the school and helped me with some decorating...only a few more steps to go! The planning needs to begin but I am about burnt out. At least the first weeks is planned...

Here's my first CURRENTLY linky:
It's supper time for me but I plan to post classroom update pics later in the week!

Y'all Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This week started off my marathon of Professional Development workshops. I literally have something to do/somewhere to be every day before school starts. I know a lot of y'all are in the same boat. I am absolutely thrilled to be given so many opportunities to advance my knowledge in a variety of areas before I even step foot into my first day of teaching!!

Right now, I'm in a two week MSP Project workshop that focuses on 8th grade math activities that correspond with the CCSSs we will be implementing. I have to admit, it was pretty surprising to see the variety of knowledge the teachers have in terms of technology. I understand now how blessed I am to be a young teacher who grew up in a school district that incorporated technology when it became available as well as attending a university that put a high focus on technology integration in all aspects of life. 

On a side note, our school times have been changed: we start at 7:10 and end at 2:50. This is going to take A LOT of getting used to. And working a part time job for at least the first 1.5 months (5-9 pm) is not going to make it any easier. If I can do this though, I believe that the rest of the year will seem like nothing!

Started moving some things into my classroom yesterday. More like dump and run it seemed lol. Actually got my new (to me) podium in the room today thanks to my amazing parents and it looks GREAT! Before and after pics below:

I am a HUGE fan of free things and I think this podium is one of the best pieces I've ever been given!!!!!! So excited about it and the bright colors I'm using all over my room!

The 10 drawer rolling cart was bought at Office Depot and is where students will turn in their assignments for me to grade (tests, activities, etc.). Each class will have a designated drawer that will be labeled (whenever I have the time).

Well, it's bedtime for this girl! Up and at 'em bright and early tomorrow.

Y'all Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ok so I just need to start this post of with...YYYAAAAYYY!!!! Today was definitely a great day! After my part time job calling to tell me that I didn't have to come in, mom and I decided to hit the town and try to knock some of my items off my "To Get" list. And boy did we get some stuff!!

Before I graduated, we ordered a poster set from NCTM. Well, today became laminating day for those intriguing gems! They look amazing and I really hope my students enjoy them since they are not the typical boring math posters. Below are pictures of the finished products :)
I cannot begin to describe how much I love them!!!!

For my "Bearkit 411" bulletin board, I found these 2 borders (I'm not sure which I'll be using) and these adorable paw prints. I feel like this part of my room is coming together nicely!

For my "Look WHO's Top 5 for 5" I plan to use these cute owls (not too many so it doesn't look kiddie). I love these colors though and with the bookshelf I intend to put on the back wall, the bright colors will POP. The adorable pennant borders will be used on my Word Wall bulletin board to pull all of the bright colors from my Top 5 for 5 area, along with the few other owl items I have, together. The little frames will be used to house the picture of each student who goes on the Top 5 for 5 wall. I think it will make a really cute border around each student's face and will help to make them feel even more special.

The blank poster below will have my classroom rules written on it. After rummaging through all of the elementary school type posters, I finally found something I can use and look how awesome! Gotta love dear Aunt Sally!! And Days of the Week binder clips?? Hello organization when running copies!!!

Overall.....IT WAS AN AMAZING DAY!!!

Y'all Enjoy

Monday, July 9, 2012

So, living in a college town post-graduation has it's ups and downs. Right now, the number of people I know in town is slightly limited due to everyone being at home/internships during the summer. I am so ready for the university to start classes again in the fall so some of my good friends who are a year behind me, and graduate in May, will be back.

On a side note, I will not sign my new hire paperwork until August and this kinda bothers me. I know I have the position but it doesn't seem set in stone yet. I am a worry wart and things like this keep me up at night because I always think of the worst case scenario...each and every time. Anyone else do that?

One thing, and the only thing so far, that I am looking forward to this summer is a workshop in late July/early August. It's given by the Summer Institute and will focus on 8th grade math Common Core activities. I am so excited to learn things that I can implement in my lessons! Another plus is that it will be led by one of my old college math professors! Super exciting!!

Does anyone else feel like they are not getting anywhere with planning for the upcoming year. I look around at all these blogs that I follow and see so many things being decorated/made/decided on. I feel like I am stuck in a rut with no ideas. It would probably help to have an actual curriculum...but that hasn't happened yet. Tips please!!!!

What all do I need to figure out? What should I be making? What should I be focusing on? Can you tell I am a little stressed about this?!?

I know that things will fall together but I am trying to limit the amount of stress I'll be experiencing when school starts because, get this, I'll still have to be working at least 1 part time job for the first couple months. Joy!

Y'all Enjoy!

Ms. McCown