Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Advice for new teachers....

It seems funny to be linking up to a linky party about giving advice for new teachers since, really, I still am one. But with two years under my belt there are a *few* little notes I'd like to give to new teachers out there...

1. ASK FOR HELP  Ask for help all.the.time!!!!!! You won't have any idea what you're doing a lot of the time and people will forget to tell you things that are old hat to them. It's OK, just ask.
2. FIND A MENTOR IF YOU AREN'T PROVIDED WITH ONE  In Kentucky, we have a mentor for our teacher internship year. Mine literally saved me. I could come to her in tears and she understood, I could ask for help and she'd give it to me, I could need a minute and she'd cover for me. Truly, I got through my year because of her (and my FAB instructional assistants :) ).
3. GET TO KNOW YOUR COLLEAGUES  They are huge sources of help and support. Plus, you guys will be spending lots of time together.
4. ASK FOR ADVICE, BUT DO THINGS YOUR WAY  Don't try to fit into someone else's mold. Do things your own way. It is your classroom, after all. :-)
5. WINE AND CHOCOLATE ARE NECESSARY  Go home and have a glass with a whole bag of Reese's when you need it :-) We've all had those days!

Enjoy that first year if you can....it is HARD, but so very worth it. :)


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Clip Chart FREEBIE!

Hey there! Hope you are enjoying your weekend. I've been Pinning a lot this morning and keep seeing these great classroom clip charts. I used one last year but I wasn't crazy about the design. Here are some of the ones I liked

I was so inspired, I decided to make my own! I used these ADORABLE polka dot labels from Karen Cox's TpT store.
Source: prekinders.com via Amy on Pinterest

The best part? They were FREE!  Click here to head to her TpT store and get them yourself! Karen also has a blog which you can check out right here. Now that I've made my clip chart, I thought I'd share it with you guys in case you would like to use it! I haven't gotten it laminated or hung together, but I'll be sure to post a picture when I do. Click on the picture below to grab the chart from Google Docs. If this isn't what you're looking for but you like the polka dot frames, be sure to check out Karen's store! She has several different sizes of labels available.

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday
Enjoy your Saturday :-)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Math Work Station Numbers Freebie

Hey there! I am heading off to my dear friend Bridget's house (incidentally, Bridget was the inspiration  for the name of this blog) to watch the season finale of The Bachelorette (Team Arie!) here in a second, but first I wanted to share a quick little printable with you. I've been HARD at work getting my room ready for the upcoming school year, and I've purchased lots of cute blue, green, and purple things (room theme: beach/ocean) to go in my room.
My math work station bins are blue and purple and came from - you'll never guess it - the dollar spot at Target! I will be starting math work stations with my kids this year so I have made a set of numbers for my 12 cute, coordinating baskets. They aren't fancy or anything, but I thought I'd share anyway (AND I liked up to Manic Mondays at Classroom Freebies). As soon as my room is all done, I'll be putting TONS of pictures on my blog, so stay tuned. Click the picture below to grab your set of math work station numbers :)

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


Monday, July 16, 2012

Things I wish they taught you in undergrad

During your early years of teaching, did you ever wonder, "Seriously, what did I learn in college? This on-the-job experience is the ONLY thing that has taught me about education!"

`                                                                         Source: someecards.com via Mary on Pinterest

Well, I certainly did and still do wonder this all the time. Below I've made a little list of some of the things I wish they had taught me in college. If I left any good ones off, please leave them in a comment below :-)
1. When you teach FMD, you are automatically expected to be an expert on all things Boardmaker, SymWriter, BIGmack, and Aug Com. Get ready.
2. When you teach FMD and are short on help, you will spend at least one hour of your day in the bathroom every day. Get ready.
3. You will wipe more bottoms, hold more tissues for blown noses, and clean up more spit than you can ever imagine.
4. You will yell things you never thought you'd even say (i.e. "You are NOT pooping! Stop saying that.").
5. You must be not only an excellent planner, but also an excellent BSer at times :-)
6. As a special education teacher, you will not only manage students but also instructional assistants. It will be hard when you are 25 years younger than any of them :-)
7. As an FMD teacher in Kentucky, you will have to teach students with moderate to severe disabilities about figurative language as it relates to characters in Greek mythology. Seriously, I'm not kidding. Start brushing up on material you last learned about in 6th grade and don't remember!
8. As the behavior crisis contact, you will have to crawl on the floor, restrain students, dodge books and chairs as they are thrown at you, and have your DPP and School Safety Officer on speed dial.
9. As an FMD teacher and behavior crisis contact, others will tell you they would have to be drunk every day to have your job (they will mean they admire you when they say this, or at least that's what you'll tell yourself ;-) ).
10. As an FMD teacher, you will have to advocate for PD that is meaningful for your specific job.
11. You will juggle as many parent behavior issues as you do student behavior issues.
12. You will cry. A lot.
13. You will depend on your instructional assistants for so much, and will thank God for them every single day. They will become some of your best friends. So will the teachers you work with.
14. You will love your students like they were your own children.
15. You will have the absolute BEST job anyone, anywhere could ever ask for.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

DIY: Teacher's Toolbox

Among the many AMAZING Pinterest finds that I've been lusting after for months is the Teacher's Toolbox. My inspiration came from these two pins:
                               Source: lessonswithlaughter.com via Claire on Pinterest

                                                                          Source: mrsrojasteaches.blogspot.com via Shana on Pinterest

I am definitely not the craftiest person, but I knew I could make this! I ran out to Walmart and got myself some cute, new scrapbook paper and then headed on over to Ace Hardware to buy myself a "drawer storage cabinet" ($12.99). I checked at Lowe's, and they were totally out of the kind used in the posts above :-( So sad! When I got to Ace, they only had a 12 drawer organizer. In the end, this really meets my needs better than the 22 drawer version above. I just didn't need that many drawers! Please excuse the crappy iPhone picture of my Teacher's Toolbox below (which is definitely sitting on my unmade bed, by the way):

Seriously, I have GOT to get a functioning camera! I didn't want to spray paint my toolbox, so I went with greens and blues that I thought looked good with the gray exterior of the organizer. Plus, the whole green-blue-gray deal works really well with my beachy/oceany classroom this year! A win-win. The drawers I decided on were: paper clips, staples, binder clips, pencil top erasers, rubber bands, rings, white out, glue sticks (all small drawers) and pens & pencils, Sharpies, highlighters, Expos (all large drawers). This was really simple to make, and I know it is going to get TONS of use between myself and the IAs in my room this coming year.
Hope your July is creeping by slowly! ;-) Mine has been, but I just got the call that my classroom is ready, so I guess things are about to gear back up. Good thing I love it, right? 


Sunday, July 1, 2012

My First Currently!

I am happy to say that I'm linking up to my very first Currently EVER!

Another blogging milestone accomplished ;-) Head on over to Oh Boy 4th Grade and link up to tell us what you're currently doing this summer.

PS- Jen at The Teachers' Cauldron has a nice, short tutorial on how to link up!

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