Thursday, December 25, 2014

I Got the JOB!


Two weeks before school started, I learned that I would not be teaching art again since the school decided that they couldn't afford the program anymore! The Friday before school started, there was a listing to teach second grade. I love second grade! I applied and immediately emailed the principal who emailed me back Saturday morning: "Come see me on Monday." When on Monday? I decided to be there at 8 AM although I felt that I should go at 8:30 AM. The interview was OK, nothing special, but I did know one of the teachers from the Reading Endorsement classes we were taking. By knowing him, and having glowing recommendations from previous principals and my neighbor who is also a principal, about an hour later, I was informed that the school had decided to hire someone, but couldn't tell me who it is, "wink, wink, wink!" I was to immediately write an introduction letter and get back to the school. A couple hours later, it was all official, and I started putting my room together.

Luckily, I had an awesome team! They helped put all the lessons together for the first week. Several teachers, neighbors, family, and friends, helped set up the classroom over the next couple of months. Yes, months! It's crazy to think it actually took that long! This year in first grade, it still took months, but at least I had the summer to work on it. My current room really isn't completely done either due to a desire to go through seven years worth of files, keep masters, and purge everything else!

Originally posted on 8/31/13

The room is still. not. done! But it's getting there! Not too much left to do now, and I'm loving how it's turning out :)

Here are a few pictures of the room so far:
 Front of the room - the door leads to the art/music room, smart board, white board, and 2 cute rugs from IKEA
 The word wall in progress (yellow), listening center, picture book shelves (2 side by side), easel for writing time (white board on the other side - more convenient than the big white board that lists what we're doing in each subject every day)
 How cute is that window treatment??? My YW and leaders put it together! I love it! so, so cute! Next to it is a shelf of chapter books in tubs by genre, with reading and comprehension strategy posters above, the tree has 5 poems about long vowel sounds, the yellow papers are the writing process using "Follow the Yellow Brick Road", the guided reading table is in the corner
The white posters next to the Yellow Brick Road are "What gets a capital letter?", below on the trifold is/will be different types of writing from Cupcakes for the Teacher, the trees show beginning prompts for how, why, what, when, where, so students get an idea of what to start with or what to look for in reading (helps them read and write in phrases instead of word by word), the long, narrow table underneath holds different writing supplies the students can use.
 The tree above the coat rack says "Who did what?" It's a reminder to use full sentences. The apples have each students' name written on them. The cubby/shelf has a few supplies we don't use yet inside, but nothing in the cubbies yet.
The list of colorful papers list our basic daily schedule is on the wall by the window, then the math area includes a number line at the top of the wall, a hundreds chart, book boxes for reading workshop, math workbooks and manipulatives, games, art supplies in the cupboard, calendar area, under the flag is a list of their specialties (art/music/drama, computers, PE, and library - they attend each one once a week, since they only have PE once per week, they get an extra 10 minutes of lunch recess every day), and the front of my easel! And there you have our room :)

This is the general seating arrangement. The kiddos don't sit at their desks for very long, but when they do, this is how they sit :)  Instructions are given on the rug, unless it's a short announcement. During reading, they're spread out all over the room and during independent math practice they tend to spread out too, although more of them choose to be at their desks at that time. If they need/want extra help though (during math), then they stay at the rug with me and we work in small groups.