Friday, December 7, 2012

December Currently, a bit late to the party

Once again, I'm running behind the currently party that Farley hosts! I don't think I'm even fashionably late this time! December snuck up on me, maybe because of the unseasonable warm temperatures we are having in Ohio! It needs to get cold soon and snow! It would be nice to have cold weather to help get rid of all the germs floating around the school and area! So continue to read my currently and then you mustache check out the awesome blog of Farley!

 
I love listening to Christmas music and especially Amy Grant's I Need a Silent Night - it is so soothing and has a great message! Even though this was a short 4 day week (due to fog cancelling school on Monday), I'm so glad it's Friday night! The days are getting longer and time seems to stand still at times in the classroom leading up to Christmas break! I don't know about anyone else, but the week ends fly by and I have to get baking cookies, decorating the tree and house started! I will confess, I still have a fall table runner on my dining room table! Yikes! I also really need a haircut, I've driven by the salon a couple of times and there's always been a line! I haven't wanted to wait, but I think I will be in that line tomorrow. My hair is driving me crazy! I had to think awhile about the random act of kindness. I started a secret classroom treat bag in October at my school, so that was out, I've written letters to my family and friends to let them know what they mean to me, and every year I buy a charity newspaper from the old newsboys selling them on the corner the first Friday in December. So I will be going to a fast food restaurant and paying for the car behind me. I haven't decided which restaurant I'll go to, but I'll play that by ear!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Best Pencil Sharpener Ever!

I recently received the best pencil sharpener for my classroom. It is a dream! Everyone wants to sharpen pencils! I used to use those noisy electric sharpeners, you know the kind that reminds you of a dentist's drill? I also tried using hand sharpeners during class times to avoid disturbing working students, but after a few times, the blades would get dull. Then, I read on other people's blogs about an amazing pencil sharpener that was quiet! I had to try it out. I sent for it, and  couldn't wait to use it in my classroom. I showed my paras how to use it and then we showed my students how to sharpen pencils. Keep in mind that I teach students with behavior and emotional disorders- it's tough to find pencil sharpeners that can keep up with my students! This one does though! I love it! It would make a great holiday present for anyone, teacher or at home.



I know several teachers at my school would love to receive this as a Christmas gift!
Happy Sharpening!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Where did the time go and it's another currently!


Wow! I can't believe it's November already! Seems like just yesterday I was starting school in my new room! I want to apologize for not blogging more, things have been hectic around here. My mom has had a set back with her health, she's had lung cancer for the past 8 years, and now has 2 brain tumors. She has recently gone through 10 radiation treatments, and now we wait until Friday to hear what is next. She is in really good spirits and is continuing to enjoy life, even though her body is not cooperating! She has her friends pick her up everyday to go to a local tea shop where they play dominoes and talk.

On a lighter note, my birthday was last week and look at what my wonderful paras gave me!

They also made cupcakes for the class and my family! They are so special to me, I wouldn't be able to do my job everyday without them! I had a great day with my class and then with my family.

I'm also linking up with Farley for her November currently. I look forward to reading everyone's but I'm always shocked when I see a new one posted!

















 
My town had it's trick or treat time postponed until tonight, due to Sandy. I don't understand this, we're in Northwest Ohio, and it wasn't like it was stormy! Anyways, we had 3 huge bags of treats to hand out and they were gone in 45 minutes! I think we had about 240 people in that time, more than other years! I know some of the people were from the surrounding areas that had trick or treating on Wednesday, but oh my! I felt bad as a group of 15 kids came up and I only had 2 pieces of candy left that I was handing out to the 2 little ones at the door! Luckily, all of my lesson plans are done for the week and I have all of my meals planned out too!! Maybe I can start my Christmas shopping- or at least make a list of what to get everyone! I can't wait for the election to be over! Did I mention I'm from Ohio? We are getting bombarded with mailings, phone calls, commercials, people at the door- I just want it to stop!!  My favorite music to play is an instrumental CD that has classical music with various sounds of the forest- like birds, waterfalls, rain, etc. My students like to listen to it also!
 
Hopefully, I will be able to post more in the coming weeks! Where does that time go? I know I just got an extra hour last night, but it's gone already!!
 
 

Monday, October 8, 2012

A freebie for my 101 followers!

I have been thinking about blogging, but it seems like time is not on my side! Plus the fact that I wanted to create something super-spectacular for all of my followers since I have 101 followers! I think my creative juices have frozen up with the colder weather! I look at everyone's creations and am in awe of all of the materials that I've downloaded and purchased.

Last week was a tough one for my class. I had 2 students that ran out of the room- and one even ran out of the building. Another student got mad at me for making him finish his work before he could have free time (this is a consequence that is posted in my room). After dealing with his physical aggression for over an hour- yes we had to restrain him- we are trained and allowed to use restraining as a last resort, I was mentally drained. Skip forward to science, where one of my lovely students complained that science is boring and he wasn't going to do it. He had a time out in the alcove in my room, where he then decided to throw his shoes out at me! During the science lesson on plants, I had brought in 2 plants and 5 carnations. We were taking off the leaves of one plant (to see the effects on the plant) I handed each student a leaf so they could see the veins. One student ate his leaf! I reminded all of them of my rule in science- no eating anything during any experiment! We moved on to the carnations, putting each into colored water. I split one of the stems, using scissors (note this was hard to do) and stuck each part of stem into a bottle of colored water. The next day my students were amazed at the flowers change in color, the split flower was half red and half blue! On Friday, 2 of my paraprofessionals had the day off. I do appreciate substitues, but I still have to be with my room the whole time, I can't leave any students alone with a sub! It wasn't too bad of a day. My principal decided to rotate some people around so that I could have another regular staff in my room and one of the subs took that staff's place.

I did make break cards for my students that I'm sharing with all of you. I gave each student their own card (laminated). When they feel that they are getting frustrated, overwhelmed, anxious, or need to have a break (short 1-2 minute walk, sensory break) they show their card to staff. Earlier in the year, each student and staff made a list of 5 coping skills they can use in a school setting (count to 10, walk, stress ball, deep breathing, etc.) Everyone has their coping skills on a laminated card that they can reference when they need it.

Break cards

I did have to change 2 of the pictures, when I uploaded this to Google Docs, the pictures were missing on them and I don't know how to fix it.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

October Currently

It's October, so that means that it's time for a new currently from Farley

Fall has arrived in northwestern Ohio! We have had frost and tonight it is to get down to 30 degrees! I've been really good this year with getting my lesson planning and all most of my materials ready for the next week before I leave on Friday! Usually I leave the fun type of material gathering and making for the weekend, like going to the library for extra books or printing off purchased centers and such.

Why do the weekends go so fast? I guess I need to not schedule so much in the weekend, but there isn't time during the week for grocery shopping, cleaning, and laundry! That's why I get behind put off completing some tasks! I need to get busy with printing and laminating my centers for Halloween! I found a book at my library with great pictures. It is a spin off of Twas the Night Before Christmas, the book is Halloween Night, by Marjorie Dennis Murray.
 
I promise I will have another blog post tomorrow. I'm trying to figure out what to give all of my wonderful followers since I'm up to 101 followers!! Bear with me, I still feel like a newbie with blogging! Have a great week!


Saturday, September 15, 2012

What I'm Loving Party!

I'm linking up with Megan at I Teach, What's your Super Power? for her What I'm Loving linky party!

I Teach. What's Your Super Power?
 
These are some of the wonderful things I made over the summer that I found through Pinterest and other blogs.
 
 
First, I love my organizational drawers! I keep all of my copies of work, homework, any flat materials that are needed each day. These keep me so organized! I fill them up for the next week on Friday before I leave, so I'm ready to go on Monday morning!
 
I also love, love, love my pencil sharpener! I kept trying to win one over the summer, but finally broke down and bought one! Everyone in my building is so jealous!! My paras even fight over sharpening pencils!
 
 
I also love my homemade dry erase sheets. They are lightweight, colorful, and easy to store!
 
 
I also am loving my water bottles. They keep me hydrated and stay cold (my room has a/c and is on the cold side!
Which brings me to sweaters. Seriously, even though it's 80 degrees outside, my room is a chilly 68 - 70! I wear cardigan sweaters everyday!! It can take me 20 minutes in my sun-warmed car to thaw out!! I have solids and prints in various colors that I wear over my tees! *I don't wear low cut shirts like this model, though- my shirts are plain crew neck!! 
 
Finally, Cooking Light magazine subscription has been a life saver! I've found so many easy and quick recipes that taste delicious! Most of the recipes can be made under 40 minutes!
 
Now, it's your turn to link up with Megan! Let everyone know what you are loving right now! I'm hoping to gain more ideas!!
 
 






Sunday, September 9, 2012

Reflections

I've been in school with students for about 3 weeks. Mid-terms are due next Monday! There has been so many changes already in the schedule! First, I decided that I couldn't fit in science and social studies every day, so I'm teaching science one week and social studies the next. I'm hoping my students will be able to retain the information, otherwise I might teach every other day or every other 2 days... My specials are driving me crazy! I have a whole class speech infused lesson on Tuesdays for 30 minutes, then on Fridays, we have OT, sensory time, music class (pull out) and gym! I had gym for the past 3 weeks on Wednesday, but the gym teacher (who also was an aide in my room) was offered a full time position teaching gym in several other schools in the county. He had to change my school's scheduled day for gym to fit the other schools' schedules. So now I'm down one aide- that will be replaced hopefully soon, as I have 3 students who are runners. Last week, I completed my math and reading placement assessments so this week I am starting to form the groups. There really weren't any big surprizes, as I could tell with my informal assessments where the students struggled or excelled.

I've also decided to begin a Daily 5 type of reading style. I think with my students this will help them. I'm still going to meet with groups of students to do a guided reading style of lesson. I will also schedule the rotations for them. We will probably only get through 3 rotations in a day- read to self, word work, and work with teacher. I also will have a work on writing and read to someone to rotate with the word work and work with teacher or read to self. I read to my students everyday after lunch, so I figure that's their listen to reading! They love the Humphrey books!

I also added a positive motivator, besides giving golden tickets for on task and ignoring others, if my students are safe for 3 days, they will get a prize from my prize box. I have various items like fun pencils, erasers, little notepads, toy cars, puzzles, basically anything that I can find that is under $1.00. I'm hoping this will motivate my one students who only has had 2 safe days since the beginning of school! He is a tough kid- and doesn't seem motivated by ANYTHING so far! 

So this week end has been some relaxing, a lot of thinking, researching through different blogs and pinterest (thanks to all of you) and printing, laminating,creating, and buying items for my room!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September Currently and Back in Action!


Sorry I've been neglecting my blog. I'm trying to figure out how to get everything done in a day! I've revamped my lesson plans, schedule, and moved my youngest son back to college. He goes to a college in Virginia, which is about 9 hours away! While I love the scenery around the area with all the mountains, I don't really care for sitting in the car for that long! I took some pictures to compare the landscapes...

 
Flat land in Northwestern Ohio

 
Mountains in Virginia
We moved him back this past week end, so our house is back being quiet and somewhat organized! At least I don't have all of his boxes for college around in his room and the basement!
I also had to rethink things in my classroom. They are in 4th and 5th grades, but are so immature and below grade level in reading and math. I'm hoping that this will be the last week on place value, but will continue to provide practice! We gone over the rules, procedures, made a respect sounds/looks like chart, written up a respect agreement and pledge, came up with positive and negative consequences, but they still continue to talk out and walk around! The biggest complaint today was that I expect them to read and write during the day! Oh well, we don't have any more long week ends until Thanksgiving, so maybe that will help!

I can't believe that it's already the 4th of September! So I've linked up with Farley for September's Currently.
 
I love watching people look through houses and then buy a house! And ever since I've come back from Virginia, my cat Pepper, won't leave me alone! She has to keep close enough to me and have at least a paw on me! I wish that I could have a long week end with nothing to do and no place to go! Doesn't that sound wonderful? I do need to start getting into shape, my lunches at school usually consist of cheese and crackers and a granola bar. I like taking food that I can eat quickly and on the go! Why does it seem like when I take food that requires heating up or utensils, that is when I have a student in crisis and 10 other pressing things to do? Finally, I love, love shoes! I don't buy expensive ones, I buy at Target and Kohl's- the more colorful, the better! Also, after being in a car all week end, I loved the Queen and The Who CDs that we listened to and sang along with!
So I hope to be able to blog more this week and the coming weeks and months! Thanks for sticking with me and have a great day!
 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Week 1 is done!



How does everyone teach and blog? After Wednesday, the first day with students, I was wiped out! I wasn't sure how I would ever function, or stay awake after 8:00 pm! Luckily, the next days went better and I was able to stay up past 10! I did get my room ready in time for the open house on Tuesday night.
This is the view of my room as I come in. I love being able to look at trees and a grassy yard out the window, instead of the parking lot that my room overlooked last year!
The chalkboard with my rules, schedule, precision request procedure, and respect chart.
My wonderful cubbies! I labeled every box, and have since bought a couple of more boxes! I have all of my manipulatives like counters, pattern blocks, linking cubes, flash cards, dice, fidgets, magnetic letters and numbers, and even writing paper in each section. I also have several dictionaries in some of the sections.
View of my room from the front. Student work will be posted on the one board, not sure about the other board.
I added the numbers for around the clock. I just cut out circles and wrote the minutes on the circles.  I'm hoping this will help my students tell and learn how to tell time better.

I realize that my room is a little bare, but I do add things as the year goes by- anchor charts and student work. I like keeping the decorations to a minimum as a lot of my students get easily distracted or over stimulated with too many visuals. I wish I would have remembered to take a picture of my hallway bulletin board and door- I used the pinterest idea for my door of "when you enter this room..."

It was a good week, I'm loving my class! They make me laugh and enjoy teaching. I have 7 boys and 1 girl this year. I will be kept busy with teaching their different levels in math and reading. And hopefully, I'll get my energy back to blog more next week!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

We are All Special!
 
I'm linking up with Karlie over at  We are All Special! for the "before" classroom picture linky party! As I stated in a previous post, my room was used as storage over the summer for 2 other rooms! I forgot to take my camera, to take pictures before all the other furniture and items were moved out so just imagine this corner of items times 3!
At my school, we all help each other out with the moving in and out of classrooms! It goes rather quickly with everyone carrying the desks, chairs, and boxes! The reason we have to move everything into a couple of classrooms every year is that the school actually rents the space from the mental health facility. So the mental health facility uses four of the six classrooms during the summer for more intensive programs. I also had changed classrooms and grades- I lost my wonderful closet that could lock! I had to go through 3 file cabinets full of papers and other things! Some were mimeographed copies of worksheets. You can see the boxes of papers that I took to recycle or shread.
This is the view from my door of the classroom. I love the windows, but wish my room would be a bit bigger! I was amazed that I could get the whole wall in the pic!
The back corner of the room, with my interactive board, alcove (for a quiet place to calm down), sink and observation mirror. In front of the mirror are the 2 bookcases in my room! I have boxes waiting to be unpacked under the board full of books! My old room had 4 large shelves for reading books.
The front corner of the room, showing the door and cubbies for the students. Tomorrow is the last work day for in the rooms, so my paras and I will be arranging the tables and desks, figuring out what to do with the other things, and putting up the bulletin boards. Check back later for the after pictures!

I did manage to get my desk area somewhat organized at least the desk is clean!
 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

First Day Jitters, 4 days before school starts!

I'm linking up with Ms. Jessica over at A Turn to Learn  for her First Day Jitters linky party!
Back to School Jitters Linky Party
You can click on the picture above to go to her blog linky party!

So why do I have first day jitters? I mean, I've been teaching a long time... for 10, um.. 15 ... okay, okay, over 20 years. I shouldn't be nervous... I shouldn't have those crazy dreams where the students show up for school and I'm the only teacher there, and my room isn't set up! And then some student brings skunks in my room!! What did I eat before bed that night? Anyways, it just goes to show that everyone gets nervous before the first day of school. We wonder about our students, the other staff that is new, we wonder if we over planned or under planned, if the technology will work, what if it doesn't and so on. Here's some pictures of my room after I got 2 other classrooms things out of my room.
Imagine the items in this corner of my room times 5 or more! At least that's what it seems like. I had 7 teacher desks, 8 file cabinets, 6 tables, 24 student desks and I don't know how many chairs! Plus computer carts, bookshelves, boxes of things, and an aquarium! My room is storage for the summer and everything is stored- nothing is left in the other rooms.You see, in the summer, another program uses 4 of the 6 classrooms, so we move everything out and put it into one of the 2 storage classrooms. I wish I would have thought to take a picture of an empty room and my room full of items! These pictures -I'm ashamed to admit are after I worked for 5 hours in my room- I had to go through and purge 3 file cabinets and a desk of old stuff. I actually found those purple-y sheets from a mimeograph!
The view from the door, front of the room is on the left and the back wall is on the right! Notice the table top on the floor, waiting for legs!

Looking from the front to the back corner. My Promethean board, sink area, alcove behind the sink, the mirror is an observation window and in front of the mirror are the 2 lonely bookcases.The boxes by the board have my books that I need to find a place for- I ran out of bookcase shelves! This new room only has 2! I'm use to having 4!
View from the back corner to the front corner. Again the sink, observation window, then door and cubbies for students. The box by the chairs is filled with old worksheets that should have been tossed years ago! I also started a pile of items that I don't want, but thought someone else could use on a cart, by the file cabinets.
I did manage to get my desk area cleaned out and pretty much organized.I actually threw out granola bars and a brownie!  I still have some things that look to be of sentimental value on the shelf that need to go to the former teacher of the room, or thrown out!
I'll take more pictures on Monday after my paras and I get working on setting up the bulletin boards and arranging the furniture. Tuesday we have our annual training for descalating aggressive behaviors and restraining safely, as a last resort for those students that are physically harming themselves or endangering others. After the training then we have our open house, which not many parents come. Wednesday our doors open for the students to come and learn! Hopefully without any wild animals!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Final Monday of summer

This summer has flown by, I guess it's true when  people say "Time flies when you're having fun!" Starting this blog and reading other teaching blogs has kept me busy, especially Tara's Monday Made Its! I've made so many nice things for my room and seen a lot of inspiring posts for the upcoming year. I just can't believe my summer ends tomorrow! I had an early dentist appointment today, and Pepper wasn't happy about waking up before 7:30! I don't know how we will make it on Wednesday when I have to get up by 6. I also have to stop having my 2 hour breakfasts in the morning. Not that I eat a lot, but I have a cup of tea, read the paper, watch GMA, have another cup of tea, have something to eat, finish watching GMA, play Words With Friends, check email, check what Kelly is doing over at Live with Kelly. How will I cope with not knowing what happened to her? Somehow, I don't think I could work all of that in during morning meeting!!

I had a wonderful week end! First Mr. and I went and saw The Moving Wall. It was very impressive and gave me goosebumps.


Then I went to Cincinnati and visited my oldest son. We had a lot of fun talking and shopping and eating!
My son's living room, see the pics on the wall? I made those using canvas and photos! I also helped him clean!

Looking toward Cincinnati from Newport, KY

I found the cutest name placards for the table, not that Mr. and I don't know where to sit, but I love cows and couldn't resist these! They even came with chalk!!
Name Card!
When I got home, I received a wonderful surprise! A new printer! It scans, prints, and copies! And it's wireless! Mr. knew that I needed a new printer, since mine gave up last week.
Pepper just had to get in the pic, causing me to move.


I did  finish some projects for Monday Made It! Besides what is shown below, I typed and printed up my standard checklists for all the subjects and for grades 4 and 5 (I just found out that I won't have 6th grade). I printed up my sub emergency plans that I got from Sub Hub and organized a sub binder. I just have to wait for the class list and a few odds and ends before it will be complete! I didn't like my birthday poster, so I took it apart and made it into a pennant hanging! I like it a lot better.
My clipboards (for me and a few for the students)
pencil cups, signs made by April Walker from the ideabackpack blog
My updated birthday pennant!

I'm hoping that we can still use food as a motivator, but I think the state guidelines for nutrition will prevent me from having any food in the classroom that doesn't fit in with the health guidelines. I'd like to visit the rule makers' offices to see if they have any candy on their desks or treats in the break room!

Go over to check out Tara's blog, 4th Grade Frolics to see what everyone else has been doing and tell us what you made!



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Charge, Cha-ching! Shopping Parties!


Adventures in Room 5 is hosting a linky party to go along with Teacher's Pay Teachers back to school sale!

In my cart are the following 4 items- and I have more, but rules are rules!

1.  Back-to-School-Activities-Starting-the-Year-off-Right in this packet, there are ice breaker activities where students interview each other and then write a newspaper article based on the interview. Also included is a scavenger hunt and questions about the procedures in the classroom, once they have been taught. A lot of my students have been in the same class for awhile, but they don't always know much about each other so I'm hoping the interview will help them. Plus, interviewing will be good for learning about social skills.

2. Sticky-Note-Research-Projects Even though this is for students in first grade, I think it would be good for my students to learn about the research process. I love the idea that the students write notes on sticky notes and then when I review the notes with them, we can remove any that don't belong. Most of my students hate to write and have poor organizational skills, so I think this would be a good fit.

3. Daily-Math-Notebook this looks like just what I need (and my students need) to keep organized. At this late date with school starting soon, I don't have time to think and design something like this on my  own! It has pages for centers, number of the day, and even timed tests! What more could I want?


4. Nursery-Rhyme-Re-Writes-Synonym-and-Thesaurus-Skills since some of my students haven't heard of some of the nursery rhymes, I thought this would be a good way to introduce them. We can practice reading the actual rhymes (good for fluency) and then use the thesauruses that I bought at Target and also brainstorm synonyms and re-write the nursery rhymes! Sounds like fun!




Jessica over at From Blood to Books! is hosting a linky party for fashion!


Here are the guidelines...
1. Tell me your favorite store(s) that you like to get your "teacher's fashion".
2. What are some of your favorite accessories?
3. What type of shoes do you teach in? (i.e. heels, flats, wedges, etc.)
4. Do you have a "go-to" item in your closet? (i.e. sweater you wear weekly, shoes you wear daily, etc.)
5. Have you ever had a fashion "uh-oh" at school? (i.e. heel broke, button popped off of blouse)


                        While at work, I would love to wear this type of outfit,                                          

Because of the possibility of chasing students back into the room and school, as well as restraining students the reality is I can't wear skirts or dresses that might show too much. I typically wear this type of outfit - cardigan, tee, khakis.

 

1. My favorite stores for teacher fashion are Kohl's and JCPenny. I have also bought clothing and shoes from Target.





2. My favorite accessories are scarves! I love wearing them to add color to my outfits. I also like wearing bracelets.
                            

3. I wear flats to teach in. Some days I wear tennis shoes, usually the fashion styles.

 




4. My go to item would be a cardigan. I have about 15 (never really counted). I wear them over tank tops or tees, I never know what the temp. will be in my room so it's nice to have something to cover up!


5. The only thing I can think of that went wrong was when I wore my old slip on tennis shoes by mistake! I put them on in the morning to get the paper and forgot to change them before driving to school. Not a big deal, but I was embarassed by the grass stained shoes!