Sunday, July 27, 2008
This week we were the recipients of free backpacks and school supplies! We have a Community in Schools representative who coordinated the whole thing and a group of volunteers came in to pass out the backpacks and to make "crazy" paper bag hats with my kids on the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! It was a bit crazy and hectic, but well worth it. The kids were THRILLED and we got to keep all the craft supplies in addition to the extra school supplies they donated. It was great! I even got a brand new electric pencil sharpener! It was almost like Christmas!! ha ha Anyway, included in this blog are some pictures of that day. I had to "smudge" the students' faces out due to legal reasons, but you at least get to see the crazy hats they made and how much fun they had.
Being able to take some time and reflect on this past week, I am amazed at how different a class can be one year to the next. I can see that I'll have some real characters in my classroom, but it is SUCH a different dynamic this year already. I have a real "lover" in my class. He's adorable and is already telling me he "loves" me and he grabs my arm and kisses it. That's going to have to stop, but I'll give him all the hugs he wants instead. My kiddos think I'm "crazy, silly and really funny." All of this after I've had to be hard on them regarding their talking. Having 9 fewer students has definitely made a huge difference as well, although I do get a new student tomorrow, so I'll be upto 21 total if all students show up. (I have had two who didn't show up at all this past week.)
I was pleasantly surprised to be visited by two of my older friends this week. One was my 6th grade class mentee last year...she's great and was in my room for two full quarters helping with reading groups, filing and grading papers. The other student was a 6th grade boy that was originally sent to my room for misbehaving..he was on a three day suspension. But after being in my room, he wanted to come back to volunteer with my kids...and he was allowed to when his behavior was good. He stopped by on Thursday and he was really, really sweet. "Hey Mrs. Eklund...how are you? I just wanted to stop by to say HI and to give you a hug. I hope I can come to your room this year." Ahhh...it was SO perfect. It's just an incredible feeling to know that somehow I made an impact on these older kids as well.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
This is my listening center...I'll post reading assistance and projects up on the bulletin board.
This is my computer station and workbook cubbies. I have enough room for these extra cubbies so I don't have to have stacks of workbooks around my room this year. As you can see, I don't have desks again this year, I have tables, which significantly cuts down on my storage space. So - each student will have an assigned cubbie to put their reading, math and science workbooks in, as well as any other journals and etc that I give them. Above their cubbies is a my "manners" bulletin board...just little reminders on how to be respectful to each other. My hope is that every time they get something out of their cubbie, they'll be reminded of how to be respectful!
My back wall. This is on the East side of my room. I will, in a couple of weeks, remove the "Welcome" sign and put up a word wall for my students to use as a reference. I will also post student work along these back cabinets.
Facing South in my room.
My behavior chart and Math Focus Wall.
This is my only whiteboard. I have a much bigger room this year, but only this whiteboard.
This is my reading focus wall. It says, "Swing into Reading".
And finally, my teacher's desk and DUCK wall behind it. I'm going to get an UO Oregon flag to hang up on the wall as well. My kids will definitely know about the Ducks and maybe, just maybe they'll be inspired enough to go to college. =) Notice the time on the clock...9:13...that's PM on Friday night. I got kicked out at 9:30. =) ha ha
So far that's all! I am working on getting my day planned for tomorrow and will let you know how it goes =)
Love to all!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
This year I head to convocation with confidence and pride. I am no longer a first year teacher (Thank God), but am a second year teacher brimming with confidence and an understanding of what lies ahead of me. There are still some unknowns (school restructuring aside), but what a difference a year makes! This year I head to convocation actually having real friendships with people, having a "place at the table" persay, not wondering if people will want to be my friend, but knowing that they already are and that I am on par with these people professionally and personally, at least on some level. It is a strange ride, but exciting all the same. I am confident, but know I also have SO much more to learn. I am thankful, joyfully thankful that I do not have to have a nerve-wracking, mind-boggling first day of teaching ever again. Even with the unknowns this year, I still feel much more prepared than I did last year at this same time. So far I haven't had a sleepless night! That will probably happen on Sunday...the night before the first day of teaching. Oh boy! =) Last year was great, but this year can only get better! So with laptop in hand, I head out the door...it's time to begin another year.
Oops...have to have breakfast first! Man, would my Mom get MAD if she knew I left for school without having breakfast. =)
Sunday, July 13, 2008
It should be an easy theme to branch off from, ("Let's Go Bananas for...", "Don't Monkey Around...", "Climb the Vine to Success...", and etc.) but the biggest plus of all? NO LIVE ANIMALS AS CLASSROOM PETS! Which in turn means no funerals to suffer through this year. I don't really think I'd get approval to have a classroom monkey, so I think I'm fairly safe from too many broken hearts. Granted, all the class fish from last year provided some great stories, but it was so hard to watch their little hearts get broken...three times. (Our "peace lily" is still alive!) Anyway - no funerals, no "dead songs" to be sung...only the lively, happy, mischievous monkeys adorning my classroom walls. I'm sure my students will only be too happy to perpetuate this "monkey" theme and morphe into little mischievous monkeys themselves. I expect nothing less. ;-)
I will post some pictures when my room is completed this week. In addition to adding the final touches to my room, I will suffer through hours of staff meetings and obligatory district meetings. If you didn't know my school is going through a severe transition and restructuring. Last year we were a district school, which bussed in students from all over our school district and had about 800 students K-8. This year we will be a "neighborhood" school, which means only students that live within walking distance of the school will attend, with the exception of those students in the "transition" years of 7th and 8th grade. So, our enrollment has dropped from 800 to about 300 K-8. What does this mean? It means that for grades K-6 there is only ONE grade level teacher. I am the only 1st grade teacher at my school! It's nuts, but exciting all the same. Talk about accountability!!
Add to this the probability of me having to go to the doctor for my back and you're talking one crazy week ahead of me!