Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A mantra for the first day of school...

Please wish me and all my co-workers luck today.

We will need it not so we do not feel:
Freaked out

We don't want to feel FINE

We want to feel


Monday, August 16, 2010

The top 10 things I am excited to see again in 2010...

I love my classroom. It is in a way, my happy place. However, due to budget constraints, the district felt they would save money by enforcing a hard lock down this summer and I have not been in at all! The school is unlocking its doors for the teachers to start preparing this WEDNESDAY. Of course I am excited to see my students come September 1st, but there are a few of my favorite things I can't wait to lay my eyes on once again...

1. My Busy Bee Chart and little bees. This has been my "Welcome to Mrs. B's Class" sign for a few years and it still makes me happy inside when I see it. Little bees you have been missed.

2. I inherited this little beauty from a teacher that was moving up a grade and didn't need it any more. I have wanted a carpet like this for YEARS. Now I get to use one. Love it.

3. This little thing makes me happy too. Actually two little things. I have two of these pocket charts for differentiation purposes. One I use as a "pocket book" holder where I keep their leveled fluency reader for the week. The other one is used as a "wip" pocket {work in progress} so that I can keep track of unfinished and needs corrected work and it has helped with messy desks by 100%.

4. Velcro. Weird right? I love velcro. It is partially because the walls in my room are half covered in carpet and I HATE wasted wall space. What is a girl to do? Not tape or push pins. VELCRO! I laminate name tags and use them for a variety of games and procedures and stick this lovely stuff on the back to use it all year. I even have a working velcro word wall so I don't have to mess with sticky tac or staples every year. 

5. This old friend is used weekly if not daily, especially at the beginning of the school year. I love my purple cow laminator because it has a 13 inch opening instead of the usual 9 inch and is less likely to bunch up on the sides.

6. My big splurge for the year. At the end of every year I usually take advantage of the end of the year discounts and free shipping from certain catalog companies. I have wanted these little carpet squares forever and I finally broke down and bought them. They fit in the squares on my lots o' dots rug and I am thinking some really fun kinesthetic phonemic awareness/ word building activities. I am so excited to use these!

7. When I head back to work I get to send in my butterfly order card for my butterfly pavillion! My caterpillars really won't end up coming until spring when we do our unit on butterflies but I send it at the beginning of the school year so I don't forget. This is one of the things that my students remember the most about 1st grade-- watching the caterpillars turn to butterflies! 

8. Construction paper crayons are super fun and I use them a ton. They show up great on dark paper and I use them for making signs and charts, as well as let the students use them for various projects. I have the big box and when I see it on my shelf it seriously calls out my name and says "Use me!"

9. My Cricut and I are besties. This is one thing that I COULD NOT live without in my classroom. Yes I could probably go buy class sets of little things here and there, but you can make so much more with this little guy. Having Cricut design studio makes things fast and even easier. When I bought this I thought I would use it more for scrapbooking and crafting at home, but Cricut is a huge life saver at work.

10. Last but not least, the thing I am most excited to see on Wednesday is my brand new SMART BOARD! Our whole district is getting them and I can not wait to play with this new wonderful piece of learning magic! 

Only 2 more days until I see my happy place once again! 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

How time flies...

I was at my local grocery store a couple of days ago and bumped into several former students. It amazes me how a year or two, or even one summer will change a child. Two in particular were students from just a little over a year ago and one forgot my name! She called me Mrs. Pratt who was her kindergarten teacher--whoops! But she was excited to see me and she had no idea about Lil' B. (They built a new school and she went.) These kids have gotten so tall. It baffles me that in my class just 18 months ago they were 12 inches shorter and learning everything for the first time.

I look at my self and how I have changed. I didn't grow a foot or jump a grade, but 18 months ago I was trying to find the balance between my happy Mrs. B face at work and my own personal hell of infertility and beginning the adoption process. Now I am sitting on my couch blogging and watching my 7 month old dance in her jumper as she watches baby signing time. 

My summer with Lil' B has gone by so fast but it has been such a blessing to be home with her! A huge benefit of being a teacher. Now that the school year is coming I need to figure out the balance between my work life and being a mom. Any ideas??

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A new beginning...

I love blogs. I love new ideas. I love funny stories. I love teaching first grade. My friend Ms. Van O inspired me to jump on her band wagon and share what I'm up to in the world of six year olds and learning.

I am hoping that this blog keeps me motivated to be creative and have fun with what I am doing-- it always is if you let it!

Let me introduce myself:

Meet me - Mrs. B

I have been teaching for 4 years in the 1st grade and LOVE it. I graduated from Brigham Young University- Idaho in 2006 and got hired during my student teaching. I had a bit of a rough start as I kind of got thrown into things all on my own. I didn't replace a teacher so I had to build my classroom from scratch. It was a good thing though because it lead me to lots of fun resources that I use everyday.

The part of teaching I love most is definitely my students. I love the age and the stage of development they are in. Crazy stories and hilarious one-liners also keep me coming back each day. A close second to those adorable little guys is literacy. I love the learning process of reading. As a kid I hated it. I didn't get it at all-- I don't know if it was the teachers or how the curriculum was taught or maybe I was just a super late bloomer 20 years later. Now I find magic in it everywhere I look. The brain is so complex and there are so many different parts required to read that it is a miracle that humans can even read at all. If a child can learn to read, a child can learn to do anything.

As for my personal life, {What? A teacher has a personal life?} I am a wife, a mother, a perpetual project starter, a mormon, a wanna be domestic goddess, and love a good laugh.