Wednesday, July 25, 2012

BAM! Directions

So, once I pinned my concept for Spelling/Vocabulary BAM! on Pinterest, I saw a sweet increase to my page.  Since I've gotten some requests, I pretty-fied the directions for the game and posted them to my Teachers Pay Teachers account (free, of course) for anyone to download.  If you like it, please leave some positive feedback!

Link to Teacher's Pay Teachers

Much love!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Linking up with {6th Grade} All-Stars!

I am so very excited to be linking up with {6th Grade} All-Stars!  First, it's because I love linking up.  But more importantly she will teach her first year in 6th grade this coming year and teach ELA, Science, and History.  What's even better is that since this will be my second year teaching 6th grade ELA & Science I can totally hope that I can help!  I promised myself that I will do a better job this year blogging about ELA here on this blog and Science over on Sixth Grade Science Rocks.  I shall try!  Anyway, everyone ought to go and link up too!

So anyway:
I teach 6th grade in a little rural district.  My class size was small last year but I am looking at around 24-28 kids per class next year (which for me is big!)  I teach these little 11-year olds Science (in 3 different sections) and one group of kiddos a double period of ELA (every day)

Technically speaking, my first year teaching was 2 years ago when I was a .6 Social Studies teacher (my pre-blogging days!)  Anyway, my mentor used to just tell me "that we smile and nod" no matter what.  It has been useful!  One of my favorite personal quotations is the following:

I wish I had a checklist tailored to what I need to start the year!  I more or less just make my lesson plans for the first week of school and make sure I have everything copied.  This includes my science syllabus and the corresponding parent form.  I love that I "give the parents homework" on the first day of school.  The kids get a kick out of having to give their parents homework.  Basically it is a questionaire for parents about their children.  Once I finish mine for this year I will post it on my TpT for free!

The "must-haves" in my classroom would have to be probably ample books, this system for passing back student papers (each student has a hanging file in one place), and a comfy area to read/work on assignments.  I definitely feel the most important thing is that everything has a place and is clean, neat, and orderly.  That way, kids are ready to keep it that way and always know where to find things!

{{five}} thing every teacher should have in his/her classroom would have to be a good pencil sharpener!  And lots of art supplies!  Creativity is key! :)

This was fun!  It made me want to get going on my classroom.  As you know from my previous posts, my whole room had to be taken apart.  When does everyone start school?  We don't begin until after Labor Day in September!!

Much Love,
Ms. D.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 July

Hello all!
    So yesterday I could have officially gone back to school and get my keys back and see what has been going on.  I'm putting it off since I know that once I do, I will want/feel the need to be there every day and therefore, bye-bye summer.  Anyway, something interesting happened yesterday.  My wonderful boyfriend's fabulous step-brother called me up to get a ton of his extra teaching supplies.  The worst part of it though was that he is officially not going to teach anymore.  He went to grad school an interned at a local urban Middle School...and was hired immediately for the next two school years.  Budget cuts threatened his position so he found a new job teaching at a very wealthy high school nearby.  The budget there cut him again.  This past year he worked at another very suburban and highly-regarded high school...and found the budget cuts there forced 3 English teachers out...and he was one of them.  He is now going back to school for EMT training, and it breaks my heart.  He was a phenomenal teacher and always made me want to do my job even better.  He is pushing through and doing well, but I can't help but wish he still taught.  Anyway, I received a collection of items that I am trying to sort though so I can re-claim my living room.

Assorted things, including 7 CD players

TONS of lined paper packs and folders

A bunch of teaching books as well as some
"How to Play the Banjo" books for my boyfriend...and he doesn't even own

These I purchased yesterday!  I love the idea of lanterns hanging
in a classroom.  I have this little nook in my room where I am going
to hang these three.  The best part is that they were so inexpensive!!
99 cents each for the small ones and 1.49 for the larger one! I went to
another craft store later in the day and they wanted so much more!!!

Soooo my classroom still awaits.  It's a cloudy day here in NY.  I am going to pick up and maybe get some scrapbook things together.  I'm feeling crafty! :)

Much Love!
Ms. D

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Strangest Dream

Hi Everyone!
    I have to run errands in a second but I just had to update you on a dream I had.  I dreamed that my room was a hybrid of my "real" room and the woman next-door's.  Then, I dreamed that two other teachers were sharing my room.  They taught music/foreign language/some other random things.  Anyway, when I went in, all of my stuff was like there, but they had hung up all of these obnoxious decorations/posters.

For example:

Random, different borders on all of the boards, and everything was bordered.
Weird posters with tabs hanging off, some of which were missing
Annoying purchased, uncreative posters
Disney Micky Mouse character cutouts....

The list goes on.  THEN, they were angry when I seemed upset and wanted to stick to my color scheme/plan, even though I was trying to be tactful and nice.

AND THEN, I realize that in fact, they did paint my room (see this post) like I asked, BUT it was bright yellow on 2 of the 4 walls of the room.  The rest were a patchy white.

Needless to say, I woke up horrified.  Anyone else have some wild dreams?

p.s. Yes, I know the whole blog layout is different.  This one isn't staying.  I'm just experimenting at the moment with some new designs.

Happy Thursday (My favorite day!)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What I Left...

So, I have not even been on vacation for two weeks and I am already thinking constantly, non-stop,


about my room for next year.  It's the first time that I haven't had to spend my summer looking for a job too so it's been pretty crazy.  Anyway, we aren't even allowed to get our keys back for a week or so, and I am already scheduled to go to Curriculum Development (paid!!) on the 18th so that will be my first day back at school and seeing what has been done to my classroom since I've been gone.  Does anyone else have to completely strip down their room or is it just me?  I feel like going crazy...this is what I left on the last day:

(I only have 3 pictures, sorry!)
View at my desk, totally stripped down.  I left the hanging map/shower curtain because
I was totally not scaling the wall in 95 degree heat...hopefully that's okay.  Next year I am
going to put a blue shower curtain behind it for water, don't know why I didn't think of that sooner.
I covered all of my bulletin boards to prevent fading of the blue material I used this year (and will use next year).  In
front of the desk are all of my "comfy chairs" and tons of boxes just outside the frame.

View of the room from the door.  Bookshelves empty (everything's stacked in boxes
in front of them), board covered.  Also some of my desks already pushed out into the hall.
Empty walls.  I did put in a request for those chalkboards to come down.  I didn't use them
ONCE this past year.  I think having them down would make the room seem less "old."

I took this picture because no, that's not a glare behind the bookcase.
I decided to move furniture and get stuff out of my room to make it more open.
I didn't have time last year between the date I was hired and the day I had 22 6th graders, so things
pretty much stayed where they were.  I went to move things in June and they were literally WAXED
TO THE FLOOR and they were never painted behind.  LOL.  No lie.  Anyway, we will have to see how
this works out!

So the only things not really pictured is the front of the room which has two giant white boards and two spaces on either side that are technically old chalkboards but I cover as a bulletin board.  I also have a "nook" as you enter the room because I have the storage closet off my room.  My wonderful boyfriend will be converting that to a mini computer lab for my kiddos in August.  Anyway, does anyone have any wonderful ideas?  I have some crafty projects as a work in progress which I will post when complete.  My color scheme is still blues/greens/black.  (p.s. I am also painting the bookshelves so they are 100% black.  Issue last year was that I had ZERO bookshelves and had my dad make me some quick...but the paint wasn't drying very quickly so I had to leave the shelves plain wood!)

I also want to give a
to both my new and old followers.  I jumped for joy when I found out that I had a few new followers this week.  So super sweet.  I would love love LOVE to get to 100 during the fall months! :-)

Until then, have a wonderful 4th of July tomorrow!

Much love from NY

Monday, July 2, 2012


Much love!  I have some projects beginning in the next few days that I will post about.  Last week was my first week without teaching in what feels like forever so my brain checked out.  But I'm ready to go and recharged (almost!)  Meanwhile, enjoy the linky and be sure to link up yourself and follow the RULES OF THREE. ;-)