September 10, 2013

Hello/Good-bye: Mourning the End and Welcoming New Beginnings (and a classroom tour)

I look at every school year as a new beginning, a fresh start, a chance to wipe the slate clean and take everything that you know and begin again, this time more intelligently (or so you think).  In honor of the start of another new school year, I thought I'd do a fun blog post to say "good-bye" to summer and to say "hello" to the 2013-2014 school year.

Hello:  Under-eye circles, glasses, and teacher clothes.

Good-bye: Suntans, sunglasses, and swimsuits.

Hello:  5:30 a.m. running in the dark with my mini flashlight and my best pal, Erin.

Good-bye:  10 a.m. bike rides to run on a trail and then have that turn into afternoon beach days and nighttime cocktails.

Hello:  Early alarm clocks, late nights trying to get everything finished for the next day, and insomnia at 2:00 in the morning when you wake up and think about what you forgot to do.

Good-bye:  Afternoon naps (with Tiko resting above me on the couch), staying up late for no reason just goofing around, and getting a full eight hours on a consistent basis.

Hello: Teaching three professional development classes, starting my Master's, instructional coaching, and teaching 8th grade LA (panic attack coming on).

Good-Bye:  Long Lake sunsets, weekday concerts, wine and potluck nights....well wait, we will probably still have those. :)

 Mumford and Sons concert at the Excel Center! :)

Hello: Friday Happy Hours with my favorite co-workers and glasses of wine on a random weeknight to calm down.

Good-bye: Peaceful, straw-sipping, fruity, and refreshing drinks during the day :).

Okay, that's probably enough :).  In all seriousness, I love summer, and it's hard to give it up, but I also love my job.  Getting back to work, seeing my co-workers, meeting my new students, and getting rolling has been great, too.  Check out the pictures of my classroom that I'm teaching in this year.  My co-worker, Samantha, teaches two classes in here, and I teach one.  I'm excited to see how the room develops as we begin putting up anchor charts throughout the year with our minilessons.  Keep following the journey this year on my blog-it's going to be a good one :).

The three areas above are for our three core classes.  They are spread out throughout the room so each class has their own space.  Each student has a mailbox that they keep their Reader's Notebooks, Writer's Notebooks, and Word Study Notebooks in.  Also, there is a homework turn-in basket, a crate with their writing folders where we keep all published writing throughout the year, and library card pockets.  When a student wants to check-out a book from our classroom library, they use the card in the pocket that has their name on it and write the title.  Once the book is returned, they cross the title off.

Here is the guided reading area.  Once we get rolling with guided reading and get all students benchmarked, we will have anchor charts related to guided reading on the bulletin board behind the table.  It's hard to see, but we also have a plastic dresser storage behind the table with three drawers where we keep notes, books, materials, etc. for guided reading for the three classes throughout the day.

The two "comfy" areas for reading are located by the different parts of the classroom library.  These areas are rotated among students on a daily basis.

The pictures above are pictures from each corner of the room! :)

This is my system for when students are absent.  I write in the "What did I miss when I was absent?" binder each day what we did, students who were absent, handouts they need, and what they need to make up.  I then keep all of the handouts in the "Extra Handouts" binder for students who were absent or lost a handout.  I really like this system because it puts personal responsibility on the students!

Cheers to a new and wonderful school year!  I hope everyone's year is off to a great start!


  1. Great blog post. I too will miss afternoon naps with my dog and cat. I am excited for this school year and excited to read on your blog what you are teaching in your 8th grade ELA class. I might just have to borrow some inspiration!

    1. Hey Kristy,

      Thanks! I'm looking forward to reading your blog, too with your awesome new blog design! :) You and I definitely share the animal lover gene!!!

  2. Rugs really help to warm up a room! Yours are super cute! My carpet was torn out this summer and replaced with ugly grey tiles, so a new rug was a must! It is not hard to tell that a man picked out the new (boring beige) paint color in my room because it clearly does not match the tiles....

    -Mrs. K

    1. I agree that a neat rug can make all the difference! :) I hope that even though there are manly touches in your room that it turned out the way you wanted! :)

  3. Love your poem!!! And wow, way to be super organized :-)

    1. I like organization, I have to admit... ;)


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