Saturday, August 24, 2013

We Are Up & Running!!

We are up and running and running at Clover Middle School! We started our first day of school on Wednesday and had an absolute fantastic end of the week. I am beyond excited to see my eighth graders Monday morning and continue the great three days that we had this week.

I thought I would to my first post for the "official" school year on the organize and layout of my room (since I don't have all the signed forms to put my wonderful kiddos on the blog yet). Plus, the first few days are always "Hi, how are you?" "Here's how things work..." "Here's how we run..." "Introductions, introductions, introductions." I'll share some pretty cool activities, "get-to-know-you," that we did between Thursday and Friday early this week...but to's our lovely little learning environment. :)

This is my cute little Welcome door! I found this here on Pinterest and fell in love with it. I want to make sure my eighth graders feel loved...but not in a cheesy-sixth grade student way. I feel as though this Welcome door allows our 8-3 team to follow the overall "team" theme we are creating at Clover! 

This is my "While You Were Out" board. I write brief descriptions of what I cover throughout the week in case there are any absent students. This way students can check out what we covered, and come ask me specifically about assignments and topics! Great resource from Mrs. Cunningham at Cramerton (my old home!). 

I decided to make my only bulletin board my "news, calendar, and who's out" board. I keep my calendar updated with major tests, events, and projects for my students. This month is open house (for "Meet the Teacher" Night) and a Special Event for the first day of school! Underneath my calendar I will put news bulletins that come out for the school year. Flyers for events, dances, and games will be placed here. My Who's Out section is where students get their number, based on their alphabetic order of last name in each class, and move to their location when they leave the room. This helps keep track of how many students are actually out of the room and where they are! (Check out where the idea came from here!) The kids seem to pick up on it quickly and hold each other accountable for moving the numbers back! It's pretty awesome!

This is my little reading corner. I used to have a couch in my room that students loved. But I think the beach chairs are catching on here at Clover! I also have my books, most of them, labeled by A.R. grade level and points so that students know what books are on their reading level. I think I need a bigger book shelf. ;)

My awesome window in my room! It's a nice view outside and I love my navy curtains with silver chevron ribbons to hold them back! (Blinds always open!) 

The left picture is my student-resource center. I have the drawers labeled for all the materials that students need! I got this idea from a new colleague at Clover. The right picture is the side of my file cabinet that I have decorated and have an idea for....I have had students trace their hands and put goals on all fingers for the first semester. (Here's where I got this idea!) Once students finish their hands I'll put in an update :)

This is a continuation of the student-resource center for notebook paper, pens, pencils, hand sanitizer, and a pencil sharpener. Also, this is where I used black electrical tape (done by my wonderful husband) to make my homework portion of the white board. 

The finished whiteboard! Homework side, I Can statement side, with my board in the middle!
Nice little set-up :)

This is my corner! 

Bins organized with the period numbers on them. These bins help me hold onto Math and Science notebooks when students do not need to take them home. Students can keep them in my room, in these bins, rather than in their lockers. I've found this helps keep students organized too! 

This is my "Let's do our ARRRR best" board! I used blue bulletin paper with hot pink duck-tape to improvise a bulletin board! (Check out the original idea here!) It turned out not-to-shabby if you ask me. wonderful husband put this together for me! I plan on using this space to highlight students' best work and show off some fabulous students and what they are capable of. 

Finally, this is our bulletin board outside of our team rooms. All our students' names are on there and I plan on keeping this bulletin board updated with the seasons. I am super excited that we have a team bulletin board that can be used to encourage students throughout the school year. I love fru-fruing things :)

I am looking forward to beginning to document the wonderful things that my eighth graders and I are going to get into this school year. I already have my next blog planned out with exactly the activities we want to share and show-off. I am looking forward to a great year and know that my classroom is ready! 

Until next time.... :)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back! I can not believe that it is the middle of August and we are back in action. It has been a great, wonderful, busy, and super informative summer! I enjoyed it immensely. I was booked to the max...but it was definitely worth it. I completed 16 more hours of my Masters in Middle Grades Education; that's where I got the awesome experience in the UNCC Writing Project. Check out how wonderful that experience was in my previous blog :)

I also guess I need to make it blog-official that I am switching teaching jobs. I have absolutely loved Cramerton Middle School and enjoyed every minute of my four years. I am leaving my wonderful sixth grade world of Language Arts and Social Studies to enter an eighth grade world of Math and Science. I am moving down to Clover Middle School in South Carolina and could not be more excited! I will greatly miss the friends, students, and family that I had at Cramerton, but I am looking forward to new opportunities and experiences at Clover Middle. I am eager to teach Math and Science (they have always been my favorite subjects through school) and I am excited to extend my family into the Clover community :)

With the move, I had to pack up and clean my room at Cramerton (this definitely brought some tears) and take all my things to Clover. This was done throughout the summer and during my Masters courses. It was a busy few weeks!

My room at Cramerton...all packed up!
This week was our first official week back at Clover Middle. I began my week with New Teacher Orientation (in the Clover School District) on Monday and Tuesday. We learned a lot about the district, their vision, mission, and philosophy, as well as some helpful hints and suggestions to use in our classroom. Wednesday was our first workday back at Clover and our convocation for the district. I loved the entire day. It was definitely a lot of information...but helpful and very meaningful. Not to mention the awesome teachers in the district who put together this too-cool gem...Check them out below :)

The binder of important CSD information! 

To end the week, we had workdays filled with meetings and room time. I got to meet with my new teammate (who is awesome by the way!), my department members (who are super nice and helpful), and other individuals throughout Clover. To say that I remember everyone I met throughout the week...would only make me laugh. I can say that everyone...and seriously...I mean everyone...was super supportive, encouraging, and just as excited about me being in Clover School District as I am myself! I honestly believe that I am in great hands and company in Clover and honestly believe that I am in the best school district in South Carolina! :)

I'm Clover Middle ready :)
Next week we begin with two more workdays; Monday night is "Meet the Teacher" night and I'm already looking forward to it! Then I get to meet all of my wonderful kiddos Wednesday! Let the countdown begin! I am putting the final touches on my room, the organization, and the overall "theme"...Promise to post once it all comes together. Of course, I'll recap my first three days as a Blue Eagle too!

Until then.... :)