Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Project Get Room Ready

Well, it has begun! And it's going to be a long process. I now have official access to my room and I am really, really excited about it! ..And a {teeny} bit overwhelmed. The room is filled with some really great stuff ---> but I have to go through it all. It's mostly science experiment materials, but I need to know what I have and I need to be able to organize it so that I can access the stuff when I need it. Here are a few pics of my room. It's a GREAT room!!!!

These are my fantastic windows. They have the blinds that are inside the window, so I don't have to worry about cleaning them or fuss with them. I just twist a knob to open them. Fancy!

 This is the view right outside the windows. It's a little science garden!

 Here are just some of my cabinets. They are all filled with materials that I need to organize. Yikes!
But a good yikes. I can't wait to see all of the stuff that I have!

I'm planning on taking some before and after pics of the entire room, so more to come of the whole thing later. I am just really excited about the windows. I was so worried I would get a classroom without windows, but it's just the complete opposite. I have a plethora of them!

I cannot wait to put up my displays. I have three bulletin boards; one large "standard" sized one and then two smaller ones. I really want to post "job openings" for my kiddos during the first weeks of school on one of the smaller ones. I am working on that and will definitely post something about it later. In the meantime, this is the first thing that I will be putting up in my room:

I found these on They were FREE. I love free. I think these are perfect for 5th graders, too. Nice and colorful, but definitely not too "kiddie". 
I am also planning on doing a periodic table display of some sort. I found this on a blog:

Finally, I will leave you with this. I was introduced to this today while I was meeting with my 5th grade teachers pals. I put together a Prezi {not quite finished, but almost} for our Parent Night (in August) and this is one of the first things they show the parents. This gives you an idea of who I am privileged to work with this upcoming school year. These ladies are fantastic and I am SUPER blessed to have been placed with them. Looking forward to a great year!

Friday, May 25, 2012

"Wildlife-Ologists" at the Birmingham Zoo!

I am ecstatic to say that I f.i.n.a.l.l.y have something to concentrate on other than the 1-800-GOLDBERG commercials that I've been forced to endure for the last month. I have been so bored without having school or work to deal with! My husband even took notice on the fact that I can now recite all of those pesky lawyer jingles that daytime television is flooded with. I honestly don't know how people don't work. What do those people do all the time?! {I TOTALLY understanding being a stay-at-home mom. THAT'S a totally different thing than what I'm referring to.} Anyway...I am teaching summer camp at the zoo and had my training today where I also picked up my curricula for the 3 camps that I'm teaching. Let me just say that this is the most laid back curricula I've ever seen. It's just going to be FUN. For all involved. I think I'm honestly more excited than the kids. True story.

My camps are only a week long each, so I don't have much time with the kiddos to build rapport or community. But my community-loving self is sure gonna try. To help develop an immediate sense of community and friendship, I thought it would be fun to break the ice with a little human treasure hunt! I'm sure most teachers have seen these, but I whipped this one up with a treasure-hunt/Birmingham Zoo theme so that I could add the parrot to the map! {The Birmingham Zoo is graced with a huge parrot display right when you walk in. It's AWESOME. Those parrots are so pretty!!} Anyway, here's a peek:

I wanted to share to show that you could take this super simple "beginning of the year" activity and make it work for anything you might be doing this summer. I will definitely be using these for all three of the camps I'm teaching. I think it will be the perfect, quick "Hi-ya!" activity to use for camp.

The other ice breaker activity that I love and will use to introduce names {before the treasure hunt activity} will be a ball toss where I will start with a little Nerf ball {or whatever the kids are calling them these days} and say my name and maybe something about me.

I still don't have many followers on this blog yet {super bummed - so I finally get 60+ followers on my old blog and then I leave it! Dummy me.}  but anyone out there that's reading, leave me what you do to break the ice on the first day. They might be helpful for me during my camps!

Monday, May 21, 2012

End of the Year Linky Party

I'm yippee-skippee with excitement to be able to participate in my first linky party on my new blog! Yay! Amber from Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher is hosting a linky party to wrap up the school year. I might be a tad behind, but in my defense, I was at the beach all last week. {Tee-hee!}

So here we go. The theme of this one is The Great and The Not-So-Great. All you need to do to participate is read my ramblings below and then link up with Amber by clicking the link above. Just mention three great things about this past year and three not-so-great things about this past year.

The Great

1. I had an awesome student-teaching experience with my third grade buddies. I learned so, so, so much from them and they are the coolest kiddos ever. I got to do so many different things that I've always wanted to do in a classroom, so I'm very thankful to have had the experience.

2. I FINALLY got my online cataloging system up and running thanks to my pal Deanna. It's awesome and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. I was always searching for a way to organize my books and have the kiddos be able to check them out online and I now have that ability. Go see it! Click here.

 3. I graduated!! I now have my Master's in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. There I am with my snazzy outfit on. And I guess I should also mention that I GOT A JOB!! Those go hand-in-hand, so technically it's not four greats. I'm still following linky rules. See my previous post for what's in store for me this upcoming school year. 

The Not-So-Great

1. Well I have to be honest and say that I am really, really stretching to say that these are not so great things. I have been so blessed beyond belief these past few months, so my not-so-great things still have some goodness to them. The first is that I am saying goodbye to my first blog. I love it and will probably keep everything from it {I'll just transfer it here}, but I just know I won't use both blogs this upcoming school year. I LOVE my new teaching title and am fully embracing it. Hence, the new blog. So bye-bye for now my little circus. 

2. I guess the other thing that was really sad about this year was the last day of my student teaching. I had one girl REALLY, REALLY get upset! I bawled all the way home. I HAVE to go see them again. I know the last day of school is fast approaching and I am going to have to make my way over there before it slips away from me.

3. Finally, I must admit that I'm a little bummed that I won't be getting to implement Writing Workshop in my classroom this school year. I read so many books about this fantastic concept and was super-duper pumped about starting it, so I'm a little sad that I won't get to do a WW -- per say. I am in the middle of planning something MUCH bigger and better. And, of course, science related. I'm creating a massive science journal project and plan to use them all year. Stay tuned for that post!

Don't forget to link up with Amber!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Up and Running! {Kind Of...}

Well it's officially official. I am a teacher of science! I am so very excited to announce that I have managed to snag myself a real-live teaching job. I will be teaching 5th grade science at an AWESOME school and I couldn't be more excited about it. I haven't been posting anything because it was hush-hush for a while...until I got cleared by the Board, and I really didn't want to get my hopes up. But now that the cat is out of the bag, I am announcing it from the rooftops!

This new job brings a TON of changes for me. First of all, I had always assumed that when I eventually got a job, it would be a general education class, and not so much of a subject-centered job as the one I have now found myself getting so excited about! So, my old blog that was basically 3rd grade, general education specific is getting a complete and TOTAL makeover. Instead of the blog that I had that was designed specifically for everything school, I am now going to focus on my actual classroom which will be 100% centered around science. However, that is definitely not to say that I am going to abandon all other subjects. Of course, I will be incorporating writing, reading, and math into my classroom - so even if you aren't a science teacher, please, please. please still be my follow buddy!

I am thrilled to start actually working on my real classroom. This last month has been a month full of blessings and I am just so thankful, excited, and humbled beyond words. Now that I know what I'll be doing, my circus theme is going to be put on the back burner and instead I will be focusing on a science lab-based theme. I am envisioning lots of beakers, different colored liquids, an interactive, magnetic periodic table of the elements, and giant hanging planets. I really love this that I found and I want to use it as inspiration.

I know I am going to end up buying one of the white lab coats and wearing it on the first day of school. I am such a sucker for things like that and I just want to make science something that my first class remembers as AWESOME and not nerdy. I also found these adorable cookies and will absolutely be making these for my first open house.

Lots more ideas to come, so please stay with me! I know I haven't posted in a really long time, but now that I have a real live job, I will have things to post!