Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back to School Goals and New Buttons!

I think my blogging research is starting to payoff! Slowly but surely! After visiting a bunch of different blogs, I figured out how to add buttons to the side of my page. I now have a Fourth Grade Blogger, Kansas Blogger, and follow me on Bloglovin button. I know, I know, it's not a huge change, but I think it's pretty darn cool. 

I still need to work on the design of my page (it's awful right now), but I think I need to tackle one thing at time. Confession time: it feels weird to have a "Kansas Blogger" button. I will always consider California my home, but I do live in Kansas now, so I'm officially a Kansas blogger. Weird :)

So today I am trying something new. In all the blogs I've read, the writers are always linking up with each other for fun activities, so figured I'd give it a try. The real question is if I can even figure out how to do this right!

I'm linking up with Jessica at I {heart} Recess for her Monthly Goals: Back to School Edition Linky. I'm so excited for this to be my first link up. Hopefully all goes well!

Personal: Working out has been tough since I officially finished my basketball career. It's hard to stay in shape when you aren't required to be at practice. It's been a struggle, but over the summer I worked hard and completed the "30-Day Guns, Buns, and Abs Challenge". I was so proud of myself, but then what did I go do...took a break of course. All that work for nothing! My goal is to do some sort of exercise at least 5 days a week. I always feel better when I do!

Organization: This is a big one for me. I was a long-term substitute in a 5th grade classroom and I was the absolute worst at putting grades in the computer. I would grade things quickly and write the grades in the paper grade book, but for whatever reason wouldn't put them in the computer right away. It would pile up, and eventually I'd have to spend a few hours on a Sunday entering grades. My goal is to just get it done right away to save myself the headache later on!

Planning: I got into a really bad habit last year during my long term sub position. For the word work section of guided reading, I had a hard time planning ahead. A lot of times I wouldn't come up with an activity until that morning. So awful of me! This year I want everything planned out for the week. Obviously things happen during the week and I'll have to change my plans, but at least I'll have a starting point for every day! 

Professional: In the past, I have attempted to use Kagan Structures and have failed miserably. Honestly, I had a negative attitude towards Kagan because of my failures. After attending a Kagan workshop, I have a complete new perspective. If I don't do every part of the structure correctly, then of course it's going to fail! Now that I actually know what I am doing, I am determined to implement these structures into my lessons. 

Students: My goal for students is to help them realize that learning can be fun. This is my first year teaching and I know that at times I am going to struggle and feel way over my head, but I can't get down on myself or my students. I need to find things that they are interested in and bring those things into every day lessons to hold their attention. I want my classroom to be a fun, inviting place for every student.

Motto: I found this motto online, because I had a hard time thinking of one. I really like it though. "The secret in education lies in respecting the student" - Ralph Waldo Emerson. So many times we may have a negative attitude towards those tough to deal with students. Those students quickly realize your attitude towards them and it's downhill from there. I believe if you show every student respect and show them that you actually care, they are much more likely to work harder for you.

Summer is pretty much officially over for me. Lot's of work left to do in my classroom!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

So it Begins...

Well I've finally caved and have begun my very own blog. After subscribing to and religiously reading about 40 amazing teacher blogs, it's really difficult not to be inspired and want to start your own. Now I just have to learn all of the fancy stuff to make this thing look good. I'll catch on eventually... I always do!

I suppose that if you're here reading, you probably want to know what my deal is. I'm fresh out of college and a brand spankin' new teacher. I will be teaching 4th grade at the school where I completed my student teaching, so thankfully I'm very familiar with the staff and I already know a lot of the students I'll have in my class! Now to be completely honest, I'm more nervous than I've ever been in my entire life. I've probably played a thousand basketball games, but I've never been as nervous as I am for this school year to start. My dream of finally having my own classroom is coming true and I just don't want to mess it all up. Am I crazy for feeling this way?

Over the summer, after getting inspiration from other blogs and Pinterest of course, I began getting material for small projects for my classroom. I would honestly lay awake at night thinking about all of the things I could do with the room. I finally decided that getting NO sleep was ridiculous and I just needed to get in my classroom and get to work! On Thursday that's just what I did and boy, was I in for a big surprise....


 Let's just say that this is not what the room looked liked when I poked my head in at the beginning of May. This classroom wasn't used last school year, so I'm thinking that a lot of extra junk just got piled up in here over the course of the year. The pictures really don't show the amount of stuff that is actually in here either. It's worse than it appears. 

So after I got over the shock of how much work I really have to do and getting over the disappoint that I wouldn't be getting to do any of the fun stuff like decorating, I got to work. 

4 hours later and it really doesn't look a whole lot different. Isn't it crazy how that works?

I decided I'm going to need some help pulling every single thing out of each cabinet, so I can go through it all. Luckily, I have a pretty awesome boyfriend who I am forcing is willing to help. 

Now hopefully in my next post I'll be able to show some major improvement. Wish me luck!