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Here are some photos of my classroom.
Slideshow

I have been tinkering on my class website lately. I decided to create our own class message board for parents to network and connect.

I also added a widget from Widgetbox for parents to ask questions and leave comments to me.

home sweet home

home sweet home

I am back from jury duty. All I can say is “phew!” It was tough being without phones, TV, Internet, radio, and newspaper. But, I made it! Yay!

I was thinking about school during the majority of time I spent there. I had several bright ideas. Feel free to let me know what you think.

I want to try creating special class books. I want to create a Classmates’ Names book, an All About My School book, a colors, shapes, weather, seasons, rules, numbers, ABCs, and amazing words book. I want to do about two books a week. One would be the amazing words and the other would coincide with our unit of the week. I will let students select or sometimes assign the page for them to author and illustrate. I will then laminate and bind the book at our teacher center.

Another idea that I am piggybacking from Kristen’s Kindergarten. I will make 4-6 Busy Bee folders for each table. The folders will be laminated/dry-erase activities for students to complete such as ABC tracing, number tracing, the students’ own name (first and last), classmates’ names (and mine), a list of 100 common sight words, colors (with color words), number word tracing (with corresponding numbers listed), shapes/shape words, ABC beginning sound pictures, word families, left and right hand, common body parts (picture of a generic boy/girl), two/three/four-letter decodable words with pictures to coincide, addition facts, subtraction facts, counting by 1s, 2s, 5s, and 10s. I may think of more to add later. I may put sentence starters/writing prompts.

I am going to post pictures of my classroom soon.

My professor, Dr. Clif Mims asked me to share this. I am honored because he knows so many big names in the edublogger realm and in education in general. For him to ask me, means a lot to me. Thank you Dr. Mims. 🙂

Two words. Three syllables. Over plan.
Review the curriculum. Things can and often change over the summer. This summer, our math pacing scales went through changes. Our state standards also changed. In fact, they will not be called standards anymore. We now have Grade Level Expectations.

Create a classroom map. Design how you want your classroom arranged. Think about how you want traffic to flow. Think about colors, posters, and where you want to post student work.

Modify/Review/Create a classroom management plan. I believe you must be consistent, firm, and fair from the beginning. I have seen several classes that lacked one of those components from the beginning. Those classes (including mine one year) struggled with classroom management issues throughout the year. Believe me, the headache of planning in the beginning will be worth the ease of the rest of the year.

by SBUDD

by SBUDD

Plan to have a positive and successful year. Expectations are extremely powerful. Just research the many sociological experiments involving teachers who told students that they were gifted. Those students who may have been labeled as average or worse underachievers shined. If you gripe and believe that your year will be bad. It will be. If you believe that your students are low, that is how they will perform (or seem to perform). I can assure you that children can and will rise to the occasion and step up to the plate. Sometimes they will step over it.

With parents, plan to have a good relationship with them. Write welcome letters or postcards. Give them positive phone calls. Know your goal and create a plan to achieve it. I really took the time and planned on having more parent involvement this school year. I called and introduced myself to each family. I sent home introductory letters and created an welcoming website. I told all of my parents how happy I was to have their child in my class. 15 of my 19 parents attended my kindergarten curriculum night. It was my best turnout ever. I planned and planned and it helped.

Keep in mind that no matter how much you plan. there will always be the monkey wrench. The unexpected whatever. This is why I say over plan. The benefits outweigh the drawbacks.