Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pictures of My New Classroom Setup!

Happy Friday! I was up really late last night getting things ready for our first day of school. We start in a week on July 8th, but next week not an official teacher work week and I don't have keys to my room yet. I was scrambling to get things done today in order to be ready when I come back on the 1st day of school.

Yes, I know it is silly that there is a week between teacher work week and the first day of school... I'm pretty sure it has something to do with the company I work for being closed July 4th & 5th.

 I think I managed to get it everything essential done. My co-teacher is in a foreign country with her family, so there was only so much I could do without her. I have the room all set up and some lesson plans ready to go, so I figure that's the most important thing. The rest we can sort out when she gets back.

We have a MONSTER theme!!
(It's all boys in our class. I think they'll totally dig it)
There are a couple areas that still need work, but it's not too shabby for putting the room together by myself if just 3 days. I figure it's summer school with shorter days, so we'll have time in the afternoons to perfect our classroom together once my partner gets back.

Take a peek! I walked in a circle around my room so you get the full view! A few things still need work, but for the most part, this will be how my room looks this year.

The first two are my small group room so my co-teacher and I can both teach at the same time without interrupting each other.

The posters go with our curriculum

View from my front door, our teacher desks are under the windows

Next is a view from the back of the room. That space in the top left of the photo under the bare corkboard and magnetic board is the "Calm Down Corner" for when the kids get frustrated. It needs some serious love next week, but I couldn't find the things I wanted to put over there. And the calender area is rather bad too, but I kinda want to do SmartBoard calendar once we get the new projector bulb for it anyway.

View from the windows:

My monster behavior chart! I made it from some of the materials in this classroom decor set. It includes a behavior chart, but the wording is different than I use, so I made my own that still matches the name tags in her set that I'm using.

My door! Ignore the emergency procedures I have to leave there!
This might be the funniest part! Look at the reflection of me in the mirror and think about the size proportions! Yep, that sink goes to my knees! And that goes up to my shins. We have a preschool bathroom inside my 1st-2nd class! Hahahaha. Even the kids think it's too small!

Adorable monster board, soon to be social skills curriculum stuff!
Zones of regulation...MONSTER STYLE! We are thinking of calling it "controlling your inner monster!"
And my AMAZING courtyard!!!
And we can't forget Tavish! He is the therapy dog who loves my room so much that he wandered in without his handler yesterday! I'm soooo excited to have my class work with him this year! I've never had a therapy dog at school before, and I'm already loving it! He's visited me just about every day that I've been working in the room this week :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A peek at my new curriculum!

Having to take a sick day on my 2nd day at my new school was definitely NOT in my plans! I was feeling very lost and confused this morning, but it all worked out by the end of the day. I apparently missed a bunch of meetings yesterday, but everyone was super understanding and helpful today.

BTW- I looked like I was possessed by a demon in one eye all day! I had to wear my glasses, which I HATE wearing outside the house, and had one very bloodshot eye. It's looking better now that the day is ending. Thank goodness for the super duper eye-drops from the doc! I'm slowly looking like a human and not a red-eyed robot! Oh, and did I mention I had to meet a student and his parents for the first time ever today? Not my best look...oh well, not much I can do about that.

I arranged my room and got things put away into the cabinets. We swapped rooms with another class in less than an hour last week. It involved a lot of dumping things into giant boxes with no rhyme or reason. It took all day to find homes for everything because the size and shapes of the cabinets are totally different than the room things came from. It all worked out by the time I left!

Sorry, no pictures yet because there is nothing on the walls and it looks pretty boring still. I'll decorate and hopefully have pics for you by the weekend!

I also got my teacher laptop! I had email set up like 2 weeks ago apparently, but no computer with access to it until today. I had 67 emails when I opened it! Thankfully I have a co-teacher who is copied on almost every email I receive, so she's actually been passing them along to my personal account all week. So thankful for her!

My New Curriculum!
I had these materials in my room all week, but I finally took them home today to look them over. Both sets rely heavily on hands-on, interactive learning and I really like that!

Math: Math Expressions
This curriculum includes hands-on learning for every lesson as well as intervention lessons and challenge lessons. I'm excited to try it out. My co-teacher will take one small group and teach one level of math, and I'll take another small group and teach a different level of math. It works out well because the kids are actually swapped between multiple classrooms too, so every kid gets to work at their level, no matter what grade they are in!

Language Arts: FUNdations

While I haven't had a chance to use this yet, it looks PERFECT for special education kiddos. The lessons include TONS of hands-on learning! So many curriculum options just make kids read and hope they understand the concepts of reading. This curriculum lets kids use magnetic letter boards, dry-erase boards, workbooks, and sight word materials all combined into an all-inclusive curriculum and that teaches essential reading skills.

Have any of you used either of these before? How do you like it?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Guess who went home sick on her first day...

Yep! Me! It was my first official day at my brand new job that I'm SUPER excited about! I went to bed all excited and anxious all rolled into one last night. Then I woke up...and could barely open my eye since it was all icky.

Instantly I thought, "This is NOT happening! NOT on my first day!" I mean really, I can't call in sick on my first day! Then I thought about maybe rushing over to urgent care before I go, but I'd surely be late and because wouldn't be an acceptable choice either! Late or missing on your first day is NOT the best impression.

So I washed my face, scrubbed all germs from my hands, put on glasses instead of contacts and went on my way while refusing to touch my face or any people around me. I smiled at everyone, explained my situation and arranged a time to leave early. I washed my hands 800 times, consciously made sure not to touch my face or eyes, and pretended it wasn't getting worse until lunch time when all of my new hire paperwork was turned in. Every time I met someone new I politely refused to shake their hand and explained the situation.

The staff is amazing. I love them already. It's such a fun environment! Everyone was so understanding when I had to leave early. Looks like my first full day will have to wait until Wednesday just in case I'm contagious. I've got extra strong meds to make it better and make me so I'm not contagious.

My class is a still a mess, but I'll fix it up when we have lots of time in our rooms at the end of the week. I'm sooo grateful our Head of School is giving us that time! I still have all of my teaching stuff at my house!

So me and my blurry eye are off to get some rest. Updates on my new room later!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Goodbye Summer Break! You were nice while you lasted...

While I am NOT thrilled about the shortest summer in my career as a teacher, I am VERY thrilled about starting my new job tomorrow! I'm already loving my new co-teacher and we get to set up our class this week! On the upside, we get 3 weeks off in August which will be a nice little break!

Sorry I've been quiet on the blog lately. The truth is, I've been putting in a lot of work on our brand new collaborative blog! It's been a gigantic success! I couldn't have imaged it being a better start! If you haven't checked out A Special Sparkle yet, you definitely should!

Also, I've been in Sparks, Nevada all weekend! It was our annual family reunion and I've been spending time with my nieces and nephew who live out of state. While I head off to pick out my outfit for tomorrow, I'll leave you with adorable pictures of me with my niece and nephew!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's Time for A Special Sparkle!!

The brand new collaborative special education blog is here!! 

All of my favorite SPED bloggers are all in one place sharing their best ideas! Hop on over to A Special Sparkle and get to know our authors!

You can go directly to my introduction post by clicking HERE or go to the blog button below to see the whole blog!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A New Collaborative Special Education Blog is Coming!!

In the past year, I've fallen in love with blogging! I just created a *brand new* collaborative special education blog that launches TOMORROW!!! I teamed up with 12 of my favorite special education bloggers to create a great blog where you can find all of us in one place!

It's going to be AMAZING!! And I must say, I've gotten to know these ladies even better in the process of creating this blog, and I love them more and more every day! You know you're "A Blogger" and not just a person who happens to blog sometimes, when you have *phone conversations* with your blogging buddies! I have a whole new set of friends...even if I never see their faces beyond the point of their profile picture! I'm thinking FaceTime or Skype might be necessary soon!

Sorry for rambling, but can you tell I'M EXCITED?!?!

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