Wednesday, July 3, 2013
What Am I Doing This Summer To Prepare for School?
Today I am linking up with my good buddy in the blog world and in real life, Lorraine from Fabulous Fourth Grade Froggies. As much as I don't really want to think about all the things on my summer to-do list, I do like her idea of recording them all in one place. And it's not even that I'm not excited for school. I am crazy excited! This is the first summer I am actually getting to plan for a classroom that I know is mine. Truth be told, I am probably going just a wee bit overboard. My list ranges from a three-week professional development to shopping, shopping, and more shopping to crafting to planning to organizing and purging. I'm sure a lot of it probably sounds pretty familiar to you.
1. Professional Development. Most teachers do PD in the summer, but I made the commitment to do a three-week writing institute. I teach 4th grade, and that is the grade where writing is tested in elementary school here in Texas. This institute is based on the New Jersey Writing Project, and I hear it's supposed to be great! So, although I am sad it's three weeks of my summer gone, I am also excited about writing! Additionally, I have a one-day ESL workshop scheduled in August.
2. Shopping! When I took my teaching job, it was a week and a half into school. I was super duper lucky to basically inherit a put together classroom since the teacher was leaving the classroom to go to a specialist position. I didn't have the time or energy then to decorate things my way so I just adapted and added some things as the year went on. Now, though, I am chomping at the bit to build my own room. I have chosen a beach/ocean theme and have already been doing quite a bit of shopping from Lakeshore, Really Good Stuff, and Wal-Mart so far. Here are a few of the things I have already bought:
3. More Shopping! This time on Teachers Pay Teachers. And along with that shopping comes the printing and organizing of the materials. Here is my favorite TpT purchase so far. It's one the the Teacher and Lesson Planners from April at A Modern Teacher. I printed mine on my home printer and put it in a 1/2-inch binder. Now, I am ready to stay organized!
4. Crafting. I wouldn't say I am the ultimate crafter, but I enjoy a simple project now and then. So, I am making these flip flop agenda subject labels. They are just Michael's cheapo flip flops with magnets hot glued to the back, and laminated labels taped on the front.
Going along with my beach theme, I am embracing the seashell. I have hot glued them to craft sticks and magnets that will also get student numbers. Plus I made a few larger shell magnets just for teacher use.
5. Planning. Before school let out in June, I was already beginning to plan my room arrangement for next year. I still have to finalize that. And, of course, all the curriculum and back-to-school, get-to-know-you, team-building activities. The nice thing about that one is that my fabulous principal has made our retreat day in August a team planning day.
6. Organizing and Purging. Finally, when I was looking for a job for four years and subbing, I hoarded everything I came across. I had no idea what grade I would end up in or what I would need, so I saved it all. Now I have a garage full of teaching mess! I am in the process of cleaning through all that so I can save what will be actually useful and be able to take it to my classroom.