Tuesday, July 30, 2013

NC Educators

The North Carolina General Assembly has approved a budget that deeply cuts educational funding.  We have a Governor who does not respect the public school system.  I ask that any visitor to my blog please keep us in your prayers as we get prepared for a new school year with even less funding for our students.  I also ask that any NC Educator who visits my blog to ALWAYS educate yourself on the educational platforms of every politician running for office.  Sometimes we tend to look at other more current issues and turn the vote into a Democrat vs. Republican contest.  It isn't about that.  Education is the key to our future.

Lesson Planning

It seems that each year I am in search for the perfect lesson plan template.  Most of the templates I've found are geared towards the elementary teacher.  I only teach one subject (thank goodness) so the templates for multiple subjects just doesn't work for me.  To get myself organized and prepared for the new school year I decided to create my own template.  I came up with two designs.  One design if for planning a week at a time.  I call it "A Week at a Glance."  This is just a basic form not intended for tons of detail.  The second form was designed for a daily lesson plan.  It includes titles for much more detailed planning.

Both forms can be found at Teacher's Notebook-For Free!  

A Week at a Glance

A Daily Format

This one is designed with NC 8th grade teacher in mind.  Of course it can be edited to suit any grade level.  At the bottom of the template I included HW-homework, FA-formative assessment, ISNB-interactive science notebook, and vocabulary section.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Getting An Early Start!

I had the opportunity to work in my classroom this week.  I know, people think I'm crazy for spending my summer vacation in my room... But I know I need to make some much needed changes to my decor and organization.  This is going to be a process for sure!  At the end of this past school year I had my students help remove everything off the walls in hopes that my room would get painted over the summer months. Well, that didn't happen.  So I was left with a blank (and dirty) canvas.  I loved my classroom decor last year.  It made me smile to walk into class and see all the bright and cheerful colors.  I noticed a difference in the students I had last year in comparison to the previous years.  I have no scientific proof stating that my decor was responsible, but I'd like to think it had something to do with it.  My students respected our room! I felt they tried harder to take care of things and keep it cleaner than in the past.  Now there were some students who would leave trash behind or gum under the chair, but they were few as compared to the past. I want the classroom to be a place my students can be proud of, a place where they enjoy being.  With this being said, I am going to post pictures of my classroom once again.  I'm sticking to my bright pink, blue, and green color scheme along with zebra stripes of course!  And I have to keep my deco-mesh wreath!  Just please remember this is a work in progress.  I still have lots to do!

Storage/Absent Work/Library Area

In this section, I still have lots to organize.  The two closet sections have been cleaned out and everything has a place.  The bottom shelves and top cabinets are a mess!  But I'll get to that soon.  I split the wall space for an absent work section and the other section is for my SSR library.  On the left side closet doors I have Thinking Maps posters.  On the right I have my self assessment stop light and star cards.  I know the top of the cabinets looks like a mess, but I do plan to make a type of garland out of the deco-mesh that is sitting there.  So even though I have a long way to go, at lease I have started!

Lab Stations/Word Parts

I am happy to say that all of the drawers in the lab station area have been cleaned out!  Now I need to work on the cabinets.  I also will be re-making my word part word wall.  Since the curriculum has changed some, there are some word parts I need to delete and some I need to add.  Above the cabinets are the posters that spell out "ThINK" ...of course taken from the periodic table.  I plan to add some smaller posters that are similar.  I just need to plan out which words I can spell using element symbols.  

I Can Statments


This is similar to what I used last year.  I found some zebra striped, magnetic strips at a teacher store.  I thought they would be perfect for creating sections on my white board.  My plans are to either create small "I can" statement posters to place on the correct day or I can simply use a dry-erase marker and write it in.  

Core Vocabulary Word Wall

I've gone back and forth with various word wall ideas and settled on a similar idea from the past.  I used zebra wrapping paper to make a bulletin board background...and it looks great with the rest of my decor!  Above I three categories, Earth Science, Physical Science and Life Science.  Under the headings I will place picture cards of the important vocabulary for each section.  I stapled some of the words I know I'll be starting with and after looking at this picture I think I need a solid background behind each word.  But overall I am pleased! 


My deco-mesh wreath has become quite popular on Pinterest.  I was even given a shout out from PBS :)  So it was obvious that the wreath had to stay!  I did add a new chevron lamp, and new photo made by last year's students and my bunting/banner that reads SCIENCE.  I love this section of my classroom!!!  


As I complete other sections in my classroom and as the ones I've posted pictures of are complete I will upload photos of the finished product.  I'd love any feedback and ideas to make this room even better than last year!  

Other pics...