Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer...don't go yet...

This week hubs and I headed to Nebraska to visit my parents.  I felt that I should be doing some major planning and getting ready for school, yet I had a hard time making myself do anything...

I've decided that I'm going to use my Polk-a-Dots again this year for my classroom theme.  I'm going to do this for two reasons--one, I love them and two, I don't want to spend money on a new theme this year.  I have a lot on my plate with getting ready for my new staff, new school, new students, etc that I don't think it would be a wise use of time to go hang out in the school supply store in search of a new theme...I do however think that I will incorporate some owls into the Polk-a-Dots.  I believe I downloaded some free clip art from someone in the past year.

So, I agreed to present at a conference in October on Teaching Tweens.  It's the LCMS Rocky Mountain District Church Workers Conference.  Nothing fancy, but I'm excited about it.  Probably more excited because my BFF from college, Mrs. Cooper is going to be here from MI presenting too! 

When I agreed, I thought that I would work hard all summer to read books, find research, etc...let me tell you how many books I've read this summer.  Three.  They were purely for enjoyment.  So now as August nears, I think, gosh--I better get started on this! 

I'm heading to Indiana next week to visit Miss Trah, so I'm thinking that while she's working on her classroom stuff, I can work on this presentation.  But which direction to take it?  I anticipate the most of the audience will be middle school teachers.  A few might be middle school parents (spouses of teachers).  Some might be Pastors or DCE's (Youth Pastors) that teach middle schoolers once a week.  I think I want to talk specifically about brain development, something that is intriguing to me that I've read a lot about lately.  But other than that, I'm not sure. 

Thoughts?  If you went to a sectional titled "Teaching Tweens"(or read a blog about it...) what would you hope it would include?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Classroom Themes...

I'm sure you've thought about your classroom theme for the upcoming year--I know I have.  I'm stuck...I can't decide if I should just recycle something I've used before, or go different?  The last two years I haven't really had theme related decorations, but rather used the chocolate dot borders and then used the school theme as my classroom theme.  I really like my dot borders, but I've seen some other great things out there!

I remember as a first year teacher I totally got sucked into decorating.  I loved it!  Don't get me wrong, I still do, but I realize now that while it's the fun part of getting ready, I should put my efforts in things related more to what I will be teaching. 

So, what's your theme for the 2012-2013 school year?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

It's Coming...

When I looked at the date this morning I realized that Target is probably clearing their shelves for their back to school section!  Eeeek!  Summer seems to get shorter and shorter.

I've started creating a list of things I MUST get from the back to school aisles.  I'm hoping for lots of one cent deals. :)

Since I changed schools, I have had  A LOT of unpacking to do at the new school.  I originally thought that the carpets were getting cleaned on July 7...I was wrong, it was July 2.  So I spent an entire Sunday, July 1, at the new school unpacking boxes and getting as much off of the floor of my classroom as I could.  Below two quick photos I snapped on Instagram (sarahndenver) of some of the progress I made.  My old classroom had two closets and an entire wall of built in shelves.  My new classroom--no closets and just a few small book shelves--not built in.  EEK!  I think I've got it all figured out though. 

Rainbow Construction Paper
Holy buckets I have a lot of books!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Daily Cafe, Common Core, and Flipped Classroom....

Last year when I started this blog, I began to see these three things more and more. I must admit, I don't know much about any of them. I told myself that this summer I was going to learn about them and see if they could be implemented...

Well today, being the first Monday of July so the "first" day of the month in my book, I started Google-ing. I Googled common core first. I read the webpage that appeared. It was kind of boring and dry, so I decided I'd come back to that later.

I moved on to "flipped classroom". Well the webpage I clicked. Now that webpage was exciting to view.  before I knew it, I was really interested.  I started asking myself how such a thing would look in my classroom.

Below I've provided the html code for the basic explanation of what the Flipped Classroom is.  I have a friend who has used the Kahn Academy in her classroom.  For myself I think I would want to start with one subject and figure out how to implement it the best I could.  I, obviously, have a lot more research to do, but I'm intrigued.

Do you flip?

Flipped Classroom
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

NOTE:  I do recognize that this model may have some downfalls, but I still want to learn more about it.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Oh right, I have a blog...

Wow, it has been a long time since I've blogged! I have a list of excuses... The real reason was simply that I really needed to be focusing things going on at my school. As you may recall the school that I've loved and worked at for the past 8 years closed after over 100 years! This was one of the toughest things I've ever done, and being the principal made it a bit harder. Many of my middle school students struggled greatly with this as many of them had been at Emmaus for 5 or more years. I decided that it was my job to simply love on them and remind them about the great things that we'd done and that they were loved. Along with that came loads of meetings and paper work to be done to ensure that the closure was smooth. This process was emotionally draining! I'm pretty sure that throughout the months of April and May I came home, went ate dinner and went straight to bed. School finally got out the Friday before Memorial Day. What a tear jerker!
I'm in the pink jacket. We closed our year at chapel, went out to the parking lot, said a final prayer together, and then let our balloons go. Someone took a video, but all you hear is terrible wailing. It was rough. I left school that afternoon only to return that evening for the Middle School Lock-In. We were up ALL NIGHT! The next morning I went home and did not feel well. I had a terrible pain in my right rib cage area. I knew from previous "attacks" that it was probably my gallbladder. I laid around all day in terrible pain and finally went to the urgent care, hoping for a magic pill to fix the pain. The "magic pill" sounded a lot like "Go directly to the ER, do not go home first." So that's where dear husband took me. Sunday I had my gallbladder out. Talk about a downer! I had plans to go to a Memorial Day BBQ and then I was going to run the Bolder Boulder on Monday. Because of the surgery I started the summer out behind. I had to move all my meetings for final closing stuff back, our trip to Ohio couldn't be changed and that was fine, but I just finally finished up at Emmaus this week...during my "3 week vacation" period. Today I was up at my new school unpacking stuff from Emmaus and trying to get it taken care of so that they could clean the carpets tomorrow and Tuesday. As I left I thought, "Hey, remember your should get back to that!" So here I am. Hope you all have enjoyed your first weeks of summer!

Thursday, April 12, 2012