Wednesday, August 28, 2013

My first week ... so far ...

Oh my goodness gracious.  It is INSANE right now.  I've been getting to school at about 6:45 in the morning and not leaving until about 7:00 at night.  Then, I've been coming home and reading and planning until I go to sleep.  I've been working straight through lunch and not eating during that time.  We don't have a recess in the morning, so I haven't had a break!

The first day was a mess.  A hot mess.  I cried to my AP.  I think we all cried.  Every single new teacher.  We had so so so much information thrown at us and our principal is just so intense.  We are all new to the school in 3rd grade, so none of us are used to the model that the school follows.  It's a turn around school in Las Vegas, which means that we have so much accountability at our job.  We have to track SO much data.  It's so intense.

Anywho.  On the first day, I was supposed to have 27 kids ... I think?  Well, three didn't show up the first day, but one had gotten put in the wrong class.  So, I had 25 kids in my room the first day.  Well, I got 3 more added Monday night.  The three that didn't show up the first day showed up on Tuesday ... along with the 3 that added.  I now have 31 kids in my room!  Our school is going to hire another 3rd grade teacher (I HOPE!) but they have to wait until count day.  UGH.  There is no room in my class for any extra bodies.  And any extra talking is just amplified and it's crazy.  It's so hard to have effective classroom management with that many kids in there.

I'll post classroom pictures this weekend!  I hope everyone is having a great school year so far.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

New Teacher Orientation/PD at the Venetian Hotel

For the past two days, I've been at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas from 7:30am to 4:30pm.  I am exhausted.  It was absolutely freezing on the two floors that we were on.  I was literally shivering and I was wearing long sleeves!!  You would think that they could adjust the AC on different floors!  While it was nice that we had orientation at a fancy hotel, I am so glad that it is over.  I honestly didn't find the information that helpful because it was going over what I've already learned during the credential program and during subbing.  Maybe that's because California has pretty high standards for their programs?  I don't know.  Tomorrow I'll be at my school with the other new teachers, our principal, assistant principal, and academic coach.  I worked in my class a little on Tuesday and didn't take before pictures!!  Oh man.  I have some work ahead of me.  I teach at a school that was built a long time ago, so there was lead paint and the paint was peeling.  The principal got money to get the school painted a few years ago and now they're extremely careful about the paint.  They don't want you to stick anything on the walls unless it's on a bulletin board.  And my principal has posters that we HAVE to hang up, which takes up almost all the bulletin boards.  I definitely need to figure out how to add color in my class and make it all warm and homey.  I also need to figure out where I want to put my desk and library because there aren't too many spots.  LOTS of work ahead of me.  Have a good weekend!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Class Dojo

Have any of you tried out Class Dojo?  A teacher at my old school posted about it on Facebook and it got me curious.  I went to the site, signed up for it, and am SO excited to try it out.  Especially because the kiddos that I'll have on the first day aren't necessarily the kiddos that I'll have the next month.  I guess my principal plans to switch up the classes after the first round of testing.  It'll give me some way to make sure kids are on task and following rules since they know they may not be in there next month.    My favorite thing about it so far?  It has a random button.  For those of you who do a mystery walker or something along those lines, you can open the site on your computer and it'll choose someone at random!  Or, you can use it for calling on kids randomly, choosing partners randomly, you name it!  So, how it works is you put in your class list and you can assign points for on task behavior, participating, being respectful, etc.  You can put in your own qualities that you're looking for - being quiet in the hall, whatever you want!  You can also (if you must) take away points for not having homework, being disrespectful, etc.  I personally won't be taking away points, because I think that once a kid earns it, it's theirs.  You wouldn't want your boss to take away part of your check because you made a mistake, would you?  Anyway ... check it out.  It seems awesome!  Let me know if you've used it ... or start to use it!


Saturday, August 10, 2013

August Currently

I already did a quick post EARLY this morning, but I decided to link up with Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the August Currently.  I know, I know ... I'm 10 days late, but hey, I just started my blog.

Listening ...
My husband is watching Breaking Bad on Netflix and I'm randomly looking up whenever I hear a good part.  I never really got into this show, but he's catching up on episodes because we haven't had regular TV for the past 3 years, only Netflix.

Loving ...
So, we just moved to Las Vegas from Los Angeles last month and haven't had any money to go out and do anything.  I went back home last weekend and went out with friends to Yard House and I've been craving a mojito from Yard House ever since.  Well, my husband finally started working and we finally have some money, so we're going to get a drink tonight.  I can't wait until September for when I start getting paid.

Thinking ...
I keep seeing everyone talk about their thermal laminator and I keep eyeing them at the store.  I think I need to just cave in and buy one.  It'll help me setting up my classroom if I already have things laminated and don't have to spend forever laminating and cutting on the day that I should be setting up my class.

Wanting ...
I can't get into my class until Tuesday.  I keep hearing about how teachers have been in their class ALL summer.  I get to move in on Tuesday and our PD starts on Wednesday.  I'm dying over here just waiting.  Plus, I want to get all of my supplies OUT of my office.  The mess is driving my OCD self insane.

Needing ...
I found out that a sprinkler head was broken the other day, so I need to go buy a new one and replace it.

B2S Must Haves ...
1.  I absolutely love shoes but I hate spending money on them.  I need to buy some new school shoes this weekend that work with a lot of different outfits.  I also need to invest in another pair of black Toms.  I have a grey vegan pair, but I don't like how they look unless they're only with jeans.  Plus, a lot of people ask if I'm only wearing socks!  What??
2.  I got my hair cut the DAY I got back from my honeymoon in June.  We got home from LAX at about 3:30 am and my hair cut appointment was at 5 pm that same day.  I chopped off a good 6-7 inches of my hair.  Now it's been almost a month and a half and I need to get another hair cut to keep it short.  Plus I want to go a little shorter.  I'm just nervous because I LOVED my hair stylist in Pasadena (Chelsea from Salon Aguayo if you need a good person in Pasadena, CA!) and I'm afraid to get someone that does a horrible job out here in Vegas.  I need to do research.
3.  I've been collecting from used library book sales, and my mom just gave me 4 boxes of books that I haven't actually looked through, but I really need some new children's books.  Especially nonfiction for the guys!  You know, all about snakes and spiders.  That sort of thing.  I need to build my library.

Okay, I think that's all for today.  I have lots of errands to do today.  Maybe I'll pick up that laminator after all.


P.S. I really need to create an image for my signature but I'm so picky and need to spend some time.

I'm a Nevada Blogger

I saw that everyone had a cute little state button on their blog and I wanted one for myself.  So, I linked up with Fifth in the Middle and snagged my very own Nevada button.  While I still wish I was able to snag a California button, the Nevada one will do!  :)  Head on over to Fifth in the Middle to get your own state button and add your blog to the list.

I was also able to find a FREE template from The Cutest Blog on the Block to add to my BOOOOORRRING page.  I'm liking it so far.  :)  They have some really cute templates, so head on over there if you're looking to spruce up your blog.

I should probably head to bed.  I can't believe it's already 2 am.  I don't know how I'm going to switch into waking up at 5:30 am every day.  Let's hope I can manage!


Friday, August 9, 2013

My first post!

Hi all!

I just created this blog to connect with other teachers and to get some great ideas from the blogging community!  It's my first year as a full time teacher.  I was a K-8 substitute teacher at a small charter school in Woodland Hills for the past two years.  Now, I'm starting my adventures as a third grade teacher in Las Vegas!  PD starts next week at the Venetian Hotel for two days.  How exciting is that?  Maybe I'll sneak downstairs and do some gambling on my lunch break?  Hah, just kidding.  At least they have PD in an exciting place for those new to the district.  There are TONS of new teachers out here and so many people are moving to Las Vegas from all over the country.  We are a part of a group for new teacher on Edmodo and everyone is posting about where they're from, what school they'll be at, and what grade/subject they're teaching.  I saw some people from Alaska, New York, tons from California, and a few from right here in Las Vegas.  Man, I wish there had been TONS of job openings in California.  I definitely miss the weather in sunny, Los Angeles.  Yes, Las Vegas is extremely sunny, but I miss the 80 degree days and 50-60 degree nights.  One day, it was still 97 degrees at 2 am!  EEK.  My AC has been on SO much.  I'm not used to needing the AC.  We only used it on extremely hot days in our apartment in LA.  

I'm dying to get into my classroom.  We can't get in there until Tuesday, and we start PD on Wednesday.  Not too much time to really work in there.  I'm hoping that I can work most of the day on Tuesday and then maybe again on the weekend.  My school here in Las Vegas is a turn around school.  That means that a couple of years ago, the test scores were really, really bad.  They brought in a new principal, a new staff, and completely redid the school.  Now they're considered a 5 star school (the highest score a school can get) because they've raised their test scores so much.  I'm just concerned because it is so rigid, which I understand because it is in a high poverty part of town, but it seems like teachers really have no freedom to be a teacher.  I've been so lucky (and spoiled - according to my mom) with my last school, that I have a huge reality check ahead of me.

I'm nervous about the first couple of days of school.  I've never been in a classroom during the first days, and I have NO idea what to do!  School starts on the 26, so I have a lot of work to do in the meantime.  Until then, how do you teach rules and procedures on the first day?  It's going to be tricky because the kids in my class on the first day are going to be switched up after a few weeks.  Weird, I know, but that's what the principal has decided on.  So, I have to be able to teach rules and procedures twice.    Let me know your thoughts.

I apologize about the boring look of the blog.  I just created it and I'm not sure how to make it look better!  Any suggestions on that would be great!  :)