Monday, September 12, 2016

1st Grade Classroom Reveal!

I am SO EXCITED to show you all my classroom space!

As you may know, I have made the transition from upper elementary (4th, 6th, and 3rd) to FIRST GRADE and I am SO pumped!

A few notes as you tour my classroom--- We are using flexible seating, which means no individual desks and LOTS of options for seating.  Some of the furniture was provided through a grant my team wrote.  Other furniture was bought by me, on a budget!  Our first grade team is also piloting Personalized Learning, where students take ownership of their learning and use technology to reach their goals.  Ready?  Here we go!!

Your first glimpse into my room is this window- complete with a picture of little Miss Woodward.  :)

Look to the right and you will see our lounge area.  Table and white chairs from IKEA, and couch through the grant.  Word wall is located behind the couch.

Our moon stools (all lightweight and move-able!) are from the grant.  The TV is from the principal to promote technology use in Personalized Learning.  It's attached to an Apple TV.  Lots of options for technology integration!  The lovely crate stools made by *yours truly* for the guided reading/guided math table.

Our classroom uses community supplies.  Each table has a bucket of sharpened pencils and erasers for work time.  Students have the option of using any material for projects at any time. They just need to grab a bucket and return it when finished.  :)

I do not have a teacher desk in my classroom.  I usually use the kidney table as a work space, and the grey and black stand the lamp is on to store desk stuff.  Those lovely clear drawers were a birthday gift from my parents (!) and are used as mailboxes for my kiddos.

Another view of the guided reading table and manipulative bins.

I am still in love with my SitSpots!!  Another IKEA table and a few stools make a cozy little work space.  You can also see my floor table (took the legs off!) and IKEA cushions (in the green bin) for kids to sit or kneel on the floor.

You guys, I'm so in love with this classroom!  
I can't wait to see all of the learning take place in this space!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Finding the WHY

Have you ever stopped to think about why you teach?  Like, really thought about it?

Much of this year has been spent searching for my WHY.  Why do I do what I do?  I feel like amidst all of the responsibilities of a teacher, we can easily lose sight of our WHY.

One of my first administrators told me that teaching is like a pendulum.  Some days the pendulum is on the upswing and you've got it.  Other days, you feel like throwing in the towel.  Today I told a coworker about the pendulum analogy, and I asked if it ever gets easier.  She said it does, but the pendulum still swings, even for veteran teachers.  But as a more experienced teacher, the pendulum swings become a little more manageable.  

In this TED Talks Education video, Rita Pierson explains her WHY.  She believes that every kid needs a champion.  Every kid needs someone who believes in them.  I posted this a few years ago at a time where I was feeling particularly inspired, and I still believe in Rita's powerful words.

So, I must remind myself of my WHY.  WHY do I teach?

I teach because I love seeing my students smile at me when they walk in the door in the morning.
I teach because I want to share my love for learning with my students.
I teach because I know some students need the extra love at school, because they don't get it at home.
I teach because I want to inspire my students.

I teach because I love it.  I love my job.

Have you found your WHY?


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