Friday, July 31, 2009

All ready for the new school year!

This is the front corner of my classroom...please note the NEW signs that tell my students that they MUST SHOW THEIR WORK. That pertains to Math class. Some of the students show their work, they usually get the correct answer, and if not, I can help them figure out what they are missing. Some don't have to show their work and still get the correct answer...but they will have to change their methods for a while in class this year. Most of the students don't show their work and really should.

This is one of my NEW bulletin boards:

The board will be interactive. There will be math problems written on the leaves. Students must solve the problems on the leaves each week. There will be 10 problems each week. This board will remain up for the first 6 weeks of school. Then I will change it to one of 4 others that I created.
When I say created...I did not think up the ideas! I just tweaked them and created them in fabric as opposed to just paper. The backgrounds and tree are fabric, the rest is laminated cardstock.
The tree canopy is buttoned on (with really nifty leaf shaped buttons!) and is reversible so that I can create the "Spring into Math" bulletin board in the spring!

This is the back wall of my is floor to ceiling shelves! I love the storage space!
My first year, Vince added some shelves on the left side so the students could stack their books in specific areas. Just to the right of these stacked books are the new paper organizers Vince built for me this year!

A close up of the paper organizers for this year!

And last but never least, here is where we collect items that are recycled in our classroom! Of course, I do have a bin for plastics and aluminum cans, as well as crates for paper!

Above the recycling center are the two previous years' "Time Capsules". At the end of the year, each student creates a mini time capsule that we seal in a box for each class. I also include all of the discipline slips they received, drawings and cards they made, and other items of interest for that class. When they graduate high school, the intention is to invite each class back to open up their time capsule and reminisce!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Carrabba Mushroom Farm??

Whenever it rains, we get lots of things growing around here. Of course the grass grows, the trees grow, the garden grows.....but we also get MUSHROOMS!!
There are white ones, yellow ones, orange ones, brown ones, grey ones, even one that looked purple! They are all over our property! The dogs like to chow down on them whenever they are out in the yard, so we have to keep the dogs penned in whenever we have a crop growing (the dogs tend to throw up---no other serious problems, thankfully) We don't want the dogs to eat the mushrooms, but it is impossible to prevent that when they go out where the shrooms are growing!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Together we can do this!

Okay folks, together we can get this DonorsChoose project funded! I have been thinking on this and with Cat thinking along the same lines as I, I guess that is the 'sign' I was looking for!

I really, really, really want this classroom project to be funded, because I really, really, really want to have a document camera for my classroom this year.

For detailed information on this project, check it out at

With this camera, I would be able to use math manipulatives as part of Math lessons. Manipulatives are used to demonstrate math concepts for the students. I would be able to demonstrate with these tools on a flat surface, with the camera projecting my work onto the BIG WHITE SCREEN at the front of the classroom. Every student would be able to see the demonstration easily.

I would be able to read a story to the class, showing them the pictures and text while I am reading, and everyone will be able to see the book easily as it would be projected onto the BIG WHITE SCREEN at the front of the clasroom.

I would be able to demonstrate various map skills for the students, while they are looking at their own copies of the maps.

I would be able to to demonstrate how to fold papers for various foldable projects we do in class.

I can share artifacts with the class without having to spend time passing it around the room, or walking it from student to student.

This camera is not only a wonderful piece of technology that would enhance the classroom learning, but it is a time saving tool as well.

I have already pledged to give all of the money I make in sales from and etsy.

Now, I pledge to match, dollar for dollar, any donations made by individuals between now and Friday of this week.

I encourage you to donate any amount, even one dollar. Do you need a gift for a relative? Make a donation in their name! Check with friends and co-workers, perhaps they are willing to forego their $5.00 coffee for one day and give to a good educational cause. Check with your they have a matching gift program?