Friday, June 27, 2014

My Summer To Do

Ohmyword. I CANNOT believe that summer is almost halfway over! Slow down, summer. I have way too much to do before school starts! I'm going to share with you all 857647856 things I want to do so that maybe you can get some ideas of things to do in your class and so that maybe I won't forget all I plan to get done this summer! :)

1. Finish reading the second edition of the Daily 5 and read The Cafe Book for the first time! I did a modified version of Daily 5 last year (don't we all) and I just loved it (more on that later). Of course, when I heard that the second edition of the Daily 5 was out, I knew that I had to add it to my summer reading list! I'll let you know how that goes :)

2. Recover these beauties: 
These milk crates were so beautiful at the beginning of the year (see bottom pic). Pride beamed from my heart every time I looked at them (even though Mr. Cain was mostly responsible for them:)). Well you can imagine how they look now. Dirty handprints, footprints, glue and FRUIT PUNCH (???) are all over these things. Not to mention, one got broken in HALF! I'm not even kidding. One little sweetie was a little overzealous when he went to sit on one and broke it clean in half (note to teachers: don't try to be thrifty and piece together the end pieces to get one full board out of the leftover particle board). Luckily the child wasn't hurt and he was actually pretty impressed with himself (ninja skills, anyone?).

3. Redecorate this nightmare:
Um that little fur ball looking thing is a pile of dirt I swept up, not a dead animal. Promise.

Oh the joys of packing up your class for summer. I went up to the school a week ago and completely forgot that I left my classroom looking like this. What chaos! Hopefully the floors will be all waxed and ready to go soon so I can get to work! I plan to cover all my bulletin boards in black fabric (i'm obsessed with the way it makes colors pop). And y'all see those tables there? I had to scrounge for those babies! Last year I had two tables and 4 pods of desks made into tables. Well now I have all tables and I'm thrilled, but they don't match. And my little OCD heart aches when I look at them. I thought about covering them with contact paper but I haven't found any contact paper that isn't woodgrain or roses. Suggestions??

4. Re-do my morning work:
Last year I created what I called "Early Bird Work" for my students to do every morning. It was just a short, half-page assignment that the kiddos did every morning when they came in. It covered language and spelling skills and I loved it. Well now I want to re-do it so that I'll have the whole year ready to go (instead of creating a new one for the week on Sunday night and panicking to get it copied [I mean, what? I'm always prepared]).

5. Common Core Units (say whatttt???)
So lately all I have been hearing is that we need to be teaching in units if we want to have any hope of our children passing the PARCC assessments (which we'll be taking for the first time this coming year...YIKES). So I guess I should get around to planning some units because I want my kiddos to have the best chance of passing that test for sure. How are these units going to work with D5?? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller...

6. Put together the most fabulous teacher binder ever:

That's my binder from last year. And I made everything in it. And I loved it. And it was fabulous and saved my life. I think I have a binder addiction (#teacherprobs). So now that I've taught for a year and have a better idea of what I need all year, I'm re-doing my teacher binder and it is going to be even more fabulous than the original. I'll post about my binder when I finally get the thing assembled and I'm sure I'll put in my TPT store if you're interested :)

Well if you made it through all that, you're the best! And to show you how much I love you, here's a little freebie from me to you, Pinkie Lou (Grease, anybody?). This is the first thing that I have actually gotten finished for my classroom this summer (impressive, I know). A welcome banner to welcome all your sweet darlings and all the guests into your class! Just click the picture below to snatch it up!

 Welcome Banner Freebie!

So now tell me...what's on your teacher to do list??

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Welcome to Mrs. Cain's Creations!

Hello all! I am so excited to finally be starting my own teaching blog!! My intention was to start a blog last summer and blog about all my first year teacher experiences, but as you can see, I got so busy with all those first year teacher experiences that it took a year to finally get my blog going. Whoops :)

I wanted to start a blog to grow and learn as a teacher. I have already gained so much from the teacher blogging community that I assume I'll gain even more from having my own blog! My plan is to share just about everything teacher-related with you on my blog from funny stories to things I've created for my classroom to activities that went really well and those that didn't go so well. Hopefully, you'll be able to share your tips and tricks with me as well!

A short about me: I graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BS in Elementary Education (Boomer Sooner!) and promptly moved to Mississippi where my husband is stationed to learn to become a pilot for the Air Force (yes, that means we'll be moving A LOT). I landed a fabulous job last year teaching departmentalized 3rd grade ELA and Social Studies in a rural school. I guess they liked me because they asked me back for another year to teach the same thing! :)

So join me, friends, on this crazy, wonderful adventure that we call teaching and maybe, just maybe, we can figure it all out together! :)