Holy Wow!

All I can say is Oh My Goodness!

Yesterday when I saw that it was time for the August Currently, I was surprised that it was August already (even though I have been looking at the calendar all week and knew perfectly well that August began yesterday). Today, I've had another surprise due to my lack of attentiveness.

My Teacher Institute days start a week from Thursday! That means I'll only have one week to flip my classroom between the end of summer school and the beginning of our teacher work days. I've been banking on two this whole summer. I guess maybe I don't know how to read a calendar. Oh dear!

All my plans for beginning the transformation post-summer school have been squashed so now I'm speedily trying to craft all of the new goodies that I planned on creating for the upcoming school year. I wonder how many I can cram into this weekend. I've already called in the troops (my grandma and mother-in-law) to help me start getting everything put in place.

Because I can't actually sit and do sustained activities all day long - especially ones that require my immediate attention - I've decided to take a break to post my progress here. What do you all think?

A New Year - New Rules

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I do, of course, have rules like no running in the classroom and don't get up out of your seat whenever you want, but I wanted to focus more on rules that will help us improve as learners and create a positive atmosphere rather than ones that were solely focused on improving sometimes naughty behaviors. While some of them seem like they still may be focused on behaviors, each of them is explained in a way that ties directly back to how it will help us learn. This isn't exactly how they will be explained to the students, but it is the gist of it.

Rule 1: We do this so that we hear what our friends say so that we may add on our own comments after to give extra details.
Rule 2: This one is more focused on the fact that we NEED to participate. It also goes along with rule 4 kind of. We want all our friends to be successful and if the same students are shouting out the answers, then our other friends (who know better than to shout) will not get a turn to participate.
Rule 3: If we take too long to follow the directions, we lose out on important learning time!
Rule 4: This relates to both helping friends who do not understand something - if we understand, we can help them too - and to helping others stay on task. This is a big thing at our school. The kids are supposed to take charge of the classroom including academics and behavior.
Rule 5: Some students are nervous to participate. We want to help everyone feel comfortable answering questions. When a student gets an answer wrong, we should focus on positive things - like the fact that they were participating at all. This rule went over really well last year. We had friends giving high-fives when they got an answer right and whispering "yesss" when they shared the same answer as another friend who was called on for the correct answer.

I really want to keep my rules to a minimum, but I feel like I'm missing something important. It may just be because they fall into our general school rules of "Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Safe." Can you think of any good rules in the style of what I have so far that I'm missing?

Word Wall

I'm not sure if I've ever posted a picture of my word wall here. Every time I look at classroom pictures on Blogger, I get jealous of the amazing classrooms that some of you all have! My room is pretty much less than ideal because although there is a lot of storage, there is very very little wall space.

This picture is a pretty terrible one. It was taken after I packed my room up and there are a ton of things that aren't usually there, but you can see the word wall hanging from the curtains above our cubbies.

It was my first year in the room and I needed to throw something up there. Unfortunately, the words and letters that I used are pretty difficult for second graders to see when it is that high up. I'm working on creating a larger option to go in the same place - since I really don't have an alternative spot for my word wall.


I only have the alphabet done so far, so now I need to get started on words.

Hanging Signs

I also finished table number and center signs, although I saved most of them as PDFs so I don't have a preview.

What do you think? All I have left are the word wall words, math number words, shapes, school supply storage labels, and teacher organization labels. I'll eventually (soon) need to create some library labels, but since my summer school students messed up my library again - I reorganized it at the beginning of the summer - I don't know what exactly I'm going to do.

And this is just organization/decor stuff. I don't even want to think of all the learning prep work there is to do. Why didn't someone warn me sooner that the school year was coming up?

I'll keep everyone updated!


  1. I LOVE these rule cards! Do you have them on sale somewhere or can I snag these?? :)

  2. Great rule cards!! :) I might have to buy these soon! :)