Ever since I returned from Corpus I have been on a mission: accomplish my ridiculously long classroom to do list before school starts. And I will admit I have become a bit obsessive about the whole thing. Camping out at the dining room table writing powerpoints and making signs in my pajama's watching reruns of Sons of Anarchy isn't a bad gig but I needed to remind myself it was still summer time.
So today I slept a little later, worked on a personal craft and made Bethenny's Guilt Free Spinach and Artichoke Dip, delicious! It might not sound like the most riveting day but it certainly was a needed break from all my back to school anxiousness.
One of my biggest downfalls is my lack of balancing my work and school life. And while I am working on finding some balance and thinking the hammock is calling my name this evening, I wanted to try and do my first linky party, hopefully I do this correctly.
I am linking up with Mrs. Crouse at 6th Grade All-Stars, I love finding teaching blogs for the middle school age group!
The Babbling Box!
What Grade do you teach?
I teach 6th, 7th and 8th grade career electives: Robotics, Career Technology and Web Design.
What is the greatest advice you received during your 1st year of teaching?
My greatest advice was all about classroom management: teaching, posting and repeating procedures daily. Knowing when to pull something if a class can't handle it; the last two weeks of the semester I pulled up the Robotics equipment and had a class do a written final due to poor behavior. My first semester I would of never had the confidence to do that. Rewards, rewards, rewards. During a classroom management training a speaker compared us as teachers following procedures and getting pay check and students following procedures and getting some type of reward for it.
Do you have a checklist that you follow when preparing your classroom (include the checklist)?
This is my first full year to do be teaching, so my checklist is about three pages long and probably not standard given I rearranged my whole shop. I think just knowing where everything needs to go, labeling and having a system in place is my biggest preparation. I don't want to change where I store lego's multiple times in the semester because the kids would just keep asking me all the time.
What are some must haves in your classroom that you cannot live without (ex. items, books, posters, management strategies)?
Labels for computers, chairs, cabinets. Assigned seating, kids hate it but it helps me learn names and know if someone is in the right area of the classroom. Rewards charts, for whole class rewards. Projector, I have the warm up posted daily on the projector, students walk in reading it, sets the tone of getting to work immediately.
What is something that all teachers should have in their classroom?
Some sort of documentation clipboard/binder. I use it to take role, grade warm ups, take daily grades and mark notes about behavior. I hate having to look eight different places to record grades or to enter behavior notes in our ESCT system, I leave my documentation roster out till the end of the day then enter it all in the system.
The Babbling Box!