It's The Little Things

Today was a day of progress, frustrations, lamination and a lot of sweating. Makes you just want to come and join me. By 12 today (4 hours after I arrived to the school) I was feeling pretty accomplished: I was laminating like a crazy possessed person and was highlighting things off my to do list rapidly.

But all good things must come to an end. Around 3:00 today I was still tackling my TEKS wall, which I started two weeks ago, and was beyond frustrated. I am not sure what my problem is but I can not hang posters straight, I like to blame my cement walls but even that seemed extreme for the amount of duct tape I wasted wadded up ripped off walls today. The classroom was even mocking me today, I would hang something with tape on the back, climb back down to get duct tape to seal the edges and the stupid poster would fall right off.

Let's just say my ten minute drive home, thank the traffic gods, was a road rage drive. Thank goodness for Mr. B suggesting a sushi happy hour. Now in a better state of mind I can appreciate the little things: my classroom progress and spending an evening out with Mr. B before he goes back to work for the next 6 or so nights.

First, I love sushi so finding a sushi happy hour right across the street with $2.50 rolls was AMAZING! And they had a strawberry Saki which was quite interesting, almost desert like, and came in the cutest carafe.

I have a few accomplishments in my classroom to share. My favorite wall so far is: What Do I Do Now? I saw something in a much smaller version on pinterest and knew I should recreate it. My classroom is a project based classroom so when a project is finished by the lone A+++ student I fell into a bad trap of giving the student preferred activity time. Honestly, there is nothing wrong with this since it was usually a student per class, but I have set a new years resolution of less down time and I want to stick with it.

The concept of the wall is to take the guess work off my shoulders. If a student is done early, they can go up to the wall read the 4 steps. Finished early? Double check your agenda. Help a neighbor. Or grab an extra activity. The activities are all fun small assignments that will be used as extra credit. But the beauty in this is that I don't have to make up anything on the spot. They go, they grab a page, they follow the instructions and this keeps the whole class working on something educational.

I broke my assignments down into five categories: a boggle section, color it, journal it, create it and read it. In each sheet protector there will be multiple assignments they can choose from. And every six weeks I will try to rotate the assignments. With a 120+ students I doubt any student would ever be able to do all the assignments. In a big bonus this provides me a way to incorporate more of their core classes into my elective. Writing, reading, math, science and even social studies, for example: create a facebook page for a history figure you are currently learning about.

I was so super excited about this concept I felt it needed to be tackled first today, though it certainly wasn't the most important even a top ten project.

The first attempt.

After staring at the wall most of the day it was bugging me. The title was just too small, my room is huge so it needed to stand out. So I went back to the drawing board aka microsoft publisher and created a better title. Then back to the teachers lounge to the poster blowup and lamination. And then I had to take down the old title. UH OH! I was using hot glue so this meant holes in my table clothes. I about cried. I was able to cover them with the word bubbles and I think it looks ten times better. Although I think this means I am either entirely too dedicated or just plum crazy. Who spends this much time on a title?

It still needs four more hooks from Walmart, but that is a super easy fix.

Before this blog gets too long, here are some other cute little things I am loving in my room right now.

Curtains over my exit door windows. They were a dollar store find in the shower curtain area but the colors matched so perfectly and I love that they are opaque enough to let a little light in since I have no windows. And anything beats the hideous puke green curtains that were there last year.

The glare was horrible on all of these photos, grrr!
A rug from Ross, which also matches the curtains. I feel like it really defines my desk area, brightens it up and for a selfish reason I love being barefoot so I can actually do it in a small area of my classroom now.

Rug even covers my extension cords, which means no tripping!
It's really about the little things as I prepare for 120+ new faces in 13 days!

The Babbling Box

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