Wednesday, August 29, 2012


My state has switched curricula this year. We have now adopted the Common Core (as have most other states). I am stressing out. I understand the standards. I get what I'm supposed to be teaching. I'm pretty well-versed in my content area. This week has been incredibly easy so far. I'm planning next week, and I am so frustrated!

I'm trying to develop this compare/contrast essay for my students. That's where we've decided that we're heading...but I don't feel comfortable with it. I'm not sure why. I just feel like...something's not quite right with the essay. I can't put my finger on it. I know that it will work...but I think it's going to be less of an essay and more of these characters in a two-three paragraph response, thing. Introduction, definitely. One paragraph on comparing and one on contrasting the characters. I'm not really sure it's going to be a full blown essay. I'm ok with that. It's the 2nd week of school. I hope my teammates are ok with that too. I get to talk to them about it in the morning. I'm just honestly not really sure how to teach it this way. Last year, I did plenty of writing....and I felt incredibly comfortable with it. I just feel so much pressure with this essay and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the new standards? Maybe it's the fact that it's so early in the year? I don't know. All I do know is that I'm stressing. Bad.

Ugh. It's almost my bedtime. I haven't had time to keep up with my blog. I'm feeling guilty about that...but I still love it and read other blogs when I can.

I'm going to try and plan a few more pieces of this writing assignment and then I'm going to bed. I need to go toss and turn for at least 6-7 hours so that I can pretend that I got some sleep and go to work tomorrow feeling "rested" (rest? what's that?)


Sunday, August 26, 2012

It's Almost That Time

School starts TOMORROW! AHHHHHHH! I'm so nervous. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to sleep tonight. Lol! I feel like I'm the student instead of the teacher.

Sorry that I haven't been around here lately. I promise that I'm still alive. I'm just incredibly stressed out. I will definitely be trying to post daily once I get back into the swing of things. It's just a big adjustment...getting back on school time. I'll get there. Give me another week and I promise you won't be getting these pathetic "cop out" posts.

Is anyone else getting their kiddies for the first time tomorrow? If so, are you nervous? Big day, big day!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tired Tuesday

Just checking in today. Not much of a post...

Today, I learned that I'm the only 7th grade ELA teacher in my district who has previously taught 7th grade ELA. There are other teachers who have taught 8th grade ELA...but most of the teachers are newbies!!! A lot of teachers also have been switched from Social Studies to ELA. It's going to be a fun year and we all have so much to learn. I was called "expert" several times today and, let me clarify really quick, I'm a SECOND YEAR TEACHER. I am NOT an expert by any means. Lol! All of the Common Core stuff is still so new to me and to everyone that I feel incredibly overwhelmed.

Do I love it? Yes.

Am I as confident going in as I wish I was? No.

Do I think that it'll be fine once the year gets going? Absolutely. :)

I'm super excited and still incredibly nervous about the kids coming back. I get to meet a lot of them tomorrow at Open House! :)

Hope everyone else is having a super week! I know that I'm exhausted and it's only Tuesday!


PS: Every time I look at my labels when I'm about to publish a post, I see this label that I have used in other posts - "working out" - and I feel so guilty because I did not work out yesterday and I WILL NOT work out tonight. It is 10 pm. I'm tired. My bed looks soooooo comfy :)


Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Made It #3, First Day Back, and TpT Sale!

Today is Monday...which can only mean one thing: MONDAY MADE IT!

Honestly, I haven't made anything new since I did my big classroom reveal...but here are the things that I DIYed for my classroom!

My Grade/Copy/File box! :)

Updating my calendar with some duct tape!

The finished product!

DIY bulletin border! I used tissue paper (got the idea here)

Backdrop for my emergency information (fire drill, tornado drill, phone extensions, etc.). I used scrapbook paper, taped it together, and then had it laminated. :)

Phew. That's it. Sorry for the crappy Monday Made It. Next week, I'll do more. I almost promise :)

Today was the first day back for all teachers in my district. WOW! There are so many new faces at my school. There has to be at least 15 newbies! None of them are brand new, 22 year old people, straight out of college. They've all had careers before teaching...but they've decided to start their teaching career at my school! Yay!

Five of the new teachers are on my hall! That's CRAZY! I have one newbie on my team....and one newbie who is also teaching ELA. I'll plan with her and another veteran teacher. I'm really, really excited about the year now that I've met all of the teachers on my hall. They're all incredibly nice. I think that our hall could be AMAZING this year.

However, after today, let me just say that I'M EXHAUSTED. My feet hurt. My head hurts. My brain feels like it almost can't function. I'm not overloaded with information like I was last year...but part of me feels like I'm still brand new. My nerves were still shaky when I walked into the meeting this morning. I don't know why. I sat through a million of those meetings as the year went on last year. I don't know. All I know right now is that I'm exhausted, broken down tired, feeling almost dead. Hopefully this week will help get me back used to the daily grind. My almost whole pot of coffee helped this morning...but, by noon, I still felt like crashing.

Two more days until I get to meet some of my students!!!! :) Yay!

Last item of business...FLASH SALE! I'm putting everything in my TpT store at 15% off! Starting now through Tuesday, 8/21, everything is on sale! :)

Here's the link: Andi's TpT Store. Check it out! :)


Sunday, August 19, 2012


Ok, I'm aware that I didn't post at all yesterday. I don't know what's up with me. I could not get motivated to do anything. I guess I'm just trying to enjoy my last two days of break. I officially go back to work tomorrow. I'm not sure how I'm going to get up at 6 AM, get myself and my child ready, and be at work by 8. I haven't gotten up before 8 in at least a month. I should have been trying all week to get used to the schedule...but I just wanted to enjoy my time. For the next 9-10 months, I'm going to be up at 6 AM every day...and yes, I mean every day....because once my child is on a schedule and is up at 6 AM during the week, he'll be up at 6 AM on Saturdays and Sundays as well. Sigh, this is the life of a teacher.

I'm still kinda nervous about going back. It doesn't feel real. I'm going to go tomorrow, sit in my meetings, and take it all in. Last year, I was so incredibly nervous about starting. It was my VERY FIRST DAY as a teacher! It's been a year...and I just can't believe it. It's been the fastest year of my life.

This week will go like this:

  • Monday:
    • Up at 6 am - drink an entire pot of coffee! :)
    • 8 am - Breakfast with the faculty/staff
    • 8:30 am- 12 pm - Opening Meeting
    • 1 pm - 4 pm - Vocabulary Support Training
    • Pick up Christian from day care
    • Cook dinner
    • Weekly Home Blessing Hour (5-6 pm) + Zone mission for the day
    • Christian's bed time - 8 pm
    • SLEEP!
  • Tuesday:
    • Up at 6 am - maybe 3/4 of a pot of coffee this morning! :)
    • 8 am - 12 pm - Vocabulary Support Training pt. 2
    • 1 pm - 4 pm - Meet at Richmond Senior High with the other ELA teachers to plan for the school year
    • Pick up Christian
    • Cook dinner
    • Clean out refrigerator and freezer.
    • Write grocery list and menu for the week.
    • Zone mission for the day
    • Christian's Bedtime - 8 pm
    • SLEEP!!!
  • Wednesday
    • Up at 6 am - 1/2 a pot today!
    • 8 am - I don't think I have any meetings today....however, I will be at my school in my classroom all day...making sure I have my copies run off and ready and getting ready for open house.
    • 4-6 pm - Open House
    • Pick up Christian from my mom's house.
    • Dinner???
    • Zone Mission
    • Grocery shopping and other errands??? - Idk if this will happen.
    • Christian's bedtime - 8 pm
    • SLEEP!
  • Thursday:
    • Up at 6 am - back to my regular routine of 1 LARGE cup a day.
    • 8 am - back to my school.....working in my room until 12!
    • 1:30-4 pm - Convocation. Welcoming in the school year with the entire county, school board, and all of the Superintendents :)
    • Picking up Christian.
    • Dinner?
    • Zone Mission
    • Bible Study/Girl time - 5:30 pm
    • Christian's bedtime - 8 pm
    • SLEEP!!!
  • Friday:
    • Up at 6 am - coffee, coffee, coffee
    • Back to my room for my last day of getting ready.
      • Focus on cleaning and organizing today.
      • Make sure everything is PERFECT for Monday (oh, I'm such a perfectionist)
    • At some point, I can go to the Annex for information about the instructional support docs for the year...but I already know how to use Google Docs/ I'll see if this is a requirement. I've been using those docs all summer!
    • Pick up Christian around 4
    • Dinner?
    • Clean out car and bags (purse and school bag)
    • See about going out with Kevin to celebrate the fact that I made it through my first week back.
    • Christian's bedtime - 8 pm
    • SLEEP!!! I MADE IT!!!

Ok, busy week. Trying to get back in the groove of things. Please notice my coffee schedule. I will be bouncing off the walls on Monday and Tuesday...but that's the only way I'll make it through this week. CAFFEINEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

Sigh. I'll let you know how it all goes.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Ok....Classroom Reveal (just about finished...)

Ok, this is going to be picture heavy. Prepare yourself.

Let me start off with my classroom from last year. This is the same room that I'm in this year...but I had 0 experience putting a classroom together.

**This is what I walked into last year**


**Rows of desks...**

**3 posters above my bookshelf...and NOT centered. Ick** 

**Posters on my cabinets...**

**Bulletin board....the left side is for student work and the right side is my "What Did You Say?" display for all three classes**

**My vocabulary words (the flowers) and my rules poster above my SMARTboard**
**The view from the back of my room. I added more stuff above the white board as the year went on...more vocabulary words and a consequences poster**

Ok...that's my room last year.

Here's this year's photos:

**My door...**

**Posters next to my bookshelf**

**Bookshelf & posters**

**Grade/Copy/File organizer!!!**

**Information bulletin board**

**The flowers I made**

**Expectations and Consequences posters above SMARTboard**

**Space created for emergency information and telephone extensions**

**Posters below the SMARTboard**


**Writing posters below the board**

**Posters above the bookshelf. Much better than last year!**

**My pretty boxes my mom bought for me :)**

**My "What Did You Say?" display.**

**I changed the W. It's capitalized now! Lol!**

That's pretty much what I've gotten finished thus far. I'm really excited about how it looks this year. It's much better than last year. :)


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Classroom Update!

Thought I'd share what I accomplished today. This will be mostly bear with me :)

**Using printed Duck Tape to update my calendar! I'd never used Duck Tape before and was surprised how easy it was to use!**

**Done! Looks much better!!!**

**Finished my "What Did You Say?" display at the back of my room. Just now seeing that the w that I cut is a lowercase w. Ugh. I'll fix it tomorrow.**

**From the front of my room**

**This might be my favorite part of my classroom!!! I love my bulletin board!**

**My Grade/Copy/File container!!! :)**

I still have a little bit to I'll go tomorrow morning and do what I can. I'll probably only stay until about lunch time though. I need to reset and enjoy the last few days of my precious summer break!


New List!

Alright, I thought it was time to re-do my to-do list.  I have been updating and updating my old to-do list for weeks now. I just need to scrap it and make a new one. I have 3 days until my school year starts back up. I go back to work "officially" on the 20th...but we know how those first few days are - MEETINGS!!!!

  1. Finish creating materials for the 1st unit.
  2. Create my ISN cover and table of contents page. I'll make the rest as I go along with the kids.
  3. Create birthday calendar/area.
  4. Create enrichment station with materials for students to grab when they finish their work for the day.
  5. Vocabulary for the 1st 6 Weeks. (WWW)
    • Create SmartBoard work/bell-ringers.
    • Create flowers for above my board.
  6. Finish "What Did You Say?" wall on cabinets. Put white letters up on each cabinet door.
  7. Finish bulletin board in classroom. Needs to be a welcome back board with information for beginning of school + a way to display work. Hmmmm....
  8. Make copies for the 1st day of school (how many should I make? 4 classes and no hint of how many kids in each class...)
    • Welcome Back letter
    • Rules
    • Procedures
    • Journals
    • 18 Book Project Stuff
    • Truth/Lies
    • ELA Survey
    • Discipline Record
  9. Re-do calendar so that it matches classroom scheme (duck tape). Hang it.
  10. Re-do Rules/Consequences posters. Hang them.
  11. Finish creating my grade/copy/file container.
  12. Add flowers to my desk...maybe. :)
  13. Create space for emergency information (above phone).
  14. Make new Date, Homework, Learning Target, and Agenda Labels for my white board. :)
That should take care of my classroom and make me prepared for the beginning of the year.

Phew. I'm still so anxious. Does the anxiety about the 1st day of school ever go away?

**Update - 8/15/12 (3:30 pm) - Finished my bulletin board, "What Did You Say?" cabinets, calendar, and grade/copy/file box. Realized that I still need to hang my emergency I'll create that tonight and hang it tomorrow. I didn't plan on coming back to work tomorrow, but I'll be here anyway.**

**Update - 8/16/12 (2:51 pm) - Finished my expectations and consequences posters, hung the rest of my ELA writing posters, created my space for emergency info and the phone list, put my files away, created my date, homework, learning target, and agenda labels (but need to print them, laminate them, and cut them out), laminated my months of the year and "I can..." statement cards and cut them out, and got my calendar completed. Busy day!**


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Classroom Day #3 (kinda)

Today, I went to speak as a second year teacher in a meeting of BT1s (Beginning Teacher - 1st year). I got to speak to all of the middle school newbies! That was super exciting! Last year, when I was sitting in that room listening to the other BT2s talk about their first year, I couldn't imagine myself getting there. I couldn't imagine myself being a BT2. It seemed like it was so far being a BT1 was so difficult that I actually would be one FOREVER! Now, here I am, a BT2...and I love it! I'm so glad that I was able to go and speak to the new teachers. I hope that I answered their questions to the best of my abilities and that I was able to ease some of their anxiety about teaching!

After the meeting, I got lunch with some of the new teachers who will be working at my mom's school. They are elementary teachers...and are wonderful ladies! :) It was so nice to go out with a group of girls and just sit and talk.

After that, it was 1:30. Christian was in day care but I don't like to pick him up until after 3. He loves to play with his friends and he's so happy while he's there. I live too far away from everything to go home and come back in an hour and a I decided to go to my classroom. My school is only about 3 minutes away from Christian's day care :)

Here's what I got done today:

**My back wall/cabinets. The four black spaces will be my grammar wall. I ran out of pink ribbon on that last one. Oops! Each door will have one word at the top. It will say "What Did You Say?" and each class will work with one door. Any time a student says something incorrectly, they have to get a post-it, write what they said on the post-it, write it the correct way, sign their name, and stick it on that class's door. It will be a nice competition!**

**This is the left wall of my class. It has my bookshelves and two computers that don't work!!! Lol. I need to have them removed this year. I added those three posters on the left today. I left an open needs something....hmmmmm**

**Close up of the posters**

**I put up those two posters above this bookshelf which is on the right side of my classroom. I also put all of those books on the shelves today!**

So that's it for now! I'm super excited about how it's turning out! :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Made It + B2S Sale (last few hours!)

Yay! I love Mondays. Wanna know why? If it's Monday, that means it's time for Monday Made It! I'm linking up again with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for my 3rd Monday Made It!

This week was another week that I made something digitally! This week, I have these cute labels for each month of the year. I wanted to make something that I could put over my calendar that would match my classroom color scheme! Here's a sneak peek of the labels!

Super cute, right?! I'm so happy about the way they turned out. I just have to print them out, cut them apart, and laminate them and they'll be ready for the classroom! I added them to my TpT store and they are on sale for the last part of the B2S sale! Go pick them up! :)

Then, I was able to get into my classroom again today. I wasn't there for very long. I probably got in a solid 2.5 hours in my room. Here's what I was able to do:

**My door before**

**My door now! It's wonderful how a little bit of ribbon can make something look so much better!!!*

 Here's my desk area right now. I got the bulletin board up...put the black background up plus my DIY border...tissue paper! How cool! This was an idea someone gave me on Facebook! It turned out really well!**

 **Here's a close up of the "flowers"**

That's it. I have a lot of trouble just going in and getting started. I wish I could go in, get busy, and knock everything out tomorrow. That way, I could stay away from the classroom for the rest of my last week of "freedom" and have it all ready for next week! I'm hoping that I'll be completely done by the end of the day on Wednesday. This will give me Thursday and Friday "off" to get my head in the game for my week of Teacher Workdays starting the 20th. Phew!!!

Ok. Quick reminder about the B2S Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers. It lasts for a few more hours. Everything in my store is 20% off...and then TpT gives you an additional discount if you use the code B2S2012. This makes EVERYTHING 28% off! Those calendar cards are only $3.00 BEFORE the sale. Go check it out! It ends tonight! Here's the link to my store:

Last thing: THANK YOU so much for reading my blog. It means a lot to me! Have I mentioned that I'm currently at 5200+ page views! That's so exciting!!!!! I haven't even had the blog up for a month! I'm also at 33 followers! Once I get to 50, I'm going to have a giveaway! :)