Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend Trip & Progress in 1st grade

Hi bloggy friends!  I had a very long weekend driving The Oldest to her school in West Virginia and then coming home by myself on Sunday. 16 hours in the car = not fun. Especially the 8 I drove home with no companionship. Totally boring!

The good news is, The Oldest started band camp yesterday and is loving the college life thus far. Her room mate isn't in a fall sport so its just her so far in her bedroom. She's in a suite-style room so there will be 8 girls total and they share a common area and bathroom. Definitely worth the extra $100/semester otherwise she'd be totally alone for two weeks in her space. 3 of her suite mates are also in band and she gets along super well with all of them so that is great. She's having fun and enjoying band camp even though it is much tougher than what she's used to from high school. The bad news is, her momma might have cried the last 30 miles home realizing that she wasn't going to be there when I got home. It's WEIRD to know her bedroom is empty and I can't just knock on her door and talk to her. Why do kids have to grow up? :)

Whilst settling The Oldest in and getting her orientation stuff done, we had a chance to chat with the provost who did my final interview via Skype for that education faculty position. She has to be the nicest woman I have ever met. She gave me a hug and was very complimentary of me. I told her I'm definitely keeping my eye on them in case they do end up offering some of the online classes we talked about and she said, "oh, please do!" :)

Today I dragged The Husband, Middle Child and The Youngest to school with me. They helped me move everything in (except my tree because it wouldn't fit in the car!) and The Husband helped me get my bulletin boards mostly set. I have a few spots to finish but he helped with the big parts. I got to meet my teaching partner, who will have a 1st/2nd split (yuck!). She has had kindergarten for the last ten years so she knows exactly where they are coming from. I LOVED her. She is really nice. We were chatting before I left and she asked me if I had heard of Whole Brain Teaching and I was SO excited to be working with someone who has so many of the same ideas that I have. It is going to be an awesome year. I have trainings tomorrow and Wednesday but her and I will both be at school on Thursday and are planning to put our heads together and think about how to set up the first couple of weeks. She said she's only going to have 7 second graders so she will be running her class mostly as a first grade. I feel bad for her because I know exactly what it is like to have so few of one grade and try to meet all of their needs. It sounds like, however, they try to keep the K-2 classes small there. I found a seating chart from the teacher who had my room last year and she only had 20 kiddos. That would be AWESOME after having 30 last year!

I've made some headway and I'm SO excited about this year. I know that God put me where I am needed and this year is going to be awesome.
 Here's a peek at one side of my room. This is what it looked like when I left today.

I am finding all kinds of treasures in my classroom. I found a brand new, never been opened Mountain Math kit. Considering these kids are about $75, I was ecstatic to find it in my room. I am DEFINITELY using it. I can't believe no one ever opened it! I'm not going to use it as morning work or anything because of where I need to put it in my room but rather am going to use it as a math station, I think. 

I definitely feel blessed to come into a classroom and school that clearly cares about how their children learn. I have found so many good things to help me out. From four blocks books for first grade with rhymes and poems to a math workstation book to this mountain math kit, it's like hitting the jackpot every time I take the time to look on a different shelf or in another cupboard.

I even found a set of Leap Pads in one of the cupboards. I am going to have lots of awesome activities for my students to use during their rotations in both math and literacy. Very exciting. 
Hopefully I'll be DONE with my room by the time I leave on Thursday so that I can take final pictures.
The Caffeinated Teacher


  1. I'm so glad that you are settling in to your new teaching position! It is hard to send our kids off to college. My oldest has graduated from college and my youngest will be going back to Virginia in a couple of weeks for his junior year! Yikes! I can't believe that someone actually had mountain math in the room and never opened it!

    Teaching Special Kids

    1. That's what I said! I couldn't believe that kit wasn't ripped open the second it was delivered! Whatever, their loss is my gain :)

  2. You have an amazing family for helping you work in your room!! :) My little brother is moving into his dorm room on Friday. I know I am going to cry lol. I can't imagine when I have my own kids haha. I'm sure you'll talk to her lots! :)

    A Sunny Day in First Grade

    1. Usually it is The Oldest who helps me. This is the first year in a long time that she wasn't around to help!

      She has called me every day so far ;)