Saturday, August 3, 2013

Preparing for back to school

I am about to start my 2nd full year (my 3rd school year, since I started in Jan. 2012), and I am nervous as always, but also extremely excited for the new changes to come. 

Below you can see a few of the projects I've been working on to spruce up my classroom.

We had a few throw pillows from our old comforter set that were a bit mishapen and not in our color scheme any longer, so I decided to transform them into a few pillows for the reading nook in my classroom. I am really in love with the hexagonal one and think I will try that again next time I need a new pillow.

I didn't have any hall passes last year, but definitely needed them. Not wanting to just purchase an ugly, generic wooden block pass, I decided to search Pinterest for an idea. I found a few pins that used clothespins as passes, which I thought was a great idea, except that my students would forget they had clipped it on them and walk out for the day with my pass still hanging on. To solve that problem, I found these cute blank name tags at Michaels and put a few old business cards in between two to give the pass some substance, then covered them in clear sellotape, punched a whole in the corner and threaded through some twin. I think I might die the clothes pins to make them stick out a bit more, but otherwise, I'm really happy with them. (I blocked out my name to post them online, but you can see that I included the room number so that if they are lost, they can find their owner again.)

I've also been working on streamlining my schedule and finding time to accomplish some grading and planning during the school day without so many interruptions. This is what I have so far:

I know, my schedule is a bit crazy, but you can see I've highlighted the times I can work with in yellow. I am really making an effort to only check email twice a day, but during each of those times, I plan to thoroughly sort and reply to emails rather than simply glance them over (which I've found is a huge time-waster as you end up having to look at the same emails several times over).

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