Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Back to school...three weeks late!!!

I'm still here!!! I promise!!!  The start of this year has been extremely hectic and I'm only now getting my feet under me!!  We are in the midst of a building project and I was unable to access either of my classrooms ALL SUMMER!!  We also didn't have power, lights or electricity for our first day back of staff development!!  It was horrible for my organized "OCD" to have to do everything on the first two days of staff development.  Not to mention, I wasn't able to get much lesson planning done at home with an almost two-year-old toddler!

Ironically, at the end of the last school year, I tore EVERYTHING down off of my walls in both rooms.  I guess I anticipated that the construction project would be a bit more organized...I guessed wrong. ;)  None the less, my No-No Board is gone this year and it has been replaced with my rules (in the elementary room).  I kind of stole some of the wording from Mr. E. :-D

My supply bin organization looks a bit differently this year.  I found these cute, mini-supply totes at Target in the dollar section, plus some pencil pails and rainbow pails.  I decided to use smaller bins to hold the supplies so that students don't have everything at their tables all at once.  In particular, I was thinking of those 1st graders and Kindergartners who tend to be distracted by the markers and want to use them, even though they aren't supposed to be.  I also made some simple, laminated place mats and taped them down to the counters, and I included a picture on the window for how the supplies should look like when they are returned.

My go-to bulletin boards for the first two weeks of school are minions.  Yup, straight from the art teacher's Facebook group.  The kids loved it!

For K-2, we traced, colored and cut out our hand prints for the first day of art class and I created this bulletin board.  We, of course, returned to school BEFORE Labor Day this year, so we had school on Thursday and Friday, no school on Monday, and then resumed classes on Tuesday.  Essentially, my first week and a half was just rules and hand prints with the younger students and we have only now really started to dive into our projects.

Last year I shared a bit about using sketchbooks in 6th grade, as well as my high school classes, and this year I'm increasing that usage a lot more.  We are using sketchbooks in grades 3-6, as well as in Art 7, Studio Art, my Printmaking elective and my Ceramics elective.  All is going well so far!

Speaking of my classes, I'd like to give you a glance at my ridiculous schedule this year.  I sort of did this to myself a bit this year by taking on an extra class.  My union contract states we teach for 6 periods, have a prep, a lunch, and a duty.  Well, at the end of the year last year, things got changed around and classes shortened a bit to add a 9th period into the schedule to create a common study hall time in the high school.  

I was beginning to have such high requests for electives that I wanted to offer two.  (Secretly, I'm hoping that they will be willing to hire a part-time, elementary teacher for next year to free me up for more high school classes...we shall see how that pans out!)  My numbers have increased drastically in the high school classes since I started teaching them two years ago, so fingers crossed!!
You'll also notice that I have THREE 12:1:1 classes this year...we added another teacher in our district.  AND, we added a third Kindergarten and third 1st grade teacher...those classes come combined to special, which really stinks for numbers and the amount of space I have in my room.

Needless to say, with the increase in numbers in our district, this is another reason I think hiring a party time teacher will be feasible for next year...hopefully!  Oh, and I'm doing art club this year AND I'm the VP for our teacher's union!!  That's it...I stop the ball there.  I'm not putting myself out there anymore this year.  If I do, remind me to say, "No!"  I'm still working my Jamberry business at home, and I plan on posting here once a week.  I know I won't be able to afford more then that, so one post a week is my goal!!