The first is always the hardest… 

The first is always the hardest… 

Here I go. Taking a professional risk! I am heading into my tenth year of teaching and in my third year of CPM, our math curriculum. This curriculum company has pushed me further than I ever thought was possible. The people that I have met are more than encouraging. My professional bucket has been filled to the brim, and I feel that I’m only just beginning! Two of the quotes below are ones that really fit where I am at professionally. Here we go blogging world!!! #MtBOS

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A year about quotes…

A year about quotes…

Much to my surprise… my co-base teacher (AKA the best person ever…) who teaches SS and ELA while I teach Math and Sci, also has revamped her room with quotes.

It is surprising how quotes can really focus someone or help put feelings into words.

Two pictures of my classroom.  One is my changing bulletin board for my mindset Mondays.  A new math/inspirational quote each week.  Think I can keep up?

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To get to the “learning zone” you must get out of your “comfort zone” – some special words from a PD presenter that has really motivated students to feel a bit uncomfortable and see how successful they can be!

GET ‘ER DONE!

GET ‘ER DONE!

Organization and never ending to do lists….

Well… I’m a bit behind on my blogging these last two weeks.  It is mostly because inservice trainings have started for the school year and my never ending to do list had blogging on it and it just didn’t happen!  However, to stay organized, I make a lot of to do lists and it does help me prioritize!  People may think I’m a bit crazy because I go old school with note pad and post its on it but sure does it feel good to just cross something off or throw a paper away because YOU DID EVERYTHING!  Now… let’s be real… that doesn’t happen a lot but the art of crossing something off for me feels a ton better than deleting something in note on my phone!

First… I have a large notepad, legal notepad style.  I put down Every day for a week… I put down appointments, IEP’s, meetings, even lunch making for my daughter going to day care because like I said before… it feels GREAT to cross something off.  Then I keep adding to the sheets, and adding and adding.  That way, I never forget.

Here’s the kicker… for each day To Do list I have 3 post its that I prioritize.

  1. Before the day starts
  2. During the school day
  3. After school

I then, before I go home… add anything on to the next days list that I don’t get accomplished and I go from there.  It truly helps me organize my thoughts, my anxities and my never ending to do list.

Now… if you only saw my personal initiatives list….

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Be the reason someone smiles today…

Be the reason someone smiles today…

Be the reason someone smiles today…Is the quote that is on my rolling whiteboard in my room for when students come in to open house. I have to back up and mention what I try to do during open house as it is the groundwork for how the school year starts.
I teach 8th grade math and science with about 56 students and have a coteacher that teaches the same students for ELA and SS. We have a very unique opportunity in 8th grade to build a very strong community of learners. This will be my 6th year (whoa…) of partnering with this amazing person. We have grown to create quite the environment for our students to succeed. We value building a community of learners and the first week of school reflects that!
Open house: we partner up together. The students and the families meet us together. We are a team. We want them to see that starting out. This year is different. We won’t be in our rooms we will be outside doing a cookout! Families will go to our rooms, see our information and tell them to meet us outside for burger or a brat to support our schools best buddy program! We want the students to feel comfortable meeting us and the informal the better for our 8th grade students. This is the first year of this part and will let you know if it is a peak or a valley!
First week: as I mentioned before, we are a team. We value this to the utmost for our students so much that we actually do the first four days with a whole group. There are some smaller nuts and bolts that we must do in separate classrooms but 90% of the time we do the “first week stuff” as a whole group.
A few of the highlights:

CPR – circle of power and respect – I will make a blog on this later but it is a core foundation for our base. We do it each and every day! 

Acknowledgments – we get into a large circle and acknowledge people that help us during the first week of school 

Hopes – letters to themselves about where they want to go 

Growth mindset activities: team building while learning the value in making mistakes 

Norms: students write our norms for the year 

Little things: go to https://www.littlethings.com we have students write down a favorite little thing about them to share 
I could go on and on… but as you can see there is very little academic pieces. We believe it is like a train track or a plane… you need to lay the railroad before you can run the train or you need to build the plane before you can fly it. Because… let’s be honest, it would be extremely hard to build a plane while flying it… 
Some may think that we spend too much time on building our community, but we would spend even more time if we could. It is a foundation. 
I will be doing a mindset Monday where I frame a quote…. 

Some more quotes… I hope one resonates with you! 

Theme for my year… stay tuned for first day!

Theme for my year… stay tuned for first day!

If you follow my blog, you will see a lot of quotes. Quotes resonate with me. It puts my thoughts into concise words. For the first week of school I’m focusing on growth mindset. This is a quote that is getting put up in my classroom this year. 


Also, when students enter I will have up the quote… “do something amazing” and when they walk out “never give up”. I hope to inspire students to be the leaders in sharing quotes to our classroom!