Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Time to start getting ready!

Yesterday I went in to school for a few hours (this trip was the third this summer, and the last until the teacher workweek begins on Monday).  My goals were:

  • to finish getting my classroom library together (every year I have to rearrange a little to make space for all the new books I bought during the previous year - the shelves are just stuffed by the end of each year!);
  • to go through the copy boxes and sort/organize/cut;
  • to put the indoor recess games back on the shelves (may we not need them for the first several weeks, please!);
  • to clean off my desk enough to feel good when I walk in on Monday.
Happily, most of those things got done.

The classroom library is physically in place, but labels need to be made and I have to figure out how to help the kids put the books back in the right places consistently.  I'm still working on that last part; since I rearrange the library just a little bit every year, I risk having to undo next summer what I will do this summer, which makes it hard to get started. :/  But for now, all the books have a logical (to me!) place to go and they're all put away!  (Homework: make labels!)

Some chapter books had to move off the shelves into these
delightful new crates I picked up last week.
Now to make labels . . .

Copy boxes: at the end of each year, I decide what I want to use again next year and send it off to our central copy office.  For example, I use a quick grammar page each day at the beginning of reading time; the year's worth is already in my room and waiting, so I won't have to copy them during the year.
  • I use one page from my half-page handwriting packet every day for the first several weeks at the beginning of the year, so that's all ready to go now (DD11 cut them for me yesterday!).
  • We'll start with these math word problems at the beginning of the year to get the kids used to reading the story, forming an equation, and answering with a complete sentence.  The problems use basic facts (to 20) because the focus is on reading and understanding the problems and how to answer them using "easy" math (the word problems are hard, so the math is simple; once they figure out the story, they say, "That's easy!"). :)
  • At the same time, I'll work in these comparing word problems so they get used to all the different ways we compare numbers in stories (before hitting those 2-digit problems later in the year!).  These pages only use facts to 10; again, we're working on reading and understanding the problems in the beginning of the year.
  • When we finally starting adding and subtracting two-digit numbers, we'll need new story problems to practice our new skills.  (This packet is really the second grade math they've been waiting for -- but all those previous word problem pages got them geared up to be successful with these story problems!)  They're all ready to go.
  • During Daily Five, we work on writing using these journal pages from Sunny Days in Second Grade.  I run them off without making them into books (my kids last year were much more responsive to individual pages than the booklets - I tried them both ways), so my little helper cut apart the August/September pages yesterday.
DD11 cut all the handwriting pages in half yesterday.
Her almost-completed stack is under the pink paper at left!
She made an equal-sized stack of writing journal pages.

"I like using the paper cutter!" :)
The recess games are on the shelves, the desk is . . . well, the desk is NEVER clean, but it isn't awful right now.  Monday morning will not be too terrible. ;)

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