Thursday, July 27, 2017

Another Year Begins!

It has been a LONG time since I posted last! Over a year...I can't believe it!
I had a crazy end of the school year in 2016! As many teachers know, life always gets hectic around EOG time...and to add to the stress, I decided that I would apply at another school. I loved the school I was at, mostly because of my 4th grade team. They were my family and I'd been with them since my first year teaching! But, I had an opportunity for another 4th grade position at a charter school just a mile from a house that my husband and I just purchased...yes another big event I added to my plate at the end of the year. I was driving about 30 miles to work every day, so a one mile drive at a 2 year old school seemed appealing!

With a heavy, heavy heart I left my school out in the country and accepted a job at a charter school in a suburban, middle to upper class location...very different than the public, title one school I'd known for 5 years. I was so depressed about leaving, it felt as if I was breaking up with someone...and I guess in a way I was! I was happy at my old school, but knew God was pointing me in this direction and I couldn't ignore it, I knew it would be a better place for my future. A huge bonus was that I had a co-worker/friend from my old school who worked at this charter school, and would be my neighbor! Once summer began, I decided to teacher summer school for 3 weeks, I got pregnant but unfortunately miscarried just a week before my training at my new school began. It was a heart breaking summer...not at all relaxing or rejuvenating! The miscarriage took a long time for my body to recover from it seemed like. School started with a blur! I felt like a brand new teacher all over again...especially since I had to teach all four subjects again, which I had not done since my first year teaching! SCARY! My new school was amazing! So supportive and positive! They were wonderful helping me get on my feet and were understanding when I needed to make doctor appointments to figure out how to get my body back on track after the miscarriage and to help me get pregnant again!

The stressful summer and beginning of the year ended and started turning up in January 2017! I was finally feeling like myself again, feeling like my confident teacher self and ended up getting pregnant again and another co-worker/friend from my old school quit and got a job at my new school!! I ended the year happy and so blessed to be a part of such an amazing support system of co-workers, friends, admin and amazing students and parents!

That kind of explains my lack of adding to my blog and adding new and exciting things that I've been doing! Life just took over for a little bit and it took some time for me to get back in control! I am now 7 months pregnant, enjoying my summer, resting and working on new Teacher Pay Teacher items for my classroom and store! My school is using my classroom for the training of new teachers so I went in yesterday and today to clean it up! I'm adding some pictures to share my new classroom for the first time!

This past year I had to teach all 4 subjects, but this year all I have to teach is 4th grade math! I am beyond excited to get back in my comfort zone and back to focusing just on one subject! I feel this is the best form of long as you trust your co-teachers! 
I have always loved how I do my math centers/workshop! I do not do a lot of whole group teaching, I do most of my teaching at "teacher table." I think it is wonderful and has totally changed the way I work in the classroom. I do my very best to schedule my rotations so I meet with EVERY group EVERY day! My students sit with their center groups and I just differentiate at the teacher table with kids I see missing concepts and also in the other centers the kids are working on while I'm at the back table.
I have the same system but this year I changed the stations to spell out MATH. I saw this on pinterest and thought I'd give it a try! I have 5 table groups, so I have 5 rotations. I'm a little nervous about having 5 rotations...sounds like a lot, but there are some rotations I won't have to create a ton of work for. The M stands for Mrs. Camp, that is where the kids come to the back table with me. A stands for At desk, which is where the students will work on independent work at their seat...this is where I will do my best to differentiate for each kid...still trying to figure out the best way to do this! T stands for Technology, where I will have the kids rotate between Iready, Tenmarks, Khan Academy...etc. H stands for Hands on, here is where I will have the students work with their group either playing a math game or working on task cards with each other. The spiral is where they will do a spiral activity to review past skills. I think a spiral review each day is absolutely critical to be successful in math! I think I'm planning on having my kids work on Drops in a Bucket pages or I might buy a spiral activity from TpT that I saw.

Last year I did not have room for my math word wall and it killed me!! This year I made sure to find a spot for it! I bought math word wall vocabulary cards from a seller on TpT and I LOVE IT! The students really use it and I think it really helps build their vocabulary! As always, I only add to it when I get to that new vocabulary word! Word walls are no good if you add all the words for the year at one time!
The Bravo Board is where I will pin up students who did great on their work and show it off! This is something new that I've never done! We have an achievement board outside in the hallway to display students work, but sometimes students do not meet all of the requirements to get on the board out in the hallway, so I wanted to have something in the classroom for kids that worked hard and deserve to be recognized!

I bought a cursive math alphabet a couple years ago on TpT and I LOVE it!! Another way to reinforce math vocabulary and cursive! My school also uses CHAMPS to help with classroom expectations. I was new to this, this past year...I've learned to really like it and the kids expect it since they've had it since kindergarten!
I added this little growth mindset quote above my door this year....I had college banners hanging their before, but they kept falling all year long so I changed it up! I think this is cute and I'm in a pretty bad habit of saying "awesome" ALL the time! I also added a little reminders dry erase board for me to write messages on there! I think this will help students stay organized since they will be rotating classes for the first time!

I am excited for a great year! I am looking forward to getting back to my TpT store and Blog and for my sweet baby girl due in October!!