Sunday, August 10, 2014

First Week of School!

Well, the first week of school is in the books for 2014! I think the first week went very well this year. Most schedules have been sorted out and names have almost been memorized! I think most students know where to be when and are getting closer to having everything they need when they get there. Seventh grade is a huge transition for our students since they no longer change classes as a homeroom and they have further to travel then right next door to get to their next class.

This week we worked on policies and procedures and started using our Interactive Journals. Students will need their journals daily. The Interactive Journal is vital in our classroom. It is an on-going study guide of everything covered in class. Students will need a five subject composition book to be able to separate all of our journals by subject: Daily, Grammar, Literature, Informational Text, and Writing. This week we did a daily journal on All About Ms. Ward's Room and a grammar journal on Parts of Speech. Their journals should look something like this:

Journal entries took a little longer than I expected, so I'm working on a way to cut down on time taken to construct each entry.  As you can see, students will need scissors, glue, colored pencils/crayons/markers/pens to create their journals. I think the journals are going to prove very effective throughout the year.

Our new Literature books are here! While the students have a red Literature book assigned to them, we will be using the new Holt McDougal Literature book in class. The stories are the same in both books; however the new edition is aligned to Alabama's College and Career Readiness Standards (AL CCRS). We have a classroom set of these books and they will not be able to leave my class. Each student will also have access to an online edition of the book. Students do not need to bring the old red book to class daily. They can leave it at home so that if they need to read a selection and do not have internet access they can still do so at home- the page numbers might be different.
Things are off to a great start! If you haven't signed up for updates using Remind and Class DoJo, please do so.

Class DoJo is the behavior program we use in class. Students can earn DoJo points for being on time, working on task,  completing homework, etc. Class DoJo information is student specific; so if you didn't receive the parent letter with your child's information please let me know and I will help you get set up with Class DoJo.

I am looking forward to a great year with your child!


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Getting ready for the new year!

Can you believe that the 2014 school year is already underway? At the end of last school year, Mr. Jackson told all of us that we could paint our rooms if we would like to do so. Hmm... At first, I thought, "No way!" After I thought about it for awhile, I decided that maybe redecorating my room was just what I needed. My room decor has been zebra for several years now. I still love the zebra theme, but I thought my room could use an update. I also decided to branch out and asked Danielle at Crayonbox Learning to create my classroom blog. I think the blog turned out fabulous, so I decided to carry my blog's theme over into my classroom. I started searching for patterns and discovered a Michael Miller chevron pattern fabric with blue and aqua that matched my blog and that was that!

So, I ordered the fabulous fabric from TJ's Fabrics in Opp, Alabama. They were so incredibly nice! I have a sewing machine, but I don't know how to use it. The lady at TJ's told me how much fabric to buy and even drew me a little pattern so I would know how to make my valances. Then, my crafty friend, Sonya, helped me pick out paint to complement the fabric. I got a great deal from Benjamin Moore for my paint. We originally thought we would just paint one part of my wall, but I decided the entire wall needed to be painted. It made such a difference!

I was scared to death that I would mess up the valances, so my Mama took pity on me and drove all the way from Georgia to make my beautiful valances for me. We put them up on Thursday morning before Open House that afternoon! I think the room turned out fabulous. I love it and I'm looking forward to a great school year!