Wednesday, September 25, 2013

You know school's started back when...

...your dishwasher is full of tupperware containers thanks to daily packed lunches.

...pajamas at 6:00pm are a given.

...your DVR is full because you can no longer stay up late enough to watch your favorite shows. constantly have clothes hanging out to dry in the laundry room.

...the first thought you think in the morning is "___ days until I get to sleep in."

...even Pinterest becomes overwhelming. miss hours of social media time and go through slight withdrawals from not being able to check Twitter every 5 seconds. have sticky notes and to-do lists everywhere you turn. strategically plan out all your errands because getting things done before 5:00 now takes serious planning (especially if you have a 30 minute commute into town). feels like days since you've "seen" your husband. remember what the Sunday blues feels like.

Good news? 
Only 158 days to go!


Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekends Done Right

24 is a weird place to be. 
Fun - but weird. 

Robbie and I are constantly in the middle of something.
We go back and forth from having college-like weekends
full of beer pong, tailgating, and hangovers
to weekends full of baby birthday parties, grocery shopping, and cleaning.
Both are equally enjoyable.
Just completely different.
24 is a weird place to be. 

Moving on...
This weekend was the latter of the two. 

Friday I made totally from-scratch, homemade gluten free pizza
and posted that shit all over Instagram,
because it was actually edible. 
Robbie didn't really like it (he ended up grabbing Subway) 
but gluten-free pizza is a little wonky by nature
so that was okay. 

Saturday we slept in and I made totally from-scratch, homemade gluten free pancakes.
I've been making these for a while but I never get unimpressed with myself.
They are so nummy.

That afternoon we put our party pants on 
and headed to the first, of two, birthday parties.

One of my good friends' daughter turned 5.
And I could barely handle the cuteness of her carnival themed birthday party.
I was so impressed with all the little details. 

Obviously, I only got pictures of the food stations
but there were carnival games set up all over.
Ring Toss, Bean Bag Toss, Bowling.
They even had a pinata.

Guess How Many Gumballs was my favorite though.
I helped one little boy write the number "one hundred, three thousand"
which I thought was a pretty sound guess.
Almost as good as the birthday girl's guess below

We didn't stay long enough to find out who was actually right
because we were off to birthday party number 2.

This one had a bouncy house
and minion cupcakes.
Pretty much the recipe for a good time.

My sweet little Bobby T turned 2 this weekend
and I still remember when his momma was big and preggers
with no power during Hurricane Irene.
Hard to believe that sweet cheeks is practically a little man.
And you'll notice that the majority of his party guests were cute little girls.
Don't hate the playa, hate the game.

That night Robbie and I had a completely kid-free evening.

Sunday was spent with another pancake breakfast,
church and lunch with mom and David,
football (as usual), and cleaning.

I also may or may not have put out my Halloween/Fall decorations.
As much as I want to boycott the season
as I feel like it got here way too early this year,
I was pretty excited to don a pair of leggings on Sunday without sweating my balls off.
It's the little things, I tell ya.

This weekend we're headed up to Raleigh to celebrate my mom's 50th birthday
and attend several college football games.

Stuck in the middle again.
24 is a weird, but GREAT place to be!


Friday, September 20, 2013

I've been waiting all week back that azz up to this song.

Well that's kind of a lie.
I've been listening to it on repeat since Saturday.
But I've been waiting all week to have an excuse to share it with y'all.

And because it's Friday 
and because it's been the longest week ever
and because I can't accomplish anything but dancing when I hear this song,
this is the extent of my blog post today.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Better Late Than Never

...aka my personal mantra. 
Well, that and "fake it till you make it".

Two days ago, Erin had a really fun link up going on
but in true Marianna fashion, I missed it.
I still want to participate regardless of my tardiness
so here goes.

Vacationing in Orlando or vacationing in NYC
NYC hands down. No question asked.
I like Orlando and all but if I had to choose it would be New York every time.

iPhone or Droid
iPhone forever and ever amen.

NSYNC or Backstreet Boys
NSYNC easy peasy.
I mean, I love BSB, but if I had to choose JT wins.
Ramon noodle hair and all.

Being forced to delete Facebook or forced to delete Twitter
Facebook. In fact, if someone could come and force me to delete it
right now that would be great. 
Because clearly I have no will power to do it myself.
Regardless of how much I hate it.

Fireball or Miller Light
Miller Light is one of my least favorite beers (sorry Erin)
so  Fireball would have to win. 
Though I have a feeling if that was all I had to drink 
life would be pretty rough.
That stuff hits ya hard.

Full House or Family Matter
Is this a real question?
Full House, duh.

Dumbledore or Gandolf
Who's Gandolf? Just kidding
although he definitely shouldn't be in a category with Dumbledore.
Come on now.

Dying Easter Eggs or Carving Pumpkins
I kind of, sort of hate both.
But I hate carving pumpkins less.
Especially if by "carving" pumpkins 
you mean "painting" pumpkins.

All of the above. 
Typically I'm a college football girl all the way.
But thanks to Sarah, and a little thing called Fantasy Football,
I have become ah-bsessed with the NFL.
Even Robbie told me I needed to cool my jets,
and that's big.

A hangover forever or sobriety forever
Will I sound like a complete alchy if I say hangover forever?
As long as I can nurse that forever hangover with chicken minis
and Friday Night Lights marathons on the couch
I'll be a-okay.

January or July
I don't think this one needs an explanation.

Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus
Hannah Montana.
That girl was hilarious. 
And didn't lick sledgehammers.
She had the best of both worlds, how could I not choose her?

Shark Week or Fashion Week
Shark Week terrifies the bajeezus out of me.
Fashion Week makes me feel like that pimple-faced, four-eyed girl 
who hadn't yet learned the importance of a flat iron or properly fitted jeans.
So can I say neither?

Fresh Prince of BelAir or Saved by the Bell
Thanks to Nick at Night
I don't have to choose.

Britney or Christina
It's Britney bitch 
every. single. time.

Burrito or Burrito Bowl
You had me at burrito.
I am not picky about what form it comes in.

Reading blogs on your phone or reading blogs on your computer
My computer should be the answer,
but 99.5% of the time I end up reading blogs on my phone
because I'm lazy AF and always have my phone handy.

Angelina or Jennifer
Again, I just don't think this is fair comparison.
Brad Pitt is clearly the only person in the world 
that would choose Angelina in this scenario.

Doug Funny or the Rugrats
Gah. I loved them both.
My brother and I were obsessed with all things Rugrats though
so I guess that's what I'll choose
since it was "our" thing and all.

An open mouth chewer or a heavy breather
I want to kill both equally.
However, I can turn my eyes away easier than I can my ears.
So if I have to choose, open mouth chewer.
Plus I eat lunch with 20 first graders every day 
so my tolerance has been built up pretty good.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Mike Mike Mike Mike

Just so you know that hump day commercial will never get old.

I just realized that contrary to my belief,
I did not in fact have a post planned for today
whomp whomp.

But due to at least one regular reader 
(here's looking at you Jordan)
and the fact that today is quickly rising to the best day ever,
I couldn't let it slip away without it's own post.

Why is today the best day ever, you may ask?
Well....that commercial up there is a top reason.
Continually repeating HUMP DAYYYYY in your head 
can turn even the biggest of frowns upside down.

Also, today started with Dunkin coffee and donut balls.
A treat that is typically reserved for Fridays.
And all you pumpkin lovers
(aka: every one in the world minus me and Erin)
pumpkin donuts are back at DD and apparently delicious.
I wouldn't know because I didn't eat a single one.
In fact, I didn't eat any donut balls today 
because duh, they're not gluten free.
And while typically missing out on donuts would make me sad panda, 
today it only added to my good mood 
because I've been trying really hard to get back this little thing called 
self-control that football season has so rudely taken away from me.
Saying no to donut balls = the biggest form of self-control I can think of.

I did slurp my coffee down in 2.5 seconds flat
and have consumed two diet cokes in the past hour
so I'm all jacked up on caffeine which is no bueno, I know.
But it's making life pretty fun right now
as I flit back and forth between eleventy million different things.
Robbie's super thrilled as I'm sure you could imagine.

The final reason it's been a pretty awesome hump day,
Robbie and I are heading out to Trivia Night
as soon as I press "publish" on this here post
and I'm pretty souped up about it.

I suck at trivia 
but I love weeknight dates with Robbie and friends.
So there's that. 

Plus, I'm trying this new thing,
where I find all the little things in my days to be happy about
and focus on those, no matter how small they are,
instead of getting consumed with all the shit. 
I'd say today was a pretty successful day!

Now, go find things that make you happier than a camel on hump day.
If you look close enough, I bet you can find lots!


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Brand New.

I'm doing something brand new on this lil ole blog today.
Okay - not completely brand new. But something a little different than what I normally do.

I'm gonna blog about school....more specifically what I'm doing at school.
Like lesson ideas and management tricks.

All my non-teacher bloggy friends, feel free to click the red x any time.
I totally get that nothing about this is exciting to y'all. It's okay.

The reason this is such a big deal to me is because 
I usually don't like to brag about what's going on in my classroom. 
Which if you know me, you know this is completely uncharacteristic.
I usually like to brag about everything.
But one of the 230498573 things I've learned about myself over the past few years of teaching
is that I have a tendency to think everyone else is doing it better than me.

Don't get me wrong....over the past two years I've done some pretty cool things in my classroom
that I have absolutely LOVED. Things that other teachers and peers have complimented me on.
I've seen my students get excited about things we're learning. I've seen them grow. 
I've seen them reach even the highest of my expectations. 

But despite all those amazing things
I am constantly asking other teachers how they're doing something,
trying to take in as much as I can,
filling my tool box with every tip and trick imaginable. 

As I start my third year of teaching,
I finally feel like I have some tips and tricks of my own to share.
And y'all, that's a huge deal. 

Okay, so now that that's out of the way...
Let's talk Work Stations.

I am a firm believer that Work Stations are one of the most important aspects of teaching.
Having kids working independently, building math/reading skills
(depending on what kind of Work Stations you do)
while you pull homogeneous small groups to develop and extend their learning
is so important.

When I taught Third Grade, I was amazed that my other teammates didn't do "centers".
I know typically "centers" have a K-2 connotation, 
but when set up correctly they can totally be just as (if not more) beneficial to upper grades.

Obviously, this year I'm back in First Grade
so I can't really argue that point right now.
BUT I can show you how I'm doing my Work Stations this year
because it's completely different than how I've done them before.
And. I. Am. In. Love.

Our First Grade Team has really tightened up with our Work Stations this year,
trying to make them as consistent as possible.
Oh and calling them Work Stations - it sounds so much more sophisticated. 
Our goal has been to get our Stations running like a well oiled machine 
so we can focus solely on our Guided Reading groups.

We haven't at this point in the year pulled formal Guided Reading groups,
as we've instead been focusing on monitoring our Work Stations
making sure the kids know, understand, and can practice meeting our expectations.
After three full weeks of school, 
we all feel more than ready to start pulling four reading groups a day.

Now, as far as how my Stations work.
I'm obsessed with the Daily 5. 
I did a book study with a group of blogging girls last summer,
I implemented the Daily 5 in my year long Kindergarten internship 
and I'm a firm believer in the principles and ideals of the Daily 5.

However, my county has not officially adopted the Daily 5. 
Which is okay.
But I definitely feel like there are certain ideas that are just embedded in my brain
that are slowly showing their way in my classroom.

The big ones - Stamina and Choice. 

I love the idea of students choosing their work
(in a very structured way, of course. I am still extremely OCD)
I think it creates a deeper sense of interest and accountability;
independence and responsibility are a nice side effect too.

I have 10 Work Stations, but once I start Guided Reading I'll probably be able to cut it down to 6
because one rotation for each student will be Guided Reading every day.
The cool thing is, every station is basically reading and/or writing
but it's just presented in different ways 
(because duhhh readers and writers read and write in different ways)
so the students barely even realize that essentially they're doing the same thing over and over again.

This is what my work board looks like.

Sidenote: I am sooooo funny about putting student names/pictures on the internet. So I've blurred everything.

During my internship (which was probably the BEST experience I've ever had) 
we used a work board almost just like this for Daily 5, 
so I can't take credit for the idea.

Any of you student teachers out there
believe me when I say, 
you will use more of what you learn in your one year internship 
than you ever will from your three years in college. Just sayin.

We have four 15 min rotations. 
In the morning, each student chooses what they want to do during each rotation.
Everyday they have to go to Independent Reading and Writing.
Those cards are backed on green paper so they know, 
those are must dos.
Then they can choose two choice stations,
the cards backed on blue.

But here's the trick
(and where things get a little crazy).
Students can only go to a "blue card station" once a week.
That's what the checklist on the left is for.
For example, our choice stations include computers, word work, read the room, non-fiction, big books, post office, and buddy read. My goal was to open up the smart board as a choice station too, and we've talked about it with the kids, but I've been too scared. 
So if you go to computers on Monday, you can't go for the rest of the week.
My kids are surprisingly doing really well with this concept
and a few of them are even using the checklist all by themselves,
which is so cool.
I've still got to monitor as they choose, 
mainly to make sure that 10 people don't choose the same station at the same time.
But even that hasn't been a big problem.

It's been almost too easy. 
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't "waiting for the other shoe to drop".
But so far, things have been so good.
**Knock on wood.**

Now - for my sweet kiddies at work.
I'm not going into detail about what they're doing at each station
because this post is already way more lengthy than I planned. 
Maybe I'll get around to that later. 

Non-Fiction Station 

 Big Book Station

 This is the coolest thing to me.
Watching three students, sitting together
yet working on something completely different
and being completely enthralled in each.

The little girl at the Post Office Station was writing a letter to the little girl in front of her. Presh.

Read the Room
"My name has a lazy 'a' in it!!" 

I never get tired of seeing my kids really excited about what they're doing
and when they're actually following the rules and working independently
after only 16 days of school,
it is pretty darn impressive!

Now - I know one of the BIG benefits of centers or Work Stations or whatever you want to call them
is allowing students to collaborate with each other.
And, as you can probably see, a lot of my Stations are completely independent.
Right now, independence is such a huge focus for me.
I want my kids to learn how to work on their own,
solving their own problems before they turn to help from me or a peer.

The collaboration I choose to focus on in Work Stations,
is the accountability factor.
Students at Read the Room, are not walking around reading the room together,
creating the exact same list of words.
But they are making sure the other people in their group are following expectations,
getting their work done, and doing it correctly.

Students will (informally) check in with each other
in their particular Station to make sure everyone was producing quality work
and share cool things that they've discovered.


Whew, if you actually made it down here,
thanks, for reading THE longest winded post in the history of posts.

Thanks for sticking with me
and letting me brag about my classroom!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Mondays are for Photo Dumps

This weekend recap starts on Wednesday because as far as I'm concerned,
my weekend started on Wednesday.
I still went to work on Thursday and Friday,
don't be silly.

But Wednesday night involved wayyyyy to many chips and salsa
and just enough wine that it counts as a weekend night,
despite the bright and early wake up call I had Thursday morning.

Story of my life.

Willow Worm helped me get all my lesson plans done by Thursday.
Such a nice feeling.

Thursday night involved breakfast for dinner
and gluten free chocolate chip pancakes the size of my head.

Saturday morning we woke up like a school morning for the ECU football game.
And let me tell you what, tailgating at 7:30am never gets easier.

FREE chicken minis help though.

As do Pirate creme filled donuts.
(Nothing I ate this day was gluten free, in case you can't tell.)

And of course, fun girl friends is an added bonus!

Sunday was spent recovering from my self proclaimed long weekend
and gearing up for another week ahead.
Oh and apparently missing out on the biggest thing to hit Target since...ever?
I don't know - I'm still not 100% sure who Philip Lim is
and I'm definitely not 100% convinced that I'll love his bag more than my beloved Longchamp. 

Food, drinks, football, friends.
I'm starting to sense a theme for my weekends.
And I'm not hating it!! 

Sami's Shenanigans


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hey Mr. DJ, Put a Record On

I love music.
Not nearly as much as Helene.
But I'd like to consider myself pretty close.
I listen to a wide variety of music, to say the least.
Honky tonk country all the way to vulgar, sexist rap.
I. Love. It. All.

I'm also a firm believer that music can completely change your mood.
And I usually make my music choices based on the mood I'm in, or the mood I hope to be in.

I have a 30 minute commute to and from work each day.
To a lot of you, this may not seem like a lot.
But to me, the girl who grew up literally five minutes away from everything,
30 minutes one way is a longggg drive.

Fortunately I have the best carpooling buddy ever!
So we usually spend the ride chatting, laughing, bitching.
But on the off chance that I have to make the drive alone,
I usually find some stellar tunes to jam out to.

After a particularly long, hard day Lil Wayne or something equally as ghetto is what I turn to.
Being able to turn up the subwoofer and yell explicatives at the top of my lungs is the best feeling ever after a long work day. Especially when it's been one of those days where I have to be extra sweet and soft spoken.

"High School" Lil Wayne is always my favorite.
In fact, listening to songs from late high school/early college period is my favorite.

I love going back to that time in my life.
And what better way to time travel, than to listen to a really great song.

I've compiled a list (I don't know how to create an actual playlist, so Grooveshark will have to do) of some of my favorite songs - songs that I can listen to over and over again and not get tired of. Songs that stir up a variety of memories that make me all warm and fuzzy inside for lots of different reasons.

FYI: I limited the list to 5 but could have gone on and on for hours.

Lollipop (feat. Static Major) by Lil Wayne on Grooveshark

Hands down, the best Lil Wayne song everrrr.
Second only to the remix. 

I feel like this song was written for me.
Even though I'm not sure I completely understand what American Honey is.

Picture to Burn by Taylor Swift on Grooveshark

This song takes me back to when I could actually tolerate Tay Tay.
And when me and my best friends would drive around town with the windows rolled down
screaming singing these lyrics to every boy that ever did us wrong.

And every white girl screamed, "OMG this is my jam".
But really, I love this song. I always will.
And I will always think of LC and Steven singing it on Laguna Beach.

This whole CD has a special place in my heart.
Anytime I hear any of these songs, I'm taken back to high school beach trips with Robbie.
Driving around without the doors on the jeep,
drinking yahoos and more chips and salsa than we could keep track of.
The best.

Okay but really, I don't want to stop here.
I have so many more that pull on my heart strings in happy/sad/OMG dance party ways that I think I may just go relive my entire iTunes library for the rest of the night!

Now it's your turn to take a walk down memory lane.
Go link up with Helene and share the special to your heart songs.

Helene in Between


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Lied.

Yesterday I said I would be back with something a little more upbeat.
I promised I would step up off my soapbox and well...I just can't. Not quite yet.

No, I'm not here to bitch about pumpkins anymore.
I got that all out yesterday.

I'm not really here to bitch about anything.
Think of it as more "getting things off my chest".

Today I want to bitch, I mean talk, about quitting.
Apparently, quitters bug me a lot more than even I realized.
But it's recently been brought to my attention that it really bugs me.
Like a lot.
More than it probably should.
We'll go ahead and chalk this up to something else that I'm way more emotionally involved in than I should be.

But here's the deal.
Sometimes, things suck. Sometimes they suck a lot.
And sometimes, things suck so bad they're close to unbearable.

But that's when you put your big girls panties on and deal with it.

It's that simple.
Except really, it's not simple.
I get it. I've been there.
And sometimes you find yourself in pure survival mode. Just getting through one day at a time.
One step in front of the other.

But that's just get through it.
You get through it because you have to.
Because you've made a commitment to someone.
And backing out on a commitment is not, no way no how, an option. Ever.

As a teacher, I see a wiiiiiiiiiiide variety of kids.
With an even wider variety of struggles.
And while there are lots of things that I wish I could tell my parents (you know because I have such infinite wisdom when it comes to parenthood - ha sike) the one thing I wish every parent would do
and the one thing I hope to instill in my future children is this:

Don't give up. Don't back down. Don't quit. 

You wanted to play rec soccer last week? Great, we'll sign you up. But wait, you don't want to play this week? Too bad. The season will be over in 3 months. You made a commitment to your team and to your coach. You're going to follow through. Even if you don't love it right now, you're going to fulfill your commitment and then by golly, you never have to touch a soccer ball again.

Eventually, the issue isn't going to be something as simple as a kid soccer league.
It might be a job or a marriage.
Either way - you don't quit.
Yes, you may have to muddle through shit.
And yes, that sucks.
There's no other way to put it.
But you muddle.
You muddle because you have to.
Because people are counting on you.
Even if those people are shit heads and don't appreciate what you're doing for them even the littlest bit.

You don't quit.

And because I really don't want to be all loud and proud two days in a row, I'll leave you with this.
Robbie made me watch this commercial the other night and I literally cried.
Thanks Guinness. 

Happy Hump Dayyyyyyeeee!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Over It.

Y'all - I have a serious problem.
One that's probably going to cause 85% of you to click that little red X in the corner.
But....I am already OVER all the pumpkin flavored/scented everything.

This is a problem for several reasons.
100% of the blogs I follow seem to be obsessed with all things pumpkin.
90% of all the real life friends I have also seem to be obsessed with all things pumpkin.
And it's only September 9. Fall hasn't even really started yet. Therefore the obsession isn't going anywhere any time soon.

And I don't think I'll be able to take it....

I like fall. It's not my most favorite season. But there are so many fun, wonderful things about fall that it's hard not to love it at least a little bit.

The cooler air is nice. Not that Eastern North Carolina knows much about that considering it's still 89 degrees and I just finished nursing a sunburn from last week.
The wardrobe change is nice. Helloooooo scarves. Although, that too is something Eastern North Carolina doesn't know much about. See above.
It's football season. Which duh, is about as good as it gets.
It's the start of all the fun holidays. Face it, by the time Halloween rolls around it's just one big holiday season smorgasbord.
There's so many fun fall decorations. 
And there's lot of yummy fall foods.

But this new trend of "pumpkin-fieing" everything is seriously on my last nerve.
I mean, y'all didn't even ease into the pumpkin craze.
Labor Day came and went and all of a sudden we are in full fledge pumpkin mode.
All weekend long my entire Instagram newsfeed has been filled with pictures of pumpkin flavored bread, liquor, coffee, beer, donuts, dog turds, the list goes on and on.

I love y'all. And I love that you all have found something you are so passionate about.
But for the love of God, give it a rest.
If you're able to sit in fall appropriate weather stuffing your face with pumpkin, than please, at least try not to document every second of it on every social media platform.
Some of us are still sipping Coronas desperately holding on to the last bits of summer.

That is all.

(and promises for a more cheery mood tomorrow.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekends = Football

At least that's how I feel after this weekend.
Our house looks like a football threw up all over it.

Our remote control thinks it now only has four working channels - all sports related. 
And the only social interaction I've had lately involves a football game.

ECU Tailgate

NCSU Tailgate

But hey, I don't hate it.
And what's even worse better (I haven't decided yet) thanks to Sarah's Fantasy Football League, I've become obsessed with actually following the 80 trillion games that come on TV.

It's a good thing it's the most wonderful time of the year.


Linking up with Sami.
And thanking God I'm not in her Fantasy Football League - homegirl gots lots a' points. 

Sami's Shenanigans

Friday, September 6, 2013

Transformation: Classroom Edition Part 2

Yesterday you saw the beginning process of setting up a classroom. Granted that was the process LAST year. I just suck and never actually got that post published or took pictures of the finished product. 

Setting up your classroom each year is a big deal. Weather you like to admit it or not, you spend almost as much time (if not more) in your classroom than you do in your actual house. So setting it up in a way that is not only functional but appealing is important. Last year, after I spent all that time moving my stuff from one classroom to the other, cleaning out cobwebs and old, unnecessary junk, etc. I got everything set up how I thought I wanted it. Half way through the year I changed my mind. And about a month after that, I still hated it and began scheming ways to make it better. 

This year, I had a plan of attack. And y'all, I am so in love with the way my room is set up and functioning. (Staying in the same place helped for sure. Although I still had my fair share of spiders to kill.)

 This is my room as you walk in the front door. All I see in this picture is tennis balls haha. 
This picture makes it look really big and open, which it is now.
My room itself is one of the smaller ones on the hallway. 

 To the right of the door are the boy's cubbies, my writing center and our "still in progress" fancy word pockets.

 My library. 
Which is teenier than I would want (oh in a perfect world) but I'm actually loving it so far. 
My kiddos have a lot of fun reading in that tiny nook. 

The clothespins are the BEST last minute Pinterest idea ever
I'm not even sure where I saw it, or if I even repinned it
but each student has a clothespin that they use to check out books by clipping it on
the appropriate box. 

My students check books out of my library once a week to add to their book boxes
and then they get to browse the Science Non-Fiction box during Work Stations. 

 My desk nook. 
So many of my friends have gotten rid of their teacher desks which I totally get
as I don't spend any time at my desk during the day. 
However, now that I've found an out of the way, yet still functional place to put my desk,
I'm glad I kept it. 
All my planning stuff is in one cozy spot so after school I can hunker down and plan,
which is nice and helps prevent bring a lot of stuff home.

I've said it before, but I'm a firm believer of being comfortable in your space.
It's ten trillion times easier to be productive when you have a space you actually enjoy working in.

The back of my room and my carpet area.
My whole room this year was centered around this area being here. 
I hated my carpet area last year
but I love carpet time. I really wanted to make sure my carpet area was in a good spot
so we could all actually enjoy the time we spend on the carpet together. 
My TA desk and behavior chart are at the back.

Shameless Plug
By the way - I'm still working on getting a new carpet for my classroom 
through Donors Choose
The one in the picture is a hand-me-down times three
and isn't quite big enough.
Check out my project HERE

Here's the "front" of my carpet area,
all my common core books, my chair, and easel. 

All the classrooms at our school have these huge built in shelves and cabinets.
I love them but mine get more and more packed every year. 
I don't know how other teachers at school keep them so clear. 
Me, and my kids, use them for everything.
My weekly plans are sorted in the drawers to the left. 
Student mail boxes are further down 
as are the boxes to turn in Red Homework folders and Blue Weekly Communication folders.
This year, I've been displaying seasonal read alouds to the right. 
These past two weeks it's obviously been all back to school books. 

Since my carpet area is right here, we'll use those top shelves to add anchor charts 
and other important things throughout the year. 

The teeny drawers you see are student prize drawers.
This too is something new I'm trying that I found on Pinterest.
I haven't started it yet, so we'll see how it goes. 

 My Work Stations Chart.
I wish I had gotten a picture of what it looks like with the student cards in it.
This is something new I'm doing this year annnnnnnd I don't wanna jinx anything
but I really like it so far. 
Depending on how things go you can be expecting a full blog post on it in the future. 

P.S. That bench - it's my milk crate bench I made last year, just with new fabric. 
The cubes have headphones and PVC whisper telephones in them for reading. 

 This is the view from my smart board.
Bulletin boards are the bane of my existence. 
I don't have the patience for them and then I never know how to best utilize them.
My word wall is at the top (and the elephant from my first year is still hanging on.)
Right now, the only thing I've got on my word wall are K Sight Words
and student names. We'll add 1st Grade Sight Words as we learn them. 
We'll post Science terms and other important vocabulary around the room as we learn those as well.

My Guided Reading table is back here too.
I'm hoping to use that Reading Board behind it as a Guided Reading tool.
Adding strategies as we need them.
Our Reading and Math "I Can" statements will be added through out the year too.

I like the idea of students creating bulletin boards with me as we go
so they actually understand and use what gets put up there. 

Whew. There you have it.
The place where I spend 98% of my time.

But fortunately, it's Friday.
And for the next two days I have nothing school related on my brain!

Have a great weekend loves!