Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

A place dedicated to learning for ALL students!

I MADE IT THROUGH THE FIRST DAY!!!!

I’m sitting on my couch in fuzzy slippers wondering if my feet will ever feel good again.  But who cares?!  I made it through my first day of school as a teacher for the 10th time!!!!  WOOHOO!!!!  I’m still having a hard time realizing that 10 years ago, my first class of kiddos (2nd grade class back then) walked into my room and officially made me a teacher.  And now…get this…are you ready?

THEY ARE GRADUATING THIS YEAR!!!!

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

And yes I WILL be at graduation holding my class picture sobbing my eyes out with their mommas!  HAHA!

But I want to share something with you that I realized last night as I was making sure I was prepped and ready.  I even admitted it out loud today to one of our aides whose son was in that first group!  So here’s the big secret:

I was still just as nervous today as I was 10 years ago.  There.  Not only have I spoken the words, I have typed them as well.  I am not ashamed of this realization.  I’m embracing it!

So real quick (because I am DETERMINED to stay on top of paperwork this year and NOT get behind on things like I have in the past…HA!), here’s how my day went:

  • Original class list had 21 students.
  • Today it went down to 20 for all of 30 minutes and then went back to 21.
  • I MANAGED TO START DAILY 5 TODAY!!!!  (Yes I will be doing posts on my last 2 chapters to that book study that ended a few weeks ago.  I know.  Bear with me.  :))
  • My kiddos achieved 3 minutes of Read to Self stamina and they want to try for 4 minutes tomorrow!
  • I managed to stay mostly on time today.
  • I am still a clip chart user for now and that will be starting tomorrow but only to help lock in routines and expectations.
  • I have a GREAT bunch of kiddos!

Now I was so busy today that I didn’t take any pictures of my class.  Like at all.  The only pictures from today are of my daughter starting first grade in the room next to me.  And since I don’t have time to be a blubbering mess I’ll leave it at that.  😉

But I actually feel energized and inspired to keep going and get prepped for tomorrow.  My Daily 5 book is my guide through the unknown as I switch from my usual reading stations.  Fingers crossed I can do this.  I think I can.  I think I can.  I’m hoping that by the end of this week I can say I KNOW I can!

Well what about you?  Have you started school yet?  Are you trying something new?  How are you feeling about things right now at the beginning?  Please share and good luck!!

Happy Teaching!

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Wait…Mrs. who?!

I have missed this sooooo much!  So why haven’t I done anything about it until now?  Because life has been that way.  You know what way I mean.  When it just puts other things in front of you that you have no choice to deal with.  Fortunately, my family and I, we are tough.  After our house stuff (read about that here), there’s nothing we can’t tackle!  But unfortunately, it meant some things had to be set aside.  While it meant this, I really did think about it almost every free second I had.  I just could never get my hands on my computer to do it.  But on to what I’ve been up to…

SCHOOL!!  I’ve been at this with my kiddos for the last 4 1/2 weeks!  Whew!  In that amount of time, I have gained 20 little darlings, gotten just about ALL of my reading benchmark testing done (that will be finished tomorrow!), and ALL of my math benchmark testing.  I’ve also gotten my room finished in the last few days (it was mainly little things by this point, but that’s how bad it was).  I’ll post pictures of that for your grand tour soon.  I’m knee-deep in reading and math stations and I, frankly, don’t always know which end is up!  😛

But I’m so happy to be back in my classroom and working with my kiddos.  I’ve got a lot of plans I want to accomplish this year and a lot of that includes creating things myself.  I scared!  I look at everyone’s awesome creations and just tremble at the level of awesomeness they are and what I would love to do.  But I know I’ll get there eventually.  I have a new doormate as my former one went back to her true love in teaching, Kindergarten.  But don’t worry, she’s only in the next hall so I’m sure she’ll pop up on here again!  My new one is a dear friend of mine who is new to first grade so I’m giving (hopefully) a helping hand when needed.

Now I really didn’t have much to share.  But I had the opportunity to post something so I took it.  One thing I do want to share that is totally classroom stuff is iPad rules.  Last year, every teacher got an iPad.  Yay!  Now I have a personal iPad (my hubby so rocks!) that I had already been bringing to use for testing and in my small groups.  It’s not in the most protective of cases so I didn’t want to turn my kiddos loose on it and have the horrible thought (which I won’t say/type just to be sure!) happen.  So I waited for our classroom iPad to come.  And it did!  And it came with an Otter Box!  Hello!  iPad station is on the way!  But we needed rules.  Just like we do for everything else.  So then I consulted one of my best friends…Pinterest.

After looking at various different versions of rules and such, I compiled my favorites and came up with this:

This was last year’s poster btw.  Now I added the last rule.  And let me tell you.  It works.  I told my kiddos that if they fight, the iPad goes away.  For a while.  Period.  Now they didn’t get their hands on it until the last couple of months of school.  So it wasn’t until the last couple of weeks that the squabbles started:

Kiddo: Mrs. Landry!  So-and-so won’t let me have my turn!  It’s my turn to have the iPad!

Me: Gee, do I hear fight over the iPad?  Are y’all fighting? (Yes I knew full well they were!)

Kiddo: NOPE!!

The complainer would then rush back as the offender readily handed the treasured tablet over.  🙂  I never had to take it.  Now I reviewed the rules a lot with them.  That helped.  And when certain situations got too close to me needing to take it, I reminded them what would happen.  Thankfully, that’s all I had to do.

Now this year I’m using the same rules.  But I very much believe that anchor charts should be created with the kiddos.  So I set it up like so:

Then the next school day, I went through each rule and what they looked like as I filled it out with them.  I would write it first and then explain it.  You should have heard the sounds as I wrote rule number 7!  Too funny!  But anyways…Here’s this year’s finished rules:

(Please excuse the feeble attempt at prettiness…I’m not very good at drawing or writing fancy but I do have fun with colorful markers!)  And so far, so good!  Well that’s it for me!  I am GOING to be back real soon to share what I’m doing in my room and what I’m using.  I’ll also be working on a picture tour of my room (and those pictures will be used for my sub binder I want to create) so you can see this year’s Land of Learning.  If you are a follower, thanks so much for sticking it out with me!  I love you soooo much!

Happy Teaching!

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