Friday, August 22, 2014

My Classroom Decor & Organization

I feel like a first year teacher all over again, setting up my new classroom, changing my theme, and actually being able to buy cute things for organization and what-not! I love it, but I'm also really tired of cutting lamination, and straight lines. It's paying off though, and I'm almost done! I worked all week in my classroom and we did some professional development and planning on the side. It's so exciting to be getting this all up, so I figured I better share my excitement with you! 

This is the bulletin behind my desk, it's got my birthday calendar and my class jobs. You can buy my classroom job posters HERE. I also will display those wonderful little drawings and letters that students give to me on this board. 

I'm not Mrs. Perry yet, but I will be in just a little over a week! (so crazy!)
Here are the boards in the back of my room. I've got my word wall, my Wonders focus wall, my AVID weekly planner, and my computer that's supposed to be mine but will be used for students to write and do Wonders online on. Up top you can also see my classroom rules and expectations which you can buy on HERE. 

This is the front of my room with my brand new SMART board, my class schedule, and my CHAMPS posters which you can buy on HERE. 

Here's a view of my book nook, and the back of my book shelf will serve as a bulletin board for my Daily 5 posters once they're made! 

Here's my super cute calendar wall behind my desk. 

And the crates I bought to hold students books and binders so that they have a place to store them since I won't be using desks. They've got their pencil bucket, and all of their new Wonders curriculum laid out already :)

Here's a picture of my book nook and the part of my classroom library that is already leveled. The magazine files on top of the book shelf will be student's book boxes, where they can keep 3-4 books or magazines that they are currently reading.

Here is what it looks like behind my desk. I've got my own cubbies for curriculum, more magazine files to hold student work that I will hold on to until conferences, and my handy to-do list that you can download on teachers pay teacher for FREE here!

Here's all my fancy new curriculum, and the dollar tree bins that I finally found a use for! They hold my leveled readers perfectly, which was a huge source of excitement in my life this week. Ya feel me? Probably not... I get it, I'm weird.

Here's my daily schedule, you'll notice I only have science and no social studies... and that is because the lovely Mrs. Decker and I will be teaming up, and I will teach both of our classes science, and she will teach them both social studies! It's going to work so great, and we're both thrilled about it which is awesome.

And yes, there's a week until the wedding and I'm still only talking about my classroom. That's just the way it's going to be. The wedding is going to happen, and it won't be as pretty as my classroom is, but it's going to be pretty awesome anyway.

By the way, teacher friends: Don't get married in August.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


This is literally the longest summer of our lives. It started May 15th, which is the earliest i've ever finished school for the year, and technically (in my mind) doesn't end until September 2nd when school starts! However, there has been plenty happening in the mean time that sometimes feels like work, and sometimes is actually work, but it's been great. Let me catch ya up on my teaching endeavors:

I have always had a passion for creating cute things for my classroom, as well as sharing those things with others, so I figured that even though I'm not super talented at it yet, I might as well start a Teachers Pay Teachers store! You're in luck though... since I'm not too fancy, everything I've put on there so far is FREE! You can find a widget leading you to my store here on my blog now on the left hand side bar. But, you can also visit is by clicking on THIS. It may not sound like me when you get to the store because I figured I might as well jump the gun, and with less than a month until the wedding I just made it with my NEW last name since that's who I'll be this school year!

Another endeavor I've been working on is an attempt to get some technology into my classroom before the school year even starts! I have big plans for this school year; to use The Daily 5, to use the online portion of our new language arts curriculum, Wonders, that I actually already used last school year in Alaska, and to have students guide their own learning through research in Science and Social Studies. I am also excited to supplement our math curriculum with some online games and apps this year, to help students work their way into the common core to prepare them for a new curriculum in the school year following this one. In order to do all of this I need some technology! My classroom doesn't have any computers, and our access to the computer lab is very limited, so I've gone out on my own and started a Donors Choose project to provide my classroom with 3 iPad minis for this school year. 3 isn't many, when students will be very ambitious and excited to be using them, but with only 12 students this year I think it will work out well. If it looks like it's going to be a stretch in the future (when I inevitably have more students) I may do another project to beef up the tech. However, right this moment I just found out we're SO close to being fully funded!!! (THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO HAS DONATED, ESPECIALLY THE LADIES OF DELTA GAMMA ESA OF FLORENCE, YOU'RE INCREDIBLE!) If you're interested in donating, you can find my donors choose page HERE as well as by clicking my photo at the top of my blog.

And lastly, tomorrow I will be flying to San Diego for the AVID summer institute! I'm so excited to learn about a program our school started using last year, which works to bridge the achievement gap and prepare ALL students for a future including college or job training. I can't wait to use it in my classroom!

I'm so excited for this school year and to get back to work. I'm feeling revived, and motivated!

For those of you that would rather hear about the wedding... sorry for my lack of enthusiasm! It's going great, crafts are happening, things are rolling, I'm not too worried and it'll all turn out fine!

That is all, for now!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Classroom Update

Here's a quick photo update of my classroom. I got everything painted, and a few things put on the walls to lighten the load in August (our first week back is the week before the wedding).

My desk area, and my chalkboard contact paper I put up on my ugly yellow bulletin board. 

Add caption

The contents of my classroom library :)
and I'm done until August!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

We're Back, For Good!

When I left Florence in the summer of 2009, I never thought I would return here for my "dream job", but it turns out I didn't know everything when I was 18.

This month has been a whirlwind of returning to Florence, planning our wedding, and getting that dream job I just mentioned.

I interviewed for a 5th grade position at Mapleton on Friday the 13th, after a full moon, but good thing I'm not too superstitious. It worked out in my favor, you could say... because now I'm a 5th grade teacher at Mapleton. My superintendent and principal was my 6th grade teacher, I will be teaching on a 4 day school week (Fridays off, except the occasional professional development day), they are introducing a brand new curriculum in language arts this year, that I happened to have already taught with last school year, and I have 12 students. No, that is not a typo... 12 students. When I left Pilot I had 15, and I thought it was the greatest thing on earth and that I would never have better numbers than that, but I am just incredibly fortunate I guess.

I've already got the keys to my classroom, and even though it started off a nasty puke yellow, I'm stoked because when I mentioned doing some painting I was told to ask for forgiveness later, rather than asking for permission. My walls are now grey and white, and all mine! I will be getting a brand new SMART board also (many of you know how happy that makes me)

Here are some pictures of my classroom before I did anything to it! I will post some pictures of the painting I've done once I get the second coat on.

Check out that awesome view! 

I know, I'm super teachery and weirdly obsessed, especially since it's not even August yet... I have no decent excuses, other than the fact that I might be avoiding wedding planning and diverting my energy to my classroom instead. The wedding planning is going fine though, I'm just sick of talking about it and obsessing over it (is it just me, or when someone is planning a wedding, that seems to be all people want to talk about?)

It's going fine, but wedding planning is sort of dumb. Everything is over priced, and there is far too much glitter and sparkle on anything remotely related to weddings. (p.s. my wedding dress doesn't have a single sparkle on it). 

Max is going to write an essay about how he doesn't want to GET married, he just wants to BE married. I feel the same way, but I think he can express it better than I can, and it's less weird for people to hear it from him because he's a boy. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Road Trip!

Our trip is happening! You may think it's funny I'm taking the time to write this now, as we sit in the wilderness in the Copper Valley... But let me give you an update of what we've seen so far, and in the end you'll realize why I'm writing this. 

Our trip out of Pilot Station was glorious, we had an hour delay due to fog which is pretty classic. The flight was beautiful, and on our Bethel to Anchorage we had our first drinks in 5 months. When we got into Anchorage we ate, ate some more, and enjoyed the significantly warmer weather. We got tired of the city fast though, and were itching to get into the mountains so we rented our car and headed south. 

This was our view the entire way down Turnagin Arm toward Girdwood and Portage Glacier. The photos do it no justice... 

After we finished that trip and left the city we headed up to Chugiak, where my new teacher mentor, Todd and his wife Jenny live. We climbed a mountain and when we pretty much got to the top, we found their house (which Todd built himself) and their view of the Alaska Range, and Denali. We all went adventuring and Todd took us to some of his favorite places around his house, like Hatchers Pass (an old mining ground way up in the mountains) and Eklutna Lake which is a beautiful lake that is the water supply for anchorage and it's surrounded by mountains. 

Todd and Jenny were fantastic hosts, their house felt like home, and we enjoyed great food, drinks, weather, and company the entire time we were there. We never wanted to leave, but adventure was still calling! 

When we left Todd's house we headed north on our trip toward Delta Junction. We stopped at some awesome view points of Denali and the Alaska range, went to the national park entrance (where I accessed internet to fill out a very important job application *fingers crossed*) and then continued on to Healy where Todd recommended we stop and have a beer at 49th state brewery. I don't regret that one bit, it was an awesome spot, and we ended up staying at the campground next door and sleeping in our hammocks.

The next day we woke up early, drove through Fairbanks, and got to Delta Junction where Max's uncle has a cabin right on the Delta River. We had an awesome view of the Alaska range, and we spent the rest of the day relaxing, napping, and building inuksuks down by the river. 

We left Delta this morning and have been driving along side the pipeline, and through some massive mountains. 

There haven't been many towns along the way, and thus no gas stations. So here we are, parked at milepost 187 on the Richardson Highway, with no gas. AAA is on their way, but they're coming from Glenallen which is nearly 2 hours away. 

So far on our trip we've seen 12 dall sheep, 10 moose, a caribou, a grey fox, a golden eagle and a few bald eagles, and tons of other birds and small animals.... And we just saw a wolf cross the road about 150 yards in front of where we ran out of gas. 

Tomorrow we fly from Anchorage to Juneau, we spend Memorial Day weekend exploring Juneau, and on Wednesday morning we board our ferry which will take us to Sitka, Wrangell, Petersburg, Ketchikan, and the Bellingham. From there, we fly back to Eugene and we'll be back in Oregon on May 30th!  

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Closing Time...

I can't believe it, but the school year is almost over up here! Because we didn't have a spring break, and we started in late August, we get out much earlier than most other places, and it's all paying off! 

It's light out until after midnight now, and is getting warm. People are staying out late, and now that the river has broken up, they're going out on the river in boats again. 

My students discovered my blog, and they were so excited to see the pictures that I've posted of them.  So... HI CLASS! 

I am happily enjoying my last weekend of the school year up here, we've packed almost all of our boxes (17, so far) and mailed them all today (It costs a fortune) and I'm also starting to pack up my classroom. I've already done my lesson plans and prep for the last week, and we've accomplished almost all of our goals for the weekend, other than shooting about 40 rounds of shotgun shells, so life is good! Anyway, here are some photos from the last few weeks.

We've been doing tons of spring inspired art! 

Green-up is in progress

This is dried king salmon

This is the day the river broke up, you can see the crack in the middle and in the next picture... 

You can see how it split and the bottom half just slowly floated down river. It was very anticlimactic, I was expecting more crashing and drama. 

An abandoned building by the old pump house. 

The old water tank above town. This is where "the kids hang out"

Prom happened, but we left before it started. The whole town is invited, and apparently the only people who danced were the adults and the little kids. 

We were so excited about it, obviously. 

Break-up still in progress... 

Your classic lawn ornament.

I'll title this picture "Pilot Station"

Once the river broke up above us, the ice started flowing by. It's still going! 

The lot of city vehicles

This building is where Eskimo dance is held. It's all open inside with some bleacher seating. 

Here is a picture of the AC store, with it's new sign :)

We're almost finished studying the regions of Alaska, and here are some things that you can see in 3 of the 5 regions. 

Here ya go, Mom! I made this in art :) My students made these also, they turned out so cute! 

Can you believe it?? I can't! 

The ice jammed up at Holy Cross, so the ice wasn't flowing down for about 2 days, but it just started again because the jam broke up. 

Here is the ice flowing again, but as you can see it doesn't stop people from going out in their boats! 

Possibly one of the last times we'll walk on an airstrip without getting arrested. 

The first flowers of the summer! Also, bumble bees the size of dinosaurs... 

We still can't believe that we came up here and did this, and now it's almost over! It went by so fast, and Max and I were just reminiscing about when we decided to come up here. We told ourselves that a year seemed like a long time, but even if it was terrible it would fly by and be over before we knew it. Well, it hasn't been terrible, it's actually been great, and I think that's what made it all go by even that much quicker! This whole experience is pretty unreal. We fly out of the bush in a week, and this time next Saturday we'll be in Anchorage enjoying sushi! See ya'll soon!