Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Time

Hello! It's been a long time since my last post; teaching has been so busy, but so rewarding. For the past few months the crew and I have gotten to know each other well and done many activities. I should have taken more pictures of their work, but I've been impressed with how well they work together on projects such as, "Delicious Apple Adjectives" and their Native American tribes. For Thanksgiving they made the cutest flip book. Each child had to choose a Native American, a Pilgrim, or a Turkey, and then write the name, what the character was doing, and where they were doing it. The catch was each part had to have a description, such as "eating sweet buttery corn in the red forest." I'll have to take a picture and post it.

Thanksgiving passed quickly, and before I knew it, it was Christmas! Our 4th grade team decided to have each of our 4th graders make an ornament or something like it for their parents, so that weekend I was searching for ideas, when I found the cutest craft! On the familyfun.go website I came across Gingerbread Garlands! After having my roommate teach me how to fold and cut so I could feel confident teaching it (along with some fraction and division applications), I was excited for Monday to come so I could teach my crew how to do this craft. For the next 2 days each worked busily on making their own gingerbread garlands. During that time there was also a Sing Around the Tree-A Mapleton Christmas tradition where all the grades get together for an assembly and listen to each grade level sing and then sing carols together. On Tuesday we had a white elephant christmas party, thanks to a wonderful room mom. Finally, on Wednesday, all the garlands were finished, and each turned out so beautiful and unique.

The conductor gingerbread is my favorite!

 I love the creativity!
Mario and Gang gingerbread!!

Now, there is a week break, and during that time I am going to get ready for SEP's coming in January, work on lesson plans, draw a winter scene for a descriptive writing for the first week back, and make a game board for a new incentive I'm going to start. More explanation later :) Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

3 weeks!

I'm so sorry I haven't written a recent blog post; getting ready for the school year has been so busy with Open House, Back to School Night, and of course, getting to know my wonderful 29 sailors of our ship, which they named...The Caribbean! I am so happy they were open to that name and were happy to have it. I love being with these sailors everyday! Though there are some days that are stressful and I am starting to see what I need to work on with teaching (whether it is the content or how I react to misbehavior or talk) I'm learning much and growing.

The first week was fabulous and we all grew so close as a crew aboard our ship, thanks to our getting to know you presentations that every child participated in, and our laughs. It is so wonderful to be loved for who you are, no matter how silly, entertaining, or loud you are.

My favorite praise I got was from a student in my class when I asked if Miss Mills was kind of crazy. He replied, "Miss Mills, we would have you no other way." Wow, just knowing I am accepted and loved for who I am makes my day. It is my job to show that to each child everyday. They all have unique abilities and should be appreciated for them. Whether they are wonderful friends, great at spelling, good runners (which I love so much), wonderful listeners, happy people, or dancing queens or kings, all need to be appreciated. I will listen to their stories and how they solve math problems and let them share their ideas and poems. I'm so glad I have let my students share with each other, and that we have a classroom where they feel safe to do so. My goal is to keep this feeling of friendship and support all year long. This will be a year to never be forgotten.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Change of Title

Hi Everybody!

So I've decided to change the name of my blog title from Set Sail, to Joy in the Journey. Truly this time of adjustment into my new life of being a professional teacher will be a challenge, but a wonderful experience. I need to have joy in the journey! I attribute this change of title to a wonderful talk given by the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, President Monson. Joy in the Journey  is a fantastic talk about finding joy in the now, and not in some tomorrow. This is going to be my motto for the school year.

For my class, I want our motto to be "Be Like the Fish." I got this idea from a friend while she taught in one of our church meetings. Basically it means that we are going to choose to be happy, just like the fish are joyful in "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog-Joy to the World." So, I am going to make a little quote on Word and then post it up on one of the cabinets so that my students and I can be reminded we are going to be like the fish and have joy, EVERYDAY!

After a week of great ideas from New Teacher Induction I have a little more work to do with my room and organizing, but I'm going to find joy in the journey. I'm so grateful for this opportunity and I can't wait to meet my 9 girls and 18 boys, yes, double the amount of boys to girls :)

Only two more weeks and then the work begins in earnest. Let's set sail!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Plan B: A Success

Jenepher to the rescue!

Mom writing in on my centers board

Entrance to the reading room: underwater adventure

First Class Work-sailor hats and all-can't wait for the student work to be on it to make it more attractive

Thanks to a fabulous Mom who helped me with the center chart, math treasures, our anchors wall, and the red nautical flags with all the subjects on them. She is amazing and I am so blessed to have such a great Mom.

The most busy wall in the world, but the color is amazing! I love the green, yellow, orange, white, and blue :) BYU and Richland High all represented in one wall!!

Word Wall is finally complete, fishies and all!

Working more on my room, getting help, and starting over really was a blessing, because I am so much prouder to walk in and think, "Yeah this is my room, I am proud to be the teacher of Room 18!" Now I just need to get organized with my bookshelves, files, center bins, student materials, name tags, get that board up, and many little things. Soon my sailors will fill the ship, and it will be a wonderful learning place. I'm so excited to start this adventure!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Plan A Not So Great

Plan A

The shower curtain in the reading room before...

It looks okay, but with a few borders and better lettering it just pops!

Word Wall before I made the letters bigger

The door before it changed as well

I did the Math Treasures bulletin board all on my own, but it is crooked and turned out a lot better after my wonderful Mom helped me :)

Hey Everybody! Sorry that I haven't blogged in a long while; I've been so focused on my room, and then making mistakes with it, that I haven't had time to blog. Luckily, my Mom came to Utah and saved me from having to work alone-she was such a great helper, with the bulletin boards, the cutting, pasting, and thumb tacking. Also, dear Jenepher came to help and really made the reading reef library room pop with some cool fish cutouts we put up and green streamers as seaweed. I am so indebted to these wonderful women and I really do appreciate all those who support me and want me to succeed. Thank you Ashley Chamberlin for giving me great ideas with the reading room and making it look like underwater. Also, the one bulletin board I didn't change was "Sailing Towards Knowledge" (my theme for the 2011-2012 year) and it was because I had Ashley.

What I have learned from having to literally tear almost everything down and start again is that I need to get help with setting up a classroom. Yes, I have the ideas, but I just need to be a little smarter about making sure letters are big enough, there are attractive borders and colors, and that I don't waste money.

Even though I have to work harder to make anything turn out really well, I know that this lesson in making mistakes and trying again instead of giving up is so valuable. When I have my students and they make mistakes and feel that they have to work harder than all the other students in the class, I can relate to them. Sure, I feel the two other interns at my school are more prepared, more creative, and yes, their rooms were perfect right at the beginning, but I have worked so hard, and making my room better helped me appreciate my mom and the work I put in so much more. Lessons can be learned always-especially through challenges.

Next post: what the room looks like now!

Friday, July 8, 2011

I Got the Keys!!

The lone desk

This side is where the theme's bulletin board will be: Sailing Into Learning

None of the desks or tables were moved yet. It's a huge room though!

The happy/scared/excited intern!!!

Hey Everybody!

I got the keys to Room 18 just a week ago and though I was so overwhelmed, with the help of some wonderful friends (Stephanie and Ashley), my room is coming together and will continue to be a place for learning and fun. I'll take more pictures as the process of decorating and organizing continues, but for now, here is the room before I really moved anything. (Trust me, it looks so much better). I really am in debt to Stephanie Wright for moving all the desks, they look amazing, and helping me put up one of my bulletin boards-Captain's First Mate.

There is still a lot to go, but I know that with help, faith, hard work, and a lot of creativity, this classroom is going to be a wonderful place for children to learn and grow.