Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Class Rules: Back 2 School Series

Welcome back to my Back 2 School Series!

Today's topic is all about Rules.

Rules are extremely important, especially when you teach 8th grade. 
I know that I have to share and enforce my rules starting on Day 1. 
If I don't do that then the classroom will be a wreck! 
I'm a mean lady at first because I have to make the students understand that I mean business. 
After a month they typically get the hang of things, and then I can loosen up. 

Six years ago when I made my rules I wanted them to be simple. 
I didn't want 15 different rules that no one could remember, myself included.
I thought of what I really wanted my students to know and things that really irritate me, and I ran with it. 

Mrs. Knecht's 8th Grade Language Arts Classroom Rules

1. When someone is talking, you should be listening!
2. Always try your best!
3. Be respectful!
4. Bring all materials to class on time.
5. When you're absent check the missing work file and ask Mrs. Knecht if there's anything else you missed.
6. Ask questions!

1. The first rule is my pet peeve. I CANNOT stand it when someone is talking and other people are talking. It applies to students and adults. If I am in a meeting and another teacher is doing this, it drives me crazy. 
I will call the students out for violating this rule all of the time at the beginning of the year.
I explain to them that I'm quiet when they are talking, so I expect the same respect back.
It really doesn't take them long to catch on. 
Typically I will stop, mid-sentence even, and look their way until they quiet down.

2. I try my best, and I want the students to try their best. 
I always tell them I won't get mad if only they give me their best!

3. Respect is big for me. 
I will respect them and they will respect each other. 
I don't deal with name calling or degrading comments. 
In years past I would simply say "What did you say?" and the students would look at me and say "Nothing, Mrs. Knecht." 
They are quick learners and catch on quickly that I don't want to hear it. 

4. Students are old enough to come to class with a book, pencil and binder every day.
I will give them one warning, and then I hand out demerits. 

5. This is a rule that I wish students would follow more. Students think they can be absent and never make up the work. I have an Absent Bin in my room where I have hanging file folders by date. If a student is absent they should go to the date they were absent and see if there are any papers for them. As we work more and more online, a lot of things students need to do is online, so I want the students to ask me what they missed, so that I can explain what I need for them to do. 

I hope the students this year are better at this. 
I'm also going to try out Recap and Vocaroo that will allow me to voice record myself and post it on my webpage, so that I don't have to keep repeating what students missed 8 different times for each student who asks. 

6. I always share with students that if they knew everything they shouldn't be in this class. I want them to ask lots and lots of questions, and I don't want them to be afraid of looking "dumb." Each year I try to encourage them even more to ask questions.

Here are my rules last year...

And then the same rules this year...

What rules do you remember from your school days or what rule would you have to have in your classroom?

Today is a day full of meetings. 
I'm not good at sitting for long periods of time, so I hope I can contain myself. 
Come back on Friday for Building and Organizing your Classroom Library. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Bulletin Board Ideas: Back 2 School Series

Today it's back to school for me!
It's our first professional day, and we get the whole day to work in our rooms!! Woohoo!
I will be spending a lot of time planning the first nine weeks with my fellow 8th grade language arts people!
To celebrate back to school, I decided I would do a little Back 2 School Series linkup. 

Today's topic is Bulletin Boards.

I'm going to showcase some of my bulletin boards from the past and some favorites that I'd like to do in the future. 

To begin I am not an elementary teacher. 
Those people are gifted in bulletin boards. 
My licensure is 7-12, which means no one cares what your bulletin boards look like. 
I'm not even sure the kids look at them, but I like them to look decent, so I decorate the one regular sized board in my room and the HUGE one outside my room in the hallway. 

If Our Characters Had Instagram

When you enter this classroom...

Be (inspiration)

Be (reality)

Bks r lke rly lng txt msgs...
Wt hv u rd l8ly?

If You Liked the Movie, You'll Love the Book

Emoji Recommend

Coming to Theaters
This was made by one of my classes last year.

What I hope the hall bulletin board looks like this year...

I will be finishing it today.

I can't wait to share what we are doing with the board inside my room. 
It's going to be a fun interactive board that we will use each week throughout the year. 
It's not quite done yet, so more on that later. 

I'll be back on Wednesday with Classroom Rules. 
If you have Classroom Rules or want to blog about what your rules would be if you were a teacher, linkup with me on Wednesday!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sweet Summertime: The LAST Week-Week 11

I've had 11 weeks of freedom!
It was relaxing, exciting, refreshing, invigorating and much much much needed!
I love my job and work hard to do everything I can to meet my students' needs, but it's great to get a break, especially when it's 11 weeks long.
Tomorrow is the first day back for teachers, so this is my last time for my Sweet Summertime Recap until next June!!

Thursday, August 3

This was our first day that we were allowed back in our classrooms.
I was up early and went to school.
I really wish you could see this picture better, but it's another capture of our local Amish heading out to work.
It was 6:30 when I took this picture, which means they probably left their farm around 4-4:30 that morning to make it this far into town.
I love their work ethic!
I started organizing, hanging posters and scanning books in my new classroom library book scanner.

We are fortunate enough that our school allows each teacher to spend $75 at Walmart for school supplies, so some of us teachers got the Walmart card and headed to get our supplies.

Us girls had lunch at Bob Evans before heading back into our classrooms to work.

Friday, August 4

On Friday I had a meeting at school. so I headed there early to work some more in my classroom. 
I worked for a couple hours before the meeting. 
Our meeting lasted about two hours, and then I worked for a few more hours. 

I headed home to bake some cookies. 
My mom asked me to bake 3 dozen cookies for a church function. 
I completely forgot, but thankfully she reminded me, and I had enough time to whip them up in the afternoon. 

That day it rained on and off. 
We went to my parents to drop off the cookies and got to spot the fawns enjoying our apples up at the apple trees. 
For some reason they love to come out when it's rainy.

Saturday, August 5

Saturday Alex had to work, so I got up with him and headed to the grocery store right when it opened.
How I love going right when the doors open.
I had a list and was in and out in 12 minutes!!

I came home, finished cleaning the bathroom and our bedroom and went for a run.

After my run I decided I would head back to my classroom to do some printing and finish setting up some things.
I've really never had to go to school during non-working hours.
The alarm was on and thank goodness for my awesome co-workers who saved me from setting it off!
I forgot my code, but they remembered there's, so the cops weren't called!!

Sunday, August 6

Sunday Alex was back at work, so I headed to church by myself. 
I planned to go to my grandma's later but the plans fell through, so I cleaned our whole house.
Spare room, living room, dining room, kitchen floors and basement. 
I love love love a clean house!

That afternoon I did some reading and enjoyed mother nature.

I cut some blooms for a vase in the kitchen.

Monday, August 7

For a couple of years I have told myself that I would spend all day inside. 
Usually I can't sit still and find myself outside numerous times throughout the day. 
I might deadhead flowers, pick up sticks, water plants or something that let's me move. 
Numerous times before I've tried it, but it hasn't worked. 

Monday was the perfect day to stay indoors because it was raining. 
Now, my original plan was to not workout and to watch tv all day, but guys that's just not me. 

I did a 30 minute workout, but the rest of the day I worked on the computer, read and watched a little tv. 

I finished another great suggestion by A Gal Named Al
Iqbal was a great book about a boy who inspires other children to believe in life outside of their carpet factory. 

Now I have to admit that around 7 that night I did head outside.
Then, I came back inside and started reading I Am Malala
Aw what a great start to what I believe will be another great book!

Tuesday, August 8

Today was my last real weekday of summer.
I've been trying to be asleep by 10 or 11, so I was up early with Alex, did some work around the house, and then headed out for an early morning run.

I was back after 4 miles, watered some flowers, showered, blogged, watched Live with Kelly without Kelly, did my nails and headed for a bike ride.

Alex's hours have been so unpredictable, so I have done a lot without him.
I finished another book and simply enjoyed my afternoon or evening.
It's been so much cooler lately that the pool hasn't been an option.

Wednesday, August 9-Friday, August 11

On Wednesday I was up early to get ready to head to my travel agent classes. 
I'm starting my own little travel agency. 
More on that later, but the host company is amazing, and the three days I spent there was well worth the time and money!
The company is so sweet and helpful; I can't wait to get my business up and running. 

I've been so busy since coming home from the training that I'm just now getting this post together. 

And a couple cute little picture of my hummer friends on my flowers.

Tomorrow starts my Back 2 School Series. 
If you're a teacher, you should definitely linkup!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Workin' It: Back to School

Hey ladies!
It's a Workin' It Wednesday today with Erika and Shay

The second Wednesday of each month these ladies share a new topic. 
If you're interested in the topics so far this year or ones to comes, check out the graphic below.

This month we're sharing: 

Ready for Back to School!

I'm a teacher, so I'm all over this topic.

I don't have children yet, and I'm sure life is way more hectic when you're a teacher and have kids to get ready, but for now I'm prepping myself and my classroom.

The whole summer is part of my preparation for myself.
At the end of the school year I'm just drained.
I love it, but I need a break, and that's exactly what I do.

I don't live and teach in the same community, so once the school year is out I don't see anyone until the school year starts again with the exception of some co-workers who I see at lunch dates throughout the summer.
It's nice to just enjoy life.
I turn off my alarm.
I sleep in; I stay up late; I read books for myself; I don't worry about what I need to do for tomorrow.
We enjoy vacations, and I really live up the almost three months of freedom because once school starts I know that I will need to do a million different things and won't take the time to do stuff for me.

So after I have a mental break I do a little shopping for myself.
Here are a few new purchases I made over the summer for myself:

I'm always cold, so a cream jean jacket was a must.
I'm still looking for a regular denim one.

The beginning of the year is so hot when you don't have air conditioning, so I'm going to try out some skirts.

I was in dire need of new black pants and found some that fit without at belt at JCrew.
Hello Winnie Pant!!

Some new black shoes!

Now on to the big part.
Prepping my classroom!!
I read new books all summer long.
This summer I've been reading lots of Holocaust books and books that go with my theme for the year-Overcoming Adversity!

Here are a few that I enjoyed:

I love having the time to try out new books.

I've made a few fixes to activities that I did last year, and I've added some new pins to my Back to School and Bulletin Boards on Pinterest.
Check me out @beabout on Pinterest.

Last week I got my classroom all set and ready to go.

I moved my bookshelves around this year, so it's still a work in progress.
I also got a library scanner system that will allow me to simply scan a book and check it out for a student.

Some new and more middle schoolish posters.
I have an extra bookshelf, so it ended up here.
There are random things on it.
I really need to make it look better, but for now it's there.

Read, Revise, Edit Board
This is left from last year.
I challenge students to find errors in books, newspapers, emails, magazines, tv, snap a picture and send it to me.
It's embarrassing at how careless we are with checking over our work!
I love this real world application!

So I've rested, shopped and decorated. 
Now, I've got to finalize my plans for the first two days, and then I'm set. 

The next two weeks I will be having a Back 2 School Series Linkup. 
If you're a teacher or would enjoy blogging about teacher topics, make your post and linkup. 

I'm excited to read how everyone else prepares for Back to School. 
I'm sure there are a lot of parents who are SO excited. 
Let the year begin!