Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen

In an effort to completely stress myself out, here are thirteen things I need to do before school starts.

1. Figure out how I am going to teach both 4th grade and 5th grade at the same time.
2. Arrange my desks.
3. Make bulletin boards (all 8 of them.)
4. Read the 4th grade standards.
5. Figure out the newly adopted reading series.
6. Make welcome packets for Open House.
7. Make copies of first week stuff.
8. Decide how I am going to teach spelling.
9. Write out all the "name" things like lunch sticks, recording sheets, posters, name tags, etc.
10. Plan out my science units so I can teach science to all the students at the same time.
11. Plan what journals I am going to have the class use.
12. Make survival bags.
13. Get a prescription for Xanax. It sounds like I might need it...

Pin It!


cupcake said...

Let's see ...

1. I'm in the same boat with English II, English III and the damn yearbook
2. I'm doing that today!! It will be wildly unsuccessful, so I'll be doing it again!! Many times!!
3. EIGHT?? Oy vey. I have one and have no idea what to do with it. If I had eight, I'd plaster over at least six of them.
4. I'm reading 11th grade. It's scarier than Stephen King.
5. I wish we had a newly adopted series.
6. High schoolers would litter the hallways with packets, but they do expect a list of supplies, which they then never buy.
7. Don't remind me about copies. I'm having bad flashbacks to lines at the copiers.
8. When you figure that out, let me know. Tenth graders can't spell, you know, and I doubt eleventh graders are much better.
9. Do you not have a T.A. who can do that? When I was an assistant, I did all that stuff - plus some others on your list - for my teacher.
10. Good luck with that, sister.
11. I'm working on journal prompts too!
12. Now, what are in your survival bags?
13. I've asked for a Valium Drip. I'll let you know how that goes.

Good luck and godspeed with your list.

Hootin' Anni said...

I would LOVE to help you make the bulletin boards. sounds like a LOT of fun.

My T-13 is posted. Come by for a visit if you can find time.

teachergirl said...

1. How did you get to teach both 4th and 5th grades? Sounds tasty. Sounds like something we should be doing.
2. I re-arrange my desks on a daily basis. I can't ever get it right.
3. EIGHT freaking bulletin boards? I have two. (I am trailer trash. I apparently don't have a right to exist.)
4. They change the standards so often, I have to read them on a daily basis, too.
5. We have a newly adopted Science and Social Studies series this year, BUT I'M NOT TEACHING EITHER, THIS YEAR!!!!!!!
6. Welcome packets? Howdy do, new 5th graders. How's that for a welcome?
7. I'll copy when I figure out what I'm going to do.
8. Spelling...since I am the Language Arts person, figuring out spelling would be in my best interest. And since the county's "spelling" is crap, I am pretty much on my own.
9. Can't write names on anything since we won't know who is in which class until the day of meet and greet. Nobody is getting names on anything. They do it themselves on Day 1 with the task list they receive when they walk in the door.
10. Science? Science? Not me - I took French to get out of science in college.
11. Got the journal thing covered - Math and English.
12. My survival bag will include vodka.
13. Xanax? Valium? Vodka? Whatever works. (Love to both you and Cupcake.)

Finding Normal said...

HAH! As I tell Noah all.the.time (and he now tells me about totally inappropriate things like putting on his shoes in a timely manner) I'M NOT WORRYING ABOUT THAT RIGHT NOW!
Let's see...
1. Good luck with that. I did it once. My biggest recommendation is ask Denise, but the way we did it is different from how you'll have to do it since we did 2 yr loops. Yeah, good luck.
2. I did mine, but without the smartboard and cart set up, I'm not sure that they'll stay that way. I'm bummed that I'll probably have to lose my round table. There just isn't room.
3. Yeah, me too. And I'm thinking about converting my messed up white boards by the door into some type of useable space for sci/ss. Eventually. I'll have 1 AR board, 1 calendar, 2 for 6 traits that will grow throughout the year (hopefully) and 1 for new words. The 2 by my desk don't change cuz they're MINE!
4. What are standards? I kid.
5. Yeah me too. I almost shat when I saw the huge amount of crap in my room that is the reading series.
6. I'm thinking about skipping this. At least my little letter since I already sent it in May, and there's just not a lot I want to say yet.
7. Me too, but I'm not sure there's even a copy machine set up yet. The office is still in ruins and there was one by LRC in the hall.
8. I say take half the words off each list. Or you could run 2 separate lists and do your test when Paula's in there. Or have them give each other their tests, which always makes me nervous. Or scrap the whole thing and do word wall and nifty thrifty, which Denise does and I only did once for a reason. ;)
9. Can't we just give them a number and be done with it? Why do we even have to call them by their names? "Hey #15, sit down and be quiet. #23, stop crying (Wesley)" ha
10. You are the Queen of Science, so I can't help here either.
11. I'm doing the science journal again, and possibly just a fun one. Your kids won't all come with 5 since there are only 2 on the 4th grade supply list. Walmart has them for 5c though.
12. Again, something I'm skipping.
13. See if you can get one for me at the same time.

Now I want to make my T13 about back to school. I'm afraid it'll put me into panic mode. I'm in total denial about 8/13 being less than 3 weeks away.

Anonymous said...

Oh boy, at least you are planning it out a few weeks early?

Also - stop by today - I gave you some bloggie bling :)

Karen said...

Do you have a T.A. or volunteers? Items 2,3,6,7,9 and 12 are all things that they can do. As you probably know, I volunteer at one of my local schools and I do all that for my various teachers.

Today is my normal kindergarten day However they don't start till next week, so I'll be working with all 3 or 4 kindy teachers, helping them set up.

Re spelling ... from what I have observed during the last 3 years ...teaching it the old-fashioned way is the way to go. The current idea, at least at this school, is spelling it the way it sounds, at least in the lower grades. Apparently the theory is that by the time they get to 5th or 6th, they will learn to spell properly.

Which ever academic, with his/her head in the clouds, that did this bit of research, obviously did not take into account the effect of texting, computer spell checking, etc on the kids spelling.

I corrected the spelling in a whole lot of essay papers for one 6th grade teacher and the spelling in most of them made me cringe. the papers were festooned with red circles and corrected spelling, by the time I'd finished!!

Teenagers are even worse !!

teachergirl said...

Oh, Karen, you silly girl. Our county doesn't let us teach spelling properly, either. One of the words in the spelling book is I. Digest that for a moment, if you can.

Kat said...

I think that this post has generated the longest comments I have evah seen. So, I feel the need to be short. Sweet. And to the point. Paxil cures what ails ya.

absurdly yours said...

Well it is nice to wonder on to a group of teachers. I am just returning from the school where I am completely overwelmed!!!! I have been teaching 10 years, and for some reason I am having trouble starting this year. UG!!!!
I do want to know what you put in your survival bags. Are these for fellow teachers or the students?
I think I will list on my post today because I just can't be creative or humorous today.

cupcake said...

Amen to the teens not knowing how to spell. I had one kids who - I kid you not - speed "our" as "are."

I had one boy who MISSPELLED HIS LAST NAME. He was SIXTEEN. You'd think that would have been covered sooner, wouldn't you?


When I return papers, it looks as if I bled all over them if I circle misspellings. That's why I switched to purple pens for spelling. Some papers get downright colorful.

Anonymous said...

Wow! That does sound stressful!

So, are the 4th and 5th graders in a different class....or do you teach them at different times during the day?

Yeah, hopefully you can get a volunteer to help you make all of that stuff.

Good luck! Take deep breaths!

Mrs. Parks said...

I never thought about how much goes in to getting ready for our little "Angels." Wy is starting fourth grade this year, so as I go in to meet his new teacher I will hold a new respect and admiration for her : )

Anonymous said...

Great list! I cannot wait until August 11th when my little buggers go back. I hope my daughter's 4th grade teacher puts as much thought into what she does as it seems you do. Her 2nd grade teacher didn't, but her 3rd grade teacher did and I'd like the trend to continue. :)

Susie said...

I'll see if I can get Joe to get you the Xanax. Check me out- I blog!

Sidney said...

Got a 4th-grader...and a 1st-, 3rd- 6th-, 8th- and 11-th grader.

Tell me where to send the bottle(s) of wine.....

teachergirl said...

Sidney: I think you keep the wine. Just saying...

John Deere Mom said...

Cupcake-The things my T.A. could do (name tags, recording sheets, etc.) are actually my favorite thing to do...not to mention it wouldn't be done until the first day of school and I would HYPERVENTILATE if it wasn't done. I LOVE writing out all my sheets, posters, name tags, etc. Yes, Ima Dork..Oh, and survival bags. Brown papers bags that read with "Rm. 14 Survival Kit" written on the front with: pencil, eraser, red pen, glue stick, bookmark, sticker, first day snack, and small water bottle. :)

Hootin' Ani-When are you available?

Teach-Yes, 8 bulletin boards. Sigh. That's just a lot of crap that no one ever reads. We did not have enough 4th or 5th graders to have 2 separate classes of both, so I got the split class. So I have about 12 4th graders and 14 5th graders. And since we are ALL about standards and testing, I have to teach both sets of curriculum. I will email you my can start sending the valium now.''

Deb-I agree. I hadn't even really counted the weeks or days. It just scares me. This class so late in July hasn't helped either. Oh, well. One day at a time, right? And it all works out in the end. So the office is still a mess? Do they KNOW when school starts? When does our administration start? It has to be soon if they haven't already? Secretary is going to FREAK!

Christine-WOO HOO! I will check out the bling as soon as I am done here! :)

Karen-I agree. I am a stickler for correct spelling, but it's such a difficult thing to teach. I can go with our reading textbook words or with a list of commonly misspelled words...not sure what to do yet. Thanks for the advice!

Teach-Surely you jest. Eye just can't imagine that is a spelling word. No friggin way...

Kat-Amen, sista.

Absurdly yours-Nice to meet you! This is my 10th year teaching too. I don't think the beginning of the year even gets easier. I listed my survival kits up in Cupcake's response. Survival bags for the teachers are a good idea though...Tylenol, vodka, stress ball, vodka...

Cupcake-Maybe I will use a separate color pen for spelling mistakes...good idea.

Z's mom-They are all together with me in one room! Scary!!! I hope to have my favorite T.A. at least part of the time. Volunteers are few and far between once you get to 5th grade...unfortunately.

Mrs. Parks-It is the most stressful time of the year, that is for sure. We get one paid day to "prepare" for the first student day. I spend MANY days and nights preparing, that is for sure. But, I love your angels. I do.

Suzanne-I hope so too! It is very difficult to have a rough teacher/student relationship. I have been very blessed all 9 years of teaching.

Hiya Fart! So excited you are here. Gonna do a little shout out for you later. But if all my readers start going to you and leave can kiss that wedding gift goodbye. need all the wine you can get. Seriously. I have 2 kids and drink more than my fair share.

Rhea said...

Start with #13 and then work backwards. lol

Why on Earth are you teaching 4th and 5th grade?! Nevermind, just read the answer above.

Finding Normal said...

Yeah, secretary went back yesterday and emailed me to complain, so we went out today to see her. D was at admin retreat. Office is such a mess. West parking lot has a front loader and a steamroller parked in it. Turning lane is still dirt. Floors are still non-existant. I just can't see that it'll be done. Mail is on the stage, in case you go.

I moved desks, set up my desk, typed class lists, not much else. Brought home nametags and VIP folders. I've been reading on teachnet tonight, trying to get ideas.

Heather said...

You are a very busy lady! 4th AND 5th at the same time? You go, girl!

Tiffany said...

#13 is imperative. It will make 1-12 possible.