Setting Up My Classroom

This year, for the very first time in my 8 years of teaching, I've decided to keep the same theme in my room. Since I'm not switching rooms (which I've done 5 times in 8 years!),  it meant that I could leave most of the stuff up on the walls and bulletin boards.  For the first time ever, it took me only 1 day to get my room ready for the summer.  In my school, we need to move the students' desks and chairs out into the hallway, and remove things from the tops of furniture so that they can strip and re-wax the floors. This also means that my classroom set up should be a lot easier too!   I'm hoping to spend the bulk of my pre-planning days (the 5 days before school starts) actually PLANNING!   Yay! I've only stopped into school once this summer (another first! I'm usually there for at least 8 days before pre-planning!)to start placing the furniture and getting my teacher desk ready.  I'm going to freshen some things up a bit.   I'm planning on updating my classroom rules and making new labels for my supply cabinets but overall, I have A LOT less to do this year!  Double YAY!

My theme for last year and this year is SPACE!  It's very subtle and subdued and I love it. I have graphics of the planets over my windows and on the windows, is our word wall.  The word wall letter cards are images of the moon. I hung the curtains I had in a closet at home from my teen daughter's redecorating of her bedroom.  The curtains are turquoise with sparkles - that go perfectly with the theme.  I also have laminated photos of space images and space quotes around my door way.  I'll have to snap some photos of that part of my room!

Here's where I'm at:
 
View from my desk so far!
 
 
My desk
 
 
My favorite bulletin board - I'll share this with you in a post!



 
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What was the CRAZIEST thing you did this summer?

That's me!
Well, let me tell you about one of mine!  It has always been a dream of mine to go zip-lining and  I found that my sister and her hubby also wanted to try it.  There is a place about 30 minutes from me in Ocala FL, Zip the Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours, http://www.zipthecanyons.com/index.html .  The Canyons is a 95 acre former limestone quarry with some impressive cliffs.  The "Full Tour" takes you through 9 zip lines, 2 rope bridges and you finish with a 30 foot rappel.  The whole tour takes about 2.5 hours.  There were six of us in our group and two guides.  Guides put the equipment on you and take you to the training line where you learn how to hold the cable and "brake" with your hands.   For every zip, one guide goes first  to "catch" you and the second guide hooks you up and tells you when to go!  For the first few lines, I'm not going to lie, I was VERY scared.  Our guides, Jenn and Matt, were hilarious - they kept us laughing for the entire tour and more importantly they kept us very safe and secure!  After the first 2 lines, we were loving it!  I started to relax a bit more and was able to really look around and take it all in, and BREATHE.  The views are spectacular!  The lines get progressively longer and higher and more exhilarating as you go through the course.  It is an amazing adrenaline rush!  The highest and longest is called "The Point of No Return" aka "The Pooper".  You climb up this incredibly tall tower to the platform to learn that the only way down is to zip across a 1000 foot line over the water.  Jumping off that platform is a literal leap of faith!  We're definitely going to do this again!  What a thrilling adventure!
The Point of No Return

Me with my brother-in-law Richard and my sister Jill!



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Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teacher Academy!

So, this happened last night.....


Yes!  It was a webinar orientation for the Mickelson Exxon Mobil Teacher Academy in Jersey City, NJ the week of July 26th!  I'm sooooo excited!  Out of over 1500 applicants, 150 were chosen - I feel like I won the lottery.  It will be 5 days of science and math professional development plus the opportunity to explore NYC and meet up with my college roommates!  It's going to be fab and fun!
As a former scientist, I love all things science!  The Academy is 5 days of professional development in science and math or, as they call it, "summer camp for teachers".  I've heard that they roll out the red carpet and treat all of the teachers like ROCK STARS!  The way we should be treated....just saying!  I can't wait to tell you all about my experience at MEMTA.  You should apply!!  Here's the link:  http://www.sendmyteacher.com/


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Summer!

Summer is in full swing!  I'm finally sleeping in, reading a ton of books, and hanging out with my kids.  We just finished an epic, very silly, game of Uno.  I love when my growinguptoofast teenagers still play with me every now and then.

I love having the time to catch up on my reading.  I read all year long but in the summer, I read like a fanatic.  I've read a lot of good books so far this summer, but one that stands as of now is "I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson.  It's a YA book (recommended for Grades 9 and up) and too mature for my elementary school kiddos but I LOVED this book.  I love the "voices" of twins Noah and Jude.  It's a coming of age story and, coincidentally,  the day I finished the book (in tears) was the same day the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriages.  Check it out! #lovewins

I'll Give You the Sun on Amazon
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