Sunday, July 31, 2011

Oh Carpets...

I am reading a ton of educator blogs and hearing how people are going in to dabble in their rooms.  Since I moved this year, I really need to do more than dabble.  I need to get it all in there!  Still, it's been a little exercise in patience since we are waiting on the carpets to get cleaned.  I don't want to put all my stuff on top of the carpet and get in the way of that process, you know?


I'm anxious to get in there and get started!  We moved about half my stuff in last week and put it all in the little tiny bathroom and on the tiled floor (which has been cleaned and waxed).  There's just no room for anything else!  I guess I could go in and get some bulletin boards done.  Still, even that requires me digging in to my stuff!


I keep blog surfing.  Keep "pinning away" on Pinterest.  And I keep looking for the next great thing to make my little "Learning Garden" a fun place to learn and grow!

Here's hoping this week brings me different news and I can start to get in there and whittle away at the pile of stuff!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Another Give Away

A Teeny Tiny Teacher

Head on over to Kristin's blog at Teeny Tiny Teacher to check out her give away of a $20 gift card to Teacher Heaven, I mean Barnes and Noble!  

Just another great teacher blog sharing great ideas from the classroom.   

Friday, July 29, 2011

Come Meet Some Bloggers!

Hop on over to the FB Linky Party....It's a great way to connect and meet bloggers.  If you haven't connected with us on FB, head on over to the box in the right sidebar and join us!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another Give Away

Head on over to Sunny Days in Second Grade for an awesome give away opportunity to celebrate 600 followers.  It's easy to enter and there are some great products you could win!  If you register over there, be sure to tell her you were sent by Susan @ Literacy Coaching so that we can BOTH win!
Visit Sunny Days


I went to my first "team meeting" this week with my new team!  How sweet it was of them to have a get together to just visit and get to know each other prior to the frenzy of the school year.  They gave me a great pacing calendar they have created and answered a bunch of my questions.

It's been a while since I've been the "new person" on I have to say I've been reflecting on this transition and what we can do when OTHER people are in that position.  If you have a new person coming to your team this year, why not hold a meeting just before the actual back to school days?  It could be as simple as inviting them for coffee at Starbucks or lunch out somewhere.  Trust me, this simple action goes a long way toward easing some of the "first day jitters"!

And in other "team news"...I have another team who will NOT be with me physically on my school campus next year.  But I have friends who are in my network that have been sharing their best and brightest ideas with me.  It feels GREAT to know that I am only a phone call or an email away from a whole bunch of support during my transition!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Anna at Crazy for First Grade teaming up with Donna from Kinderglynn and Jodi from Clutter-free Classroom to throw a HUGE jungle themed giveaway!!!  

Head on over to her blog to get the directions and get signed up!  

Love this quote:

“Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”   (Not sure the source...but this is well worth consideration)  

Kohl's Cares Clifford PlushDid you see that Clifford is on sale at Kohl's?  LOVE the Kohl's Cares for Kids campaign.  They have some great literacy materials for kids.  I have acquired some great characters and books at a very low cost through this program.  

We are off to find a "Brown Bear" for a great activity that I found over at Krazy for Kindergarten .  I think I'm going to use this as our "Back to School" activity for week 1.  It's a great way to incorporate so much learning and assessment in a fun way.  

My new addiction is "Pinterest".   I am loving this tool for storing great ideas and projects that I find on the Internet!  If you have a Pinterest account, let's link up!  

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

In with the new...

As I said in my last post, I am switching schools.  This is something I haven't done in 12 years.  In fact, this is the longest I've worked anywhere.  So it's a little strange.  BUT EXCITING!  In the past two Sundays, I have run into two of my new teammates.  I have to say this has been interesting (and has gone a long way towards settling my nerves).  The person I met (or reaquainted with) today had actually sent a team email this morning, so it was quite timely!  It made me consider just what I've done to reach out to new teachers who have stepped into our school in the last 12 years.

If you have new people joining your staff--either seasoned or brand new--why not find ways to reach out and extend a connection to them?  It may be that they are sitting home a little nervous about stepping foot into that new classroom this fall.  Simply knowing that someone else cares that they are coming can make such a big difference.  It can be a simple email or handwritten note (if you have access to their address).  Or you may even make a phone call to invite them to lunch before the hectic activity of preplanning week begins.

What do you do to ease the transition for a new teacher to your school?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Wheels are TURNING!

This Fall I will be returning full time to the classroom!  Not just any classroom, but the Kindergarten classroom.  I could go into the reasons for it here, but I won't.  Still, I couldn't be more excited to be making this move!  The thing is, my head is SPINNING!

I've set up a classroom website.

I've been visiting blogs like CRAZY and am blown away at all the FABULOUS blogs that I see out there.  In fact, it is a reminder that it's time to step up the game here on Literacy Coaching!

I've been finding treasures galore in stores, thrift shops, goodwill and online.  So, needless to say, we may be BROKE by the time school starts again.  (Just kidding!)

Anyway, I've just discovered "Pinterest" where you can organize all the things you find on the Internet that are of interest to you.  So I'm starting to store some things there.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share a little of my handiwork thus far.  I decided to have a theme for the classroom, so here it is:

And, along with that theme, I created my very own classroom website (thanks to the coaching of one of my colleagues).  The site is "Mrs. Nations' Learning Garden"  and can be found over at
If you're looking for an easy and FREE way to create a website for yourself...head on over there now.  It's a great user-friendly site!

While planning for the garden theme, I discovered this little gem in one of our local children's bookstores:  

So I started collecting flowers for it and am now praying for an arts-inclined parent to be connected to one of the kids in my new class!

My Mother-in-Law has been a Godsend as she has started printing out some of the resources we've discovered on the Internet for K.

Here are a few center activities that are already done and ready for this Kindergarten class:

 Attach the mouse with ribbon so he can run up the clock.

 Use oven mitts to clap and sort picture cards.

Manipulate the word cards and the flies to say this fun poem!

Hopefully when I get into the room, I can do some before and after photos.  And people think teachers take "off" in the summer!