Monthly Archives: August 2012

First Week Blues or Ach!

I normally have a great first week with my students, and so far they are fine.  I am wondering about their teacher.  Sunday afternoon found me writing names on cards for the seating charts.  For some reason, I didn’t get my charts done until Saturday evening. Ach! I  had to makes copies of my syllabus for my preps.  Didn’t I send that in to the Copy Center? Ach! On Monday, I arrive in time to get to my classroom, turn on my computer, and report to my duty station to help with the schedule distribution.  Instead, as I get out of the truck, my coffee cup spilled all over my white suit I planned to wear.  I had to go home and change clothes.  I am thankful I live nearby, so that turned out well. One of my colleagues saw me and let the front office staff know of my java mishap.  I took some good-natured ribbing about my coffee.  When my wonderful principal popped by to check if I needed anything, I jokingly said, “Coffee!”  Not thirty minutes later did he return with a cup of Starbucks, milk, and sugar.  I was overwhelmed.  My first period class rejoiced because I’d warned them not to make eye contact with me if I had no coffee in my system during our orientation session ten days prior. I made it home in time to cook dinner for my husband and son. I picked my son up from marching band practice in the early evening, and we ate dinner as a family.

Tuesday found me still working two hours after my students’ dismissal.  I slept in on Tuesday morning since I didn’t sleep well on Sunday night due to excitement about the first day.  I prepared the academic vocabulary signage, filled out name tags for workbooks, typed my agenda, made copies for my partner and I, and who knows what else?  Since I had duty after school, I was a little delayed.  Things ended well since I read my students’ paragraphs about the importance of reading and writing. My son had a late night after marching band practice.  I picked up In-N-Out Burger for dinner after running to Staples’ (That was NOT easy!) for some last minute supplies.  There were a large number of parents and students queued up to purchase supplies. We had to get the notebooks set up with dividers, notebook paper, etc. He is all set for Wednesday!  As I type this, I know that I am all set for today, too.  ¡Ciao!


A Quick Glance Around My Classroom


Mrs. Johnson 6th grade ILA
What my students see when they get ready to enter my classroom.


Personal bulletin boards

My own little corner of the classroom

My classroom

A view of the western wall of my classroom.


Exemplar Works Bulletin Board

A bulletin board to display exemplary work by my students.

My weekly tutorial schedule

Now they know when Mrs. J is in! 🙂





Putting It Together – Organization

I wanted to spend a few lines waxing philosophical about organization of a classroom.  Thank you for stopping by to take a look!

1.  I am going to work on implementing cooperative learning groups in my classes, so I will need to have my room in groups of four.  I already have the table signs for us to use and bought little plastic boxes at Walmart to hold communal supplies like pens, pencils, glue sticks, and scissors.

2.  My desk is placed in the back corner of my classroom so that I can monitor while journaling with my students.  I also grade papers, write lesson plans, and hold individual conferences here.

3.  My workstation/computer desk is at the front of the room by default design, but I’ve seen other teachers have it in a different location.  I recommend your monitor is turned away from student viewing to prevent possible embarrassment/unexpected disclosure of sensitive information.  Another thing is to keep the projected image frozen on something safe if you MUST enter disciplinary infractions into the online system.  (We use OnCourse in our district.)

4.  Crates are meant to hold student journals or portfolios.  I plan to have a hanging folder for each student and a separate set of crates for their journals.  My organization is a continual work in progress because someone out there always has a great idea that could work once you adjust it to your own personal style.

5.  Bookshelves are for professional resources and binders I use for my novel units.  I am the reigning “Binder Queen” on my hallway.  Other bookshelves contain student-friendly reading material for down time after work is completed.

6.  Extra supplies are stowed away out of sight so that sticky fingers don’t absorb something I need for my students. I am strongly considering a table skirt to help with storage.

7.  Window treatments/wall decorations – brighten up the room and make it feel like home.

Keep your own style because you are the one and only you.  No one is just like you.  Use ideas, but be an original.  In a few weeks, I’ll post pictures of my classroom for you to see.  More anon.  ¡Ciao!