Thursday, August 28, 2008

I need your attention in 3...2...good...

Being that it's the first week of school we're mostly just getting kids into the routine.  Teaching rules, procedures, habits etc.  Pretty much everything is new to these kids - even the ones that have been to the school before.  Partly because they're in new classrooms with new friends, new teachers, and new ways of doing things.  And partly because as soon as summer starts their brains fall out their ears and they forget everything they learned the year before.

To help them along in their remembrance of school rules - or to help them learn the rules for the first time, we enlisted the help of that world-famous super-hero:

Captain KYHFOOTY (pronounced ky-foo'-tee) (kyhfooty is a school rule that stands for "keep your hands feet and other objects to yourself).  

The kids loved it.  We'll see if they remember the rules...

Student 1 - Mr. B, what are we going to do today?
Me - The same thing we do every day - try to take over the world!
Student 2 - You can't take over the world, you're just a third grade teacher who's evil.

This is my plan book.  It looks so official doesn't it?  It's really just a comic strip I'm working on.

Monday, August 25, 2008


First Day = A tad overwhelming, but overall - AWESOME!  I told a friend today that I feel like there's so much to do and so little time, yet there's so little to do and so much time.  She agreed.  Maybe it's a teacher thing.

I kind of can't believe I'm actually a teacher.  Someone thought it would be a good idea to entrust the lives of 28 8/9-year-olds to me for 7 hours a day.  On top of that I'm responsible for their educational progression for the next 9 months.  I had a "What the hell did I get myself into?!" moment today, but it was just for a bit.  I think it's that new-job feeling.  It's just gonna take time to get the hang of things.

Highlights from the day:

Most of my kids LOVED the pirate theme.  It even works great as a reward/punishment system.  I could already tell they'd be disappointed to lose pirate treasure and/or points.  That's a good thing.  One girl, however, was not so enthused.  She didn't want to be a pirate, or even a princess - what else is there?, I ask you.

Math time was a challenge.  My kids struggled to count by tens.  Some even struggled with counting by ones.   I was helping a young man with this problem ( ___, 918, 919, ___) and he mostly just gave me a blank stare.  WHAT THIRD GRADER CAN'T COUNT BY ONES?!?!?!?!?!?!?! *sigh*

Nothing funny happened today though - unfortunately (well, aside from the myriad mustache comments from all sides).  Everyone's still on their best behavior because it's the first day.  But I'm sure the hilarity will be shortly forthcoming.  

I think the next few weeks (who am I kidding, the next several years) are going to be exhausting.  I didn't get out of the school until about a quarter to six today (I was the last person to leave besides the sweepers), which meant I went straight to the theater for a show (during which a cast member ripped out her dress, on purpose, by flexing her muscles - it was awesome.)  The show ends on Sept. 20 (shameless plug - come see me!).  During two of the next 4 Saturdays I have to perform in all three shows.  This week being one of those weeks.  I'm gonna be dead.  

P. S. My classroom has no air conditioning.  It was 100 degrees today and I had 25 kids in my room. Brutal.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


My classroom is done. 

Bulletin boards are up, colorful, and engaging - but not too feminine.
Calendar is up and dated - a bit girly, but I borrowed it from my aunt.
Names are on desks, desks are arranged to fit academic excellence and feng shui.
Books are organized, students are registered (but that's another blog in and of itself)
My name is by the door and school picture day is coming up.
I'm ready...I hope...

One thing you may notice in my pictures is a giant red dotted line running around my room.  That's my treasure map.  There will be, sometime this week, 9 different stops on the map - volcanos, islands, whirlpools etc. - that the kids have to get to throughout the year.  They do this by accomplishing things like memorizing multiplication tables, reaching benchmark reading standards etc.  I'm also going to have a class boat that sails to one destination a month.  I'm going to give group rewards in the form of treasure that goes in the treasure box at the end of the map, the end-of-year prize/party/amazingly-awesome-something-that-Mr.-B-gives-the-kids will be dependent on the amount of treasure in the chest.  Also, if kids pass off all of their math facts (basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication) they get to become a pirate captain.  They get their very own pirate ship and become a part of my pirate army.  It's gonna be awesome.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Our school does SEP's (SEP=Student Educational Plan=Parent Teacher Conference) before school starts to get some paperwork from parents, give students and teachers a chance to meet and set goals, establish expectations, etc. etc. etc.  So, I had my first Parent-Teacher Conferences.  They were good.  Not much of anything out of the ordinary really.  I handed out paperwork, met a few kids, met a few parents, and had a good start I think.

I even had a good educational experience.  One of my student's parents was filling out some paperwork and while she did that I read a story to my student and her little brother.  I even stopped and clarified, used comprehension strategies, and had active voice inflection.  It was cool.  I hope I made a good impression on the parent.  Especially since I have a mustache.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I forgot to mention one very important piece of my home redecoration - Lindsey Bird.  She's a profesh with the interior design and helped me with colors and ideas etc.  She's pretty much the coolest and I recommend hiring her to help you with your own redecorating projects and paying her inordinate amounts of money to do so.  She's worth it!  Thanks Linds!

Sunday, August 17, 2008


My summer has been - to say the least - eventful.  What with career changes, vacations, plays, new friends, redecorating etc. etc. etc. I've hardly had time to think, let alone blog, but I've loved every minute of it, and once school gets going I should have some great stories to share once again.  Until then, here are some highlights from the last few weeks.

Policeman Greg, he's a policeman...or a porn star

I could totally be an international man of mystery

I'm turning into my father in a frightening way.  We look eerily like my parents did 25 years ago.

I just need to vent here.  This is from a pirate-themed murder mystery dinner I went to with a friend.  I'm a bit miffed for three reasons: A - They made me a merchant rather than a pirate.  B - I didn't even place top 3 in the costume contest though I'm sporting a full-on ponytail with a ribbon, a mustache, ruffled shirt, red socks, and a table-cloth-turned-cape.  C - the girl who won the costume contest was wearing a rented costume.  How lame is that?  It takes no creativity to rent a costume.  I guess I can console myself with the fact that I was quite possibly the most attractive person at the party rented costume or otherwise.  And the cape was fun to play with. :)

Nothing says happiness at a wedding like a pink ribbon in a ponytail.  Remind me to cut my hair at the first available opportunity.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Home Sweet Home

As many of you know my roommate/cousin recently got married (Congrats Annie and the Steve!) and moved - thus leaving me alone in my condo.  Because it's summer and I am basically jobless until the end of August, I did some redecorating.  Take a gander.

Before (now these pictures are from when we first moved in last September, so there have been several decorative phases since these were taken, but you get the idea.) And after. :)

I'd just like to pause and point out a couple of things here.  First - the light fixture.  I installed that all by myself.  This may be shocking for some of you to read, but it's true.  In fact in all of the redecoration I received help in only two things: 1 - My friend Toffer painted the second coat on the giant yellow wall.  2 - My dad installed the microwave.  Everything else was done by yours truly.  Now if that's not something to be proud of, I don't know what is.  Secondly, the drawers are decopaged.  I think they look really cool.  And now for more pictures :)  These don't have any before versions.  The loft was used mostly as storage til Annie left, so there was no reason to take a picture of it.  This one doesn't really do justice to it's current awesomeness, but it's the best I could do.  The bedroom used to be Annie's, so no before picture there either.  Just imagine that the walls were all that same beige color and there was a bed and dresser.  These pictures also don't quite capture the breathtaking nature of the room, but there's limited space there.  You'll all just have to come over and experience it live.

Pretty cool no?  I sure love owning a house. 

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A bit cliche, but who isn't at times?

3 packs of #2 pencils - $2.76
5 packs of glue sticks - $1.10
2 packs of neon pencil-topping erasers - $1.94
4 boxes of markers - $3.52
30 boxes of crayons - $6.60

Making the first purchases for what promises to be the coolest classroom in the history of the world - priceless.