Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again

"So, what do teachers do all summer, Mrs. Day?"

"Well," I replied, "I don't know about the rest of them, but my husband and I have a little trailer on Spirit Lake and I have spent most of the summer over there.  Over the 4th, when it was so hot everywhere, I sat in the lake."

"Ahh. Sounds nice."

And, it is nice. I have had a truly relaxing summer. I've read a lot of books. Played a lot of games on my computer. Swam. Golfed. Went to a couple of great concerts. But in four short weeks, I'll be back to school.

The counter and my desk are full of baskets of books...

So today I went up to my room.  I knew the custodians had taken all my baskets off the shelves of my bookcases. I told them not to worry about putting them back because I wanted to sort through them and arrange them myself. So, here is what my room looked like at 9:30 this morning.

The shelves are empty.

So, I rolled up my sleeves (figuratively, of course. It's waaaaay to hot for sleeves) and set to work.  I checked each book in the basket. Made sure it was in the appropriate basket.  I renamed some of the baskets. I didn't want kids only going to some baskets and ignoring others simply because of the label on the outside---so bye-bye "Chic Lit" and "Boy Books".

On top of one, I made a little display of Mrs. Day's favorite books.  I need to bring a few more from home, but that can wait for another day.

And, after four short hours, I had all the books in the right baskets and the baskets organized on the shelves. Author baskets and series baskets are on one shelf.  Genre baskets are in the big bookshelf in the middle and the non-fiction are in baskets on their own shelf. Plus, my textbooks have their own shelf!

I also got the back bulletin board ready for August 23rd.  I have "I Dare You" prompts on the board and a few spread throughout the room.  I really like these writing prompts from Spilling Ink. Every once in awhile, I just want to tell kids to find a prompt they like and write about it.  The next time I go back, I'm going to put up a "Read. I Dare You." board by my bookshelves. I'm going to put out some books that are good, but kids tend to ignore and see if I can get them to read outside of their comfort zone. That probably won't work well until we really get going, but it will be fun to see if there are any brave souls at the beginning of the year.

So, I can go back to the lake for a couple of weeks and feel pretty good about my room. There are a few little things to do (and some books I bought that need to be inventoried and put away), but the housekeeping "stuff" is pretty much done.  Now I can start thinking about ....well, first I think I'll do a little more swimming, a little more golfing, a little more reading.  Everything else can wait just a little bit longer.....


  1. I love that writing bulletin board...and that bookshelf full of great books....and that awesome Gone With the Wind display...hey, can I be in your class!

  2. I can't believe you already stepped foot back in school. First of all, we are never allowed back in before a week or two before school starts. So, maybe I'm a little jealous that you have a head start -- and can relax a bit more as the days draw near to a new beginning. Room looks great! By the way, not sure if it was by your choosing, but I love the brightly painted walls! I work in an elementary school and you'd think bright colors would be allowed . . . no such luck.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. THe colors are my (and former roomie's) choice. I love bright colors and when the student leadership team was volunteering to paint, these are the colors we chose. I really like it in the winter, especially!

  3. My first reaction: oh, no, I would never go back so early. After some thought: this is actually a better option than returning few days before the school starts. Then again, I don't have this option because the building is closed. Your classroom looks inviting. You can relax and enjoy the swimming, golfing, and reading.

  4. How cool, returning to you class half way through the summer. I NEVER did that. I love what you were able to do right in the middle of your most relaxing time. BRAVO DEB.

  5. Your swimming and summer enjoyment will probably be a bit more sweet now that you've wiped these tasks off your to-do list!

  6. Ahhh...it makes me want to write and read and TEACH. Thanks for sharing a little glimpse into the getting-it-ready part of the summer.

  7. Ah, now for more relaxing! Our schools let you in anytime, so sometimes it was like you never left. That's a danger! But it is so nice to be able to get ready leisurely, no last minute rush! Enjoy the rest of your lake days!

  8. Looks like you are pretty well set, and can now sit back and enjoy and not worry about all that "stuff left to do". I, too, love your bright colors - it makes the room and your class so inviting! Thanks for sharing.