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Hi everyone! My name is Noelle and I am a Special Education teacher (self-contained, grades 3, 4, and 5!) After graduating, I started teaching Kindergarten!!! I had only applied to sub when I was called in for an interview! The following school year I moved schools and changed grade levels. I absolutely love where I am now and what I am doing!

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Classroom Word Walls

At the end of the summer teachers begin setting up their classrooms for the upcoming year.  So much effort is put forth.  Everything needs to be, has to be perfect, down to the last detail.  Where should my math area go?  What about reading? Wait, I need a writing area.  Every teacher puts such careful thought into decorating their classroom.  Now that you have the set up done, it’s on to decorating.  Where should that poster go?  Should I move the behavior chart to a new area?  Where should I hang finished work?  Will the children even see this from their seats?  So much goes into classroom set up and decorations. 

Here is a picture of my word wall before the transformation:

This year, I put a lot of thought into my word wall.  I decided that it was time for a makeover, a re-vamping.  Now don’t laugh, but I made the area itself smaller.  I bet you’re thinking, “Why smaller?” Well, let me explain.

I loved my word wall.  I loved each polka dotted word and letter.  I loved how it matched the rest of the polka dots in the classroom.  I loved how it was right in the front of the room next to the board.  Now you might be saying, “Why did you bother to change it?”

I changed the word wall in my classroom, I made it smaller, but I did so for a great reason! I made my word wall into a moving word wall, that’s right moving!   “A moving word wall? What’s that?” Let me take a minute to explain.  I took my word wall and created a way to put the words directly into the hands of my students! 

Here's what my word wall looks like now:

Transforming the old word wall into the new was super easy too! Each letter is on a magnet, just below the magnet is an adhesive hook.  Each set of words coordinates with the letter.  I just used a hole punch to make a hole in each of the words from the old word wall.  I put each set of words on a ring and hung them on the hook.  Voila! A moving word wall! Now when a student is wondering how to spell a word, all they have to do is walk over to the wall, grab the set they need, and take it back to their seat.

Each letter has colored and black and white words.  The colored words are words that are used often or they are words that have been used in class.  The black and white words are Dolch words. 
My students love being able to help themselves instead of asking how to spell different words.  It makes such a huge difference throughout the day.  I think that transforming my word wall has significantly helped my students, but it has also made them that much more independent!

I would love to hear your thoughts on word walls and how they are used in your classroom! Leave a comment and let me know!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Currently - February 2016

I am once again linking up with the fabulous Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the February Currently!

Oh Boy It's Farley

Listening: I have the T.V. on in the background while I work on some things for work.  I love watching Castle re-runs.

Loving: I have a four day week this week.  I am taking a personal day and we're heading to the mountains for the weekend.  The hotel we had our wedding reception at gave us a "mini moon," so we are taking full advantage of it this weekend! I can't wait for two nights away in the mountains and I am so ready for some skiing!

Thinking: I can't wait for dinner.  My hubby made so Portuguese Kale Soup and it smelled delicious while it was cooking!!

Wanting: I wish the dishes would magically place themselves back in the cabinet when they are clean.  I wish the dirty ones would magically hop into the dishwasher.  That's not asking for too much is it?

Needing: I am working on a post about my classroom word wall.  I am a bit  hesitant to post it though.  I put so much of my heart and soul into my last one and really opened up.  I just felt like I put all of this effort into it for it to just sit out there in cyber space.  It sort of made me not want to blog for a while.

Swooning: Meet Darwin!! He finally arrived from Georgia last Tuesday! He's such a calm, loving, sweet boy! He fits perfectly in to our little family!

.. and I am still swooning over this handsome, little man!

Have a fantastic February everyone!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Currently - Happy New Year!

Wow, has it been a while!?!  My last blog post if from October.  I thought I would get back into things with a Currently from Farley at Oh' Boy 4th Grade!

Here we go:

Listening: I love that time of day after students leave when all is quiet for a few minutes before I begin my afternoon tasks.  It gives me time to reflect on my day.  What went well?  What could I improve on?  Is it Friday yet? - HAH! I truly enjoy these few minutes of peace and quiet before returning to work.

Loving: I am currently loving life! This past fall was a difficult time for me because of the loss of my grandmother.  It's something I am still struggling with and by no means is it easy, but right now I finally feel like things are where they are supposed to be.  I wish she could be here to see all the wonderful things happening in my life right now:

We closed on our house December 18th!

My husband and I brought back a tradition from when I was a child.  We decided to bring back Christmas breakfast!

We had many laughs with my brother who was home from Oregon,

We attended a beautiful wedding for a cousin and his new wife on New Year's Eve!

So yes, while life has been hard and I've struggled, I am looking at all of the positive things life has given me.

Thinking: Blogging. I really need to get back into it.  I enjoy being able to write about life and teaching.  I think it's a bit therapeutic.  I'm going to be looking in to a few different posts and begin blogging again as soon as possible!

Wanting: We found a dog to rescue and it looks like we will be adding a furry family member within the month! Stay tuned for a post it all goes as planned! I'll be crossing my fingers until then!

Needing: We bought a house, are (hopefully) getting a dog, now it's time to make sure everything is unpacked and in a home!!  We only have a few small things left.  Christmas vacation gave us some time to put most things away and settle in!

One Little Word: Positivity. As I said above, I struggled to see the bright side.  I am now looking at life in a positive way and using that to cope with the loss.  It's hard to always be positive when you feel like breaking down, but I'm getting there and will continue to look for the positivity in daily life!