Tuesday, July 16, 2013


So I saw my new classroom today! Trying not to panic, because there is so much to do.
I thought I'd post some pictures of what it looks before I start beautifying it.
Check it out below!
Front Left Corner
Giant and super high bulletin board
Back Right Corner

Front Right Corner
Back Left Corner
As you can see... there is so much storage!!! I love the cabinets, sliding white boards and high ceilings. There are also soo many bulletin boards, some that are super high and daunting. Yet it's going to be a blast to decorate. I already have so many ideas. Check back later to see the final product! :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Graduation... a new beginning

Me and the ACE Bus!

This past weekend I graduated from the University of Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program. I can't believe my two years is already over!! It went by so fast.

If you don't already know, ACE is a wonderful Service through Teaching program that places young grads in low income Catholic schools in cities across the country. Participants are asked to trust in God's plan and accept a random city, school, and grade, while taking intensive classes during the summers and school year towards both their teaching certification and Masters in Education. Its an amazing program that combines community, spirituality and academics to produce highly effective teachers.

And I was so blessed to participate. The last two years I taught second grade in Denver, Colorado at the very first Expeditionary Learning school in the country. I learned so much and made so many wonderful friends.

And although I loved my students, school and Denver family and friends to death, I have decided to continue teaching next year back home in San Jose, California at a school whose staff is part of Santa Clara University's Academy of Blended Learning. I'm going to continue in Second Grade, and continue in Catholic Education. I'm excited about the future and excited about all the new things I'm going to learn.

Can't wait!! 

Last Week of School

Every teacher knows that the last week of school is almost always the craziest. Between cleaning/tearing apart the classroom, fitting in those last second standards, finishing up projects and saying goodbye to your students, it's a surprise that we get it all done. 

This year was especially hard. I had to tell my students that I was moving back to California. Like the typical girl that I am, I totally cried. I told myself I wasn't going to, but when you say goodbye, and the kids start crying, which starts the parents crying... you can't help but join in. 

Before leaving though, I gave my students the below packets. At such a struggling school, I wanted the kids to remember that no matter how difficult their every day life and no matter how much they struggle... they are important, they are special and they can keep shining bright. 

Each Packet contained...
  1. A Bible Coloring Book (bought at the Dollar Tree)
  2. A summer activity, reading strategy and practice packet
  3. A laminated picture of the class
  4. A Butterfinger (since 24 out of my 25 kids had never had one)
  5. And one of my favorite quotes ever...

For as much love and learning that this class gave me, it was a meager end of the year gift. Nonetheless I hope that I left them with more than just a Butterfinger and summer work. I hope they left with lots of memories, some self motivation and all the necessary skills to blow their future teachers out of the water!

 Gonna miss this crazy bunch of kiddos! 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dinosaur Project

Throughout the Month of May, rather than embark on another expedition, we spent our Social Studies and Science block of the day learning about Space and then about Dinosaurs. Taking a more PBL approach rather than a full expedition. Both topics are merely introduced in my curriculum, but act as an amazing stimulus for reading and writing. As a result we did a fully independent research project on dinosaurs. Each kid was given a different letter of the alphabet and had to research a dinosaur with that letter. They then had to create a paragraph with a topic sentence, details sentences and a conclusion sentence. They finished their project by drawing their dinosaur and working as a class to compile them into the book below.