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Thursday, July 16, 2020

BIG Changes!

So I know we are in the middle of a pandemic and we have all made some big changes in recent months like helping our students learn from home and homeschooling our own children but I am in the middle of another huge change. My beloved elementary school that I have spent the last 14 years of my career in closed at the end of this past school year.  It was something that was planned last fall due to declining enrollment and consolidation but it was a tough pill to swallow then when schools shut down in March, none of us knew that our last day was our last day.

I spent a week at the end of June cleaning out my classroom, going through lots of memories and possessions that have accumulated over the past 14 years.  When I started at this school, I had a small room with one table, a second grader sized desk with my computer on it, a filing cabinet full of other people's old files and a huge bookshelf filled with leveled readers.  Because of declining enrollment and the wonders of time, I have a HUGE classroom filled with all kinds of things, some of which I use every day and many that I do not.  

Add to that my impressive collection of math literature and some of the professional development books I have read (I confess to also having a coffee table at home full of these!) I had a lot of things to go through.  I will be following almost all the students and some staff members up the road a few miles to a larger school where I will be working with more teachers and many more students.  Because this school is getting a large influx of kids all at once, they are creating several more classrooms which means my space will be a tiny room (it's not a closet because it has a window into the hallway!) that I will be sharing with a literacy specialist.  This meant I had to a DRAMATIC downsizing of my possessions.  I really pared things down to the things I use every day, the math literature books I look forward to reading to kids the most, the professional development books that I am always lending to other teachers and the math manipulatives, games and cards that give me the most bang for my buck.

Starting sometime this week, I will be going into the new school to get things set up and will be sharing with you some of my favorite things (aka the things I kept!).  If you have a small budget, are just getting started or are looking to downsize, these posts will be must reads for you!

I also have been working on lots of posts and a free ebook on math boxes.  I haven't shared much here on the blog about math boxes because there is so much to say and I have never been able to put a post together that says all the things but they are something we have been using every day over the past 5 years and they really saved us during the switch to online learning.  They are also a personal possession of kids and are used by one student so they are something that will work well for this crazy school year we have coming at us.  I have so much to say and share that I am working on a free ebook called Getting Started with Math Boxes.  I REALLY want this ready to share with teachers and parents during the back to school season but you know real life gets in the way sometimes. I am working on it in the in between hours when my kids are occupied or sleeping but after 4+ months home together 24/7 I get less time to work on my projects than I would like!  

I also just announced that my first book, the Complete Multiplication Workbook is ready for pre-sale and anyone who orders it before August 3rd will get a free copy of my very popular Multiplication Fact Deck and Activity Set.  You can check out all the details in this post

It has been 14 years since I have changed schools and I am doing it during a pandemic.  Nothing like lots of change at once!  I know there are not really pandemic experts out there yet but I bet some of you have a lot of advice for teachings changing schools.  I would love it if you could share some of that advice in the comment section below! 

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