Saturday, August 24, 2013

 Five for Friday on Saturday

I'm joining Doodle Bugs Teaching for her linky party Five for Friday.

1. We had had such a good day on Friday that I was looking forward to coming back on Monday and picking up on where we left off in practicing and following procedures. Well instead of one step forward two steps back, it was more like 10 steps back. I have a VERY talkative class this year. I have been online looking for solutions. I have been finding some success with whole brain teaching. I've never had any sort of training, I've just been doing a little reading and watching  videos. This past Monday, it was like the first day of school all over again. I had lunch duty and my teaching partner took the kids (all 54) out for a 15 minute recess and then back in for a bathroom break. I had told her I thought it was too many for one person too handle, but she was braver than me and forged ahead. I was sitting in my room when I heard a lot of commotion. I walked out in the hall and was confronted with a foggy, smoky-like hallway. It took a moment or two to figure out what had happened. One of my boys sprayed the fire extinguisher. I have been teaching for 17 years and have never had that happen. It's never happened with any student of any grade since I have been teaching. I corralled my kids back into the room and then a student from the other class did it again because one of my stinkers told him to. So my week got off to a very shaky start. Oh yeah in all of the commotion there was some pushing and shoving. One of my boys fell on the other teachers foot and fractured it. Needless to say, we haven't tried taking both classes to the bathroom again.
2. This one is not school related, but I have talked about losing weight forever, but have had no motivation. Our school has been working with the health department for the last several years and this year they even set up a workout room in our building. They gave us a treadmill and some exercise balls, I'm not sure what else because of course I haven't been trying to shape up. One other thing that we have is a weight loss program that started last week. It is after school and it is free and open for anyone who wanted to sign up. So I thought I would give it a try. I think it is going to help me, because at least for 12 weeks, I'll have someone checking my weight and looking over my food diary. Does this tell you I have no self control...well I do have some, but my biggest problem was that I love coke and really and I mean really sweet tea. So I haven't had a coke or tea since Sunday and I have been surprised that I did have headaches or anything. The first week I lost 2 1/2 pounds. I have a lot to go, but I think this program will get me into some better habits before it is over.
3. We use Everyday Math. I had been going over the "bunny hop" with the kids. It is basically teaching the kids to use a number line and "hop" each time they say a number. It really does help those kids who want to start counting before they have moved. We did a group bunny hop lesson on the smart board. In the book "Teach Like a Pirate" he talked about getting out of the classroom so I decided to take the kids out to the blacktop and do the bunny hop outside with the kids being the bunny. I made each table draw their number lines, some did better than others. One student was the bunny and a partner rolled the dice for them. They had a great time, it is something we will do again! Here are a few pictures. It was so sunny out, I couldn't even see what I was taking a picture of.

4. As I have said, I have a couple of stinkers, well to be exact...7.  Four of them are boys who just can't stay seated and they bother every one around them. So I tried having them sit on the rug with a dry erase board as a lap desk. It worked like a jewel last year with a couple of my boys. Well that was last year, this year when I have tried it, the boys are laying down, wiggling all over, one was on his back with his feet in the air, another was doing a headstand. So I sent them back to their seats where they were bothering everyone and not getting any work finished. I thought that if I had some extra money sometime I might try to buy some of those balls for them to sit on. I bought 3 of those beach chairs, you know the ones that sit really low to the ground, on clearance at Walgreens before school started. I was going to use them when everyone is reading around the room. I decided I would try three of the boys in the chairs on the rug to see if that would help them. I'm very happy to say the it worked great for 2 of them, the sat and got all of their work done. Zamarion was still in and out of the chair so Monday I'm going to try the 4th boy in that chair to see if it helps him. I have a little kids lawn chair that I might try with  Zamarion, since it is a little higher off the ground, he can't just roll out of it like he was the other chairs. Now if I can figure out how to get them to work in a group for centers, I'll have it made. ;P  The chairs look like these without the ocean!
5. I don't know about anyone else, but I feel completely overwhelmed right now. We have a new lesson plan format that at least right now is very confusing and  taking me forever to fill out. I have a new test that I am supposed to be giving to the kids instead of DIBELS. I haven't  tested anyone yet and I'm supposed to be finished by next Friday. My partner went to the training and hasn't said much to me about it except to give me the password. I'm hoping it is pretty self-explanatory. I'm supposed to make sure all of my kids can relate to someone else where they are in their learning. For example, "I know 20 of the 25 unit 1 words." That would be nice but we have been so crazy that I haven't assessed anyone yet. I'm suppose to have academics vocabulary notebooks for the kids and doing activities or games with the words, have an interactive word wall, have learning goals posted daily that the children can tell to others, be teaching them the Great Expectations life principle of the week, teaching Core Knowledge along with 90 minutes of math, 90 minutes of reading plus 30 minutes of intervention for tier 2 and tier 3 students, The times they have set up for us added up to 4 hours and 30 minutes and 4 days out of the week we have 4 hours and 40 minutes of teaching time. OK, I'm tired now just reading it, I would go take a nap, but I have to get to work on grading papers, lesson plans, and oh yeah I need to do laundry, mow the yard and clean house. Wish me luck.

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Friday, August 16, 2013

 Five for Friday

 I'm joining Doodle Bugs Teaching for the linky party Five for Friday.

I have been back to school for 2 weeks and since I had to unpack my room from a move, I feel like I have been trying to play catch up ever since school started. So this 5 for Friday has things from the past couple of weeks that I just haven't had time to post.

1. Here are some pictures from my classroom. these were taken before school started, I do have a few more things up on the walls now.
This is a picture from my door. I have books all over the room, but I guess the back wall with the orange shelves would be what I would call my library. I'm trying tables for the first time since I have been teaching first grade.

This picture is taken from in front of my computers. As you can see from this picture, our newly renovated rooms are very colorful. My teacher table is in the back corner and then behind the black shelf is my writing center. In the foreground you can see part of the rug I bought. It has 24 squares and we have already outgrown it. I have 27 students so far.

This picture is taken from the back door. The shelf that is by the rug have AR books and easy books to use at the beginning of the year.

This picture is taken from my teacher table. The computers are in the far corner. The table with the orange chair is my writing table. I don't have anything hanging above the boards, for some reason they did not put any tack strip above the boards so everything has to be taped with something that won't ruin the new paint.

2. Here is my version of the BE poster I saw on pinterest. I have a lot more words to add, but I am going to use it as a vocabulary lesson and introduce the Life Principles from Great Expectations each week. Once I have introduced the words, I'll put the word on the board.

3. This board says:
In our class...We celebrate success. We use critical thinking skills. We are committed to excellence.
We speak in complete sentences. We demonstrate mutual respect. We have high expectations. 
We are responsible for our own behavior. All children can learn.

4. My principal bought me some brightly colored Ticonderoga Dixon pencils to use for my different tables. So I decided to spruce up my pencil holders a bit. Here's the supplies I used.

And here is the finished product. I love them!

5. As I said, I am seriously behind. All of these pictures were taken before school started 2 weeks ago. So staying with that theme, here are two  pictures of my daughter on her first day of 5th grade.

This is one of students on the first day. I had this frame last year, I just added the sock monkeys to it.

Enjoy your weekend!

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