Sunday, February 1, 2015

Currently: February

Listening: to Key and Peele on Comedy Central. They have a funny Super bowl special and my hubs put in on while he is putting away papers on his desk.

Loving: The beautiful weather outside! I know people are going to hate me for this but the weather has been perfect this weekend. It has been sunny and in the 60’s. It’s great for bike riding or anything outdoors. Sunshine makes me happy!

Thinking: about interventions at school and our Tier 2 and 3 students. For those of who don’t use the same lingo, interventions is a time where our kids are split up by their reading ability and getting differentiated instruction on what they need. Tier 2 and Tier 3 students are those who are not still developing their reading skills and are not on grade level. Tier 2 students are ones who need a little extra support and are just a little behind. Tier 3 students are ones that need a lot of extra support and are a whole grade level behind. We just switched up our groups for interventions and the majority of our kids are doing really well. They are in on grade level groups or above grade level groups. But the gap has gotten even bigger for the ones who are struggling in reading. My team just wants to do what’s best for them and keep giving them the instruction they need to fill in gaps. It just weighs on my mind. I want to help these kids succeed. 

Wanting: A long weekend to enjoy with my family and friends. The weekends are great but we have so many errands to do and I would like some time to just slow down and enjoy the whole weekend. Long weekends are just amazing because you have an extra day! I just want this time to distress and relax. Luckily we have a President’s Day weekend right around the corner!

Needing: To order party invitations but I’m super indecisive at the moment. I find one I like and then I see another that is just as pretty. Then I get distracted by the wording and change it up. I finally think I’m going to buy it and just can’t click the buy button. I just keep looking at invites over and over. I know I need to make a decision soon thought to send out these invites.

Pageant title: Umm this was super hard for me to decide on! I thought maybe Queen of Clean because I love things to be neat and clean. Then I thought that was boring and I don’t care sometimes about leaving a mess. So that was out. I asked my husband and he said I was the Queen of Everything. I told him that wasn’t helpful. So I came up with Queen of my Class. I really do feel like the Queen of my classroom. My kids are respectful and always I know they look up to me as a role model. They really make me feel like a Queen with all their sweet hugs, notes, and drawings

Monday, January 26, 2015

Power Outage

Today was an interesting day at school. We had no power for most of the day. I’m not sure what caused this to happen. We had a storm last night but we have storms all the time in Florida.

I came to campus early to get ready for the week and only half the lights were on in the hallways. When I went in my room all the lights turned on and one of my computers turned on too! The Internet wasn’t working but I thought this doesn’t seem so bad. Then we got news from our principals that the power was running on the generator and that would only last for two hours.

In my mind I’m thinking “Ahh oh no what do I do without technology!?!” Our whole day we use the smart board and computers!

Then in walks a new teacher. She tells me she is supposed to observe me for part of the morning and then observe other teachers. Didn’t Dr. Principal let you know? Umm nope! But I welcomed her all the same.

Since my computer that hooks up to my smart board was still working I decided to use that asap1 I knew my time was limited. We did our reading lesson and then started centers. In the middle of me explaining a word work center for the week all the lights went out.

No power.

We were now on emergency lights only. I had one light in my room on and the bathroom light. Thank goodness I have windows. Some classrooms don’t so they were really in the dark.

So we went on through our day and did literacy centers. We had several people in and out of the room all morning. On stated “No the power will not be coming back on” Another few times “ Can I have your attendance?, can you give me your lunch count? Food went bad and they needed to know how many lunches and make a list of those kids to charge later.

My kids did really well and went with the flow. Just like Pete the Cat ;) Love that little cool cat.

The afternoon was uneventful. We went through writing fine and my kids were shocked we could learn math without smart board. I’m glad it was a review lesson though. I allowed for a lot of extra time to use manipulatives (cubes and counters) during the lesson. Then I gave them plenty of time to finish their independent work and play math games.

Then the kids went to P.E. and the teachers all chatted because we didn’t have any e-mails to check, things to print, and data or grades to put in. I did get a chance to check math papers, write team meeting notes, and make of list of things I needed to do once I had Internet.

Then all of a sudden  the lights came on again! Yeah! Power! It was the end of the day at 2:30 but the power finally came back on! It puts things in perspective the things we sometimes take for granted.

We finished the day with snack and a book about polar animals. Some days are a little crazy and we have to be flexible to keep it all going!

Glad that everything is back up and working for tomorrow. Now this tired teacher is off to the gym to keep in shape!
Hope you had a more organized and productive Monday. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Talking about books on Tuesday

Hello there!

I’m sure many teachers are talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week and I wanted to share with you a few books I love to read to teach about equality, understanding, and peace in my classroom.

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  is an excellent  elementary school biography. It’s illustration come alive and young students are able to learn about the influential Dr. King. It is a great introduction to start conversation on segregation, racism, equality, boycotts, and how our world has changed today. My students enjoyed listening to me read about his life and had many questions about the Civil Rights movement.

A book I like to use to teach my students about equality and understanding the world around them is For Every Child a Better World This book is currently out of publication but you can still find it at used book stores and Amazon.

This book explains in simple sentences how some children are fortunate enough to have their needs met and others are not. For example it states some kids have books, a classroom, and a teacherothers do not. I then ask my students what we could do to help others and remind them of how lucky we are to have all our resources in our classroom. 

After reading the stories I have my kids write using a example from the book how we could help people in our own community. Some examples:
Some kids don’t have toys or games to play with. We should donate our toys to others so they can play with them.
I think this book helps them realize how they can help others and take a stand like Dr. King.

That’s all for talking about books! What are some books you love to use this time of year?

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five for Friday

Cheers to a four-day weekend! I had a teacher workday today.

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 I got so much done in my classroom and got to leave half day. I got report card comments and grades in last night so I could focus on setting up new centers, new reading groups, getting ready for the next week, data, interventions, organizing, etc. The list was really long but I got it all accomplished.

I love having a teacher workday. We have one every marking period to get report cards done. Does your district give you teacher workdays?
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 We did this winter writing last week and decorate mittens to go with our winter writing. I print two pages for kids that have larger handwriting.

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Next up for writing we are starting polar animal research project. The kids are going to pick their favorite polar animal.
The first book in this stack will be great for our research projects. Some one was cleaning out their room and put all these books to take in the workroom.

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Our PTA is wonderful and got each classroom in the school two of these “wiggle” balls for our students who could benefit from them. I have to say it makes a big difference with my kids that have problems sitting still during times they are working at their desk.. At first everyone wanted to use the ball. I explained that they are used for student’s that really need help focusing. Now everyone is used to seeing them and has tried it out during our center rotations. The novelty of the ball is over but it works so well for those students who need to bounce and move while sitting. It also has little legs on the bottom to stabilize the ball and not roll.

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How do you hold up your anchor charts? I hold them up by using these hooks on my board. I use tacks and large binder clips to hold up anchor charts. It’s easy to change out and visible to all the students.

Hope you have a great MLK weekend! 

Monday, January 5, 2015

1st day back in the New Year!

I survived my first day back! Yeah! It was a really good day.

-The weather was cooler today. (65 degrees don’t hate please I know it’s super cold everywhere else!)
-   I was productive before school and everything was organized and ready to go!
-   My kids were super excited to be back and were well behaved.
-   I only had 14 out of 18 kids today in class.
-We got everything done we were supposed to in class! Whoa!!
-Everyone's writing was amazing today!
-   The morning went by really fast.
-   We changed up our schedule and it worked out really well!
-   I got so much work done after school and left before 5.

Today was just a great day all around. I had healthy meals and now I’m off to the gym!

 2015 is looking really good!