Saturday, September 24, 2011

Reading Centers

It has been such a stressful couple of weeks. I feel so overwhelmed with everything! I try to be the best teacher possible but sometimes it takes its toll on me. I have a fabulous group of kids this year and I am very happy with them. It's just the extras that go along with teaching.

Compare and Contrast Lesson

This past week, we did a compare and contrast lesson. First I had the students compare the other reading teacher and myself. This was a Venn-Diagram from one of my classes.
Yes, it does say we are both bipolar! I definitely had to laugh about this! What 10-11 year old knows what bipolar means? The class had a lot of fun with this but their favorite part was yet to come. I had made no bake and sugar cookies. Students got into pairs and were given a graphic organizer. They also got each of the cookies and were able to compare and contrast them. They were so creative. Some were smelling and others were listening to see if their cookie made any sound. It was a good lesson. And what kid doesn't love cookies?!

Working with Centers

I am a very OCD type of person. I like things done my way and if they aren't, I start to freak out and get frantic just thinking about it. I have already had to go outside of my comfort zone this year and do some things I would not normally do and I've been ok with it. I met with the principal several times this past week as we have tried to determine what is lacking in reading. Our scores have not been where they should be the past few years. As I said earlier, I put everything I possibly can into my teaching so this is extemely frustrating to me. We came up with several possibilities. He would like me to do center work so I can actually work with just a couple of kids at a time. This scares me. First, I do not feel like it is teaching. I feel like I'm throwing my students to the wolves to fend for themselves. Secondly, this sounds like a ton of work that I will need to do on top of what I am already doing. Maybe that is selfish but it's just the initial scare.

After coming home and letting some tears flow, I thought about what I would do and then I did what I always do. I went to the internet to do some research. I am now feeling better about the thought of having centers in my classroom. But I would love some ideas!!! If anyone has any advice, I would happy to hear it. It would make me feel much better! :)

It's hard to believe we are already halfway through the first nine weeks!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Well, I'm finally getting into the school groove again. It takes me a while to get back into the swing of things but once I do, I'm good to go!

I use clipboards for a lot of different things in my classroom. I decided to make them look better than the ugly brown. So I decided to paint two of them:
I really liked the way they turned out. I think I am going to bring all of my other clipboards home from school and paint them several different colors. My students love using them too so they will have fun with them!

As a language arts/reading teacher, I have the kids write many stories of all different sorts. I honestly never know what I may read. Most of our writing is fictional but my favorite to read is autobiographical because it gives me a real sense as to who each of my students are. Anyway, this past week I assigned a story. Let's just say they were rather interesting:

I can't flip this. But it says "doudle douch compation."
And here is another very creative writer:

Hmm..I really wish I could learn how to flip my pictures. Perhaps "Jonny no legs" could help me.;)
 Through my years of teaching, I have learned that 10 year olds love to draw. However, if I want them to draw something for an assignment, they hate it? Kids! I also get a lot of pictures throughout the school year. I have kept some that I think are rather comical so when I am having a bad day, I can go back and laugh and remember that I really love what I do. Here are two pictures students have drawn of ME.

Um....That's all I can say about this one!
ps. I am not African-American! :)

One of my favs!
I am having a really good year and am enjoying my students. They have such big personalities. It makes life so much better when you can wake up and look forward to going to work. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's a bird!!! It's a plane!! It's a . . .

It was definitely a crazy week at school! On Thursday, a teacher and I were standing in the hall talking while my students were at recess. Something flew down the hallway and she said "Is that a bird?" Quickly, I screamed "It's a bat!!!" and I ran in my room and shut the door! I peeked out when I knew it flew to the other end of the building. My school is shaped like an E with me being in the lower line. The bat kept flying through the "stick of the E" so I could see it going back and forth. The secretary announced for teachers to close their doors and keep students in the classroom. In the meantime, my teammates were in the hallway trying to catch the bat. NOT ME! A couple of times, it flew down my hallway and I would shut the door and avoid it! Finally, the janitor came out of hiding (also known as the break room) and took care of the bat.

Now this is not the first time a rodent has been in the old building. My first year there, I was one of the first teachers at school in the morning. A male teacher was in my room talking to me and we walked into the hallway when a bat swooped down towards our heads. He screamed more like a girl than I did! :) We slammed my classroom door shut. Then we wanted to know if it was still out there so we started going to his room when it swooped at our heads again. He ran into his classroom and slammed the door... in my face!!! Luckily no one was in the building during this time or did not watch the security cameras because I'm sure it would have been a comical scene. We eventually ran to the doors and opened them and the bat flew out.

A couple of years later, a boy came out of the bathroom in the early morning and said there were mice in there. A teacher found 4 baby mice and disposed of them in the woods. During one of my blocks, I was hanging up work in the hallway and I looked down and saw a mouse scurrying by. I was not as scared as I am with the bats! Ahhhhhh!!!


Friday was one of the hottest days I can remember during a school year. It was in the 90s and the heat index was well into the 100s. The majority of the classrooms do not have air. Fans were on high and the lights were off. Around 1:20, the fans suddenly shut off. Several teachers went into the hallway to find parts of the school lost power. I'm sure it was due to the large number of fans being used because of the heat. We had to go the remainder of the day with NO fans. I could not wait to come home and take a shower. I felt disgusting!

I just joined Pinterest. Through all of my stalking reading blogs, I have seen it is a popular site with bloggers and teachers. I'm still trying to understand it. It doesn't really make sense to me but I'm working on it.