Friday, October 2, 2015

Think, Speak, Celebrate

I think a lot.

Sometimes I think too much. Sometimes I should think a little bit more.

Today I was wondering if I became a teacher so I could talk all the time. Because I really talk too much.

Next week my goal is to talk LESS and let the first graders talk more. It's a great goal. Sometimes I talk to fill the space so that the kids can't talk. Yikes, totally need to find a better way.

As I visited with a wise teacher before school today, she reminded me that every improvement (more words read, more time on task, etc) should be celebrated. So this is what I celebrate tonight...

Some tough to love kids and I have started to play at recess. Like tag and hide and seek and laughing and hugging. It started as just a little thing between me and one student. Now it has spread to more.

Most days I feel like Maria von Trapp, skipping around, leading the children, about to burst into song. Other days I feel like the Pied Piper. The kids just follow. I have not asked them to follow, they just do. I feel kinda famous--they want to play with ME. And I am nothing special, just a teacher who wants to create relationships so that teaching is easier.

It may be that I love recess as much as the students do. I look forward to recess. Our game. The laughter. The time when my only agenda is to run and smile and create a space that is contagious.

Tonight I celebrate the kid in me that is connecting to the kid in my students.
Pin It!

Monday, September 28, 2015

News From the Farm

Just another Monday...

Meet our newest first grader. She's a little young (3 weeks) and pretty hefty (90 pounds), but our principal made an exception and is letting her stay. :)

She doesn't have a name yet, but my class has brainstormed a few, narrowed it down and tomorrow will be the final vote. It will be decided between both first grade classes.

I feel kind of in charge. But thankfully, another teacher knows more and is a consultant on the case. And the other first grade teacher jumped right in and gave the first bottle. And I think she could easily be in charge, but I guess we will co-lead this project.

It was amusing today as we needed to decide the feeding schedule for the rest of the week and had a stalemate. We Rock, Paper, Scissored to determine the morning feeder. We went three rounds and every time chose the same. It was awesome--we are starting to think alike. And the students enjoyed seeing us do it. 

In other news... Our class has the saying of the year... Do. Not. Panic.

It comes from Roxie. The book about her and some hooligans is so enchanting. Seriously, go check it out and read it. It could make you laugh. (Find it on Amazon or at your favorite bookstore.) So, anyway, we say it a lot. 

During math. Do. Not. Panic. In preparation for lock down drills. Do. Not. Panic. When Mrs. Bartel is having a freak-out moment. Do. Not. Panic. And apparently, they (at least one) say it at home. I love it!!! I think that book may become a beginning of the year read aloud for every year in the future. Just so we can have that saying.

Do. Not. Panic.

Pin It!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Telepathy is Real (in my opinion)

The "First Grade Brain" is still going strong. 

The distance between us is about 20 miles, but the telepathy just amazes me! We think alike and can still finish each other's thoughts.

Mrs. Jones (my soul mate teacher bestie) called last night to tell me about her awesome day, which included apple and crop learning and making applesauce with the kids in her classroom. Super fun, super cool, and super educational.

Low and behold... My class made applesauce yesterday! And we NEVER even talked about it together.

Not all that other stuff happened in my room, but I'm on my way to check out her ideas and incorporate some of them next week, along with an apple poem, and a trip to the apple orchard. 

Well, the trip to the orchard is a stretch, but maybe I can wave my magic wand and make that happen...

Pin It!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What's New?

So, you know how it is when you are with someone a lot?

You start to know what they are going to say, what they are thinking, and it just feels familiar with them.

It can be a very comfortable feeling.

I find myself saying good-bye to some of my co-workers by saying, "bye, love ya." It just comes out, and then I realize it...

That it is true. I do love them.

Today as the kids were leaving for the bus, we were late and I was just trying to rush them out the door. No hugs, just, get moving!

That's when I felt the arms around my waist. I stopped and gave a hug back and said, "bye, love you."

We have been in school for just a few short weeks, but the love is real.

And thank goodness that first day, the first week, the first three weeks are over for the year.

Routines and patterns are being established. And the familiarity with each other is growing.

And so the year has begun.

Pin It!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Tried to find a linky party.

No one is home.

But I'm gonna party by myself.

Two pictures that make me LOVE my day today...

Shoes lined up after being dumped of sand after recess. There are more shoes around the room as well. I think they did not want to put them back on. Who am I to make them? It's hot, and as long as they are doing the math, I just don't care.

A dance party to celebrate the end of the math testing!!!

Hope you had a fantastic Wednesday--what made it good for you?

Pin It!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

It's That Time of the Year...

It's that time of the year,

when I become a cranky MESS.

Also Known As... Benchmark Testing.

I like the data.

But the giving of the tests. That's a whole nother story.

I'm in the thick of trying to get everyone tested, and keep my cool, and follow the protocol and keep it quiet for the best testing situation.

And all I want to do right now is crawl in a hole and take a nap, cuz it is just not happening.

But what I really want to do is teach the kids, like last week. Introduce them to wonderful books. Encourage them to take chances with letters to read or write. Smile at them when they make connections or dig up a detail in the story. Watch them play a fun math game (that is really the lesson in counting and adding on).

So, can we all breathe together. And hope that tomorrow will be a day full of goodness and grace.

Pin It!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Parent Information Night

I can talk to and teach and guide little ones all day.

But their parents? That scares me a bit.

So, every year when "Parent Information Night" shows up, I start to get very nervous. 

Two groups of parents, sitting, looking at me, wondering what I have to say.

They are not scary, really, they are loving parents, just like me. But I am supposed to "know' stuff about their kids and teach their kids and I just want to do a good job. And by the end of many days I can't remember what we did or who learned what, and that is the part that is scary.

But this year was/is different. 

I've been keeping daily notes on my grid (see this post), and posting on a class blog about what we've been doing daily. So, I have stuff on the kids, and the parents already know what we did.


I was still scared at Parent Information Night. But when they lined up to talk to me after my "speech," I felt like I knew who their child was, how they learn, what struggles they have, how I've helped them become successful. All because of the notes I've taken, and reread many times in order to be a better teacher.

And they LOVE the class blog. Being able to read about something that we did during the day helps get the conversation started after school. No more "I don't know" or "nothing," because the parents have a word, activity, or something to remind their child.

Let's face it. Parents just want information. They are not criticizing, or telling us what to do. They just want to know that their child is safe and in a place where they are encouraged to make growth (social and academic) every day. 

I can almost look ahead to Parent/Teacher Conferences without a stomachache...

Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...