Friday, October 24, 2014

Five for Friday (October 24, 2014)

Just five? There is so much to share...

But I will narrow it down to my top five of the day...

1. I got another present today. Quite possibly I could be blinged out by Christmas...


2. My group during our 4-H time started learning about the lifecycle of a sunflower and wheat plant (by watching some short YouTube videos). They got a small bag of seeds to create patterns (a math standard for us--repeating patterns for K and growing patterns for 1st)



Thinking we've got the pattern thing. 

3. Jenny. She got moved to a new-to-her pen. With more green grass. This is how she felt about it. 

video

4. Jenny again. She is such a blessing to our school family.


5. This week I jumped into what so many do effortlessly... Facilitating research projects with first graders. Some day I may write about the process. For now, group photos are it.







Now, hop on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching and read what my friends are up to.

I'll be doing my homework--college class AGAIN this weekend. It's good stuff, but golly, I'm tired!


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Monday, October 20, 2014

What a Difference a Week Can Make

Not clockwork.

But oh, so nice.

Today had a great start...

1. A present from a sweet student.

A handmade necklace. A gift from his heart. I love it.

2. A message from one student to another. 


During instruction time--yuck, but with proper punctuation--yay!! Not chastised for not paying attention, rather I photographed the evidence.
(Translation for those of you who are not as fluent at reading first grade writing---"Kaydan do you want to play spiderman?"
I'm pretty sure they were surprised to not be in trouble...
Maybe they will learn a secret--make your writing/drawing meaningful by using new skills I have taught, and I will let you keep doing it!!

And a great ending...

1. The beginnings of a research project (special places in our school).


2. Children working together. 


Maybe our long weekend was good for ALL of us!
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Teacher Quality and Preparedness

Words that strike fear into many teachers:

It doesn't matter how many students you have, what matters is your quality teaching.

So you will have 24 (give or take a few) first graders this year.

And your evaluation will be impacted by their scores on standardized tests.

But how? And with what? And who will support me when I have questions? And how am I going to organize it?

Lucky for me it is time to rack up some college hours so that I can renew my teaching license, and I found a class that is answering some of those questions.

Yesterday and today we poured over the research. We were taught using good teaching practices (do as I do--YES!). And I came home with some great ideas (and books to read).

Next weekend we will dive into 6 instructional tools that will magically transform me into a Quality Teacher who is Very Prepared.

Stay tuned...
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Monday, October 13, 2014

Clockwork

Isn't it grand when the day runs like clockwork?

Today was NOT that day.

Maybe I needed to have spent more time over the weekend in my classroom getting lessons and materials ready (I thought I was ready). But I really enjoyed my family, a soccer game, time with my friend on Sunday afternoon and watching some DVRed shows.

Maybe I needed to incorporate more play and fantasy into the day. I mean, they are six and seven. What do they do? Play pretend, and if I'm lucky, they learn something along the way. But I had a schedule. And they were not following it.

Maybe it was the rain and the anticipated indoor recess.

Maybe it was the promise of a short week (only teaching 2 days, then the kids have fall break).

Whatever "It" was, "It" threw my plans out the window by 10:00.

Maybe tomorrow will be a clockwork day...

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Occupational Hazard

OOOWWWWW that hurt!

My class has chores this week.

We were almost done. Chickens--check. Calf--check. Pigs--check. Hang up the hose--CRASH. 

Right into my thigh. I screamed (a little from pain, a little from surprise--nope, it was a LOT from pain). 

As I was doubled over I heard in the background--"I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry."

I kind of hollered back--"I accept your apology!" I didn't want to accept. Someone RAMMED a wheelbarrow straight into me, but youngsters were watching, and I had to be a good example.

She continued out of the barn to whatever job needed that wheelbarrow and I staggered, teary-eyed to a bench to sit down. 

A friend of mine who was helping chore saw me, and said that she thought it wasn't broken (perhaps that was a comment on how much I was describing my pain). But it REALLY hurt. 

Anyway, I'm ok.

But next time you or anyone is in the barn, watch out for eager youngsters who should not be driving wheelbarrows at high speeds.
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It Was Fun

How do you know?

They told me it was fun.

Today Mrs. Jones and I were debriefing after school (like every day). What went well, what we want to do better, what flopped, what we LOVED.

Not even sure what she was talking about, but next out of her mouth was, "It was fun."

As soon as I had "H---" out of my mouth, she finished with, "I had a pony."

(I was about to say, "How do you know it was fun?")

And then we both busted up laughing.

It has got to be one of our favorite videos.

We quote it often.

Last week we had chocolate pudding, and it was fun. We also pay for classroom extras (folders, glue, and snacks) with kidney money.

(We don't have pudding or pay with kidney money--we are kidding.)

If you do not "get" what I'm talking about, watch this...


                                     

Yes, that was fun.

Pony rides, knife throwing and pudding.

Love.
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Monday, September 29, 2014

Interactive Math Journal

Today they loved math journal time.

Last Friday (after school) Mrs. Jones and I revamped and ramped up our math time.

We love teaching and enjoy improving what we do. And when we find a great blogpost or TpT product we get really excited. 

That's what happened on Friday. Mrs. Jones showed me this post on math rotations.

And we got to thinking about interactive math journals

Today I modeled and talked through a journal entry, and then the kids had a try. 

Let me say--teacher heaven. 

1. Practice cutting skills (fine motor)
2. Follow directions (where to glue)
3. Practice "making ten"

It was a long practice, but fantastic. Some kids were disappointed that the work was in a notebook that they could not take home--that's how much they loved it. Lucky for us, we talked about how they could make their own at home. 


When almost all were finished they got a turn with a partner "being the teacher."


Not sure what Bloom's level it is, but teaching someone else HAS to be high. 

And even one friend helped another friend do some writing. LOVE!!

I looked at a lot of pins and blog posts and YouTube videos about interactive notebooks this past weekend. I even created a board for interactive journals on Pinterest.

What was I missing?




I cannot wait to use these bad boys. 

Tomorrow: another interactive page, and an anchor chart for journal behavior and expectations. And maybe the glue sponges will be ready. 

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