Monday, December 17, 2012

Must Carry On

I have never been so hesitant to enter into school than I had today. However at the same time I could not wait to see my 19 little ones and just hug them all, tell them how much I care about them, and assure them that I would do everything in my power to protect them and keep them safe. Yet at the same moment being a teacher and protecting my 19 children at school I am a mother and I was extremely hesitant to send my child to school because in reality I know that you can't stop crazy and ultimately I know her teacher feels the same as I but we can't stop people who are willing to do such devastating things.

How were you all dealing with this situation? I have fourth graders so I feel like they understand a bit more than the younger kids however at the same time I wish they did not grasp the horrible concept. I also fear that there will be more questions as the week progresses and they interact with their peers. What were you saying in your classes?

Sending all my love and best with every teacher, parent, and caregiver out there. I know that everyone of us would do anything possible to keep our innocent children safe!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Interesting Websites

So I wanted to stop by and let you know about two math websites I have been using since last year but they are definitely getting me through this year with our new common core and math program in 4th grade within our district.

It is not only good for math but it is also great for science. They take each concept and break it down step by step in order for every level of learner to have a chance to understand.

The other website is I love this website to use with the Smart Board and let it become a center and extremely interactive.

Are there websites you use for math or science that you prefer? Please let me know!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Time to START blogging!

Wait did I just say that? Time to start blogging I thought that was what I had been doing....but then I realized I have not been doing a stellar job!! I think my problem is that I have been creative and making things and stealing things from other teachers and I am not blogging about the successes or the failues or the in between moments. So I vow to do a much better job in the upcoming days, weeks, and months. I always get more into the blogging when I read about a fun linky and I think I was interested once I read about the Boo'ed Linky through one of the amazing blogs I follow Fancy Free in Fourth

So now I vow to take pictures of the room tomorrow and add additional things to my site. Look out blogging world I am about to join full force!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Motivating Student Participation

Wow I know that I have been seriously slacking in the updates but I will work on it. This is going into our third week of school and I feel like my kids are still a bit messy and cluttered. Grrr!! Hopefully I will be able to whip them into 4th grade shape sooner rather than later.

Anyways I was writing briefly this time because I am interested in some ideas for getting students motivated to participate. I always (like most of you) have the same group of 4 students who are constantly paying attention, constantly have their hand raised, and are aware of the class discussion. I know that there are others who know the answer or are paying attention but I can't seem to get them to participate their responses or thoughts. What types of motivation or rewards do you use to promote student participation? I saw those smart beads on pinterest but are people just giving out Mardi Gras beads and calling them smart beads or are they more bedazzled than that? Please help and any suggestions would be super beneficial!! Thanks in advance!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday, September 7, 2012

Instructional Advice

So my district has chosen to pilot a new reading program called Journeys. It is suppose to be aligned with the new standards and has some well known authors such as Donald Behr. Here are my concerns or issues with this. I really need some input or advice on these issues:

  • Every 4th grade in the district is not piloting this program...some schools chose to pilot the program in the first grade. So it is frustrating that we can't ask fellow colleagues within the district for their advice or troubleshooting.
  • We have been using the Lucy Caulkins Reading Workshop strategy. It has worked wonderfully with our students because it allows for no center work or worthless activities in center rotations and has students reading independently. Obviously we modified it to allow for incentives such as computer time to keep the readers attention.
  • Now they have implemented this and first discussed it in June. We had an inservice in June and said we would discuss later on. Well school starts on Monday and the next inservice we received was Thursday. So basically gave us one day to meet with colleagues to collaborate. 
  • Then at these meetings there have been different administrators and each time the administrators have a different answer or response to how the pilot should be implemented and how fully we should use it. So we should be planning what for the first week of school?
  • The Journeys program is also frustrating because it is set up like a student anthology and we removed those from the curriculum over five years ago.

Can anyone see the trend in why frustration is building? Someone like me who is in their 2nd year teaching and just felt like they had a little bit of a handle on the curriculum is now getting all changed about. Oh yeah and our 4th grade math curriculum changed entirely. We are using Investigation books that last year the 5th grade teachers used. How can we take incoming 4th graders (who honestly are still little innocent babies when they enter in Sept) and teach them math concepts from an original 5th grade book?

What do I do?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Currently Linky

Can you believe it? I figured out how to link up to a linky party that had an image you had to fill in?!? I am shocked at myself!!

Where has the time gone?

Well I know that it has been a little while since last post and it was my original goal to be writing either daily or two or three times a week but I had to cut myself some slack we were away on a cruise and internet access was not being paid for.

School starts tomorrow for teachers and I am a fluster thinking of all the things I should have done before now (the night before) or could have done to be ahead of the game. I feel like all those things I told myself sounded so great at the end of June looking ahead to all the time I had off and now that the time is over...who was I kidding? That time flew so fast I was lucky I got the tons of things done that I did!!

I am up to 4 followers and feeling pretty excited about that, especially because only one is a friend from my own school. So a great big thank you goes out to you three ladies who have been watching!Pass me on to others please! I am trying very hard to keep this blogging thing up and get more into all the craziness of it! I hope to have more this week. We will be sitting in on four days worth of in-service meetings, curriculum changes, and CCS info. I will share with you my thoughts on it all and hope to get some of your feedback as well.

More to come tomorrow after the first hectic day back!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Classroom Is Under Way

Here is a look at my classroom thus far...I forgot to take pictures the other day but I will update more

view from my document camera and file cabinet

a look at my messy desk
the omputer area and guided reading table

 view of kids desks from the computer area...I love GG's old rocker

more kids desks and incomplete bulletin boards

white board area...trying to think of a way to make the sectioned off piece be the homework list area but unsure...any suggestions?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

You Know It's Back to School

I am linking up to share my idea of when I know that it is back to school time. I always have to schedule all doctors appointments, all car repairs, or any other appointments for myself or daughter after 3:30 because I know that I will not be getting out of school a second earlier. I also enjoy when I say to them at the doctor's offices oh do you have any late in the day appointments and their immediate response is..." Oh your a teacher then?" Just common knowledge or protocol I guess.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Bit Confused

I keep exploring everyone's blogs and ideas about different classroom ideas for the upcoming school year...FYI I do not go back until Sept 4th and the kids do not return til the crazy is that?! Anyways I am trying to boost up my blog but I am a bit confused with many steps

For instance no idea how to link up to many different the new teacher linky or other such things...can anyone walk a newbie through it?

Also what is the benefit of such a thing as a button? A lot of pages say "grab my button" why do I want to do that?

I know this seems silly but I am so intrigued by the entire blogging world that I want to understand it more...

Pretty soon I will be putting up pictures of before and after in the classroom and its new 2012-2013 set-up. I am going to go in early to start working because we will be away the last week of August when most of the teachers will head sometimes its nice to be there while no one else is to gather your thoughts and get things going

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Connecting with Pinterest

Okay so another love I have connected with over the summer was that of Pinterest.

At first I must admit I did not understand the hype about it and how everyone kept relaying things or ideas by saying, "Oh I found it on Pinterest." Well that did it. I had to know what everyone was talking about. So I looked into and I must say I am hooked!! I love everything it allows you to connect with other fellow educators, parents, crafters, scrapbookers to share ideas and display work.

Here are just a few of the things that I found extremely interesting this time around on Pinterest:

Organization/homework folders

 The use of the OWL binder or MOOSE folder to keep the students organized and communication with parents on a consistent basis.

The use of Smart Beads is interesting. I read about it on Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher and I like the idea of the students being able to walk around throughout the day with the beads and being recognized by other individuals for having them. It will be the constant confidence builder! I may have to look into big, bold beads for them.

 My other interest this summer is the use of foldables. I think they are the best idea I have learned about this summer. The basis behind them is to give the students more ownership over their notebooks and their note taking skills. Plus information sinks in deeper when students have a greater sense of ownership over the idea! I found a ton of great examples over on a Teacher's Treasures

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Diving in Head First

Well this is it! I am heading straight into the blogging world head first and not looking back for a second. I guess I should let you know what prompted this decision and where I hope to see this blog progress to eventually. 

It was about a month ago I was searching through Pinterest and got looking into different ideas for math centers for this upcoming school year. Well out of no where I found myself linking to a series of blogs that were created by this inspiring teachers who create things weekly or even daily (NUTS!! right?!?!) shared ideas, shared lesson plans, and just opened themselves up to sharing their experiences as teachers. I thought that this was amazing because here I am just having finished my first official year as a 4th grade teacher and I keep thinking to myself, "am I the only who is struggling to understand this?" or "what am I doing wrong?" and these teachers were doing just that in this create format of a blog. I had previously had a personal blog for documenting Sara's beautiful life and how our lives have changed since her but never thought to create a blog to share my other passion, teaching! Well here I go then jumping right in!

I hope to use this blog as a way to be more creative with technology as well as with my classroom and students. I am also hoping to see myself branch out and use different ideas as well as different teaching styles as I learn more from other fellow teachers. I just have to keep this up once school starts, which FYI is not for another 3 weeks. Thank goodness! I do not know that I am ready to say goodbye to my summer break yet! 

Well off to discover more gadgets and pieces to make my blog stand out and become more useful for myself as well as others!