Sunday, August 26, 2012

Why didn't I think to teach reading during the school day???

Three weeks into the new school year, and it feels like I've known these kiddos for years. It's amazing how quickly you can become acquainted with someone you are with for 7 hours a day. But I have a very bright, energetic, creative, fun little group. They are definitely individuals, and they say things that make me think everyday. Here's a story from one of my very smart, and majorly funny kids. We were working on a writing assignment that required them to make a list brainstorming to help them write a story later. The students were asked to trace their shoes on paper and list places their shoes have been recently or in the past. Most kids wrote about trips they went on recently or local places they had visited. This particularly humorous child wrote that his feet had been on "his dad's butt". While I totally believe this to be true, I'm not sure that he got the point of the assignment. Or more probable, he understood the assignment, but decided he could make it better. And he did indeed write a story about kicking his dad's butt. It is going to be an interesting year...

I also had a moment with one of my little girls that makes me wonder if I have been teaching at all these first few weeks. She asked when we were going to start having reading class. I said, "Huh?" thinking I must have understood. You see, we have reading instruction for 2 1/2 hours EVERY DAY. She repeated the same question. I hated to tell her that we HAD already been having reading class and I was sorry she had apparently missed it... Yikes!

One more story also relating to writing. I had a couple of kids getting a little bit rambunctious one day during my guided reading lesson, so I pulled them over for a little "chat" afterwards. And by "chat" I mean "I talk and you listen". Anyways, I told them in a fairly quiet but severely fierce voice that that behavior was completely unacceptable and that if they continued these choices, they would be working by themselves at their desks. Stations are a privilege, after all. Later during free writing time, one of these students decided to journal the event. The topic he chose to write about was things he wonders about. It went something like this. "I wonder if Ms. Hannah will yell at us again. I wonder if she will get mad and yell a lot." It went on for a while in this manner. But my favorite part was the picture. It was me and I had a speech bubble that said "YELL!" So funny. I was telling a coworker and she said she couldn't imagine me yelling. I kindly told her, that is because I wasn't actually yelling. But to his little ears, that is how my fierce voice was perceived. At least he got the message, I suppose.

On a separate note, I had a little creative time this summer and made this awesome jewelry board. I can not even begin to take credit for this as it was a pinterest find and all my friends would have seen it too. But I can not emphasize enough how much I LOVE this board with all my jewelry every time I walk into my bathroom. It makes me smile. Here are before and after pictures.

On a completely unrelated note (because I am not sure what this could possibly relate to) I am attaching a picture I took while on vacation a couple of years ago. We were doing some shopping and this sign was posted in the back of the store. Really makes me want to step up my teaching for my EL kids, I'll tell ya! There's some motivation!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Brand New Pencils, Brand New Books, Lots of Teachers Pouty Looks...

I know that isn't exactly the saying, but with school starting 2 weeks earlier this year, there has been a good show of pouting. Of course I was not a part of this. Eager as I was to come back. Who wants to lay at the pool anyways? 

 It is that time of year again. Fresh boxes of crayons, bruises from running into newly placed furniture, and cob webs being wiped from the corners. Ahhh, the joys of back to school time. 

Since I moved from second grade to third this year, I am in a "new-to-me" room. I wish I had taken a picture of the before room, but when I walked in that first time... I can't say I was thinking about blogging as much as diggin' in. And I couldn't exactly see this room turning out that well, what with the mauve colored cabinets. Floral prints would have matched well, but it isn't the 80's nor am I in my 80's.

I digress. Here are some pictures of the finished product. And I must say, it turned out better than I thought.

The lovely craft posters came from a blog. They are adorable and very informative.

The best thing about this room is this black board. It is magnetic paint. Awesome functionality as a word wall.

The library station, much like last year.

Guided reading table. I invested in a shelf from IKEA (covered in zebra print because my baskets didn't match, I know... OCD much?)

This was a bulletin board with gross water stains. So I covered it in hot pink fabric. And the kiddos made "third grade backpacks" to display. They loved making them and they turned out great!

Computer area and supply drawers.

math manipulatives, semi-organized

The whole group area. Had some trouble thinking of colors to go with the mauve cabinets, but decided on pink and green. Kinda my new favorite combo right now. And animal prints as well. Now, I would never actually wear or decorate my house this way (no objections to others doing these things, but I'm not exactly an animal print kinda gal), but they are fun to decorate a classroom.

A work-in-progress calendar wall.

I'm sure there will be many changes and updates to come, but it has been kid-tested for 1 and 1/2 days and has come out on top. Now for the actual teaching part...

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Do I have a baby?

Several months ago, I was eating lunch in the teacher's lounge and received a disturbing email. It was titled "What to expect in your 36th week of pregnancy". Why am I getting this??? Who sent this to me? Do I LOOK like I'm 36 weeks pregnant? This is curious. And yet funny. Someone will surely confess to this well played prank.

So we laughed about it.  A few days later, I received more email subscriptions about which car seat is best for baby and which stroller is best for mommy. Still no confession of any friends. 

This continues for a few weeks, then I begin getting things in the mail from Similac. Thanks for the deals, Similac, but I'm not sure I'm there yet. 

Then one of my favorite things I got in the mail: Information on the benefits of keeping my supposed baby's umbilical cord. If I could find the baby, maybe I would find the umbilical cord as well!

Another thing I received in the mail... a trial subscription to Baby magazine. Never mind that I did read one issue and learned some interesting information. Needed to know? Nope. 

Then the last and most hilariously awkward delivery. Actual baby formula. Similac is apparently VERY generous. Thanks for that. 

All to say, I am UBBER prepared for a baby. Good use of my summer time off...