Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nose Pickers, Tattle Tales and SMARTBoards

Nose Pickers
I knew that teaching little ones would mean more germs, more gooey noses, more coughs and sneezes; I knew it was coming, but I still wasn't prepared for this...
Student 1: "I can touch my brain!"
Student 2: "no way"
Student 1: sticks his finger up his nose, pulls it out with "goo" on it, and says "see, this is my brain"
Student 2: "Cool!!"
Gotta love the little ones!!

Tattle Tales
He said, she said, I said stop the tattle tales! Wow, I forgot how badly they like to get each other in trouble. From the minor to the major and everywhere in between, I'm more of a referee then a teacher. I've started asking them "are you tattling?" and that seems to stop them until the next incident occurs. It's taken me by surprise how much attitude some of these 6-8 year olds have. It's like they've never been told they can't do something before! That has been the biggest challenge so far, wish me luck.

It's in! It's finally installed and working! I love it, it has been so much fun playing with it the past few days. The kids have loved it too. I've taught just about every lesson using the SB. It's completely interactive and if you don't know what I'm talking about, you should look it up online and explore it. It's keeping the kids attention for longer too which is very nice and they all get to be involved in the lessons.

Life in GLEAM 1 is fun (they keep me laughing), tiring (bed at 7:30?!), loving (constant hugs!), dirty (can you touch your brain?) but most of all great!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Coming Together

It's all beginning to come together. After 2 weeks of trials and tribulations, I'm figuring it out and getting it done. What I thought would be hard is turning out to be not so difficult.

I've said, since I found out that I was switching grades, that my goal is to create, independent learners, active listeners and students that are willing to TRY! This is my goal because of my experience in 5/6. Nothing is more frustrating then to have a group of 12 and 13 year olds that can't think for themselves. If I can help stop that now, I will!

The kids true personalities are shining now. The honeymoon is over for sure! But, the behavior problems, don't really seem like problems compared to the 5th and 6th graders. Talking, talking and more talking, is the biggest issue right now. I'm working on coming up with a plan, but the kids have so much to say and I'm torn between letting them speak and making them wait. But, when I'm teaching a lesson or reading out loud, it can be VERY distracting.

Planning for a day with the little ones isn't as hard as I anticipated. In fact, I hesitate to say that it's easier. They are excited to do just about anything, which makes planning fun and less stressful. The hard part is the upfront work. I can't just "wing it" anymore.

Little by little, it's coming together. My fellow 1/2 friends are fantastic resources and it's nice to have friends like that to work with. The parents in my class are great, and very helpful. Most importantly, the students love me, all 21 of them!

In fact, I was asked by a parent at open house if I have any kids and my response was "Yes! 21 of them in fact!" I love my job :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I Love My Little People!

I made it! One whole week with 1st and 2nd graders. After Monday I wasn't sure I would make it through Tuesday, let alone a full week but I did, and it was great!

Not only have they made me laugh every single day (I had one student tell me he was Michael Jackson's grandson and then show me the moon walk and crotch grab), they have taught me to be patient (it takes lots of patience to hear your name called by 20 students at the same time), to love (spontaneous hugs are the best) and to play (who doesn't like a good game of "Simon Says"). It certainly hasn't been easy, it took until the end of the week for me to take my 5/6 "goggles" off and put my 1/2 "goggles" on, but I'm getting it, little by little.

I have an amazing support system at school. Every teacher has checked in on me, offered me bits of advice, and even a shoulder to cry on. My administration team has been wonderful and patient as I try to maneuver my way into 1/2 territory and the parents have been very kind and understanding.

I may not have it down just yet, but I can say that after a week of ups and downs, I am ready for the challenges ahead. Like my great friend Elizabeth said in the copy room yesterday we "have the road map, now we have to get in the car and drive!" And after some reflection this week, I can honestly say that I love my little people!

Until next time...

Monday, August 10, 2009

What a day!

Well, I survived. I don't know how I survived, but I'm still standing and I'm going back tomorrow!

The day started off great. I was up nice and early, picked up my friend and got to school in enough time to get everything done that I planned to get done. Then the bell rang...

I was not prepared for the rush of parents, kids and questions that came on. There was also a parent volunteer trying to wrangle parents about how their child was getting home. So I survived the first 10 minutes and then realized that my TV wasn't plugged in and we couldn't see announcements. Oh well, no biggie. That was just the beginning, I used the word "decipher" with a room full of 1st/2nd graders! Seriously?? They all looked at me like I had 4 heads. My kids will have a great vocabulary, that's for sure!

With all the stress that I felt, as I look back at the day, there were certainly a lot of positives! They love our classroom pets (2 birds and a turtle). They are super excited about our "Scoop Up A Good Book" reading program (it's amazing what ice cream can make a child do!). Everyone was able to walk quietly in the hall to the restroom, and we got compliments. Our People Hunt game was also a huge success, they loved it! Not to mention, some of my kiddo's from last year, came back to visit me (during their homeroom, but at least they came, LOL!)

So looking back, I can laugh at what went wrong and learn from it, and I know that it will get easier. Also, thank you so much to all of my ANLC family for the support and kind words, as well as a shoulder to lean on.

Day two...bring it on!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ready or not... they come! Tomorrow is it. It's the day that I've been planning for all summer, meet the teacher day! My room is just about ready. I have all of my fun boards put up, name tags are made, welcome letter is typed, cubbies filled. Now for the fun part. I have to clean...ugh! That is never fun, I have had at least one project going on at each of my 8 tables over the past two weeks, and now I have to figure out what to do with all the "pieces." Stuff them in closets? OK!

I have a busy day ahead of me tomorrow. We have a district wide meeting from 8-12, then about 45 minutes to get my room ready for visitors. At 1pm, we will all be introduced to the families, then head back to our rooms and wait for the parents and students to come and meet me. At 3, we have a staff meeting and then maybe I'll be able to go home and relax for a little while. We'll see! I'm tired just thinking about it...

So I'm headed to bed for was a long day, with another long day ahead of me.

Ready or not...

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Let the countdown begin! One week and counting until the students arrive at my door ready to go. Only 4 days left until teachers are back in action. Thursday will be full of meetings, staff photos and time in our classroom. Friday we will get to meet some of our class face to face. That is honestly my favorite day of the year. The kids come in, nervous, ready to see the room and meet me. I get a chance to connect with parents and students. First impressions are lasting ones and without the pressure of the first day we can all be ourselves. It also gives the kids a chance to see the room and explore before the school year begins.

I went out today to pick up some school supplies. It is honestly my favorite time of year to shop! I love seeing the bins full of crayons, markers, erasers, pens, pencils, glue, etc. Along with the backpacks, lunch boxes, notebooks and folders. All the fun things that make going back to school tolerable for kids. I will send home a list of "suggested" materials on Friday, in hopes that everyone will be prepared on day 1. We'll see what happens.

We got our schedule today. I feel better now that I now what my day is going to look like. I will have to sit down with my GLEAM (Grade Level tEAM) this week and confirm, but just knowing how the timing will lay out has helped me prepare, even if it's all in my head.

So here we are, 4 days left of summer vacation. All of next week will be spent in my room, hanging bulletin boards, making name tags and planning first week activities. I'm excited! Are you?