Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Job Situation / Preferred Activity Time

Let me start by saying I still have no clue where I will be teaching next year and it is starting to get on my darned nerves! Many people I know have already found out their placements. When I discovered yesterday that a former colleague with less seniority than myself was notified, I contacted HR basically going "uh, what the heck??". They assured me that they are still working on sending out the notifications and to try to be patient (HA!). So I waited alllllllllllllllllllllllllllll day today and nada. It's so frustrating.

My dad, who is slightly clairvoyant, told my mom he saw me in 3rd grade. But yesterday when she called to ask me if I had found anything out, he asked her if she was talking to me and she said yes and he said he sees 5th grade now (which is my 1st choice). The weird thing about that is, he knew the schools I had requested transfers into but he didn't know the grade levels. 99% of the time if he tells me stuff like that, he is correct about it. I would be absolutely tickled to have the 5th because a) I was a student at that school back in the day, b) I student taught there in 5th grade and c) I would get to work side-by-side with my cooperating teacher and my former 6th grade science teacher. Basically the epitome of the best job situation ever. But I refuse to focus on it or get excited about it until I see it in writing.

I'm not a patient person at all (uh, just ask The Husband about that one *wink*) but knowing that others who are lower than me seniority wise have already been notified is getting on my nerves. I just want to know so I can start thinking to the future!!

In other news, I was re-reading through The Daily 5 book earlier today because I want to make some comparisons for myself between it and the Day-to-Day Assessment book I recently finished. I had a huge epiphany while I was reading it. They talk so much about choice and stamina and everything in the workshop model. I recently read "Tools for Teaching" by Fred Jones and one of his biggest strategies is using Preferred Activity Time. I've used it in the past but when I read the chapters about it in his book, which I hadn't previously read, I was in love. He says the best way to use it is to make it academic stuff but with choice so the students look forward to it and don't always necessarily realize they are actually learning. Sheer brilliance.

So then I'm reviewing Daily 5 out on my porch swing, trying to keep my mind off the ever elusive placement email, when something just clicked in my brain. One of the stupidest and most frustrating things about my district is their utter lack of a social studies curriculum K-5. Sure we have state standards and all but there are exactly ZERO resources to actually teach those standards. I had the thought to utilize the Preferred Activity Time with the choice menus in the tic-tac-toe format and voila....instant, engaging curriculum that provides choice and learning at the same time.

As with most of my huge brainstorms, I will stick this idea in the back of my mind until I find out what grade level I will be in (hopefully tomorrow or I might have to drown myself in chocolate!) and once I know, I can really look at our standards and see how feasible this idea will be.


  1. Oh my goodness...I would be SO stressed if I had to wait to see where I would be teaching. Is this an annual thing in your district? I love the 'think-tac-toe' idea. I'm thinking the 'Freaky Friday' concept might be a great motivator/reward for students who have made good choices all week.

  2. Yep, unfortunately this is pretty normal in our district. They claim that stability (for not only the students but also the staff) is important but they do stuff like this fairly regularly. It is irritating.

  3. Thanks for the info on Words Their Way. My book arrived today and I have to get it at the post office after 5:00. I am excited to take a look at the activities and I am exited that this one will include that kind of stuff instead of just research etc.


  4. KT, you will love it, I'm sure :) It can be kind of overwhelming but its such a great program!