We made it completely through our first full week of school! :) I really am so thankful that I didn't end up teaching 1st grade. I know I would have been fine but 4th grade is SO MUCH MORE FUN! It is, by far, my most favorite grade. It also helps that our Reading Street stories for 4th grade are super fun!
On Monday, I posted this super fabulous blog over at PlanbookEDU.com! A reader even sent me a message on Twitter about the post. ♥ Love!
I was SO WIPED all week and I don't know why. I would come home every day and just want to sleep. I thought for a bit that I might be getting sick....but I'm not so I'm not sure what the deal was. Perhaps I'm still just trying to adjust to being back to school.
On Wednesday, I found out that my Kids' Food Basket unit I wrote this summer is live at learningtogive.org! It's so cool to see something I slaved over posted on a website for thousands of teachers to utilize :)
On Thursday, my new principal, who has been doing pop-ins all year so far (to get to know us AND be visible to the kids, which is AWESOME and hasn't happened in the previous 3 years I have been in this building), came in and sat while we were doing our Daily 5. Let me mention this was the FIRST day that we actually moved in groups. I'm focusing on Read to Self, Work on Writing and Word Work right now. Eventually I want to add technology but these are the areas that I want my kiddos to focus upon right now. We have practiced each station as a whole class and Thursday was the first day we put it into action. Then my principal comes in! Oh my. But it was FLAWLESS. The kids did a great job, even when Mr. Principal wasn't in the room, they were so quiet and worked the whole time. I was overjoyed with them. I got to all 4 of my groups which has NEVER happened the first day that I've done rotations. Ever. Plus one of the questions we were working on was about fluency and I told my students, "Now Mr. Principal is my boss and he is sitting right over there, but I'm going to tell you that *I* don't care how fast you read--I care that you know WHAT you read. It's all about making meaning in our class, even if you read slower on your own than you do when we read together." When Mr. Principal was leaving the room, he told my group he totally agreed with me on that. ♥ VALIDATION! The problem has not been me all these years. (I knew it wasn't but here's some concrete proof.)
Friday was a good day. I was a bit nervous about Friday the 13th because I had recess duty and it is just a day that lends itself to disasters. But the day was AWESOME. We use Everyday Math and our district "removed" the spiral and created units that correlate with the content that matches each standard of the Common Core (so we start with lessons in Chapter 2 and then end up in Chapter 12 for the first unit our district made). They also added Common Core Math Tasks (CCMTs) and Formative Assessment Lessons (FALs) within the units. This allows us to monitor with real Common Core like tasks and assessments if our students are "getting it" before they get to the test. They are well designed too.
Friday for math we did the first CCMT of the year which was about factors. We use the Calendar Math from Stephanie so they have had a lot of practice with the factors. I was very pleased with how their work turned out! I have to take some pictures of the final product still but it was very easy to see which of my students had grasped the concept and who still needs some extra support.
Additionally, we did our first real "walk" with the Walking Classroom this year and it was great! A bunch of kids forgot their headphones so they had to walk without listening but the other kids really liked it. Our story in Reading Street is "Lewis & Clark & Me" and there is a podcast about Lewis & Clark. Perfect! We will be walking again tomorrow and I am excited to see how much better they do with the second walk as compared to the first one.