Saturday, September 21, 2013

What We've Been Up to! (Picture Post)

Friends, this week killed me. I got sick early in the week and was just drained all week long. Thus I haven't been posting, reading, thinking or doing much of anything but sleeping once I get home! I almost took Friday off because I had been feeling so yucky but thankfully I was feeling much better and made it (barely) through the day. Now I feel like a bus ran me over. Ugh.

Here are some pictures of what we've been up to in the past couple of weeks! I just have to point out that I absolutely LOVE this class. With only two exceptions, all of my kiddos follow directions, are learning to work hard and I KNOW will make amazing progress this year.

While we were reading "Because of Winn-Dixie" in our anthology, I paired the kids and had them read the second half of the story in the partnerships. This was mostly so I could gauge where the kids are in their reading before all of our MAP results were done.

When I thought I was going to be teaching 1st grade, I bought this set on Teachers Pay Teachers from Ashley Reed (the numbers are from Tara and not part of this set).  This hangs outside of our room and every day when the kids come in there is a new question and they move their number to either yes (on the left) or no (on the right). The cursive one was inspired by a debate we had in our Scholastic News.

In math, we have been working with factors and had a Common Core Math Task (CCMT) that required the students to take a number and make as many factor arrays as they could with it. For a few of my students, I gave them a prime number to see if they would get stumped or not (as we've been working hard on the terms prime and composite). It is really interesting to listen to them debate whether or not they have all of the arrays they are supposed to have for their number.

This week, as an incentive for students who did all of their homework, we pulled out the iPods for the first time. (Which btw, the MIS people told me one was lost and therefore not tagged this summer...but it was in the box, exactly where I left it. I mean honestly!) In this first picture, it might look like the second little guy is annoyed because his chin is in his hand but he was actually just patiently waiting for his partner to finish his turn on the math game they were playing. ♥ I love these kids and how much they take care of each other!

We've been kicking some behind with our vocabulary cycles! I am so impressed with how well the kids have jumped on board with our Vocabulary Journals. This week we busted out the dictionaries for the first time. (We've done them together the first two cycles to help get my students into the routine.) This week, I gave them the words and they set our working together to look up the words and find the definitions. They are struggling to find synonyms and antonyms in the thesaurus but I am working with my principal to get our iPods connected to the internet so the kids can look up synonyms and antonyms online. I think, even in today's world of technology, that we teach kids dictionary skills and this is the perfect way that I can incorporate this into my instruction. 

Additionally, on Friday, I was talking to my new principal, and told him that, in all honesty, my previous principal had never liked me. Mr. Principal said, "how could someone not like you?" ♥ He has a sense of humor and it is so refreshing. He does RECESS DUTY with his teachers if he is free to do so. I can't tell you how refreshing that is!

He also backs us up. Yesterday our 4th and 5th graders were just awful with the fabulous effects of the full moon. Honestly, I wondered where my good class went. They got in trouble in art (!!) and at lunch. So I had our lunch aides who the kids were so bad to, come upstairs and made the whole floor apologize to them. My team and I also decided that our 4th graders would not be allowed to have basketballs or soccer balls at recess because they aren't listening to the teachers and lunch aides when it is time to stop playing. Mr. Principal totally backed that up. My team also decided that since they had been so disrespectful at lunch and I had recess duty Friday that the kids would have to stand on the line (something I DON'T like doing but they need to learn that they can't just act up). Mr. Principal totally backed me up on that too.

I swear, our jaws collectively drop continually when he supports us and follows through on what he says. It shouldn't be so shocking but considering the non-support we had before, we ARE shocked. In a very good way.

I'm SO grateful that I got to come back to my school because I finally, finally have a principal that understands me and I know will support me. It's a great feeling!

The Caffeinated Teacher


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