Sunday, October 19, 2014

My, oh my!

How has a week gone by?? Oh my goodness. Time feels like it goes so slow sometimes but this year is zooming by. We have two weeks left and it's the end of the first quarter. Say, what?!

I am noticing a pattern in my classroom since my new friends arrived three weeks ago. Thursday afternoons are absolutely HORRIBLE in my classroom. I'm serious. They are really, really bad. I thought about it quite a bit and just can't figure out why this is so. Normally I would blame it on no down time...but my students DO have down time. We have library and computer lab on Thursdays with computers to break up the afternoon. I just don't get what the deal is.

I've been brainstorming what to do because I'm really stumped. I have a few friends who just don't get it and that is so sad. Even my students who drive me crazy (and let's be honest, in every class, unless you are lying to yourself, there are at least a couple) still have my heart. I bust my butt to make sure my lessons are fun and engaging. All of the other afternoons they are just fine. It's Thursday that seems to be their downfall. I may have to flip our schedule....we come in from lunch and do reading workshop. They do their word sorts and we take our weekly test. Then we have computer lab and finally we have social studies (or science). Maybe I need to do the content area first on Thursdays. 

It's a real bummer because that one afternoon makes me not want to be there and that's not fair to them or to me. It's ONE afternoon. Maybe this week we'll have a class meeting and discuss what THEY think we might be able to do to help those afternoons be better. 

This past week, my TA had to do one of her video lessons. Her university really did not provide me with ANY real direction on how to help her grow, which is super helpful. *wink* So I took a page from my university's book and we came up with a plan for her. She is only there 3 days per week so I couldn't allow her to take over a whole subject because she would have to write plans for me when she's not there and that's something to save for student teaching. So I have her doing one lesson per week in math, reading and writing. Last week she did her first writing lesson. It went really well I think. It was a really engaging lesson and I'm excited to rewatch the video with her and see how she felt that it went. 

This week we will be working on her first math lesson, which we will also videotape. Reminds me of the videos I had to do for National Board. I avoid the camera at all costs if I can. (Not a "selfie" fan at all!) I do think, however, that my TA will be surprised at the level of engagement the kiddos show in the video and that's something she definitely needs for her confidence. 

Between my TA, The Oldest (who volunteers in my room after her college classes are done for the day) and myself, we kicked out our grading and thus I took no work home this weekend. What a blessing that is! I didn't take anything home last weekend either. I am really discovering taking the two days to focus on my family and graduate school is what I need to do. I am physically in my building at least 50 hours per week. My salary pays me for 30. I think 20 hours of free labor is enough extra :)

Have a beautiful and productive week. I shall have to figure something out for Thursday and tell you how it goes.


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