Saturday, October 17, 2015

Helpers and more Helpers!

Hi all! Its been awhile since I've posted. I can't lie and say I've been too busy because my student teacher is almost in full control and it's so, so weird for me to let someone take over this early in the year! It's not bad, it's just weird. I still jump in and I'm acting kind of as her "TA". I have been kept busy with doctor school and meetings though (meetings and more meetings, ugh!).

I have a TON of helpers this year which is also beyond bizarre for me because I'm not used to that. The last couple of years one of our 2nd grade teachers has had tutors come from a high school in another district. She retired and her teaching partner was not able to take on the tutoring due to a conflict with the time the tutors were able to come so she asked me if I would take them. Um,  yes please! 

So starting this week, every Tuesday every one of my students will have a tutor for 30 minutes! They will work on Dolch lists and read books together. Eventually they will also have a chance to play games together too. 

Plus I have a lot of kiddos (10 or 12 I think) who have a tutor or a mentor who comes to see them either once a week for an hour or twice per week for a half hour and they work on all kinds of literacy stuff. It kind of means I have a revolving door of kids coming and going all day two days per week but the more help the better! 

AND I have support from our literacy parapro (who is also our librarian) one full morning per week and for an hour on Friday afternoon.

It's a little overwhelming to juggle all of it because when I was in 4th grade....I had zero help or tutors. Every now and then if our tutor coordinator had a student who had some extra time, she might pass them along to us upper grade folks but usually they work with K-3 only. It's been kind of crazy balancing all of the schedules but I teach my kids that if they miss part of an activity because they are with a mentor or tutor, to just write "mentor" on their paper and turn it in. This way when I look at them, I'm not mad that it was undone (because I *will* forget that they missed it).

I have 28 kiddos this year which is the most I've had in awhile so truly the extra help is really nice. I have a TON of kids who are "bubble kids" (meaning they are on the bubble...with the right pushing they'll make benchmark by the end of the year). If I remember correctly, something like 15 of my kids are in that bubble. That means I have to take every bit of help I can get to move them so they will be on grade level by the end of the year. 

The nicest part of having a student teacher in the fall is that when she finishes teaching a lesson, I can pull a small group to reteach or reinforce. I can also pull kids individually for some 1:1 time that I would SO not have time for if I didn't have her in there. As weird as it is to give up my control so early, it's been nice because it has given me time to implement some things I usually can't do until January because there is no time for me to get to it. 

This year we've already begun a 30 in Third book challenge, started our data notebooks and have worked really hard to get our interactive notebooks in both math and reading off the ground because I have that extra pair of hands in my room to help me implement it all. I've kind of decided my student teacher can't graduate, she just has to stay with me all year :)


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