Three weeks down! Unbelievable! (Somehow I expect that will be my refrain this year...it is FLYING!)
We had a great week this week. The kiddos are really settling into routines and I can definitely see who needs a tighter reign in order to stay on track during stations time. 2nd grade team did stations all last year so it is disheartening to see several friends who talk and mess around instead of doing their work. We have had to have some conversations about responsibility and doing what we are supposed to do even if the teacher isn't sitting next to you.
I am huge into Growth Mindset and we have talked a lot about how they are hurting themselves if they aren't asking for help and getting their work done. I have one student who NEVER finishes her work on time. I mean, not a single week has passed where she had everything done on time. She is able to do everything in group (without specific help so I know she isn't confused or lost). We have a couple of days where our specials make it difficult to complete an entire lesson of certain subject so I will be using that time for conferring and/or reteaching and she is the first one on my list for a meeting because third grade moves fast. I don't want her to get behind.
I feel so much more at ease this year as well. Obviously, ten less students makes a HUGE difference, but I also feel so much more comfortable with the curriculum the second time around even though I am using a different math and science program than I did last year. I guess I just feel more confident that I can help move them along. We just finally finished up our MAP testing (except for one friend who has been absent) so I am looking forward to getting the kiddos into the habit of looking at their own data and making goals for improvement also (hmmm...that conferring and reteaching block is already filling up fast haha!)
On Mondays my kiddos take home their STAR folder with all of their work from the previous week. It also includes behavior sheet that needs to be signed (the kiddos are in charge of filling these out each week). I write a short comment on them and there is a spot for the parents to comment and then sign. For each of my families that came to Open House, I wrote a short note thanking them for coming. One parent (whom I have had another child of before) wrote how happy they are that I have their daughter. :)
On Wednesday I was out for the morning only and my student teacher is not ready to sub yet so I had my usual sub there in the morning. Most of the time if I know I am going to be gone, I tell the kiddos but I had forgotten in our rush out the door on Tuesday. We do a check in each morning so we can see how the kiddos are coming in (emotionally) each day. My student teacher had collected them Wednesday morning since I wasn't there and she said at least half of the kids wrote that they felt worried because I wasn't at school. How adorable and sweet is that? :)
On Friday my student teacher was out sick (bad reaction to some medicine) so it was just me and the third graders. Fortunately Fridays are SO EASY that it wasn't a huge deal at all. We also had the school store (Estrella) yesterday...it is run by mom volunteers. Each class has a 20 minute block of time to go shop. My kids did a great job waiting in line for their turn and they went two at a time in the bins so it wasn't a complete disaster and mess.
At the end of the day, after Fun Friday, I reminded the kiddos to put their ticket envelopes back into their pencil pouches so they wouldn't lose them. One of my boys called me over to his desk and was clearly upset. He said he had 6 tickets when we went to the store and now he had 5. I thought he was trying to tell me that he had lost one. But he said no, he spent 5 tickets but the mom volunteer only took one and gave him back 5. He didn't want to keep any except the one he knew he was supposed to have. Melted my heart. What a great display of honesty and taking responsibility! So I relayed the story to our principal and she is going to issue this friend a Golden Ticket next week :) (The golden tickets can only be given out by her and are worth 10 tickets so they are a big deal.)
I am so proud of this little guy. Even better, when we were still at the store and he was waiting his turn to go, he says to me, "Mrs. Wood, my mom REALLY likes you" :) Sweetpea, you have no idea that us teachers absolutely LIVE for feedback like that :) (Note: I also had this friend's brother a few years ago so mom has known me for awhile.)
I'm happy I have these friends this year! After two years of some incredibly tough kiddos, it is pretty awesome to a) have a small class and b) have such NICE and THOUGHTFUL kids. They make going to work such a joy.