Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Currently

Hi all,
It's already time for another Currently, which absolutely shocks me - time has flown by before my very eyes!
 
I have a new little friend in my class - it is very apparent he knows absolutely nothing. He could use another year of Kindergarten but unfortunately, he's six already which would make him a seven year old Kindergarten graduate. Probably not a good idea.
 
So, I'm finding myself in the unique position of teaching a multi-age class-without the designation of being a combination multi-age class. I have this little guy (who literally cannot write his name, knows 3 letters of the alphabet, zero sounds, and the number 1 - seriously...). Then, I have another group of kids who are starting second grade math because they need some serious challenging. (Don't forget that I started the school year with my little special needs guy too - but he comes with a 1:1 aide, and he's just a doll!). In addition to all this differentiation, I also have regular first graders, doing regular first grade "stuff", some of whom need extra help just like any regular classroom. Oh! And I also tutor twice a week after school to help one of my dear little friends who needs extra help.
 
I've always made a joke that the classroom runs with three people - Me,, Myself, and I - but this year, I could really use those three people! Ah, well, it will work out - either that, or I'll find myself collapsing in a puddle in the middle of the classroom and the first graders will step over me on the way to centers.  :)

I DO apologize for not keeping up on the blog but between life, my struggles with my eye, and the ever increasing demands of my classroom, I just have not been able to fit this in. I DO, however, read all your blogs and enjoy you all tremendously. Once again, I vow that I will do better and write more often.
 
I used to be a big letter writer - do you ever think that the blogs are our new way to send letters to each other, filling each other in on our lives? Consider it a "mass" letter to dear friends, if you will. I (hopefully) will talk to you all soon!
 
Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions for a poor teacher with a new student who can't do a thing, I'd very much appreciate it!
 
Finally, Currently....
 




 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Currently


I know…I've been an awful blogger lately! More doctor appointments for both my husband and me, Halloween, parent conferencing and report cards, and a variety of other things have just sucked up all my available free time! I'm beginning to wonder if it will EVER settle down! However, here's the latest Currently, which I'm thrilled to have time to participate in. Hang in there, everyone - I'll be back!






Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Field Trips - and Life Lessons


The First Graders went on a field trip today to see the musical, "Pinkalicious". It was based on the book and it was cute. The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We actually rode on a bus with seat belts, which was a first for me. I spent a great deal of time buckling up 100 kids on the bus before the bus driver started off but it was well worth it - for the first time in my career, I didn't do a lot of reminding to sit down.  Loved it! For some reason, they were quieter too - maybe the new bus had better insulation.
We ate lunch afterwards in the common area of the building - AND here's another first in my career - I actually got to eat MY lunch! Usually, I'm zipping around opening juice boxes and chip bags - you know how it is. But everyone got their own stuff opened and I was able to eat! Amazing!
It was a fun day - and then we got back to school in time for the kids' Chinese lessons. (Don't ask - our district is experimenting with Chinese classes this year instead of art for an enrichment class. I know - I know what you're thinking, and you'd be right. But it's not up to me so off they go to Chinese.)
The Chinese teacher is a very sweet lady, who has only taught high school, so she's still learning how to deal with first graders. She tends to get involved with a couple kiddos and doesn't always keep a good eye out for the rest of the class, if you get my drift. Today, two of my dear friends decided to cut their hair and their shirts. She was dismayed, to say the least, and called me to take care of the situation. Done - children talked to, parents talked to, Chinese teacher talked to....
Ah well...they're such sweet children as a group that it's easy to forget that they're just children. Privately, I giggled - and so did parents - but the Chinese teacher is still chagrined. I had to laugh though, because after school, every child ran out to their parents and delightedly declared, "Guess what, mommy? I didn't cut my hair or shirt today!"  You gotta love First Graders, don't you?
Enjoy the week with your dear friends everyone!


Friday, September 28, 2012

First Grade Common Core

Yay! There's a new workbook on the common core for First Grade! I've been very jealous, looking at the Kindergarten book so I'm kind of excited about this! Our school is just starting to learn about the common core so the First Grade Common Core book will be very helpful! and a super resource!  Check it out by clicking on the link!



Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's Apple Picking Time

Hi everyone!
Our classroom is deep in the throes of apple picking! Have you read the book, "The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree"? It's a wonderful book - and it ties my thematic unit into my science curriculum as well! We're making sequencing trees to go along with the book, which is fun.

Musings of Me has just created a new Apple Unit at http://thoughtsofesme.blogspot.com/2012/09/apple-pickin-time-kindergarten-unit-and.html - check it out! It looks adorable!





Friday, September 14, 2012

Whatta Class, I Mean, Really!

Okay, it's official - I seriously love my class! They are funny and smart - and they keep me on my toes every minute of the day! I've actually pulled out my "combination class" plan book just to keep up with them!

Yesterday, my best friend (who has retired) came in for the second time this school year to volunteer in my classroom. The first time she came, I introduced her and we told the class that we were best friends - to which, they all remarked, "You're BFF's!" We smiled and agreed that we were.

So when she walked in yesterday, they greeted her with, "Hi, Mrs. BFF!" Don't you love it? I do -and  she does - and i think she's about to fight me for who gets to teach these lovely children! She led reading groups with my class and then pulled a few kids that need intervention, so it's great to have her in my room!

Oh! And have I told you how GREAT my parents are? They are kind and sweet - just like their kids! (this is truly a case of "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree", that's for sure!) I have a couple parents who take things home for me, as well as a few really helpful volunteers - I'm very lucky. I have one mom who drops her child off - and borrows my broom and sweeps the front of my classroom because it needs it. (Our janitor, bless his heart, should do it but is often absent so..,) Isn't that sweet?

I am a lucky teacher, that is for sure. I read your blogs and it sounds like a lot of you are in the same position. Do you think there's something in the water this year that makes all the firsties so sweet? Enjoy your day, dear friends - I can't wait!



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Spelling Practice

Hi everyone! I've been looking at the various ideas out there in blogland for practicing spelling but none of them quite worked for me. I needed ten words, as our first graders learn ten spelling words weekly. So I played with the various formats and came up with what I HOPE will work. As always, I hope you will find this useful!

We are getting into the "groove" of things - the first graders are settling in and I have my parent volunteer meeting tomorrow. I'm hopeful that I'll have lots of wonderful help this year! Have you started your parent volunteering yet? What kind of things do you ask your volunteers to do?

Without further ado, here's the little spelling practice page I made. Many thanks to all the people out there with such good ideas that inspired this!
Spelling Practice Sheet PDF

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back to School Tour

I finally took some pictures of my classroom! 

I started the year with a Pete the Cat theme, which has so far been a HUGE hit!  We took this bulletin board and added to it as a class, discussing the attributes of Pete. I talked to the children about the characters in a book. We then talked about Pete as being the important character in the book and discussed his attributes. So, for example, one of the students said that Pete had blue fur; another said he had a positive attitude. As the kids discussed this, I wrote them down and stapled them to the board. I need to take a picture of the board as it is now - it was a very successful lesson and every child has a clear understanding of the important characters in books! 

I also created a giant labeling bulletin board of Pete, along with a smaller copy of it for the children. It's a cute bulletin board and the kids had a great time creating their own Pete labeling!


Here's my combined calendar and focus wall. We use it daily.


This is my Math Wall. I add to it every time new vocabulary is introduced in math.


Here's a view of my classroom from the door. You can see the quilts that we've made throughout the years in my class hanging. In fact, there's a new one, thanks to my parents last year! They decided to make a "We love Mrs. M because..." quilt for me at the end of the year!


This is the carpet area, where we read stories, poems, and big books. We sing songs here and play games. The children LOVE to sit in the chair!


I have an adorable new class of 28! They are very sweet and I think we'll have a fun year!

I'm finally getting a chance to read all of your blogs and look at your classrooms! They look so cute! I hope you're having a good start of the school year!




Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Back to School!




Well, I can’t believe it, but tomorrow I meet my new students: I’ve spent many days preparing my room and I’m pleased with the way it looks. I have my books ready, projects prepared – and all my Open House materials printed. Open House is tomorrow evening, after a minimum day with students.

Some may be horrified at the idea of Open House on the first “night” of school, but I like it: I am able to tell my parents my expectations up front and everyone starts the year off on the right foot.

I’ve only met a few of my children but I know many of the families on my class list: I have had older siblings in the past, so I’m excited about the new school year. I'm starting the year off with Pete the Cat - I've used a lot of resources from all the wonderful blogs out there and created a cute labeling Pete bulletin board. I also scanned a picture from one of the Pete books and printed it poster sized for another bulletin board. The room looks cheerful and friendly! 

When do you start back to school?