Thursday, May 17, 2012
Another One Bites the Dust (linky party)
I'm linking up to "Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher" (great name!) for her end-of-year linky party. I think it's great to reflect on the great (and not so great) things of the school year. The rules are as follows:
1. Write about 3 great and 3 not so great things about this year.
2. Link back to the original post here.
Okay, here we go.....
THE GREAT :)
1. Working with the Collaborative Class
This is not something new for me, but the SPED teacher and assistant I worked with this year were absolutely WONDERFUL! I never felt self-conscious about being goofy with my kids or trying new things. It was great to have the two of them to bounce ideas off of, to commiserate with during hard times, and vent to about "that student." I cannot say enough good things about the two of them....it was just one of those relationships that just "clicked." I have already volunteered to take the collab. class next year as well! :)
I figure this is going to make a lot of lists.My friend showed me Pinterest and having been a Google images searcher for years (I'd rather search the images than deal with all the descriptions!), it just seemed so natural to me! From Pinterest came the discovery of thousands (I mean, really...have you not SEEN my blog roll???) of FABULOUS teacher blogs that are out there, which of course inspired me to start my own! Then, that led to Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook (which saved me from having to spend my whole weekend working at a second job!).....you get the picture. I HAD to combine it all in one since it all rolled into one another, like dominoes. :)
3. Literacy Centers/The Electric Company
Okay, if you've read my blog for awhile, you know I am a HUGE MEGA FAN of The Electric Company. Having watched from the 70s, this new reincarnation began showing in my classroom last year. However, this year I took it several steps further and created literacy centers/reading activities for each episode. One of these days, I'll get it all together and throw it on TpT or TN....you can read about it in my earlier posts, but I think this is such a FANTASTIC resource for low readers! It grabs their attention and the students have responded so well to it! This then led to my refurbishing my (very lacking) literacy centers into what they are today.....again, thanks in part to all the blogs out there giving me such great ideas!
THE NOT SO GREAT :(
1. "That Student": Yes, there is one every year and once they are out of my classroom, I still maintain a positive relationship with them, but this year's was very different. There are times when I really don't like him (shhhh! don't tell!). He can be such a sweetheart, then turn into the biggest jerk in a matter of seconds...like an invisible switch flipping for no reason! Yes, I will probably maintain a good relationship with him out of the classroom, like I do with my others, but I have to admit....I realized today I only have to deal with him for 13 1/2 more days and...well....I did a mental victory dance. Shameful, I know!
2. The Earthquake
August 23, 2011 really changed a lot of lives around here and really screwed up our school year. Being the darn epicenter of this east coast shaker frankly....sucked. While I am soooooo grateful my school didn't receive anything more than cosmetic damage (and SOMETHING happened to our pipes....seriously....a 2 yr old school and our pipes creak and groan when you use the hot water!), it still STINKS that my students and my family JUMP every time we hear something that sounds vaguely like an aftershock. That, and my house received damage as well. Now, you CA bloggers...I love ya, and I'm hoping you're not rolling your eyes at this point, but when you live in a place that everything else happens (except tsunamis and volcanoes), it comes as quite a shock since you are so unprepared! That, and having a hurricane go thru the county (fortunately no damage) and a tornado less than a month later....yeah, we were "disaster county" there for awhile!
Okay, so I really really really try to be an organized person....I really DO! If I don't stop myself, I become the container hoarder....I buy and buy and will FIND things to put in them! Two years ago, when the school I'm at now opened, I was shocked that there were NO closets! I felt I was pretty organized before because frankly, I could hide things behind a closed door! While we do have a wardrobe and metal cabinet to use, as well as cubbies, my pretty red countertop is often COVERED! I go into other rooms and cringe, wondering why I'm having so much difficulty! I'm slowly trying to tame the beast....I mean, after 14 years of teaching and three grade levels....I still have things in my attic! I lucked out into finding some drawers at Walmart on clearance and I'm using those for my literacy centers. I'm also using blogs and Pinterest for inspiration....so hopefully I'll be up to challenging myself next year to keep that counter CLEAN! It's a slow but sure process....
*So there I am. Nope, didn't say "Guided Reading" like so many others. I actually really enjoy doing guided reading and have 3 binders FILLED with plans, from Levels D to T (some with more plans on levels than others!). If you ever need help with it, please let me know! Chances are I might have a plan for your book, or I can certainly help you create one! :)
Happy End of Year!