I can’t say it any other way, but I really am thankful for this class. This year has been interesting. However, when the door closes on room B27 I have the best group of 3rd grade learners a teacher could ask. It’s going to be a year to say the least, but I really am glad I have this group of kiddos.
This year has really been a mind bender. I’m SO used to resolution/goal setting/Daniel fasting/starting off with the end in mind/blah-blah-blah. This year however, I didn’t do any of the usual. I am sticking to what worked as I ended 2015 and not doing what didn’t work. That just seemed easy enough. Coming off our epic Christmas I have had ZERO interest in over stressing myself. So I’ve kept it all very low key. Let’s talk about it.
- We’re spending a lot more time together. The girls have so much going on that our little moments together are pretty special.
- Family planning time. We have so much going on that we need to spend some time looking at and planning our calendars.
- Um…yeah. We all are going to have to pitch in on household stuff. No reason to fake that any longer.
- I love my little class. We’re struggling to make the gains that we need, but we can do it.
- Each student has a chart of their place on our “gains train”. They all know just about what they need to do each week to get to the end with success.
- I also LOVE my school. I can’t say enough about them. That being said I would like to just stay there, learn how to address the needs of this community and help DES become the school it’s supposed to be.
- I am going to go get my Level 2 certification soon. Why not? I enjoy CF and I want to be better as a coach as well as a Crossfitter. The next certification will help me with the coaching aspect.
- I want to find more ways to meal prep! I know that’s crazy cause I already to every meal and snack that I eat, but there’s some more that I’d like to do.
- I can’t express how much I get out of Olympic lifting. I feel better and I feel amazing going at it on the platform.
- Team Whitaker is in a good spot. That being said there are some areas that we’re not addressing. We’ve skipped them for YEARS and truth be told we just don’t know enough to be good in these areas. So…we’re going to fix that.
- Sometime this year Team Whitaker will increase our streams of income times 2. More later.
- I want my family to be able to properly sort and discuss matters of faith without feeling they’re not properly equipped. No need to wait for someone else to “defend them” they’re able to discuss these matters on their own.
I will expand on all of these more and more as the year moves on. Can you believe that we’re half way through January? Amazing how time flies.
The 1st part of this school year is almost wrapped up like a present under the tree. I can’t say just how excited I am about getting away and recharging, but I am sure you understand my current state.
Also this marks the end of 2015 a pretty good year over all. As with all years it seems to have just flown by, but a lot happened this year. I am going to just highlight a few mostly centered around the shaping of young minds.
- I have a fantastic group of students.
- Lots and lots of good kids here. Most want to do well and just need direction and guidance.
- My co-workers are the BEST!
- Most of my systems have worked out well…albeit I need some more. Next year I need to have a system for systems.
- My centers have been on point all year long.
- The ESOL students have been “getting it”.
- I’ve had a blast teaching science and social studies this year.
- I had some awesome student teacher observers. Hope they get a great classroom one day.
- The support team here is out of this world! Real troopers
- I am enjoying Marietta City Schools. It’s different from APS and it’s ok.
- I’ve had some FANTASTIC class visitors this year. Not sure how I can top the Docs coming in to talk about good back health and getting my babies moving.
- MEAL PREP!
- I haven’t seen as much progress as I thought we’d have by close of 2015.
- Cracking the code and helping them WANT to learn has proven to be a much more tricky task than I first thought.
- I don’t honestly think I get the guided reading/math portion of my day.
The Down Right Silly
I’ve had the best time teaching 1st grade! I’ve had some adventures for sure…
- The student that didn’t like me because I was “brown”. Oh he was brown as well.
- My ESOL student that corrects me every time I try to speak Spanish.
- When I was having a emotional break down over a student leaving my student that consoled me by telling me she’ll do good work, too.
- The kindergartner who told me she’ll behave in class because she loved me.
- The student who gave my co-worker a recycled day card that had been given to her, but it was in Spanish.
- The student that told me that “decomposing numbers” is like when is daddy took the rims off the car.
- My little guy who refuses to put his shoes on correctly. He even will change them back if I have him change them.
On the non-school related front I had such a great year. Many, many new things happened.
- I became a better dad and a pretty good husband
- Started Olympic Lifting and have found a real desire
- Finally got to my goal body fat
- Financially, Team Whitaker got on track this year.
- We’re taking our first REAL vacation this year! Won’t be our last.
- I had so much fun with my BGE!
- I cleaned out my friend stable. Now I feel lighter not carrying around so many extra folk.
I’ll post a pictorial collage later.
Another great week. I got a lot done. I still have a ton to do, but this week was productive for sure.
Our math coach stopped by to teach a Math Workshop Lesson. Wow, she’s good. My kids learned a lot.
This was a part of the lesson. Thank you, Coach O’Connel!
Combined our two classes so Mrs. Smallwood and I could drive home the point of using tally makes to capture information then using that information in a graph. Once again, my students learned a lot.
We learned so much we took our learning to the streets. We went out in the hall and tallied up the students we saw wearing certain color shirts. Then we took it to class and made a simple graph using the data.
This week we started working on our AR tests. We’re focusing in on reading the book a couple of times then jumping on line to take the test. Teaching the students to stay with the book and make sure they understand it is a real task.
I wouldn’t be me if there weren’t bowties this week. Got a new Batman as well as Marvel comics bowtie. Let’s just call this Superhero week.
Good friend needed a reminded. Hey, I need this reminder, too.
Startbucks cookie straw and Kill Cliff iced coffee. This wasn’t a good idea. I’ll talk about this a little more on Thursday on a special Whole30 blog posting.
Let’s crack open the sparkling apple cider! My grade level won the best yard (hallway) decoration contest. We have full intentions of this starting a trend. We already started the plan for the next design in a few months.
And as always there were heavy weights lifted. Some didn’t fare to well, however. RIP.
Do I have to say that there was meal prep this week? My dinner swap made this fantastic breakfast bowl. It wasn’t 100% whole30, but it was all the way tasty and nutrient dense.
This week was OUTSTANDING!
I love this group of kids! I’m so very happy to have come aboard. Now let’s review this week in pics.
The 5th grade team thought it would be nice to start everyone’s week with a special card. They were right. That was kinda cool.
My neighbor who’s a 1st year (Shout out to The Most Beautiful 1st Years in the World, Perry and Davis) and I combined classes to help all our kiddos get the grip on how Number Talks work. Ms. Storie is a great teacher! We had so much fun doing this.
I like centers a lot. I did an inventory and I found that I have almost 65 handmade centers for 2nd grade. Since I’m in 1st grade and I can’t use 65% of the things I have from last year I guess all I can do is…make more! So expect an explosions of charts soon.
After Centers time I asked my dear, precious ones what kind of educational experience they’d make for a classmate using these random bags of manipulatives. They might only be a few weeks out of Kindergarten, but they’re pretty bight. They had some neat ideas. I will showcase these new centers when we put it together.
The lunchbox saga has been solved. I scored a great Norchill cooler bag that can hold almost 2 days worth of food along with a 64 ounce growler (The Tank)! That’s a lot of space. Most importantly it keeps stuff cold sitting in my classroom.
We set some reading goals this week. I know they’re afraid to read, but I am going to get them out of that real quick. I’m looking for a creative way to post these around the class so the kids can check off as they read. Maybe to a class total chart as well. That would be cool. Of course having them read to me, write a book report or read to a Book Buddy.
Oh, yeah I wore a few bow ties this week. I think I’m going to give in to the Jeans Friday. Thought I’d be stanch stickler for my tie, but I find myself moving around on the floor, running and doing more now. The tie was to restrictive.
How was your first full week of school?
This school year started off with very little fan fair. That’s a good thing, trust me. I’m OK with easing into gear and a slow take off to cruising altitude. Let’s look at the current state of affairs.
I have 15 students. Most are of Hispanic descent.
I have more boys than girls in my class. I like my class theme. Whitaker’s Bookstore. The kids seem to like it as well.
Reading and getting everyone to read on level is HUGE and at this very moment almost the only thing that matters.
I have some spirited students, but everyone else knows why they come to school and are ready to work.
My new school is SUPER supportive. Lots of support staff ready to help in any way.
I’ve met almost all my parents. Some don’t speak English, but I have me them.
That being said EVERY parent has brought me a huge bag of classroom supplies. Yahtzee!
My team is six deep. Never had that many co-workers on a grade level. Lots of good ideas and mind share.
The ethnic mix of teachers/students and staff is cool. Not all one ethnic group or even gender. Lots of males in my school.
1st grade is GREAT! They’re so small and funny. Kinda remind me of my own DD2 in size.
The Kinda Big Deal
I don’t feel l have a full grasp on my daily schedule. Praying every second no one does a “walk through” on me.
It’s a LONG school day. 6:25 – 3:45 is a thing for sure. Add in Coaching or Training at CFSC and I’m wore out by days end.
I am not eating enough and sometimes I find myself going long stretches of time sans food. Not a good idea at all.
Though my school is considerably closer to my house. I still have a lot of turns to make so it ends up being 15-20 minutes.
I get paid once a month. That’s odd. But let’s just praise God that I GET PAID!
I can’t use most of the charts I made in my previous school. Can I sell ’em?
OMG! It’s time to freak out!
I can’t have a fridge in my class! I’ve spent 30000 man hours trying to find a reasonable cooler I can bring with my everyday. (It’s really that big a deal, trust me.)
This year is off to a great start. I know there will be some hiccups along the way, but I’m very pleased with the start. Now, if I could find a Yeti cooler for sale.
How’s your year starting off?
A new district. New school. New classroom. I’m looking for as many creative storage and decorative ideas as possible, but I’m not going to just pull them from Pinterest. I want this year’s classroom theme to be a darling of Pinterest and be 100% original ideas and content. I’m expecting others to pin me all over their blogs, social sites and the InterWeb. That’s saying a lot cause my Super Learners themed room still is the most popular view on this humble blog.H
If you are creative and want to throw your hat in on this challenge, please comment. I’d appreciate your insights. Here’s the pallet. Now I need to just be creative.
A wide angle shot of the place I’ll be calling home in a month. So much to do. Check out the blue carpet!
This video sincerely voices my concerns for the boys in my class. I’ve always said that “school wasn’t made by a boy”. The very structure of MY class doesn’t encourage boys and really restricts them. That’s right I include myself. I’m just as guilty of trying to get my students to do exactly what I couldn’t do when I was 7-8 years old.
The part that struck home more than anything in this video was helping boys become readers. Every week we go to the media center and grab a new book to read. And just like following a script my girls get fiction feeling books while my boys get non-fiction books about snakes, cars or records. I didn’t think about how much they’re telling me with their book selections. Even when they’re allowed to go online with little direction most of them find material that’s about animals, cars, and the such. I have to do a better job of letting my male students be, boys.
The way school is organized it almost requires that I (a big boy) have to require these 10 boys do what they’re not even wired to do. However, the 6 girls in my room are almost perfect according to my classroom set up. I’m an accomplice!
My one area of concern is a missing cog in this machine. Parenting. The video didn’t seem to address any of the parenting methods that add, subtract or create some of the battlegrounds that boys must compete. We certainly need to discuss all our roles in helping boys be boys along with being functional parts of society.
I have to research and read more on how to organize my class to be more Boy Friendly. What do you think about this? Do you notice any differences in our society in regards to boys? Let’s talk about it.
The new school semester has started off so strong I haven’t had time to blog or to recount what happened last semester. Thankfully, I have a day off to think about it. Here’s what happened last semester in no particular order.
I don’t have a filing system. However, my crazy paper mess makes sense to me. I don’t LIKE it, but I can usually find things within a matter of minutes.
BOWTIES! What else is there if not bowties?
My charts are ROCKING! I’ve found them so useful this year. I do have them hanging in a system. System is to easy to understand! I think my co-workers have been poaching my charts!
My progress monitoring of struggling students is working. I can see where each student is and a have a plan for each one. I’ve even got a shout out a couple times for having my paper work on point.
When I saw that something didn’t work I didn’t try to make it work. I just dropped it and kept it moving.
My centers are so/so. I overhauled my Centers chart and now it just doesn’t make sense. Should have left it well enough alone. That being said the kids have great center time. They like it and they’re learning. I simply have to have a better rotation schedule.
I didn’t do a great job laying down the rules/procedures of the class. Some have picked them up, but the vast majority aren’t trying to do right.
We don’t go outside AT ALL!
I find myself busy most of the day. Not a lot of down time. That’s good. That’s bad.
My class isn’t on auto-pilot. I think this is a goal that I should let go of. My students more than likely aren’t going to be the kinds that will follow a schedule without someone pointing out to them to do it.
Keeping all homework in a spiral notebook was a great idea! Keeping all classwork in 1 spiral wasn’t as good an idea.
I’m so glad that they started the 4 week lesson plan. It makes it so much easier to plan.
Speaking of planning, I’m doing a pretty good job planning. I could always do better.
Class Dojo is perfect! So glad I didn’t give up on this.
I stopped asking dumb questions. Here are a few.
Did that make sense to you? (Of course it made sense to a 7 year old!)
Why didn’t you do ABC? (Because I didn’t want to!)
Do I need to call your mother/father? (Just call ’em don’t prime the pump)