I have been so busy lately. Not really a good excuse, but it’s real. Mentally, I’ve n been to tired to blog. Give me this week and I will get back on my blog grind. I have a lot to talk about, just doing life has been keeping me from posting. Maybe, I’ll do a video blog. Hmmm
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.
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)
2015 has started off perfect. I realize that last semester I spend a lot of time trying to get 4-6 students to do while the other suffered. This semester the 4-6 are going to have to get in where they fit cause I’m focusing my energy on those who want to be prepared. We only have 80 days of school left! No time to patty cake with those who aren’t trying to do what needs to be done.
No matter what I have just about 640 school hours to get as much info into the minds of these students. 3,2,1…go!
Last week started out excellent. My students came back really trying to learn. I was surprised cause it’s the post-Christmas blah. So proud them.
This month is going to be a haul. We honestly only have 80 days left in this school year. It’s gone by so fast.
Had some great bowties this week. Also lots of grey in the beard.
Meal prep has been excellent! I picked up this little scale last week. Sadly I found out my favorite bacon has straight up been lying to me.
I may do another in depth discussiin of meal prep post soon. This scale is excellent. I still have my analog scale. This was so h a deal and had so raves I had to give it a check. Wow. I will talk about it again soon. *Let me make sure my new plan actually works.
About to tackle another week of teaching and learning.
Anyone who’s worked 15 minutes knows what it’s like to work wounded. Maybe your physically sick, but you can’t take a day. You might really not “feel” like work today, but you also know you need to be there. You may have 1000 other things you’d rather do than go to work, but you go.
Many people also know what it’s like to still go workout because you love your sport, your committed to the challenge or someone is going to be looking for you. You’ve worked wounded.
Here’s a little kick in the pants to keep going after your goals and keep adapting.
You know that recently I finished my CrossFit level 1 cert. That was so much fun and it took a huge thing off my “to do” list. Now I’m focusing on a much healthier Jason. I really, truly do my best to be an easy going guy. I’m not as successful as I’d like to be, but I’m getting there. One thing that keeps me sane is prepaing my food. I know it’s a small thing for most of us. I can’t eat school lunch under any circumstances. I’ve gone an entire day sans food, because I just can’t bring myself to get food from the cafe. I have been known to eat cole slaw from there in years past, but we’ll talk about that later.
For the last month I’ve been doing a major “meal prep” on Saturday or Sunday night. (This week I’m going to do it while cooking out for Labor Day.) This is a serious undertaking. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for myself for 5 days and my wife lunch for 5 days. It’s much easier than it sounds. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned.
- Follow Meal prep blogs. You can get a ton of neat ideas from Instagram.
- Buy a good set of plastic wear or glassware for carrying your lunch in. Plastic isn’t the choice, but if you’re on a budget it’s what you may have. Glass is better of course. But it’s more expensive.
- Incorporate your MP in with your normal cooking. I adore my Big Green Egg and it obliges me to cook all my meal prep every weekend. Cooking outside has also kept my house cool.
- When you’re grocery shopping, look for deals. I’ve been known to hit up the market multiple times a week to get all my fixings for my meal prep.
- Also don’t be afraid to store things in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Chicken is on sale? Buy it ALL. Put some in the freezer and you’ll be happy you did.
- Variety, variety, variety. My wife hates my bacon wrapped chicken thighs. I just keep finding bacon and chicken on sale. (I need to stop making bacon wrapped chicken thighs for a while)
Not sure if everyone does it, but I’m all in for meal prepping. Now if I were all in for prepping my lesson plans.
Had I great week. Took a while to fight through the missing hour grogginess, but I did make it.
Here’s a quick look at some of the things we did in class.
How do you use every solid shape in the random bucket? Well you create some epicness of course.
We’ve been working on building reading skills. To help we stayed using this chart. Thanks Pinterest! We have a lot of work to do next week.
Oh yeah there were ties this week, too.
And there was a lot of comedy this week.
I like this time of year, December-February. I enjoy planning, thinking and setting goals for the year. I always set aside time during this season to just think, dream and plan. 5 out of 7 years I set and accomplish the goals I set. This year I'm going BIG. I'm going to accomplish 100% of my goals. And, I'm not going to set only 2 goals so I can get it done. I have 9 good, strong, SMART, life changing goals set out with a plan to get each of them done. There are 2 elusive goals, however that have evaded me for YEARS. This year the year I turn 40 I will see them accomplished. No goals left behind. Here we go. Want to know what my goals are for 2014? Just watch…you'll see them soon enough.
Here's my plan. I will share my goals at the end of January.
1. Research my goals. I like to know what I'm getting myself into. I'm not GREAT at research, but I'm pretty good.
2. I Decided that either I'm going to obsess over this or not. If I'm not going to obsess over it, then I'm not going to do it.
3. Reduce the picture. Small bite sized pieces, daily steps, weekly steps, monthly steps you get the point.
4. Make it public. I chose to blog about it. You can ask me questions about my goals. I'll gladly share where I am.
5. Seek accountability. I LOVE to surround myself with people doing stuff. I want them to intentionally and unintentionally prod me on.
6. I now expect it to be hard, but along with the struggle I expect, seek, look for the strength to get this thing done!
7. Encourage and seek encouragement.
8. Visualize the goal completion. I spend a little time daily thinking what it will be like to be as fit as I can at 40, to be debt free, to make my job the career I never hat to work at ever again, to be a multi book author. I like the picture now I need do it so you can see it, too.
9. Learn from failures. If the goal is worthy of my time then failure isn't a STOP sign. It's a This ain't the way sign.
10. Focus on 1 goal at one time. I need help on this. I tend to keep my goals in a family so I can do more than 1 in at a time cause they're related.
11. Practice walking goal out every single day. I have to obsess about being the man God wants me to go. It has to consume my thoughts, words, actions and deeds. Then it will become easy.
12. Take responsibility for all of it. It's all mine. The success, the failures, the set backs the set ups. They are all mine.
Lucky Number 13. Celebrate cause the journey was well worth it.