Catching up

I’ve been really giving this class my best and I haven’t blogged like I wanted to. It’s funny how just a few minute changes make teaching so much different.

wpid-20151002_111731.jpgOne of my babies thought they’d bribe me by putting my name in their noun search. Well, it worked. Here’s a cookie! I love this group.

We have a SUPER transient population. I knew this going in, but I didn’t realize just how much. I’ve already had 7 new kids come in post Day 1. I’ve already had 3 kids move and I have 4 more about to leave in the next few weeks. I had a student come in on 9/15 and withdraw 9/28. Since we had 2 work days that means she was only in my class for 7 days! This is pretty interesting.

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My absolute favorite student (yes, I have a favorite student and I tell him all the time) is about to leave due to immigration issues. The day he found out he was on his way to school. He literally hugged me and cried for most of the morning. I will also say I cried, too. He’s a fantastic ESOL kid. He’s making strides. He’s putting in effort and his family is very supportive. Needless to say whenever he wants to laugh or wants to talk to me I stop what I’m doing and listen.

I even asked his mom if I could adopt him so he could stay.

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He knew very little if any English when he got to room D44. Now he can speak in some very well thought out sentences. This page right here is the page we were working on when he said “Mr.Whitaker, that says red”. #Ialmostfainted

I don’t need to say how much I adore my team. This is a special group of professionals. We all understand our craft differently, but we all want the exact same thing…longer Summers and more money!  Oh and we want to produce the best students MCS has ever seen, too. I need to do a collaborative lesson with Ms. Mills’ class and Ms. Butler’s class. Since Whitaker’s book worms have been in just about everyone else’s room it’s only fair to corrupt these classes as well. See, you soon Mills and Butler!

Not sure why, but I have 4 Kennesaw State University students observing me. Talk about a fun adventure. They’re getting a full dose of what it’s like and I think they’re going to do great.  I have the best job!

I’m going to be competing in two lifting comps in the next 60 days. I’m very amped. Two  lifts. One I’m going to crush and one is going to be there to keep me humble. Thanks to my coaches I think I have a great chance of making a run at doing this for a while. I’ve also returned to running to keep my cardio strong. I had given up on running when I became a CrossFitter. Now, I’m looking at balancing the two. I’ve been coaching at yet another box. I think the only thing that would seriously make me consider giving up teaching is coaching. I love these athletes. I’m super humble that Miles, Jake and Cathy trust me with their people. Top that with all that I get from them and it’s like awesome wrapped in bacon sprinkled with a hefty dose of Heck yeah!

You already know that I’ve been meal prepping. Not going to give that up for the world. My little dinner party has been a super success. So many great stories and so much great food. Still seeing the results of my Whole130. It’s been very, very easy to maintain my overall fitness now that I’m eating pretty normal. Let’s see how it translates into my comps and results moving into 2016.

More pictures soon.

Let’s talk about a great week

This week I made LOTS of head way with  both my English as well as Spanish students.  They all need help, but in different scales to say the least. I had two readers come in this week. (Had to catch up on the fact that I didn’t have one last week)

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So you need to hear your native language as well as English? Well, why don't I bring in an expert to read to you all?

So you need to hear your native language as well as English? Well, why don’t I bring in an expert to read to you all.

Shout out to my mom for coming to read this week!

Shout out to my mom for coming to read this week!

I re designed a color chart to add Spanish and English. Next the Alphabet chart.

I re designed a color chart to add Spanish and English. Next the Alphabet chart.

Welcome to 1st grade's weather wonderland

Welcome to 1st grade’s weather wonderland

Grade level chose Weather as our hallway decoration. I think we did a fantastic job. The kids pitched in a lot and most of all they all loved it.

Yeah, those are

Yeah, those are “almost” real clouds

Please note the rain drops coming down. Get your umbrellas!

That's right. There's a blizzard of vocab words on 1st grade hall.

That’s right. There’s a blizzard of vocab words on 1st grade hall.

Have no fear, we end it all with a rainbow. (There are bowties on the rainbow. Get it...)

Have no fear, we end it all with a rainbow. (There are bowties on the rainbow. Get it…)

What do you do with 100s of paper bowties? Well...

What do you do with 100s of paper bowties? Well…

I think for my birthday I’m going to cover the building in bow ties, just because it’s wrong.

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I wanted to  decorate my “class sign” with a little something special.

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I also spruced up my team’s signs. I wonder how long it will take them to notice this little update.

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We’re spotlighting our math skills this week. We pick a strategy to focus on and try to use it as much as we can. We write  about it, talk about it, use it and most of all learn it.

Many schools use Accelerated Reader, but my school  takes it to another level. We had a kick off to get the kids excited about  AR and earning as many points as possible. The school puts  out a goal a long with a prize. This year they’re having a school wide picnic with all kinds of fun and games. Let’s see how the kids do.

wpid-20150828_133225.jpg Note that Marietta Reads is wearing adidas. This school ROCKS!

The goal is 35,000 points. My class has to earn 1000

The goal is 35,000 points. My class has to earn 1000

The goal is 35,000 each grade/class has a part to contribute. I have to get my students to each earn 66 points. That’s a lofty goal considering everything. We read tons of books each  week, but getting them to stick is going to be tricky. I’ll keep you posted.

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And yes, there were bowties this week as well.

Week 3 is in the books. If this was your 1st or 3rd week, how did it go?

I’m looking for a few guest bloggers. If you’re interested, please let me know.

And so it begins

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.

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The Exciting

  • 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.

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    Day 1 room configuration

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Another shot of Day 1 room set up

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Now that we know how to do let’s change the room around to allow you to move better.

  • Reading and getting everyone to read on level is HUGE and at this very moment almost the only thing that matters.

    Got to give this guy credit for being a snazzy dresser

    Got to give this guy credit for being a snazzy dresser

  • 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.

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    Thanks for all the great supplies to stock our class for learning!

  • 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.

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Aren’t we adorable?

  • 1st grade is GREAT! They’re so small and funny. Kinda remind me of my own DD2 in size.

The Kinda Big Deal

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My lunch box and water bottle take up my entire rolling cart. Sup wit dat?

  •  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.)

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Yeah, my lunch box is big. What’s it to ya!?

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?

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No more 2nd grade for me. 1st grade has stolen my heart.

I’m ready! Are you ready?

Yesterday the kiddos were ready to learn. Sure hope they're ready for another great day. Got some good stuff planned for them. I'm ready. I sure hope they come in ready as well. 

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I moved the small bookcase from along side the big one. This opened my room like "Wow". Not sure why I didn't see this before, but it helped a lot. Today I'm introducing 4 new centers. I'm also to the point that every kid could have their own center. I'm thinking of doing a video of the centers so the kids can see HOW to utilize them. That would be fun and they'll get to post something cool on schooltube. My plans for next week are 75% done. 

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Now my room isn't as dark. The curtains worked to well. Hot glue and some binder clips make for great curtain pulls. I feel like my room is done now. All that needs to happen now is keep the learning, flowing. 

Administration stopped by yesterday to compliment on the class and my work with these children. It's not me, trust. These kids just want to learn. Though their desire to learn is buried under a lot of distractions, they do want to learn. 

 

Didn't get into Crossfit SCobb this week, but I did workout at Basement Crossfit. Though the trainer at Basement is a slacker I got a good WOD in.