Sunday, February 12, 2012

Please return your tray tables to their upright and locked position and remain CALM!

We are landing in the land of curriculum audit and it's going to be bumpy. First let me say that I totally understand the need for scholastic audits and I get that it helps us make a plan for the future but let's get real. Not everyone is a robot and some days you have 6 sweethearts who throw up and the learning for that day (and hopeful the next few as those little darlings are HOME getting well) is just off kilter. But in the land of the audit none of that matters. We had a BIG meeting on Thursday where we were "prepared" for the team to come in. We were given words of wisdom like "be yourself", "teach as if no one is watching" and my favorite "don't worry they are here to find the things that we need to improve on".

Now that panic has set in I am worried about this. My little ones don't do well when others come in... heck some of them can't handle me not picking them to answer the question. UGH>>> and then the weather man said my favorite words... chance of snow! I promise you I am WAY more excited about the snow than anyone! I really would love a snow day. I love the smell, the way the world sounds under a blanket of snow and the face that everything here comes to a grinding stop. It's bliss!

The audit will find that we have some serious work to do, which I know, but I am hopeful that it will also show were we need more parent support... more resources- NOT MONEY- but people. Well I guess to get the people we would technically need money. I hope that they see how our staff is tried of begging for help, for example I am not a strong writing teacher and I've begged for help. Not gotten it (well at least not from the school- LOVED the kinder expo and the piece about writing!!) I know teachers in our building who have asked for math help or reading help from the instructional coaches and have gotten nothing. Things have to chance... I'm as resistant as the next guy but I will never be a better writing teacher if someone doesn't step up and help me.OH and offering me a book off a shelf isn't an answer... don't have time to read it between grad school and being a mom. Not to mention that I am a kinetic learner myself... got to watch and try to get something.

I want this week to go smoothly, so I am prepping things today that I would usually do at school... fun fun fun. And sitting here praying that we get enough snow/ ice to shut down school (and that it gets here early enough to close school before the day starts).

A little knee update... I started PT this week. And there is only one word for it OUCH! Ok only one word that I'm willing to type ;) Rob is my PT guy and he is very nice. He seems to think that I'm most likely dealing with a tear but he explained that were the tear is located is not conducive to easy surgery. That means we try PT first. Rob did tell me that the same exercised that he is going to have me doing would be the same ones that total knee replacements do after their surgery. He told me no more heating pad and that I need to be icing it twice a day. (another fun thing to do while in the land of audit- gonna love explaining that!) I go back 3 times a week until the 29- which is the day I see the DR again. I hope that this helps cause it sure hurts! LOL... but I am being a good student and completing my homework ;)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Falling in Love with the Tricky Teens

I just posted a new item at both TPT and TN. I plan to use it with my little ones this week. Several of my little ones are struggling with the teen numbers. I thought that someone else might be having this same issue and could use these.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Snowflake symmatry and a wonderful Friday

Today I decided to add to what we are doing with shapes. I am a common core classroom and I'm pretty true to what we are supposed to teach. Today I deviated... now I have a reason and it's a good one. We were talking about triangles and I decided to talk about the kinds of triangles that you can draw (equilateral, isosceles etc) and I realized for the kids to really get it they needed to understand line of symmetry. So we huddled up (yep just like in football) and I told them that they were going to learn about something that the big kids are learning! That gets their attention every time! We watched a little piece by the Number Crew from united streaming, which I think explains lines of symmetry better than I can. Then we folded some shapes to see if they had lines of symmetry. We found that most shapes do, but that you can fold a star or a heart so that they don't. Then we talked about how we could make a snowflake that had a line of symmetry. We made one as a class and then I sent them back to tables to make their own.

What we did... first we folded the blue paper so that it had a line of symmetry. See the paper on the right? YOu can see the line. The kids then started placing shapes (pattern block pieces) around a center piece.

Here are some more examples.




I have to say that I LOVE my babies!!  They had so much fun with this activity. I saw the ellison dies in a teacher catalog and really thought that the kids would love to be able to create things with them. I look forward to being able to make more projects with these!!

I just had to add this picture. It was a BEAUTIFUL day today!! Well it did cloud up and tonight it's raining but the weather was mild, you almost did not need a jacket. The little one in the plaid coat is my teacher's assistant. Her job all week has been to lead and help those who aren't doing the right thing using HAND SIGNS only! Here she is pointing to the ground, which tells the line where to be.



Thursday, February 2, 2012

WOW!! What a day....


Today was my first full day back. It was long, so very long. But it was a great day.We worked in stations, with new partners.
See these cuties... they are working on sorting letter tiles (you can just see them under the table) They were SO quiet!! I almost didn't know they were still in the room.
Look at these angels!! The two at the smartboard are playing ABCya.com. Such a great sight! The little one at the table with the yellow bucket is "buttering" sight words. The two at the bucket that is red are writing spelling words on white boards. OMGosh...they worked SO hard!! I can NOT be more proud of them.

This was math time. We used number bracelets to practice  subtraction problems. Each child has a pipe-cleaner with pony beads on it. I have 2 sets. One set is to 5, the other is to 10. They hold it at the bottom and we move beads don to the side. We made a chart of how many ways we could make 5. The loved this activity, and didn't want to quit.

Here is another shot. You can see the little one on the right (in red) has two groups. I didn't think to take a picture of the chart... I'll have to add that to my too do list.

Oh and I tried MANY of the ideas that I learned at the kindergarten expo. The writing workshop really helped me today as I took a long hard look at our writing. I hope to take some pictures tomorrow during our writing time and share them with what I learned.

I hope that everyone is having a wonderful week!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Do you use...

Hey guys... I am wondering if you use "I can" charts in your centers? I thought someone talked about them recently but I can't remember who or where! UGH... I SO wish blogger had a search feature for the blogs I follow lol... that would make my life SO much easier!

Oh, I was back in my classroom today! BOY did I miss those guys! I was only there half a day because I had to go back to the dr. He basically said that it acts like I do have a tear but he wants to do everything possible before looking at surgery. So I am back at work with the restriction of only being able to walk or stand for an hour! REALLY??? ok so we will do all we can... oh and I have to wear a brace but I do not have to be on crutches... I'm supposed to be seated in a chair. YEA on the no crutches... and hopefully I won't have to have surgery but I am looking at more than a month to recover. ;(