Tuesday, November 16, 2010

31 days and counting

So I will not start by stating the obvious like I have in every other post.

First of all, 31 days until graduation!! woohoo! All seems to be going well so I'm hoping my job becomes "official" soon. Things are moving along. We had second six weeks reading benchmark last week and we're having math tomorrow. Some of my students did fantastic while others didn't but we have a good starting point. I do have to admit, the reading curriculum makes me nervous and I don't feel as confident teaching it as I do math. i am blessed with great peers that don't mind helping.

OK two must do's for new teachers:

1) keep a word document for ALL the passwords you will acquire...really it's a TON.
2) another word document to keep track of all the "lingo" used and their definitions lol, RTI's, CIT's, ELPS, etc...

I am LOVING the teaching aspect of the job. The things that actually make me nervous and stressed about messing up is all the paperwork. We must keep up with what we're doing for certain students, progress monitor what seems like every other week.

Well I am off to grade papers and lesson plan :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2nd six weeks!?! what?!

Seems like I'm starting every post this way but...WOW it's been awhile since my last blog post! 

I have a math training tomorrow for the third six week, that just blows my mind! Everything is going well. I think I'm sort of getting the hang of things. Not completely, I heard that doesn't come till at least the 4th year of teaching, but at least I'm not in a total zone of confusion.

I have started tutoring after school two days a week for an hour after school. I have been observed by the principal twice already and she keeps saying "If you don't mess up" or "If you're lucky" or "If you do a great job" or something else like that every time we meet or I ask a question regarding my status. Let's just say, the pressure is on! My days fly by but it's no wonder I am exhausted come 8 o'clock.

One thing, the ONLY thing, that I am HATING about this situation...I feel like I am not being the best mommy I can be once I get home. I am so tired or have a million things to do for preparation of the next day that I feel I am cutting Alexander short. I find this so unfair. I get more frustrated, he acts out for my attention and he's so becoming a daddy's boy rather then the "mommy's boy" he was. I feel so horrible at night when I lay beside him at night and realize I cut him short. Hopefully this to will pass.

There is no way I can post everything that has been going on so I will leave it at that and post more often.
58 days until graduation! :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Back to "normal" schedule

I am sooooo ready to be back with my kiddos on Monday :)
You know back to "normal" schedule. I am really going to try and get serious with our centers. Our new curriculum has language arts centers that go along with our curriculum.

I get 30 min of reading small groups-that we use for TAKS skills basically since we get an instructional aid to assist with a group. We also get 30 min of math small group-so far we are using them to reinforce concepts we are learning, practice and go over test with individuals. 
I am thinking of bringing in a DS gameboy with educational math games for a center as well, this will allow students the technology use we lack. I don't know I"m basically just writing the million of thoughts swimming in my head hoping they make sense.

I will use the last 40 min of class to do the language arts centers and leveled reader group.. I'm not sure how all of this will work out, I guess all I can do is a trial and error of different things.

I think by the time I get it down to were I want it, it will be the last day of school.

I'm still breathing!

Wow it's been like two weeks since my last post! Well good news...I'm still breathing...

This week was CRAAAZZYYYY!! I had to complete my 5 days of solo teaching in Kindergarten, for student teaching. I can't complain because I am in a very blessed position to already have a teaching job, regardless of it being "unofficial" until after graduation. I only need to complete 5 days of solo teaching in two different grade levels.

I did enjoy kindergarten, they are soooo cute! I actually got kind of attached to the kids in only five day, funny how that happens. I still had to plan and organize things for my third grade class. Therefore it was kinda like being in two places at once mentally...it was exhausting!

Glad to be done with first rotation...84 days to go until graduation and my job being official :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I teach 3rd grade..I'm not in it.

Only downfall, con or whatever you want to call it, about this job is---it's like going back to elementary school, literally.

There are clicks, whispering, and a lot of "she said, she said."

I kind of belonged to the "no clique" clique in high school- I don't intend in joining one now. I am a very friendly person that talks to people across the board, regardless of what grade they teach, position they hold or whatever.  Ok enough of that rant.

"I teach 3rd grade, I'm not in it." :)

All aboard!!

OK things are starting to roll....
wow 3 weeks already!  This is the second week of instruction and to be honest I still haven't gotten in the grove of things. Last week was kind of establishing routines academically. But now our schedule has more changes! We were starting on reading  curriculum last week but were told to not start until this week so mid way through last week we had to re-plan. Which caused me to be kind of thrown off. I am ready to get in the grove of things already...really establish a schedule.

We are beginning small groups this week.  I get an instructional aid for 30 min in the morning for reading groups. Then hours later I get her back for another 30 min for math groups. For reading we are working out of a workbook which contain a small story with questions. wohooo right?! This is what the other bilingual teacher said we're doing and well I'm going along with it for now. I mean she's done it this way and gotten results so I'm sure it can't be too bad. Boring? maybe, all I got for now? yes!

I am trying to come up with math centers for math group. For those out there starting your first year soon...start on centers NOW if you want to integrate them in your class.

Well I'm off to finish lesson plans for the week (lesson plans are getting the best of me!seriously the most stressful thing so far)....yes I know this is something I said wouldn't happen. I said I would plan my weekly stuff on Friday and not leave the school until it was ready.I think I'll eventually be able to do that but in the meanwhile...I'm getting this ball rolling.

Friday, August 27, 2010


OK before I left today I remembered to take pictures for the blog. I also decided to redo my seating so the desk seem kinda odd in some of the pictures. Enjoy :)

This first one is from the entrance of the room. I originally had my desk set up in a U shaped, which I really liked but sadly didn't work well with my material set up.

This is against the side of the room not shown in the first picture. This is their cubbies and our "buckets". We are "bucket fillers" this year.

Google "Have you filled somebody's bucket today?" It is a great book with an amazing concept.

This is from the front of the room pointed towards the entrance. I am planning on using that spot to the side for small group time.

Our classroom library :) I still need to find pillows for it but other then that I'm really happy with it.

Board and my desk. Let's hope I can keep it that clean all year ;) (don't you LOVE my computer?!)

Small group area.

Front of the classroom.

Ok this area is kind of a work in progress/multiple purpose area.
It holds math chart and problem solving now but it will be our Math Wall instead. We will post "mathematician" word.

I am also hoping to use it as a writing center (hence the writing materials available), kind of my small attempt at a writing workshop. And the globe...well to be honest I had no where else to put it and well it kinda looked good haha.

This is a view of the materials available to each group.
There is enough for all to share. I am hoping this cuts down the interruptions of getting up for materials, or not having materials.

Another attempt to cut down on interruptions-the famous "I need to sharpen my pencil!" dilemma.
If there are no more pencils available in their group material basket (pictured above) they can bring the unsharpened pencils here and switch out for a sharpened one.   I actually don't even have a pencil sharpener available for them. We'll see how this works.

This storage is actually under my desk, out of sight and out of the way. I keep my daily lesson plans and materials in each drawer.

Oops almsot forgot...this is the other side/corner not viewed. Against the window is our computer center. Next to the TV I have a small listening corner.

Close Up of my charts. I have their "Specials" calendar, Lunch Menu (just noticed my apple fell from it haha) and Box Tops collection on the top.

How Do We Get Home? chart is actually a cut up poster re-made. I cut the pieces up stapled them and attached velcro to them. This way I can velcro the kids name on them and change them if their way home changes through out the year.

This is right at the entrance. Our calendar and birthdays are posted. Our turn in trays and various binders, notebooks and folders are also pictures.

This is how I re-arranged my seating. 
We will see how it goes!

Hope you enjoyed! Maybe a little more pictures then necessary but what can I say...I'm proud :) 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Yeah well...

This week has been going AMAZING!! I can see my kiddos forming a bond already and we're getting our routines down...funny how walking in a straight quiet line seems to be the hardest concept though ;)

So yeah overall (not counting tomorrow of course) this week has been great! I don't think I could of asked for a better first week of teaching. Watch I totally just jinxed myself for tomorrow.

The thing is though...the real test will be next week. This week was mostly social skills, rules, procedures, getting to know each other. I mean I don't mean to toot my own "social" horn but HONK HONK I am pretty good at the socializing part. Teaching...we shall see.

I was sitting at my desk today during my conference and began to look through next weeks reading material. I volunteered to do the lesson plans for me and the other bilingual teacher because I'm a weirdo that needs a ton of detail and needs to be hands on in order to learn this curriculum....that's another story though. ANYWAYS...

Well it seems like a TON! My mentor teacher, along with others, have said things like "Oh don't even try, it's impossible to get it all in." "We just don't have enough time"...etc. etc etc..Yeah WELL...I'm also the weirdo that needs to try things on my own, even if I run the chance of failing. I MUST try, maybe fail myself in order to learn from it. This can be a bad thing, or a good thing...I haven't decided yet. But regardless my mentor teacher (who happens to be the other bilingual teacher) has agreed to try and get it all crammed in this next week then we'd go from there.

It is now approximately 10:40 and I have been working on lesson plans for about 2 hours, I just now finished Tuesday. I am starting to get the idea that maybe I am trying to do to much, I mean this reading curriculum is set up to cover; Listening Comprehension, Speaking/Viwing, Vocabulary, Spelling, Comprehension, Fluency, Writing, and Grammar. It has a section for each of this categories with things to do, read, complete. Basically it's set up to teach Reading all school day. Hmmmm....

yeah well...I'm off to work on Wednesday. Did I mention I am kind of hard headed sometimes? ;)

Monday, August 23, 2010

I would like to thank...

This goes along with my 1st day post but kind of deserved it's own post:

The day was made even better and more calming because of my great co-workers! Not once did I walk the hall without someone asking "How's it going?" and flashing me a big smile. Small things like that make such a difference and show so much genuine concern. From the principal to the custodian asked me about my day! I could not be working at a more united and caring campus. Thank you Vivian Fowler Elementary friends! My first day, and I'm sure my first year will be tremendously marked by your kindness, willingness to help and amazing friendships.

1st Day

OH MY goodness I am tired! The day flew by and I had no idea how tired I was until I just sat down about an hour ago. :) it's soooo the good kind of tired though, the accomplished tired!

Ok let me start at the beginning...as odd as this sounds I was not freaking out this morning. When Celin asked me if I was nervous, I surprisingly said "no, not really. I'm ready and excited!" Then it hit me, "I'm not nervous?!" "wait I'm suppose to be nervous what the heck is wrong!" so yeah I guess you can say I kind of freaked out...I freaked out because I wasn't freaking out!

Like I've stated before, I knew some of these children from small group work last year. When I introduced myself to them and even as others saw me in the hall they asked "you're a teacher? like with your own class?" haha yes, I guess it took children asking these questions for it to sink in: I am a teacher! like with my OWN class! The moment I have been preparing for since I can remember is finally here, regardless of not being "official" because of graduation, this "first" will never be relived. Today was my first day as a first year teacher.

I arrived and starting greeting my students at 7:30. They were anxious to get started, just as I was. We began with a "getting to know each other activity" then flew through the day. We basically  focused on expectations, rules, procedures and class goals. We did begin our math curriculum which went amazing, they were all excited and said "oh this is so easy!" I focused on making them feel part of a family, I explained that we will be working as one this year. I think we are off to a great start!

It's so funny how much you can find out about children in one day. I know the saying "don't judge a book by it's cover" but boy some of these kids just open up day 1! I can already, even though I tried not to, see which kids will be my "I"m done!" kids, and which will be my "now remember the rules please" kids. 

My "babysitter" said I was doing great, she stayed uninvolved through out the day (as a teacher, she helped with other things.)  and said she will remain so unless I need help.The day was hectic and a total learning experience for all involved but overall I couldn't of asked for a better first day :)  I've got an amazing group of students!

P.S. I always thought my first day post would be more insightful and in-depth but I am exhausted! I think that speaks louder then words ever could.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Planning planning planning!

Wow Sunday already!! Tomorrow is the BIG day! yikes! I am seriously a ball of emotions right now, I am super excited but my stomach is also in knots because of the nervousness.

I spent about 5 hours at the school yesterday (yes on Saturday) and finished up details and lesson plans. I put up all supplies that have been brought in and I have to say I'm pretty proud of my room. I have a ton of goals for this year and one of them is to stay organized as much as possible. Talking about goals, I think it would be great to get them down in writing, or typing in this case:

Goals for 2010-2011 School Year. 
  •  Have a strong home-school connection/communication
  • Create a well managed classroom 
  • Get my students to read/write more
  • Stay organized
ok I know there is a couple more but my mind has gone blank (let's pray that doesn't happen tomorrow!). I will update that list through out the school year.

Back to planning for tomorrow...lesson planning! and it's not for a grade but for actual application in the classroom wooohoo!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Meet the Teacher...aka ME!

The second part of my awesome knowledgeable day consisted of Meet the Teacher. I was kind of nervous I won't lie! I mean this is the parents and the students first impression of me, you can't have a second first impression. As soon as it got started and I met the first parent it came a bit easier. It was nice to know some of my students from being an aid last year. They were excited to see me too so it was great!

In a nutshell I explained to the parents that one of my biggest goals of the year was to have a strong home to school connection. I encouraged them to communicate with me and feel welcomed in the classroom. We are a team working with the same goal in mind-the success of the student.

I think it went really good! The parents stuck around and spoke to me about a variety of things, 12 of my 14 kiddos showed up which I thought was an awesome turn out and showed great involvement from the parents. I think this is a sign to a great year!!

P.S. The kids loved the "Thanks for popping in" popcorn bags they got.
P.P.S Only regret-not taking a picture of myself in my room for my first meet the teacher :(

Gaining Knowledge...recalling knowledge :)

Today was a very long, wonderful, full of knowledge and excitement day! :)

My day began at Sharon Wells training (math curriculum). It was soooooo helpful and informational! The further we went into the material and variety of ways to teach it the more excited I got. Math is the one thing that I feel the least worried about curriculum wise this year, but we'll see I might be speaking to soon.

I am amazed and so happy that even though this year has just began I've been able to apply things I learned at SFA. ha imagine that! I actually learned things!

I am 1 of  3 first year teachers on my campus. One of the other newbies happens to also be in 3rd grade so it's been great feeding off of each other, bonding and basically sharing some of the things we learned. Funny thing actually-we were in a team meeting talking about how to write lesson plans. They stated that the district was switching the ways these were to be written-with more focus on the TEKS addressed. Apparently this is something they haven't been doing, funny thing is this is EXACTLY how we learned to write lesson plans in school! There's been a couple of other times when the "new" things our campus is trying to do is actually what we've been taught-how awesome is that!! 

This by all means doesn't mean I think I know it all or more then veteran teachers...because I totally don't! but it is nice to bring something to the table. And to be honest, when I was completing my classes a lot of times I thought "I know this is not how they do it, I won't even be able to use this." I'm glad to say-I was wrong :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Before Pictures

These pictures show exactly what I walked into in July. I had no earthly idea where to begin!!! These pictures were taken with my phone so the size is small and the quality might not be the best but no photoshop was used to increase the craziness in them ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010


Today was my second day of in-service. On Friday, our first day back, the whole staff gathered in the library for some trainings and announcements. I was introduced as the new 3rd grade bilingual teacher, talk about reality smacking you in the face! My babysitters name was announced as well (certified sub that will be in my room until graduation) but that's beside the point lol.

We did a couple of team building activities. I am so glad and blessed to be working with such a great group of peers!  My first year would be even MORE nerve raking if I was a new NEW teacher, if I knew no one and had never worked with these people before. Since I did interact with them last year I feel comfortable enough to say "HELP!" I'm sure this will be a great assistance throughout the year. :)

Today we had a 3rd grade meeting and then continued to work in our rooms. It's crazy how I think I'm almost done then think of 55409485029840927604297 other things that need to be done! Meet the teacher is on Thursday so I better a)get it done or b)act like I have it together. I think I'm going with c)getting as much of it together then acting like I know what I'm doing.

I keep saying I'm going to take pictures and post but like I stated I keep thinking of things I need to do in the room and postpone the picture taking until it's "perfect!"....so there might never be pictures on this blog sorry.

 3 days until Meet the Teacher! One week for school to start! yikes!

I have been dreaming of this for a long time, I'm great at dreaming. I hope I'm just as great at living it! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beyond the time clock...

I spent 7.5 hours working in my classroom today. I think this is part of that famous saying I've heard a million times.."teaching goes beyond the time clock." It's crazy how time flies when you're surrounded by what you love to do. I have dreamed about preparing my classroom for years now.

My term as a student felt like forever but now that this day has arrived I can't believe it's here, feels so quickly. I will graduate in December so in all reality it did come a bit quicker than anticipated. It's kind of like an emergency certification, sent down from heaven blessing position I've been given this year.

I will  post pictures soon-my room is actually starting to look like a classroom :) I am so excited!
In-service starts next week and I'm sure that's when the nervousness will kick in.

Until then...I'll start my first year by putting in those off the clock hours...