The students will be coming back tomorrow with all their stories about their adventures and activities over the winter break. I’m certain they will be chatty. So with that chattiness comes the ideas of how to use this to my advantage. Planning on some creating, writing, sharing, and listening. That will be more fun that the CFA’s for this six-week stretch and the Ekberg. Oh yes, at the end of this month the wonderful state writing test will be administered. Whoo hoo.
They will be asking about the big event that had to be postponed because of winter storm Draco(he was a pesty storm). There was supposed to have a school-wide Reading Rally planned in honor of the students reaching their reading goal by winter break. They read over 3000 books. The official count will not be released until the rally. It will happen this week yet. We’re were going to wear PJ’s and watch adults, nominated by the students, to eat bugs and worms. Yippee!!! I won’t be eating worms this time. If we reach the goal for May ( I know we will), I will be hit with a cream pie. Oh, the joy of one of the top reader in my room to put a pie in my face. That will be priceless.
My school district is like many across the country that have embraced the Common Core Standards State Standards. We are doing the process of implementing the formative assessment routine and using data to determine instruction. Leadership and Learning Center are the ones helping our district “ease” into this next phase of standards, assessments, curriculum, and instruction. This is year two of a three year commitment. I have been working on getting the next round of post assessments finished. Enough said this time around.
Another focus for the district is The Write Tools. The idea is this will make every one be teaching writing the same way. The upper elementary focused on informative/explanatory, even though the fourth graders are doing narrative writing for state testing. I found out that my applying what I learned this summer towards a narrative writing might not have been the best thing. I’m told there are differences. Oh. My bad. I will keep moving on.I found out that lexicons from what I have been taught through various trainings about summaries is not the same as the writing method.Yep. Teaching, got a love it. Still doesn’t change what my kids’ ability by the terms my profession would like to use this year.
I’m going to go a much different direction right now. I am just hoping that Santa could find away to have be get a personal financial recovery happen so I can upgrade so many things in my life and this blog. I have a number I need to be at before investing into my blog. Plus, I need to get more consistent would help, too.
Found three of McCloskey’s books in the school library. Make way for Ducklings from my childhood. Blueberries for Sal I was first acquainted in the early years of my career. Then there is One Morning in Maine was my first read for this book.
Help me understand. We were taught about multiple intelligences, differentiating, second language learners, culture of poverty, and so on. When it comes to pursuing answers in the education well being for the child, how could something like this happen,”Sorry we are not going to evaluate the child because there are doing well in Y, and Z classes. So the concern you have in area Q will need to be dealt with by the classroom teacher. ” Or “Sorry, you have to many in the process. It must be your teaching methods.”
That is like saying, “Uh sorry there are to many people needing glasses in this country. So we will only take so many % and help them. The rest of you will need to find other ways to cope with it.” I know, I know it is a bit much, but really. If I have kids that are below grade level I need to do everything I can to find ways to help them and still cover grade level content, even when they are not developmentally ready…yep yep yep.
Maybe it is the February Frenzy leading to the Spring Craziness of testing at the end of March through April that is making me just sit and think about the craziness in education (nations wide and local).
We had parent teacher conferences a couple of weeks ago. I thought about the craziness in education as I walked away from my own child’s conferences wonder about the craziness . When I get off the phone with my other child after talking about how professors “teach”. In this”No Child Left Behind” is it really “Sink or Swim” education Ouch.
Again, sorry. Just I hate to see great minds or potential not feel as though they are not worthy of an education. Those that struggle in the early grades are not worthy to be given the best environment and strategies to help them move towards being a life long learners .
So I’m going to publish this blog. Then search out some other blogs for some insight.
I am trying to come to the fact that it truly is February. Now the pressure to have the students at grade level for our online state testing in March. Whoo hoo. Let’s just ignore the fact the development of a child and the progression of English language learners. I’m working on it
At least state writing testing of my students are out of the way. I was asked how do I think they did. I can’t read though them. I get to critical and nervous. My gut says we should do well. The students have come a long way and the majority of my class really put their best effort towards the assessment. I’m proud of them!
Good thing this s a stress free challenge. I already feel I am lagging in my reading through the list. I’m working on it. I need to get pictures from my phone to the computer to the blog. That is my mission for the weekend.
There are books I never would have picked up if it wasn’t for this challenge. One is Yonie Wondernose by Marquerite de Angeli. I could see some of my students starting the story and putting it down before the half way point in the book. Nice way to show different lifestyles in the United States. A book that I will like to use when I am bringing up culture in my social studies lessons.
I have been able to be reaquainted with books that I was unaware that they were honor winners. Andy and the Lion James Daugherty and Stone Soup by Marcia Brown were two that I loved as a youngster. I didn’t realize that these stories were from my parents childhood.
I know. I know. What type of blogger am I? One that is going to try to get back on her a bit more. I am going to try to do the Caldecott Challenge form LibLaura5 and the Newbery Challenge . Hurray for stress free challenges. I mentioned the challenge to my students. I have a good portion of my class seeking the books for the Caldecott Medal on the book or asking if the book they just read might be because it was a really good book.
The Caldecott Challenge is one way to find books I haven’t read or heard of and others to reread from my childhood. I will probably will not get the books done in order. I am starting with the school library first. Our library para has done an outstanding job of keeping track of the medal winners and honor winners that are found in our library. She has been quite helpful with my students and myself.
I have a small stack with me at the moment. Books that I am revisiting are Blueberries for Sal, The Happy Day, Crow Boy, Fredrick, Andy and the Lion, Madeline’s Rescue, Mirandy and Brother Wind. I have one that I hadn’t read before, Why the Sun and the Moon Live in the Sky.
Oh the first big state assessments begins tomorrow. There is nothing else I can do for these kids. I keep having the phrase “…any given day…” I hope tomorrow is the day for all my kids to be “on”. They will bring their best “game” tomorrow. The majority of my students are more than capable.
Well time to get some shut eye. I’ll try not be such a stranger.
I have tried numerous times to write a post. I just can’t commit to getting any of them published. I guess I want them to be enlightening, insightful, useful…you get the idea. I don’t want to seem to be a wet blanket, whiner, gloomy gal. I don’t want to be a downer.
In this career path, that is what we have daily. Moments that are enlightening that makes me inspired and validate my choice in becoming an educator. Then there are times in the day I wonder about this profession. I just don’t know what to think. I feel like have a dumbfounded look a lot this year.
I like my class. They may drive me crazy, but I like my class. They are kids. They have no idea of what they are capable of doing. They are working on becoming more respectful and responsible learners. It comes with the the territory as fourth graders. The parents came in last week for conferences. I emphasized students taking on more responsibility for their learning. I gave suggestions for how the parents are able to help at home and how the school can help in the area of homework.
I am working on changing the students’ focus on what is wrong in their day to what was good. I am also having them begin to work on what they are good at in their lives. Trying have the students set goals and to dream bigger dreams is another hope of mine. I tried to share my dreams for my students to their parents. I told them I can see them going on to some type of post high school education. It is nice to see parents perk up and look at the child and know there is another person that believes in their child. Hope.
Now, I need to work on myself and how I think of my teaching. How teachers are looked at and treated by others. I have a mixed of emotions. So, I will stop here. I will now post. I need to find a way to reach out and find the Hope.
Attribution Some rights reserved by ClickFlashPhotos / Nicki Varkevisser
My child snapped this shot of the ‘tail end” of a storm that was moving through the county the other night. The clouds were something to look at and then the worry of what will come from the clouds. Will the storm build into its own super cell? Will there be heavy rain and strong winds? Do the clouds look like there could be hail in them? Or is it going to cast a cooling shadow to take a break from the heat?As the alert came of this storm, my daughter and i didn’t go hide. We wanted to check it out and look at the awesomeness of the clouds and wonder what will happen?
Do you have clouds hanging off yonder that make you wonder what is coming your way? You know what is happening around you, but will that severity affect you too? I have had the years of pouring or problems. The windy with changes. Pleasant skies of engaged learning.
So what will the school year hold. Looking and predicting from using data is nice. Still, you need to go out to look and feel what is happening. Assess and conclude and act. I hope you have a safe place to be. I hope you find what you need to make it through the school year.
One of the hazards of this chosen career path is the things that are said to your offspring. Students, present and past, will say some of the nicest things about you being a teacher. Then there are those that will use colorful adjectives to describe how they perceive you as a teacher.
Honestly, I knew they would get some comments about me but overall I thought my offspring will be left alone. My children have dealt with strangers coming up to them in the store or at one of their activities and asking if they are related to me. Some good and yes bad may have been shared. I was naive or unaware how much it would affect them and how often. I guess I thought that if I am a good person and treated people fairly that my children will be respected and treated well. Oh no…I was wrong.
I’m going to be honest real quick.. I’m glad there is a “Save Draft” key when I started to write this post. Because I don’t want this to be a rant/vent. I can’t even count how many drafts I went through.
I am a parent. I want my children to be treated fairly. I want them to be respected. I want my children to be safe. I want someone to be friendly to my child.
I try raising my children to be friendly and and respectful to everyone. I want my children to find the good in everyone. I want them to go past the opinions and first impressions and learn about a person.
I’m like every parent when unkind actions are directed to their children. I want to say, “Leave my kids alone.” Yes, I know other kids are treated unfairly because their parent is a preacher, or a senator, or a head coach, or a doctor, or any other career.