Some Else…It’s a Sign.

I was talking to our building tech/reading specialist about teaching evaluations and professional development when she brought up the idea of wanting to do a school blog.  I was so jazzed. I started one but never got it started. I was afraid to do anything at the time with the idea if they are in primary grades shouldn’t be on the net because of the crazy creepers.

Well, with the realization that you can teach internet safety and beginning to think of 21st century citizenship. It is nice to hear someone else wanting to venture to the blogging world. In the back of my mind all year I have been thinking about getting kids blogging. This might be the push I have been needing. Get of the sidelines and get into the game.  It is a sign.

She shared with me that she had approval to start a school blog and the fourth graders will be “piloting” it. Awesome!!!

 

Gatherings-Day 1of Back to School Week

Yes, a new school year is upon us and that means the gathering of teachers to get things going.  My school district has always had the summoning of teachers in one place to introduce the new staff and set the tone for the year. Plus, they do give us a nice little breakfast.

The ended up going to the old gym to hear the welcome. It was good to see some old faces that you haven’t seen for awhile. Our superintendent went fishing in Alaska this summer and  shared how fishing is like teaching. It was quite good. The idea that like fishing there are different kind of fish like there are learners. Fish are found in all different kinds of depths just like students in their learning. Both fishing and teaching you have to watch for snags  That are a few of is comparing and contrasting. I wish someone would have captured a video of it.

Afterwards there was the introduction done by the building principals for the new staff to the district. There were quite a number that were hometown graduates coming back to work in the district in some capacity.

Once that was done the teachers moved out to go to their respective buildings. Of course we gathered again to have a building meeting. Found a place to sit at one of the lunch tables and asked the typical question to people around me about their summer.The whole staff had to introduce ourselves.  It is a good idea. Because of how the school day and year goes, I rarely see most of the staff except for these gatherings and might forget they work here. Went over some new policies. We as a staff have an written dress code now. There was a clarification about leggings that were prohibited. Basically don’t were them like jeans and wear long tops.   Again we were fed. It was a nice little lunch catered from a cafe in town. More chit chat with adults.

Then we were released to work in our rooms.  More gatherings but smaller, Here people asking about how to do this and how are you planning to do that. Both copy machines were busy, so I had to wait until after most had left. I still have much to do. Tomorrow. I have to finish getting things in order to see parents and kids for an open house and have another meeting in our grade level teams with our principal.

As I sit here writing, I’m not certain how to explain my emotions about the year. I’m not overly excited. I’m not overly worried. I’m not overly sad or dissatisfied. I have a calm. I am wondering if I am in some type of denial and the rush of emotions will hit me about two in the morning and I won’t be able to sleep.

Well until tomorrows gathering… bye

The following video some of you may have seen. It is a cute little thing our principal shared.

Investment to Pro

I went ahead and upgraded to  a Pro Account.  I know some of you teachers are thinking. Why is that a big deal?  It is when you come from the being tight with your money and been trying to get over your own financial crunch or crisis.  I had to pull back A LOT on my teaching spending and other things in my budget.  So, if it isn’t part of the good of the household I held back.  I know it is my way of seeing things. It was time to try this out without the guilt.

We”ll If I am going to try to become a better “blogger” I need to at least up grade.  It is about my professional voice.  There are a slew of wonderful educational blogs out there.  I’m wowed. I’m still working on speaking up.

Now I get to enjoy learning all the features and trying them out with the blog. Let’s see where this takes me.

Cough, Hack, Whew…It is still here!

My blog is still here. Whew. I’m publishing to say “I’m here but I haven’t conquered”. I am a person that enjoys stumbling onto amazing, interesting blogs. I was following some with my Google Reader until that came to an end. In the past year, I have leaned on Twitter for seeing if there is something new to view by following some of the bloggers and from some of the suggestions or replies while reading the Tweets.

As an active PLC person I am not. I don’t know if it is a flaw of being the one that likes to quietly sit back and listen to what people have to say. I love listening to conversations and hear people interact. As this translates to the cyber world, I like to read or view what people are saying and suggesting. I know one of the important rules of a PLC idea is to interact with others. Uh…that is super easy for some. For me, not so much. I don’t know what to say without sounding like a “do-wah”. Even worse, show that I have a “off a rocker” thought.  Just like my students, not all are pouncing in to talk in a group or to add there two cents worth. That doesn’t mean they are not listening and taking it in. It doesn’t mean they are thinking about what is going on. Sometimes people need to have things simmer.  As a teacher, I know I need to bring them into the conversation and have them feel safe to share there thoughts.

Last school year, I had a class that had work on listening, thinking, and sharing.  Many had a tendency to wait for someone else to come up with the answer or to have me give up the answers.  I had to take the time to go back and pose questions or scenario for them to ponder about. Eventually, we would get where we need to be.  Tapping into that prior and background knowledge was essential. For the sake of time, a teacher would eventually go to the vocal smart kid if the discussion isn’t going the way that it needs to go. I had several that were becoming the class clown or heckler, but not a contributor. Some needing to navigate around their self-esteem or shyness shells. They had to fill into a different role of an active learner that is accountable. They have all grown in this capacity. There are some I will be concerned with sliding back to some old habits or back into their shells if they are not given the respect and opportunity in the class.  I know others are going to be fine and will keep on growing as active class participant.

I have to go do the same. I’m still evolving as a learner, teacher, and a human.

I’m still here aren’t I?

Have a great rest of the summer.

Happy New Year 2013…

Happy New Year 2013!

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.

Well, Happy New Year everyone.

 

 

 

Yep, Trying Again.

So, what can I say. I must have blogger anxiety.

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.

I am going to end with, I’ll see ya next time.

 

 

 

 

 

What?Education Craziness…February Frenzy Feeling.

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.”

WHAT???

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.

Sigh

Creative Commons By twicepix Martin Abegglen

 

 

 

 

FEBRUARY! No Way, Man…

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!

Caldecott Books

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.

This is just the beginning.