Sunday, September 25, 2011

Um, ANOTHER awesome giveaway!

Denise at Sunny Days is having a giveaway! Seriously, once I have more followers, I'd love to do a fun giveaway! They are just so darn exciting! Anyway, I always read about bloggers finding great stuff at Dollar Stores. However, I have the worst luck when it comes to this. I never find anything worthwhile. Maybe Delaware dollar stores aren't stocked with such awesome-ness?

Anyway, I SO hope I win this giveaway. BUT, I also rarely win things! I've won a contest ONCE. I was driving home from work [during the summers, I used to work as an art teacher at a camp], and I was stuck in traffic. They were giving away Kenny Chesney tickets, and I was stuck in traffic. Naturally, I called in, hitting redial about, hm, 10 times. Well, the rest is history. This was in 2009. So I'm due for some good luck!

Thanks Denise for an awesome giveaway!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Long Lost Blog..

So much for teaching and blogging in the same day/week/year. I'm so exhausted! I have no idea how you all do it: posting freebies, making resources, and updating more than once a month. I bow down to you all!

Well, we've just began our 4th week of school. The kids are settling in. Well not really, because since we've began I've had two students move, gained a challenging student, our RTI hasn't officially started until this week, etc. So, I'll probably be in the complete swing of things come..... December? Only time will tell.

Due to our Race To The Top grant, we have PLC time weekly. Although it is great to have that time to "collaborate with my team" AKA sit in meetings for 70% of the time, then get about 15 minutes to plan, I always leave more stressed out than I walked in. First of all, I'm having the same problem I had last year. My kids are AWFUL when they are out of my sight. There was mass chaos today in the lunch room when I didn't have lunch duty! When they were at their extra afternoon special this afternoon [because of our PLC], they were ridiculous. I mean, they aren't perfect angels for me when I'm teaching, but my goodness. I wish there was some transfer when it comes to their behavior. Another source of the stress is all of the new things that are thrown at us every meeting. Every teacher can relate, so I won't delve too much into that rant!

In other news, I'm getting observed this week. I'm a third year teacher, and under our new DPAS framework, "novice" teachers must be observed three times. Juuuust great, considering I have a huge anxiety issue and my neck and ears turn bright red at a hint of nervousness. The fact that I love my principal [who is observing me] makes it a little easier, but still, I get nervous when anyone is in my room. I  know I'm doing everything I can to help my students, so I just need to accept everything as constructive criticism and move on. Obviously, that is easier said than done. I was so happy that my principal asked what I would like her to see for my first observation. I asked her to come during centers, which I am implementing for the first time this year. I told her that this is our first week doing them full time, and I made sure she knew that it was NOT going to be perfect! There are six centers, and the students visit two per day, Monday-Wednesday. There are a few kinks in this, however. I think they will work themselves out in time. I already told my students that my principal wanted to see how well we do centers at the end of the week.

This week=Johnny Appleseed. Woo? No matter how hard I try, I can't get into it. Now, Dr. Seuss? There's a birthday I can get into. Last year we made applesauce, but I don't think that's happening this year. I'm thinking apple prints of some kind. I need to think about it! Anyone have any fun ideas, I've browsed Pinterest, but nothing is really jumping out at me!

Yes! I posted! Hi to my four followers! :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

They are READY for third grade!

Last year, my school adopted the Common Core Standards. We also began using a new testing system, DCAS, which is WAY more difficult than our previous test [DSTP]. DCAS is also on the computer, which is a whole other issue. But anyway, last year we were in limbo. Our third graders were not ready for third grade "Common Core" style. Tons of back tracking needed to be done with simple skills. Being a first year classroom teacher [after spending time as a writing teacher], I didn't know what to think. Was this the norm? Would I need to review the entire second half of second grade skills [especially math] before moving on to all of the third grade standards? I don't have time!

Well, I'm happy to report that after starting our beginning unit on base 10, my students seem ready to learn third grade standards. Is back tracking still necessary? Of course. But not nearly as much as I remember from last year. I can't wait to get into teaching multiplication and division! I will probably get to multiplication in mid-October. The babies are SO excited to learn these "big kid" skills.

I'm beat. Maybe I'm not cut out for blogging during the school year! :)