Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dear October 31st., Please Come & Go. Quickly.

I am currently... having a panic attack.

Of course, I put off figuring out what I'm being for Halloween. Again.
Last year, I was a veterinarian. I found really cute animal scrubs and carried a stuffed dog around.
BUT, this year, the top is a little too snug. And they discontinued this print at Walmizzy. UGH. Story of my life.
So now, i'm scouring the internet and my brain trying to figure something out that is half decent.
Ms. Teacher might be the ultimate cop out: A baseball player.
On a side note, we are only allowed to be book characters or jobs.

Brilliant idea #1: Can I be retired for Halloween and not come to school?
Brilliant idea #2: Can I "be" one of my bloggy friends for Halloween? Preferably one of you who doesn't have to dress up? We can switch places.

I truly feel like the fun has been sucked out of me this month! I hope it comes back ASAP. & Hopefully a more worthwhile post will be coming this week!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Whatcha Doin?

Hey everyone! This week has been awful. Today, I spent time going over our rules, had a class meeting, changed seats to start fresh. We still came back from Art with a bad report. I'm out of ideas, and I'm running on fumes at this point. But instead of complain, I'm going to summarize what we're doing right now in 3rd Grade in Room 144!

Writing: We're currently working on personal narratives. The prompt is "My Lightbulb Moment". A time when they learned something. I have two kids writing about how they learned to play bay blades [sp?], but hey, they are reluctant writers, so at least they are writing. I'll post pictures of our final projects in the coming weeks.

Reading: After finishing up Text Elements, we've moved on to Sequencing. My reading routine still has kinks and bumps. We're molding and intertwining Learning Focused Units, Scott Foresman, and Making Meaning. On top of that, I'm doing centers for about 35 minutes a day. So its tough to fit everything in. Making Meaning is seeming to take the biggest hit, but I'm really trying to make it work!

Math: We've just begun multiplication. I'm trying to write a Learning Focused Unit as I go. Our curricular resource is Investigations, but it does a horrible job of teaching the common core and preparing for the state test [ugh, don't get me started!]. So I'm making a lot of resources and filling in the gaps. Considering my team plans without me, I kind of have to fend for myself. But like I said in a previous post, math is my happy place. I'm confident my unit will be solid!

Science: We're currently knee deep in our Earth Material FOSS kit. I teach science to my class and another class, so we get through units a little slower than I'd like. Next week, we will be looking at 4 minerals and describing their properties, including doing calcite and scratch tests.

I hope you enjoyed a little peek into my room! If you have ANY suggestions for any of the above content, please share!

If I could give myself two stars & a wish for my blog, they would be..
    Star 1: I almost have 10 followers! Almost 10 people are interested in what I have to say!
    Star 2: I'm putting myself out there & sharing my ideas/life. & posting more than once a year.
   Wish 1: I need more pictures and freebies.
   Solution to my wish: Put batteries in my camera & take some darn pics! And figure out how to post to google docs!

Friday, October 14, 2011

From Slacks to Sweats in Record Time.

Oh my lord. Today was rough. Like I said, I was out yesterday with the 'blahs'. Thank goodness I took yesterday off, because I needed my rest for today.

Up until about 9:15 was normal. Andddd then the power went out. Ugh. My building is K-3, & they obviously can't deal with power going out. So the kids were out of their minds. Then, we were randomly told that we had to stop reading, go get our lunch, and eat in our classrooms. This was an hour before our actual lunch time. So, in the middle of reading, we ate lunch. The rest of the day was pretty much just shot from there. Got nothing of any importance finished.

I stayed at school for an extra hour and a half to copy my homework packets for next week. I figured I'd better get some use out of today before leaving for the weekend.

I made a beeline from my front door to my bedroom and changed into my comfy sweatpants. I made myself a sandwich & I'm watching this week's episode of "Parenthood", which is my absolute favorite show by the way!

Life is exhausting good.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Much Needed Day Off

I have been feeling down right awful this week. Just all around exhausted, cranky, and like I got hit by a bus. Last night, I was at school until after 8 & I didn't get home until almost 9. We had our faculty meeting after school, then I had to stay for a PTAG meeting. I live about 40 minutes from school, so I couldn't go home in between. So what did I do in between? I wrote sub plans, and I took today off. And let me tell you, I should have just taken a day off earlier in the week, because now I feel 100x better and ready to get back to business!

I hate not being at school with my kids. You never know what kind of substitute you're going to get, you don't know how your kids will react [this was my first day off, aside from a 1/2 day PD day earlier in the year], and you don't want to get behind in material. But again, I think it was to everyone's benefit that I took a day off. And, it turns out, one of my most problematic challenging students walked out of the classroom today. Yup. A third grader walked out. I found this out from my work bff who texted me, so she didn't know anymore details. But I'm very interested to hear about this tomorrow.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Revamping Blog. & I have school tomorrow!

Apparently, my school doesn't believe that Mr. Columbus earned us a day off tomorrow! Boo! The boy has off tomorrow [he has a state job], and he thinks this is GREAT and serves as a little payback for my summers off. I'll let him have his glory, I suppose!

In other news, I'm thinking of changing up my blog! New decor, new title, ETC. Stay tuned!

UPDATE!: Updated my blog! If someone could do me a favor and make sure that my "Grab a Button" thingy works, that would be great! Leave me a comment if you can. It only took me all night to figure it out! If I managed to mess it up, if someone could let me know also, that'd be great!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Multiplication Fun!

I see so many bloggers who say that literacy is their "safe place" and that they love teaching children to read. I, however, am the complete opposite. I totally struggle with teaching reading! Math is my happy place!

During RtI, my grade level is trying something new. As always, we broke up the students according to level, but we aren't exactly doing small groups for everyone. The highest and lowest are remaining in small groups with specialists. The others are in groups of 15, and they will rotate through the 3rd grade teachers on a 2 week rotation. Each of us is focusing on a different skill.

I have multiplication/division. YES! My favorite thing to teach! This cycle, I have one of the higher groups, so in the two weeks, I went through Arrays, Repeated Addition, Drawing a Picture, and Knowing your facts as strategies.

Here's what I did for arrays. And let me tell you, I was talk of the hallway! Remember these from your childhood?

Perler Beads? (sp)

Okay, me either. BUT, when I was an arts&crafts teacher at a summer camp a few years ago, this was the bee's knees. The cat's meow even.

I was browsing through the craft store, came across these, and BOOM. An idea! Students were in pairs, and every pair had a cup of these beads and the board that you use to shape them on. After introducing arrays the day before, they were ready to practice. I started small, asking them to make an array that represented 3 x 3, and I eventually built them up to 12x12. At the end, I let them each make their own array, but it would not be ironed until they correctly identified the array that it represented. Every 3rd grade friend walked out with an array that day!

They couldn't stop talking about it. They won't forget what an array is any time soon! This was an inexpensive project, as I didn't let them make an array bigger than 10x10 to take home. I can use these beads for a looong time before they run out! [These pictures are from google. I didn't take a picture this rotation, but I definitely will next go around if those friends can handle this project!]

How do you make multiplication hands on?