Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Another day...another ???  I think it is supposed to say dollar, but I think it should say something more appealing because I do not make enough money to handle the crap I have to handle.... I had to do something this past week that I have never done in ten years of teaching...drum roll please...I had to ask for help.  I went to my principal and vice principal and spoke to them about how scared I am for my students.  I know it is only week four, but I know in my heart that they are so far behind that I won't be able to get them up to a second grade level by June. 
Last week we celebrated National Bear Day and we had a great time.  I posted a few pictures in a previous post.  This past week and the three days of this week we worked on a book report.  I read the students Corduroy and they had to draw three pictures; one for the beginning, one for the middle, and one for the end...lets just say that we need a little help with staying in the lines.  We then created a Corduroy craft activity to go with the book reports and this was yet another challenge for some of the students.  I hate being negative, but I am so scared for my little ones.  I don't just have one or two I have twenty-four students who are not on first grade level.  We had some arms cut off, some legs cut off, and even some heads cut off.  After a few cuts and a lot of glue we all finished our book reports and I think they turned out pretty cute.  (and of course I forgot to take a picture of them.  I will take a few tomorrow and post.)  We then worked on our Sentence Buddy.  I am working with my firsties on learning that a sentence contains a capital letter at the beginning and a punctuation mark at the end.  With the lesson we completed a page in their Grammar workbooks and they were instructed to color the animal next to each complete sentence.  I took it a step further and made them draw a circle around the capital letter and a circle around the punctuation mark.  I wanted them to see both of the items and be able to recognize what makes a complete sentence.  We then made our Sentence Buddies.  The students really enjoyed this project.  Tomorrow we will write our sentence on the Buddy and learn about nouns. 
 

We will leave these up for a while so the students can use them as a visual.  I have noticed that my class this year needs the crafts to go along with the lessons...well till tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Well...as we all know this is an interesting year this far...I recently vented a little bit about my class and their struggles and I as an educator take it so personally.  I do not want to fail as their teacher and I most definitely don't want to see them fail...so many issues.  This past week so far we completed a lot of center activities.  I decided after meeting with my principal and vice principal that I couldn't teach the way they wanted me to and I had to change things to better suit my class...so with that said, I created a center based learning environment for my first graders. Now, I have always used centers, but not as much as I have decided to do this year.  With this class certain things are just not an option. 
So with that said...this week we worked on Antonym Bears, Bear Addition, Read/Write/Stamp, Rainbow Writing, and Mix it Fix it.  Today was the first day with these centers and they seemed to work out great.  I was so happy and they all seemed to really enjoy their day.  Monday was National Teddy Bear Day and first grade was full of teddy bear fun!  We all brought our teddy bears to school, we completed a lesson on polar bears, fact and opinion, and teddy bear measurement.  We ended the day with a few gummy bears as a treat!

 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

I love me some RHNJ...I just can't escape the drama they have in their lives...I guess maybe it makes for easy watching since it is such CRAP!  Oh well crap it is and crap is what I enjoy on a Sunday night while trying to lesson plan and blog! 
This past week at work has been very challenging.  This is the first year in ten years of teaching that I can honestly say that I am not sure my class will be ready for second grade.  I know that it is still very early on in the school year (actually only week two), but I am so nervous for my little ones.  This past week I had to escape my classroom and go up to a friends classroom because I was going to have an anxiety attack.  I love what I do and I love my kids, but not being able to help them is saddening to me.  My class has come to me at such a low level I am scared for them.  The smallest task such as writing their names on their papers (and at this point I am not even looking for neat) is a challenge for them.  I am finding it so hard to get them to understand the simplest of tasks.  I am hopeful that I will make a change in their lives even if it is the smallest change and they will leave my class attaining some knowledge, but I am still filled with anxiety over this matter. 
I did complete a great Math lesson though this past week and a larger group than I thought grasped the concept that I was teaching.  We completed a lesson on Greater Than & Less Than...We used a center (I apologize but I forgot who I purchased this from) that I purchased and the kids really enjoyed working in groups with each other.  I was surprised at their ability to work with a partner. ( I assigned them a partner)  They were to pick two cards from their baggie and decide which was greater and which was less than and place them in the correct spot.  I made sure that they were saying the Math sentence they completed the task.  I think that it is so important for them to say things out loud so both themselves and their partner can hear it and it gives me a way to assess them.  I was pleased with the lesson and took a few pictures.

Greater Than/Less Than Center
 
Let me tell you on a completely different note...little girls are very expensive!  I took my niece to the American Girl Store today for her birthday gift and I swear  I do not walk out of that store for under $100.00...NEVER...It is worse than Target I tell you...At least with Target even if you don't need it you can find a reason to have it...With the American Girl Store how do you tell a little girl no...they do it on purpose...We got her "Me" doll earnings and a new ballerina outfit for her doll and a puppy of course...I mean what fake doll doesn't need all of those things?!?!  All in all though it was a great day with my beautiful niece, a little expensive, but a great day! 
 
 

Monday, September 2, 2013

It has been over a year I think that I wrote on my blog...I have been thinking about my blog a lot recently and realized that when I was writing on it I was able to show my work to a few people that followed me...for me it isn't about people following me, but a place for me to vent and show what I do on a daily basis. I am so in love with that I do for a living that I want to share it with as many people as I can. This past week we started back to work...it was a great first week and I have the sweetest group of 24 this year. I know I only have 24...my smallest class I have had in ten years of teaching. We did a really fun project on the first day of school. We read David Goes to School and we completed a project on school rules. The class all wrote what they thought the First Grade School rules should be...some of them were pretty funny...and with the spelling you definitely know you are in a first grade classroom! I took a picture of the completed project and I think it turned out really cute! The other pictures that are posted are of my classroom this year. I kept my classroom pretty simple with all the same paper and borders. I thought this would be easier...only time will tell!!
The above pictures are of the classroom.
The David Project for the first day of school and the cute gift that was on their desk for the first day of school!