Thursday, April 26, 2012

Almost Done and Some Randoms

So I have just finished my teaching in my final placement!  I have a professional development day tomorrow, and then observing in classrooms for four and a half days!  I am so excited to get into some of the classes I have picked out, and get some awesome ideas and strategies!  I have enjoyed this placement so much.  It was a different one compared to my first placement, but I have learned so much.  I am not looking forward to leaving, but I know I will be back as I will start subbing in the middle of May!  I am ready for my next chapter in my life, which will hopefully include a new job!

On a side note sisterbear will be back in a week for my graduation.  I am so excited to see her!  The last time I saw her was at Christmas time.  I am in need of some sister time, and will get to see her twice in May, once in June, and for a whole week in July! 

I have also added a few pages on my blog.  I have added a page listing all of the blogs I follow.  You should check them out!  The other page I added has a list of books that I have read already this year.  I used to hate reading so for me to have read six books in four months is a big deal...especially finishing two books in a week!  I have just started the 50 Shades of Grey series.  I will update you on how they are, and if they are worth the craze :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ron Clark

I first heard of Ron Clark during one of my classes my junior year of college.  We watched The Ron Clark Story.  I would recommend any teacher, or even anyone for that matter, to check this movie out!  It is an inspiring movie, has a really great message, and it's on Netflix!  So after watching the movie in class I found out that Ron Clark himself has written a few books.  I finally got around to reading The End of Molasses Classes, which has 101 solutions for parents and teachers to help get kids unstuck.  Basically the book is full of ideas and tips from Ron Clark that they have used at The Ron Clark Academy, or whenever he is teaching.  There are so many cool and amazing ideas, but I was sitting there thinking how would I pull that off where I live, or there is no way kids would do that.  Well Ron goes ahead, and gives you starting steps to pull it off, or ways to do the activity in your classroom if your administration isn't up for the idea and doesn't want to implement it school wide.  Ron also has another book (which I haven't read yet) called The Essential 55, where he talks about 55 guidelines for students.  The guidelines range anywhere from how to say thank you to interview tips.  The Essential 55 came out before The End of Molasses Classes, so I will be reading a little out of order.  I definitely recommend the movie and both of the books.  Basically what I'm trying to say is that the books, and Ron Clark's story is something every teacher needs to read and know about! 

While reading The End of Molasses Classes, I decided that I want to visit The Ron Clark Academy.  You can visit the academy to get ideas and for professional development.  The coolest part, is that you get to become slide certified when you visit.  I'm not going to tell you what that means...guess you will just have to read the book or visit the website to find out!  Once I start working again after student teaching I will start saving my money so I can visit The Ron Clark Academy!  I hope everyone checks out the movie, and the books they truly can make a difference in your teaching and give you that extra passion to be the best teacher ever!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Slap-A-Word....or whatever you want to slap :)

I have been working with decoding words, and recognizing harder sight words with my students.  The placement I am in now I am working with kids who need a little extra help.  The curriculum we use is usually pretty scripted, and you have to find your own way of making it yours.  My teacher does a good job getting them to use different voices and be interactive.  The voices didn't go over too well with me, suddenly they were too cool for this.  So I tried to think of games that I could get the kids involved in that will help them decode and recognize sight words.  So I went through my Pinterest boards to see if I had pinned any good ideas.  Got to love Pinterest!  I had pinned a game I could play with my students, called Slap-A-Word.  I can't take all the credit as the idea was posted on Pinterest from Chalk Talk.

I typed up sight words they are working with through the book we use for reading, as well as their challenge words that work with certain vowel patterns, prefixes and suffixes, and compound words.  Then I took a trip to the Dollar Tree to see if I could find some awesome fly swatters.  My cooperating teacher I am working with mentioned she saw huge ones at the Dollar Tree during Easter weekend when she was up north.  I walked in and the first thing I saw were these huge fly swatters.  I picked up three of them, and was back the next day to pick up one more.  They only had three left, and the lady said they wanted to get rid of them.  I told her I would gladly take the rest of them.

I am going to start working on basic multiplication facts with two of my students to build confidence in them, by doing a game similar to this one.  You could also do letters when working with recognizing letters, do it with sounds, or vocabulary.  The ideas are endless with what you can do with these huge fly swatters.  But be warned kids can get super excited, and kind of loud at times.  I loved listening to the kids laugh and get excited during our game.  One kid even got so excited that a fly swatter broke.  He felt really bad, but I told him that is what duck tape is for. 

Below is a picture of my students playing as well as a video.  You can see that they are pretty big fly swatters.  They absolutely loved playing this game. Make sure you have your volume up when watching the video so you can hear the kids excitement!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Love Being Reminded

My cooperating teacher took an IEP day today to work on IEPs, and she also had an IEP meeting this morning.  I start my full time teaching next week, even though I have pretty much already started it.  So today was technically my first real full day!  I love the feeling of being the "teacher".  I am reminded why I decided to choose this profession.  Seeing the light go off in students' minds, seeing them make connections between problems, and being able to have fun with them.  Some of our kids were a little crazy, and I wanted to pull my hair out of my head at one point this afternoon because they were so off task I felt like I was talking to a wall.  Got to love spring and nice weather!  But when I get letters like the one below it makes up for all the times I want to pull my hair out, and for the future times I want to!