Monday, June 27, 2016

Made It Monday 6*27*16

Well I didn't "make" this but I did update it. A couple of years ago I started drafting long range plans. Something that keeps me on pace and looking at the big picture. Around this time every year I finish my plans.  
Math- My pacing in math is closely aligned with our county math pacing guide. One thing that I do differently is that instead of teaching multiplication in two weeks, I spread it over several months. We spend 3 days on each fact. *Day 1-Intro Strategy, Practice Page *Day 2- Partner Dice Game, Flash Cards *Day 3- Fact Assessment. So I spend the first 20 minutes covering the fact and the next 40 minutes teaching the other math concept we're learning.
Content~Science and Social Studies- This year we were told by our administration that we could no longer alternate teaching Science and Social Studies... meaning a two week unit on Map Skills and then doing a two week unit on Animals. We have to now teach it concurrently. So we alternate every other day. One day science, one day social studies, next day science and so on. I sat down and mapped out the entire year, by day. This was necessary because I didn't want a science and social studies assessment to fall in the same week. 
Shared Reading- I really struggle with shared reading. Since being in third grade I really haven't been able to really plan and execute lessons I thought were meaningful. But my students seem to do well on the state test so I guess something is better nothing. So for the 6th year in a row, I am once again changing how I teach it. I'll start off the year with a unit on Reading Strategies and Skills, as well as Genres. Then I'll switch to a format that looks like this...
  • Monday- Time for Kids Magazine Lesson
  • Tuesday- Time for Kids Magazine Lesson Day 2
  • Wednesday- Fiction Book Lesson (titles located in plans)
  • Thursday- Fiction Book Lesson Day 2
  • Friday- Review of weekly Mountain Language Sheet, Cold Reads, Standardized Test Prep
The fiction books and strategies listed in my long range plans are from Amy Lemon's Rooted in Reading Series. It's very comprehensive but I'll only be using the grammar lessons and some of the comprehension lessons.
Word Study- This year I did something different thanks to my team BFF. Instead of 2 or 3 word study groups I had 5. The Monday Group, Tuesday Group, Wednesday Group... you get the picture. I only met with one word study group a day and all students were on a 6 day cycle. If I introduced the sort to the Monday group, they would take their test next Monday. So it took 2 weeks to introduce and assess all five groups. The Thursday Group's 6 day cycle looked like this:
  • Day 1 (Thursday)- Sort Introduction with teacher, highlight features on word cards.
  • Day 2 (Friday)- Cut words out, sort, record in Word Study Journal
  • Day 3 (Monday)- Sort, record in Word Study Journal
  • Day 4 (Tuesday)- Sort, record, word hunt (searching for words in literature that have the same spelling feature)
  • Day 5 (Wednesday) Sort, glue
  • Day 6 (Thursday)- Word Study assessment with teacher. 
Writing- Like I said earlier the grammar lessons I choose came from the Rooted in Reading Series. I'll spend one day a week focusing on that grammar concept and the other days will be a writing workshop format. I used my county's expectations along with our standards to choose what kind of writing we'd be doing that week.

If you like the template I used, you can download it from
Ginger Snaps, I've used it for years now and I love it!

Hop on over to 4th Grade Frolics for more Made It Monday ideas!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Made It Monday 6*20*16

I use Nickey's Folders for my parent communication folder. They come in a variety of colors but I'm partial to the black folder... they all have a clear sleeve for a folder insert. On the inside they have printed words, Left- Return to School, Right- Leave at Home.
 This was my SMORE Folder last year. I wanted to redesign the insert for this year.
#1 was my design for last year and I debated and got feedback for next year's design and finally settled on #4 with some subtle changes.
 Stop by 4th Grade Frolics for more Made It Monday ideas!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Ending Year 12

Year 12 was a challenging year for me. I've figured out that the every year I have a medical issue is a year that I find challenging. While previously suffering from ovarian tumors and uterine fibroids... this year I had a migraine headache every day for 3 months straight... all because of a blood pressure medication switch. Once we got that figured out, everything was back to normal... but I guess it still wasn't enough for some people. This was my first and last year teaching the "gifted cluster." Meaning 1/3 to 1/2 of my students were identified gifted in English, Math or both. This was new territory for me as I've also taught the special education collab class. I informed my admin that I was not willing to teach the gifted students next year so now I have been assigned a "noncluster." Which means my students haven't been identified as ESOL, LD or Gifted.
I struggled in two main areas this year, 1- Knowing I'm appreciated and feeling appreciated. I know that I'm appreciated for my efforts but for some reason I really struggled with feeling that way. I still haven't quite figured out why, not sure what the change was this school year but I just didn't feel appreciated. 2- Not being good enough for "man" but being more than qualified by God. This year as left me feeling insecure in my ability as an educator but a good friend told me that a moment of favor by God can get me further than any schooling or degree ever could. At the end of the day, I did the best I could for my students and let me tell you, the students who came to me reading on a first and second grade level all left on a third grade level so that just reminds me that in spite of all the criticism, my students made progress and that's all that matters.
Now lets look at my end of the year in pictures...
I completed my first 5K, the Bubble Run, this June. It sounds like fun... running through bubbles, but I almost suffocated and died in those bubbles so I probably won't be back!
This is me and my husband at the finish line.
I had the pleasure of mentoring a brand new teacher and this is her and I at the Beginning Teacher Awards Banquet.
This is me and my "team BFF", you know we all have one, on Market Day, we bought some cool photo booth props to pose with.
This is me and my best friend on the second to last day of school. #straightouttalessonplans
This is me on the last day of school... yes it says "We out... Harriet Tubman 1849". That's exactly how I felt... I'm out!
This is the meme I sent my coworkers when an email went out saying no one could leave the building until a cume file was found. "Hello... 911... we have a hostage situation." Needless to say after the busses left... so did I!
This was me this morning on the way to get lab work done for my blood pressure. Have you heard of LuLaRoe? It's a clothing line... similar to a cult... once you start wearing them, you get addicted. Anyway this is the "Randy" shirt. It says "We the People." I bought it for Constitution Day, but couldn't wait to wear it!
Remember when I asked if you had heard of LuLaRoe... well this is me rocking their buttery soft leggings... yes they are pizzas, yes I bought them just for this Ninja Turtle Party, yes I will be wearing these randomly for the rest of my life!
This is my husband and I with our nephew, it's his 3rd Birthday Party... he loves Ninja Turtles and was so happy when they made an appearance at his party!
Just another picture of my leggings...
Well this is the first summer that I will NOT be working. The local school who wanted me to teach for a few days found someone full time to do it and I am not complaining. I will be resting and relaxing and making memories with all my friends and family. What will you be doing?