Monday, September 5, 2011

All ready for Day 1

Tomorrow is the first day of school...Yikes!  Here is what I have ready for my 3rd graders!  I will have the volume meter by the end of the day.  I also forgot to take a picture of my Houghton Mifflin focus wall so I'll post that tomorrow.

Do it "write" is my writing bulletin board. I went through the LA power pix and pulled out the writing ones and will post them here.  Also I will post the writing process.

The board says "do it write" so before the kids even come in I have the homophones power pic and will teach them  the gesture tomorrow. 

Add caption

Because I anticipate adults and kids asking me about this wall  I added these.

Cute baby helping mom!

We all love Duck on a Bike!

Not WBT related but it's my Number Corner for Bridges Math

My scoreboard. Taylor happy and Taylor sad.  Can you tell I will miss her?

WBT rules. I left out raise your hand for permission to leave your seat. We are constantly on the move and I just won't remember to put the green sticky up. 

Open your books to page.... as well as a poster I made up "Ask 3 before me" Kids should ask 3 friends to remind them of the directions before asking me. 

sideways but it's my genius ladder. 

if you can't tell, it's a rubber band!

Goes with Bridges curriculum, but as I intro math vocab I will use power pix  in a binder because I've  run out of room. I will display them on the wall for a week then change to a binder.

Not WBT but love my outside bulletin. Ingredients are the kids and directions are add one cup homework, 1/2 cup books, etc. add 1 cup love, stir well and enjoy 3rd grade!

How I take attendance.  They put their magnets in a bowl.  One job for my kids is to put the magnets back up at the end of the day. 

Our district goals, state testing goals, "100% participation" and the kids will make their own goals to post up here"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Preparing my class

In service week begins next week.  I'm hoping to have my entire room, minus my new math manipulatives for the new math curriculum, in order!  I am SO close.  I have a few things left to do.  Pictures will be coming next week for sure!
I have my rules and power pix up.  I'm going to do my scoreboard this week and I have my mom making the volume meter.  Hoping to do the genius ladder and super improver wall next week during inservice.  If I don't have them completed by next Wednesday, I'll stick take pics and show what I have so far.

For the scoreboard I am thinking I might take a picture of my baby when she's really happy and one when she's really sad and use that for the Oh yeah and Mighty groan.

Looking forward to teaching heaven in a new grade level.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer School and the fall!

Well - summer school is over!  16 days of reading, reading, reading.  I did use several WBT strategies, but in 16 days there was no way to implement ALL of it.  I used most of the big 7.  I used gestures when I remembered.  I realize that will be my biggest challenge this school year.  That, and teaching in shorter amount of chunks.  I'm planning on showing my kids some of the WBT videos - if THEY don't know what it looks like in action, how can I expect them to produce what I'm thinking about?

I began setting up my class yesterday.  I only spent an hour so I just really decided on the room layout.  With 30 kids it's a challenge to find a seating arrangement that works.  I tried rows but they didn't fit and I didn't want to do groups (everyone does groups, I want to be a little different, plus, I do think it's distracting for kids who have a difficult time focusing always being with a group!)  I tried a U but there are too many desks.  I ended up looking in my Tools for Teaching book by Fred Jones and found "the double E" which works well with double desks like I have.  It's like a square U with desks in between, with the desks being the 'arms' on the E.  

I'm still trying to figure out which bulletin boards will be my power pix. I want them to be a board I can easily access since I will be adding to it frequently.  I have one HUGE bulletin board but it's on top of the cubbies so I'd have to climb on the counter.  It's a possibility though...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Day 1 of summer school

Summer school is only a total of 16 days and only 3.5 hours of instruction each day.  Today was spent assessing for most of the time.  I did find time at the end of the day to go over the rules, scoreboard, class/yes, and hands and eyes.  It will take them a little bit to get into the routine.  They were doing pretty well with Class/Yes though.  I think they were a bit shy - poor kids have not been in school for a month and they return to a crazy teacher yelling "OH YEAH" and hopping around the classroom.  I did have them teach a partner the rules too. I didn't use the term "mirror" but I did use gestures as I taught much more naturally than I did when I was first starting WBT.  I can't think of a better way to maximize the small amount of instruction time than using WBT.  The first day is usually so chaotic but today was a breeze!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Summer School

My summer school job is a dream job!  It's a Literacy Academy; it's a grant funded program for struggling readers, specifically our "bubble" kids.  It's a 4 week program, M-Th, 9 am - 1pm.  As the name suggests we teach literacy; and that's it!  We do have a chunk of time carved out that we may teach literacy across the content areas if we choose.  I have chosen to do a little of the science/social studies connections in our Houghton Mifflin guides that we don't usually get to during the school year, but I am also including a community service project that we will work on a couple of days a week and journal about once a week.  I'm super excited to see where the kids will take this project.

As I mentioned in my last post I am only planning on doing the "first steps" to WBT.  I might add some brain toys in here and there but I am still new to braintoys so it will be pretty basic.  Our summer school (which is only 2nd and 3rd graders) will be using a school wide Positive Behavior Instructional Support system (PBIS) to increase student engagement as well as an incentive for school wide behavior in the shared common spaces such as the hallway, cafeteria and playground. 

I will be sad to be leaving my baby girl after spending a month with her at home watching her grow and develop (she is 9.5 months and started crawling a couple of weeks ago) but I am super excited to watch a group of struggling readers transform in the period of just four weeks! 

I will have the parents sign a media release and hopefully post a video within the new few weeks.  One great thing about summer school is how much more importance is placed on  professional learning communities; there is a teacher who was hired for the sole purpose of being a floater teacher so classroom teachers can observe others in action.  What a great way for me to spread WBT and to absorb new strategies from my colleagues.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

And I'm Back!

School ended in mid June here in Oregon.  My parents went out of town, thus leaving me to dog, house, and grandma-sit for nine days.  During this time I wasn’t able to get back into my school because I was TOO busy!  Now, I have been visiting my new 3rd grade classroom an hour or so a day, unpacking boxes.
For those of you who may remember, I taught kindergarten the past two years and I’m MOVIN’ ON UP…to third grade!  I’ve been trying to figure out how to decorate my class.  Well, I figured it out.  It will be like HOME!  I’m going for an Americana type atmosphere so kids feel comfortable in their learning environment.
I haven’t made any real progress with WBT, other than THINKING about my bulletin boards, my timers, the power pix, and so forth, but I’m just happy my new room is no longer stacked sky high in boxes.
The school year will start in early September.  However, I will teach 1st grade for a month during summer school starting in a couple of weeks.  I will definitely use the 1st steps of WBT during summer school, and the routines and procedures.  I look forward to next week when I can sit down and really plan and prep how WBT will look for a month of summer school as well as how I will begin my year as a 3rd grade teacher.  Busy summer ahead….

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Buh-bye Kindergarten - HELLO 3rd grade!

We found out our teaching assignments for next year.  I have been asking to get out of kindergarten and it happened!  There will be a lot of changes at my school and I'm so excited to be with a group of 3rd graders when I begin implementing WBT from day 1.  I know they will THRIVE on it.  I have a LOT to do this summer to prepare.  Can't wait!