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….