Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The end is near...

Well its the eve of my last observation & then I have to finish fulfilling the required 80 classroom days then its onto graduation.  It will be weird the first time I add the M Ed after my signature, life is full of first still.  Well, I thought a great way to end my tenure with my current 6th graders is to introduce the SQ3R reading strategy to help them better understand how to pull information from expository text.  Here are the guided worksheets I am using courtesy of materials I was given during my turn in a 5th grade class...  I don't have the author's name on hand right now, but will post it really soon.  Here are the pages to guide the students through this strategy.

I really think teaching this strategy will be very beneficial to the students for a project they are working on now and ones they will presented with in the future.

Here is a picture of an activity I did with my 6th graders during my student teaching.  I felt it was necessary to help build a more positive classroom community and help build up each student's self esteem.  I called it "Hearts of Gratitude" - each student was required to write the name of each of their classmate's name on one side of a heart and then on the other a compliment or positive note to the classmate.

Here is a close up of a group of hearts and you can see just a simple note of saying Hi can go a long ways to building camaraderie within the classroom environment, though I stopped just putting Hi on the hearts quickly.

I definitely think I will incorporate this activity next year, but possibly sooner; possibly Christmas, and instead of hearts I will have the students write on stars.  

The Countdown Begins

T-minus 7 school days and counting.  Yesterday my soon to be boss approached me and advised me she ordered me a classroom library kit.  I thought that was a nice gesture for my impending first year teaching.  But, little does she know I am a bit of a book hound and already have quite a bit of money already budgeted into building my classroom library.  It will be nice to see which books come in this order, she informed me all three different reading levels were included in the kit, but now the fun begins & I get to implement different pieces of literature within this grouping.  I have been checking out quite a few different blogs and websites trying to ascertain proper reading material for my new students and trying to build my library using those lists as a baseline.  On top of the recommended reading for 6th grade, I am also going to incorporate higher level 4th & 5th grade reading books along with lower level 7th grade books to ensure I am giving each student an opportunity to get their hands on a book they can read, understand, and enjoy.  I really want to impart my enjoyment of reading to my students and make my classroom a literature rich environment.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Animals at the Zoo

Today was very tiring and trying.  Taking a group of 6th graders to the zoo might seem easy, but I was sorely mistaken.  During my internships at different schools and in different grades I spent time in a Kindergarten class.  While I was working with these little ones, I was able to go to the zoo with them as well, and let me tell you it seemed at different times, the Kindergartners acted a lot better than my 6th graders.  There were many time where I wished I could have put the kids in the cages alongside the animals.  It was especially difficult when there are various water features at the zoo where the kids could play in the water.  My regret is allowing them to do it once, because keeping them out of the water was an uphill battle.  Hopefully next year, if I take my students on a field trip to the zoo, the outcome might turn out a whole lot better.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Still reeling with glee for my new adventure to begin.

There are only 13 more days left of my student teaching.  I cannot wait, but even better is that I already have my job lined up after graduation.  It is funny, after campaigning to teach 5th grade, I feel delighted that I am going to be beginning my teaching career in the grade I am student teaching - 6th.  The caviat to the whole experience, is when I went to the principal to discuss securing a working SmartBoard for my classroom, she disclosed she was going to rearrange the classroom layout and I got to pick my classroom.  I am so excited to have the opportunity to plan and prepare for the beginning of next year - even though this year isn't over yet.  I look forward to working with the staff I have collaborated with these past 4 months.  I feel the best is yet to come.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A little about me

I am a new teacher, but teaching isn't new to me.  I can remember vividly the teachers which have had a great influence on me, and now I get the priviledge of doing the same.

I am a 2nd generation Arizona native.  Spent almost all of my life here in the Grand Canyon state and am proud to call Arizona my home.  My husband tried to pull me away by moving us to Arkansas, but alas I returned to the Valley of the Sun, and heat I may add.

Though I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in the 3rd grade, I took a varied trip to get here.  Graduating from ASU with my BAE, I determined getting my Master's degree would set me up for success, so right after graduation I enrolled in the Master's program at NAU.  Did I mention I was Arizona through and through.  So now the education chapter in my life is coming to an end, and the adventure I have been studying and working through is going to help me become a teacher, and hopefully a good one.

So. you could understand my relief when the principal at the school I was doing my teacher candidate practicum in approached me to teach at the school for the 2013-2014 year.  So, now I am gearing up to begin my teaching career - in 6th grade.