“*Dr. Kenneth Zike has said that at least 50% of the children with learning problems referred to the neurological clinic at his hospital had had no traumas, no birth injuries, and no other physical deviations. Their trouble seemed to come from pressure - pressure to do a task that they did not have the maturity to do.”

~Borrowed from Robert Jackson on the world wide web.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

M is for Memories!

 You will note how wonderfully the children are working in photo above.  Then, notice the children as I took their photos individually. They cracked me up when their "Paparazzi" persona immediately came out!

 I think he just died...
 ...wait their he is willing himself NOT to smile! :o)
Hope you enjoyed reading what your children wrote as much as I did!  The autograph session was possibly one of their favorite moments...with a pen!  I LOVE these little people!

J is for Joke Day!

Each and every child got up and shared jokes with us!  It was one of my favorite afternoons to date with your children.  They were funny.  They were engaging.  They had good timing and not so good timing.  We laughed through it all!
I prefaced the afternoon with the fact we needed clean jokes and ones that were school appropriate.
I was a little shocked at one of the jokes, but feel it is important to share. Everyone deserves a good laugh!

"A man goes into a bar and gets drunk on beer. (Yes, it was at this moment I said, "Whoa is this a clean joke?") He leaves the bar and begins to drive drunk.  He drives down a one way street the wrong way.  A cop who saw him leave the bar and drive drunk followed him then pulls him over.  The cop says, Didn't you see that arrow back there?  The drunk man replies, What arrow?  I never saw the Indian!"

Moral of the story and life lesson taught to a classroom full of 1st graders and a teacher with her mouth hanging open...DON'T DRIVE DRUNK!  The children didn't really get it.  I never stopped giggling.



Ok, ok, ok...it is true I am behind!  You will have to forgive me.  I have taken on 120 hours of in-service work that will be complete June 27th.  As well, I am leading a PLC(professional learning community) amongst a core group of teachers who will be taking the Reader's Workshop and reading skills of our students to the next level. 
That is pretty much taking up every other day in the month of May for me.  Just call me C-R-A-Z-Y! :o)

Oh, yeah, and by the way I totally transformed our room Friday afternoon/Monday morning to make it more conducive to learning in my classroom!  I am all about the learning! :o)
I liked seeing the time on the clock...I had completed the task at hand(rearranging room) in a little over an hour.  Yes, that is AM time!
 This is my second year teaching first grade.
   Last year, I was scheduled to teach Kindergarten until three days before school started.
 I was moved to first grade.
  I was dreading this.
 My family needed me.  (or so I thought)
 I was just back from maternity leave.
...and I know how I am!
 I will not stop let it go,
until it is just right perfect!
 I am not perfect.
 But, I do know I am moving in the right direction.
I have been teaching since 1993.
I do not ever quit learning and teaching myself.
 I know my weaknesses.  It is this knowledge that drives me forward to be the best that I can be each day!
  Despite the tears I quietly shed to my husband on the phone in the closet so no one would hear that afternoon nearly two years ago, I am very happy ecstatic to be in first grade!  


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Paid advertisement from the teacher...

...okay, there really isn't a "paid" advertisement here.  There's not even really an advertisement, period.
I wanted to just sneak in some of the totally cool things we have been doing in the classroom.

***You may, or may not, have heard about our "apple cart". 
On its own it does not look very exciting, but once you open it a whole new world opens up in front of you.  Quite frankly, I find it magical.  We are a lucky school to have such a wonderful resource at our fingertips.  We actually have two of these.  Since FCAT is over, I am fending off the upper grades who are wanting to also "borrow" it!  It also brings a breath of fresh into the classroom when spring fever has all but taken over every last one of my precious children.
 Working on reading skills.

 Listening to Reading part of our Daily 5 in 1st grade Reader's Workshop.

We have used them for reading and math skills practice, listening to reading, and "mastery club"
I is for illustrations will include work created on the iBooks...hopefully if the tech works out in my favor! Cross your fingers people!

***The children earn money or lose money each day as part of our positive behavior plan in the classroom.  Almost every single child can count money with little to no help.  (Just my sneaky way of practicing money counting skills!)  Some children choose to spend every cent they earn, while others save all but a very little of their money.
Last week, I had put out post it notes with things they could buy on Flea Market Friday.
Sit at teachers desk, sit with a friend in class, help with math lesson, sit by a friend in the lunchroom, homework pass, sit in my rocking chair for all circle time activities to name a few.

*** We completed an activity this past week using the computers one afternoon.  We visited wordle.net and typed in meaningful words about I can't tell you or it will ruin the surprise.  I was shocked how quickly the children could type in their words. 
Wait, I was shocked at how well each child could use a laptop mouse!  WOW!!!  (Why should I be surprised at the speed they can type?)  :o)

****It is at this time when you notice children really mastering the curriculum and skills in first grade.  I love this time of the year.  Here are two children reading to self.  The class works like a well oiled machine at this time of year.

 The children are comfortable, on task , and READING with tremendous stamina. 

I found this online, somewhere, and could not resist printing it out through one hour photo and passing to each person on my 1st grade team today wishing them a very happy Teacher Appreciation Week.  I want to take a moment and let you know what a pleasure it is to teach your children. I consider myself a VERY lucky teacher indeed!  Thank you!

H is for Hat Day!