Thursday, May 31, 2012

Students are Gone But Class is Still in Session

I'm officially free from students and my teacher workdays are over. We all know what that means.....SCHOOL'S OUT!! Each year, I am always glad to see the year end, but it doesn't mean that work is over for me :) This is the time where I feel free to explore changes that I want to make for next year in order to become a better teacher and meet the needs of my new little lovelies. Most people go on their vacations, spend time with their families, or just relax for a few weeks first; however, I am more of "lets keep the ball rolling while I'm still in school mode".

Here are a few of my goals that I want to accomplish during my summer break:

  • Become more familiar with my students' mindset--In a previous post (Gearing up for Next Year) I mentioned three books that I purchased that focused on teaching students in poverty. I have been finding myself wanting to know why my students act the way they do and since a lot of them are in poverty, so these books are to help me know what I can do for them. Already started reading Eric Jensen's Teaching with Poverty in Mind and I am excited about what I am reading!
  • Change behavioral/homework plans--I just felt that my behavior management could be better; therefore, I am changing to the Clip Chart system. This way my students  can be rewarded for their behavior as well as having appropriate consequences for misbehaviors. For homework, I am going to use Homeworkopoly. I know that a lot of teachers are using this in order to get students to do their homework, and my students need as much help as possible.
  • Revamp reading stations--I just feel that my station time could be better. The feeling of disorganization during this time had been STRESSFUL! So, I am going to make a plan that more suits my students and my personality. 
  • Math in general because of BIG changes--This is the biggest change of all since our whole district is changing over to Math Investigations. The change is VERY exciting since I teach using the Investigations methods anyway; however, I have not followed the curriculum. So, I have some scheduling things to work out, how I want to organize all the materials that I am getting from the AMSTI people, and how I want to communicate to the parents the changes. I was thinking about posting some math lessons on YouTube as well as having days for the parents to visit my room. What do ya'll think? This also means that I have to make sure that I use math journals (I'm pretty stoked about this)

Join the linking party at Primary Inspired to tell about your goals for next year

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

End of the Year Mementos

This year has flown by! It's hard to believe that in just a few days I will be saying my good-byes to my students. We turned in our textbooks today, I will be posting my grades tomorrow morning, and field day and class parties are on Friday--it's officially over. I have been trying to think of some things that I could do with my students that they could take home with them that would hold some memories down the road. From the help of my co-workers, I was able to come up with 2 ideas that we big hits!!

Idea #1--Write letters for the next school year. I had my students write letters to themselves about things that might want to know or be reminded of on the first day of school when going into the 4th grade. These students really blew my away with some of the things they came up with. We put the letters into envelopes and decorated them. They will be able to open them the first of the following school year.

Idea #2--An alphabet memory book. My students are in the middle of creating an alphabet book that contains information that we have learned correlating with the letter it begins with (A=addition, c=clouds).

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Amazon Gift Card

I know that I have been slacking on the teaching idea front; however, I have been crazy busy with end of the year junk! It's only 7 days away! EEKKKK!!!! I have been trying to get my act together for the summer so I can better my teaching style for next year. In order for me to do that I entered this amazing giveaway for a gift card to Amazon. I guess I will be nice and share with all of you ;) Who wouldn't love free $25?? Hop on over to Creating Bookworms for your chance.