Another Busy Week Ahead

Sep. 24th, 2017 05:35 pm
serafina20: (hannibal_eyes suck)
[personal profile] serafina20
WordPress entry.

Sometimes, I don’t understand my district. It’s like they go out of their way to make things as difficult as possible for the teachers. Take next week, for example. We are supposed to work on progress reports next week. We fill out out the computerized form saying how they are doing in each subject, and then fill out comments. Filling in the form doesn’t take long (in fact, I’m already done), but the comments do. Especially because over half of them need to be in Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish, so I need to either run my comments through Google Translate or hunt through my comment books for comment appropriate for my students. I usually do the former, even though it makes me nervous since Google Translate is notoriously unreliable. I remember when I was trying to tell my parents to have their children count change and Google Translate translated it as “cambio”, which is not what I wanted.

Plus, I like to make my comments specific to each child, so I don’t use the pre-defined ones that come with the program and I don’t like using professionally published books (although I get ideas from them sometimes). So, it takes awhile.

So what does my district decide to do? Hold meetings during the week. The first isn’t their fault; my principal and the PBIS committee (which I’m on) decided to meet on Monday after school. But the second meeting is the district. We’re having grade level collaboration for the whole district on Wednesday. Why it has to be next week instead of the week after, I don’t know. I honestly think that the district expects us to do progress reports on our own time, which isn’t fair. We should be able to do it during our prep time. But every year, this is what happens. And I didn’t it easier on myself because I scheduled an appointment on Thursday.

But, I’ll get it done. I always do. But I’ll still complain because it’s just not fair.

In other new, I’m decorating my room for fall tomorrow. I’ve never done that before, but a) I’m in the mood and b) I’m trying to make my room prettier and more engaging. I found this sign at Michael’s that's orange and says 'Fall' on it in cute font. I also bought some leaves at the Dollar Store. The sign is going to go on my cabinets and the leave will go on the cabinets and the board (I think). I’ll do it tomorrow morning and take pictures. I hope it’ll look good. I’m not very good at decorating. My apartment is all superhero art I got at Comic Con. Grown-up decorations baffle me.

I finished What Teacher’s Make and am now looking for something else to read. I was going to try The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, but the lack of quotation marks bugs me. Any suggestions?

Back to school Teaching Tag

Sep. 23rd, 2017 09:53 am
serafina20: (avengers_cap&bucky)
[personal profile] serafina20
Back to School Teaching Tag

This teaching tag was started by Kayse Morris at Teaching on Less. It feels a little weird to be doing a back to school post when I’m seven weeks into the year, but I liked the questions and thought I’d give it a whirl.

Where do you teach? What grade? What subjects?

I teach in a small town near California’s Central Coast. I teach second grade, all subjects.

When did or when does your school start for you?

School started on August 14. I wish I taught in a district that started after Labor Day, because August is too hot (although September was too hot this year, too), but, alas, I don’t. The school board tries to push our start date back every year, but so far we’ve been successful in keeping it around the same time.

What fun things did you do this summer?

I went to Universal Studios with my brother and sister. We had so much fun, and Harry Potter world was amazing. It was the highlight of the summer (that and spending time with my siblings, of course!)

Give 3 tips to teachers when starting back to school.

1. Teach your routines and expectations over and over and over, until they become habits.
2. Over plan. Better to have too much to do than have to little and have to scramble around to fill time.
3. Be gentle with yourself. The first week is tough and you will be so much more tired than you think you will be. Go home, rest, and relax.

What’s your back to school go-to resource?

This year, my go-to resource was Haley O’Connor’s First Week Survival Kit from TPT. I found some of her posters on Pinterest and thought they were wonderful. And I did not follow my second piece of advice, which was to over plan (I thought I did, but I kept getting through things too quickly), so having that survival kit really helped out a lot.

Who do you follow on social media that inspires you?

I’ve said it before, but Pocketful of Primary. She’s really inspired me to become a better teacher and renewed my passion for the profession.

What routine do you set for your students in your classroom on day 1?

We do a lot of routines, but how to line up and walk in line correctly is one of my biggest ones. By the end of the day, the kids know the expectation and are doing it correctly. The other big one is that I expect them to be active listeners and participants at all times. They don’t get let off the hook for anything.

1 thing/item you can’t live without during school.

My recess coffee. First recess, I get coffee and it makes me feel so happy. Other than that, my document camera and projector. I don’t remember how I ever taught without them.

Easy lunch pack recipe for teachers!

This is better on toast, but I eat it on bread:

Guacamole, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese and red onion (optional; I usually skip that because I forget). Layer it on bread, and you’ve got a delicious and filling lunch.

I got the recipe from With Salt and Wit.

What do you love most about back to school?

I love the anticipation that for the new school year. It’s bright and fresh and there are so many possibilities in store. It’s that New Year feeling that you can do anything and everything, and it will be wonderful.

Made it to Friday

Sep. 22nd, 2017 05:28 pm
serafina20: (avengers_cap)
[personal profile] serafina20
WordPress entry with another picture of my room. I got 9 views yesterday; it was so exciting.

I survived the week! I actually went in early every day this week, worked on things that needed to get worked on, and feel like I ended in a good place.

I had another surprise drop in today. On Friday mornings, we take our weekly ELA assessments on the iPads. It’s nosier than paper tests for some reason, but the kids do a lot better (probably because they find out how they did right away, and that motivates them to do their best). Anyway, we were in the middle of doing the tests when the superintendent walked in! I hate when that happens! I mean, I don’t know this superintendent, because he’s new, but he seems nice, but, still. I never want the top boss walking into my room because I get nervous.

I smiled and explained what we were doing. He nodded and hung out a few minutes, looking at my boards and everything before leaving. Actually, he left, came back, looked around a little, and then left again.

Next week is unit 1 assessment week. The unit test is long, has 4 stories to read, a phonics section, grammar (and the grammar is so hard. It’s almost not fair, because it’s not tested like it was taught and it’d be difficult to teach how its taught. It’s just… ugh.) We’re taking them on iPads because a. it’s easier to grade and b. the kids are used to it and c. it’ll help prepare them for state testing.

But, honestly, mostly because it’s easier to grade. 🙂

Have a great weekend everyone!

Surprise! An Observation!

Sep. 21st, 2017 05:16 pm
serafina20: (thor_god)
[personal profile] serafina20
Wordpress entry with pictures.

So, today I was sitting down to do a small group with math while my other students were working on the skill I was reviewing with my group, when the principal walked in. And this is what I looked like:

(imagine me with a butterfly winged headband)

Yup, that’s me, wearing butterfly wings on my head.Read More )

Teaching with a Migraine

Sep. 20th, 2017 06:23 pm
serafina20: (Default)
[personal profile] serafina20
Teaching with a migraine suuuuuucks, y’all. My patience tanks, but desire to be there dissolves, and I’m not in my best. Luckily, today, the migraine didn’t surface during the day. I woke up in the middle of the night with one, took medication, woke up feeling okay, got through the day, and, BAM!, it hit during collaboration. Which I can deal with. But I was crankier and less patient than I want to be, so, overall, it wasn’t as successful a day as I was hoping for.

I did get a bulletin board done. The space above my board didn’t have any background to it; I was just putting posters up. It looked ugly. So, I threw up some fabric I had, surrounded it with border, redid a couple of anchor charts to fit, and now it looks better. I still feel like my room is really ugly, but it’d a little better. No pictures, because I didn’t take any.

WWW Wednesday )

Losing the Pencil War

Sep. 19th, 2017 05:41 pm
serafina20: (watchmen_redhead)
[personal profile] serafina20
Link to WordPress with pictures.

Is it just me, or are pencils getting worse? They break so easily, at least in the hands of my second graders. Last year and this, it seems like I sharpen a bunch of pencils and ten minutes later, they’re all broken. And half the time, I sharpen the pencil and then can pull the point right out. It’s so frustrating. It doesn’t matter what kind I use, either. I try to use only Ticonderoga pencils, because they’re supposed to be the best, but, really, they’re just as bad as the Target brand. Maybe it’s my pencil sharpener. I don’t know. I used to manage pencils using The Wise Owl’s Winning the Pencil War, but even with giving the kids seven sharp pencils, I was constantly sharpening. Now, I have a sharp bucket and dull bucket and just try to keep up with them throughout the day.

I was going to take pictures of my class and post them today, but, honestly? My room isn’t that pretty. I try, but I’m just not good at decorating. I wish I was better, but I don’t have the interior design eye.

All in all, it was a good day. I still felt rushed for time, but I had library today and was expecting to feel rush. I did get a chance to take pictures of the kids at library and playing math games, which I posted to Class Dojo. The parents really liked that. It made me feel like I was doing something to connect with them without having to step out of my comfort zone. I really need to work on connecting with parents. That’s my goal this year.

What’s your goal for the year?

It's Only Monday?!?

Sep. 18th, 2017 05:44 pm
serafina20: (Default)
[personal profile] serafina20
How is it only Monday and I already feel four days behind where I need to be? And after working all weekend to get ahead, too?

Lots of Rambling )

#iteachtoo

Sep. 17th, 2017 11:07 am
serafina20: (pb_alex's eyes)
[personal profile] serafina20
WordPress post with a rare picture of me in a dress.

I’ve watching some videos on Youtube under the #iteachtoo tag, and I wanted to do it. However, I don’t vlog and I’m too embarrassed to try. What I do, however, is write. So, I’m doing this blog style.

Questions and Answers )

The Laminator

Sep. 16th, 2017 06:09 pm
serafina20: (dw_nine)
[personal profile] serafina20
WordPress post with pictures.

Yesterday, I got my laminator from Amazon. I got a Scotch 2 Roller System (TL901C-T) and 100 Thermal laminating pouches.

Talking about my laminator )

Today's Goal

Sep. 16th, 2017 09:31 am
serafina20: (cap)
[personal profile] serafina20
Clean ALL THE THINGS. Seriously, my place is a mess and it's driving me crazy. I was going in to the SPCA today, but now I'm thinking I just want to clean. The box situation is bad, the litter box situation is bad (the boxes are cleanish, but I have a pile up of bags that need to be carted to the trash can), I need to vaccuum, declutter, get rid of recycling.... It's all bad.

But, after that's all done, I get to play with my laminator. It's a lot smaller than I expected it to be, and I didn't think it was going to be big to begin with. Can't post pictures because Photobucket is a dick and I don't know where to host images for free. Do any of you?

If I really need to, I'll post it on my WordPress site and link it. (Because I know y'all are dying to see the laminator. It's probably the only thing you're thinking about.)

Okay. Off to clean.

WOHOOO!

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:12 pm
serafina20: (Default)
[personal profile] serafina20
My laminator arrived!! I have achieved lamination! I shall laminate more this weekend (after getting more ink and cardstock). YAY!!!! HAPPY!!

It's Friday!!

Sep. 15th, 2017 04:58 pm
serafina20: (pb_wet neck)
[personal profile] serafina20
Today I introduced Class Dojo as a new management system. Up until now, I've just been giving out Eagle Dollars, the school incentive system, to encourage good behavior, but I wanted something more specific. I used to use BUGs (Being Unusually Good) as my incentive program. If kids were on task, I gave them a card with a bug on it. If they got five, they could turn it in for a reward. If they weren't being good, they lost their bugs. It was simple. However, last year, I found it really hard to do. The class was good and didn't need as many rewards, so I slacked on giving them out. And then I did it really unevenly, so some kids got a lot and others, not so much. I couldn't keep track of who I'd given them too, either.

More under the cut )
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