Friday, March 9, 2012

Movin' On Up!

I received work last night that our school board had approved the hire of a new elementary teacher and a reading intervention teacher. ( Really excited about the reading intervention!) So today I broke the news to the 3rd graders that I would not be their teacher next year. Which really left the 3rd grade and my 4th grade students puzzled.  I told them that Mrs. F (whom they loved because she has been a sub at our school) would be their 4th grade teacher next year.....which puzzled and frightened my 4th graders.  THEN  I reminded them that Mrs. S was retiring from 5th grade and that I would be following them into 5th grade this fall.  The applause was overwhelming! Made my day! Then several of my former students who are in 5th grade found out.  I seriously thought that they were going to cry because they felt it severely unjust that I hadn't followed them to the 5th grade the previous year. 

I must say that it did my heart good to let the last of my 4th grade experience be with these children.  Because the story goes back much further than August of last year when they first stepped into my 4th grade class.  85% of these children were also in the last group of students I taught in Kindergarten (and some of those I had retained from the previous year).  So now I get to see what it's like to follow my students into one of the toughest and most challenging grades in their elementary years.  We go from taking 2 State Tests - Reading & Math, to taking 5, yes FIVE, state tests in Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies & Writing. I'd be lying if I said I'm not exceedingly nervous! But I am excited also.  I feel incredibly rushed for time to prepare for the new school year with my 5th grade babies.  I'm having back surgery in May just after school lets out for the summer.  That means I have just a few weeks of working like a crazed lunchroom lady to prepare for next year while moving all of my things down the hall to the 5th grade room.  It will be mid- to late-July before I am physically able to do much more than look.

With all of that being said, I have a wonderful friend, Penny, who is ready and willing to help me out.  She began as a substitute/certified teacher for our 6th grade teacher who was out on maternity leave.  I observed her in progress, ask for tips and anything she could and would teach me. Later she was brought aboard as a curriculum advisor and then principal.  I forgot to mention she just turned 63 and loves education.  I have learned so much from her in such a short time it's amazing.  Might I add that this is my 8th year teaching.  I feel like a 1st time teacher with all the excitement and eagerness I feel everyday! Everyone should have a Penny!

I have rattled on long enough! I'm sure you've gotten the idea from this post that I'm still in love with teaching.  I'm sure there is a lot more on this subject that you'll see very soon!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Novel Studies

I don't care much for our reading series. Thank goodness Oklahoma is changing to the Common Core Standards and we should be adopting new Reading and Math books for next year. In the mean time, I decided to try out a DIFFERENT novel study this year.  I've used "Charlotte's Web" once before and it was a tough one for some of my kiddos.  So this year, with the help of our librarian & Scholastic for having $1 books, I began reading the "Fudge" books by Judy Blume.  Wonderful!!! I can't say enough about this series of books.  The characters, events, and the language are things my students can really interact with.  They are so excited about ending one book and beginning another.  They have even "cheated" and finished the book and started on another before some of their classmates.

I am excited for them, but even more, I'm excited that state testing will be over with in a little over a month and we can all take a much needed breath of air! Please don't misunderstand, we have fun and interact everyday.  I try not to be a nose to grindstone teacher.  I don't give homework.  What? Yes you heard correctly.  They are responsible for taking their reader home on Tuesdays and re-read their chapters or story along with studying spelling words and vocabulary. They spend enough of the day learning without having homework.  I know I don't like homework either! :)

I hope everyone has a blessed week.  I know I will!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yeah me!

I see so many blogs....I'm not sure if I have what it takes to be a blogger, but I'm certainly going to try! :) Stay tuned for ????