Sunday, May 4, 2014

Enjoying the Moments

Well, I have utterly failed in posting more often. The first year of teaching really does hit you like a ton of bricks! I have a kind of long commute and will often spend the time planning blog posts that obviously never happen. They were great posts though, take my word for it! :) 
As part of my graduate program, we have to do daily reflections on the day. Each day, we have to list a high and a low. I enjoy doing these reflections, mostly because it forces me to look back at my day. I am an emotional person and sometimes (ok, more times than I would care to admit) my day flies up and down like a roller coaster. But I know at the end of the day I have to pick one high and one low, and having an ultimate high and an ultimate low each day written next to each other helps me remember that overall, my first year of teaching is going well. Is is perfect? Of course not! Nowhere near. However, it is going well. I have gotten my footing and have fallen in love with my class. Now to enjoy the last few weeks with these cuties before the end of the year! 
In other exciting news, I have finally joined the world of smart phone users! The first thing I downloaded is instagram, and I love now I always have a camera ready. 
View from this week:
This winter my entire school went to a Project Zero conference. Amazing! I love the thinking strategies and can't wait to incorporate more into my classroom.  As per a presenter's suggestion, I am sticking with one strategy at a time until it comes easily. Right now we are doing See, Think, Wonders. In my class we look at the picture for a minute, talk with our desk partner for a minute in complete sentences (I see ____.), then write on our sticky notes in sentences and share with the class. Repeat the process for think and wonder.  My kiddos LOVE it. They beg to do one every week and if we haven't gotten to it yet by Friday they insist we do one before the end of the day. It is so fun to see their brains working and soaking up the information from their partners and class sharing. But the best part is that there is no wrong answer! Even my lowest kids find success with STW. I strongly recommend reading the book or going to a conference!  

A poster from Scholastic book club this year. I have it right in front of the tissues station in my room. Now it has been there since before Christmas, but one very observant child asked me this week when we got the new poster and if we would ever read in the trees. I just had to laugh. We spend so much time decorating our classrooms and they just don't always notice. 

My classroom is sock monkey themed, and I have sock monkeys for a lot of different holidays. Students showing excellence get to read to one of my two original sock monkey during stamina reading time. It is always exciting to get to hold one of the regular sock monkeys, but if you are acting particularly amazing, I pull down the holiday one. Who know a monkey with bunny ears could hold so much power? 

We made these cute Earth Day Promises from KTP on TPT this week. Super fun and easy afternoon project! We labeled the continents and oceans on the globe, wrote on our hearts, and colored our hearts out, no pun intended. I let the kids write what they wanted to on their four hearts, as long as one started with "I promise" and another with "It is important to protect the Earth because". 

Some of my favorite responses:
"I promise to keep the Earth clean as long as I live on it."

"It is important to protect the Earth because God made it." 
So precious! 

Have a lovely rest of your weekend and remember to enjoy these last few weeks amid the craziness! 

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