Saturday, November 30, 2013

Keep Your Eyes on Your Finger

I found these Oobi eyes while browsing Amazon.  I thought they would be a fun way to spice up guided reading.  So many of my students are working on tracking the words or reading the whole word.  They all loved putting these eyes on their fingers and it helped them to keep track of where they were.  My students begged to keep these in their book boxes.  I'm constantly being reminded that even the smallest thing can keep learning exciting.

Friday, November 29, 2013

New Blog Design

Sorry we've been absent for a few weeks!  We've been hard at work making decisions about our new blog design.  Ok, so we had the easy job.  Thanks to Megan at A Bird in Hand Designs for her hard work (and patience)!

We hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 8, 2013

A much needed three day weekend

A month ago I would have been complaining that students seem to forget all school rules over a three day weekend. Now, I have been eagerly anticipating this three day weekend all week.  We have a professional day on Monday to complete report cards.  To me, a professional day to complete my work is still a day off. I hope I will get caught up and organized. I just received a shipment of brand new high quality hard cover picture books from The Cleveland Book Fund. Unpacking those on Monday is going to be like an early Christmas. Pictures to come!

Do you like having three day weekends?


Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Who likes Mondays?  We call it the weekend slide.  It seems that students forget all rules over the weekend.  Yesterday my crew came back unusually unruly.  We've been battling some tough behaviors and I could do nothing but sit back and watch the chain of behaviors unfold.  I braced myself for a long day.

All morning long we took two minute quiet breaks with heads down to regroup.  We could work for five or ten minutes and then the chattiness and misbehaviors began again.  Back to our heads down we went.

Then lunch hit.  Lunch is my favorite time of the day.  At our school teachers eat with their classes in the cafeteria.  I enjoy it as a time to get to know students.  They share stories from their life.  Its a great time to just be together.  We worked really hard the first month of school learning table manners.  Now, I have the most well mannered class at lunch!  We have received many compliments.  I was especially impressed that yesterday I had to leave in the middle of lunch to care for a student and the rest of my class continued quietly talking and eating.  The other teachers hadn't even noticed I had left.  My class was that well behaved!  I praised them profusely that I could trust them so much.

That successful lunch time really turned our day around.  Despite the chaotic morning, we had a peaceful and successful afternoon of learning.

I hope you had a great Monday!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

I survived...

A field trip the day after Halloween!  Not only did we survive our trip, but we thrived!  The school scheduled our monthly trip to the senior center for the day after Halloween.  All week, I was dreading that day more than Halloween itself.  I knew many kids would stay up late Thursday night and be all sugared up.  Add to that that we hadn't had the best week as it was.  It seems like students are becoming comfortable and starting to test me again.  Exhausted and drained, I was unsure how our trip would go.

The trip went as perfectly as could be expected of young children.  We got onto the bus in a timely manner.  They sang nice and loud the two simple songs we had prepared and then they set to work making leaf hats.  My first and second grade students did a project in which they learned about what their senior partner did in the fall as a child.  It was a great way to bring our study of past and present to life.  Their conclusion was that some of the fall activities of the past, such as carving pumpkins and jumping in the leaves, are timeless activities.  It was a really productive trip!  As soon as we were back on the bus, my class wanted to know if we were going to go to the senior center every Friday.  That, to me, is what marks this as a successful trip.

Have a great weekend!