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Welcome! I hope to use this blog to share some of the amazing things my class and school does to make learning fun! I have been teaching for 15 years already! I started teaching 3rd grade in a Parochial School, then I was hired to teach 1st grade for three years, was moved to 5th grade for 2 years, and then came back to 1st grade in the district where I attended school. I love that I'm able to give back the the school district that guided me to become the teacher I am today! I have a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, certified 1-8; a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction; and my Administrator License Pre-K-12.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Grab a Cup of Coffee...


Or a "Kool-Aid" depending the time of day...I kind of have a lot to share...

Oh my gosh...it's been a week. A week since I've blog stalked. A week since I've posted. A week since I've done ANYTHING other than school, school, school, school! No Melody Monday post, no Tech Thursday post...nothing! I'm feeling a little guilty but it's been so crazy busy at school that by the time I get home I am spent! And I think that whole time change thing didn't help out last weekend either. I was exhausted this week!

So here's what we've been up to:
This past week was our "Right to Read Week" which is always fun. This year's theme was all about dogs. We started the week off by having our DARE Officer read "Officer Buckle and Gloria" to the whole school topped off with a visit from our township's police dog. Throughout the week there were trivia questions asked each morning and winners chosen in the afternoon. All of the winners won a new book. Each day had a theme...Monday was "Running to Read" so we all got to wear sweatpants, Tuesday was "Read a T-Shirt Day", Wednesday was "Read with a Buddy" so everyone brought a stuffed animal into school, Thursday was supposed to be "Look Fetching in your Dressing" (aka Dress Up Day) but our boys basketball team had a playoff game that night so we switched it to show our school pride by wearing our school colors. Friday was "Snuggle Up With a Good Book" so we were all able to wear our PJs. WHEW! I know...you're wondering, where are the pictures? Yep. About that...I'm horrible...no pictures of my cuties reading to their stuffed animals, no pictures of them with their books they won, no pictures of them with their dog tags that our PTO purchased for them. My camera was MIA...and now it's found. :( Bummer!

A few weeks ago we had a meeting with our Curriculum Director who encouraged us to think outside the box. He threw around some words like ability grouping (which was a bad word with our old curriculum director) and departmentalizing. I've done some reading on ability grouping and can see the potential good and bad of it but I think we'd be opening a can of worms...big fat stinky worms. But I'm up for anything and if my administrators mandated that we try it, I would suck it up and do it...that's just how I roll...I'm a bit of a rebel...but I'm not defiant. :) Departmentalizing....well...I couldn't even wrap my head around this...I would be in charge of one curriculum and teach it several times during a day? What if I got bored? Would there be flexibility? How would it even work for us? After school that day there were a few of us who were chatting in the hall about a neighboring district whose first grade departmentalizes so we asked our principal if we could go check it out. She said yes, so on Wednesday morning we took a little visit. Now I have to be honest...my Wednesdays seem to last forever this year so in my mind, I was just going to get a little break for myself and give one to my kiddos too (we've only had one snow day this year and spring break is still a few weeks away). Needless to say we're feeling a little "close". Ummmm....can I just tell you that those teachers were so kind and helpful!?! (I didn't expect anything less but it was just so nice to feel welcomed when we were practically spying on their awesomeness!) They seemed so calm...so together...and their kiddos were the same! After talking with them and listening to their lists of pros and cons my two teammates were jumping on the departmentalizing train immediately. Me? I was a little hesitant. I had no intention of "liking" this and I'm a processor. I like to think things through...How would we make this work with our current schedule? How would we communicate effectively with all of our parents? How would we organize ourselves and our children? What would conferences look like for us? I still want to collaborate and work with the rest of our first grade team...will departmentalizing ourselves isolate ourselves? Way too many questions swimming around in my head...so I started verbalizing them. I didn't want to be a Debbie Downer but if these girls were going to be working with me I guess they needed to meet this side of me. So we talked....and we talked....and we dreamed...and ....ALL ABOARD!! I'm in! The next step was to talk to our principal...she approved for us to pilot it for next year so we worked out a schedule for her and she said YES! I'm going to be teaching Reading and Writing and my friends will be teaching Math and Science/Social Studies next year. So we're still planning and organizing and dreaming...but I'm so excited! So...just curious...do you departmentalize? If you have time, I'd love to hear how your team "does it"! :)

You all have been super busy with all of your St. Patrick's Day fun! I have a student whose family does not celebrate holidays or birthdays (Every time we do something with a holiday, he leaves the room to go to the library or works on our iPad. His family says he doesn't mind doing this but it kind of breaks my heart a bit. My room is fun, but he misses out on the "silly fun" and I worry that he may think school isn't fun because he misses out on some of the silliness.) So I chose to do a lighter version of St. Patrick's Day. We made the Leprechaun and Shamrock projects from TLC and I brought in a Shamrock plant to talk about.

Speaking of Shamrocks...Here's mine! It's one year old this weekend! Yep! I have had a plant for a full year...and it's not dead! I think it's been close a few times...but we've survived! :)
I'm just so proud of myself with that finicky plant!

Well, I think I've filled your last few minutes up with enough of my randomness...the sun is popping through the clouds and I am going to get busy so that I can enjoy it today! Heading to my sister's 31 party to purchase part of my 100 follower giveaway this afternoon...hmmm...what will it be???
Have a great Sunday!


6 comments:

  1. Wow! Departmentalizing in 1st! We departmentalize in 4th and 5th at my school. But, right now it's only for science and social studies. Basically, we have a partner and "switch" only for science and S.S. So, I don't teach science. Make sense?

    Good luck!

    Elizabeth

    Fun in Room 4B

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  2. aw - what a bummer for that kid...I hate when I have kids who have to miss out on our fun stuff :(

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  3. I have two shamrocks that I got 36 years ago!!! They're amazing plants. I've almost killed them so many times but they always come back:)

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful

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  4. Hi there!!

    So I just stumbled across your blog and absolutely love it! I wonder if it would be possible to see what your class schedule looks like. I too teach first grade and recently brought to my principals attention about team teaching and she seemed to be really interested but now I'm stuck on how to rotate the kiddos and how to handle specials time.... :/

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!! :)

    Many thanks,
    Maria

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Go ahead and email me directly (my email is on the right hand side of this screen and I'll give you our schedules. :)

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