Tuesday, August 31, 2010

school 20 - ms.l - 15

I have been in school for almost two weeks and have yet to receive my MUCH needed materials!  I am teaching two 90 minute, reading intensive classes and the reading intensive items haven't shown up yet.  I love public schools.  I have found a few ways around this issue by letting my students start their new routines, and read their own books (which is allowed!) and then later on we practice reading together while I read Frindle to the class.  It was one of the few class sets our library had that wasn't super duper long.  I hate being unprepared and am so stressed out.  If being unprepared isn't horrible yesterday the ac in my classroom broke!  I teach in Oklahoma people, we are having a major heatwave (oh wait normal August weather) and my classroom today was almost 90 degrees.  I am one of 9 teachers in my building with no ac and while I know that schools haven't always had air, blah blah blah I want my air back!  It is miserable trying to teach while you are melting, and they are miserable.  I have three fans going but I have a HUGE room so that's not working.  Speaking of things not working apparently my brain wasn't when I decided to become the new girls volleyball coach.  Do I play? Do I have cordination? Do I know what the heck I'm doing? NO NO NO! (I'm not even certified yet!) We had our first game tonight and it was cancelled due one of our generators at school being hit by lightening. 

I am sure that this post has typo's galore and unfinished thougths but I am so tired I can't think and I figured it was time to share with the world again.  I hope everything is going well in your life!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ten things even I can't believe

1.  I am teaching 3 classes this semester!  2 are 90 minutes, 1 is 45 minutes long.
2.  My largest class has 23 my smallest class has 13.
3.  I had a student last year who asked to go to the restroom and never came back.  I have him again!
4.  I have NO materials for my 90 minute classes so the first day they spent staring at me for 20 minutes.
5.  I am the new volleyball coach.
6.  I am 5'2, clumsy, and broke 4 bones before I was 11.
7.  I have one of the largest classrooms in the building.
8.  Last year I was back in the corner by myself, this year I have neighbors.
9.  My students think I am mean.
10.  I love that my kids think I'm mean! 

I will post more soon, but I haven't had five seconds to breath lately. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Creative Classroom - Belated (Of course!)

In the past week I was given a classroom four times the size of my old one, given four new books to read before school starts (teacher manuals but it sounds cooler if I say books) and have been babysitting my younger cousins since Thursday night.  Needless to say I've been swamped with work, and exhausted at the end of the night but I have enjoyed reading the other blogs so I wanted to share so hopefully my ideas will help you too!

When I was student teaching I had some students who really got into the activities (South Carolina history!) or just talked quite a bit so I started giving most of the students sticky notes. On the sticky notes they were allowed to write questions, comments, notes, things they had wanted to blurt out but weren't allowed.  It surprisingly worked quite well, if I didn't have the sticky notes on the kids desk by the beginning of class they asked for them.  You go through quite a few sticky notes but being able to get through power points without the same three kids answering made it worth it.  

I also use file folders for almost everything! At the end of the school year we were working on CRT (our big "what do the kids know" test) review.  We had daily power points which meant daily review too.  I put all ten of the worksheets in the order I wanted, labeled them so the students knew in which order to do them, stapled five sheets to each side and said start working.  It went extremely well! When students had questions I could stop the entire class and say flip to worksheet #3 and everyone knew which worksheet to look at.  I lucked out on the cost because my aunt's friend donated six boxes of file folders to me.  I also used them to keep the reading logs, writing tips, group assignments, etc.  This way all their work was in one place and they were responsbile for it.  The folders never left the room which helped too!  

The last "tip" I'm giving is that I number everything!  I teach seventh grade and this past year I barely had a class set of most of the books needed, so I started labeling them with numbers.  When going through reading I would call out a number and that person would read, answer the question, etc.  I made them responsible for their desks, workbooks, and this way if the workbook was damaged I knew which five students to start with.  

Hopefully these will help!!! 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Teacher - Must Haves

Hello my name is Ms. L and I am addicted to coca cola!  My students know that if they think about touching my coke they are in trouble! (They also know if I come in without a coke, it could be a rough morning.) I usually drink the same one all day, but occasionaly on the "rough" days I have two. 

I still remember my 2nd grade teacher and her skinny smelly markers that she used to grade our papers, and well when I became a teacher that was one of my first purchases! I feel very teacherly when I use them. 

I also can't live without the big, thick, sharpie markers!  I didn't have a working white board, or chalkboard for most of the school year but I did have those giant pieces post it papers.  In order for my students to see the words, I used bright fun colors on the paper.  I liked using those because you can stick them up on the wall and refer to the words, information on them later on. 

Post-its are a teacher's best friend! If you disagree with me then you're crazy.  We have a reading program at my school and instead of giving my kids bookmarks which they lose, I give them stickies so they can write their pages down on it.  I also find them useful to write notes on projects, and passes. 

I have a HORRIBLE school laptop.  Half the time the internet doesn't work, if it does it tells me that the school website and the county website are blocked websites and it doesn't let me download  my fun fonts I have so I use my Mac instead.  I do feel weird bringing my Mac to school but as I like to remind my students "Neither one of us can afford to replace the laptop so move away" it seems to work.  Along with my laptop I use a remote for my power point presentations.  It makes it easier to walk around the room, and not have to have students fighting over who gets to click to the next page.  (I teach middle school and I still have those issues!)

I could not have survived this past year if it hadn't have been for my teacher friends. At the beginning of the year we had two new teachers, and eventually we had a total of four.  On my first day of school I was in my room, which was in the back of the building, with holes in the floor and the previous teacher had moved out because the heat didn't work well in the winter.  Two veteran teachers walked into my room and asked me what they could do to help me succeed at Jackson.  While I didn't need help at that point just knowing that people wanted me to succeed helped. 

I feel like there are many other must haves but it's late, and I've been busy trying to get my school stuff organized so I can take it to my new classroom tomorrow.  I had to move almost everything home since I wasn't sure if I would have a job this upcoming year.  I love books but after lugging them back to school I am not sure how I feel this week about them. 

Teacher Week - Day 1 (belated!)

Babbling Abby is having "Teacher Week" at her blog and it looks fun so I'm jumping on the bandwagon a tad late but still jumping!
10 Things About Me As A Teacher.

1.  I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a small child. Like most small children I made my friends play school with me, and couldn't wait to get my very own classroom. 

2.   I had a tough time becoming a teacher but it was worth the hard work! I was originally an elementary education major at the fantastic University of Oklahoma but was discouraged after a few classes with a horrible professor. The last straw of me leaving the College of Education was when my professor wrote in my portfolio that I "wouldn't make a good teacher" after I had spent the summer in South Carolina being a teacher's aide and being asked to transfer schools (by my principal!) It took me a few years to figure out that I could teach no matter what people said and now have a Masters in Middle School Education (English & History).  

3. Like most states Oklahoma "released" quite a few non-returning contracts aka new teachers. I was lucky enough not to be one of those teachers but I didn't find any of this out until early July. I also didn't get the email to sign my contract until yesterday!

4. I am about to embark on a HUGE challenge in my classroom and I can't wait. I am implementing a program called "Ramp-Up" that is 90 minutes of instruction with a GIANT emphasis on reading books. I love reading and I love sharing my love of reading. I also love that I have a reason to be surrounded by books all day. (nerd alert nerd alert)

5. I am an English teacher but hate capitalization, and grammar. 

6. I have noticed that in my head (for the most part) I correct people on the way they speak.

7. I fight everyday to keep the word "ain't" out of my classroom, but can't seem to rid the word "yall" from mine.

8. I have a ball at work! Even on the toughest day I can usually still find something to laugh about, see a students eyes light up when they get something.

9. I truly despise teachers who are just there for the paycheck! If you want a paycheck for doing nothing retire. We are not babysitters and you pretending to be one gives the rest of us a bad name.

10. I recently got mistaken for a student in the hallway by my former principal, so when I arrived at school this year to pick up a few things my colleagues introduced me to the new principal and assistant principal so they would know I'm not a middle school student but a teacher.

I could go on and on about things but I feel like these are the most important to me right now! (Number 1 is just funny!)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Still alive...

I am still here just busy with pre-school stuff will post later!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Ms. L

I am home from New York and will post about those adventures tomorrow (or the next day!) Today I went to visit my school because while I was away I got a letter telling me when to come back, and that my classroom had been moved (again!) I have been moved away from my back hallway (thank goodness) to the A hall. What does that mean? It means I'm near 8th grade teachers and 6th grade teachers but not really any 7th grade teachers. Is it wrong that I kind of like that? I also met our new principal and asst. principal today. Our new principal seems like she will be tough, but fair. When I introduced myself she said "Oh you're the one that called this summer, and was nervous about her job. I also heard you're a pretty good teacher" I like the last part but am not sure how I feel about the beginning as I told her I love my job and wanted to make sure I got to keep it.

I can't sleep tonight so I started doing some crafty stuff to make my classroom more me! My last year's class took me quite a while to get it organized, bright, etc. so this year I will start off right. I am dropping by school tomorrow to start moving some stuff out of my old class and into my new one, then I will slowly start decorating it again. The best part of the new classroom is that I have NEW desks. My previous desks were so horrible that even students drawing on them didn't help. I I will take plenty of before and after photos. I also just found out that I might not be teaching the program that I had training in, I am very mixed about this. I will know more on Wednesday so I'll update yall then too!

Two more weeks until school!!!

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