Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Since my life has become absorbed with teaching, I'm not bothering with any New Year's resolutions that pertain to my personal life (I wouldn't even know where to begin there anyway—ugh)... but I WILL put my energy into bettering my teaching since it directly affects not just me but 20 (oops, 21 starting Monday) little people. Look at me, thinking of others! :)

So here are my teaching resolutions for 2012:

1. Differentiate my math groups a little more. Using math groups is a really great method but I think I need to take things a step further.
2. Really focusing on improving my guided reading.
3. Putting less time into making my lesson plans look beautiful and more time into actually preparing the materials (oops).
4. ORGANIZE and rearrange my classroom!

I can't wait to find out what my kiddos' resolutions are! :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ready for "Break" to End?

I was stressing out about the new student I'm getting before I went to bed last night and ended up having a bad dream because of it. Not only did I get one new student, but four on the same day and they were all huge behavior problems, their (disruptive) families stayed the whole day, and I got observed by my assistant principal during all the chaos. The worst part about it was that my class size didn't go up or anything—these students all replaced some of the students that I already have and part of my stress was that I didn't want them taking over their desks because I really wanted my kids to come back. Separation anxiety? I am officially emotionally attached.

Anyway, I wanted to share two things that I created the other day in case anyone would like to use them. One is the reading response project that I am doing with the kids when we go back and the other is the new spelling menu the kids will get for homework once we get back. I've been using another spelling menu for most of the year, but I wanted to change the activities because they were getting a little stale. :)

Click here to download Scrapbook.

Click here to download Spelling Menu.

Friday, December 23, 2011


It sure is amazing how much work I can get done when I am trying to avoid studying for the GRE! I didn't get too much done today because of how sick I am and because I was crazy enough to go shopping earlier.

Last night I managed to get a day of sub plans done and all the materials that go with it. My goal when I get back from break is to create a “Sub Tub,” full of all the materials a sub would need for multiple days. I had to miss a day last week and it really stunk to have to spend an hour at 6:00 in the morning trying to get plans together for the sub.... so I want to be more prepared next time!

I also wanted to share some of the things that I made for the weather unit that we are getting ready to finish up when we get back from break, in case anyone wants to steal them!

Weather Study Guide
Weather Test

My goal for tomorrow (other than to actually spend some time studying) is to cut out stuff for our New Year's resolution activity that the kids will be doing when we get back. Here's a picture from Pinterest of something similar to what we'll be making.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Winter Break Work.....

I really need to get back into using this thing! I've just been having trouble finding the time or the inspiration lately. Thanks to Pintrest (could there be a better website? I think not), I haven't had to think for myself much lately so I haven't had anything to write about really!

Something that I do want to tell you is how much work I plan on getting done over break. I don't really do relaxation—I lay around for an hour or two and then I'm over it. I can relax better thinking about how efficient I'm being. :) Unfortunately, I accidentally left A LOT of the stuff I was going to try to get done at school so I can't actually work on it until after break. I'll just have to find other things to do to get ready for the next few weeks. My goal is to get as much done as I can over break so that I can revamp my classroom when I get back... it is driving me bonkers. The feng shui or whatever. Or however you spell it.

Another thing I am doing over break is studying (eek) for the GRE. I hope to take it within a week or two of the new year and I want to get a fabulous score. I thought I had finally decided what I wanted to go back to school for—(masters of ed in...) Elementary Education with a concentration in gifted education. However, my newfound student loan bill from undergrad has me a little freaked out about the possibility of going back so soon. But, alas, my GRE score will be good for five years so I am taking it now regardless.

What I really wanted to share with you is something I made last week for the next nine weeks....

During the past two nine weeks I have been getting a little frustrated trying to figure out what to teach from week to week and finding myself in a panic at the end of the nine weeks because I haven't managed to fit everything in. I also have been disappointed in the lack of creative things I have been doing with the kids. In order to combat this, I have made my own pacing guide for the next nine weeks! If it seems to work better for me this way, I will make one for the fourth nine weeks as well. I didn't do much with the science section yet because, honestly, I need to study up on the objectives a little bit more before I commit to a plan. Here's the guide if you would like to take a look at it, click here.

Happy Holidays!