Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday - Earthquake Edition

I wasn't going to post anything for today's link party at Blog Hoppin' because I've only been teaching for five years and I guess I don't feel like I've been teaching long enough to be a veteran teacher who should be offering advice, but then today happened.

Today was the second day of school with my kinders and just before 2:00 with my students practicing how we keep manipulatives on our math mats, I heard this really loud noise. We have a first grade class on the floor above mine and I thought at first they were moving furniture or stomping on the ground. Then I realized the room was moving. Just as I was about to tell the kids to get under the tables because I was hoping it was just an earthquake and not something worse (being just outside of DC will make you slightly wary of loud noises) everything stopped.

I was scared and by the looks on the kids faces...they were pretty scared too. My principal came over the loudspeaker immediately and said to stay in place. With knees shaking I had to put on my big girl panties and carry on. The kids took my lead and we finished up the day without too much fuss.

So if I could give any advice it would be that your students take their cues from you. If you are stressed and panicked then they will pick up on that. If you can remain calm, especially in an emergency situation, then things will go much smoother.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring. This has already started out as a crazy school year. I'm really ready for routines to be established!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher

Putting myself out there into the blogging world today at the BlogHoppin link party.

Tell us a little something about you...

I just started my sixth year teaching kindergarten. I love my children(students)...since I don't have any of my own yet. I have taught at the same school and it has been really cool to see my first kindergarten babies grow up into big fifth graders!

My husband and I (check out the awesome picture on my sidebar that one of my kids drew when I got engaged a few years ago) spend most of our free time with my two doggies.
 This is Max the 90lb Rottie.

And then there's Sophie the......well.....dog from the land of misfit dogs. She's truly a mutt with boxer, greyhound, pit..and who knows what else. She may be a little funny looking but she is a cuddler. In fact she is sitting by my side right now as a type this. 

You might not know...
As much as everyone around me thinks that since I've been married for a year that it's time for babies...we are both quite happy with just the dogs for now.

What are you looking forward to the most this school year?
My new administration. It was time for some change and I'm really happy about it.

What do you need to improve?
I really want to improve my use of centers. My county recommends only a 20 min time slot for centers, but I'm trying to fit in an extra 20 into the rotation.

I'm also incorporating math journals (which I start tomorrow). The concept fits in with some of the trainings I have done in math and math is something I am extremely passionate about.

What teacher supplies can you not live without?
I love my hot glue gun! I teach in an open space pod that they divide up with large magnetic walls with no bulletin board space and so this is the only thing that keeps up the papers and borders on the wall.

I also love the Dollar Tree. I seriously have to limit myself when I go in there to one baskets worth of stuff.

I'm hoping to try and jump in more to the blogging world. I want to figure out how to upload documents so I can share with everyone.

Oh and one more doggie picture because I love them!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Introducing Letters

I found this awesome blog post that I want to incorporate into our Welcome to Kindergarten theme where we introduce the alphabet. We do one letter a day and I really like how this teacher uses their student's names.

I got my class list and found out that I have FIVE letter A names so we will see what happens when school starts.


Well I'm trying to start this year on a good foot. I was suppose to transfer to a school closer to home, but the county refused to put it through. So I still get to drive a hour plus each way. Still not quite over it...

Anyway I wanted to state my goals for this year and check in each quarter and give myself a grade.

1. Remove independent work from my 3 group rotation. I'm tired of the seatwork and it's more hassle then its worth. So students will rotate between two centers and my guided reading group. This will require me to change up my centers a bit more so the kids don't get bored.

2. Write up weekly plans at least 1 week in advance. I'm keeping it all on the computer this year so hopefully I can keep things updated with what works and make planning easier for future years.

3. Attempt daily math journals. I really want my students to be able to draw and write about their math thinking.

I think these are plenty. I'm not sure how they will go and even though I am staying in the same school I will have new administration so things may change based on their preference.