Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Students, lessons, and school..OH MY!

My first teaching job is four days under way! I am loving it, and I am stressing about it at the same time. I have been so busy that I have been very lacking in my blogging time. However, I think I have finally got my shoulders above water now, rather than just my head. I am taking some time to share what has been happening in my Fabulous Fourth Grade classroom!

The first two days we spent all of our time building a community. I want all of my friends to know that they can take risks because that is what creates a learning atmosphere. Therefore, we spent time getting to know one another. I have been able to use some of my favorite Pinterest items in the past few days to allow my friends to build relationships.

My students absolutely loved this activity! They loved hearing about their new friends in the classmate scavenger hunt! I highly recommend this because the students are able to make connections to one another. As I walked through, listening to their conversations, they were all sharing stories of their experiences. They listened with interest as their classmates told them about their summers and lives. It made me very happy.

 In this activity, the students did a carousel around the classroom to answer the questions on the chart paper. I told them to think about their responses before they answered because these posters will dictate our lesson designs. It gave me useful insight into what my students want to learn and what they feel as if they need throughout the school year. I still have them in the room as I begin to design my daily lessons. I want to remind myself daily of what the students need AND want. That should dictate what I am doing on a daily basis. I LOVED THIS ACTIVITY. The kids were able to move about the room and discuss their responses. It was a win-win!
This is another useful printable that allowed me to learn more about my students' hobbies, interests, and lives. I was able to see what their favorite subjects are and where they feel the exceed. We did it in the morning, as I figured out transportation home, attendance, and of course ICE CREAM MONEY! Haha! Then, we turned and talked to our partners about the responses, and we shared in whole group as well. As we shared, other friends were able to make connections with each student, yet again. The whole time was about building relationships and connecting with one another.

I am certainly not in the clear. There are plenty of things to do on my TO-DO list...However, I am confident. As soon as I make some good pictures of my classroom, I will share those as well.

My workout for today really helped me to release my nervous and stressful energy. I went through the routine twice. It was rough after a long day at school, but it definitely helped to relax me! I love releasing all that pent up nervousness. I am excited to get back into a workout routine. I need motivation! When I get home from school, I work, work, work...AND! I am already tired from school...Working out falls to the bottom of my list, but I know I need to, and I really WANT to. Hopefully, I am figuring it out this week since I am falling into a routine. My goal is to walk three times this week, do 3 strength trainings, and do relaxing yoga every night before bed. What are your workout goals?

Question of the Day?
1. How do you get motivated to workout after a long day at work?
2. Have you had an exciting week? What happened?



My students created images and patterns using pattern blocks to explore math

I finally brought him home! The best part is....HE IS A DCI WORLD CHAMPION! I am so proud of him!

Friday, August 2, 2013

IT HAS BEEN TWO WEEKS! (A crazy two weeks at that) I hate that I have gone so long without reading a blog, let alone sharing with my blog friends on my own. Between my new teaching job and teaching a week of band camp, I have zero time to even look at my computer. It has been really hard, but I think that all of my work on the front end of the school year will allow me to share more with my fabulous readers throught the actual school year. I am sad to say that I haven't done a ton of working out in the past week. I have been in meetings all week, and I am exhausted when I get home, with work to do on top of that. However, the week of my band camp I did a lot of unintentional working out! I guess that is where I will start.

I have been teaching band camps for four years now, and this year I only accepted one. I taught at the school I have taught their camp the longest. I love teaching camps! I love watching the kids progress through their show. (That is most likely the teacher in me.) However, it is exhausting! You teach music and marching for 12 HOURS A DAY! However, the benefit of of teaching camps is you are outside for a majority of it. You're jogging, marching, and getting lots of cardio in each day! Not to mention, I get to chill and hang out with the instructors. which is always fun for me! I enjoy teaching flute. I don't get to play as often as I would like anymore, so I had a blast for the week.

                              This is what happens when we get in a Subway box fight with our students
Along with having a wonderful time teaching my band camp kiddos, I have been frantically getting ready for the fast-approaching school year! Time flies every time I step in my classroom! It has been insane...So far, teacher friends, I have organized my room down to the small things last. Now, it is time to get in there and put up my bulletin boards, labels, and cute decor! I am really excited about having everything organized. My OCD does not allow for things to be in chaos. Everything is accessible for my students. They are ready to investigate and learn! They could literally run the classroom if I have a substitute. They will know where everything is. I have groups of four and five, and I have a community area. I have an independent reading area for my students to use during independent reading time, if they are not in guided reading. My school uses Literacy Collaborative as the framework for our literacy blocks. I am so excited to dive into my planning with my fourth grade team members. I am truly excited to share my journey!

These are my groups, and in the corner by the easel is the community area.
(My OCD really needs to remember a screwdriver, so I can level the desks)

The students' book boxes for reading time

LAST,  BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST! In just 7 days, I am going to Indianapolis to bring my boyfriend home from his last year of drum corps....Most readers probably don't know what drum corps is, so let me explain a little. Drum corps is basically a competitive summer marching band. They only have brass instruments, percussion, and colorguard. John has been marching for 5 years, four of which are with Carolina Crown. The season has been incredible, and he loves doing it. I am really excited, however, that he is coming home soon! I cannot wait to go watch his last show ever! I had not seen him in a month and a half until this past weekend. I got to see him on Friday and Sunday! It was fantastic! Saying goodbye was hard, but a week and a half is certainly better than the two months it was at the beginning of the summer! I am praying Carolina Crown wins it all!

                                         The first time I had seen him since the beginning of June!

He is the last one kneeling

The Carolina Crown signature set! He is the right point!

My fellow band camp instructors to see DCI!

Me, the boy, and his little sister (who also marches with a different corps)
Well, that is my update! I promise to get back to my regular routine of blogging! I have missed you, friends!

Goals for the week: Work out every day, walk at least four times, finish my bulletin boards, and GO TO INDIANAPOLIS!


Questions of the Day:
1. What are your weekly goals?
2. Did I bore you with my updates?
3. John is really passionate about music and drum corps, but what are YOU  passionate about?