Begin At The Beginning

I am having so much success with my students. Two of those who only knew a couple of high frequency and sight words are now reading.

How did I do it you ask? I went back to the beginning. I started at the basics- sound spelling cards and phonics. I don’t know why I didn’t do this from the beginning. It’s working like a charm.

I am finally getting a routine going in the classroom. It feels so good to have a set schedule and not have so much uncertainty to the day.

Thank you Jesus for small favors.

A Pretty Bad Week But…

It was a pretty bad week last week and yesterday, but (and this is a big but) my emotions are so on the upswing. I’ve come so far in 3 weeks. Just think, just three short three weeks ago, I was planning day to day. Now I’m planning (w/homework) for the whole week.

But back to what I was originally talking about. As far as delivering the lesson went, it was pretty lousy. I couldn’t seem to get anything across. I don’t know if it was because I was out for those days or if it was because it was raining and the children were just unmotivated, but it just did not come off like I intended.

I appreciate it though. More and more, my blunders are teaching what to do as well as what not to do.

Yesterday, I was so ready to quit. Why? One of my Hispanic students called a black student the n* word yet again. I was too through because I wondered if he thought of me that way too.

I had to be @ school from 4:30- 10:00 @ B.N.U. I just did not want to be there. I only wanted to be at home at bed with the covers over my head. When I got home, I had a migraine so I went to bed right away. I went to sleep thinking how I just did not want to go back to work. How could I bare to go to another day in a job where I simply do not feel appreciated?

The bright spot was when I woke up this morning totally refreshed like nothing happened. The only way that I can account for the change is my prayers right before I went to sleep. Prayer works. Thank you Jesus.

Until next time people!

Thinking Maps Training!

I attended an all day training for thinking maps and am so excited about the possibilities. There are so many things that could possibly be done with these maps. Children as young as Kindergarten age could use some of them.

They are a great writing resource. I found a link in Open Court Resources explaining how to use them. I think that it explains it far better than I ever could. For more information click here:

20th Reunion!

June 21, 1988. The day that I graduated from high school. I cannot believe this it has been almost 20 years. So you know what that means? That means that my 20th reunion is coming up. I’m still not sure if I’m going or not. I talk to all the people that I want.

My friend recently talked to someone who we went to high school with. Less than one minute into the conversation, he asked her what she did for a living. Less than 30 seconds after that he asked her what her husband did for a living.

Of course she basically told him that it was none of his business. She told him that that was a bit forward; that she wouldn’t ask him those questions.

He said that he was ready to answer them should she ask. To which she replied that she wouldn’t.
He even went so far as to e-mail her something so that she could see what he was currently doing. Of course it was a nice job. But (and of course this is a BIG but), this is not high school anymore. This is not a competition.

I am happy for him, but he needs to exercise a bit of decorum. Common sense should tell him that if it comes up in conversation that’s fine. If not, leave it unasked or unsaid. That was extremely tacky for him to ask her such personal questions after not having talked to her for at least 10 years.

Moral of the story: Stop bragging and being obnoxious. Oh, and have a bit of decorum when trying to prying! Okay that’s it. That’s my rant.
That, my dear sir or madam, is my rant for the day!

Formatting Lesson Plans

**I am sorry for not giving credit to the person who wrote this, but I just do not remember where I got it from.**
Formatting Lesson Plans: The Madeline Hunter Lesson Design Model

Many consider Madeline Hunter to be the mother of direct teaching methods. Her theories are embodied in this 8-step lesson plan format.

Madeline Hunter is one of the most prominent educational theorists, particularly with respect to direct teaching. Her 8-step lesson plan format embodies her method, which many believe has stood the test of time.The following is an outline of this plan. Following these steps may not only help educators develop effective lesson plans, but assist home school parents or tutors as well.

  1. Anticipatory Set (focus): This refers to a short activity that draws the students’ attention before the lesson begins. This can be a handout, an example problem, or a simple question.
  2. Purpose (objective): The purpose outlines the objective of that day’s lesson. Here the teacher emphasizes how students will benefit from the session and how they will go about learning from it.
  3. Input: Input refers to the vocabulary, skills and other concepts the teacher intends to incorporate in the session. It basically summarizes what students need to know in order to successfully master the lesson.
  4. Modeling (show): It’s no secret that most students are only able to master a new lesson if the teacher has taken the time to show how it’s done. Simply walk through a problem without student participation, allowing them to learn how its done.
  5. Guided Practice: Here, the teacher leads the students through the steps necessary to perform the skill emphasized using what is called the tripodal approach, or see/hear/do. Show the students how to successfully work through problems as they attempt to do it themselves.
  6. Check Understanding: Be sure your students understand the lesson. Ask students if they understand and answer their questions, then adjust the lesson pace accordingly.
  7. Independent Practice: Allow the students to practice completing lessons on their own, offering assistance when necessary. Be sure all students understand the lessons of the day, including any homework assignments.
  8. Closure: Wrap up the lesson. Ask the students to recap what you have taught them, telling or showing you what they have learned.

Aunt Flossie’s Hats (And Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard

aunt-flossies.jpgAunt Flossie’s Hats (And Crab Cakes Later), (2001), written by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard and illustrated by James Ransome, is such a treat to read. This book is like a feel good movie that you hate to end. I loved this book. I am always looking for books that will let me have what I didn’t have. Let’s just say that I have issues with my grandmother, so I didn’t have the relationships like the two girls in the book had with their aunt. Don’t get me wrong, I had a favorite aunt, Linda, who was the cool aunt, but it wasn’t like it was in the book.

In the book, the two little girls, Sarah and Susan, have this Great-great aunt Flossie whose house they go to every Sunday to have tea and cookies. They talk to her, try on her hats, hear stories about her hats, and have a family dinner that includes crab cakes later.

Even though the picture is an illustration, I just love the house. The illustrator really did justice to this picture book. I can really imagine this whole story being real. It’s something that I’ve always wanted for myself.

To me, this was such a great, heartwarming story that I think anyone will enjoy. I highly recommend this book. If you want to continue with this story, you’re just going to have to read it yourself. Do yourself a favor. Go out and get it.

No Saturday school

Well, as it turns out, I will not be teaching Saturday school. I am a little disappointed because I was looking forward to the extra money but I’ll get over it while I’m lazing around the house on Saturdays.

So, until next time people.