I Know That It Gets Better!

I know that it gets better than this, I’m just waiting for it to happen. I’m talking about planning and execution. It seems that if I do great planning, I have trouble with execution and vice versa. I feel like it’s taking forever to become proficient. I know that this is only my second year, but I need to get better at what I’m doing. The way things stand now I feel like I’m doing my students an injustice.

Yet, miraculously, my students are progressing. How is that? Is it beginner’s luck? If so then I need to go and join a poker game because I am on a roll. My main problem is that I need a systematic way of doing things and I need organization. George gave me ideas on storage and helping to have the classroom run itself.

I’ll never say die, but I feel a little discouraged in regard to establishing various systems. I have much help this year though. I’m just impatient. I know that things are going to get better, but it just seems so slow going. I guess I’m just going to have to be patient.

As always, here’s to continued success!

George Came To Visit Today

Teaching is so much work. Mostly it’s a lot of planning and re-planning. The other half has to do with connecting and collaborating with your peers to step up your game. Whenever I am able to connect with someone and make myself better because of it, I am so grateful. That’s why I’d like to thank George for helping me today.

Who is George? He’s a special ed. teacher who contacted me because he was in need of help. When he came to visit my classroom the first time, he was full of questions and eager to be helped. I was able to help him. The second time he visited, I was full of questions and eager to be helped. He helped me.

I had so much paper on my desk. He, in his ever so humble way, looked at it and told me what worked for him last year. After that he took the time to look around my classroom and see how it could be made better. We came up with a way to help my classroom run itself like his did last year.

I mention this to say that everyone has something they can teach someone else. The one thing I like about George is that he was so open to help. We’re both second year teachers, but he wasn’t too full of himself to listen to another second year teacher and get help and neither was it. Neither of us were too humble to listen.

That’s what it’s all about. That’s also all for tonight. I need to go. I have to change my lesson plans. If you read my post earlier, you know what I’m talking about. As always, here’s to continued success, now and in the future!

i love my baby

i love my baby she is so ceratev and i like how she is her name is phillise.

I love my baby. She is so creative and I like how she is. Her name is Phillise.

This is too cute. It wasn’t written by Phillise. I left my WordPress account up while I napped. When I opened this up, this is what I found. I love that little brown lady.

All For Naught!

I was so tired today. Why? Because I stayed up late last night until 2:00 a.m. preparing for my first day of teaching Into English. As it turns out, it was all for naught. I don’t have to start teaching ELD until next week. All of this week is CELDT test prep. My Coordinator gave me a packet but apparently we finished it early. So, now I just need some writing prompts for the rest of the week. I have to think quick because my University Supervisor comes tomorrow @ 10:30 a.m. So, needless to say, I have to go. First, I am going to take a quick nap, then I’m going to get up and put some work together quickly.

So, as always, here’s to continued success!

Daily Schedule

This is my schedule so far, but I will revise it as necessary.

Required: 90 minutes/day of OCR, 45 minutes/day of Intervention, 90 minutes/week of Science, Social Studies can be incorporated into OCR

8:00~8:10 Morning assembly

8:10~8:16 Morning greeting (The students were instructed from the very beginning not to enter the classroom without my permission. So, after we come upstairs and go to the classroom, I open the door, shake each student’s hand individually and say good morning to them. In response, they look me in the face and respond good morning to me also before they are allowed in the classroom.)

8:16~8:24 Weather journal/Date (In order for the students to be more observant of the world around them, we observe the weather, see how many are dressed for it, and then chart it. I started this because I saw a chart on the CSTs and the students didn’t know how to read it. I thought that I’d get a jump on the test from the very beginning of the year. We then write the date, including the day, month, and year. I set the timer and give them 4-6 minutes to write it. The students are now going to write from a writing prompt related to OCR them for which they are given 10 minutes to complete. Afterwards, two students are allowed to share.)

8:24~8:26 Transition (I set a timer for 2 minutes to give them time to get into their groups.)

8:26~9:11 ELD

9:11~9:13 Transition

9:13~9:43 OCR

9:43~9:45 Transition/line-up/bathroom

9:50~10:10 Recess

10:10~10:20 Bathroom/return to class

10:20~10:30 Quiet time. I cut this out of the schedule because it took up too much time. Just as the time when I removed Expression, I regretted. It was a big mistake, big, big mistake.

10:30~10:32 Transition

10:32~11:32 OCR

11:32~11:34 Transition

11:34-11:44 Intervention (Includes Voyager, phonograms, HFW, Sound/Spelling (S/S) cards, Riddle me this, & Bob books)

11:44~11:46 Line up/bathroom

11:50~12:30 Lunch

12:30~12:40 Bathroom/return to class

12:40~1:15 Intervention continued

1:15~2:15 TouchMath

2:15~2:17 Transition

2:17~2:27 Explanation of homework/Dismissal

Let’s be clear that the day almost never goes like this. This is strictly theoretical. I wish that it did work like this everyday, but because of the population, this doesn’t happens. I have to give them more time to complete their work. It’s written into their I.E.P. Even if it wasn’t though, I would still give them more time. So, if this schedule doesn’t work for you, modify it to suit your needs.

An Easier Way To Teach Open Court To Special Education Students, Part 1

If you were attracted to the title and are looking for an easier way to teach Open Court to Special ed. students, then you are in the right place. I am not an expert, by far, but I will write about techniques and strategies that I know and use. If they are any help to you, then use them. If not, throw them out. Whatever the case, Welcome!

I wrote this post after in response to  Mathew’s post a couple of days ago. After reading his post, I thought to myself that I needed to write about what I learned from the Special Ed. Open Court training at the end of the school year. It was a godsend. I was very happy to receive this information because it helped me to slow down. It seemed as if I was always rushing from one Open Court story to the next without feeling as if my students had properly  grasped the concepts.Now that I know how to structure my class, it’s a bit easier, but I have so much work to do. I am happy, in one way, to have more structure to my day, but (and there’s always a but), I am so overwhelmed. Last year, I managed to teach Open Court (in a bootleg kinda’ way), Touch Math, and a little, teeny-tiny bit of Science. This year, I have much more to do. My problem isn’t with what I have to teach. It’s how much I have to teach. I’m wondering how I’m going to fit it all in. I’m also wondering about how I’m going to plan it all. When am I going to find the time?

You see, Open Court is structured so that the first, second, and last stories are the most important ones. Consequently, per the information that I was given during the training, Special Ed. teachers are allowed to teach the first, second, and last stories of the program. However, the skills being taught in the other stories still need to be taught.

So, in order to comply with that, I looked at the very front of the Teacher’s Edition (T.E.) and typed up the skills that need to be taught for the whole unit into a chart to remind me of which skills need to be taught at what time.

I teach 3rd grade Open Court even though I have 2nd-5th grade. How?  During Open Court I send all of my 5th graders out to be mainstreamed. I’m working on getting my 4th graders and my lone 2nd grader mainstreamed. My 2nd graders’ behavior is really intense, so I don’t know who will really want to accept him. I know that they don’t have a choice because it’s the law, but I just want to make sure that he’s treated fairly. So, long story short, I take all my meetings with 3rd grade level, so that’s how I end teaching 3rd grade Open Court even though I have 4 separate grade levels.

Open Court teaching is on grade level, but Voyager, which is intervention, is below grade level. During that block of time, I am allowed to teach the children what they need to know, like the Sound Spelling cards, high frequency words & sight words, word families, and whatever else they need.

Whether I find the time or not, this is what I have to teach:

  • Open Court  in the morning and after recess (w/Social Studies thrown in for the last 20 minutes of OCR)
  • Voyager in the afternoon, which is an intervention program
  • Touch Math (It’s supposed to fit in after Intervention)
  • Science (F.O.S.S. kit) When it’s going to fit in, I still haven’t figured it out yet.

I am still revising my schedule as needed, but I will post it anyway.