I feel like I’m finally conquering my biggest problem. PLANNING. I have never really had the time, nor did I know what I was doing. Although I do not claim to be an expert, I am so much better. I have to. I’m teaching a combination 4/5 split. So, I have really been a stickler for MAY DO’s & MUST DO’s. I started the first week of school. I made them practice & practice.
The one thing about this school are the interruptions. There are no protected times like I had @ L.A.U.S.D. during the Open Court block. There are liable to be a couple of interruptions. This is where MAY DO & MUST DO work comes in handy. For MAY DOs, they are allowed to read a book, write in their writing journal, & draw in their art journal. While, for MUST DOs, they must complete the morning’s writing, what if writings, & incomplete class work. As long as they are finished with all their MUST DOs, they are allowed to work on MAY DOs. Most of the choose reading. YAY!
I will continue to practice with them, but so far, they’re on target. I had to have an emergency conference with one of the students & most of them automatically went to the MUST DO basket & began working on their MUST DO work. YAY!
Although teaching General Education is exhausting, I am slowly getting the hang of it. The one thing that’s soooooooooo great is that almost all of my students are readers. I have this one 4th grade student, who I will name Lisa, who reads 199 w.p.m. before mistakes. She read “If You’re Reading This, It’s Not Good for You” in 4 days. The book is about 400 pages. Plus, she did it while she was stick. In bed. While throwing up. With a stuffy nose.
One of my other students whose dad told me that he did not read prior to this, has already read four 100+ page books since the first week of school.
It’s really refreshing. I’d still like to get back to teaching Special Education. For now, though, I will teach General Education & see where it takes me. It’s a loooooooooot of work, but I’m enjoying it.
I have been so swamped. I have to say that teaching General Education is soooooooooo different than teaching Special Education. For one thing, I have to teach more subjects. For my special education students, I only taught Reading (Phonics, Intervention, etc…) all day long. Here, I actually have to switch & teach all the required subjects:
- Social Studies.
Since I teach at a Religious school, I also teach Religion. Next week, the newest Priest will come around & help with Religion. I’ll be happy to have the help.
HERE’S TO 2010!
I let my students vote on which book to read today. They picked Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino. They really loved it. I love picture books. They house such a large concept in a simple format.
Since I wanted to get back to teaching so badly, I guess I romanticized it. I still love teaching, but I forgot how tiring it is. Especially repeating yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy I have a job. I am looking forward to working with my students. I love them already.
One of my little girls, who I’ll call Princess, is the cutest thing. She was kinda’ standoffish the first half of the first day, but I quickly got to know her & broke through her wall. It’s only been a week, but she won’t leave my side.
I cannot wait until I get used to working again so I can stop being so tired. BA DAH BAH BAH BAH! I’m loving it!!!
The first day of school I read I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont. They liked it. On the second day I read the tried & true, Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. I tried to read it the first day but ran out of time. We made up for that today as we read Things That Are Most in the World by Judi Barrett, The Greedy Apostrophe by Jan Carr & Punctuation Takes a Vacation by Robin Pulver.
The Greedy Apostrophe & Punctuation Takes a Vacation were part of the lesson. Things That Are Most in the World was a bonus. They wanted me to read it since I pumped it up on the first day. It’s a fun book to read when teaching superlative & comparative adjectives. In the back of the book is a page to photocopy. This is what it looks like:
The _______________est thing in the world is ________________________!
I didn’t photocopy it, so the students verbally told me what the ______est thing in the world was. They had a lot of fun doing it. They had even more fun completing the worksheet from Punctuation Takes a Vacation. They really loved the Punctuation Game we played with The Greedy Apostrophe.
I had a really great first week! Here’s to many more!
Yesterday I was talking to my students and trying to gauge their reading interests. Captain Underpants, Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Sponge Bob, & Stink were the most popular. So today I brought the Captain Underpants & the other books. For the girls I brought Amber Brown & Junie B. Jones. They were so excited. They couldn’t stop reading. They even asked to take them home. I had them sign a paper & let them take them home.
Most of them are readers. NICE!!!!!!!!