Thursday, December 17, 2009

All I Want For Christmas is A Tri-pod and a Remote for My Camera (or Feel Good Thursday!)

I love that I turned this into a fashion blog (and I love how skinny I look today) but I think I really need to do something about the self-shot thing. I'm pretty sure that if I really want to be a fashion blogger, I am going to need to invest in a tri-pod and remote. Anyways, enough on the fashion subject...

Today was a great day in my short little life! I spent a very large part of the day teaching -which was both a blessing and a challenge. I LOVE teaching. I love being able to step in and be a teacher. I love ringing the chimes to get everyone's attention. I love it! However, the day before the last day of school before winter break = so hard to manage a class of first graders. I am lucky because I work with a great group of first graders and an awesome mentor teacher who has set a fantastic classroom. But I had quite a few moments of "okay, boys and girls, let's do a check of our bodies" while we worked, read and walked in line. I think that is partly having someone else in charge and partly the excitement of the impending break. So that was a little bit of a struggle - not unmanagable.

One thing I noticed today, while on playground duty, was the children throwing balls at each other's heads. Our students line up in groups of two classes so I had a little chat with the students who were in my two rows. I hope that fixed it but I guess I'll find out that first Monday in January.

I was also really lucky today to get a few little holiday goodies. One of my students gave me a card telling me that she hopes I get to work at her school next year (I am pretty sure I am going to photo copy that one during my screening interview...) and another gave me a homemade ornament. I received a surprise card from a teacher who went through the MAT program a few years before. It was such a nice way to start my winter break. I cannot wait to have a little bit of a break (meaning this weekend... Next week, it's onto the first work sample). More than that, though, I can't wait to be in my placement full time! I am so lucky!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Today's your last day?!

Sorry about the weird angle on this one. Sometimes, I am lucky enough to have a husband at home to take my pictures and sometimes, I have to use my reflection.

Anyways, today, was a fun day. This morning, while I greeted the students, one of the girls said, "Mrs. M, this is the last time I will see you this year" which spurred one of the boys to exclaim, "we're not going to see you anymore?!" So, after the pledge of allegiance, I explained to the kids that through January, my schedule would be the same. I looked over and one of my students was doing the fist pump "yesssss" thing - totally made my day.

After I lead the students in their language arts, we went to a presentation by OMSI. There we made slime and flubber - both were so cool and the kids loved it! One of the boys was covered in slime by the time we were ready to move on. I walked over and asked him what was going on. His reply: "I don't know but who the heck trusted me with this?!" He's such a funny kid!

Not much else happened today. I cannot wait to be in the classroom full time, although I feel sad because that means I won't be in one grade for three months. I can't wait to get better at what I'm doing - I already feel much more confident than when I first started.

Now, I'm off to relax some more - yay for being done with everything!

Monday, December 14, 2009

How to Make a Colored Bottle

There was a request to show how we made the colored bottles on my post from a few days ago so here goes:
Step 1: Choose one color to cover your bottle in.
Step 2: Use magazines to clip out small squares of shades of your color - vary the sizes and shapes.
Step 3: Make a mixture of glue and water until it's a thin consistency.
Step 4: Use a paintbrush to paint the glue mixture onto the backs of the magazine squares to attach to the bottle.
Step 5: At the top of the bottle, glue the magazine squares onto the inside of the neck (hint: my students found it helpful to paint down the inside and make it stick).
Step 6: Once all the squares are glued onto the bottle, paint a layer of the glue mixture on top of the squares to smooth them down.
Step 7: When the top glue mixture dries, you can add glitter into the mix and paint a glittery layer onto the bottle.
Step 8: Allow the bottle to dry overnight.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Quick Reply to My Day

Today has to be short because I am two pages in to a seven page paper due tomorrow. But, here's the deal: I LOVE 1st grade. We broke the reading group into two groups finally and that was super fun... I really enjoyed that. I am falling into a routine of the things I get to do solo there and it makes me so happy. I cannot wait to start full time student teaching.

Okay, outfit of the day and then I am out of here. I tried the belted look today - I think I need a different belt... But I am loving the trend.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Lesson in letting Go

As usual, my outfit of the day first. With coat and without...

This morning I went in and, as anticipated, my 4th grade MT asked me to lead the morning. I had the students start their Accelerated math, then transitioned them to the work on their novel study - a book called Follow My Leader (which is super good, by the way... this weekend, I may do a post about the book and the idea for activities that I have to go along with it) - and then teach them a couple of reading skills based on their text book.

Everything went fairly smoothly, except I misunderstood what I was supposed to be doing and, again had to have my MT step in for a minute. I just feel very hard on myself though. The little slip ups that I do - like forgetting to give them the "what's next" after they finished reading their chapter in groups - I think about for a long time after. I hadn't read very much about the skills I was supposed to be teaching, figuring that I have a pretty good grip on rereading, but then I feel like I fudged the lesson. I sat back after I was done thinking of all the things I could have done differently and the prep work that I should have done. However, when the students left the classroom and I had a chance to talk to my MT, she said I did a great job. She said that I am very natural and do great at transitioning the kids. Great at transitions! That is probably the most fantastic thing I have heard all day. I find myself needing to learn to reflect but not beat myself up for the little things. I always find a way to remedy my flubs and they are never as bad as I think.

The afternoon was really enjoyable, however. The students made colored bottles out of old glass bottles, magazine pictures and watered down glue.
My MT asked if I would like to do one to have for my own lesson someday. So I decided to sit at the desk with the students and create my bottle. It was so nice to just visit with the students and the art was a nice break from the stress of this month. I saw how thoughtful my students can be. Since they each did different colors, they kept an eye out for colors that other people at their table groups might want to use. They were especially helpful to me, as I chose pink, which is not an easy color to find in large chunks.

One of my students used the time to get to know me better, which was really fun. "Mrs. M," he said, "I've been meaning to ask you since you started here - what inspired you to become a teacher?" I returned the questions and found out that he wants to be just like his dad. It was great to have time to actually have a conversation with the students.

Below are pictures of the bottles we created...

My bottle is on top and the bottom two pictures are the students bottles, in the middle of creation.

Now, I'm off to work the book fair for an hour and a half.
Oh student teaching... How I love you!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Showing My True Colors

First, my outfit of the day...
Last night, I said good night to my mom with a "I better go to bed so I have energy for my squirmy little first graders" with a chuckle. I have the best first graders in the whole world... they are the opposite of squirmy.
...Except for today. With the Civil War tonight and Winter Break rapidly approaching, the kids were very... rambunctous. I felt like there was a constant undercurrent of "Beavers!" "Ducks!"
and general excitement.
Nonetheless, I felt more like an actual teacher than I've ever felt before since student teaching. I had a lot more independent time with the kids- between reading and leading math with them and taking them out to the bus.
I feel like I am really hard on myself though. I always walk away form a lesson and think about the things I could have done better and how, the fact that I didn't think of that during the lesson means that I will fail as a teacher. Today, I was doing math with the students and realized that I didn't really count the tally marks with them... I STILL feel bad about it and I have to learn to stop doing that.
Despite that, this week has been really fun at the placements... Which is much needed because school wise, this week has been so HARD!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Better Than Expected Tuesday

Okay, so first, my outfit of the day. Please ignore the little tummy.

Today, I led the kids in a geography lesson. They had so many questions, though, many of which I couldn't answer so my MT stepped in halfway through. Thankfully, they were just technical questions about the assignment and not just because I have no idea what I'm talking about.

I couldn't have been that bad because, at the end of the day, my MT asked if I would want to take over some of the morning activities next Tuesday. Would I??!