Saturday, April 30, 2011

What a week!

My last week of actually teaching lessons is finished! While it's nice to not have to do so much planning, it's also sad. It means that my student teaching time is almost over and I will leave there with no idea of what will come next for me. I've submitted a handful of applications, but have not heard anything about any of them yet. I really hope a get a couple of calls about interviews! Several people I know have gotten jobs, which is encouraging because it shows people are hiring, but it is also nerve-racking because it means positions are being filled and I haven't gotten a single interview yet. Anyway, even though, I'm technically done teaching, I'm still spending lots of time on blog land getting ideas of things my CT can use still this year or things I can use in the future. I am in the mood to be creative to make new activities, but I know that's not wise for me to spend my time doing that right now because I have no idea what grade level I will need activities for in the near future. I certainly hope it's kindergarten or first grade, but at this point, I just want to teach so I'll take any grade level I can get.

This week we learned the short oo sound, as in look and wood. I have to grade our spelling tests still, but as I was circulating the room while giving it, it looked like my kids did very well, despite only having a 4 day week and being with a substitute the first day. The 3 days that they were with me, they learned it as being their sick sound. They were able to give me their sickest sound. They loved that!! To practice writing their spelling words, they used the colorful dot stickers for their oo. Then they got to rainbow write the first and last letter of each of their six spelling words. My CT was commenting on how cute it was and said she's going to use it again next week for the long oo sound words. I allowed them to draw their sick eyes on their dot circles, if they wanted as well. The ones who did that were SO creative with making their eyes look sick. The rainbow dot sticker words turned out super cute for just being spelling practice! The students seemed to have a lot of fun with it too! The reading them this week was Space Exploration. We watched a video of a tour of the International Space Shuttle, which they enjoyed. We viewed many pictures of the planets, sun, moon, stars, etc. We read about an interview with an astronaut. We read the book A Day in Space. Throughout the week, students found books in the library about space and the planets so on Friday after quiet reading time, I opened up the floor for them to share what those students learned by reading other books in our library. You could see their face light up as they got a turn to share what they learned from reading on their own! Of course, we also watched Magic School Bus Gets Lost In Space.

In math, my CT was teaching fractions. She was absent Friday so I helped the sub teach Math. We looked at the book Eating Fractions. Then, they had a worksheet with different fruits cut into different fractions. They did an AWESOME job writing the correct fractions on each piece! Of course, they enjoyed coloring the fruit too. Then, we had a fraction candy page in which candy pieces were divided up into pieces and they had to color the candies by the code for how many pieces each was cut into. I thought this might be pretty tough on some because the fractions on the page went further than what the CT has taught so far. There were halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, eighths, and even twelfths on this page! It amazes me how good they are with fractions!! I didn't hear the word fraction until I was in third grade. Here they are in first grade, doing an excellent job of being able to write the fractions for a given picture. One of our centers this week was a fraction picture in which they got 16 foam squares in which to design any picture they wanted. They glued their foam squares on and wrote fractions for each color of square they had. We did this as an exploration a couple of weeks ago, but we all created a man together. The center this week allowed them to be creative and design whatever they wanted with their foam squares. They did great on their fractions for this too and they created some super cute pictures!

Since my CT was absent Friday, I ended up teaching writing. It wasn't in the sub plans for me to, but the sub never even bothered getting out the writing folder to see what was there so once the students were sitting in their seats after lunch recess, I ended up just grabbing it and taking over. I used the document camera to model writing an acrostic poem together as a class. Then, they had to write their own acrostic poem about SPRING. We've not ever done an acrostic poem before in our class, but boy did their poems turn out cute! For S, many people chose to write using the words sun or sunflower. A popular P line was about protecting the plants from animals. Playing outside in the warm weather was another popular P idea. For I, some students chose the word insects. Several students chose to use the N to write about nectar and its purpose. Many students ended their poem using their G to instruct the reader to go outside and enjoy the lovely spring weather! We spent 2 weeks growing and discussing plants in writing, one week of which plants was also our reading theme. Then, we discussed bugs in both reading and writing, which included how bugs affect plants. Then, this week, was our district writing assessment, which was about plants. So to say the least our SPRING poems included lots about plants, but it showed how much they're learned about them the past few weeks.

I really wish I kept a camera at school. There were several times this week that I wanted pictures of their work. But, I'm hesitant to take pictures of them since I'm not their full-time teacher. I'm only a student teacher. So I'm not sure how my CT and my students' parents would feel about that.

Friday, April 22, 2011


Does anybody have any ideas for teach 25 first graders (many of whom are ESOL Hispanic students) about the short oo sound (i.e. book, look, took, good, stood, etc.)? My brain is thinking of very little. Tips, strategies, activities, etc. are more than welcome and greatly appreciated!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Excitement! :)

I was looking at last night. When I went to the site, the very top job advertised as being the most recent post at that time caught my attention. It was: Third grade teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Conway Springs, KS. Why do I write this on my blog? Well, you see, I grew up in Conway Springs. I attended elementary school (grades 1-6) at St. Joseph. Since first grade, I've wanted to teach there. Even as I've neared the completion of my bachelor's degree, when people ask me where I'd like to teach, I tell them that my top choice is St. Joseph's in Conway Springs. I really did not think that would be possible for several years, though. Conway Springs is one of those small towns where people come and rarely leave. However, I will say that since I was in third grade, they actually have gone through a handful of teachers in third grade and above (they had a lot of out of town people come teach there and then they moved out- most of them to Wichita). However, the primary grade teachers have mostly taught there for YEARS.
In some ways, I get put in a dilemna now because of this. I definitely prefer Kindergarten or First Grade. However, this is my top choice school. So... do I take my top choice school or my top choice grade level into higher consideration? AH! What to do, what to do...
Anyway, here's my plan: I'm going to mail my application to St. Joseph's by this weekend at the latest. Hopefully, I'll get an interview. However, I'm going to apply for other jobs, in particular Kindergarten or First Grade positions. Hopefully, I get an interview or two there as well. Then... whatever school offers me a job first, as long as I see the school as a good fit for me, I will accept that position. I do NOT want to turn down a position in hopes of another position and then end up not getting a teaching job. I have dreamed of being a teacher for far too long now to allow that to happen. I am SO ready to be in a classroom, teaching students. So my plan is to apply, apply, apply! Since I have Friday off school this week, I'll work on mailing out applications at that time. I have and will continue to entrust it all to God. He will lead me to the position and school where He knows I'd be best and would grow the most. He is in control here, not me. I'll do my part to get things moving, but then I trust Him to open the door that He desires for me. Then, I'll go with that and follow Him whereever He leads.

In other news, yesterday Karla (my CT) made me present Settle On In (there's tons of videos related to the Treasures units, which is our Reading program) and some other teacher blogs to the rest of the first grade team. I LOVED sharing some of the great blogs and activities I've found. It made me feel valuable. I realize how much of a team player I am. I love the activities I've found and love sharing those to better help ALL of our students learn, not just my class. The other teachers seemed to really enjoy and like the things we found on the blogs. I'm hoping they'll spend a little time on some and find lots of great activities for their students!

So close

Well, I thought I'd be able to post my first teaching activity on here. This past weekend, I created a Scout the Hound word sort using /ou/ and /ow/ words. Then, I also ended up creating a WOOF game (like Pop, Bam, Gotcha, or whatever else you call it with different words in a bucket that you keep if read correctly and lose all your cards if you get the special name card). I've been trying and trying to figure out how to attach the document in this blog post. No luck. I tried Google Docs. When I upload the document to that so that I can just use the url link in my blog, it changes the format of my document and doesn't look the same in Google Docs as what I created. So that's frustrating. I'm going to have to do some researching and experimenting this weekend to figure out how to do all this.

New Adventures

I've been inspired lately by some very creative teachers who have blogs. I haven't planned out exactly what I'm going to do yet, but I think I'm going to start doing some blogging about teaching.

I am currently student teaching a first grade class in Wichita, KS. I'll share stories and lesson ideas, as I have time.
Stay tuned for upcoming education posts!