Monday, March 28, 2016

March 21-24th Reflection

Oh the joys of coming back from spring break and having a 4 day week. I see it as a way to get back on track and get ready to finish this year out strong. This week I introduced the "Learning Pit" to my class and they were so excited about this. They all worked extra hard knowing that if they were good they might get to sit there. I have decided that the leader can pick 2 people to sit in the pit with them. These students can not have been picked before by other students allowing all of the students to get a chance to sit there.

Reading- This week we worked on Compare and Contrast. I used two different stories about the Three Little Pigs. We watched/ listened to the stories and then wrote down events that happened in the story then we compared them to find out what was alike and different. Some students told me that they didn't realize that there were so many ways that the story could/ have been told. Then they also started finding books in the library that were similar to the Three Little Pig but with a aliens instead of pigs with the big bad robot in place of the wolf. We will keep working on this concept next week and test on Thursday.

Math- I had another student pass their multiplication test this week. I now have 2 students on division, 6 on multiplication, 7 on subtraction, and 7 on addition. I still have been trying to keep my students motivated on this skill by letting them know if they pass both addition and subtraction they get to throw pies in my face at the of the year. We took a math test on Wednesday. Most of the students did very well. Some are still struggling on double digit subtraction.

Centers- My students have started to grasp the concept of using the dictionary even better this week. I am had them look up some academic vocabulary that is seen on their Alpha Test this way they were familiar with the vocabulary when they take in in May.

 I have also started letting students become more independent reading directions and doing their work on their own. I want them to get into the swing of teachers are not going to hold their hand through a worksheet all the time. They read the directions to me and did an example then I gave them 25 mins to work on 3 pages. After that was over then we went over them as a class and graded them. My class seemed to like the independence that they got.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Feb 29-March 11

   This is a two week reflection over the past two weeks. I finally feel like things have slowed down long enough to get everything wrote down. The 2 weeks before spring break are always so rough trying to finish up teacher conferences, getting retesting done, and then the lovely report cards. But now they are completely finished and I'm able to relax and think of ways to change things up in my room for a better learning environment. 

Reading- we finished up our Rescource Material unit these last two weeks. My class now refers to looking words up in a dictionary and thesaurus book as the "old school way". They also said they would rather do it on the iPad's but I told them that I didn't have an iPad to look up stuff like they do now and it's better for them to learn it the "old school way" in case they don't have the iPad's handy.  

Writing- it was entertainment time to writer his time.    I picked the topic of writing about their favorite sport that they like to play. They first had to write 5 adjectives to describe that sport. Then they were to write them into sentences. After that they turned that into a paragraph and wrote it on pretty paper. After they finished their writing assignment they were to draw and color a picture to go along with their story. They turned out so well I wanted to display them so others could see and hear their story so I used the Aurasma app and recorded them reading their story so me and then used their drawing as the target picture. Now the kids can walk up to the pictures with their iPads and use the app and watch/listen to all of the other students stories. They are even able to go listen to some of the other teachers students projects too. Thanks Mrs. Hime for showing us this app. 

Math- the students started to do some double digit subtracting with narrowing. This was tricky at first but with the students coming up to the board and walking through the steps made it all better. They started understanding it better. 

After break I am going to try a new seating arrangement and also have some different options for students that tend to need a break from their regular desk. I am going to make what I'm going to call a learning pit that has a carpet with a couple pillows and disc chairs on it. The students will be allowed to come sit and pay attention in the front of the room with their work clipped on a clipboard. I have read many different articles that say that different seating options for students that have a hard time sitting in their own seats helps. We shall see. If it does help I will write a grant to add more to this learning pit of mine for my room. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Feb 22-26 Reflection

This week was a great week starting off with Parent Teacher Conferences. I had 9 sets of parents show up for me to share all of the wonderful stuff that their children have been accomplishing in my classroom. We also discussed some adjustments that I will make with the students to see that they make the gains in class that they need to be ready to move on to 3rd grade next year.

Centers- We dove into dictionaries this week to put our knowledge to practice. In my spelling center they had to draw a letter out of a bag then find a word in the dictionary that started with that letter. Then they were to write the word, definition, and draw a picture of that word. They also worked on spelling words/ handwriting. In my writing center they had to search for facts about George Washington and write about him and get out their handwriting book and practice their handwriting. I have noticed some of the students writing has gotten really sloppy so this is a way to whip it back into shape. Word work station they were to look up 5 words on the dictionary page and then write down the guide words from the page that the word is on. This was a good way to get the students familiar with looking for words and how to use their ABC order knowledge to find the words.

Reading- Thesauruses were the topic this week as we keep focus on Resource Materials. The students were shocked that there is a whole book full of synonyms for them to pick from. After introducing this to them on Monday we split up into groups on Tuesday and they had to find 5 words and 2 synonyms in the book. They wrote them on their paper along with the page number that they found them on. We did this multiple times throughout the week. They got faster and faster as they practiced finding them in the Thesaurus.

Phonics- We tested on test 20 this week. Students learned last week that they have to study at home instead of just trying to wing it to pass the test. This week I had a much better outcome of 100's in my class b/c of them studying at home.

Grammar- Compound Words were the topic this week and this was just a review for my class b/c I have worked on this some at my teacher table during centers when I use my Drops in a Bucket Worksheets.

Vocabulary- Context Clues were easy for my class to pick up and they have also been working on these in the reading center. 

Addition/ Subtraction facts- I had 2 more students pass Subtraction this week. Now they are on their way to working on Multiplication. I am so proud of the hard work that these students have put into working to pass Addition and Subtraction in my class. They have showed that with extra practice they are able to pass it with no problem. Keep up the Great Work!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Feb 15th- 19th Reflection

This week was a short 4 day week and it felt like a marathon to get everything taught. My class also grew one more bright student this week.

Reading- Resource Materials (dictionary) is what we are starting this week. We opened up dictionaries this week and learned the different parts of a dictionary. We then put our skills to work and worked on a worksheet that they had the students find the different parts of the dictionary and underline it in different colors. On Thursday we started tackling getting the students used to using guide words. This was difficult for the students to do but they were troopers and kept at it.

Math- This week our students started taking their test without me reading it. Some of the students liked this and others didn't. For the most part all of the students did very well. I made sure that they knew all of the words and then told them to read it very carefully.

Centers- This week in our Writing Center the students had to use News-O-Matic or the You Tube Kids and search for facts about George Washington then write them down in their journal entry for the week. In our Spelling Center I changed it to more of a review center and the students had a Cause and Effect worksheet that they were to get on You Tube Kids and Search for "The Cat Who Ate a Cupcake" and listen to the story then fill out the effect part.

My students worked really hard on their AR scores this week. They started to realize that they have little amount of time to make their goals and that they have played around so much. They have till March 7th to get their goal so they can see Rumble.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Feb 8th-12th Reflection

Oh the joy of Love in the air with it being the week before Valentine's Day. Well some might think that but it normally makes for a very distracted week for the kids. I was really proud in how well they stayed focused and worked hard on all their projects and work.

Our big project this week was for reading. They were to take the Text Features we have been learning about for the last 2 weeks and create a slide show  how using 30Hands. I had typed up a paper with some guide lines of what I expected them to have on each slide. Now however they created the slide was up to them as long as they covered the basics. I did have some that even went above and beyond what I had asked and looked up the definition for each feature. The students then presented each one of theirs to the class using the Apple TV and air playing their slide show.

Reading- We rapped up text features this week. I have to say that I was not as happy as I had hoped to be after seeing the kids test scores. I will be working on these skills more back at my back table and will retest later on.

Math- Our math this week introduced more double digit addition and using a key on a graph. The kids did very well with this and have now learned they have to look carefully at all problems to make sure that they know what they are wanting for an answer.

Suffixes- ed, ing, We worked on suffixes ed and ing. This is something that I have been working on all year back at my teacher table with the Drop In a Bucket worksheets that we go over. They concentrated really hard on making sure they doubled the consonant when needed.

Spelling- This week I changed my spelling center and found out that the students didn't do very well on their spelling words when it came time to test. We had a big discussion about studying at home. I had to change the center to start reviewing them more for our benchmark test in April. I know that is a ways off but I like to start now so it isn't thrown all on them in one week.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Feb. 1-5th Reflection

Oh the joys of benchmark testing...

This week we all took STAR Reading, Early Literacy, and Math test. The students all worked super hard on these test to show how much they progressed in a month. This is one of the test that help show their growth and make sure that they are on track. I have made note for some students that are not making the progress, that I would like to see, and starting next week I will change some stuff up to make sure that I am covering those basis with them. Seeing my students make strides to go above and beyond my goals for them is the best thing I could ask for.

Reading- We are still working on text Features. This week we covered Index and Glossary. I again stressed the importance of keywords that would possibly be found in the questions to help guide them to make the best answer. 

Math- This week the students took a test that we didn't get to last week and I had only 5 students pass the test. So that meant I had to stop back up and reteach everything and try again. We retook the test on Wednesday and I received much better results. We then moved on with this weeks lessons. The students did very well making sure that they paid attention after the last test. They have noticed that math isn't a walk in the park anymore.

Phonics/Spelling- I didn't give my kids a pre-test in spelling this week b/c I was gone on Thursday and didn't want the sub to give it to them. Phonics to them has started to become so repetitive to them that they are getting bored with it. I am now having to find fun ways to make it more fun and intriguing to keep the kids interest.

  Adjectives- The students loved getting to describe various things. The best item they described was the baseball. We were all laughing with the interesting descriptions.

Centers- I am going to start changing up the centers for the students to help them get even more prepared for the end of the year ALPHA test that our students take in May. I have been giving my students vocab words like alliteration, rhyme, and rhythm. They are to take this word define it and then give an example of how this word is used.

We are also finishing up some loose ends that we have been working on like the Disney Friendly letters and an OERB color poster. 

After a couple weeks of having trouble with some of my technology in my classroom I have realized how very blessed I am to work in a district that can supply items like a SMART Board, Document Camera, Apple TV, and iPads. Teaching what I call "old school" wasn't the easiest but I made it though. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

January 25th-29th Reflection

I know that this is late getting it wrote.

This week I saw some big strides in trying our very best in so many students. It makes my heart happy knowing that my students are working hard and have started seeing the results of what hard work can do.

Reading- We started working on Table of Contents and Title Page. I stressed the importance of the key words that are used. The students picked up on that very well. Table of Contents uses page and chapter and the Title Page uses author and title.

Math- I didn't have the students take a math test Friday b/c I was gone. They will take it on Monday.

Writing- Students were to get on YouTubeKids to search on how to write a friendly letter. They had to write in their journals the parts of the letter that are needed. Then, we all shared to construct the outline of a friendly letter. After, constructing it on the board the students then were able to put their skills to practice and write a letter to their favorite Disney Character. We wrote a rough draft this week and then in the writing center we are going to write the final draft and address an envelope to send them off.

My students showed me this week that no matter how much I get on to them and push them to do their best they will always come together when one person is down. Like lay on the floor and read all together.