Friday, September 16, 2016

week 4 in review

Four weeks of school have flown by already, it's crazy how fast it goes! Here are some of the things I was thinking this week as time continued to keep movin' on by...

I'm so thankful for my new area rug for the kids to read. It takes a lot of feedback to get them to read without disturbing others, but how cool is this view from my conferring table at the present moment? :-)

Our school is putting forward 9 focus areas across the building. One of them is note-taking, so this was one of my demos of Cornell Notes. I had a video playing and was taking notes as students watched me. Then, I had them share out about what they noticed I did. Then they tried on their own. It's working so well! They are finally getting that copying notes from a teacher involves no thinking. They have to do their own notes!

We also worked on getting vulnerable in one of my classes. I asked students to share their notes to fill in things they may have missed, but they wouldn't even move close to one another. So then I said, "Slide your notebooks together, look at one another's work. Talk about it. Trust me, I know it's hard, especially when you're unsure that you even did it right in the first place. I know I'm asking you to do hard things, but just trust me, and go with it." And for the kiddos who still wouldn't move their notebooks together, I did it for them :-)

These girls at the basketball game, I love it. This was after a crazy rant by me to my ELA class a few hours earlier. I super love teaching, but when you are teaching kids what behaviors are okay and what are not, you usually come off to them like you're yelling all the time. I'm not actually yelling, just talking in a stern voice about what is and what is not acceptable. So, after that tough class, it was nice to unwind with these kiddos at the game...until the fire alarm got bumped!

I'm super strict about assignment notebooks with my 6th grade homeroom. I am training them to be organized and create to do lists to make sure they get their work done and stay out of the Working Lunch classroom. And it's working. All by stickers, and these puffy emoji stickers for a week of writing all their homework down! Who doesn't love stickers?!

My classroom is coming along much slower this year because I'm waiting on all the work of the kids to decorate it! I finally finished up the Nerdy Birdies - It's a great book that I read to my homeroom on the first day. Then I had a few kids do blackline masters of a few different birds, copied them, had the kids color them, put them up, labeled them, along with the quote driving my school year:

A bird is safe in it's nest but that is not what wings are made for.  
-Amit Ray

Here are a few close ups:

One more thing on this - A week ago I got some super cute buletin board birds in the mail, except I didn't remember ordering them. I was thinking that I was getting a little irresponsible with my online shopping, so I went looking for the online orders. Couldn't find it. So I posed on facebook and found out my bff sent them :-)

And last, ASU once again named most innovative, and I totally feel it's true in education, with the amazing instruction I got with Reading and Writing Workshop and a social constructivist philosophy with heavy influences from Paulo Freire. So thankful I'm the teacher I am today because of Arizona State. Now we just need to win some football!

How was your week?


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