Thursday, May 26, 2011

What I've Learned

Life in Special Education is hosting a Linky Party on what I've learned this year.  It's been fun reading everyone's post on what lessons they've learned this year.

1.  There is a reason that flip flops are against the dress code.  I used to think that was a silly rule until I've had to deal with them breaking, causing students to strip, and having wood chips poke holes in the bottoms of the flip flops.  I never knew shoes could be such a headache.
2.  When a student returns to my room from the book fair with over $100 worth of books, double check with the librarian to make sure everything was paid for.
3.  How to find and pick out lice.  I never, ever wanted to learn this, but we don't have a nurse and the sweet girl didn't have anyone else to do it for her.
4.  Don't assume anything.  I've been shocked over and over again at the things my students didn't know that I thought was just common knowledge.
5.  Blogs are awesome!  I've learned so much already through the awesome blogs I've found, and I can't wait to find more.
6.  I cannot do it all.  There is just no way that I can do everything that I'm required to do.  I'm learning to do the best I can and let the rest go.
7.  Some parents will never be happy.  I will never be able to please everyone.
8.  Painting my classroom is not such a great idea (more coming soon on this :)
9.  I can learn as much from my students as they learn from me.
10.  I have the best job in the world-full of love and laughter.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's Over!

It's official, school is out!!!  Well, we do have 5 inservice/professional learning days, but who's counting?  Those days are usually fun for me, because I love visiting with other teachers and actually being able to go out for lunch like a real grown-up.  I already have an ever increasing to-do list, but I'm not sure when I'll be motivated to get it started.

What's Your Favorite?
My school has recently purchased 20 ipads, and I was able to use them a little at the end of the year.  My students LOVED using the ipads, but there were very few apps for my class to work with since the school hasn't purchased many apps yet.  We are going to have to be fairly selective on the apps we buy to save money, so I'm looking for the very best apps out there.  I'd love to know what you think! 

Here are the ones that I'm most interested in:
ilive math
 Math Ninja
 Rocket Math

Sunday, May 15, 2011

5 More Days!!!!!!!!

I cannot believe that I am down to my last five days of school.  This is such a bittersweet time, because I absolutely love my class this year.  I don't want to let them go.  However, I cannot wait to sleep late (I never thought I'd think 7:00 was late), stay at home with my daughter, relax, and have time to recharge and work on next year.

Water Balloon Fun
Last Friday my students got to participate in a water balloon fight with my teaching partner's homeroom class.  We started an incentive program during the last 9-weeks of school to help students' maintain their good behavior and work habitats, and students got to earn water balloons for meeting certain criteria.  The event got a little (okay, a lot) bigger than we expected, and we had to fill hundreds of water balloons.  We had parents working all week long to get the balloons ready!  Friday was the big day, and we had so much fun.  Well, at least until our students decided to gang up on us teachers-I think the bruises are almost gone!

Planning Already
I've also given my place value unit a complete overhaul.  I have seven skill building worksheets that focus on place value and representing numbers.

There also six place value performance tasks.

I've also included included one of my favorite games-I Have, Who Has
I've added place value concentration to Google Docs, so you can get it FREE here!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Getting Ready

I am so guilty of already thinking about next year, but I do believe that all of the time I put in over the summer really makes a difference during the year.  Time For Kindergarten is hosting a linky party to share some of our ideas on ways to stay organized.  Here are some of the things I do to make the new school year easier.  I can't wait to learn some new ideas from others!
  • I leave my classroom very organized.  Everything has to come out of our rooms, but I get to leave my things in my bookshelves, desk drawer, and cabinets.  I make sure everything is cleaned out and organized before I leave for summer break, and then I cover it all with old sheets so it doesn't get dusty.
  • We are held to a pretty strict copy limit, so if I can find a way to make some copies for next year I'll get started.  I'll try to get my data notebooks and beginning of the year forms ready.
  • I'm pretty excited about this one-shop!  I love, love, love shopping for back to school items.
  • I take home my lesson plan folders and working on formally modify my lesson plans.  They always have notes and writing all over them after I teach my lessons, but I never have time to make the formal changes until summer.
  • I try to focus on one major thing I want to improve on for the next year.  For me, I want to develop an enrichment unit for each of my social studies unit.  These changes help keep things fresh and exciting for me.

Happy Mother's Day

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day full of family, fun, and relaxation!

My daughter turned 2 today, so we are now officially in the terrible twos.  I'm a little nervous so any advice is greatly appreciated!  My husband and I spent the past two days outside building a playground.  I now think we are capable of building an entire house after that experience!

It was all worth it when she finally got to play.