Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Restful Summer & New Hope

Hi everyone! I hope you are all enjoying your time off. I definitely know that I have! I decided that I didn't want to teach summer school or summer programs like I have these past four years. Instead, I decided to spend my time babysitting several of the kiddos around my neighborhood. And let me tell you, I am really glad that I decided to do that. I don't have to worry about driving 45 minutes or trying to prepare lessons.

My summer started out with one of my closest friends getting married! It was such a beautiful wedding and I was honored to stand by her side. The wedding was at their ranch home in Clovis. It was all about love, country music, and family. I know that they will have a long and happy life together.

Then, I've just been taking the kiddos to swim practice and doing fun activities during the day. About once a week, I will babysit and infant who is one of the sweetest little boys I have ever babysat! I am definitely enjoying my summer days spending time with these sweet little ones.

During this time, I've really had some time to think and reflect about my career. I am going into my 5th year of teaching. I've taught in 4 different classrooms, in 4 different schools, and 3 different school districts. At first, I didn't enjoy teaching in my current school district due to my 30-45 minute commute each way. But, I am making good money and the school I'm at this year is a little bit closer from the freeway. So, it will save me probably 10 minutes every morning. I am also teaching 2nd grade this yeah, which is my favorite grade to teach. Yes, I have a long commute; but, I am trying to see the more positive side of things. I know that this is where I belong right now. When my boyfriend and I decide to settle down and buy and house and have a family, then I will move to a closer district that is closer to my house.

I have new hope for this school year. I have hope that this will be a great year. Yes, there will be challenges as for there are every year. But, I know that I have not only grown as a teacher, but also into a more mature adult. I am able to stay calm during rough situations and try to solve the problem more effectively. 

So, to all my teacher friends, enjoy the last little bit of summer vacation that we have left. I'll be sharing over the next couple of weeks what I will be doing next year. Until then, I'm going to relax, finalize my plans for next year, and stay positive.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Time off

Hi everyone! I know that I haven't blogged in over a year. I took some time off and had to regroup a bit. To be honest, I was heartbroken when I lost my 2nd grade job last year. I absolutely loved my school, staff, students, and parents. It was my best year of teaching! However, someone with higher seniority got my job. I was devestated and almost left the profession.

Then, that summer I was going through some more personal hardships. My boyfriend of 5 years and I decided that we needed a break. To add on, I had about 4 different interviews, and no job :( I had no idea why I wasn't getting a job. This was probably the hardest time of my life. I didn't get a job until a week before school started and it was for teaching 4th grade.

Granted, I was happy to get a job. But, I was devastated that I wasn't in my old school district. And instead of living down the street from my school, I now have a 45 minute commute. I struggled with this for months. I still struggle with missing my old school. I didn't have the same feeling this year as I did last year with the 2nd graders.

There is much more to my story about this year and I don't want to go into any details. But, I am moving classrooms (again!) and this time I'm staying in the school district. I'm really happy that I am going back into 2nd grade next year. I really liked teaching 4th grade this year; but, 2nd grade is where my heart is. Also, my boyfriend and I got back together and we couldn't be happier!

So, here's to next year being better, brighter, and learning to love teaching again. I lost it for a little bit after I lost my job last year. But, I am now trying to find the joy again. I am hoping that by teaching 2nd grade again next year, it will help.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Thanksgiving Inference activities

This year has been such an exciting year! I love teaching 2nd grade and my kiddos are adorable! They are so wonderful to teach. Since this is my first year teaching 2nd, it is like my first year teaching all over. In my school district, we are still using Open Court. However, they want us to start implementing the new CCSS. So, I've been doing a lot of work trying to connect the CCSS to Open Court. By the end of the week--I am pooped!!

One way I have been implementing CCSS is by using various metacognition reading strategies with my little kiddos. One that we have been working on a lot are making inferences when reading. Since it is Thanksgiving, we looked at different recipe cards and tried to make an inference about what the recipe is. The did this in three steps:

  • what background knowledge they have on the recipe
  • what the recipe text says
  • what they think the recipe is
My kiddos had so much fun with it! I got this resource from Lyndsey at A Year of Many Firsts. This was such a great resource and I think my students really are starting to understand inferences in a fun and engaging way!

I projected the the recipes onto the screen and we worked together to make inferences about the recipe.
Then they worked on using their background knowledge and the recipe instructions to make an inference. Some were even drawing illustrations to help them with their inference!

My kiddos did such an amazing job with these inferences! I was so proud of everything they worked on.

The next day, they worked on writing an inference story about Busy Betsy! I projected an story on the screen of Busy Betsy cleaning and getting ready for Thanksgiving. Then, all of a sudden she smelt something and say black spots on her pie! After my students saw that short story about Busy Betsy, they had to finish the story and infer how Betsy felt and what would have happened next. I wish I had more time to do this because my kiddos were so creative with their responses! They had so much fun and loved sharing their inference stories. 

With CCSS right on my door step, there are days when I ask myself, "Can I do this?" My district doesn't have any CCSS "curriculum"yet and we are receiving extensive training and collaboration on how to unpack the standards. We also discuss how it implement CCSS into our classroom. Some days, it can be a lot to understand and handle. But other days, like last week, I felt like and told myself, "Yes! I can do this!" because my kiddos did such an amazing job on this inference activity. In addition to these Thanksgiving recipe inferences, we learned about the pilgrims and the May Flower. The made a map of the May Flower Voyage.

We had so much fun last week learning about the first Thanksgiving and inferences with Thanksgiving recipes. Last week just went so smoothly and I feel my students had fun learning about different ways we celebrate Thanksgiving and why. I just kicked some serious CCSS butt!! 

In addition to these various units I'm working on, I've also been working on reading journals for Open Court. I got the idea from Amanda Nickerson at One Extra Degree. It's worked pretty good so far. I'll do a post about it next week. I'm headed off to go see the new Hunger Games! I've been so excited to see this. Before I go, I wanted to share this picture I took yesterday of one of my students during read-to-self. I just couldn't resist :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! From my classroom...to yours.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

First few weeks and Bloglovin

Just like all teachers around the country, we are all pooped right now! I was thrown off a little last week because if was only a 4 day week. But, I am ready and planned for next week! I am still trying to get a hang of the new curriculum that I am using. My district still uses Open Court and we don't have any new curriculum for the new CCSS. The district wants us to use the curriculum that we have and adapt it to the new CCSS. So, it has definitely been a process.

This week, we have been focusing on various metacognition lessons. We learned about schema and visualizing this week. My kiddos are loving it!! I'll show a post next week about the lessons, I haven't had a chance to take any pictures yet! :(

But, since I am still new to blogging, please follow me on Bloglovin!

I'm going to try and take some more pictures of my classroom. I apologize for me being MIA. I am still trying to get my classroom organized. Plus, we had Back to School Night! It has been a crazy couple of weeks.

I hope everyone is doing well with their first couple weeks of school!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August Currently--ALREADY!?!

Is it really August already? Where has the summer gone?! I have done so much. I have moved to a new city, moved my classroom, and experienced a lot of family issues. I need a vacation from my vacation! But, I am ready to get set up in my new classroom. I haven't seen it yet, but I am very excited :)

I am linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade for the August Currently.

Now for my Back-to-School must haves:
1. My Macbook- I have worked hard this summer to get a lot of my files organized and ready for the new school year. Before, I had everything organized by unit that connected with my old curriculum. I also had files that were just not organized at all! It was a mess. Now, I have all of my files organized by skill and ready for my new grade level!

2. New Classroom Decor- Now that I am not only in a new classroom, but also in a new school, I wanted to change my classroom decor. So, I connected with Amanda from One Extra Degree and gave her an idea of what I liked. She went above and beyond with my new classroom decor!

3. WBT Videos- Over the last two years I have learned bits and pieces of Whole Brain Teaching. After the conference I went to in May, I connected with one of the WBT mentors and asked for help in launching WBT in my classroom. They directed me to their livestream. I started watching Coach B's videos on how to do WBT the first hour, first day, and first week of school. If you are interested in the WBT videos, go to this website:
I am also using their book Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Students to help with my classroom management next year. If you want a copy of the book, go here.

Okay everyone, good luck with setting up your classrooms and getting ready for the new school year! I will be posting pictures next week of my classroom set-up. I have a long process because I have to move everything out of storage, move it to my classroom, unpack, and set up! It's going to be a busy couple of weeks. I hope I can squeeze in a little mini vacation.