Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 31 of SOLSC

Hooray!! I feel a true sense of accomplishment that I was able to communicate my thoughts, ideas and sometimes maybe a rant or two, in a way that made me feel like I was making a difference. When I reflect upon this month of slicing, I notice that I sometimes need a little nudge on what to write about or that I feel that there might not be anything significant from that day. But, I do realize that there is something everyday to reflect or even improve upon. Some days there might be a celebration and other days may just be a reason to learn a lesson to become a better teacher or all around person. Whatever the reason, I know that this is just the beginning of my journey of finding my "something wonderful" and blogging to others, to share what I have learned. 
So, my something wonderful for today is that I can set my mind to something and accomplish it. I'm also able to see what I do, why I do it and how I can make it better.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 30 of SOLSC

Round 2 of state assessments  went pretty smoothly. Today was the first part of the math section that our 3rd graders take. They mentioned to me that it was a great idea to review the last couple of weeks so that they would be prepared. I thought to myself "Hooray" and hopefully their scores reflect all of our hard work. One great thing is that no one said that they saw anything that they have never seen before or had any content that was just "too hard to figure out". So, maybe (fingers crossed) we will have all at meeting standards and above. As long as they work hard and do their very best, then I will be a happy teacher!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day 29 of SOLSC

One thing that I love doing is reading about other teachers doing awesome activities that I can use within my own classroom. One of my favorite websites that I love visiting with from the teacher Beth Newingham. (just google her)I know of lots of teachers that use her website as a resource to improve their classroom instruction. She is a 3rd grade teacher in Michigan who is also a scholastic teaching matters contributor. 
She has wonderful ways to engage students and incorporate creativity in each lesson. I found a really cool idea that I am excited to implement in my own classroom. For part of her social studies curriculum, she has created a unit called the United States Region Tour. It takes the different regions of the US and breaks each one down and the students have "traveling" experiences with food, monuments, letters, historical facts and so much more. She states that, "providing students with authentic learning experiences is something I work hard to do in my classroom on a daily basis." I agree with her and I know that making learning meaningful is one of the best gifts I can give my students.
My something wonderful today is that I hope to purposefully create more authentic learning experiences within my class more each week.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 28 of SOLSC

This weekend I haven't done anything too structured or extremely stressful. I find that if I take time to recharge my batteries, I tend to be a little more effective when I teach during the week. Last night, I watched the movie "Julie and Julia" about a woman named Julie who cooked and blogged her way through Julia Child's book in a year. I absolutely loved it! It's great to watch something that I can relate to my own life but at the same time I'm able find some sort of inspiration as well as motivation. 
I have learned through this slice of life challenge that it's a great way for me to express myself but also to take time to learn from others experiences. I love reading other people's posts, whether they be teachers or not, and listening to their wit and lessons learned through daily events. I have also found that taking time to reflect upon my own experiences as well as actions can help me to not become stagnant but to continue to grow. 
My something wonderful for today is to take time to reflect upon my actions but also integrating what I have learned from others to improve myself.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 27 of SOLSC

So, I love to read and I like to spend some time every weekend devoted to reading. I just finished the 9th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series (what HBO's True Blood series is based on) and I am sort of stuck on what to read next. I also just finished my teacher's book club book "Same Kind of Different As Me", which is the complete opposite of vampire books. I love reading chick-lit but I also try to balance genres. As a result, I'm looking for an array of titles or series to get into next and expand my reading horizons. 
Any ideas?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day 26 of SOLSC

Sometimes I don't realize how much I can learn from my students. 1 month ago I had a new student from Haiti join my classroom. He spoke almost no English and was pretty confused about what we did and how we did things here in America. But, as soon as I sat down with him I was amazed with what he knew! He is a whiz at math and as of today he already has all his letters and sounds down pat. Since he has the foundation of the French language, acquiring English isn't as difficult as one might think. I'm feeling confident that he is on his way to success!
And so comes today. I now have a new student from China. My principal told me yesterday that she would be starting today and she knows little to no English. But, I was prepared since I just had this experience with my other new student. So, I did a little homework and checked out some Dr. Seuss books that are in Chinese and English and translated a couple of phrases that she (and I) should know. I must say that reading characters rather than letters will be quite a task. She loved them! We sat down today and played computer games in reading and math and she did great as well! I'm feeling very good about this whole situation considering I now have 6 different languages spoken in my class.
But, the icing on the cake is when my students heard that we were having a new student, they got so excited and said that we get them because we have the most awesome class in the whole school! That just warms my heart.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 25 of SOLSC

Every once in a while there is a small moment of giggles that seems to spread like wildfire with my students. This week our reading class is learning about astronauts in space, the space shuttle and gathering data from different planets. I gathered some books to read aloud so that I could extend my students learning. I was reading the book "G is for Galaxy" and we were reviewing different parts of the galaxy and making connections to our reading. As I was discussing Pluto and how it wasn't a planet anymore, I accidentally said Plunet when I was trying to say Pluto and planet. You would have thought that I pumped my students full of laughing gas because they were practically rolling on the ground giggling. So, I finished the book (with the background giggles) and mentioned that sometimes it just the little things that get us laughing. Of course, I had to giggle too.