Monday, November 12, 2012

One year ago......

One year ago today I was so very fortunate to be in Washington D.C. for the National Blue Ribbon School celebration! My elementary school is a 2011 Blue Ribbon School and I traveled to Washington D.C. with my principal to receive the award for our staff and students! What a tremendous time that was!

I truly teach in a special school with a FANTASTIC group of teachers. 
I am so very THANKFUL for them.

What are you thankful for today?

Happy Teaching!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

{Common Core} Standards Labels

I created this label set to use in my classroom because I wanted to track how well I was including and teaching the CCCS (Common Core Curriculum Standards) in Language Arts.
I use the curriculum my District has adopted, materials from other sources to compliment and reinforce the areas my students need reinforcement in and my collection of thematic activities.

When I was completing my portfolio for National Board certification, I learned to give each portion of the question a color. Then as I answered the question, I color coded each part of the answer to make sure that I gave a complete answer.

I applied the same strategy to seeing how my classroom work is measuring up to implementing the Common Core.

I printed 20 sheets of these labels. I don’t know if I will actually use 20 for a particular standard, and maybe I will use 80. I guess that’s what I will find out.

So as I teach and work my way through the teacher’s manual, the theme binder and literacy station lesson plans, I stick a label in the margin or on the back side.

Now that we have completed 9 works of school:
*I can see by looking at the label sheets which standards I have used more than others
*I can also see which standards have been neglected. If there aren’t opportunities to cover them in the curriuculum I know that I need to find a way to include them for my students.
*I can see if my theme projects and literacy stations follow a logical learning progression

{Click here} if you would like to have a copy of the labels for yourself.

And if you have another strategy for tracking how you implement the Common Core, PLEASE COMMENT!

Rearrange and Reflect.......

Rearrange – I am constantly moving things around. I wonder if there is a support group for teachers like me?!

I snapped some pics of my room at the end of the 11-12 school year.  During the year, things piled up, clutter grew, drove me crazy……. So when school was let out I spent time CLEANING/PURGING. Then moved another K rooms materials (low enrollment for 12-13 school year and my teaching partner lost her job) into my mix and shut the door until August!

When I stepped back into the classroom in August, I begin the quest to find a place for everything and put everything in it’s place. Enter: surgery for my son, surgery for me, a team of 12 cheerleaders to coach and it led to a quick quest!

Do you have to tear your room completely down to the bare bones in the spring, so that the custodial crew can do their thing? If you do, then you feel my pain. When Fall comes, I struggle to remember just how things were working and how I want them to work.

Whatever. Enter school year 12-13. The pictures below are the pictures from right before Open House 2012. Since then ‘we’ have moved in. My 20 students and I have found places for the things that are important to us and that we use everyday. Now I’m ready for another purge. It’s time to unload those cupboards that haven’t been touched and the tubs that haven’t been opened.

Wish me luck. I have report cards to do and conferences to lead this week. But I do have a lead on a small “office” space just a hop and a skip from my classroom where some of the overload could reside. Hmmmmmm. I wonder how that would work.

If you read this far….. please share your answers to the following questions in the comments.

Happy Teaching!