Sunday, September 14, 2014

Self-reflection 9/14/14

Each morning at our meeting, one of our discussions revolves around self-reflection. What went well? What can we work on?

Not everyone is required to participate, but if someone wants to share, they may. Daily, even in 3rd, we have kiddos who think they can do better. I should work on listening to the speaker. I did better yesterday, but I can still get better at raising my hand to leave my seat. I join the kids in self-reflection, but it's a kid-friendly version and I thought it could do worlds of good for me to actually be completely honest and self-reflect once a week. 

Here we go.

What went well:

*Our introduction to what characteristics a good citizen has to tie in with social studies and first week expectations. On the carpet, we talked about what a good citizen does. Partners shared, we added ideas to our chart, and each kiddo went back to their seat with two Post-its in the shape of a heart. They were to write one good citizen characteristic on each heart. 

While they worked, I hung up a chart split into three categories: Respectful, Responsible, and Ready to Learn. As they completed their hearts, they came up and decided what category their characteristic belonged in. Friends were at the chart at the same time, so discussions were had when individuals weren't sure. A couple kids came to me saying they just didn't know where to put their heart. I told them the class would help them decide and we did. 

As closure, we discussed how most good citizen characteristics belong in one if these three categories and that if we're to be good citizens, we try always to be respectful, responsible, and ready to learn. The lesson also led nicely to a paragraph writing sesh later in the week about how the kids have been good citizens by doing something in each of the three categories. 

The whole lesson went beautifully. 

A good citizen "makes as much peas as possible". Did you hear my heart melt?

*Multiplication! I am so amazed with my kids this year. Multiplication the second week of third grade! And they get it! We started with equal groups last week and are moving into arrays this week. 

What to work on:

*I'm struggling most with work/life balance. I'm giving about 95% of myself to work, 5% to home, husband, and pup and 0% to me. I'm a big "just one more thing!" lady and can already feel its negative effects. 

Any advice on finding time for your spouse and yourself when the to do list is so massive you need to organize your to do list? How do you take a moment for yourself or spend time with family when you're constantly thinking about what you need to get done for work?

Here's to a productive, healthy, happy week! 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Classroom Reveal

I'm realizing now, as I lie in bed late at night exhausted from the week (it's only Wednesday?!) that the only way I'm going to blog regularly is if it's from my phone. This way I can be in bed without a hot laptop on me in this ridiculously hot summer. 

I also realize that I've been asking too much of myself blog-wise. I require myself to write a long, witty, inspiring post, so if I know I don't have that in me, I do nothing. My new goal is to post something for myself so I can revisit my year in June. 


Here we go. 

I love my classroom. You all should have seen it three weeks ago. My oh my. We just moved into this temporary site while our permanent site is being built. I would post before pictures, but they just make me sad. Thanks to a few lovely parents, my inside walls were painted a cheery blue, which gave me the strength and motivation to make my classroom amazing. It's still a work in progress, but it's a warm, welcoming environment for my kiddos and that's all I really needed it to be. 

My front door will always feature an inspirational quote for myself and the kids. It will change each week. This is one of my favorites and I've had it since my first year of teaching. I'm currently working on getting a year's worth of quotes together in a much more darling display for TPT. 

The back of my library serves as a Where Am I station. Kiddos move their numbers to the left if they're present for the day. They also move numbers around if they individually leave the room, such as to the restroom or to resource. 

My space. I decided to follow a bunch of educators I respect and move away from a desk. I love this area for everything: grading, reconciling paperwork, and meeting with small strategy groups. 

The in progress library, with a beautiful rug which was generously donated by a parent. 

I'll track multiplication facts mastered here. Students will clip along as they pass quizzes. 

Each table has a bin that matches their table color. The bins hold their reading and writing notebooks, as well as their cursive folders. Captains are in charge of taking and returning supplies in these bins. 

I l-o-v-e the way this turned out, but my fans + humidity made the circles curl up. I'll laminate in all my spare time (ha!) to fix it. 

J'adore the focus wall so much! I have the I Can statements in sheet protectors and I just pin them up as they're relevant!

I have a little bit of storage at the front of the room and this has turned out to be a great place to keep my Monday-Friday copies. 

This is Alaska, where kids come to cool off. It is not a punishment. Kids decide when they need a break and they take it. They fill out a form about how they're feeling and try one of the calm down activities in the basket. The Take a Break set can be ordered from Teaching in Progress' TPT. 

View from the front. 

And, while it's not in my classroom I just had to share this photo of our school's garden. It adds something so special, don't you think?

I hope you enjoyed the tour!