Another One Bites The Dust!


Yay! A new linky party to start the week off right! Wait, first, let me get that song out of my head! Alright, no more biting the dust, let's get on with the party. Amber from Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher came up with this one and it might be a bit embarrassing, gotta set some dirty laundry right out there in plain sight!


Here are my 3 Great things from this year:

1. Target Grant funded field trip! Friends, this is really an easy way to get a field trip funded! Mark August 1st on your calendar because that's when Target will start accepting grant applications for next school year's field trips. The application is completed online, it's less than a page of writing total, just tell them what field trip you want to take, what the benefit will be and how you'll assess the learning! You'll find out if you're approved at the end of December, they'll send you a check and you'll have until the end of the school year to take the trip!  This was my second year to get a grant and it was a fantastic trip! Click the picture below to read all about it!
2. Relationships with and between students. I have had a lot of fluidity in my class this year - students come and go a lot at our school. Each and every one of my kiddos is now part of a "family" and although we have squabbles, we still get along most of the time! I love our classroom atmosphere, how we know our Expectations and can remind each other when they're not being met. One of our favorites is: "We will not laugh at, or make fun of, another person's mistakes, use sarcasm or put-downs." and my kiddos take this to heart. On the field trip my little miss was very hyper - she was bouncing off the sides of the bus for the entire 1 1/2 hour trip. As soon as we got into the Museum I purchased a bottle of Dew for her, because I knew she was going to inadvertently get in trouble due to her hyperactivity. Even though the other 16 students didn't get a soda, there were no complaints once I reminded them that the soda was her "band aid". They are super great at helping out when a friend is having difficulties, or being patient when one of our little guys needs twice as long to think things through. They really are a sweet bunch of kids and I'm going to claim at least part of the credit for that :)
3. Reading - we have gotten so good at reading! Even my strugglers have shown a lot of growth! We're not all where we need to be, but the majority are, and those that aren't came in way below and have made a lot of progress. In fact, the other day when I was doing our Literacy 1st testing I had tested 4 students who all flew through it. Then I tested the 5th student who I would normally classify in my top 1/3 of readers. As he went through the test I started to panic inside, thinking that somehow he had slipped through the cracks and actually had a reading difficulty that I hadn't seen before. I calmly thanked him and sent him back to his seat and then transferred his scores to his card. Well, guess what? He had ONLY made it through 1/2 of the 2nd grade skills! The other 4 had finished 2nd grade skills and that's what I was comparing him to lol! Seriously, I about had a heart attack during the test thinking I had somehow failed him and then I realized that he was 1/2 a grade level ahead of where he needed to be! The majority of my kiddos have all of their first grade skills mastered, so I feel pretty good about myself for that!



Okay, on to the Not So Great:

1. Lack of resources. I got switched to first grade the day before school, so I've felt like I've been playing catch-up all year. Not only did I not have any lessons/ideas for first grade, I also didn't have books. That is, no textbooks - no reading series or math series. Well, wait, I did have the workbooks. Yep, tons of workbooks to go along with the Scott Foresman reading series and whatever our math series actually is, but no readers or math texts! So the workbooks were essentially worthless (to be honest they were time fillers and nothing more).  I'm still not sure what grade I'm teaching next year, or if the district will have money to buy me books if I'm still in 1st grade. Maybe I should try to get a grant for that?!
2. Too much on my plate: I took on a new grade level, being president of  the PTA, 4 kids, a military husband, blogging and creating for TPT. Yikes! I have sorely fell down on the job of getting everything on that plate accomplished! One thing that truly suffered was my "me-time" and when I don't have that I am much less effective as a teacher/wife/mother. I was shorter than I wanted to be at times, less understanding and more impatient. I am going to tone things down next school year, I promise! I found this funny picture of a frazzled woman that I probably resemble about 70% of the time! Of course, I'd probably be searching for a pen rather than have it in my mouth because a) putting pens in your mouth is gross and b) I can never keep track of a pen long enough to store it in my mouth anyways!
3. Small group instruction: I royally sucked at providing enough small group time this year. It was pretty much whole group instruction and independent work, or one-on-one with me. Now, my lowbies got small group instruction with their tutors, but I still feel like I didn't do enough of that. Part of it stemmed from a horrible first observation where my small group time was criticized, part of it stemmed from an interesting mix of personalities that made coordinating my students into small groups challenging and part of it was just plain laziness on my part. Small group is more work, so I slacked. Hopefully I can do better next year!

Alright, there are my confessions, head over to Amber's blog to link up! Oh! And don't forget to enter my giveaway to win BragTags!

4 Rustle Up A Response!:

Amber P. said... Reply to comment

Thanks for linking up! My principal sent out an email about the Target Field Trips. I definitely want to apply!

One of my favorite things about teaching is getting to start fresh every year! Small group instruction is really hard with some groups of kids, so I definitely understand!

Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

Elizabeth said... Reply to comment

No, that's a picture of me.

Not much longer until I can finally wash and style my hair.

I'm loving your Target grant field trip, by the way. Heading your way in July :)

Elizabeth
Fun in Room 4B

School Sparks Renee said... Reply to comment

That plate you described was more than just full - it was overflowing! Just maintaining your sanity was a huge accomplishment! Congrats for getting through the year!! Renee

Just Wild About Teaching said... Reply to comment

love the pic of the teacher....looks like my at end of the day....im your newest follower...drop by =)

Just Wild About Teaching

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