Sunday, January 15, 2012

So Here I Am

I have been stalking many blogs for sometime now, mostly about crafting and teaching and realized that it is a fabulous way to document what I do in my classroom. I am always looking for new and innovative teaching ideas for my students and I love seeing what other teachers are doing in their classrooms. I am excited to see where this little blog takes me in my teaching journey. One of the blogs I have been reading is My Life as a Fifth Grade Teacher. She has given some great ideas in ways to teach reading to intermediate students.

Something she did yesterday that looked fun was a "Linky Party"...still new to this. This party was initiated by Kate from Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher. It is called A Day in My Shoes. As of now, I have enjoyed seeing how everyone's day is so different from others! Here goes mine:

5:00        Alarm goes off. Snooze till 5:08 and the day has started. Shower, get ready, and head outside with  my dog Baxter. He is a quick one in the morning (thank goodness). We eat breakfast and he is ready for me to leave so he can lay around all day without being bothered.

6:10ish    Out the door and depressed that it is still dark out. Drive about 30 minutes listening to various radio shows because I still haven't found one that I like. You would think living in the Chicago area there would be ONE that I like, no such luck.

6:40       Get into my classroom where usually the first year teacher has beat me there. Nice to see that I am not the only crazy one that gets to school so early now. Check on my classroom zoo (Chinese Water Dragon, Ball Python, and Rabbit) and prepare for the day. Usually set lessons, prepare reading  and math lessons and make copies, however today is a half day so not as much.

7:30       The teacher I team teach with arrives and we review the schedule. Every day is so different it drives us nuts!

7:45       Assistants arrive, yes multiple. I have a aide that I share with another teacher and another to work with two of my students. A bit to manage. I update them on the day (if needed) and then make sure morning work is set.

8:00      The kids come in. Usually about 10 questions from my 5th graders and then I have to make sure my 6th graders aren't hanging out gossiping. Today they brought in music to support the voice of a paragraph they wrote earlier in the week. They had a blast with it, looking for really intense music or music that was really happy. We started the morning sharing them because I wanted to break this activity up so it wasn't 22 students sharing in a row.

8:20      Word Test. I use the Word Their Way Program so there are four, yes four, different tests to give. I am still not doing the program the way I should, however it is the most differentiated program I have ever used.

8:45      PE - I write my weekly newsletter and get interrupted about 6 times from various people coming into my classroom needing me. Nature of the game right?

9:20     Snow Fun! We had our first big snow on Thursday which is hard to believe living in the Midwest. Every year I promise the kids we can go sledding, but with our shortened schedule it can't happen. So we have Iditarod races, play snow golf and attempt to use colored water to make snow art. The boys ended up just using the yellow to write their names in the snow. I really couldn't say anything cause I would have done the same thing. It was really funny. 

10:20    Naomi our Environmental Educator came in to teach a lesson for her sustainability unit. She had a in-depth conversation about renewable and non-renewable resources. I continued to work on my newsletter and responded to a few emails. I joined in on the conversation when appropriate.

11:05   We continued to share our paragraphs with a strong voice paired with music. The students really like this activity. It was a great assessment for me to check fluency and see how their voice inflections are utilized to enhance their reading.

11:30    Students switch for math. I have the upper 5th grade math class. I have them split into two differentiated groups which is interesting to manage without an aide during this time. My assistant goes to the lower 5th grade class. I am using the 5th grade Investigations program which I am not in love with yet. I will post about that at another time to see if I ever get some followers that use it to see what they think. So basically I am going back an forth between groups teaching, guiding and monitoring games. A little nuts.

12:30    "Study Hall" time. It really is pack-up and work on homework or read time. I check the various students that need their assignment notebooks and backpacks check to go home. I have a student update my homework page online(thank goodness) which is the best thing I have ever done. He always remembers. Check to make sure my students are being productive if they pack up early who usually are my 6th graders.

12:50   Take the kids to dismal and monitor them. We don't have a bussing system because we are a charter school, so carpool takes FOREVER. Don't get me started on being an environmentally focused charter school.

1:15    Lunch - eat at my desk and respond to more emails and finish my newletter.

2:00   In-Service - We talk about different school initiatives, our monthly environmental focuses and planning of our classroom gardens. I won't bore you with the details.

4:00   Day is over. I pack up two bags of stuff to work on at home for the long weekend knowing I won't touch a majority of it. It just makes me feel good I guess to kill myself carrying the heavy bags to my car. 

4:30   Meet my colleagues out for a drink a dinner to "reflect" on the week and how we feel about our jobs. So most of us know why I put reflect in quotations right? Looks so much more positive. Ha!

So here is what my day looked like on Friday. Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the weekend! I look forward to continuing to share with others what I do and love.



Jill said...

I'm in the Chicago area too and I always listen to WBBM. I think I am the youngest person in the world to listen to it, haha! The focus of your school sounds awesome. I would love to teach in a school like yours!!

Marvelous Multiagers!

Kim said...

Hi Andrea!
Glad you're here in the BlogWorld. I teach 6th grade too! I enjoyed reading about your day... Sounds challenging to teach both grades together--I have enough trouble with one!

Finding JOY in 6th Grade

Oodles of Teaching Fun said...

Welcome to blogging! I also teach 5th and 6th grade, but not together. I have 40 5th graders and 42 6th graders. I am looking forward to reading more about your classroom.


Ms. Rachel said...

Your day sounds interesting! Im a SPED teacher from MI! I enjoyed reading about your day!

Katie Klohn said...

So glad that you linked up!!! I am always up at school bright and early too! I just can get so much done then!

Miss Klohn
Adventures of a 6th Grade Teacher

Andrea said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and welcoming me. I can't wait to share more!