Thursday, December 17, 2015

Five Great Things for December 17, 2015

I forgot to get this done earlier, but am taking a moment to reflect here now. Five great things from today (and yesterday):

  • In math we did some quick group presentations teaching each other to simplify algebraic expressions using models. Every group was able to clearly explain how to use a model to simply their expression. 
  • Students worked on comparing the governments of a few early civilizations using an H diagram. They had the information and I ultimately was just getting out of their way. All they needed from me was to give them time and help them stay focused. I tried to ask a few questions as I watched them work to further some thinking, but ultimately they seemed to have the task down. 
  • Today we accomplished a closing circle activity and dismissal better than any day I can think of in my entire career. The efficiency and volume of dismissal today was fantastic. 
  • I'm pretty sure I figured out who my Secret Santa is!
  • I attended a parent conference for my son at daycare. It's amazing how just being present and caring can make a huge difference. It felt good to just hear some specifics and get to sit with his primary teacher 1:1, even if he is 2 (turning 3 in March). 
That is five for now. I'll try to jump on and get five more tomorrow. We have school next week for three days though so I'm sure I'll make at least one post then. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Five Great Things for December 14, 2015

Five great things about today:

  • I made it through a Monday. It really seems this year Mondays are just tough. Once I get rolling though the rest of the weeks seems to work pretty well.
  • I met with two small groups in Math and think I got most of them to master the concept of evaluating expressions with adding and subtracting integers. They all got the problems right, but some took a few more tries than others and needed additional feedback/teaching.
  • I think my new "guided reading" structure is starting to work. I just use ten minutes. 5 minutes teach, 5 minutes read, then a quick share. I try to meet every day and squeeze it in. So far in three days of adjusting my structure I have had much more productive meetings.
  • Again I did conferencing on writing through Google docs and saw much more engagement in working on their writing. Hopefully we can get these essays done before break. 
  • I wrote five great things about today! 
See you again tomorrow!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Five Great Things for December 11, 2015

Today I did a lot of great things ... here are a few:

  • I got back on top of my class updates and wrote then sent one out to parents!
  • We did writing in a Google doc today and I was able to conference with a lot more students when attempting to do it through Google Docs. I also had a nice relaxing atmosphere. It was a little too quiet, but I think with continued work we can create a buzz around the writing where kids are having quiet conversations and providing feedback as well as just writing. However, I feel like I was a lot more productive and had more quality writing conferences to help my students today using Google Docs as the tool.
  • I have my plans set and am ready for Monday (I just realized I forgot to set up my board, so I'm going to do that now and come back to this.)
  • I am finally getting around to having my students finish organizing the room.
  • I was able to have some effective math conferences and help students make more sense of the distributive property when working with algebraic expressions. 
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Five Great Things for December 10, 2015

I should probably just do a bulleted list and not bother with this introduction ... I am never sure what to write here. Here are the five great things from today:
  • After reviewing, reflecting, and making adjustments to our arrival procedures students are really getting the hang of it. All agendas have been accounted for for three consecutive days!
  • I made plans with two students to get their agendas signed each day. 
  • We showed excellent assembly behavior again while watching a chorus concert.
  • I had some fun conversations with students during outside time.
  • Math class did a great job starting to go from the concrete (algebra tiles) or the abstract (just drawing pictures of them).  Hopefully now my video lecture tonight will serve them well building on their skills with simplifying algebraic expressions using the distributive property. 
That's five for today. I am hoping one tomorrow is that I finished my lesson plans!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Five Great Things for December 9, 2015

Here are five great things about today ...

  • I am taking time to make this post about five great things for today!
  • I have all my students registered for my class on!
  • Today in Math we introduced algebra tiles and it went pretty well. The students were excited and learning how to work with the manipulative. 
  • Today students were very successful during our daily 5 working time. I met with a reading group and students seemed to be working productively.
  • We did some reading on some environmental issues for science and students did very well highlighting support for their answers in the text. 
That's five! Time to go pick up the kids from daycare!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Five Great Things for December 8, 2015

I am back and here to reflect on five great things. I was home with my sick son yesterday so I'll focus on today.

  • I rolled out the use of and started to have kids register for my class on
  • We had some powerful reflection and a great morning getting ready for the day.
  • We attended our first school wide assembly today and our behavior was fantastic.
  • I am writing these five things!
  • I made it through the day and didn't receive a phone call from daycare, so my son must be healthy!
That's all for today, I'll be back again tomorrow. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Five Great Things from December 3, 2015

Today was an awesome day! I am a bit late in getting to this, but just prepping for taking a half day tomorrow and next week ...

  • Today students presented science fair projects that were done entirely at home and blew me away. I wasn't sure what to expect and had low expectations, but they just blew me away. Good to know for future at home assignments. 
  • I finished grouping students and analyzing data for my SLO (teacher evaluation thing) to target some specific skills in Math. I am excited to really hit the ground running with these groupings and data collection. I can't wait to see the kids growth. 
  • Math class today did really well with a strategy of pass the problem. They also asked some great questions about plugging values into expressions and using calculators. 
  • Today we started using some calculators in math and it went really well. I got to show a few kids how to use the exponent button and they thought it was cool.
  • I am going to go home before the night time science fair display starts (so I get to avoid the incoming parent traffic).
That's all for today, have a good night and see you tomorrow!