Friday, July 25, 2014

Five Things I'm Looking Fwd To

Happy Friday everyone! Today I am combining DoodleBugs' Five for Friday

aaaand Big Time Literacy's July blogging challenge linkups!

I decided to do the Top Five Things I'm Looking Forward to for the Next School Year (in no particular order :)

-Implementing Guided Math/Daily 3 Math/Math Workshop-I've been reading some fabulous first grade teacher blogs, and there are lots of good ideas out there. I also attended a PD on small group math structures that offered great resources. I've concluded that no matter what structure/model I choose to follow, the key is routine, engagement, and meaningful work for students. I'm going to start with just 3 rotations (digital math, math with manipulatives, and math writing) and float around and observe/assist until they get the hang of it. Then (eventually) I will hopefully begin pulling a small teacher group for reteaching/differentiated instruction. Right now I'm excited about using this bundle from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits!

-Decorating my classroom-Yes, I have also been looking at teacher blogs for inspiration :) My favorite first grade classroom that I've seen is Jennifer's from First Grade Blue Skies! First of all, her room is HUGE, so I know mine won't be able to hold as much cute stuff. But I love the way she used blue all throughout the background--I intend to do something similar with lavender. I think I've also settled on a theme of owls and birdies. Something like this:
with a birdie for each student's name?? Adorable.

-Getting to know all my new families-I was at my last school for 7 years, and I had a wonderful relationship with the families there. I knew the parents, the siblings, the cousins, the grandma's, the babysitters, etc. But now I get to start all over again at my new school! My goal is to meet all the families before parent/teacher conferences and establish a partnership with them so that we are all working towards a common goal. The easiest way to start is to introduce myself and be available in the mornings and after school when they drop off and pick up their children. A little 3-5 minute chat goes a long way to establish trust and familiarity!

-Being a super-organized, lean, mean nice, teaching machine! My goal is to do most of my work at school this year, instead of bringing it home and worrying about it until Sunday night!

Every year I start out getting to school at least 1.5 hours early and getting ready to start my day...but then around October I start sleeping in a little more, skipping breakfast, and drinking coffee all morning until lunch. Then I crash around 1:45pm and feel icky the rest of the day Well no more, not this year! I am going to get to school early everyday, stay maybe an hour after, and then hit the gym for yoga or light weights before dinner. I've decided that I hate doing aerobic workouts. So just something light to get the blood flowing, stretch and decompress from work, and then shower and dinner. At least that's my plan...


-Being a classroom teacher- I guess I should have started here! When I first went back to school to become a teacher, my goal was to be a self-contained bilingual teacher in my own classroom, but it just did not work out that way. My first job was a nightmare and I ended up resigning my position at Thanksgiving (but that's...another story...). Then I subbed for a couple of years in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs while I finished my Master's, getting experience in different school settings until I was hired at my current district. But I was hired as a resource ESL teacher (read: pull-out), which was the opposite of what I wanted to do! I just didn't see the point of pulling out students who already spoke English to give them a 30-minute ESL lesson that was not related to what they were doing in class. So I s-l-o-w-l-y instituted the push-in model, which then turned into the co-teaching model for ESL Science and Social Studies. It was great, and our students were making academic gains at a monster speed! But, given the current state of public education, the powers that be saw it fit to eliminate my position (for no good reason) and move me to a different school...I was sad, but in the end, this is what I wanted! I believe the universe has more good things in store for me, and life has a funny way of working out....

So, I am reading all of your linked blogs, but please share what you are looking forward to most this year in the comments!



  1. I love that you've promised yourself a new routine for school! I need to do the same! I’m gearing up for a big giveaway on my blog on August 11 - come stop by so you don’t miss it!!
    Beyond The Gradebook

  2. I love classroom themes. The birdies are so cute!

  3. Love that you'll be doing math rotations. The structures that enable you to work with guided groups while the rest are engaged independently will be well worth the commitment.

    1. Thank you, math guru! I hope it does work out that way...

  4. Love your "No one gets that Sunday night feeling like a teacher" poster. So true! ;)

    <a href="”>Literacy Loving Gals</a>

    1. I know I had that look on my face every week...

  5. First, I love those little birds you're doing for your theme! (What school are you going to be at again?) Also, I'm looking forward to mentoring a first year teacher this year! Mentoring is one of my favorite things and it's like I get to live a first year vicariously through her. So fun :-)

    1. Haha I guess that's true, living vicariously! I think you will be an awesome mentor. And, I will be at Pershing this year ;)

  6. I think you are doing the math centers just right. You have to start out slow and build from there, I like you are planning to move around the room to make sure they are staying on task, that's the key to getting them up and running smoothly. I love your birds and the blue too! We'll be in the same boat meeting new parents. That is one of the things I will miss the most about my old school. There were many families that I had all of their children in my class.
    I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher


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