Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hellloooo Out There!

To say it's been awhile is an understatement!  What can I say, teaching, working at summer camp and my 3 kiddos have kept me uber busy!  Anywhoo, we've started a new school year here in MD and I have a new group of firsties to work with.  At the end of last  year I was really sad to let my kiddos go.  I seriously wanted to loop with them and even tossed the idea out to our new principal, but knew it wasn't going to happen.  Truthfully it's for the best since my AJ would have once again been in the same grade that I was teaching.  Having been with my new crew for almost 4 weeks now I can tell you I'm so glad I didn't!  Oh my goodness I love these kids already.  They have to be the most energetic, enthusiastic bunch ever!  They love any and everything we do.  They can be a little loud but we're working on it and they're learning.  21 sweeties who love to learn =  one happy teacher!

This year things have changed as far as our reading program and I couldn't be happier.  Our school is focusing on differentiated instruction and small groups which has really challenged me.  I did a lot more small group work last year so it's not a shock but there is a difference in being told to do something and doing cause you want to.  I am back to the D5 framework again this year and trying my best to not give up and do my own version before I give The Sisters recommendations a try.  At the beginning of this 4th week of school my students were reading 32 minutes during R2S.  Today and for the rest of the week we will be trying to do 20 minute rounds were they do either Word Work, R2S, or Work on Writing.  Since this is our trial week I am telling them were to go.  They did pretty good today.  As I have it laid out now I will be meeting with my groups M-Th, with Friday being a wrap-up day. I'm itching to get started and test out the D5 for real.  If any of you are still reading and you do D5 in your classroom along with a basal i.e. Treasures, how do you get your mini lessons in within 10 minutes?  That's my biggest fear for the coming week!

My hope is next week they can start choosing for themselves.  To avoid raising my voice and getting frustrated with my class I decided to takes things really S-L-O-W.  Over the summer my principal told my coworker and me that it was perfectly acceptable to take the whole month of September to introduce and practice routines.  She said it was ok if we didn't get into Treasures until October.  I decided to take her up on that offer and really focus on procedures during September.  It has gone really well.  I can tell the kids are ready for some responsibility and eager to start doing things for real.  Next week will be the test to see if giving them extra modeling/practice time benefited them.

I'll post pictures of my classroom in the next couple days.  I didn't think I changed much but all my students from last year seem to think I did.  I'm really happy with the way its coming along each year.  I have a few more changes to make but for the most part it feels more me then it ever has before!