Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The One with My Dossier

I've been working all morning on my Dossier.  I need to have it completed by July and it is a lot of work.  I have almost one section complete (there are 3).  If you don't know what a Dossier is, check out this post I posted a while ago: The One with Reading Mastery.

I've planned into my schedule to work on it for a least one hour each morning.  I thought I had so much done on it before and now I look at it and it seems so endless.  I guess I will have to buckle down more and get it completed.  AHHH!

I hope everyone had a fantastic 3 day weekend.  I had a pretty good one.  Got more work completed in the hall bath.  Walls are painted, light fixture is up and the floor is almost all ripped out.  Let me tell you, ripping out linoleum glued to a cement floor SUCKS!  But it's almost done.  Whew!

My oldest brother came down from Kansas to visit.  We had a barbeque at my parent's house on Sunday.  Monday we went to Target to get some laundry soap.  I also took the opportunity to take back a bungee chair a student gave me for an end of the year gift.  It was a really cool chair but I didn't have a use for it.  Here's a pic of it from Target's website:
It's a very neat chair but I already have a chair similar to it (no bungees though) in my classroom and I had no where to put it at home.  I decided to return it and use the money to buy stuff for my classroom.  Of course, I didn't buy anything yet.  I am switching to tables instead of desks next year and I have been looking for ways to store and organize the students' supplies.  I've done a lot of blog hopping and Google searches for ideas but haven't come up with anything I really like.  That is where the gift card I got from returning the chair comes in.  I'm hoping I can find some things to use in my classroom at Target.  Anybody have any ideas on what to get?  Anybody already have tables and can share some ideas that you do in your classroom?

Well, I need to get some other non-school related stuff done so "I'm off like a dirty shirt."

Friday, May 24, 2013

The One with the End of the Year

I told myself that I was going to blog more.  Well, I haven't kept my promise.  As many of you know the end of the year are crazy times.  My end of the year was no different but as of 2:00 yesterday, I am officially on summer break.

My summer break is going to be shorter than usual.  I am teaching summer school this year.  Our district is part of a program called SmartStart run by the University of Utah.  This program is a research based program where a group of students starts school 25 days before their peers.  This group of students stays together through third grade.  There is also a control group that does not do the extra 25 days.  This way the SmartStart people can see if the students are actually benefiting from the extra 25 days.

We had our AR carnival yesterday and I got to meet a few of the SmartStart kids I will get in June.  Their kindergarten teacher said the students are reading at a mid-first grade level.  I'm really excited about doing this program.

This past week my students have been wonderful.  After having them act like they've had a bad case of the crazies since spring break, it was a great end to the year.

Monday we watched James and the Giant Peach since we read the book a few weeks ago.  I was going to show it after our field trip to the zoo but it was brought to my attention that it contained a profanity.  So, I had to do a little work to find a way to remove the word from the movie.  I was going to not show it at all but my kids really wanted to watch it.  I was able make a digital copy of it to my laptop and using Windows Live Movie Maker I just cut out the small part that contained to profanity.  We also did fun centers during the day and had lots of outside time.

Tuesday was our awards assembly.  I gave out a ton of perfect attendance awards and student of the month awards.  I didn't have a single student that had perfect attendance for the whole year so I had to do it by quarter.

Wednesday we had the fire department come and they spray water all over the students.  The kids love it.

Thursday was our last day.  It was also the last day for the teachers.  The students were released at 1:45 and the teachers were released at 3:30 (our principal was nice and let us go once our rooms were packed).  We had the AR carnival in the morning.  Each teacher has an activity in their room and the students roam from room to room doing them.  It was a lot of fun.  After the carnival I put in Puss in Boots so I could get some time to finish packing up my room.  In the after noon, a parent volunteered to have an ice cream party for the students.  I also make a photo montage for the class of our year.  I added Bruno Mars' "Count On Me" for the song.  I had one student bawling by the end and a few others were almost in tears.  We had a crazy year but I will truly miss this class.

Here's some photos of my room on Wednesday after the kids left.  I was amazed I got it all packed up by 2:00 yesterday.  I hauled butt to get it all done.



 I have also decided to switch my theme to owls next year.  I've had monkeys for the last 3 years and the students acted like monkeys.  So I decided if I do owls maybe they will make wise choices.  We'll see.  I have had my associate busy creating these cute owls for my beginning of the year bulletin board.
 I have also decided to change out my behavior chart.  I don't have a photo of it.  I packed it up before I remembered to take a pic.  It's is based off of this one from First Grade Glitter and Giggles.
I like that the students can move up to positive reinforcement and not just go down to negative.  

Anyway, I need to get started on my summer bucket list.  I have to get our hallway bathroom finished.  It is taking forever!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The One With Lesson Planning

This has been a very busy weekend.  We got more work done on our 2nd bath.  Cleaned up the house some and sat down to get ready for the upcoming week.  It's funny to think that taking a break for me is not doing work around the house to get stuff ready for school.

While my boyfriend was watching Twister, I sat down to get lesson plans done. I also had to plan what my students will be doing for centers. That's the part I actually don't like that much.

This week we will be doing our last week in our reading curriculum. We still have 2 1/2 weeks left of school so next week I'm thinking of doing a review of the year.

This week we will be doing prefixes un and re. We will also do long o and long i (cv words). In writing we are learning about prepositions and prepositional phrases. We will also talk about reading and writing poems.

Our story for this week is Stone Garden. We usually read it first as a class (on Tuesday) and then do buddy reading of the story on Thursday. We will be using this story to review story elements of plot, setting, and characters.

For math, we will be finishing up our chapter on adding two-digit numbers. The students have been doing very well with this thus far. We have worked on place value since the first week of school so I think this has helped a lot. We will be solving word problems that have two-digit numbers. On Thursday we will have our chapter test.

We do Daily 5 for our reading interventions so that's usually set and ready to go each day. For math interventions we will be doing Dominoes (the kids love it), place value, greater or less than, 2D/3D shapes, and computers. On computers, our district purchased Education City a few years back so I set it up to go along with what we are learning.

Friday all of the first grade classes will be having our end of the year field trip to the Zoo. We will see the animals and ride the train and merry-go-round. The school district will also have a cookout for us at the zoo. We should be back by 1.

We have been reading James and the Giant Peach so we will probably watch the movie after we get back from the zoo. The students are usually pretty exhausted after we get back so getting decent work out of them is pretty difficult. Next week, we will compare and contrast the book and the movie.  If we finish the movie early, we will take some time to write about our trip to the zoo. 

 So all in all, it's going to be a pretty busy week.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The One With May Currently

Today was a not great day but not a bad day either. It was more of a survival day. I had a parent of a kindergartner come and observe my class. Her child has an IEP and she wanted to check out two of the first grade teachers to see which one she liked best. I was recommended from the school social worker. I was told the parent was only going to stay for 10 minutes... she was there for 45 minutes! I'm not sure if I want her to pick me. LOL. On one hand, it will be nice to have a parent that cares that much about her child's success. On the other hand, I've heard that the child is bit of a behavior problem. I've had my full of behavior problems this year. The rest of the day was pretty much the same as every other day. Lots of talking and arguing between the kids. Now onto my May Currently.

I decided to do some cleaning when I got home from work.  I sent my Roomba off to clean the floors.  Living in the desert leaves a lot of dust... EVERYWHERE!  I love my Roomba and would highly recommend the money spent on one.  

May has brought in some lovely weather (today was an exception).  It has been sunny and in the high 80s.  Today it was in the 50s.  BOO!

House renovations are taking their toll.  We have been working on our 2nd bathroom and it has been a pain. We decided to rip out all the tile in the shower because it had to be done.  Someone before us decided to install the tile over drywall.  The wall was wet behind the tile.  We took out the tile and drywall and have spent the last month putting up cement backer board and putting up white subway tile.  We finally finished the shower area last weekend so the rest should hopefully go by quickly.

I'm needing a clone... I think that one's pretty self explanatory.

My summer bucket list is pretty boring.  I would like to get the 2nd bathroom completed and redo the kitchen.  The kitchen is just all white and it needs some of our personal touches.

Now, head on over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade to do your own May Currently!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The One With Instragram

Mr. Michelbook is BACK!!!!

It has been a few crazy months.  I have been so busy with teaching and working on the house that I took a major break from blogging.  I even stopped reading blogs and just took myself completely out of the blogging world.  I missed it but time was an issue.

I know some of you use blogging as a release from the daily ventures.  I love blogging and so glad to be back.  There has been a lot going on and I think it's time for a quick recap.

We have about 3 1/2 weeks left of school.  The kids have been insane in the classroom.  I feel like I need to leave them at the zoo when we go on our field trip in 9 days.  I have searched for ideas for ways to keep them under control.  I thought I would share a few of them that I have found (or borrowed from the teacher next door).

One major problem was blurting out.  I found on Pinterest a teacher (sorry I don't remember exactly who it was) that created a Blurt Chart.  I took her idea and changed it some to work effectively in my classroom.   Here's a pic of what I came up with:

 I used poster board and I chose to use numbers for each student so I can use it again next year.  Each student starts the day with 3 clothes pins (blurts).  I wrote smiley faces on each one.  One the side of the chart, I used an old baby wipes containers to hold the clothes pins that they lose.  If they keep all three blurts, they get a sticker.  After 5 stickers, they get to pick from the prize box.  If they lose all three of their blurts they have to lose a star on our behavior chart.  The kids have been loving this.

I also borrowed this following idea from the teacher in the classroom next door to mine.  She used cardboard for the crust.  The cheese is made from the paper "grass" used in Easter baskets.  The pepperonis are made from red poster board.
Each time the whole class follows the rules correctly they earn a pepperoni.  The class needs to put 25 pepperonis on the pizza to earn a pizza party.  She numbered all 25 pepperonis so she wouldn't have to count them each time.  I have used this same exact idea in my class and it's working great.  Do the students earn pepperonis every day?  No!  but they do try to work hard to earn them.  We are up to 13 pepperonis on our pizza.  It's nice too, because I can ask them "we have 13 pepperonis and we need 25.  How many more do we need to earn?"  Hands shoot up to answer the question each time we earn a pepperoni.

What are some ways you are keeping your monkeys under control during this time of year?

Now to my last thing before I'm blogged out.  I have decided to join Clutter Free Classroom on her Instagram challange.  It's a May Photo-a-Day.  Here's a link to it:

If you would like follow me on Instagram,  click here: Instagram
Hope you join in on the fun