Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Paper Passers

Summer school started on the 8th and it got really busy.  Go figure!  I've been wanting to post but finding time or energy to post was a problem.  Now that two weeks of summer school has flown by I figured now would be as good time as any to share with you how I handle paper passing.  I also use this to deal with scissors, glue sponges, and manipulatives.
I hate passing out worksheets and other things.  It takes up valuable time and leads to talking and behavior issues.  The students that get their papers first get bored and tired of waiting for me to finish passing out worksheets and for the last kids to get ready.  I worked on this issue a lot last year.  I had a very (I mean VERY!) loud, talkative class.  I also had lots of behavior issues.  I had to find ways to combat these issues and make better use of my time.  However, I'm not saying that my new way is te best way but it has definitely saved time and cut out fighting.
Let me start with how the students are grouped.  We have desks and the students are grouped in pods of 4.  The students keep their supplies (pencils, crayons, erasers, and markers) in their pencil box that is kept in their desk.  The only other thing in their desks is their homework folder.  This way any fliers or completed work can be put right into their folders.
In the middle of each 4 desk pod is a green bin.  I bought the bins at Dollar Tree.  Inside each bin are their scissors and a glue sponge.  We spend a lot of time at the beginning of the year practicing to share the glue sponge and use patience while others are using it.

Now comes to the part about the paper passer.  Each week I pick a paper passer for each pod.  This student is responsible to passing out all supplies and papers to their friends in their pod. Only this student can touch the stuff in the bin and only after I had told them to pass them out (this takes some practice too).  Every Monday, I take a Sharpie and I draw a smiley face on the corner of one desk in each pod.  Like this:
 I always remind them as they walk in Monday morning to check their desk for a smiley face to let them know they are paper passer for the week.  To remove it I use hand sanitizer.  Some dark colors don't always remove as easily.  For the more stubborn colors, I also use an eraser and just erase the smiley face.  (I usually try to stay with the lighter, brighter colors.)

Now on to the bins and paper passing.  Each bin always holds the group's glue sponge and scissors (as mentioned before).  I also use the bins to put in manipulatives we will use that day.  Students are not to touch the bins until I tell them to.  When I pass out papers I just count four for the pod and I set them in the bin.
The students are not allowed to touch them until I say so.  It has really worked well and it was such an easy system to set up.  Not really sure if it's the best system out there but it definitely works well in my class.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June Currently

Today I spent some time at trainings for new intervention software for math and reading.  My district is going with Symphony for math and Lexia for reading.  My school has used Lexia before but our district decided that they wanted to go district wide on iREAD last year.  However, it was a huge flop.  My students disliked it and I was not able to monitor their progress in a timely manner.  I liked Lexia.  I'm not experienced enough with Symphony to tell yet.  Ask me in about a month!

Now on to my Currently for June.

Most are pretty self explanatory.  I do start summer school on Monday.  I moved classrooms so I will have one day to be set-up in my new classroom for summer school.  I would really like an extra week but I know it will not happen at this point.  Also, if I get the extra week now that's a week taken away from my break after summer school.  I guess I can live with the shorter break now.

I had so much fun on our camping trip that we are already planning a longer one for after summer school lets out.  I am also going to use this time during my summer school time and break time to plan more stuff for the beginning of the year.  I will then use the remainder of the time to relax.  We all need to relax, right!?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Starting Over!

I have decided to start this whole blogging thing over again.  I don't know why I haven't blogged in about a year.  I do miss it.  I do like it, too.  I just got down and felt like no one was reading.  Then, I think, who was I doing this for in the first place?!  ME!  It's all about ME!
A weird thing is after a year all my pictures are gone from my posts.  I don't know what happened to them but that was another good reason to start over.  I have also decided with this starting over phase to redesign my blog.  Hope you like!

So here I am... starting it all over.  I am currently a first grade teacher in Roswell, New Mexico.  I'm on summer break (until Friday when I start teaching summer school).  My first week on summer break was a busy one.  I spent a lot of time getting ready for a camping trip that me and the hubs were going on.  Our camping trip was only for the weekend.  He had to go back to work today.  It was also our first camping trip together.  I love camping but hadn't done it for about 15 years.  The hubs and I have been together for about 11 years.  I took some photos of our camping trip but not a lot.  I was having phone troubles.  It wouldn't hold a charge for long because it was consistently looking for service.  

Here are the photos of our trip.  By the way, we stayed at Along the River RV Park in Capitan, NM.  It is about an hour or so away.   


Here's my small 2013 Ford Focus all packed up for the trip.  I'm amazed that it all fit.  We had to stick a few things in the backseat with the dogs.  One of the dogs got sick and vomited all over the seat.  Yuk!!!
Here's our campground spot.  Sans all the stuff packed in the car.


These are all pics of the park.  It was really nice.  I liked being able to hear the river.  It was right next to us.  However, it got so cold at night.  Brrr!
 Here's our camp spot.  Our site didn't have a picnic table.  So, we took the one from the camp site next door (nobody was staying on our side).

 Deer walked right above our camp site.  It was so cool!  There was a family of about 7 of them.  They drove the dogs crazy!  Our chihuahua, Dori, barked like a mad woman.  However, it didn't phase the deer one bit.
Here we are making s'mores.  That's my husbands marshmallow stick.  And that is all the photos I was able to take.  It was a lot of fun and we plan to go on a longer trip after summer school is done.

I can't promise that I will post everyday but I will try much harder to stay up on my blog.  I really do enjoy it and want to keep doing it.