Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Today I had to fast. And I don’t mean I had to “go” fast. I mean I had to fast, as in not eat, as in starve….. I had a doctor’s appt. after school for a followup check on my “high” cholesterol. Since I didn’t want a morning appt. because I don’t like being out of work, my appt. was for 3:30 this afternoon, and I was not allowed to eat since before midnight. O.M.G. If you ever try to do this be aware of what might happen within your body: dizziness, disorientation, nausea, inability to focus, possibility of falling out on the floor, etc. 🙂 And what’s REALLY sad about the WHOLE situation is this- my cholesterol is STILL too high. Sigh. But let me tell you that the food at the Mexican rest. in Roanoke was the BEST food I think I have ever eaten!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, mother I cleaned my plate and nobody had to tell me twice! 🙂
Now on to our school day. Why is it taking me 45 minutes to cover word study and english each day?????? As I was rethinking my entire curriculum this summer I only planned about 15(maybe 20) minutes each day for word study AND english so that the rest of our time could be devoted to reading, writing, and small group instruction. Can I PLEEEEEEASE have about 2 more hours each school day? It seems that will be the only way I can do everything I want to do with the kids AND do it well. OK-I do see some light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel is kinda long right now. 🙂 This is my plan for english this year:
I am trying to go ahead and introduce/teach ALL of the english skills/concepts that we will work with this year for the next few weeks and THEN the entire year will just be devoted to reviewing. So once we begin the daily review it will only take 5-10 minutes, but right now it’s taking forever and a day to practice these new things each week. 🙂
I finished the “False Alarm” chapter of our read aloud-Helen (Bad Helen) set off an alarm clock in the middle of reading class, and then she shot some firecrackers near the school. We can’t wait to find out what happens because the next chapter is called “Discipline Slips”.
We finished up our compare and contrast essay today-I think I might have them write one independently to see who caught on to the format of an essay AND to check out their writing abilities. Especially since by the end of the year I want them to be able to write a persuasive argument about a topic (easily) and I’m thinking a small research paper.
I tried something new today in reading-it went well in my 2nd class-not so well in my 1st class. Reciprocal teaching. This is really just having students interact with each other in groups with the text they are reading. Each person in the group has a different job-Connector, Summarizer, Predictor, Questioner, The Boss (Team leader). Of course, we didn’t have time to actually complete the entire process so we will work with this again tomorrow and Friday with the same text. There seems to be A LOT of research on this teaching strategy so I hope to continue to use it throughout the year. I think it just takes us awhile to truly understand some things in the beginning stages-I guess because the things we are doing are so different than what they may be used to. Hopefully, it will smooth out. I had my 1st class talk and share what they think the main issues were that kept them from really getting into the reciprocal teaching-the ability to work in a group kept coming up. I just assumed that they could work in groups since they went to literacy centers everyday in K-3. One student told me that even though they went to these literacy centers they still mainly did independent work while at the centers. Oh. Now I know that I need to go back and MODEL how to work in groups. 🙂
Our scholastic book order arrived today. YEA!!! And I had 2 students ask when I was going to send the next one home because they didn’t get a chance to order anything. Happy dance!