Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Made it through the first day back!

Whew, I made it through the first day back. Most of the kids came back ready to learn and were not surprised that we had work to do, which is always a nice treat.
Because we missed school yesterday, we actually hit the ground running and started off with a mid-year writing prompt. We have 2 months until our big writing test, so we will be getting serious about writing. It really was a great way for them to see how ready they are for the big day. 

When I mentioned that we would be sending home sign up sheets for Saturday school as an extra prep opportunity, I was really excited that several kids thought it would be fun and plan to sign up. Woot Woot, they want to do well. 
We stuck to the time constraints of the actual writing test, so it was a real eye opener for them, and now I know who I have to really spend some time pushing to write faster.

While the kids wrote, I did some planning, and was able to come up with solid plans for writing and reading for the next month and a half. My co-teacher and I were able to sit and talk through our literature units and plan for as many practice writing tests as possible before March 5th. 
We have a lot to do over the next 2 months, but it seemed doable and we really feel ready for the task at hand. It probably helps that we have worked together for 10 years, understand each other so well, and have a realistic attitude about what we can accomplish. 
Another great thing about being back to school is that my sons all got a chance to get out of the house and be away from each other. It meant they actually got along when they were around each other. Being cooped up in the house over the last few freezing days was not good for any of us! So it was glorious to each get to go our own ways and spend time with people our own age, that goes for me too (I miss my teaching buddies over the break).
I stuck to my resolution of taking better care of myself too, I drank some herbal tea, a few glasses of water, no soda, and stopped eating when I was full. I also got back on the workout regime. After school we started T25. 
Man, I am out of shape! I thought Jillian Michael's workout was hard, yikes, I was not ready for today. I will be more motivated to keep going since I am working out with teacher friends and we are committed to helping each other. There is a lot to be said about positive peer pressure! 
Ok, some promised pictures....
My BINGO reward board.
I cut the letters and numbers out with my Silhouette on sticker paper and zipped the chart through the laminator. Students who completed their winter reading challenge got to write their number in a square and I plan to pull a number by Friday. The kids were excited about the board and the options for some new incentives.
Another project I made with the Silhouette. 
I traced the face with the Silhouette software and used the cut outs to paint the face on the canvas. 
The kids loved it. Since we are such huge fans of the book, Wonder, I wanted to keep a little memento with the positive message. (You can't blend in if you were born to stand out. and Everyone deserves a Standing Ovation!) I plan to give kids more standing ovations in the second half of the year as they meet their goals. 

Before break I assigned the Winter Break Reading Challenge to my students. It is a great (free) activity from More than a Worksheet. 
One student misplaced her sheet so she wrote it out on a piece of paper, that made my day! Here are some the completed ones. (I will definitely use this again next year.)
The reading challenge they completed. Add 10 marshmallows. Each marshmallow represented 20 minutes of reading over the break. I loved how creative this student was. 
Since only a few completed the activity, I rewarded them with a sweet treat. I hardly ever give out candy, so it got them talking and really made the kids who completed the work feel special. 
After a long day of work and working out, I am ready to call it a night. It was a great start to our new year. Tomorrow we will keep running through our curriculum of fractions, inventors, reading, writing, and earth science. 
Hope you are staying warm, defrosting, and if you are back in the classroom that all went well for you. For those, who are still at home because of the frozen conditions, I hope things are thawing out so you can get back in the teaching groove!

1 comment:

  1. That is so funny that you posted about the Winter Reading Challenge...I did this activity too and took pictues of my kids'. I just never got around to blogging about it yesterday! Oops! Glad you guys got back to school today. We have our big writing test in 4th grade. I am glad I looped back up to 5th this year because that test stresses me out. Instead our 5th's do Science this addition to Reading and Math. that I think about it, it all stresses me out! LOL!
    I keep hearing good things about this T25. Keep me updated. I'm horrible about sticking to any program for long. I have been juicing for 4 days and am down 8 pounds. I'm hoping I will keep it off when I go back to food.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'


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