Saturday, November 24

' Tis the Season... for Procrastination?

Yes... yes, I have a project and lesson plans to do.... However, it is the holiday season.  

Holiday Season > Lesson Plans + Projects
...and as a result of that equation, I present you with this:
I am obsessed with the new digital scrapbook paper I got from moo&puppy's Etsy shop.  I'd say 99% of the fonts I used are from Kevin & Amanda's free font downloads.  

I guess that means my break is over... back to work!

Wednesday, November 21

Having a Ball...

WHOA! this whole student teaching and working right after thing is exhausting... and time consuming (proven by my lack of blog posts!)  Since it's student teaching taking up so much of my time, I figured I'd write about my placements especially because I have a lovely four day weekend! GOBBLE, GOBBLE!

For those of you who don't know the craziness that is student teaching, let me break it down for you.  For one whole semester (end of August to mid-December) I work with a cooperating teacher in an actual public school... unpaid :/ and have an advisor that comes and observes my teaching (don't even get me started on these advisors... let's just say they aren't so great at being on time... or even showing up in some cases).  Half of the semester is at one school, usually urban, and the other half is at another school, usually suburban.  My first placement was with fourth grade.  My second, and current, placement is in fifth grade... (usually one is placed in a grade 1-3 class and then a grade 4-6 class, however, I think it can be based on who has openings so I ended up with 4 & 5).  My background is working with younger kids because I have worked in daycares/preschools since highschool... a total of ten years!  I was a pre-k teacher for two years, and then I was a reading specialist working with 3-6 year olds.

Let me tell you, I was terrified to go to fourth grade...  I imagined fourth graders to be evil, unruly, disrespectful demons... haha, I'm exaggerating... kinda.  Well, what do ya know, I LOVED my fourth grade placement.  I could totally see myself working with fourth graders.  They are still mostly innocent kids, but they also have a level of independence that the younger kids don't always have (although, I did have a few pre-kindergarteners that I could say, "hey, can you get me that thing on the thing over there and they'd know exactly what I was talking about).  I really got along with my cooperating teacher too.  Every other week, I'd go to class with my fellow student teachers and I'd hear horror stories about their placements, but I was loving life.  My cooperating teacher and I have the same strict, but fun discipline mentality and because of that, the classroom ran really well.  I really miss those guys!  If we could have co-taught, it would have been awesome!

Now I am in fifth grade... hmm, what's that saying? "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"... cricket cricket...

Haha... just kidding... again... kinda.  Fifth grade is a lot different from fourth grade.  The students are very chatty, and not always as respectful as I'd like.  I understand that I have come into their classroom after most of the classroom management rules have been established... and I know it is a different school, but I can't really see myself teaching fifth grade... so, I suppose I am thankful for figuring that out now.  I am not saying that if I am offered the opportunity to teach fifth grade I won't, but if I ever have a chance to choose (ba haha), fifth grade would not be my first choice.   If I do ever end up teaching fifth grade, a big chunk of the beginning of the year will be spent on classroom management!

So, what have I learned from student teaching so far?
  • Classroom management is SO IMPORTANT... spend a lot of time on it!
  • Be firm, but fun... right from the beginning.
  • I secretly want a pair of hot pink & black Jordans... but I totally can't rock them.
  • Kids can dance better than me.
  • I'm obsessed with making worksheets & EVERYTHING on Microsoft Word! (who am I kidding I have always loved this, but lessons give me a purpose).
  • Take advantage of the teachable moments.
  • Fist fights happen... (between students, not teachers and students!)
  • Some lessons will be longer than you think... and others will be a lot shorter.
  • I suck at time management!
  • Be prepared & organized.
  • Other people are a little OCD about cute organizational things, just like me!
  • Laugh at yourself.
  • Breathe...
  • Not everything is a big deal, you've got to let some things go.  
  • I am going to kick ass as a teacher... it's definitely what I want to do (phew, I don't have to rob a bank and start working on another degree).  
Okay enough words, how about some pictures?!
Get it?! Having a BALL...

Chocolate covered Oreo basketballs and baseballs and chocolate covered strawberry footballs. 

What do these things have to do with student teaching?! I made these little gift bags and chocolate goodies for my fourth grade students and cooperating teacher.  The classroom had a sports theme, so I went along with that.  I think the corny sayings give it that extra oomph!

I already have my idea for my fifth graders (who, I must admit, are growing on me a little more each day), but that will be for another post... after I actually make them!

I'm feeling generous... here are the sports gift bag labels fo' free!  Happy Thanksgiving! :)