Thursday, September 10, 2015

1st Week of School

Hey y'all!

Phew!  I forgot just how TIRING the first week back to school is.  I'll tell you what though, I'm definitely not as tired this year as I have been in years past.  I'm still trying to figure out why that is.  Is it because I have 3rd graders now, the oldest age group I've had so far?  Is it because I was able to get into my classroom throughout the summer and decorate/set up/organize so I wasn't rushing to do it all to my liking during my last two weeks of summer?  Or is it because I am only teaching Language Arts this year?  I don't know.  I'll reevaluate next week and see if my level of exhaustion plummets.  Though I'm not fighting to stay up until an acceptable hour, I am still tired.  Therefore, this is going to be a QUICK blog post!

I just wanted to share with you a little bit about my first week back with kiddos.  As you know, the first week is FULL of teaching rules and procedures, paperwork coming out of the wood works, learning a new schedule, and oh yeah... some instruction.  I definitely haven't gotten to everything I had planned, but I'd rather be over prepared rather than standing there like a fool staring at my kids.  Below you will find a short list of books that I have managed to get in this week.  Some I have used before and some are brand new ones I purchased this year and am IN LOVE!

The illustrations in Lacey Walker, Nonstop Talker are absolutely adorable.  I was nervous my 3rd graders might not enjoy this one, but they LOVED it.  Now when someone becomes too chatty they are referred to as Lacey Walker. haha.  Love it!

This one is an oldie, but such a goodie.  I brought in my personal copy that my mother purchased for me when I was a child.  I love reading books that I have owned for years to my students.  The sweet message in this story really pulls on my heart strings every single time. 

Of course... Do Unto Otters... I feel like everyone reads this book.  Surprisingly enough, most of my students had never heard of it before.  Laurie Keller is amazing!  I love so many of her other popular titles as well.  The puns in this book have me giggling every time. Too cute!

I purchased this book when I was at college and working an elementary school book fair.  I'm a Kappa Kappa Gamma and our animal is an owl so naturally... I had to have it.  This is a PERFECT book to read at the beginning of the year because it makes great conversation about diversity.  

I LOVE Andrew Clements!  When I was a kid, one of my favorite chapter books was Frindle.  I'm pretty sure my mom bought me almost every Andrew Clements book.  A few years ago, while subbing, a 3rd grade teacher had this book in her lesson plans as a daily read aloud.  I fell in love and thought it was perfect for the beginning of the year.  

I saw this book in Barnes & Noble a few times and couldn't help myself from flipping through to look at the pictures every time.  I didn't even read it because of how precious the illustrations were.  I decided to buy it this year and read it to my class.  I LOVED the adorable story of Beekle and his human.  It really sparked up some great conversation with my gifted cluster class. 

In addition to reading these fabulous books I introduced/went over expectations for Read to Self.  I had plans to start Work on Writing as well, but we all know how overwhelming the first week can be. I'm hoping tomorrow we can get the ball rolling.  I was beyond amazed with how well my classes have done with building their stamina in just two days.  Now I know The Daily 5 book suggests starting small with 3 minutes, but I figured I would let them go for as long as they could until I could see they started to get antsy and stare off into La-La Land.  I couldn't believe my gifted cluster class lasted 16 minutes on the first try.  That is 16 minutes of engaged reading, no movement, no talking... JUST READING!  I thought, NO WAY that can be possible.  But once I stopped them, I had several students rushing up to me to share the books they fell in love with.  Wow!  My general ed class struggled through 6 minutes on the first day which was more what I expected.  However, once they saw the switch class's stamina time, they were determined.  I swear, I started at them, moving my eyes all about the room WAITING for SOMEONE to become off task and look like they were faking it.  Either these kids are fabulous actors and actresses or they were really motivated.  I was so proud of their 10 minute stamina gain to 16 minutes.  I'm telling you... hold kids to a high standard and they will at least attempt to rise to them.  

Well... that's it from me for now.  This teacher is going to BED before my first Friday of the school year.  Hallelujah! Before you exit out, make sure to download this freebie!  I had some Instagram followers ask about my Stamina Chart I had posted on my wall.  I tried blowing it up onto 11x17 at our Teacher Production Center, but was stressed out by the overwhelming amount of people there so I settled for a regular sheet of paper.  No biggie because it's still SUPER cute... if I do say so myself. 

Thanks for stopping by, y'all! TGIF!

No comments:

Post a Comment