Monday, August 22, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday

So, I am a fairly new teacher, but I've learned quite a bit in my three years (this is my fourth).

* If you are a new teacher, don't spend tons of time planning and organizing to your specific curriculum.  My first year in the AK I spent tons of time organizing my things to go with our First grade HM curriculum, which was pretty worthless considering I taught Kindergarten the next year. 

* Don't sweat the small stuff.  It may not be perfect, but it's okay.  Kiddos will probably not remember that the lesson you taught had cute clipart or a fun font, but they will remember the fun they had and the relationship that you build with them.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meet The Teacher Monday

 Tell us a little something about you...

My name is Miss W. and I teach in the frozen tundra of Alaska - the biggest (and least populated) state.  I grew up in Washington state and my family still lives there (my parents bought my grandparent's house). 

 How long have you been teaching?

This will be my fourth year teaching.  I taught half-time, half-day Kindergarten in Washington, taught 1st grade my first year in Alaska, and Kindergarten last year (after 5 days with my firsties) and am teaching Kindergarten again this year. 

What are you looking most forward to this school year?

Starting off with my kiddos.  Last year I started teaching 1st grade at the school I was hired at, and because of low numbers I was displaced after 5 days to a new school and a new grade level.  It was chaotic and crazy, and I was really not on my game for most of the year.  I am excited to be teaching the same grade level and same curriculum two years in a row!!!!

Also I am using Workstations this year and I am excited to teach my Super Stars how to work and use the hands-on activities (and the fact that I've planned them out based on our Houghton Mifflin themes and will only change them out every three weeks).

What do you need to improve?

I need to work on managing my time better and learning to leave things at work and have a personal life.  I am a perfectionist by nature and I have a hard time letting things be (ex. it needs to be cute and visually appealing).  I spend way too much time at school, but I'm hoping since I am teaching the same grade level and curriculum as last year I won't have to reinvent everything.

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?

Diet Pepsi - I live off of caffiene, I keep a stash in the cupboard by my desk.

Sharpies, Flair Pens and Chart Markers - Makes making charts and materials fun and cute!

Poppin' Patterns (by CTP) - super cute and fun bulletin board accents and calendar pieces.

My Macbook - I did afterschool tutoring my first year up here to earn money to buy it.  I {heart} it.  It has all of my charts, lables, and materials on it and goes pretty much everywhere with me.

My Kinder Team - They were my life savers last year and I am so excited we get to stay together this year.  We are all completely different, but we work well together (I'm the techie-support one!)

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Tomorrow is the big day!

I think I'm ready for tomorrow. I ran in real quick to grab somethings for my friend who is sub-starting a 1st grade class and snapped a picture with my phone. Hopefully I can take better pictures later this week.

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Monday, August 15, 2011


I have been busily getting my room ready for my new Kinder kiddos and today we had our staff training where we went over the expectations for our school year. It was mostly basic stuff, schedules, staff development, human resources stuff, but we also discussed my Principal's new expectations for our Lesson Plans.

Here's and excerpt

"Lesson plans should be written so that, if you were a substitute, you would feel comfortable in coming into the room and would know what was expected in each of the subjects to be taught that day (ie. subject, instruction each day, times, objectives, materials needed, special consideration for struggling students, extension activities etc. . .)"

And later

"The following items should be included, but not limited to in the daily lesson plans:
1.) Objective
2.) GLE's
3.) Lesson Materials
4.) Reteach/Review Materials
5.) Small Group Interventions
6.) Assessment"

I'm not quite sure where to begin. Does anyone have to have these detailed of Lesson Plans? What do you do? Is there a way that I can do this without my Lesson Plans being 20 pages long?