Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bloggin' Cause I Can

I haven't blogged in forever and a half so I figured I'd get a quick post in before I call it a night. Yes, it's almost 9 and yes, I believe that is a great time to go to bed!

Well, for most of you that don't know or haven't read in a while, I was turned into an ESL/Bilingual Teacher the first week of school.  Let's just say my life has been hectic to say the least.

It wasn't ideal (for me) but after all they're kids and they're great kids at that.  They've grown on me.  I think I'm just so used to little first graders who think every word you say is gold, third graders are in that in-between phase.  They still enjoy learning yet are testing to see what they can get away with. Well, I'm tough but I'm nice.  Tough love I guess you can call it.

I think they appreciate that I can make them laugh when I start randomly bursting into song, take for example, one child left my Daily 5 markers on their desk and didn't clean them up. So I started singing, "Who left the makers out, whooo whoooo whooooo..." Get it? Like "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Yes, I did that. They totally got a kick out of it. I'm so goofy sometimes.

So what's it like teaching a bilingual/ESL class. Well it's not easy. I have to make TONS of accommodations and making sure I'm teaching in English and in Spanish and making sure my Bilingual kiddos don't start writing in English when they're not supposed to. Expect in math and science because that's just plain old English time.  Language arts instruction is tons of fun, no, not really.

I currently have eight different reading groups. Yes, you read correctly, 8.  Their reading levels are all over the place and I have two groups who are in Spanish reading groups who I sort of blotched together based on their ISIP Spanish scores.  My English reading groups are off to a great start, I have paired them up by their DRA level and they are coming along nicely.  I love teaching reading, I swear I could teach reading strategies all day! Hmm, perhaps I see reading specialist in my future? It's honestly, something I've been thinking about. I'm very passionate about it, so we shall see where the road takes me.

Have I mentioned I don't have any textbooks! HA! Thank goodness for online editions of the textbooks and TE's, I wouldn't know what I would do.  I think you'd really have to come into my classroom to fully understand how exhausting one day of teaching truly is.  But I love it!

Let's see, as far as my personal life goes, okay you've got to be kidding me, what personal life?  Teaching has taken over my life, especially since I feel like a first year all over again.  But nothing special is going on, it's actually quite depressing. I come home, do some planning, grade papers, go online for a bit, then clonk out.  I think I need to join some kind of fitness class just to get me out and meet people. I've become a hermit crap, it's quite pathetic. :(  Okay, I'm done complaining.

Well, I think that catches me up for tonight. If you're reading have a great evening!
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Monday, September 3, 2012


Happy Monday blog world!  It was a great three day weekend and I think I'm ready to start teaching.  Yes, I think I can, I think I can.  Anyway, I promised to post pictures of my classroom but I was so gosh darn tired this past week that blogging was the last thing on my mind.  It was a crazy first week of school, but I survived.

I went from having six students to seventeen.  They changed my bilingual program a bit. So while I still am considered a bilingual teacher, I must teach all subjects in English.  When I work in small group with my bilingual students then I can speak in Spanish. Make sense? If you're still confused leave me a comment and I'll clarify.  I was upset at first but it's just one of those things I have to deal with.

Okay enough blabbing, here are some pictures of my room. Keep in mind some things have changed...

My WW is bigger now. We aren't doing a traditional spelling program at my school this year.

My pathetic library. I need more books! Actually I do have a bit more than the ones seen here.

The orange still lives

This curtain is no longer up. The rod is broken so I will replace it soon. I think?

Kiddos doing Daily 5. That's when I was at six!

So we're not supposed to teach math in whole group anymore and I'm okay with that.  I did however, have no clue how to do math stations. I figured it would be an easy task since Daily 5 is pretty simple and straightforward. Well no, it took me an entire weekend to figure out what I was going to do. Call me dumb but I am a planner and I don't stop until things go smoothly.  Well I picked up Debbie Diller's Math Station book and she suggested not having more than two students to a group. Two is a good number because there's less room for chaos, and I don't do chaos.  I did make one group three, but that will be changing daily based on when I'll be meeting with certain kiddos.  I attached velcro to the back so it makes it easy to move things around.  There it is on the bottom.  The stations were really easy to create (okay some I bought at the teacher store, but they were cheap). I will be adding and taking away some as the year goes on but for right now this works. :)

Okay, time for me to get some sleep.  I have 17 third graders to teach! 


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