Sunday, May 27, 2012

Second Post of the Day but for a Good Reason!

I passed my second certification exam!!!! That means I can officially become a bilingual teacher in the public schools!!! I've been dreaming of this day since I was a college student..omg!!!! I am so excited right now!!!! :)
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I Have a New Blog!

If you know me, you know I love teaching more than anything in this world.  But I've decided to create another blog where I can just talk about what's going on in my life in general.

If your interested please visit Life Love and all the in Between. 

I think it's a great place to discuss other important topics that we deal with in our lives.  So check it out if you have time.

Thank you lovely people! Happy Sunday!
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Friday, May 25, 2012

The Beginning of the End

Today was last day of school. Hello summer...goodbye lesson plans...grading...report cards, you know all the "fun stuff".

Not gonna lie there were some tears shed, but I cry at the end of every school year and this class was so great, I'm going to miss them sooooo much! I'm telling you the second grade teacher at my school is one lucky teacher!

I have nothing planned for this weekend.  Charming went home for the weekend to attend his brother's HS graduation.  I will be doing much resting, cleaning, and budgeting.

I started  reading The Total Money Makeover and it has opened up a new light in my life.  I have spent money very stupidly but now I'm on track to fix my mistakes.  I'll try to keep you updated as I get my finances in order.

On Tuesday the teachers need to report back to school to do some paper work and cleaning up of our rooms. Then we are free. Tuesday is also the day I get my exam results. It's been three weeks and one day today and it's killing me!

Okay, time to go on Pinterest and then bedtime!  Night everyone!
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Superb Writer


I am sharing my passion for pencil pushing as a part of the Superb Writers’ Blogathon. In partnership with Grammarly grammar checker, this series is bringing helpful hints to aspiring superb writers all across the world wide web. 

If there is one thing other than teaching reading that I love, it’s teaching my first graders how to write.  I believe that having the ability to write well opens up many opportunities for my students to not only become aware of what quality writing looks like, but having fun doing so. 

When the students leave my classroom at the end of May, I know that they have the skills to become “Superb Writers”.  It takes a lot of time and effort but it is well worth it in the end.

During the first few weeks of school I review many basic yet important skills that first graders need to know to begin the writing process.  They need to understand why the beginning of a sentence has to have a capital letter.  The students also need to reread their sentence over again to see if it makes sense to them and if their reader will understand what they are trying to say. Lastly, I stress the importance of punctuation marks.  We go over and over these concepts until it is time to move on to other types of writing genres.

In order for children to become strong writers they need for their teacher to model quality writing.  Whenever I have the opportunity, I sit my students in our meeting area and I tell them that I need help with a particular story.  I explain the criteria it needs and ask them for their input and how I should start my story. This is where we brainstorm ideas for characters, setting, plot, etcetera.  I write down all their ideas on chart paper to model that this is a very important step in the writing process.  I always tell the children that brainstorming is where your imagination can come to life.  Once we jot down all our wonderful ideas, it’s time to put our story together. The children know that a story needs a title so I explain that it goes on the top middle line of our paper and that certain words in the title need a capital letter. The children and I work together to write the story and then we reread it together to show them that the story is free of errors and makes sense. 

The goal at the end of the modeling is to have the children work independently to produce their own writing piece.  I provide them with scratch paper so that they many jot down their ideas.  Since they are only first graders they need lots of guidance and I am there to help them along the way.  I also stress to them that they may not copy the story we came up with together, it must be their own using the skills they learned.  I give them about 15-20 minutes to brainstorm on the first day.  The second day they can begin to write their “sloppy copy”, I call it this because they know they will have to make corrections after we proof read their paper together.  On the third day they may continue writing if they are not finished. If they are finished then they may come see me one at a time to read their first draft.  I do not and this is very important, do not read their story.  The student must read it to me so they can understand where they made mistakes. They need to hear themselves read their story and learn to edit their own work.  If they do not catch their mistake(s) that is where I come in and make suggestions without hurting their feelings of course!  When we are finished correcting their work, I hand them a very nice sheet of paper and they know they must write their final product on there using their “sloppy copy” to guide them.

I have a rubric that my students follow in order to receive a high score.  It is scaled from one through four with one being the lowest.  I have samples that I created of each rubric number and the children understand why it received a particular number.  It isn’t a guessing game for them they know that if they produce quality over quantity it will get them a better grade in the end. 

The students in my room enjoy writing and I know that I have given them the tools and skills they need to move on in the writing process for years to come.  
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Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm Still Here

I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I'm here breathing, heavily from this heat, but still breathing.  Well what do you know it's finally happened, the last week of school is here!  I can't believe it's almost been 180 days since I first said hello to my students and now they're almost on their way to second grade. :(  They are such a great class and I'm going to miss them dearly, I really mean that. But we can't keep them forever. We can only hope that we made a bit of a difference in their lives and that they will keep something with them for years to come.

We had field day today and I am so exhausted.  I think it comes with the territory of almost being 30. Ha Jk! I just don't know where kids get all the energy from. I'm way tired!  Anyway, field day was fun for the most part. No injuries and the kids were really well behaved, I'd say field day was a success.  After field day, I was left with 3 kids, yes 3.  Parents have the option of taking their child after it's over and some had to work which is totally fine by me. Two of my boys played on the computer and one little girl helped me take down work, anchor charts, math materials, you name it, we did it.

I promised the kids that tomorrow we would have a raffle, it's actually more like take this stuff, I never use it and never will. Boy do kids love that stuff and are really looking forward to it. I'm sure their parents will thank me later. ;)

I went to the library today and it's voting season so I had 2 people harass ask me if I was voting, I just smiled and walked away.  I don't need to be pressured into early voting, thanks. I'm there to get my book and DVDs to survive the rest of this week!! I picked up "Last Day Blues"
 
I started tearing up a bit as I was reading it. I'm such a baby when it comes the end of the year. I want my break but I will def. miss my kiddos.

I'm still waiting on my test results for my exam. The 29th they say...I'm hoping I get them like now. They also say patience is a virtue...yea well that's a virtue I don't possess. I want it NOW!!  I need to know what the future holds for me as far as my career goes, is that too much to ask?  Okay enough!

I think I hear OREO cookies calling my name from the kitchen counter.  Prince charming and I love having cookies with milk after a long work week Friday evenings. I mentioned to him yesterday that we were going to make it a tradition of cookies and milk Fridays and a movie to go along with it or a TV show.  He said that we have to try new ones from time to time, I am so down for that, he's just my kind of guy. :)

Speaking of yesterday, he and I went over to IKEA because we LOVE it there. I had to restrain myself from buying things because I'm on a strict budget, but that's for another post.  Anyway, he got some necessities for his new apt. I'm excited for him and happy that he's going to stay in the DFW area :).  Well they are redoing IKEA and it's just a mess and they don't have much inventory which was very disappointing. I read a poster that said things would be back to normal by July, so we shall see. Don't go to IKEA in Frisco, TX til then if you're in my area.

Okay now those OREO cookies are screaming my name and I just have to answer!  I will try to blog again sometime this week!

What are your summer plans, I'd love to know?!
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Nameless Post

I sat there for a good five minutes and couldn't think of what to title this post so nameless it shall be!

We did our "Prefix Pals" and they came out really cute. Of course I forgot to bring my camera with me so I snapped a couple with my phone.

Check it out...



















Pretty cute eh? I'm going to hang them outside of my classroom tomorrow and take a decent picture of them. I promise!

Remember if you want a copy of this lesson just look at my previous post or click here :)

Just one quick thing before I go. My kids take home a spelling pack on Monday and it has to be returned on Friday. They can do lots of activities for spelling to reach 100 points by the end of the week. One of the activities is to draw a picture and hide their spelling words. Check out this picture...


Isn't this hilarious? One of my little girls drew it and it just made my night last night.  She always draws something that's so out there!! I LOVE it!! Plus her mom is my favorite pencil sharpener person in the world. She takes home a boat load of pencils every few weeks and they are all sharpened by the next day!!! I hate that job more than anything, it's made this year so much easier for me. :)

Time for me to do some planning okay you got me, Pin my life away. Ciao!!!!!
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Monday, May 7, 2012

Polygon Story and Prefix Pals!

Today was a good day as Mondays usually are. Tuesdays are an entirely different story, but I'll be keeping my fingers crossed.

As I mentioned in last night's post, I was introducing polygons to the children. I couldn't find anything great out there so that left the old brain to think of something quick and that would get the little ones attention. Well the kids LOVED my polygon baby story. They ate it up, I really didn't think they'd love it that much! By the end they were asking when Mrs. Polygon was going to have her babies and if I could bring in the babies when they're born! Ha ha...gotta love first graders!  So I might make some cute polygon figures this weekend and make them all baby like ya know! I think the kiddos love polygons and what a fun word to say!  Even the my little ones that struggle were into it.  You have to try it if you get the chance.

So we did our prefix anchor chart and web. The children did well on it but I'm not really sure they got it. I did however use the word "retake" in a sentence. "I hope I do not have to retake my test." Student raises his hand, "Ms. Campos, did you pass your Mexican test yet?" Other Children in my class, "(Child's name) it's a Spanish test, not Mexican..." Okay, I've been so stressed that listening to the innocence of a child just makes my day.  I simply corrected him while trying to hold back laughter and told the children that it's okay to make mistakes, because it is!

Okay where was I going with this whole prefix thing, ah yes, tomorrow we are going to do "Prefix Pals" (again nothing inspiring online, thanks to my cobweb brain I came up with the pals). Basically, I printed out "re" and "un" on cardstock along with base words. Then tomorrow the children will decorate their child template and glue the prefix on one friend's shirt and base word on the other friend's shirt. I think I'll have the pictures hold hands, not too sure though. I will snap pics of the activity and finished product.  I am adding it below just in case anyone would like a copy. Please keep in mind I have a small class of 12 so if you'd like more prefixes or words just let me know and I'll be glad to edit the file and e-mail it to you.

Here ya go...Also please keep in mind that each student will need two copies of a child template in order to complete this activity.


I apologize for the child template being blurry!! You can easily Google it by typing in, "Child Body Template" in images. It's the third picture in. Copy it and paste it into whatever program you use and enlarge it.  Prince charming taught me that if you hit shift and pull the image it doesn't distort it.  The picture is fine on my word application but the PDF messed it up!! GRR. Technology and I are just not getting along these days.

I think that's all for now.  I need to fold laundry and go to bed! Night bloggy friends!
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Like a Kid in a Candy Shop

Today was the big "jackpot" for teachers! I was able to get my hands on lots of freebies that I will be using next year.  I was downloading units like it was my job!  I hope you too were lucky enough to get your hands on some goodies! You still have time!

Well I have two more full weeks of teaching time left and it's going to be jam packed with stuff. The kids are going to be learning about the prefixes re and un. I will have pictures for you. I also made a sheet to go with my lesson. Basically I'm going to have an anchor chart with the prefixes on it and the kids are going to get colored paper with prefix words on them.  Then they are going to write the words on their prefix sheet.

Here's the freebie of it..enjoy!! Click on the picture.






















We're also going to be working on polygons tomorrow. I would share it with you because I came up with the cutest polygon story, but I messed up my computer last week and now whenever I go to open publisher files it just won't open!!! I can create them without a problem and open them from the program, but if I go to open it from anywhere else, it just won't do it!! I can't even turn them into PDFs. It's so annoying!!! What I can do however is take a screen shot for you...Sorry it looks terrible but like I said I can't PDF it :(.


















I do have a sheet to go with it that was somewhat Pinterest inspired with a touch of me.  You can click on the picture to download it as well.





















I guess that's all I have tonight for you all.  I'm getting tired and ready to call it a night!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Lovies!
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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Currently...Tired!

This one is short and sweet! I'm linking up with the Famous Farley for her May currently. May seriously?!
Enjoy!

All I'm saying is the Spanish part of the bilingual test was today. I'm glad that's over..now to wait on the results!! I don't get those until the end of MAY!!!! GRR! 

TGIF tomorrow and half-day for me :D 

Btw, we're having a Scholastic Book Fair and I'm kind of hating it because that's all my students are talking about and they don't buy books, they buy erasers and sharpeners, which makes me very upset!!!! Okay, I had two kids buy books but still, come on!!

I'll try to do a better job of posting and hopefully create some freebies for you guys! Nighty night!

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