This week was a whirlwind of meetings, leadership obligations, and managing student behavior, but I stuck with my mantra "I'm going to ROCK this week!"
This week has gone by so fast, and I'm kind of glad that it is over. Not because of the kids, my students are FANTASTIC and we are having a BLAST together. But because of everything else that makes teaching a lifestyle, not a career.
I had recess duty last week and this week. I am now realizing that my actual lunch, my actual eating and sitting down to take a breather is really more like 15 minutes instead of the required 30. I am the kind of teacher that does not work through lunch. I know many teachers are not that way, heck even my own cooperating teacher wasn't that way when I was student teaching. She was always go, go, go! But I am. I plan my day so that I get my "me" time. If it truly was the whole 30 minutes I wouldn't complain, but it is not. After dropping the kids off at the cafeteria, make sure they get through the line safely, go to the restroom myself, check my mailbox, grab my lunch-bag and finally sit down: oh no, only 15 minutes left!
I have this week coming up off and I plan to enjoy every single minute! I hope next year we can come up with a better plan to allow for our playgrounds to be safely supervised, reducing behaviors, while also giving teachers their true 30 minutes. Since I'm on Leadership I have a voice! This year I will just get through it as best I can.
I am feeling more and more that this year is like my very first year of teaching in that I am constantly planning and remaking the wheel. I have no lessons I can reuse and tweak to make better like previous years. Everything must be made from scratch to fit both 2nd and 3rd, and sometimes I have to make 4 lessons for one subject block per day to incorporate the different abilities of my students. My planning time has been taken up with meetings and extra things so that I rarely have time to just sit and plan.
My goal this coming week is to only use my planning time for PLANNING. Any extra stuff will need to wait because my kiddos come first and I am ready to stop bringing stuff home almost every single day. I got a HUGE chunk of planning done on Saturday, but no more!
If you saw my Instagram over the weekend you saw what my Saturday was like from 11-5!
I was still able to get a date night in, I told my husband 5pm was my deadline no matter what and miraculously I worked smarter and not harder and got it done. I am still using the same template I have always used in years past for reading, guided, and math. The time consuming part comes in when I am deciphering 2nd grade's curriculum requirements since it is new to me (first year flashbacks!).
Let me know what your highs and lows from the week were!
This week flew by, and I knew it would! I am so glad I spent the three day weekend resting up and planning. I knew teaching a 2/3 split class would be a challenge, and I am enjoying the challenge. So far most things have been staying the same like Guided Reading, Science, and Writing. But some things will need to change soon.
I am figuring out how to teach two different curriculum topics to two different grade levels while still respecting the different learning paces of my students. I have higher achieving 2nd graders, and lower achieving 3rd graders. This upcoming week I think I am going to play around with Pear Deck, which allows you to project your lessons onto the devices of your students and engage them with interactive real time questions, scenarios, writing, drawing, and voting. This is a subscription based tool, but they have a limited free version available.
For writing I will probably be diving deeper into Michael Friermood's Keep It Fresh! Writing Bundles. If you haven't checked out Michael's stuff or his blog you definitely should. His products are amazing. In my video I mention an end of year activity we did called an Inspirational Quote Quilt. Not only did my kiddos have a blast making it last year, but it served as a great community builder for this year!
I also mention that I have been using Mystery Science. I absolutely LOVE this program! It gives you the option when you first sign up to do your state's science standard or to follow the NGSS. I chose the NGSS and it has been working out really well for me, especially because they were really confusing to me when I first looked at them over summer!
Lastly, I did end up going to Old Navy on Sunday, but I didn't end up buying anything. I tried on some Pixie Pants (my favorite work pant) to check out some different colors. Their sale right now is an extra 20% off online and in store with their website coupon. Site wide select styles of pants are already marked down 40%. If you are not a subscriber I would highly recommend signing up, they will give you 30% off right away. If you don't like a slim pant I would go with the Harper style (it needs an ironed crease to look super chic though, and they can stretch out, so be careful of the size you choose.) I will be waiting for Old Navy to release their Fall Pixie colors before purchasing more pants or tops for now.
How was your short week? Anything interesting or fun happen over the weekend?
Make planning for partners, small groups, and extensions a breeze using my Bell Curve Group Planner. Data informed and easily customizable for any subject and grade!
I'm Mae and I am an Educational Technology Coach who supports Kinder through 8th grade teachers; I am Thinking Maps trained, with a Master's Degree in Elementary Education!