Tuesday, September 6, 2011

8 hours of teaching down, and I feel like Jack Bauer. Give me 16 more.

Well, friends, I survived day 1 of teaching from 7:50 to 3:50! I even am feeling pretty great! Last night I had a horrible time falling asleep, terrified at the prospect of teaching for so long. As most of you may know, I taught kindergarten the past two years...but I taught HALF day kindergarten. From 8:20 to 11:40. So I went from 3 hours and 20 minutes with my students to 8 hours with them.

When I finished teaching today, I felt like it should be about noon...but it was 4 o'clock! Craziness! Somehow I made it, and we did everything we had planned, with the exception of our math cut and paste. One of my goals this year is to be more self-aware so I can improve my practice in the classroom. One way I plan to do this is OUT of the classroom: reflecting daily! I have a great journal that I am using when I have time, but some days, like today I am going to opt for my blog.

For those of you wondering, "What on earth do you do with 25 4, 5, and 6 year olds from 8 hours?" well, allow me to elaborate.

7:40-7:55 a.m. Family Literacy--Right now, students quietly work at their tables on an activity. Next week families will come in and work with students.

7:55-8:15 a.m. Morning Meeting

8:15-9:15 a.m. Phonics/Centers/Guided Reading--We need to work on the rotations a bit more, but given how new this was to the class today, they did a great job!

9:15-9:35 a.m. Read Aloud--I was so pleased with how much Think Pair Share my students were able to do today.

9:35-9:50 a.m. Recess

9:50-10:20 a.m. Reading Comprehension--Our strategy for the next two weeks is making predictions. I need to do a better job modeling this, but overall, students did great today!

10:20-11 a.m. Writing--Success! Students used white boards, walked around the room without talking, and wrote down words they saw.

11-12 p.m. Math--Definitely a focus of mine tomorrow. How do I make math whole group more engaging and paced well?

12-12:05 p.m. Naptime set up (oh yes, we have naptime! woohoo!)

12:05-12:50 p.m. Lunch! This is my first break in the day from students, and today I actually ate some lunch!

12:50-1:15 p.m. Naptime. Right now, the sticker fairy is loving coming around and putting stickers on the shoes of students who fall asleep.

1:15-1:35 p.m. Message Time Plus--This is like Morning Message amplified...way more intense and far more purposeful than anything I've ever done like this.

1:35-2:15 p.m. Art/Spanish

2:15-2:35 p.m. Calendar Math--My calendar is up and looking snazzy! Will have to take photos of it.

2:35-2:40 p.m. Snack

2:40-3:05 p.m. SS/Tech--Right now this has been practicing a new center. Today we practiced Poetry center.

3:05-3:40 p.m. Values/Choice/Art/Spanish--Depending on the day, students may go to a class,  someone may come to us, or they may have more time in centers. Today we had a 2nd dose of art!

3:40-3:50 p.m. Values Circle

3:50 p.m. Dismissal

Phew. What a long day! I am starting to feel exhausted now (and will probably be asleep by 9), but I am feeling so much better about tomorrow!

My goals for tomorrow are:
1. Deliver content whole group more explicitly and clearly.

2. Make sure I am getting 100% participation and engagement so that the content actually is being processed!

3. Practice Poetry Center and Library activities to ensure students are actively participating during centers.

Where I need your help:

The paper trail! I have never had so much paper! For each day of the week I have (and we lesson plan a week at a time so there's a LOT of paper!):
1. GP materials for each lesson
2. IP materials for each lesson
3. Homework
4. Lesson plans

Here's what is most crazy about all this--I have lessons (so GP and IP materials for 25 students PLUS LPs) for:
1. Math
2. Writing
3. Reading Comp.
4. Phonics
5. Small Group Literacy

How do you manage it? I just brought in my stackable drawers, and they seem to be helping already, but I would love any thoughts you have!

Hoping everyone is having very wonderful starts to the school year!

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