HOORAY FOR SATURDAY! 🙂
I don’t have a picture for this one!! JUST WORDS! Bear with me . . .
After being out for THREE WHOLE weeks (and Monday) for winter break, we returned this past Tuesday, January 16th. And while I complained and groaned and dragged my feet because we had to teach until December 22, I am here to tell you, THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT.
As stressful as it was teaching up until practically Christmas Eve, as crazy as the kids were, as bonkers as I was, having all that time to relax AFTER Christmas was AMAZING.
I was READY to go back. I wasn’t ready to give up sleeping in, drinking HOT coffee, or peeing whenever I wanted to, but I was ready to see my kids. I missed them! I missed my teammates and my friends and I missed the routine of it all!
This week has been WONDERFUL.
The First Grade Christmas Miracles are in full effect. Meaning . . . my kids get it. They get me, they get our schedule, they understand why I like things a certain way, they can expect laughter and a looney-tunes teacher who breaks out into song or a Texas accent just because, they know I have high expectations, etc etc etc. We are a well-oiled machine. This is my FAVORITE time of the year! They aren’t anywhere near ready to leave me and head to second grade, they aren’t too big or too cool to sing wacky songs or act silly, they are just so much fun to be around!!
My kids have been working so hard this week! They have been working QUIETLY! They have been kind! They have helped one another! They missed me and each other! We are all just so happy to be back! YES, I AM YELLING THIS AT YOU BECAUSE I AM THRILLED!
Rainbows, butterflies, unicorns, puppy dog tails . . . 🙂
I feel a little emotional as I write this because I am just so so so so so blessed to be able to do this every day. And this has not been an easy year AT ALL.
In fact, I just lost another student over the break. She didn’t return. Which makes her number six. I’ve lost six students since the beginning of the year and only one of them left for a positive reason, a reason which didn’t make me worry.
I’m counting my blessings. I’m thanking the Lord for creating this path and purpose for my life. Because although I’ve never told you this before, I tried really hard NOT to become a teacher. I even delayed my student teaching. I wanted COLD HARD CASH and I wanted it NOW. Student teaching and working nights from 5:00-10:00pm Mondays through Thursdays and 5:00-1:00am on Fridays DID NOT SOUND FUN. I interviewed for other jobs which had nothing at all to do with my degree or my teaching credential program. I wanted to quit. And God said Nope. No. No.
So . . . I started student teaching and I worked nights, and with the support, love, and encouragement from Steve (my fiancé at the time) and my family, I did it. It wasn’t easy, but I did it!!!
God is so so so good!
And so is first grade in January!!!
Every year, my mom buys my class a Christmas present. Isn’t she the sweetest?! I think it’s because I don’t have kids of my own and since she buys things for her grandkids, this is her way of doing that for me. I think. I’ve never really asked . . .
This year, she bought my class TWO PRESENTS!
My kids were FREAKING OUT! Obviously!
Fun stuff for Fun Friday!!!
My kids were DYING. They were super happy it was a short week and that Friday was coming up quick.
The funniest thing is that I keep four cookie sheets (from the Dollar Tree) in my Fun Friday play-doh tub. This way, the play-doh stays on the cookie sheets and NOT on the desk. It’s not fool-proof, but it’s me trying to prevent play-doh from getting on the carpet or messing up someone’s desk.
This year, I have a group of kiddos who constantly play “Catering”. They create cupcakes and cookies and cinnamon rolls and all kinds of baked goodies and they “cater” parties. It is the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. They bother everyone at every other center, asking how many cupcakes they need, literally “taking orders”. I have eaten more pretend baked goods than anyone ever in all the land. OF ANYONE OF ANY LAND. I order great amounts and they make it happen. They have a great future ahead, let me tell you.
So when this little group saw that my mom bought them the Play-Doh KITCHEN . . . well. I bet you can imagine.
And Star Wars Legos? Do I really need to say anything else?
🙂 THANK YOU, MAMA!!!
We learned a ton about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr this week. It was pretty much our entire focus, although we did squeeze some math in here and there. But I kind of tossed Benchmark Advance out the window. Keeping it real, people. I love Lyndsey Kuster’s resource and we dived right in.
We had some hard discussions. And we will continue to do so! I’ve learned a lot from other teachers and I know better now.
We have a sharing topic each week (think Show and Tell but with a Purpose/Oral Language Grade), and this week’s topic was Something You Made or Created. Besides Bring a Baby Photo, it is probably my most favorite topic of the year.
My kids brought in some super creative things that they made. We had lego creations, pot holders woven with yarn, play-doh stuff, art, a picture of a roller coaster that he and his brother made that took up the entire floor of his bedroom, etc. This is a great topic for also sequencing steps and “how to”.
If you don’t have a weekly Sharing program, I highly recommend it. I got the idea from my friend, Mrs. Winter’s Bliss, years and years ago and have been doing it ever since. We have an Oral Language grade on our report card so this gives me a weekly grade. I created a rubric that we send home so the students and parents can see how they’re doing. We have a schedule so that I only have six or seven students for each day (Friday is a make-up day). The growth and progress that I see throughout the year is amazing! One of my language learners this year would echo me when he came up, and now he doesn’t! The first time he shared ON HIS OWN without my help, the class spontaneously erupted into cheers!!!!
Do you have a weekly sharing/show and tell part of your day? My entire team does it and we all have the same Sharing Topics. I seriously believe in it. And my kids absolutely love it! I can’t tell you how many times I hear it’s my sharing day, I love my sharing day! Or Is it time for sharing yet?
I just introduced a new Write the Room pack to my kids and the crowd went wild! Ha! It’s all about sight words. I hung the cards up around the room and they have to hunt them down. Their recording sheet has the code they use to crack the sight word. I made 24 cards for my class and copied the recording sheets back to back. If they can read the sight word to a friend, they get to color the check mark. My kids are really good at holding each other accountable because 1) they like to tattle and 2) they’re bossy and 3) they’re first graders. 🙂
I hope to have this in my store this weekend!
Have a happy one!!