Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Flip it!

So I have posted my wish list online. Looking forward to getting some donations! Check me out on Digital Wish http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/product?id=4310.

These cameras are the perfect way to get my little guys engaged... here are some ways I'd like to use them:

- Narrated field trips with students serving as guides
- Interviewing other students, staff or community members
- Digital storytelling projects
- Capturing science as it happens
- Demonstrating experiments
- Taping presentations and reports

If all else fails, I'll just write a grant...it's amazing how much free money is out there for teachers who have a plan and a purpose :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Inner Struggle

To assess or observe?

I remember reading Debbie Millers Reading With Meaning and listening to her describe the first months of school. She speaks of a time of observation, getting to know your students. Not knowing what they are good at and what they need work on BUT really knowing them as learners. Taking time to talk and observe each and every one...without clutching your Marie Clay and DRA kit.

First Grade is so crucial for success in literacy....and the pressure of RTI is breathing down my neck...and yes, I am torn.

We are going on day 7 and I have to ask myself..."Am I doing what Debbie would do?" Would Debbie beat herself up over assessments, running records and sight word lists?? Am I spending enough time talking to them, showing them I care, inspiring them to do their best???

Sometimes I think having my assessments done by the first week of November sounds like I'm not doing my job, not getting the data soon enough...but I defend my November deadline...it's the time i need to build the firm foundation that is needed for success this year

As teachers I think we have to ask ourselves: "Am I willing to sacrifice TRULY knowing my students for formal assessments in these precious first days, or can I get most of the information I need just by having meaningful discussion with my kids?"

Friday, September 11, 2009

Discussion of the Day

Student: "Miss DeBacco, I want you to come to my house"

Me: "Really? What would we do there?"

Student: "We could watch TV....but we CANNOT go in my Mom's room!"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The First Day...

Forgot to send my lunch count, but everyone got a lunch

Didn't do an official Reading or Writing Workshop, but my kids read and wrote all day

We didn't practice sight words, but they pointed them out to me all day

Moral of the story: The best teaching is the stuff that isn't planned

Quote of the day:

(My main man "K" screams out as I am reading First Day Jitters)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Haven't had this feeling in a while...

It's that butterflies/nausea that comes with welcoming a new class...A mixture of excitement and anxiety. They don't know me, and I don't know them...it's been a while since I have had a "fresh" class. I remember last year waiting at my classroom for kids I had already met, grown to love, and knew very well.

This is different.

Not as scary as my first year, but defineatly a little bit of fear of the unknown...

Still, I'm looking forward to the crazy days that lie ahead...Seeing the weeks and months fly by, but most of all, being that person who has such a great impact on such tiny lives.

Stay tuned for the first day update :)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"To New Beginnings!"

Here are the "after" shots of my new room. I'm excited to get back!

Walking in the classroom...

View from the door...

Leveled books and book bins - I'm going to hang our Poems and Songs above them with fishing line

Corner nooks, blue baskets are genre, yellow are favorite authors, green are favorite characters and series

Student tables, NO DESKS! No desk means community supplies, and NO CLUTTER!

Overhead shot of the carpet...where the magic happens!

Now all I have to do is wait...

The FACE of a Reader

Looking forward to filling this "menu" with strategies that will turn my kids into Readers!