Thursday, August 30, 2012

Open House

The LHES Open House was a success!  I loved every parent and student I got to meet this evening, and I believe it went quite smoothly.  I must say, however, after this long week of meetings, and frantically trying to set up my classroom, I am ready for Tuesday!  I am going to try my hardest to stay updated with my blog, but I make no promises as this is my first year of teaching.  Amidst the struggle, stress, frustration (and hopefully some smiles), I will do my best to keep you updated on my progress as the year passes.  Below are the most recent pictures of my classroom (which I am very proud of, if I do say so myself):
The view from my door.
My class library, which still needs some work (as noted by the "Under Construction" sign). 
I'm waiting on my class library and book baskets.
One of my bulletin boards.
My desk!
The view from my desk.
Our rules and dismissal procedure.
The front of my room (view from the student desks).

Thursday, August 23, 2012

...And We're Back!

I am happy to report that I've had a very relaxing summer, and I am now ready to embark on my first year as a teacher!  I will be teaching second grade at Laurel Hill Elementary (GO LIONS!), and I could not be happier with my placement and the wonderful staff I will be working with.  I am both excited and very overwhelmed by all the information I have been receiving during this past week at "Great Beginnings," but I am eager to set up my classroom and welcome my students at Open House.  Below are a couple pictures of what my classroom looks like, and I will be posting new pictures once it's all decorated and ready for the first day!

The view from the doorway.
The left side of the room which includes the student cubbies and bathroom.
The front of the classroom and my desk!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Goodbye Scotties :(

So I haven't posted in a while as I have been quite consumed by my job as a student intern, creating lesson plans, managing my classroom, and keeping up with my work sample. 

I am happy to report that my students finished their geometry quilt squares, and it is now hanging proudly in the hallway for all to see!  They worked very hard on this culminating activity, and they came up with some very creative ideas for our class quilt.

Here are some of my students' creations:

On a sadder note, today was my last day at McIntosh Elementary.  I have truly enjoyed my time with my kids, and I have learned so much from my cooperating teacher, Mrs. Hager.  I could not have asked for a better placement or a better mentor to learn from.  I will miss my fifth grade team greatly and hope I join a new team that is just as fun and friendly.  I will never forget my time with these kids, and I feel so much more prepared for when I get a classroom of my own.  They have made such an impact on my teaching future, and they will be missed.  My time as McIntosh has only strengthened my love of teaching and my passion to teach others.  I thank everyone who has helped me learn and grow throughout this experience.  You have made me a better teacher, and I appreciate all you have done for me.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Linky Survey

I am linking up with Mimi Hager from 5th Grade Rocks 5th Grade Rules to complete the teacher survey below.  Here goes nothing...

1. Are you married, do you have a bf, or are you flying free as a single lady/man?
I have the most wonderful boyfriend in the world, Brandon :)

2. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Burke, Virginia and moved briefly to Massachusetts before returning to Northern Virginia.

3. Do you have any pets? If so, what kind and what is his/her name?
Yes, my kitty, Annabelle, is the cutest.  My family also has three dogs: Franklin, Ranger, and Benjamin.

4. What is a favorite TV show you are embarrassed to admit to watching?
Though I have not been following it as much lately, I have been known to watch Jersey Shore.  It's hard not to laugh while watching this show because it is so crazy and random.  For an hour I can just laugh at how ridiculous these people sound and act.

5. Are you a saver or a spender?
I am definitely a spender.  My money burns a hole in my pocket, but I really do need to learn to save more.

6. What is your favorite children's book?
I love Lemony Snicket and The Series of Unfortunate Events.

7. Were you the class clown, teacher's pet, or neither?
I was definitely not the class clown.  Sometimes I think I'm the only person that finds myself funny.  I was probably more of the teacher's pet, but hopefully not in the obnoxious way :)

8. Who is your favorite athletic team?
I love the Yankees and Giants.  Go New York!

9. Where did you go on your last REALLY fun vacation?
St. Thomas for my boyfriend's sister's wedding.  It was so warm and relaxing!

10. Who is your favorite actor? Actress?
Actor--Mark Wahlberg
Actress--Emma Stone

11. Tell about the last time you cried because you were happy.
While watching the previews before a movie I cried because I was laughing so hard.  If you are familiar with Despicable Me then you should know exactly what I am talking about.  The preview for the next movie was so cute and funny that I couldn't control myself.

12. What is your favorite season?
My favorite season would have to be Fall.  I love the changing colors and the cooler weather.  There's just something about pumpkins, turkey, and football that make me all warm and fuzzy inside.

13. What is your biggest regret?
I'm not sure if I have any regrets yet.  I try and think of everything as a good learning experience instead of regretting something that cannot be changed.

14. What food do you just NOT like at all?
I hate seafood.  End of story.


15. Who was your most memorable teacher, and why?
My most memorable teacher is my sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Nix.  She was so kind and really helped to instill a love of school in me.  I have so many happy memories from sixth grade and hope that I can one day be the teacher a student looks back at as his/her most memorable teacher.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tangram Quilt

As my time in my Student Internship is running out, it's time to begin thinking about a culminating activity for my math unit on geometry!  In talking with my cooperating teacher, we have come up with a pretty fun idea to display all of our knowledge on shapes.  The activity directions are displayed below:

Unit 8: Geometry
Culminating Activity

            You have just been hired to help design a brand-new sculpture that will be placed out front of McIntosh Elementary School for all your friends and family to see.  The contractor that has hired you has several requirements that you must first meet before you are given permission to proceed with your sculpture design.  The contractor must first test your knowledge of shapes, and only after you have passed the test may you design your magnificent sculpture.  Below are your directions:

¾    Part I: Your pretest—

  o   You must choose one of the following shapes: square, rectangle, triangle, or circle.
  o   Glue your shape to the white square background (you may decorate later).
  o   You must demonstrate your knowledge of your chosen shape by doing the following:
à        Mathematically name your shape.
à        Label the following elements directly on your shape:
§  Square, Rectangle, and Triangle—measure the base and height and then find the perimeter and area of your shape.
§  Circle—correctly label the parts of your shape (chord, diameter, radius, center, and circumference).

Once it has been decided that you’ve passed the test, you may move on to designing your sculpture that will stand outside McIntosh Elementary!

¾    Part II: Your design—

o   You may now begin you design!  The contractor has provided you with your materials (the tangram shapes), and you may only use these materials (you may, however, trade colors with a friend, but you must use all shapes provided).
o   Your sculpture may be a person, animal, place, thing, etc.
o   Glue your shape to the white square background (you may decorate later).
o   Finally, name your sculpture and provide 5-6 sentences that mathematically and narratively describe what your sculpture is and what shapes you used.

Upon completion of your designs, we will create a class quilt that will display all of your wonderful hard work in our hallway.  But remember: only one person’s sculpture will stand proudly outside McIntosh Elementary!

As stated, all of the student's squares will be collected and displayed in our hallway as one giant math quilt.  Stay tuned!  Pictures of our final project to come after Spring Break :)

Click here for the complete project handout and rubric.

Want a great literature connection?! Grandfather Tang's Story is a perfect book to read your students while working through the geometry unit!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

We Scream for Ice Cream!

So it's been a little while since I've posted.  I've found myself getting swamped beneath all of my requirements for my teaching internship.  Who would have thought teaching would be this much work?! :)  On a lighter side, our students got the chance to go to see the Virginia Symphony today at the Christopher Newport University Ferguson Center (my Alma mater!)  We listened to some great music, including the theme song from Harry Potter :)  Things are growing a little stressful as benchmarks approach and we realize just how much material we have left to cover.  Our relaxing field trip was a nice break from the chaos that seems to be my life.

Through my student internship I have been learning more about the available technology and becoming more familiar with SMART board.  The other day our newspaper club asked each class to take a poll on the students' favorite flavor ice cream.  Instead of doing the standard, "Raise you hand if you like...," I used our SMART technology to administer the poll.  My students moved the ice cream cone to indicate their favorite flavor on the table.  It was a nice visualization of our favorite flavors of ice cream (and it tied in a little bit of math, which is always nice!).

Looks like cookies and cream is his favorite!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Plan B"

My biggest struggle thus far in my student internship has been behavior management (an area in which I feel may people have difficulty).  Luckily, I have the best cooperating teacher in the world, Mimi Hager, and she has already taught me so much! 

A simple, but VERY effective, strategy she uses is called "Plan B," and it goes a little something like this.  As teachers we usually plan fun and exciting activities to do with our students.  We like to refer to these plans as "Plan A."  They usually include interactive SMART boards, games, centers, and partner work, and these are the lessons our students want us to teach because they are enjoyable.  On the other hand, we have "Plan B."  These lessons are student-taught straight from their textbook.  They are completed quietly at their tables.  Our students hate "Plan B" because they are boring, and most important of all, SILENT.

I have begun implementing "Plan B" in the classroom when the students cannot control their behavior and focus during a lesson.  They are given a warning, and if their poor behavior continues, we go to "Plan B."  I have started writing "Plan B" on the white board in the morning so that the students are aware that it is there.  It serves as a little reminder of what choices they can make throughout the day.  "Plan B" worked very well today, and I am hoping that the students' behavior will improve so that we no longer have to go to "Plan B."