Sunday, December 26, 2010


Ok so I haven't written in forever. So here is an update.
December: I got to teach a ton! We had several days with the substitute so I got to do a lot of the teaching which was absolutely fantastic. We made some cute crafts for the holidays and had a good time. The 2 stories that stick in my mind the most are both about little Outrageous Orange (OO). So the first one was on a day where I did the opening circle then transitioned to my mentor teaching. My circle time went great with the kids paying attention and staying quiet, even more so than usual. I turned the class over to my fantastic mentor and all the sudden they were loud and wiggly and they were just not being respectful of her. She asked them why all the sudden when she started teaching they started talking and OO says, "But Miss B is our teacher." It was completely inappropriate but also quite funny.

Then just before break I had taken the class out to recess about 5 minutes earlier and was in the room with 2 girls who decided to stay in for medical reasons. When OO walks into the room...I was thoroughly confused. So I asked "OO where were you?" (I thought I had taken him to recess...) His response was very matter of fact, "It takes me a long time to poop." Then he got his coat and went out to recess.

First graders have no filters.

I had my conference with my Fabulous Mentor and Fantastic Supervisor. It went great! They think I am doing a great job and gave me great marks. I also earned a 4.0 in my course work at the college!

Now for January: I will start taking over by about the 13th and by the beginning of February I will be teaching full time for 8 weeks! I can't wait!

More stories to come soon I am sure. Back to school on the 3rd! Until then I will enjoy the rest of my break. I will try to update more often now that I don't have big papers to write anymore.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday + Substitute+tears=LONG DAY

So the day started out good. Mentor explained the whole day to me. Substitute showed up I explained the day to her.
Students come in complete their planners, then it's calendar time (usually 20 minutes)Then I had a pilgrim packet to finish with the students well the calendar time ended up taking 45 minutes. I improvised and finished the packet after recess and only got 2 letters finished in handwriting instead of 3. THe day continued in this way.

Tears- 2 boys who were frustrated=a lot of tears.

Questions: What ideas do people have for explaining Venn Diagrams to first graders? Because I am not sure if they completely grasped the concept with the manipulatives that we used...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


The day started great. Kids were a bit wiggly and chatty but that is normal for them. We had a great reading group today got a lot done. Then we went to lunch...
When they came back they were a completely different class. THey were loud, rude and constantly moving! I don't know what happened at lunch to take away my wonderful super bees and turn them into loud and crazy hornets but something did. Having one of the most serious assemblies of the year at the end of the day wasn't the greatest thing to happen either. On the plus side the Veteran's Day assembly was pretty great and engaging.
Our students wrote some fantastic thank you notes to veterans this morning!
But in the end I came home with a terrible headache. Long day and now on top of that I have homework. Thankfully my full course load is almost over.

Friday, November 5, 2010

it has been too long...

Well here is a list of the things I have gotten to do in first grade since my last post:

-go on a bear hunt! we went through the candy factory, the jello swamp and the peanut butter river and into the cave. And there were big green eyes, a little bushy tail and screaming 1st graders! (makes for a pretty good day)
-teaching a math lesson at the last second because two other first graders decided to have a shoving fight and my mentor is the intern principal.
-kindergarten testing...she was more worried about the fact that my hair clip was making a reflection on the ceiling than the letter sounds I was testing her on.
-provided LOTS of kleenex and hand soap.
-bleached the desks 4 times.
-taught a math lesson with my supervisor there at which point my students decided that the worksheet was far too hard and so I had to completely change the lesson plan that I had written (6 pages!) so that we could actually explain the concept like they all worked out in the end because she got to see me working on my toes
-got a LOT of hugs even when I am not sure I want them because all of the kids have booger noses.

It has been a very busy week in first grade and I think it's only going to get busier. Hopefully the candy highs are nearly over because I don't think I can handle it anymore. October was a LONG month. I only get to see my super bees once this week but I can't wait!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

lock down drills and flu season

today was our first lock down drill and of course that means flu season needs to hit full speed. Of course 3 minutes before the scheduled lock down my little miss red (each child has a color assigned to them.) decided that she was thinking she might puke so we made a trip to the office and of course ended up having to spend the lock down in the nurses office sitting on the floor during cold and flu season. Doesn't that sound like fun? Then as the day went on I had several students say they were no feeling good. But the kicker was at about 2 when the little boy across from me looked up and you could just see that he was going to barf any time, you know the look. So we made like cheetahs and walked as fast as his little legs would go with the bucket in front of us to the nurses office and thankfully I didn't have to sit on the floor with the nasty germs.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I know I picked the right profession.

I know that I picked the right profession from the very beginning. I chose to be a teacher when I was in first grade. I have never wavered from this because every time I looked at another career I could find something about it that I wouldn't be able to deal with...
Well this year has so far just solidified that I picked the right profession. My classes are stressful this term but I get to see my little super bees on Tuesdays and Thursdays to take some of that stress away (and add some other types) but I LOVE it! Well today in class I got to make a sack puppet. When you get to go to class (college classes especially) and have a good time with a great group of future teachers, the only thing better is getting to teach little ones. Well here is a picture of s couple of the puppets from class. We had too much fun!
Tomorrow it is back to my Super Bees!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

first observed lesson

So I finally got to write and teach a lesson. it went GREAT! I have been teaching here and there since the beginning of the year. But today was the first time I actually wrote out the lesson I taught. The lesson fit perfectly in the time slot I had and I think the students really enjoyed the lesson. Listening to the students talk today while they were doing a couple of different projects provided plenty of entertaining. FOr instance I learned via one of our super bees that my mentor teach does all of her planning on the first day of school. I found this to be hilarious because the first day is so completely insane especially in the first grade. My mentor is organized but I don't think anyone could do that if they can then they are my hero.

I will try to update this blog as I go through my student teaching and as I hopefully start my first year of teaching in the fall.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

100 childrens books

top 100 children's novels
I got this list from a teacher blog that I enjoy reading. Thought I would share it here. So many fabulous books. I put ones I've read in bold.I added a * if I read it more than once.

100. The Egypt Game - Snyder (1967)
99. The Indian in the Cupboard - Banks (1980)
98. Children of Green Knowe - Boston (1954)
97. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane - DiCamillo (2006)
96. The Witches - Dahl (1983)
95. Pippi Longstocking - Lindgren (1950) **
94. Swallows and Amazons - Ransome (1930)
93. Caddie Woodlawn - Brink (1935)**
92. Ella Enchanted - Levine (1997)
91. Sideways Stories from Wayside School - Sachar (1978)*
90. Sarah, Plain and Tall - MacLachlan (1985)
89. Ramona and Her Father - Cleary (1977)
88. The High King - Alexander (1968)
87. The View from Saturday - Konigsburg (1996) *
86. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Rowling (1999)**
85. On the Banks of Plum Creek - Wilder (1937)**
84. The Little White Horse - Goudge (1946)
83. The Thief - Turner (1997)
82. The Book of Three - Alexander (1964)
81. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Lin (2009)
80. The Graveyard Book - Gaiman (2008)
79. All-of-a-Kind-Family - Taylor (1951)
78. Johnny Tremain - Forbes (1943)
77. The City of Ember - DuPrau (2003)
76. Out of the Dust - Hesse (1997)
75. Love That Dog - Creech (2001)
74. The Borrowers - Norton (1953)
73. My Side of the Mountain - George (1959)
72. My Father's Dragon - Gannett (1948)**
71. The Bad Beginning - Snicket (1999)
70. Betsy-Tacy - Lovelae (1940)
69. The Mysterious Benedict Society - Stewart ( 2007)
68. Walk Two Moons - Creech (1994)
67. Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher - Coville (1991)
66. Henry Huggins - Cleary (1950)
65. Ballet Shoes - Stratfeild (1936)
64. A Long Way from Chicago - Peck (1998)
63. Gone-Away Lake - Enright (1957)
62. The Secret of the Old Clock - Keene (1959)
61. Stargirl - Spinelli (2000)
60. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi (1990)
59. Inkheart - Funke (2003)
58. The Wolves of Willoughby Chase - Aiken (1962)
57. Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Cleary (1981)*
56. Number the Stars - Lowry (1989)**
55. The Great Gilly Hopkins - Paterson (1978)
54. The BFG - Dahl (1982)
53. Wind in the Willows - Grahame (1908)
52. The Invention of Hugo Cabret (2007)
51. The Saturdays - Enright (1941)
50. Island of the Blue Dolphins - O'Dell (1960)
49. Frindle - Clements (1996)
48. The Penderwicks - Birdsall (2005)
47. Bud, Not Buddy - Curtis (1999)
46. Where the Red Fern Grows - Rawls (1961)
45. The Golden Compass - Pullman (1995)
44. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Blume (1972)**
43. Ramona the Pest - Cleary (1968)*
42. Little House on the Prairie - Wilder (1935)
41. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Speare (1958)
40. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - Baum (1900)
39. When You Reach Me - Stead (2009)
38. HP and the Order of the Phoenix - Rowling (2003)*
37. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Taylor (1976)**
36. Are You there, God? It's Me, Margaret - Blume (1970)
35. HP and the Goblet of Fire - Rowling (2000)*
34. The Watson's Go to Birmingham - Curtis (1995)
33. James and the Giant Peach - Dahl (1961)
32. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - O'Brian (1971)
31. Half Magic - Eager (1954)
30. Winnie-the-Pooh - Milne (1926)
29. The Dark Is Rising - Cooper (1973)
28. A Little Princess - Burnett (1905)
27. Alice I and II - Carroll (1865/72)
26. Hatchet - Paulsen (1989)
25. Little Women - Alcott (1868/9)
24. HP and the Deathly Hallows - Rowling (2007)*
23. Little House in the Big Woods - Wilder (1932)
22. The Tale of Despereaux - DiCamillo (2003)
21. The Lightening Thief - Riordan (2005)
20. Tuck Everlasting - Babbitt (1975)
19. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Dahl (1964)
18. Matilda - Dahl (1988)
17. Maniac Magee - Spinelli (1990)
16. Harriet the Spy - Fitzhugh (1964)
15. Because of Winn-Dixie - DiCamillo (2000)
14. HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban - Rowling (1999)*
13. Bridge to Terabithia - Paterson (1977)
12. The Hobbit - Tolkien (1938)
11. The Westing Game - Raskin (1978)
10. The Phantom Tollbooth - Juster (1961)
9. Anne of Green Gables - Montgomery (1908)
8. The Secret Garden - Burnett (1911)
7. The Giver -Lowry (1993)
6. Holes - Sachar (1998)
5. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - Koningsburg (1967)
4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - Lewis (1950)
3. Harry Potter #1 - Rowling (1997)*
2. A Wrinkle in Time - L'Engle (1962)
1. Charlotte's Web - White (1952)*

I got the new instructor magazine recently and loved the article about turning your classroom into Hogwarts. They had some fantastic ideas for getting kids even first graders excited about reading and Harry Potter.

My summer goal is to read all of these books:)

Friday, March 19, 2010


What went well in your teaching?
Based on what you learned as an instructor, what changes would you make next time?

Based on what I learned I would probably move at a little bit slower pace. I would also go into more detail with young students but because Ellie already knew how to complete the task it made the teaching much easier. I think that I would also probably make sure that the students were provided with a pre-made PowerPoint that had picture boxes because that makes the task much easier.
I don't think that I would ask students to make a powerpoint that wasn't already set up because that would require extensive computer knowledge that 3rd graders wouldn't necessarily have.
I think that I would also perform the task myself before I would have the students try because then they would have already seen me preform the task.

Friday, March 5, 2010

LifeSaver Lesson

Based on your learning experience in the lifesaver lesson, describe the attributes of inquiry learning.

Inquiry learning is a hands on experience that makes gets students more excited and gives them a chance to explore their own ideas. I think that the lesson showed us that inquiry learning really revolves around the students and the ideas and questions that they come up with for the most part. Inquiry learning is a chance for students to go into detail about something within the lesson that really excites and/or interests them. I think that inquiry learning is very important for students because it shows them that learning can be engaging and exciting.

Friday, February 12, 2010


From the learner perspective, how did the lesson activities support your achievement of the task?

With all of the different activities and steps involved in this lesson it really required you to take a closer look at the problem. I think that having all of these steps was time consuming but I also think it was valuable. I do however think that one or two of the steps could have been shortened or left out in some cases. I think in some cases different activities would have better suited some learners while the activities we did could have helped others. I really think that it is important to know the students and what resources they need to succeed.

How did technology help you modify the files to meet your needs as a learner?
By using technology we were able to make our proposal into a slideshow to present to the administration. We were able to make the information easy to understand and easy to share. This also gave us the opportunity to share the proposal with multiple people at multiple times.

Friday, February 5, 2010


How do you envision discovery learning as part of your teaching and curriculum?

I think that discovery learning is a very important part of education because it allows the students to be creative while still learning new information. I would use discovery learning a little differently in my classroom than we did in class because I plan on teaching the younger elementary grades. I think that it is important that students get the chance to really get creative with their work and giving them a somewhat open prompt is a good way of allowing this. I think that it is also important to give structure though. I think that giving the opportunity for discovery learning is important but leaving the children the free range that we were given would be quite chaotic. I think that doing something more like a web quest might be a better way to allow for the creativity with younger students so as to keep some control of the situation.
With all of the requirements in the educational system it is difficult to give the students all of the creative time that I was given as I grew up but I think that with the use of the internet and books you could easily give a good structured assignment using a webquest.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Philosophy on technology in the classroom

“What are your beliefs about teaching and learning with technology? Describe how technology has supported learning in classrooms you have observed?”
I believe that technology should be used as a tool in the classroom sometimes but I do not think that it should be used as a crutch or a way to keep students occupied. I think that sometimes technology can be a very good tool to assist in learning and help show what students have learned. I also think that in some cases learning can be used in the wrong way or not help students very much. I know that in some cases technology has been used in time consuming ways that didn’t seem to help students.
So far this year I have not really seen technology used in the classroom. I think that I will have a better chance of seeing it in the jr high setting. The only time I have observed using technology in the classroom this year was as a way to keep a student occupied after finishing the work for the day.