school stuff

April 13, 2010

My favorite time of year has arrived. I get to start making plans for NEXT year! It has been so awesome this year to plan and do without the constrictions (if that’s not a real word, my apologies) of a scripted textbook. There have been some GREAT lessons and units, and there have been some that need some tweaking for next year. So now, I begin tweaking. I love getting new ideas ready to implement, and figuring out how to change some that worked, but can be better. I guess this is what feeds the fact that I am a very reflective teacher. Changing and fixing are my favorites. Here are a few examples of my “tweaking” already underway…

  • We do not have Science books, so we are going to create unit portfolios with each topic of study. I am going to test this out with our final unit of the year, The Solar System. It’s just manila folders, paper and staples, but I think 2nd graders will think it is quite cool.
  • Musician of the Month: I am ALWAYS a tiny bit sad that I did not become a music teacher. So, next year, my class will study a musician each month. My goal is mostly to expose students to different artists and styles of music. I don’t think we will do anything too “deep” next year, but I want to use the music during work stations and other quiet times. We might build a unit portfolio for this throughout the year, so that at the end, they have information about all of the artists we studied. Ooooh! And a CD…I like this idea more and more.
  • Vivid Vocabulary: We are going to take a word a week and have some 3-D fun with words. Buttons, rice, corn pops…I need a lot of ideas for this one. Then, we will create an “Outlaw Wall” with each vivid word. It will list words that they can’t use in their writing because they are better represented with vivid words.
  • Classroom Portfolios: I am most excited about this idea. I’ll tell you more later.

April 5, 2010

Since the site won’t let me add a blog to a specific page (it just shows up on the home page), I am making it work in my own way. So my exciting school news actually has very little to do with school. I have started writing as a free-lance writer for Really Good Stuff, an education publishing company. They produce all kinds of teaching aids and classroom gadgets. I finished my first project late last week, and submitted it today. I hope that it goes well, because it felt so good to brainstorm and create (knowing that I never had to actually DO the activities if I didn’t want to!

Since I am always rambling to my husband about school, I thought I would ramble to my keyboard and whoever else might be remotely interested in that very nerdy side of myself. I have learned throughout my first 7 years of teaching that I love to plan and design curriculum. Sometimes more than I actually like to teach it. And even more than teaching, I love to look back on my day and analyze it. Josh would say that I over-analyze school and most of the rest of my life, too. Reflection is my favorite part of teaching; making myself better in my classroom is an ongoing process for me. Check back here for my crazy reflections and maybe a few ideas from time to time. 🙂

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