Monday, February 27

More Awesome Parts of the Classroom!

Hey Everybody!!!

Today I'm here to share you a few things I've been doing in class!

One thing I decided is that I am very passionate about how children (and people) treat each other.  In the past few weeks, I've been encouraging them to use these words to each other.  We've talked about how to treat each other in recess, how to handle situations such as dealing with unfair fifth graders and how to select partners.  I've been looking at my classroom management website for inspiration on how to build a better team-like classroom. 

I've used Carrie Robert's "One" quilt lesson plan from EDUC386.  I always told Carrie I was going to use it... now I did!!!  This book is so great because all ages can relate to it! It's also a great conversation starter!

The kids really enjoyed this project and felt that it related to a lot of things.  They kept on looking at the book and repeating the quote "If somebody is being mean and picking on me,  for one stand up and say NO!" Several of the kids have taken heart to the lesson and have been making better choices on what they do during their free time. 

Another implement I'm adding is the "Dear Gaby" box. 

I wrapped a shoe box with some "My Minds' Eye" paper and decorated it!  (All in one episode of White Collar!) Pretty much it is going to operate the same way I learned about it in Sophomore Block.  A student writes (secretly) about a situation (leaving names out) and asking for advice.  Then the teacher reads them out loud and the entire class comes up with a solution.  I'm going to tie that one into my writing lesson later this week.  I find it to be something that the kids really need to do...problem solve. 

I'm currently working on trying to expand on my creativity in math, writing and science.  I've been spying on a few friends' Pinterest for some inspiration.  Here are a few things I found for math that I'm very excited about!!!

Snake: this game is for multiplying 5s.  I'm loving it!  You draw a card and if you can name that fact then you keep the card.  If you get a snake card, then you lose all your cards!  Winner keeps all the cards!!!

The only downside to this game is that there is so much lamination and cutting to do!  My wonderful CT started cutting them up, so I got a great head start on I'm at the Attic cutting them up between uploading pictures for this blog entry!

Pin It!:  I found this game on Pinterest!!!  Using clothes pins and a grid, the kids practice pinning the pins as quickly as they can!


Something we have been doing in class is making a "word wall."  I'm sick of seeing the word "cool" or "like" or "nice" in the girls' writing.  So one day, we practiced using a thesaurus and looked up words to place on our word wall.  I gets used every so often... so that makes me happy!


I'm also big on religion... in case you didn't know that!!! (Haha!) I fully believe in teaching the "complete" religion, as in, teaching it from the pure Catholic perspective, being in a Catholic school that makes perfect sense.   For Lent, I made sure the kids understood the importance of Lent.  (Unlike this one person I know who says that Lent was invented so Catholics could go on a diet!)

We made our own "Lenten Path."  The kids selected something they were going to "get rid of" and do something that will better our world in place.  Just like Jesus gave up his life, walked in the desert so he could do something great for our world, the kids did the same!  

 We had a lot of very cute ideas, such as "give up ipod and will go play outside instead! I've gotten quite a few compliments from other teachers on this idea as well!  I'm proud to say that this is an original idea that I created all on my own! 

In conclusion, it's been a great few weeks so far.  I'm loving every moment of third grade!  It's awesome to be in such a fun and loving atmosphere.  

Stay tuned for more awesome classroom elements!!!


Friday, February 24

More Cards!

Hello Everybody!!!

Last Friday, Meredith, Liz and myself went to Creations Galore's Cropfest!  Here are some of the cards that I made...

 This card is one of those "crap I need to give you a card and I don't have any that fit into the category that I need..."  It's a nice fun, simple card.  Reminds me of my high school because of the colors!

 This card was hard to make... I wanted to make sure I used my Cuttlebug, but also keep true to my adding layers.  I used my new embossing machine to wet emboss the cattiplillar!!  I used older card elements to make this card fun and refreshing!

 Inside, I stamped with a watercolor stamp and added depth by placing the flowers in random spots.  One of the flowers is bugging me, but the rest are adorable...!!

 This is a sympathy card.  Meredith had an awesome technique with chalks and I wanted to try it out.  I didn't want to directly copy her, so I used a different template.  Mine isn't as cool as hers...but I love my argyle!!!  I used some stamps I got at Archivers to the card as well.  This card took forever to make, because I didn't use color.  I wanted to make sure I had enough black and white on the card.

 I'm very pleased with my end result... hopefully I won't have to use it for some time!

This is a sympathy card.  I made it in case I ever need to give somebody one of these...(goodness I sure hope I don't ever have to!)

Inside I cut out a bunch of hearts....and then leave space for a handwritten message!

This card is my favorite.  I embossed the owl and the vines with my cuttlebug.  Then I chalked the entire embossing section.  It took forever!  I had to buy an eraser from Creations Galore which was a great investment anyways! I'm not sure what I am going to use this card for... maybe a little pick me up card...?  Not quite sure yet... anybody have any ideas?

I hope everybody enjoyed my cards... they were a lot of fun to make!!!  And of coarse, I'm never short of using them!

Happy Days,


Sunday, February 19

How Em (Didn't) Celebrate St. Valentines Day

Greetings Everybody!

Now that the madness of St. Valentines Day is officially over with...I am going to write about my adventures.  Now everybody knows how I feel about this day: IT IS OVERRATED!  Tell me people, why do you all absolutely feel the need to celebrate this holiday? I mean, if you have a special somebody to celebrate it with, that's awesome, good for you and have fun...but if you are one of those people that have a mental break down because you didn't get to celebrate it... well... you're pathetic.

Love should be celebrated every day, including on Feb. 14th.

So, fitting that, I celebrated love several days this week!  Why not? Love should be embraced every day right?

So after seminar on Tuesday, Liz and I celebrated being friends at Regatta 220.  We dressed to the nines and went all out!

 We didn't realize that there was a "Reservation" Rule there... so we had to sit at the bar and wait for a reservation to cancel.   We figured it would be at least an hour wait, but we were wrong!  About 20 minutes of sitting, the hostess got us a lovely seat near the water.

We ordered several different kinds of wine, including the "New Age" wine from Argentina.  It was probably my absolute favorite!

I also ordered food.  At first I tried their pizza, but I honestly got very sick from after three bites, I stopped and requested for the Ahi Tuna instead.

Now before you all go "whoa, Em you are such a Drama Queen!"  Let me tell you out of all the times I have gone out to eat, I have NEVER asked for somebody to take my food back.  It wasn't even my idea.  Liz knew how I wasn't feeling too good about my food and suggested it.  I was extremely polite and didn't want to give off any impression that I hated the food I had...I just had so much chocolate, I needed something fresh instead! I offered to pay for my purchase, but she felt bad and understood why I was doing what I was doing, she didn't charge me.

Liz of coarse... got desert!

Overall, what a wonderful St. Valentines Day!

But celebrating "love" and "friendship" did not stop there... in fact, the very next day, I spent sometime with Leah and Kristina at La Vie Boheme at a Spanish Wine Tasting.

The adventure was quite epic.. I ran into my old professor Bonnie (who I adore).  She and I talked, which was great.  Turns out that my name gets brought up in Preschool still.  (Any more details, I do not have nor would I feel comfortable sharing due to children's right to privacy.)  I'm not sure if my name being mentioned is a good or bad thing...but I think I was good in the preschool so I am going to hope for the good part.

Leah, Kristina and I tried several wines ranging from a sweet orange to a very dry wine.   With these parings, we got some nice crackers and other tasty snacks! 

I was really happy to see Kristina enjoying herself with wine.  This was her first wine tasting and first time at La Vie Boheme.  The owners really made her feel very welcomed and even gave her the day before discount!!!

What makes me coming back to La Vie Boheme is the kindness of the owners.  They trust that I am 21 every time I go back.   They remember me every single time I come.  They ask me how I am.  They are always smiling and positive! If I'm pretty darn close but don't have quite enough, they let me pay them back the next time I return.  They served us extra food and kept us happy.  In return, I keep on coming back with all my friends!

Of coarse, I spent other days this week celebrating love... but those did not consist of going to any social events with a camera.  Celebrating love doesn't need a camera, but it sure reminds us of how much fun we had celebrating love!  Like I said, nothing wrong with celebrating love on St. Val's day because we should be celebrating love every day!

How Else I Celebrated LOVE This Past Week:
-One night I took a nice long bath and fixed up my nails. 
-I spread love by posting post-it notes on the students' desks while they were taking a huge test.
-I played with Pickles for an extended time.
-I cleaned my room.
-I cleaned my car.
-I reminded my CT why is the best CT ever!
-I was respectful to my parents (even more than the usual!)
-I feed myself some better food.
-I went out of my way to say thank you to several of the teachers who have been giving me L.O.V.E. this entire student teaching experience.
-I made it clear to one of my friends how amazing they really are...

What did you do to celebrate love? 

Celebrate love every day in every way... love is always the answer (and maybe chocolate!)


Sunday, February 12

A Peek Into the Classroom....

Hey Everybody!!!

I finally took some pictures of the classroom I'm currently working in.  This is probably the only glimpse you are going to see of what the classroom looks like.  Like I said, I do not want to disclose any personal information about any of my students.  Call me crazy but I value privacy!

So want to see what it looks like for me...? Read on!

Here's a photo of my desk...

 My mother almost had a heart attack because it was extremely clean and organized...unlike other living establishments I fancy.   Below is how my desk normally looks... kinda crazy.  At the end of the day, I always clean it off.  It's really easy for the kids to just toss things onto my desk (and I tell them often, go put it on my desk too which doesn't help).  As you can see, my desk is decorated for Valentines Day!  The kids went crazy one day and made me a bunch!

I also made a "No Whining" Sign for the students.  They love it! (And yes this is a Cricut Diecut.)  I used the "Going Places" shapes cartridge.

Finally, this is my first bulletin board I made!  It is an interactive one.  The kids will pick a word from the cloud and practice all the verb tenses by writing them on the flowers.  I kinda put it up a little too early, but it's nice to take a look at!  I figured this will stay up for a while before we switch to something else.  But what will that be....?  WELL... you'll have to wait and see! 

My week went pretty well!  I survived my first observation and live to tell the tale.  I had an overall review, but like any new teacher, there are things that I need to improve on.  I have set myself two goals that directly relate to what my supervising teacher advised me to do. 

I also have another goal for myself: have everything set up for tomorrow done before I leave.  This way in case anything happens... well.. it's all there for Chrissy to teach!

That's all for now!  Things are going well.  All love and smiles all around on this end! I hope your day is going well too!!!


Wednesday, February 8

Em Taught All Day Today!!!

Hey Everybody!!!

Today was such a wonderful day, I had the chance to teach all day!!!  My CT was sick, so I stepped up and decided to try teaching for the entire day!  Chrissy talked me though what she had planned and where everything was so I felt prepared to go in.  I was really excited about this; I've been waiting to teach a full day ever since my first day student teaching.  Chrissy and the 27 students have done a wonderful job making me feel at home at Holy I had the chance to put it all together and see how well I am able to teach.   The kids were very excited for me... when I greeted them in the morning, many of them said "are you going to teach the entire day...SWEET!"  I got a few good lucks and a hugs from them too. 

The staff was also very helpful.  The sub that was there said she'd be willing to do whatever I needed.  She offered to correct papers...I had her help me do one of the guided reading groups so we could get through all three groups.  She also helped with the peanut butter and jelly groups.   The 4th and 5th grade teachers came in the room in the morning and wished me good luck and said if I needed them to feel free to ask for help.  During lunch everybody asked me how it was going and were very encouraging as well.  At the end of the day, the 5th grade teacher came up to me and said congrats for completing my first day of FT student teaching!

Today was my first teaching math, writing and social studies.  I stuck to the email that Chrissy sent me...I wanted to follow her lessons exactly as she intended.  I did pretty well (save my pacing).  The only slight deviation was having the students practice standing in a certain hemispheres instead of simply explaining it via the whiteboard.  We then read the book and practiced identifying which countries were on which hemispheres.  Everybody understood. 

Religion dominated.   The kids sang "The Apostle's Creed" again.  At first some were worried, but after we went through it once, they wanted to all sing it over and over again!  We're going to keep on singing the song until we have that prayer memorized.  Every day, I'm removing part of the words from the board until they are able to sing the entire song from memory.  Some all ready are.  You can hear them humming it . 

Tomorrow Chrissy will be back, so I'm going to make sure these next few days I pay close attention to how she paces herself, and the flow of math and social studies.  Pretty soon I'll be full time teaching the entire day all week...starting next week!  I want to make sure I soak in these next few days to learn as much as possible!  Even though I've learned so much, there is so much more to learn!

I'm very lucky to have such a wonderful and supporting community at HFS! I'm heading in the direction that I want to be heading in... and I'm loving it!

Now back to grading these reading books... and planning next weeks lessons!!!!


Wednesday, February 1

Student Teaching Adventures Part 1 of Many...

Hey Everybody!!!

Officially I've been student teaching for a week and a half...and I'm loving every single minute of it.

Currently, I'm at Holy Family School with 27 little 3rd graders.  It sounds like a lot of students, but they are not all in the classroom at the same time.  In the morning I have about 12, I have 18 (all girls) for Language...then I have all 27 of them for the rest of the day.   They are ALL great children!  I'm not going to dive into my students' lives because I don't want anything personal about them online.  This is also why I don't have any pictures on this entry.  I have a few of my desk, but I'll show them to you all later... if I can find my camera;) 

I was greeted in style on my first day.  I got plenty of cards from the students and a lot of welcome hugs.   Three of my students took a huge poster board and made me a monster card!  It's epic.  On my first day I started right off the bat with guided reading.  I worked with one group of students in a small group doing the Stamina time.   Although I was initially shaking in my boots, I loved having the opportunity to teach right away.  The kids seemed to really like it too.

Over the rest of the week, I picked up spelling, WOD (word of the day), and (my favorite) read aloud.  Those subjects are going pretty well.  My first few days of DOL were pretty rough.  Now I feel more confident with it.  I'm still a little shaky with the WOD worksheet.  Today I took home the sheet to look over.  An in Read Aloud, we are reading "Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger," which is an awesome series! 

A few days ago the children made me some Valentine Day Cards.  They are adorable.  I love having creative children.  They eat up anything art related.  Which is great because I plan on taking full advantage of that! I have quite a few lessons that will incorporate art and music.  (Why today I was singing a Children's Choir song in DOL.)   I'm doing whatever I can to try some new things, but not completely going off kilter from the class structure.  I'm trying to incorporate activities with worksheets and doing activities normally done with worksheets (like Religion) without them. 

Next week I tackle Religion and (most likely) Science.  Not going to lie... can't wait to do more.  I feel so ready to take on everything! (This week.) It seems that my other friends are enjoying their time at their respected schools as well.    We kept on out talking each other last night at wings because we all wanted to share our ideas with each other!  I picked up some awesome ideas and I can't wait to use them in the classroom. 

Today, we finished up our testing for Language and Spelling.  Tomorrow we are going to do the WOD, take a pretest and then play a small vocabulary game.  Maybe, I might change my mind before tomorrow.  I have some time to think about it.   I want the students to do something fun and engaging tomorrow for reading...especially since today they took a bunch of tests.  There needs to be something different.  It will come to me, most likely at 9:52PM again.  (Which will be right in the middle of Burke Mass!)

At times, our class is choatic, but it is always a great place to be.  I feel Chrissy does a great job making the classroom feel like a home to everybody!   I do my best to keep that spirit alive in the classroom through humor, building relationships and much more!

Like I said before, I'm really loving my placement.