Monday, August 19, 2013

My Classroom, Year 8

This is it! This is the year I will FINALLY have a blog. The one I had planned on doing seven years ago when I first started teaching. SEVEN years! How can it possibly have been seven years since that first day I stepped in front of my first group of students and began this amazing journey? If I had known what that first day was going to be like, I might have chickened out and done something less terrifying for a living. Skydiving maybe? But since that day I have learned so much about what goes into being a good teacher. I'm not perfect, but I'm learning more every day! So here it is. My blog. And my dedication to posting updates and lessons as often as possible for parents and fellow teachers.  

After eight years in the classroom, I've learned a LOT about teaching. I've learned what definitely does not work for me and my classroom. Finding out what works takes lots of trial and error.  I spend large amounts of my summer gathering ideas for what my room should look like during the year. My classroom furniture set up changes little from year to year because of space, but I love to change things up and keep things fresh! Do you know how many amazing art teachers have blogs? Probably millions. And they're way better at blogging than I am. So I borrow their ideas, too. 

 We are incorporating lots of whole brain teaching ideas in our district this year. This techniques uses lots of movement and call-and-response techniques to keep students focused. Using tallies to keep track of when your students are on track or not is a fun way for them to see how they are doing. This year the infamous "grumpy cat" is keeping track of my "grumpy" tallies! Having more "happy" tallies earns the class chances at group rewards like "sit where every you want day" and class ipad time.

 Other new additions to my classroom include this vocabulary/word wall on the cabinets for talking and writing about art. I tend to use a lot of vocab when I talk to my students, and I realized that they were hearing new words without ever seeing them. Solution? Word wall. I also have my essential learnings for Fifth Grade posted in our room. These are the essential skills I want my students to master before leaving elementary school. Bring it on, school year!

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