Wednesday, September 02, 2009

2nd week update

It's the second week of school, and I'll bet you can tell that I've been so very busy.

I really love my new class...they are extremely chatty, but very cute. I think I'm remembering why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place! It's embarrassing to say, but after last year, I really thought I had made a mistake. But I knew that the Lord had called me to this. But this year, a few things have changed. Here goes a list:
-We have a new member of our team, and she's awesome, and I feel like I'm learning so much from her!
-I have been taking time each morning before the day starts to pray and journal about a short verse. And starting the day off like this has really set my heart at peace. I am so prone to running into my room anxiously and trying to do everything at once. But now, knowing that I've tried to carve out 10 minutes to sit quietly with the Lord, I've found myself planning ahead more. I make those extra copies or write out that morning work the day before, so that I don't have to do anything when I come in in the morning.
-We are changing the way we do so many things this year. As a team, we're collaborating A LOT. It's exciting to be brainstorming like crazy, trying to find the strategies that will help us become better teachers and our students to become better learners.
-Although I have 24 students (4 more than last year) my classroom set up seems more open. This is VERY important to my general sense of peace when I walk in my door in the morning. Things seem so much calmer.
-The students I have are diverse in backgrounds.
-They are all very social. This is good because we have great conversations, but it's also a tad bit annoying because they LOVE to talk...all the time....without stopping....eek! While I can tell chattiness and off-task behavior will be an issue this year, that's not really that different from any other third grade classroom! And I'm thankful that my students aren't hugely defiant like last year. That is a breath of fresh air.

Currently, I'm trying to think of songs to use during transition times so that my kids are at least all singing the same thing rather than talking about a million things at once. I just don't want to have songs that drive me crazy because while my kids are young, they're not preschoolers! I was thinking of using some earlier Beatles songs, like Penny Lane maybe, and a James Taylor song or two. Any ideas?


Angela said...

Don't know how musically inclined you are, but I used to just make up songs with my PreK kids. And also google things like 'lining up song' to see what other people did.

The best way I've found to keep the kids quiet during transitions is to set a timer for 2-3 minutes (for longer tasks) or count down backwards from 10 (for shorter ones). You will hear a bit of animated chatter at first but at least they're all saying come on, put it away, here I'll help you, fold your hands, stop talking. It becomes a race and therefore they don't make the time to chat.

Rita Dita said...

DEAR PRUDENCE... I really like the Beatles version, but I think the version from "Across the Universe" is really fun to sing along with. Plus you could sing it minus the music and it is still a great song! (I plan to wake up my kids with it every day!)