Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Meet the Teacher Monday...on a Tuesday

So my principal texted me this morning asking if I could come to a workshop today and tomorrow.  Of course, I accepted.  But that meant my brain was too wired to go back to sleep...so I got up and got ready.  I don't have to be at the workshop until 1, so I thought I would check this...and look, you're getting 2 posts in 2 days.  Lucky you!  ;-)

So...time for Meet the Teacher Monday!
(on a Tuesday)

Trina, over at The Ordinary to Extraordinary Classroom is hosting a summer linky.

The Disneyfied Teacher

So let's get to it...

Meet the Teacher Monday: Summer Edition
1. What's your summer teacher persona? 

  • Slacker Teacher:catching up on every episode of everything you wanted to watch during the school year 
  • Mommy-On-The-Go: consumed with your children's extracurricular activities
  • Summer Fun Teacher:hanging with friends and traveling the world
  • Overachiever Teacher:Making TPT products, proparing your classroom, you never really took a break
I honestly have been a combination.  We can't really afford for me not to work over the summer...so I teach 3 week-long summer camps out at the University.  I've finished 2 and I have 1 next week.  But other than that...I would definitely have to say Slacker Teacher.  I have gone through some teacher boxes, but I have tried really hard not to even think about school.
2. It's a sunny day in July. Your schedule is wide open, so you decide to?

If by "schedule is wide open" you mean my wife's is, too...then we're going to the beach.  Florida weather has been its usual crazy self lately...so no beach.  But we're hoping to get in some beach time this weekend.

3.What is your favorite summer thirst quencher?
This is going to sound weird, but honestly my favorite summer thirst quencher is watermelon.  There's just something about biting into a juicy piece of watermelon that makes everything right with the world.

4. Where will you be soaking up the summer sun? Have you planned any vacations?

My wife works at a teacher supply store (I know...I'm so lucky).  But that means summer is their busiest time of year.  So no vacations for us.  We have already planned a trip to Disney in September though.  :-)

5. Any summer reads, professional and personal?
 I read Wonder and Elvis and the Underdogs...both were amazing.  I also finished reading Awakened by Angela Watson from The Cornerstone for Teachers (brilliant book...just trying to put some ideas into practice now).  I am currently in the middle of Reading in the Wild.  I'm seeing some things I'd like to do differently this upcoming year.

6. What does your summer TV habits consist of?
I'm not gonna lie...we're big TV people normally.  So we don't have to spend all summer catching up on any shows.  We are loving Hell's Kitchen, So You Think You Can Dance, Girl Meets World (I know), and we are loving this new show on ABC Family callled Young and Hungry.  It's hilarious.  ABC Family has some really good shows.
7. Favorite Summer song of 2014?
I don't really have a favorite summer song.  I love most types of music so it kind of depends on my mood and what I want to listen to.
Thanks for sticking it out to the end!

July Book Club - Wonder

So Ramona, over at Ramona Recommends has a monthly book club.

Every month she asks a different blog to host.  The blogger gets to pick the book.  Sydney, over at Lessons Learned, is this month's book club host.  And she picked...


That's right! Wonder.

Questions to Wonder About:

1. What did you think of this book? Did you love it as much as I did?

I'm gonna be honest...the book was a mixed bag for me.  It was a great read.  And the way R.J. Palacio told the story through multiple narrators was wonderful.  I could feel the voices of each narrator and thought they fit their character perfectly.

But I think I was expecting too much.  I have this issue where I get my expectations go sky-high when I hear a lot of positive things...and then they never get met.  (I was just like this with Lord of the Flies and The Great Gatsby [both of which I hated].  I also did this with The Hunger Games...which I did enjoy, just not as much as everyone else did.)

I think this book would be amazing as a literature circle book.  Where we, as a class, can really delve into the topics and precepts and everything about it.  As a read aloud, I just don't know.  I think to get everything out of it that teachers, and parents, see in it you would have to really study it.  And when I do a read aloud it's just that...we read it.  We might make some predictions, and we might talk about it later (compare other stories to it and such), but we don't get into the nitty gritty...that's our literature circle time.

2. Did it make you think about things and your actions differently?

What I especially loved about this book was that all of the main characters, except for one, got to have their say.  Instead of just hearing one side of the story, we heard every side.  And I think that is something I needed to be reminded of.  Sometimes we hear things and just assume it's fact.  We need to remember that there is a reason that something is said or done...we need to figure it out instead of jumping to conclusions.

3. I have provided lesson ideas below, but how might you teach this to your students? I'm thinking that Choose Kind could really be a mantra all year long for a class. What do you think?

I do love the precepts idea.  I think that would be an easy way to introduce something to your class for them to work on.  And call it a monthly mantra or motto.  Since I have a Disney classroom, we could talk about Hakuna Matata (it's a motto...what's a motto...nothing, what's the matter with you? hahaha)

Since I am a PBS school, Choose Kind would definitely fit into our Bucket Filling school.

4. I would love to know what your precept would be - I have created an editable postcard template. Please share your precept either in a blogpost or share it with me via e-mail. I would love to compile all of them and create a teacher collection of precepts.

Honestly I think Hakuna Matata would be my first precept.  It means no worries.  And for a lot of my kids, that's hard.  I am the 3-5 ESE teacher.  My kids know they're low.  They know they can't read.  And if I can get them to relax, and trust that I am going to teach them how to read, then the learning comes faster.  

No worries.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Five for Friday 2

Well here I am, linking up again for Five for Friday with Doodlebugs Teaching


There is a "water park" here in town.  It is small, only about 6 or 7 slides.  But it has a wonderful lazy river.  My parents had my nephews for the week, so they brought them over so we could go to the water park.  I would have pictures, but I forgot my phone was in my pocket and went swimming with it.  *sigh*  My new phone should be here by Tuesday...

I'm participating in a book club with Ramona Recommends, and this month we're reading Wonder.  My library FINALLY had a copy that was available this week.  It's a fast read...expect a post on it soon.

I also have heard great things about this book.  So when I was at the bookstore I went ahead and picked it up.  It is a good book and is making me rethink how I did some things the past few years.  Once I finish I'll have to post about some of the things I learned.  :-)

I have been in a nostalgic mood lately.  My wife and I were watching Disney movies from the 90s that she'd never seen before (Hercules, for example).  So since I'm home alone I thought I would watch some more movies from my childhood.  I love these movies!

Disney is currently having a contest to win a trip to Disney World.  And we all know how I feel about Disney.  To enter all you have to do is submit a photo from the 70's or 80's that is set in Disney.  If you follow me on Instagram (username teacher_g) you'll see these individually as Throwback Thursdays.

Thanks for sticking with such a long post!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Back to School Goals

I was so prepared to be posting all the time this summer.  I thought to myself "you'll have so much time!  You'll be a blogging fool!".  Not so much I guess.  I taught two summer camps already (with a third on the way).  So I have been SO terribly lazy this summer.  I really haven't even planned anything for next year.  *Ahh!*

Anyway, I've been thinking about some things to blog about, and I think I might try to get some posts scheduled tomorrow for the next few days.  Fingers crossed that this actually works.

So right now, I'm linking up with 

Personal: I know that as a teacher I will have to bring stuff home.  But I usually bring things home EVERY night and work on school stuff over the weekends.  I would like to seriously cut that down...like a scheduled 3 or 4 nights a week with no work stuff.

Organization: I don't have a teacher desk.  I don't have the space and I don't really like them.  I love not having one...but I am so disorganized without it.  I throw stuff on my small group table, and then from there to the floor.  I am making it a goal to clean that area before I go home every day.

Planning: I planned this year on Thursdays...it allowed me to spend Friday afternoon getting everything ready for the next week.  Most teachers leave early on Fridays - which means easy access to the copiers!  Also, I started using Planbook.com around Spring Break and LOVE it!  It's completely customizable and completely online.  I use the iPad app and can see my lesson plans at all times.  It does have a (small) cost...but it's $12 for the year. YEAR!  Plus, my teammate and I both got it, and were able to share our lessons!  Talk about making life easier.

Professional: I have always worked with low students.  But now that I am back in ESE, I want to make sure my students are making as much growth as possible in both reading and math.

Students: All students are good at something.  It is my goal this year to prove it to my kids.  I think that by being the teacher, they will see that "yes, I do understand something.  I can teach it and share my knowledge."  I personally think this will just help them in life.

Motto: This has been a kind of motto for some of the teachers at my school this year.  2012-2013 we walked in to a school that was in disarray and needed help.  This past year was better than that year.  Next year will be better.  We just have to keep reminding ourselves.

I can't wait to read your goals for this upcoming year!