Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Peek at My Week 9.14.2014

Man. I have been working steadily (with a few interruptions by an adorable one year old) since about 5 on STUFF. My To-Do list is already out of control and it's not even Monday. {sigh} 

Now, you may be thinking "What in the world is a bathroom reader?!" Well this summer, while participating in "Pedicures and Planning"--my favorite way to vertical team, btw--we decided our students LOVE to spend time in the bathroom. TMI I know, but it's the truth. So we are pulling articles, poems, and stories and posting them in the bathroom for our darlings who like to camp out in the bathroom. What else do they have to do in there?! ;) 

This week I also have All Day Planning which is just as amazing as it sounds. Once a six weeks, we get the whole day to plan with our grade level. We analyze data, create or tweak unit plans for the next six weeks, create lesson plans, write assessments, etc. My grade level ALWAYS gets a ton done on these days. Yes, it stinks to have to be out of the classroom but the amount of work accomplished is 100000% worth it. Tonight, in order to expedite our time together on Thursday, I worked on Reading Unit Plans for our gen ed and GT classes.
If you haven't figured out a way to unit plan, hit me up. I have it down to a science, thanks to my fabulous friend and resident Academic Specialist, Danna. After a few years of cranking out these babies, I am almost an expert. I list out all the standards first (TEKS in Texas...) so I know what I have to teach in the six weeks, then I bundle as necessary and use one of those cheap lesson plan books from Target or a teacher store to plan out the six weeks. Later this week, my bilingual counterpart, Mrs. D and I will sit down and crank out some {{hopefully}} awesome lessons for our 5th graders. 

Alright, what else is on the menu this week? Parent Info Night in Tuesday...all the parents come and get the info about expectations, conferences, tutoring, field trips, and everything else they ever wanted to know. Also, I'm so happy to be getting into the "real" schedule of things (mini-lesson, guided groups, etc.). We are starting literary texts this week so you loyal readers know what book I'll be busting out::: the WIZARD OF OZ!! Cant. Wait. It's always my fav thing to teach!! 

OH! AAAND I am SOOO looking forward to next Saturday. My little fam has been invited to the NICU reunion at the hospital J was born. Although our time in the NICU was short (12 days) compared to many families, when you have to leave your little one in the hands of someone else, they immediately become family. I can't wait to see J's nurses that took such good care of him when mommy and daddy had to go home at night. {{Just the thought of it has me almost in tears again..}} 

Alright, that's it. Have a wonderful week, ya'll! See ya soon :) 
Love, Caitlin

Friday, September 12, 2014

PTL it's Friday! 9.12.2014

Ya'll. It's only the 3rd week of school and I'm ready for Christmas break. But seriously. 

That is SOOO not like me.

I love school and usually it's the end of October before I'm feeling the necessity of a break...but this year is kicking my tail! My to-do list is forever long and even when I mark stuff off, I don't feel like I'm getting stuff "done". Am I the only one?! So here it goes...

  I have some amazing students this year...but I have some others who love to test me and my partner teachers. Any bloggers out there have tips or articles on defiant children? I'm needing some help here, peeps! 

 This week I went to INOVA training. It is a data organization system (I mean, its really more than that but I spent a whole day at a training on statistics and the math behind using data to anticipate student achievement on state testing...) ANYWAY, it was very interesting and I can't wait to spend time getting to know the program better. {I'm not even being sarcastic here...I love analyzing data} 

#truth. It's FINALLY feeling like Fall in Texas! Today it was in the dropped over 30 degrees in the last 24 hours and some of you would crack up at the attire of Texans. We totally broke out the scarves and sweatshirts. Don't judge...

I am desperately wanting a full week to teach. Are ya'll with me? Between trainings, picture day, Labor Day, beginning of year testing, library days, etc. I have YET to teach a full 5 days in a week. It's hard to get into a routine when we always have "stuff". This week I did manage to finish our genre studies using the book Genre Connections. Ya'll, I am in love with this book. Teaching the genres with concrete objects is so easy and the kids seem to actually get it! We also reviewed poetry types v. elements and had a gallery walk where students worked in partners to analyze poems to determine their type and the elements (rhyme, rhythm, rhyme scheme, number of stanzas, meter, etc.) I guess even with hectic schedules, we ARE still learning :) 

Today is my baby's birthday!! I officially have a one year old! :) 

Friday, September 5, 2014

5 for Friday and Classroom Reveal

Is it just me or is the 2nd week of school the worst?! I mean, you are not exactly in the routine yet, it's a 4 day week and the novelty of the new school year has worn off. Also, by the 2nd week of school, I'm officially behind on the zillions of things on my to-do list. Such as "blogging". :( Anyway, I didn't want to miss one of my favorite linky parties! So I'm combining some things :) 

Today I got my first SLANT Box! My new friend Ashley from CANADA sent me all kinds of  cute stuff...I didn't get a pic of the contents but she basically got all my favs...candy, supplies, magnets, pens, and a subtle invite to Canada during the summer. [[Any more 100+ degree days and I may be making my way sooner rather than later!]]

This pic is from the first day of school. The kids in my 3rd class of the day begged for independent reading time. I NEVER deny independent reading time! 

My little Jacksie Bear is going to be ONE in one week. We had an early birthday with his great grandparents last week and my talented cousin made this adorable rubber ducky cake. It is too darn cute. Jackson wasn't actually interested in the feeding-himself part but he loved the icing and cake.   

Welcome to my University of North Texas themed classroom! We are MEAN GREEN'd out and I am so proud. :) Listen, I LOVED college. LOVE Denton, TX and LOVE UNT. I am thrilled to represent UNT. [[Our school is part of the No Excuses University network, so every classroom is a university and no repeats are allowed---I have been another university of 4 years but finally I get to be my alma mater!]]  

 This is the view from the door. It has been said that my classroom looks like a bag of Skittles exploded. I'm okay with that. I am all about color :) The bulletin board above the library area is for book recommendations but I am still trying to figure out how I want to do that because I want the recommendations to come from the kids but I also want to be able to provide them too. I'll get to it...eventually. 

 The bulletin boards over the computers are where my anchor charts for the unit will be housed. Right now we are "Launching Reading Workshop" [Fountas and Pinnell style + Comprehension Connections style!] so I have my Reading Is Thinking up as well as my Reading Salad anchor chart. 

If you can't read the "title" of the boards, it says "Read like a Writer, Write like a Reader". We usually talk about what that means and why Mrs. Andrews would want to put that up on the wall. :) Anyway, hopefully this will be filled with anchor charts galore in the coming weeks as we start our study of literary texts (my favorite!) 

So the top picture of my classroom library area is dark because I took it in the afternoon when the sun was shining through my big window. I LOVE having a giant window and I do all my whole group teaching on the floor while I sit in BIG JOE (the green chair--available at Walmart!). The only drawback to the window is that we don't actually have blinds, and we aren't supposed to have curtains unless they are flame-retardant SOOO I don't have curtains....And when other classes go to recess, we sometimes get distracted.
And I have a Christmas tree. In September. But it's really a UNT tree so it doesn't count as Christmas decor and even if it did, I love it and my kids love reading by the tree. :) 
Picture books, myths and biographies on this shelf
Fiction books :) ..don't know why I didn't snap a pic of my nonfiction shelf but that collection isn't as extensive. 

This is "my" area. I have files I need on a daily basis, teacher materials, supplies, my phone, laptop, etc. and on the tall black bookshelf, I keep my guided reading/literature circle materials for all 3 classes (79 students!). 

There you have it, room 410. Where we get down to the business of reading! 

I've shown you my room but I have to share these other cutie rooms from teachers on my campus. The first one is our 2nd grade Gifted/Talented classroom, Ms. Hamilton's class! Leta is like the queen of cute. Her shabby chic classroom is adorable. I want to be her student and read in the library area with the clouds! How cute is this?! 

Right inside the door (She was still decorating)

Leta's teacher desk area
I totally stole this pic from Leta's FB but how cute is she?! Are you at all surprised by the cuteness of her room when you see how adorable she is? Bonus: She is the sweetest too. Glad you're at Elliott, Leta! 

Next classroom: one of my besties, Emily! We have been friends since 2nd grade when we went to Elliott together. (We are teaching at our old school!) She teaches Kinder and it has to be the cleanest, most organized kindergarten class in the world. And it even smells good. I'm not sure what kind of crazy magic she does every afternoon, but it ALWAYS looks this clean before she leaves. 
View from the door!
Library and supplies area plus the word wall
Calendar/Whole Group Area
 This is Emily. Isn't she cute too? I love having one of my longest and most wonderful friends on my campus but since we teach completely OPPOSITE groups (she's Kinder, I'm 5th) we hardly ever see each other during the day! 

Alright, thanks for sticking with the longest 5forFriday EVER. Check out the linky party for first/second week stories and other fun stuff! 
Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)