Tuesday, February 26, 2013

FL Writes Re-cap

Yea! It's over...well the test is.
There is still a multitude of lessons to cover before school is let out!
I really did not have much of a preference in what type of essay the students would write:
just give us a decent prompt to write an essay with!
Thankfully, the lovely ladies in Tallahassee heard our prayers and presented our students with a wonderful prompt in which they could develop an essay for. When I read the prompt for the first time chills went up and down my body...a splendid prompt indeed! 
My students came in with an array of emotions. Some were excited while others were nervous. They grabbed some energy and settled into their desks preparing themselves for the task at hand. The typical speech was uttered: no cell phone blah...blah...blah
And then it was their turn to shine and demonstrate all that they have learned. There is a part of me that wishes that a portion of ESE student's score was based on effort because they worked their little tails off for those 60 mins and then continued on into their extended time.
I love watching them write and plan their essays. In a way they are well oiled machines and did everything they have learned this year. Are they perfect writers, no. Do they make mistakes, absolutely yes! Did they try their best, they sure did!
and this is truly all I can ask of them is to try their best and use what they know when they are writing their essay!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Let the writing begin

I am not one to overly panic, but if someone handed me a brown paper bag this morning I am pretty sure I would of used it...Not that I would necessarily know what to do with it...I defiantly had the walls are caving in on me and I need to get out of my room moment. Thankfully there are some wonderful teachers around me that will instantly put me at ease just by talking to them.

The reason for my semi-melt down is that the FCAT writing test is tomorrow for my 8th graders. I feel 98.5% positive that they are as prepared as they can be and honestly there is not much I or they could do to improve their writing. Their ready...I am ready now I just need tomorrow to go by as smoothly as possible.

I continued the tradition of having my 7th and 6th graders write notes of encouragement to the 8th graders. I love this lesson of kindness and lifting people up through writing...I look forward to it every year!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Finger painting

I picked up a set of three canvas at hobby lobby with a goal of bringing out my inner five year old. I am pretty sure that most of my adventures in finger painting did not turn out to look as nice as the one below, but I suppose my skills are a little more advanced.
Then I saw this little saying on Etsy and decided to do a little re-create with a twist. The original was done in all black, but I decided to add some sparkle to the end of this quote. I used black paint for all the letters up into the word sparkle and let the paint dry. Then I used decoupage and went over the letters for sparkle and sprinkled gold glitter over it. An added bonus was that some of the black paint was not completely dry causing a light dusting on the black paint.
The third canvas is yet to be used.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Story Maps

I have two bullitin boards in my classroom. My goal is to have these boards last the entire year. One of the boards in my goal board for the year and the other is a liturature story map. There are five labels on this board:
Author's Purpose
These labels as well as the heading "story maps" were created by using an old map.
After students are done reading a story they are given five post it notes to write a couple of sentences about each of the five elements in that story. We do not use this board all the time, but it has come in handy.

Other ideas for an interactive bulliten board would be a plot line so students could identify the: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution of stories that they have read.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Interactive Organization

Let's face it students miss school therefore causing them to play catch up when they return. I am the type of teacher that will not hunt you down and give you the work you missed. Instead I have created a mini catch up corner to those that were absent. This area consists of two binders, metal file folder holder and a supply basket.
The binders hold a copy of every page of my interactive notebook. I did this mainly so my own notebook would not fall apart. Both binders contain the same information...just in case more than one student needs them.
I bought this metal file at target. Each tab is labeled with the page number the notes belong on or the title of those notes. Whenever a student did not get a copy of notes I just direct them to the metal bin and tell them what page or title the notes is called.   
 On the outside of the file folder contains instructions of how to complete the notes or a picture of what the notes should look like when they are finished.
I believe in making students responsible in the classroom.  After their bellwork a student will pass out everyones notebook while another student passes out supply boxes. By giving them the tools to keep on track with their notebooks the school year has run smoother and they take pride in the work they have accomplished.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sparkle Pebbles

The glitter bug has struck again after I watched my mom make a dozen or so of these beauties
Sparkle Pebbles Steps
1 layer of decoupage
Sprinkle glitter
Allow to dry (a couple of hours)
Apply another layer of decoupage to seal in the glitter
Clean up glittery mess
I later hot glued a magnet on to the flat side of the pebbles

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

And then there was this...

Interesting blog about a woman teaching middle school LA

So if you have a blog you are able to view how people come to your little piece of the Internet. A majority of my foot traffic is from pinterest...which if you have taken a picture from this blog and placed it on pinterest while referencing back to Oh Happy Day...I thank you.

Back to the picture
Yesterday was an interesting day. I teach three grade levels and if I have a spare moment I am usually working on multiple projects at the same time. Well, my project list has doubled and my ability to be ahead of the game in the classroom has dwindled. Case in point my lesson plans have not been turned in for the week...its in my calender, but has not been submitted via oncourse.

while shifting through the foot traffic on this here blog I came upon this re post of my paper chains. When I read the caption I was instantly amused. I tend to be a tad bit sarcastic with a pinch of skepticism thrown in for fun. And something about that caption just put a cherry on the top of my Monday.

So there you have it a pointless blog post
but I am okay with that

Monday, February 4, 2013

The one with his head down

If you take a close look at this photo you will see that there are four students working and one student doing the opposite. I shall call this student Mr. F.
Let me give you some background information on Mr. F:
I have taught him language arts for two and a half years.
Half of sixth, all of the seventh and what is left of 8th grade.
He originally started off in general education classrooms, but was not making it so he was placed in all intensive classes.
I do believe his goal was to land himself into a life skills class so he would have the least amount of work possible...and by looking at the picture he close to completing this goal.
I have done everything possible to help him be successful.
Called "parents"
Spoke with other teachers
tried to get him to attend tutoring
gave him the benefit of the doubt
Provided him with art supplies
praised him with no end in sight
supported him when others wrote him off
and yet this is what I get. Head down with no interest to improve his writing ability. Now, he does have good days and even great days, but these last couple of weeks have been rough for him, myself and everyone around him. I am at the point where I have to let him go and give the attention he would be getting to my other students because clearly he has given up.
Do I want to give up on Mr. F?
Has he given me anything to work with?
If by chance he starts beliving in himself again I will reposition myself as his biggest supporter...until then I have others students to worry about.