Wow!! It's been quite a while (5 months to be exact,) since we've blogged! This school year has overwhelmed us both to huge degrees that something had to give. Unfortunately for both of us, it was our super fun and awesome blog. We're sad that we haven't been able to share our school year thus far, but our (at least my) new year's resolution is to be a better blogger!
Here's a very brief rundown of my year so far... As many of you know, I was able to loop up to 2nd grade with my amazing class. The year got off to a great start!! I knew exactly what my returning kids' skills were and we were able to hit the ground running. Since there were only 13 of my kids who actually returned, my class was filled to Florida's class size capacity with 5 new students. I spent a majority of the end of August-September assessing them, and planning for their instruction. I was thrown for a bit of a loop when I discovered one of my new sweeties is on the autism spectrum. Although he needs a lot of one on one attention, he has been welcomed with huge open arms by each and everyone of my former and new students. They love to assist him in any way possible. They are all wonderful role models and helpers. By October we were rocking and rolling with Daily 5, writer's workshop, and everything else that makes 2nd grade wonderful! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the curriculum too! It's fabulous to be able to write directions on the board on the first day of school and for the kids to be able to READ it and DO what it says!! I may not leave 2nd grade now. :-)
The change for me to my new 2nd grade team has been an adjustment. Due to my own personal request for keeping my 1st grade classroom as well as the lack of available classrooms upstairs, I am completely separated from my 2nd grade teammates. Of course we have a phone and email to connect with, but it's the lack of face time that I am missing. I am adjusting well though, and of course I still have my sister and 1st grade friends to bounce ideas off of. It helps that I am the team leader and we are required to have PLC (professional learning community) meetings each week in my classroom.
I think the "thing" that's weighed the most heavily on me (and my sister) is our new teacher evaluation system. Our district(county) has adopted the Marzano teacher evaluation system. Getting used to all of the new language, different domains, observations, etc... has been so time consuming! I've spent hours upon hours online researching different rubrics "scales", and learning goals. It has worn me out to the point where I stay away from my computer (except for facebook and pinterest of course!)
I had two amazing junior interns (Miss S. and Miss A.) who helped me tremendously. I'll post pics of their awesome bulletin boards once I get back to my classroom. I also have a fabulous parent helper (Mrs. W.) in my class each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. It's like I have my own personal para two times a week! I am sooo lucky!
I've also been spending lots of quality time with my little girl. She's growing up so fast and I don't want to miss a thing. I feel like her fist three years have been a blur and I don't want her next 3 to be the same, so I've been devoting my time after school until her bed time to her.
Although I would LOVE to have another 2 weeks off, I feel refreshed and ready to get back to my kids for the long haul. Our next break isn't until April! I have some lofty goals for the new year, one of which is to implement Debbie Diller's Math workstations! I've read the book during this vacation, and I am ready to go!! It's pretty crazy to start something new in the middle of the year, but if anyone can handle it, it's my kids. They are so adaptable and love to do and try new things. I've got a working camera again, so stay tuned for new pictures of my classroom and other happenings in my class!
P.S. I would love to thank Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for nominating us for The Versatile Blogger award and Marcy at Buzzin' On Cupcakes for the I heart your blog award. We appreciate your nominations and vow to be better bloggers!!! xoxo