Saturday, February 16, 2013

Crazy Pinning, Formal Observation, Teacher's Notebook, and Number of the Day

I've been pinning like crazy today! I'm looking for some pinspiration for my formal observation. I want to do a reading lesson, but I don't want to use our basal! I'm sick of it, and it's not very exciting at all.  My kids have way more fun and are engaged so much more when I teach outside the box {literally and figuratively!!}! I'm thinking about visualizing, writing about what they were visualizing, and how authors use adjectives to help their readers visualize. I don't know though... I'll probably change my mind 5 times from now 'till my pre-observation conference. If you have any great ideas for Second Grade, or book ideas, please let me know!

Last year I did a really great inference lesson, so this year I'd like to do something else. My observation this year is with my new Principal, so I'd like to impress him. Who doesn't want to impress? :-) I'm a little nervous though... even after 12 years of teaching!

Our district uses Marzano's teacher evaluations. The observations are so in depth that it's so hard to "cover" all of the things that they're looking for. I'm just going to teach the way I know best, and hopefully that's what he's looking for.

Speaking of evaluations and observations, observing veteran teachers other than simple walk throughs is a pretty new concept for our district. In the past we were able to complete a growth plan or do an action research project and they counted that for our evaluation. When we were new, we were observed two times a year, and that was that. Now, new teachers have two formal observations, and at least two informal observations and veteran teachers have at least two informal observations and one formal. I completely understand the reasoning behind it, but it's pretty stressful. Especially when you don't know when your informal is coming! How are things in your district? Same ole, same ole, or have things drastically changed in the last few years like in ours? We'd love to hear about it, and how you're adjusting.

Did you know that it's free to sign up with Teacher's Notebook now? We found out last week, and decided to take the Teacher's Notebook plunge! We're in the process of adding our products and we will be selling them for the same price as our TPT products. If you prefer to shop on Teacher's Notebook, please check out our TN shop and follow us.

On another note, I've been busy like a bee working on my Second Grade Number of the Day Packs... so far I've put four of them up on TPT. I have four more to go for second grade and then I'm going to start working on third grade. If there is a theme that you'd like for your class, please send me an email. I'd love to work on it for you!! =)

Have an awesome Saturday night!! My little girl, Makenzie is over her Nana and Granddad's house for the weekend, so my hubby and I are heading out tonight! It's been a while!!


  1. Every time I stop by, I have a craving for a chocolate cupcake with pink icing! I don't have any idea why!! :) I have to go check out your number of the day packs! Would they work for 1st?

    1. I do too! I love cupcakes... A little too much, I think! :-) I think this pack would work for your higher achieving math students in 1st... It may be over the head of some, but if you do it with them, I think it would be great practice for next year! Their 2nd grade teachers will love you!! :-) I will have the 1st grade pack done before the end of the school year. :-)

  2. I have been on a pinning craze as well! Sometimes I feel that I'm going to get carpel tunnel from too much pinning! :)

    I did a great visualizing lesson last year: We had a class discussion about what visualization is and then I read the students a picture book WITHOUT showing them the pictures. They had to visualize, or create a movie in their heads, about what was happening in the story. I read the story to them twice: the first time they just listened, and then the second time they drew pictures in three small "camera lens" cutouts (one for the beginning of the story, one for the middle, and one for the end). We put the pictures together in the middle of a "camera" and posted them on a bulletin board.
    It was a great lesson - and threw in some sequencing practice for the kiddos as well.

    (Hope that makes sense - wish I had a picture to show you!)

    I used Mrs. Piccolo's Easy Chair" by Jean Jackson, but you could theoretically use any book.

    Good luck with your observation!

    Joy in the Journey

  3. Thank you so much, Jessica!! What great ideas!! :-) thanks for the book suggestion too! :-)

  4. Good luck with the observation. I am sure you will do great. We are in the process of changing our evaluations. It's hard not knowing what to expect. We have been looking at Marzano. Do you think it is a good system for evaluations?

    Eclectic Educating

  5. Thank you so much, Amy!! There are some really good parts of Marzano, but there are also some that don't make sense for little ones, but do make sense for older students. Tracking with very specific scales for kinders and firsties who can't read yet, is pretty silly. Stopping in the middle of your teaching to formally "check in" with students doesn't make sense to the flow of a lesson. Marzano's evaluation system is extremely in depth, and the feedback it provides is pretty good, but sometimes it's just too much. There were lots of growing pains when it was implemented last year, and the growing pains are still there, just not as bad. I think they'll be growing pains no matter what evaluation system is chosen. Good luck!! If you have anything to say about it, I would recommend looking at all of the systems out there before just picking one. I don't think that was the case here. I think they just jumped on the bandwagon because everyone else was. Thanks so much for emailing me that article!! =)


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