Let’s just get this out of the way first: I have a desk. I am so freaking happy about my desk. I knew there would be some kind of “space” in the classroom that would be for me. But I have a desk, and a file cabinet, and a shelf, AND I’M OBSESSED WITH ALL OF IT. Who knew a desk could make me feel so official?
This is my desk pre-file cabinet. With all the supplies that she provided for me. I just thought that was so thoughtful! But believe me, I had many of my own things to add. 😉 I will have to document what it looks like now! Even though I was so super excited about my spot in the room, I hardly sat down at all. I don’t particularly like sitting at a desk when students are in the room because they will always need assistance or the presence of a teacher at all times. My teacher said it best: leave no time for them to wonder what’s coming next! They’re only in second grade. They need that order!
My day began with a faculty meeting bright and early at 8 a.m. It was about bullying which kind of sparked my interest because the seminar I am attending at my university on Thursday is also about bullying! Throughout the morning, I also met a ton of new people. I introduced myself to the secretary, the principal, and the janitor and then I met the building substitute and many of the primary teachers at the faculty meeting. The elementary school serves grades kindergarten through five and there are only TWO of each grade level! I was definitely surprised by the small size, but all the teachers know each other and the students so well. It is a great environment.
The most important thing my cooperating teacher wanted me to do today was to observe their routines. My students have a lot of differentiated instruction needs, so there are students in and out of the classroom all day. It is a very interesting dynamic but I loved seeing something I learned about in class in practice in a real classroom! Their math series is also very similar to how I was taught many elementary math concepts in my undergrad classes, so I guess I will need all of those detailed notes, after all. 🙂
My excitement about the desk…I also really like grading things and putting them in their mailboxes. I get to help with grades and have my own grade book at the end of this nine weeks (!!!). Today, I had to satisfy my need to organize their mailboxes/grades by returning tests for them to take home. I also had a short letter about myself to send home with them so that their parents know who I am! I love mail.
Some of my favorite parts of the day:
1. A New Years Resolution — “chrying to be cwyiet in the hall.” Sound it out 🙂
2. Seeing how excited they were for Minute Math & story time. Each month, my teacher focuses on a different author. In January, they will read books written by Robert Munsch. He is the greatest storyteller! After she read the story aloud, she brought his website up on the SMART Board so the students could hear him read. So fun!
3. Someone lost a tooth 🙂
4. Getting to know the students through an M&M icebreaker!
I edited this icebreaker that I have played a few times, but I used real M&M’s. 😉 For the students, I used a deck of cards that I bought in NYC last month with M&M’s on them. If you go on Pinterest, there are many variations of this game. None have a list quite this long, though! I had to get a bit creative. Usually, you take a handful of M&M’s and the colors you chose determine what facts you share about yourself. For my students, I had them each choose 2 cards from the deck and match their number or face card to the list. With 27 students, two random facts is perfect because a) they can’t get confused when they are explaining (it’s only 2 things!) and b) the game stays a game and keeps them interested. Time is of the essence! I had the best time calling on them (because I was memorizing their names all day!) and my cooperating teacher really enjoyed learning new random facts about them! It was a great way to end the day.
Another great way to end the day:
This is the only time I will ever appreciate Arctic temperatures.
On the other hand, I am kind of sad I won’t get to see a full week in action! I’m sure I will manage somehow. Probably with hot chocolate and my blankie. 😉
If you’re a teacher, read this: http://thoughtcatalog.com/kate-bailey/2014/01/17-signs-you-were-meant-to-be-a-teacher/