Sunday, October 18, 2015

Book Order Hooray!

Got a Scholastic book order on Thursday. Love Scholastic book orders! I got over 20 free books - partly from some saved points, and partly from freebies because we had a big enough order, and partly because I got 2 coupons for $5 free books because of our September order. 

{Big Aside here -- If you aren't doing Scholastic Book orders, you ought to look into it. Scholastic keeps making it easier and easier for the teacher to input orders.}

While the kids were gone, I distributed the books -- just set them on the desks of those who ordered.  

This is what it looked like after I had passed out the books. 
Notice anything?
Yep, me too. 
That set of desks in the back, well, they are some of my higher readers -- and guess what? They all ordered books!
The set of desks in the front -- lower readers -- some very low and some average low. Notice the lack of books. 
I'm truly not saying this to condemn any parents, but it does make a difference what happens at home. {I know, I know... I'm preaching to the choir on this one!} 
As conferences are coming up this next week, I wish there was some way to share this with parents without hurting their feelings. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Honeysuckles and other things

This plant kinda sums up things for me. It's a honeysuckle plant -- you know, those cool little flowers that you can pick and suck the nectar out of. I inherited it from my mom 5 years ago. Yes, that's right, 5 years ago!! And it still sits in this pot. And has only had one bloom. I asked my sister why she thought it wasn't blooming. She said it needed to be planted in the ground. But yikes, if I do that.... honeysuckles tend to spread all over, and where would I put it, and what would I do if it started spreading. Yes, I'm just a bit afraid to actually plant this thing.

And here are a couple pics I want to do in my classroom.

Brag tags I made myself ---

And a take a break idea I bought from Teaching in Progress.

And for some crazy reason, even though they are all prepped and ready to go, I just haven't used them. I'm afraid. I'm not sure I have all the kinks worked out. What if the kids don't use them like I think they should? What if they just flop?

Ummm, maybe they will flop. Maybe I'll see some kinks that will need fixing. Maybe I'll end up just scraping the idea. But shouldn't I at least try something that I was so excited about in August? 

Guess what? I have a place for the honeysuckle plant. Maybe I could just go ahead and plant it yet this fall and see what happens.  

Monday, October 12, 2015

It's not you, it's me

I've got this little friend.... He's sometimes such an annoyance. He talks out whenever he wants, often giving away the answer to a question I've just posed to someone else. He's a bit bigger than my other students, and his size and way he handles himself makes him a bit intimidating to my other students -- plus the fact that he can't seem to leave his hands to himself. He comes up and asks me questions during Guided Reading -- and he knows the answer; or he's actually done the "ask 3 before me" and someone else has told him the answer. He argues with the para who comes in my room. Even when I catch him doing something, he argues and says he didn't.

But Thursday and Friday of last week were a reprieve for some reason. He was calmer. He was polite. He was helpful -- both to me and other students. He stood in line without touching anyone. No one was whining his name -- I'm sure you can imagine. 

We use Class Dojo at my school. I have to say, I don't give many negative points. I've read some blogs about this that just make sense to me. I try hard to look for the positive. But with this student ... all I could see were negatives, which meant a negative point. And one day last week, can't remember which, I heard a student say "R has negative points." Yep, and he's the only one. Well, that sticks out like a sore thumb. 

And I started thinking:
It's not you, it's me!
{Haha... see this post and this post and this post!}

OK, not totally -- you, my little friend, are responsible for your own behaviors. But I, dear teacher, am responsible for mine - and my reactions - and my decisions. 

So what do I think happened? I think we both had better attitudes on Thursday and Friday. And it showed. And it made a difference.

But guess what - I want to be the kind of person I want to be {and that is not a reactive person} kind and gentle.  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Superhero Pumpkins

So I've got this little Superhero theme going on in my room -- not too much... but see here and here.

And I have to admit, I thought this was pretty clever AND it turned out so fun!

Yep, we've got pumpkins with capes and crazy hair and just a little of everything! I love looking at it. And it's definitely got me thinking about what to do in November and December -- maybe January, but definitely February. Can't wait!