Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Bye, Bye, Bye School Year!


Planting wildflowers.
Someone asked me recently where I haven been and what I have been up to – more specifically, why I hadn’t updated in so long.  Well, there are quite a few reasons actually, so why not dive in a little bit right here.  My last post came at the end of summer as we geared up toward summer break.  What followed over the course of the school year has been nothing less than chaotic and wonderful all wrapped into a large, messily wrapped box - bow may or may not be included!


Group reading activities.
The weekend before school started, we moved from south of Detroit to north of Detroit.  This means I moved away from the area I’ve know my entire life and to an area I was only semi familiar with.  The change has been wonderful!  I love our new home and can’t wait to reach a point when we can do those updates that we are really pushing for (that kitchen!). 

Later in September, we took a weekend trip to Boston and well – I returned an engaged woman!  I was hoping it would happen then and I was so happy when it did!  I went into full-blown wedding planning mode as I knew I wanted to get married the following summer.  We set our date for July 14, 2018 and we are doing a full on brewery wedding.  As the date inches closer and closer, I’m finding that we are taking on more and more tasks towards planning.  I can’t imagine how people plan large, elaborate weddings.  Planning something small is hard enough.

Osmo was a huge hit in our classroom!
Now on to the meat and potatoes of it all….THE SCHOOL YEAR!  This year I had a classroom that started with 16 students and is ending with 13.  I know, sounds like a dream, right?  Well, it has come with it’s own set of unique challenges.  I’m teaching 3rd grade, but it’s more of an intervention style   My students came to me ranging in reading abilities from end of kindergarten to second grade levels.  This required a lot of planning and thinking of what to do and how to do it.
classroom.

We utilized small groups and partner working as much as possible.  I worked with groups based on ability using a lot of Jessica Tobin’sReading Foundations series for first and second grade.  These were a lifesaver!  If you haven't given them a try, I strongly suggest looking into them.  They allowed me to take on mini lessons, small groups, and even centers for students to work on.  We visited groups of sight words each week and assessed them quarterly.  The improvements were so drastic that even I was shocked.  Many students even doubled in their growth, which really brought home the importance of a collaborative working environment in the classroom.  


We were into planting veggies this Spring!
Now that we are at the end of the year, finishing up state testing (which we all know is the worst), I am starting to reflect and really think about how and why I’ve done things.  I’m beginning to build my summer reading list and collect ideas for what to do in the coming school year.  I definitely want to implement some type of social-emotional curriculum that supports mental health.  I know that I also need to value my own mental health and hope push myself to pull back when I need to instead of  
just trudging forward.

Lastly, I’ve had so many requests to finish the First Grade Social Studies Bundle!  I am so fortunate to have people that support and love what I do and create.  That is this summer goal – revamp and complete!  Well, and get married, but we already know that.  I definitely want to add multiplication and division facts to my math factbundles as well.  We’ll get there. Eventually!