8.25.2013

First Full Week Back

Looks like I only blog once a week!  I guess that's better than nothing!  Getting back into the routine has kicked my butt.  I am so tired.  I'm very tired today and I don't know why, really.  I should be well rested, but I was awake at 5am.  My body really needs to learn the difference between a weekday and a weekend day.  Things would go so much smoother that way! 

We've been in school for 8 hot days.  Each day has been over 100*.  Luckily the hottest has been 106*.  But either way, it's still hot.  And it will be icky the next couple days.  We might get some rain today thru Tuesday they say.  Awesome.  We need the rain, but not 100*!  My kids have been pretty good about the heat.  They come in all hot and sweaty and then complain later that they are cold.  At least the A/C is working well!  I'd rather be cold than hot in there! 

I got a new student on Tuesday who is soooo low.  And a behavior problem.  And I can't seem to get ahold of mom to save my life.  Lucky me.  As with every class I have had, the majority of the kids are below grade level.  I think it's sad that they are moved to the next grade level without being proficient.  I know we do that with the kids going to 2nd, but the ones who are really low, we retain or get tested for Special Ed.  Nothing was noted on the cards about the kids being super low or anything.  It's just frustrating that we have so much to cover as it is in first grade, but then we have to work harder to catch the kids up and get them ready for learning.  2 of my students were above grade level in reading.  4 were at a DRA 4 (they are supposed to be a 4 @ the end of Kinder and magically come in to 1st at a DRA 6) and the others were a 3 or lower.  The majority are a DRA 3, but I have 3 kids who couldn't pass a DRA 2.  And that's just following a pattern.  They are supposed to know 40/50 sight words.  My 3 lowest know anywhere from 2 words (a & I) to 8 words.  I am still finishing testing this week.  I just know I have my work cut out for me.  And it's frustrating because I want to really jump into learning the new CCSS myself and how best to teach my kids with them, but we are still doing abc's. 

Anyway, I will work with my kids as best I can and make sure they get what they need.  We will get 20 minutes of extra afternoon intervention, which is new to us.  We are going to do a 2 week bootcamp for the kids who need letters and sounds.  We will re-evaluate the kids then and then send a different group after that.  Fingers crossed that they can get it and start to catch up. 

Last week was a review week still.  I had planned another week of review, but the majority of the kids are ready to move on to the beginning reading stuff.  I mean very beginning, but more than just letter sounds.  We need to get into blending and segmenting and reading.  So we will start tomorrow with our first theme!  I'm excited to get into teaching and getting stuff done!  In the meantime, here's a look at some things we did this last week to review.

We are working on reviewing our numbers to 30.  This is from my packet to review the numbers.  It can be found in my TPT store!  The kids are really starting to understand their numbers and see the patterns with numbers.  We are learning tally marks, ten frames and even and odd.  We are doing 2 numbers a day.  We are still waiting for our curriculum to be sent to us.  We will be using the updated CCSS version for enVision Math.  Too bad they didn't have  their act together and have it all ready to ship before school started.  Anyway....
 
We reviewed our color words.  The kids had to make a rainbow and then label the color words.  Then they had to draw a picture of themselves.  One thing I noticed with this year's class is they can' draw a picture of themselves really.  These 2 were the best I could find.  Guess we need to work on that.  We did do a directed draw of Chrysanthemum and they turned out really well.  Pictures coming soon! 



We did a semi-free response math activity on Friday.  I can the students 2 dice.  They had to roll the dice, count the dots and that's how many fish they were given.  Then they had to fill in the paper with the correct answers.  They had to write the number, the number word, figure out if it was even or odd and then draw the number in tally marks. 

We read some books this week by Kevin Henkes.  We filled in the chart with the characters feelings in the beginning and how they changed at the end.  Some of the kids really have a good understanding of why things happen.  Hopefully they will catch on really quick with reading itself! 
 
Our new schedule is not in my brain yet.  I'm always running behind and feel my morning is very choppy.  There too much I'm trying to get done and it doesn't flow yet.  Hopefully it'll start making more sense soon.  Now that we will get into the "real" teaching, I'm hoping it starts to feel more comfortable to me.  We'll keep our fingers crossed for that! 
 
Well, I have a bazillion things to do for tomorrow.  I have spent my weekend so far having fun with my daughter.  Time to get serious about work!  Here's to another great week at school!   

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