Sunday, September 29, 2013

Catching Up & ePals

     I have been missing in action the past two weeks.  I never would have thought that coaching cheerleading would be so time consuming.  What makes it the most time consuming is how tired I am by the end of practice or a game and then still have lessons to plan or papers to grade.  So I am going to try very hard to get out of the rut I feel like I am in and locate some more energy.   Other than not feeling like I have any free time, the past two weeks have went really well.  I haven't even began teaching what I find to be the fun stuff yet.

     For  the past couple of weeks in language arts we have been reviewing the parts of speech and writing.  One class wrote superhero stories while the other wrote about barbeque and Pepsi for a writing contest our city holds.  We also have been preparing for having ePals by working on word processing skills.  We currently have one class we are emailing from New Zealand.  We are willing to email exchange any class if you would like to participate with us.  Our school has a safe email system that is filtered for us to email other students with.  My goal with emailing other students is for students to practice writing skills, learn about the daily lives of others and share what they are learning in school.        Please contact me as soon as possible if you would like to be ePals with my classes.  I have a total of 53 students.

     We have done a lot of singing to help reinforce grammar rules.  Last week we sung the preposition song which they really enjoyed.  We even made signs with prepositions on them and acted out the words.  On the quiz I gave, almost all of students got the prepositions questions correct! I wish there was a song and dance for everything I teach.

In social studies we are finishing up learning about early humans.  We studied early humans and how life changed in early Paleolithic and Neolithic time periods.  They will be assessed on the material next week and then we finally get to start learning about civilizations.  I really enjoy teaching Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent.  Flocabulary has a really cute song to go with it.

In other news my students have been very well behaved this year which makes for a very happy teacher.  What I think is helping my students stay behaved is using what I learned from reading Teach Like a Pirate.  I try to never have my students listen to me lecture for too long, and always plan some kind of activity for them to do.  I also use Whole Brain Teaching which keeps them engaged.   One of my classes earned their first reward time this week.  They really enjoyed playing games and what was great was that they were learning while playing games and didn't even realize it! 

    As for what is going on with me outside of school, I just turned 25! Last week was filled with sweet presents and love from my students.   One group came up to be in the hall and burst out in song, while another class sang to me to start our class period.  I've never had a group of students care that much to make sure I had a good birthday.  Even when I entered the gym for cheer practice the squad sang to me.  It was very sweet.  I also had a nice birthday dinner at home.  My family grilled out and I got to see my niece and nephew.  This was one of the best birthdays I had in a long time!

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