Conferences

Spring Conferences are finally over for the week! The fall conferences happen in October and I was still getting to know my students. The spring conferences are student directed so it is much easier for me!

I had to take a lot of small group time to role play exactly what and how each student would share their growth from the fall to now. Some of the things they shared were:

  • Self Reflection Form
  • Reading Passage at their level
  • HFW progress
  • Math Assessments/Current math game
  • Writing Samples…including a published book
  • Art Work
  • 2 things they are good at/ 2 things they are working on

I was amazed how honest my students were in sharing their Self-Reflections! When I asked one student why she colored a happy face and a straight face for Listening when the teacher is talking, she replied,”Remember that time I heard Nova sneeze, I said bless you? I was talking while you were talking!”

I really do love listening to my students share their own work with their families. I’m able see just how much they really did grow academically, socially and emotionally!! 32 years of teaching and I still love teaching six and seven year olds( they teach me a lot also)!

Car vs Truck

I have been driving a red Chevy Volt for the last three years. I only need to put gas in when I travel out of town. Having an electric car has saved me a lot of money.

My husband and I are considering getting a fifth wheel so we will need a truck. I know trucks are gas guzzlers so it will be hard to go from purchasing gas once in awhile to weekly!

What is a good truck for hauling a lot of weight? Is there one that is better on gas than others? Do we go with a hybrid model? I love the idea of having a truck because they are better during the winter traveling.

They Call Me MoMo

Giving and receiving hugs
RV trips together
Ariana is the only girl
Never ending fun
Drawing together
Carter is the oldest
Hanging out reading
Imaginary play
Luca is the youngest
Day trips to parks
Routines are a must
Energetic little people
Nothing better than being a MoMo

It is wonderful being a grandparent…. I want to spend all my free time doing things with them! Seeing my children parent makes me so proud!

Great Nephew Loves Nail Polish

I have a four year old great nephew who loves playing with barbies, wearing nail polish, dressing up as princesses and enjoys dancing. His mother wants him to do what makes him happy so she buys some of those things for him. His father wants him to play football, play with trucks and wear nothing but boy colored clothing. There is some tension between the two on how they should raise their little boy!

When I went to his fourth birthday party, his mom had a list of items he would like for gifts. Everything on the list were items the father wanted him to have. The list did not seem like they were things my great nephew wanted.

I want him to be happy playing with what he wants to play with, wear the things he wants to wear and do the activities that make him happy. Should I chat with my niece regarding this or keep my thoughts to myself? What would you do??

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Report Cards in Younger Grades

I am just finishing up our standards based report cards for the second time this year in first grade. I honestly feel sitting down and grading ALL the Common Core Standards for each first grader is very timely. There are over 50 different standards not including grades for science/social studies.

When I first started teaching in the 80’s, I used grades like N…Not making progress, I…Improving, S…Satisfactory and VG…Very Good in all the different subjects(Reading, Writing, Math, Science and Social Studies). There were only a few standards under each subject. It made it so much easier to grade. I understand as the students get older they should be held more accountable for their standards.

All of my students are making progress. Some quicker than others and some slower than others. All the research I have read says that by third grade the students start to average out with their academic and behavior levels. Pre K -2nd grade students are trying to figure out what school is all about along with building their academic and social stamina. I have to write a 1, 2, 3 or 4 for their proficiency levels on each of their standards. I would prefer to grade like I did in the past for my first graders!

RVing

My husband and I were left a brand new Class C RV back in 2015 when his brother passed away of a Brain Tumor. Every summer before that we always went camping but always used a tent. His brother knew how much we loved camping and wanted us to have something better than a tent.

We used the RV the last two summers which was a lot better than tenting. We are now looking into purchasing a fifth wheel because they are a lot more spacious! We spent the day at the Civic Center looking at the different RVs. We loved the Sandpiper models. I can see us eventually retiring and living in an RV full time. We did not purchase one today because we want to make sure we research the best one for our needs/wants.

Do you go RVing? What do you think is a must have in a RV? Do you know anyone who lives in one full time in a four season area?? We want to invest in one that we will be able to drive to any state in the United States no matter what season it is.

Fat Boy Chronicles Movie

I had the chance to watch Fat Boy Chronicles today and wonder if kids really treat other kids like they treated Jimmy. I loved the way Sable stepped up and defended Jimmy when he was getting bullied.

We really need to get kids to speak up when they are bullied. As a teacher, I know I will be more alert for bullying when near the older students in the school. I rarely see bullying in first grade. What age have you noticed bullying? What was the child being bullied for?

I have had students rough playing on the playground but not targeting the same student each time. I have never witnessed it myself as a kid or as a teacher. We need to continue making sure ALL students feel safe in school! They need to reach their full potential without any bullying!!

Sisters

How many sisters do you have? I have/had three sisters and we are all very different. My oldest sister Jane was six years older than me(she passed away at the age of 60), my sister Nancy is three years older than me. Then there is my youngest sister Katie. She is eight years younger than me.
Jane was the rebel of us all. She loved to party. She would sneak out of the house with cigarettes in her socks. My father caught her smoking one day and made all of us kids(7 total) sit and watch her smoke a whole pack of cigarettes. I will never forget that! She got pregnant and had a baby at 17. She did graduate high school ten days after having her baby. She moved out of the house right after graduation.
Nancy was the caretaker of us all. She always watched us, did the house cleaning and made us dinner because our mother worked as a waitress and did not come home until after nine o’clock at night.
I was the only athlete out of my sisters. I chose to hang around my three brothers and play all the sports they played. I played field hockey, basketball and softball up until high school. Then I played basketball and softball in college. I did play a year of professional basketball after college. I was the only sister to go to college and graduate. My oldest brother went to college and graduated before me. 53853836_2793561160782844_2488399365769527296_n

Then there is Katie. She is the youngest sister/child of our family. She could do anything she wanted. Everyone always spoiled her. She would have to tag along with us when we went to the park or anywhere else!
We only had four bedrooms in our small apartment. Jane had her own room and Nancy, Katie and I had to share a room. I loved having my sisters near even though we were all very different!
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First Grade Writing

We have done many Author studies this year. This young author wants to write like Stephen King (I have not read any of his books in my classroom). This is 1 of 11 pages he wrote in a half hour of writing today. He stapled a front and back cover to his book and sat it on my desk. He had a sticky note on it that said… For Mrs. Cooper only. He told me his friends would be scared if they read it so he didn’t want to put it out with our other published books.

I started the year off with typing up most of my students books if they felt they were ready to publish. We would conference together and edit where needed. I had to stop typing up his because his books were so long. I was conferencing with him daily and he wanted me to type them up right after we conferenced. He is now very happy to add a front and back page to his writing and call it published.

He has also read the first 17 Magic Tree House books since just before February Vacation(Less than a month). I was missing books 17 and 18 from the series in my classroom and he asked me yesterday if I would go out and buy them. I told him I would borrow them from another teacher and buy them from our March Scholastic Book order. He was so excited. He completed book 17 and is halfway through book 18!

My students transition every 15-20 minutes with different activities throughout the day so he is doing other things other than reading and writing.

Do you know of a kid Author I could have him research?

Sounds at School

I decided to do a 5 minute Quick Write about the sounds I hear at school.

Sometimes I just need to sit in my classroom with the lights off and do nothing after a long day. There are so many sounds I am hearing. The children from Aftercare on the playground screaming…you can’t do that, you cheated, he just hit me, bouncing balls, two girls talking by my outside classroom door not knowing I am sitting in my room. An adult yelling to a student to come see him.¬† So wonderful the weather has improved that they can go outside to play.

The sounds of the photocopier being used down the hall. Two teachers talking away in the teachers room. Doors closing! Someone upstairs moving chairs and desks around. Footsteps of staff walking in the hallway. The toilet flushing upstairs. The custodians bucket being pushed down the hallway ready to enter another classroom to clean. An adult from Aftercare walking with a couple of students who need to use the bathroom. The sounds of wet boots on the floor.

My 5 minutes is up so…