Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Odds and Ends

Hi everyone! I had the pleasure of teaching ALL DAY last Friday when our lovely student teacher Miss Dube was out. I knew I missed teaching the entire day, but I didn't realize just how much until I got to be the teacher all day again. :-) Miss Dube is awesome, though, and we sure will miss her when she's gone. Her last day is November 30th. :-( We will send her off with a farewell party, so watch for details on that soon. Our wonderful day on Friday reminded me that I should inform all of you about the status of Miss Dube and what's to come...

Miss Dube has slowly taken over many teaching responsibilities as we have progressed through the trimester. We plan everything together, but she has taken on more and more direct instruction each week. Next week will be Miss Dube's "solo week." We have worked together to plan the week, but it will be Miss Dube handling all teaching responsibilities on her own.  I will be in the building throughout the week planning future instruction and preparing materials, and I will formally observe some of her lessons. Her supervising teacher from St. Michael's College will be in our classroom frequently as well. After the solo week, I will gradually resume teaching responsibilities while Miss Dube phases out in preparation for her departure on November 30th. Please be in touch with questions!

Here are a few photos that tell about some of what's going on in Room 6...

"Brain Breaks" continue to be extremely popular and motivational in our classroom. Students love the dancing brain breaks with  videos on the whiteboard. We take these breaks in between academic learning/work periods to recharge our bodies and minds before starting the hard work of focused learning again!
Just look at that happiness! Love it!
Focused and ready to write after an energizing brain break. :-)
Miss Dube and I put our heads together to help students battle "Backwards Bob," the pesky fictional character who invades our classroom and turns numbers and letters around in students' work. Bs and Ds are especially troublesome. Ask your child to explain the B and D trick pictured above. I expect students to think about which way lowercase b and lowercase d should go and to not just write the uppercase letter instead. We are working hard on only using uppercase letters when needed (proper nouns and beginning of a sentence). 
Star Sentence Criteria...there are more criterion to come, but these are the two we are focusing on at the moment. :-)
We really do have wonderful writers in Room 6, and this checklist for rating our writing has really made a difference in students' diligence in following through with a story until it's done. Everyone is striving for "Four Star" writing! In Writing Workshop, we are encouraging students to write "Small Moment" stories about their lives--things that have already happened--over at least three pages. Taking time to write words and do illustrations is important too. The main focus right now is using lots of details to tell about what happened.

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