Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What to do when they can't work on their own...

I have been struggling with this for a LONG time.  This is my first time teaching Junior (grade 4) and I had thought that they would be able to work independently on their own, with out me hovering over them, telling them to stop talking and get back to work. But noooooo, this doesn't happen. Ever.  They are a very chatty bunch, which I find funny because I have 17 boys and only 9 girls.... But whatever, they like to talk.

So my problem is, if I have a group of students at my back table, the class gets so loud and off task, I have to stop my small group, tell them to sit down, get back to work, and stop talking, constantly. What would take 10 minutes to do with my group takes 20 to 30 with the amount of interruptions.  I am losing my mind. I don't know what is left to do???  I have one student that I have to work with because she is on an IEP and requires scribing and she has become incredibly patient because she is interrupted constantly.  They  (even after being explicitly told to NOT) will line up at my desk to ask questions (which the answers to are on the chart paper step by step instructions or anchor charts around the room).

I give them the instructions at the beginning of every lesson, pointing out chart papers and anchor charts. We talk about where to find the info if they have questions. We discuss everything we can do if we finish (and make a list on chart paper or the white board), I then ask someone to tell me what they can do if they absolutely can not move on with my help (and they have checked the anchor charts, instructions and have asked 3 friends) and of course, because they all know, they all shot out READ.  So I like to think I have prepared them. (We also are usually working on more then one thing, right now we are making our non fiction medieval time stories, writing and adventure story) so they usually have multiple things to work on. But still, I get them coming up to me asking me what to do, and generally not paying attention t my instructions.

I am going to lose it.

What else can I do!?


Class decluttering plan

Week TWO of the clutter free classroom project.

As I have mentioned, I am the queen of hiding things to make it look neat so it doesn't bother me so I can function. (If I can't see it, it doesn't exist!) So this is going to be incredibly difficult for me.

Because I only work in the mornings, and I am way to lazy tired in the morning to get to school before 8 right now, I am really limited with my time (though I did go in on my holidays TWICE! If that doesn't show my devotion! I don't know what will! ) so it makes it difficult to tackle my room (which is why it is usually such a disaster).

My plan is to tackle small sections of my room at a time, and rope the kids into helping where they can. Right now it is crunch time,, reports are due this month and we have a huge project I want to get done by next week, a TLCP cycle that needs to be done before Family Literacy day (as we are writing stories to share) plus I have to squeeze in Health (national smoking week is next week - though I'm sure it is not called that, as that evokes pictures of everyone smoking which I feel is not the point hahaha) and drama. All in 2 periods a day (My schedule is crazy, I teach 8:45-9:35 then they go to gym, 3 times a week from 9:35-10:25. Then we have lunch, then I see my kids again at 11:05-11:55) so basically they can't help during class time! :D

Areas that need to be addressed are:
Classroom Library
Label books for library (print labels)
Computer desk (remove piles of books!)
Closet (where it is all put away hidden)
Plastic shelving

Sooo not too bad.

Since I share my room, I can't take over and have bins with labels on them. I also know I don't have much that would be worth giving away because I mostly have paper work that is not worth keeping. My pile will be keep and throw out/recycle.

I plan on tacking one section every few days. If it is printed out, its probably on my computer and I don't need to keep the paper copy (which I am trying to not print out because the paper waste in this profession makes my inner tree hurt).

I need to print labels and then recruit children (neat and care taking children) to stay in during lunch and label my books, tape the label and then put away. That should take a few days as I have tons of books and just ordered more from scholastic!

This seems so much easier then I know it will be!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Photo Help

How do I get my photos to line up nicely!! I select small, and then drag them into a row, and then view my blog and whamo, they look all messed up. HELP!!


I went to school today to work on my Grade 4 room (disaster zone) and I took photos off my mess as per Clutter Free Classroom, who suggest it! (Check her out here)  And I made a list of everything I needed to do.
So welcome to my back counter.

Very scary close ups. Unfinshed projects, stupid speakers that don't work, sock snowman, my start at trying to be organized (file boxes and such) Gah. It scares me that I'm posting this for you all to see.

Cupboards - disaster, yet contained.

My shelves. I have changed the blue shelf to match the black shelf (the blue one is now in the closet) But they are all still disasters.  I changed the 3 drawer shelf into a five drawer and have all my guided reading things in there.

This is right beside my teacher stuff, and its empty. Hmm, well other then Captain Underpants.

A place to hide all my stuff. It now has the blue shelf, and two big totes (Halloween and Christmas). AND all this stuff is now on my desk...

Books. The bain of my exsistence. I love books, and keep tying to grow our library, but its so hard to get them all labeled and taped. Let alone printing off all the labels. gah.  Its a bit neater, but not really...

So great start right?? You'd think so, but every time I crossed something off, I added two or three more things. As I moved things to new locations, more things ended up with no home. So now I have a HUGE pile of crap stuff sitting on my guided reading table, that was previously put away hidden before. Ug. I then stopped half way through and decided to mark some projects. As I was reading it, I realized there were quite a few kids who were totally not on the right track. So now I feel guilty that I didn't give them enough one on one time, or correct their work properly, or help them to succeed (even though I have the anchor charts up with success criteria) gah.  So going in today, made me feel worse, but knowing I am going back tomorrow is slightly de-stressing.

On a good note, I have bought ONLY the book so far, even though I have been tempted to buy other things like new skinny jeans, and tubs for organizing my classroom, (though I may need to buy 1 more set for me to store all my daily plans in), a really nice shirt and sweater I saw at Smart Set, binders to help organize my files at home and goodness knows what else. We are only FOUR DAYS in to January!! I am doomed. :D

Friday, December 30, 2011

Oh shopping how I will miss thee

Christmas is over, gifts have been given, parties still to be had, but the time has come to look at my bills.  I'm not going to lie, I may have cried. Not only did I slightly over spend for gifts but MAN did I spend a lot of money on ME! Now normally I don't complain, I LIKE spending money on me! I rule, I deserve it!! But I seriously need to rein it in! I really want to travel and see the world, but I also really want the clothes I want, the techy gear I want, the flat screen TV not from 1996 that I want.


To be independently wealthy and have some disposable income.  Since that is not so much in the happening any time soon category, I have decided to NOT shop for all of January (except to buy my brother his birthday gift).  Now that means NOTHING for school (oh man that will be hard - must avoid dollar stores at all costs), no new clothes, no more dvds, no more anything!  I will have to avoid the malls at all costs.  I have not cut out Tim Hortons or Starbucks because I don't go often, and I just got gift cards :D but as I write this, I think I will cut them out once the gift cards are gone.

I want to see how much I will have left over in my savings.

I already miss it.

Wish me luck!

**EDIT** um brothers birthday gift and new Joann Roberts book.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ah holidays!

We went straight through till Dec 23 in school, and I have to say, I really enjoyed that. I liked being there to the end, and knowing that I don't have to go back to school until Jan 9th, is a pretty awesome feeling. I have TONS to do, mark, and plan, so it wont be a total vacation.. but it may turn out that way.. :D

Yesterday my Mom and I watched Jamie Olivers family Christmas special show... and watched him make two turkeys, a ham, and a ton of other exciting and yummy looking things! We decided to try his simple turkey, no stuffing (done on the side) but sticking some rosemary and clementines (cut in half) into the turkey for flavour, massaging oil, salt and pepper onto the turkey itself and then heating the oven to the hottest it will go, wacking (as he said I believe) the turkey into the oven and turning it down to the 325 it needed to be. (something we have never done)  I did it all! (well minus the defrosting, de gibbleting and washing - my Mom did that) BUT I did the rest! I massaged the crap outta that turkey, stuffed it with oranges and rosemary and wacked it into the oven.  I was pretty impressed. I took a before photo! Not an after photo tho!! :(

Such a GOOD LOOKING turkey!

It was beautiful! and delicious! I also made on the side stuffing (not Jamie's as his required pork, which we just found odd) and that turned out well too!  I am stuffed and happy! My first almost all me turkey worked out well!

I hope everyone in blog land had a fantastic day!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (maybe with snow?? I'm pretty sure it's raining right now...)

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Fan-tab-u-lous give away!

Go to 4th Grade Frolics and check out her blog, A) because its pretty awesome (I have gotten many an idea from Tara) and B) because she is having a great give a way!! So easy!!  Check out her blog for the instructions, and try your hand at winning!!!

Thanks Tara!!! I love love LOVE giveaways!!