Welcome Back

Today is December 24, 2012 (Merry Christmas!!!)…my last post was September 14. So much for keeping up with blogging during my first year. I promise I haven’t forgotten but between teaching, giving countless CSCOPE tests, grading papers, work for Teacher Fellows, preparing my Action Research Proposal, and dealing with Milo and all his accidents lately, I have been a wee-bit busy! But finally it is Christmas Break. Do you know what that means??? That means I have made it through my first semester of teaching!!!! What?!?!? Crazy!

When I think back to the first days and weeks of school, I am amazed at how much I have grown as a person and as a teacher. The love I have for my children has grown immensely. I love those babies as if they were my own. (Which means they drive me crazy-a lot, but I love them still the same!) I have finally gotten to the point where I am not nervous the whole time or worried about completely screwing something up in front of my kids. I feel like I have gained SOOO much knowledge in the last 4 months. I couldn’t tell you exactly what all I have learned, but I have grown so much.

My kids continue to make me laugh on a daily basis…Some days they make me want to pull my hair out. They are a chatty chatty class, but we have been improving as the year has been progressing. I have recently started a new management system in my class which the kids like. It is called Class Dojo (http://www.classdojo.com/). I put it off for a long time cause I thought my Buchtien Bucks were sufficient, but for some of my special friends, I needed to have something that provided some sort of negative penalty for their behavior. I am all about the positive incentives, but for some kids it’s just not working. I have it pulled up on my computer 24/7 and I walk around with the app open on my phone at all times. When the kids are demonstrating good behavior I click on their name and give them a dojo point based on their behavior. So if Tom is walking in line quietly, he will get a “Walking in Line” Dojo Point. But if Tom starts talking while I am talking, I can just as easily take a point away. The best part? It makes this really cool noise every time I give or take away a point. The students never know who is earning/losing a point, but they can hear a sound. Usually when the bad sound dings, all my kids straighten up and silently say a little prayer “Please don’t let it be me!!” At the end of the week, they cash their dojo points in for Buchtien Bucks to use at the class store.

I gained a new student about 6 weeks in, then lost a different student a week later, and then my new student left again so that leaves me with 14 bubbly, smiling, precious, loud, crazy, funny, sweet, kiddos! They make my heart so happy! I am very blessed to have such a small class. It has really made things easier as far as the classbuilding and teambuilding go. We have less students so I feel like it is easier for them to connect. It also takes less time to grade papers! And that’s where it really counts, right?!?

Sorry again for my lack of updates this past semester. My goal is to get lots of posts completed in the next week or two. I also am hoping that I can post more throughout the New Year since I won’t be as busy (hahaha…yeah right!). But I will try! Hope you are enjoying the holiday season! Merry Christmas! Love to you all!

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