Friday, January 31, 2014

Portable Land!

My poor portable was vandalized by a few mischievous elves over Christmas Break.  Here are pictures of the damage followed by a few photos after my family helped me clean up.  I wish I had  giant sized band aids to place over the plywood/windows.

This was my back door and point of entry.

I have a lot of windows in portable land!

This is pretty much what all my windows looked like...sad.

Things are back to normal except for the plywood covering the broken glass and a few missing blinds!

I'm so excited to have my computers up and running again!

My favorite portable land space!  :)

Small group work space!

Back Door!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I love reading Amelia's Blog, Where the Wild Things Learn so I've decided to Link up for the very first time with her A Day Our Way Linky!  

I currently teach a 3rd & 4th grade combination class due to Florida's class size amendment.  I have 8 third graders and 9 fourth graders!  I find it extremely challenging teaching two separate "blended" curriculum benchmarks and standards.  In Florida, a "blended" curriculum is a combination of The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards that are still assessed on our State's End of Year Standardized Assessment and the new Common Core State Standards.  

7:50-8:00: Morning Work: Students arrive, record homework in planners, and watch the morning news crew.
8:00-8:30: Science: I love teaching science!  This time is usually spent introducing new concepts and for exploration through the use of a science interactive student notebook.  Science content reading is integrated into my ELA/Workstation Block.  I have a science workstation filled with various texts related to our current science unit of study.  
8:30-9:00: 3rd Grade ELA/Close Reading:
9:00-9:30: 4th Grade ELA/Close Reading:  I begin with a reading benchmark/focus lesson using interactive student notebooks followed by a 3 day close reading cycle.  I use various text from Read Aloud Mentor Text, Leveled Readers, Chapter Books, and the basal reader. 
9:30-10:40: Small Group Instruction/Workstations: My small groups are extremely flexible based of course on student data needs.  I also have ELL and Intervention support staff push-in to assist during this time.  This is my favorite time of day!  If I could, I would teach this way all day long!!
10:45-11:15: Lunch
11:20-11:55: WTI (Walk-To-Intervention): This is when the entire grade level is ability grouped for intensive intervention/enrichment with reading & writing.
12:00-12:35: Special Area
12:35-1:05: Recess
1:05-1:55: Writing: My writing instruction consists of mini lessons, read aloud mentor text, modeled writing, figurative language, mentor sentences focused on narrative/expository prompt writing.  4th grade is a state writing assessment grade.  We only have 5 more weeks left to get ready for the FCAT Writing 2.0!
2:00-3:00: Math:I divide my time between 3rd & 4th grade.  I teach one grade level while the other is in Math workstations/centers.  I also have an intervention support teacher push-in during this time.  She is a life saver for me this year!  

My school is a Title I school that is considered "Plus 1" which means we get an extra hour each day for instruction.  There are only 4 elementary schools in our district that are given this extra hour.  Teachers are paid their hourly rate for this extra hour.  It's a nice chunk of change each year.  Even with this extra hour I find it hard to fit everything in that my students need.  

Let me know what you think!  I'm dying to hear from you!!  Susan

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Monday, January 20, 2014

First Time Blogger

The world of education is forever evolving therefore I must also evolve as an educator. This blog is my first step into the unknown world of Educational Blogging. I am scared to death of becoming "too old" or "outdated" as an educator. It is unacceptable to simply continue to follow my fellow educators quietly from the sidelines.  A fire has been lit within, and a desire to expand my wings into this remarkable new world of teacher collaboration.  Who will follow me?