Friday, December 23, 2011

Goodbyes and Merry Christmas

The good news: I'm finally on winter break!!!

The bad news: My long term sub job in second grade finished today : (

As I mentioned before, this
w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l class
(at a super-fabulous school) had a fantastic teacher that was asked to fill a program coach role that unexpectedly opened in November. So I stepped in while they interviewed for a teacher. They found one that would begin in January, and so I had my glorious 6 weeks with the lovely class.

I really do hate goodbyes, but I've done it so often now with my moves abroad, my long term positions, friends, family, etc. that I have found a way to maneuver around it. I simply try to feel forever GRATEFUL for the experience(s) and reflect on what I learned from the person/situation/class/etc.  Then my heart doesn't seem to hurt so bad.

Now I know my lifestyle is not for everyone. Moving overseas here and there, enduring the schedule of a loved one in the army (although he's out now!!), working at different schools (sometimes completely unknown), finding a place to live in a new city, being away from friends and family.

I enjoy the challenge of meeting new people at all the schools, being a part of all the teams and seeing how they do things, observing efficient schools vs. poorly managed schools, gaining experience in various grade levels, and of course meeting all the children with their shining personalities!

I started to write about my past teaching jobs, but that got too long and so I put it here if you want to read it : )

One of the things I liked about this job was that the teacher had already started journals for everything (as in, everything is documented in journals......and if at all possible, we try to avoid worksheets) which is totally my philosophy for independent practice as well !

So I got to have fun coming up with ideas for their's some pictures.

This was in connection with their basal story that week.

Centers: Sort spelling words by sounds
(this was a review week). I made directions, and gave them
a word bank to look at each week.

The word banks I made each week
for the spelling lists (copied on
cardstock, about 5 in a center)

Centers: Directions, spelling list, whiteboard......
Give your friend a spelling test!

Centers: Build spelling words and record in journal

up close picture of Sort by Sounds center
recorded into journal

math journal

Centers: Directions and worksheet (yes, sometimes you
can't avoid it!) for using spelling words in context.

I don't always use the sticky pads,
but sometimes as a surprise, I put it
in their centers tub. This center has
cards to make various lists

A writing prompt about a rain forest story
we read. I find prompts and sentence starters
especially important for ELL students.

Sentence starter for making your own gingerbread man

Beginning, middle and end of
Gingerbread Baby. We edited and made
a final copy
Final copy of beginning, middle and end of
Gingerbread Baby.

Trying to get some weekend writing going like we did
in Australia at the language school. They did so good!

I gave them weekend word banks and
past tense verb word banks for their tables.

Let me know if you're interested in the word banks. I've been thinking of making my first item in my TPT store an ELL packet.

A few more pictures from today (our day before Christmas break!)

But let me first say that last night we had the annual Second Grade Polar Express night (from 5-8 pm at school).......the kids come in their pjs, enter with their special ticket, have pictures with Santa, make crafts, enter the decorated hallway (train) and have hot chocolate and cookies, and then watch the movie on a big screen in the cafeteria and get bells at the end.

All very sweet, but today I was tired (well my fault because I was at Fed Ex so late).

But I was greeted at school with an amazing staff breakfast (they put one on once a month).

Then it was onto gingerbread houses with our kindergarten buddies.

so many people came to help

I have never seen so much candy!!

OK, here's one more thing as I write this post and continue to unwind from this very long day.

ignore hole punches on bottom of blue, we were playing with it

Our classes rotated to the other second classes this week, for different activities. Our class read The Mitten, brainstormed beg/middle/end and then wrote (in our own words) each section on each of the mittens.  Then they designed/drew on the back. Finally they put yarn through the mittens so they can hang it across a window or wall at home. What do you think?

If you do a Jan Brett or snow unit, this lesson went really well. A word bank of words from the story was helpful for them.

Alright now. Onto some peaceful sleep (now that I've got a handle on my sinus infection and have meds!!) and sleeping in tomorrow!

Enjoy your break ladies!



Kristin said...

You definitely have a positive attitude about leaving your second graders! All of the stuff in your classroom and school looks amazing!!!! Such fun activities! I love that the Polar Express was in the evening.
A Teeny Tiny Teacher

travelingteacher said...

Thank you! Yes, I try to positive otherwise I might not ever take on long-terms. It's hard to say goodbye, but their new teacher is great which makes me happy.

Stacy said... are SO much stronger then I would be. I had an amazing group for my first group of matter what I think I would have though they were amazing...but I almost cried everytime we had a long break! Keep your positive outlook, what an exciting life you live! Keep us posted!

2nd Grade Paradise

Hadar said...

Ok I just read your teaching around the world and back...what a great story!! I'm pretty much obsessed!

Samantha said...

I am your newest follower! Thanks for the word work ideas!


Dawn said...

You did a great job I can see from the things you have done with the students. I am sure they will miss you.

Tanya V. said...

Hello there,

I nominated you for the Liebster Award. Please check out my blog to pick up your award. Enjoy!

A Class Act

Sally McGregor said...

I am a new ESOL teacher. I would love to get a copy of your word lists!

Michelle Carabeo said...

I love your blog! I would also love a copy of your word bank!