Monday, October 31, 2011

allow me to introduce myself

tomorrow I introduce hip hop/slam poetry to 16 4 and 5 year olds who will, no doubt, be flying high on sugar and very little sleep.

But today they were sweet ... excited ... bright eyed and grateful as we felt the inside of a pumpkin, decorated mini pumpkins, and ate sugary treats.

I love them. I love the way they hug me when they arrive and hug when they leave. I love that they almost know all their letters - 5 left to introduce....and then review.

I love that I did my first guided reading group today (seems early) and that they did well. Wow. I love how smooth things seem to go ... and how easy it is to be ready for tomorrow now. I love that I wonder at how fast the day goes by. I love my new last name.

I don't love Mondays.

But tomorrow is Tuesday.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Reflections on the New Year (ironically on Rosh Hashanah)

September 2011 – [Year 2]

17 days in and I still can’t believe it. My little friends from last year come by everyday to say hello – causing a slight identity crisis for me and my current students (they use my  maiden name …). My 16 little ones this year  are – well – full of character of course. I lost 1 already, a child with severe autism, an amazing memory, and a mind of her own. Though she was adorable and sweet at times it is a relief – suddenly on Thursday I was able to teach and my para could pull students. Perhaps I should evaluate my approach – if I didn’t have my para and she had to be a one on one what would I do?
The plane is 35,000 feat above farmlands – the sun is blinding and the refreshment of having been home is wonderful. But I recognize the weight of tomorrow in my neck and shoulders and simultaneously am sorry my students don’t have the opportunity to cross the country for a weekend. I am fortunate! I need to look for ways to give them experience without travel.
Here’s who I am thinking about…..

T-from last year, the sparkle in his eye has faded, he is going through the motions of school and is not loving it. He keeps talking about “his classroom” and “his teacher” ad when can he “go back.” It breaks my heart – he can’t possibly think I don’t want him! I take every opportunity I get to check in and to give him a hug and let him know I love him…. I miss him I miss the drive he gave me to give him my all.

This year’s kids – today a few come to mind:
TJ – a troubled little guy with a BIG heart and sweet spirit. He always wants to help me. He decides when he feels like being a learner but frequently decides he will sit and idly scratch or tap with the pencil. Lives with grandma, has no contact with parents but she is wonderful.

CB – a difficult girl, very much like my JD of last year – refuses to do what she should and stubbornly looks at you with her mouth open and tongue hanging out. I have already made it clear to her that I’m not patient and I need to change this.

SW – a loud, busy, and inattentive boy from Jamaica who frequently has long sentences of words I do not understand and with grammatical structures such as “Me have….” “Me go” “Me mom…” and I correct him repeatedly. I have discovered that he cannot sit still so I taught him this week to just wiggle his feet. His mom thinks he’s brilliantly above kindergarten learning – news flash? He is not.

J2 – a DOLL with a quirky grin, a sidewise glance, and a cheery “yep!” anytime you ask him a question. He is on the autism spectrum – but very capable of sitting and listening – just not comprehending, I worry that I will forget about reaching him where he is at – I need to conscientiously work with him at things. He loves “msdfjksjflkjs mommy daddy pizza” and every time we ask open-ended questions, that is his response.

J1 – a feisty, curly-headed little boy who tests me minute by minute throughout the day. On one occasion he repeated every word that came out of my mouth during reader’s workshop …. And when I asked him to stop? He whispered the words under his breath. There have been times when he was bothering his friends’ learning and I had to get in his face to correct the behavior – in response he plugged his little ears and squished his eyes up tight….nice. It’s a really really good thing he is so cute…because it is REALLY hard to not pick him up by his shoulders and shake him! His mom is wonderful and has volunteered to come in sometimes

CJ – a difficult, shy, and rough boy – hard to read but he frequently chooses to not listen even though I know he is capable … need to work on knowing him better.

D – what a funny guy. At times he is studious, on task, handsome, controlled, and ready to go. At other times his focus gives way to rambunctious swinging between tables, scattered running, skipping, sliding across the room, careless attention, mean words, and constant babble. I think he will do fine …. He needs some scaffolding.

I – haha well, this is a kid who is cute but frequently when I glance at him on the rug, his eyelids are inside out and he is sitting staring right back at me. Really? Freak? Then when they’re not inside out, he is cross eyed – on purpose. It’s hard to not laugh. I told him his eyes would get stuck that way. Problem is, his mom warned me that his brother has told him how awful school is and she is worried about him feeling that way…. Lots of pressure. But I still have to tell him what to do sometimes, and I do have to ask him to stop distracting his friends or rocking on the rug.

WORD WALL – yes I am thinking about my kid-height word wall, my attempt to create an interactive experience for my learners and to actually use it….but neglected to think that they might lean on it with their freshly oiled little heads. Result? A grease stain about 2 ft from the bottom. Hmm.

Bookshop – I am amazed by my little “readers” and the 15 minutes they have been able to sustain browsing alone and with friends…’s pretty impressive. This week I will push it to 20 minutes …. And introduce computers.

My class is all 4 years old again – they are predominantly below level – again – and with a few exceptions, do not know letters or concepts about print. This week I will find out their math abilities. I am almost done with DRA – and they are all below A so far. I did kind of ask for it….

side note just stretched and discovered the tiny little sparkles my ring throws on the wall of the plane – became very amused and it struck me that my kids would probably do the same thing

Those are the kids that come to mind – those and the ones from last year that come in EVERY DAY – Miranda, Katrina, Tashaya, Terence – little voices and faces from the door that make me smile and remember – YES I love this and they love me! It is exciting and encouraging)

With a full week ahead, I am excited to see some consistency and independence appear … .I have to say these past 3 weeks have been relatively painful – the first 2 more so, the kids couldn’t even sit criss cross and I forgot just how little gets accomplished. But they’re getting there.

All for now – needed to reflect because I appreciate going back to read what I wrote this time last year – the days of T running across tables, chasing him around the school, my principal chasing him down the street…. The moments I cried in and out of school – so far only 1 afternoon of tears this year, much of what is happening is familiar and while nothing is exactly the same, it is not all brand new and I appreciate walking into my room and knowing what needs to happen and what the kids need to look like when they leave me in June.…..And the confidence that they will get there.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A new year ... a New name .... A New Love for Learning

Heads up - It is September, I am married with a new last name for the kids to yell out enthusiastically as they wave their freshly scrawled image in the air. I also have 17 new loves .... not that the other 21 have disappeared ... no every afternoon is a parade of "the former students" stopping in for a hug - 11 days in I thought it would have gotten old but it hasn't! : ).

I can't wait to reflect on my new bunch because if I thought I had some personalities last year, I've got another thing comin'. I also need to post my final thoughts from the end of last year - I typed them but never posted.....more for me than for anyone else, not even sure anyone else but me reads this. But it gives me a point of reflection and a chance to look back and think forward.
So Heads up - it's all coming here to Criss Cross Applesauce as soon as I have 5 minutes to think clearly.

Friday, June 17, 2011

3 Days left...

I've slacked in writing but my head is busy processing .... somehow my little ones graduate on Thursday the 23rd - 20 little beautiful smiling faces will walk in caps to receive a diploma that I hope & pray will be the first of at least 3 (high school - then college....). I pray that despite days where I am "mean" or raise my voice or am unmerciful, that they will go on to enjoy school, to be learners, to be friends, to be effective and productive citizens.
I see glimpses of their little personalities blossoming and sappy as that sounds - they are maturing rapidly. They take care of each other - sometimes it is hard for them, especially at this point in the year when they are sick of each other and tired.

I am amazed at how the time flew by - regretful of a few things, proud of others, reflective in general. My coworker read me some letter that his students wrote to him - mind you he teaches 7th and 8th grade, but the personal reflection of his students made it clear what a profound impact he has had on them and their futures - and what a difference a good teacher can a place where families and students were disheartened and neglected, we now have joy, life, excitement, learning, and is incredible.
Turn Around Year 1 is nearly complete - in August I will be on a panel answering questions to 1st year teachers - amazing. A year of uncertainty, of risks, of tears, of hysterical laughter, guesses, mistakes, successes, hard work, and long hours is almost done ... would I change the fact that I'm a teacher? ABSOLUTELY NOT I have the best job in the entire world - helping to shape the futures of children one hour - sometimes 1 minute at a time.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Redundant for anyone who sees my status updates but I need to record it here for myself...

Today we were building background knowledge on sharks Bobby says, "Sharks eat people" I dutifully wrote it down, convinced we would find otherwise in our nonfiction read aloud...nope page 4 - Sharks eat SIX people a year. They had to demonstrate how many people that would be and then they made me add it to the BBK (of course). Oops....guess this is what it means to study living&nonliving things. 
Hilarious things we encounter - my para and I look at each other and just LAUGH. 
But I should add that this occurred after a TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD afternoon - with mean, whiny, obnoxious, loud, out of control behavior. My literacy coach was supposed to join us for writing after music and I had to ask her to leave because we were not ready to write. Instead we had a "crew" meeting and discussed the 5 things I heard .... they didn't realize I was talking about them - they said they didn't want to know those boys and girls and that it made them sad .... then Terence said, "I think that's us Miss Stowe." Oh buddy you got that right! I had the whole conversation in a forced almost whisper - keeping myself calm and it instantly calmed them. they relaxed, fixed their bodies, controlled their hands and reflected for a minute - more like 30 seconds but still. And we shared 1 thing we would do to make it a good afternoon. And it was! We learned about sharks ... that's our first ever expedition right now - learning about sharks! We voted to choose the animal from the ocean yesterday and we are learning about nonfiction, research, note taking, and sharing information as we go through our adventure together. We are also learning about living things. It's GREAT fun to watch them dive into a pile of nonfiction books and jump up and down at diagrams of sharks, pictures of great whites tearing through seals, and baby sharks being "born." (did you know not all sharks are born from eggs? Some are born live ... which is funny because sharks are fish!) It's a blast and I realize just how far they've come. Amazingly independent and capable learners....And we start our final round of assessments this week .... demonstrating whether I have adequately prepared them for first grade. YIKES!! 
 As always there are those moments where I have to laugh and say ... "really?" 
Today - NG arrives full sprint helter skelters - spread eagle in the doorway and cries out "GOOD MORNING MISS STOWE HIIIIIII HAVE A GOOD MORNING!!" And I knew then that it would not be. I had her retry. 
Terence told me yesterday my shirt, skirt, and shoes were nice and "matched" - which he seemed surprised about. He also told me he wished he could come to my wedding....and he may. 
Today TP was grumpy ... and began out of control crying and getting angry - partially a chemistry clash between him and my para.....but I asked him to wipe off his face, go out of the room and pretend he just got to school - we "restarted his day" and it worked WONDERS for a little bit. Later on (around 3pm) when a friend was crying TP suggested that RB "restart his day" and I had to explain that it was too late to do that and that RB just needed to pull it together. TP said, "Well it worked for me!" : ) LOVE it. 
 Tomorrow we will wear a "fin" on our back and tummy and hip to remind us that sharks have dorsal fins, pectoral fins, and pelvic fins. Should be cute. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

panic .....

Yesterday my kids - my "babies" who are almost not babies any more - visited first grade and they behaved TERRIBLY. And they essentially told the teacher they didn't know how to sit still. Yes. I was there. OH MY GOODNESS.

It has been a LONG week - I am not patient and they are NOT being learners - they are not my children. I want them back. It's supposed to be the time when I am motivated to push and inspire and grow them with 5 solid weeks of instruction before testing .... but NO interruptions prevail and I find myself not wanting to teach. I want to play chutes and ladders, sing, dance, go outside....not teach. UGH what a dilemma. They are more independent so it's tempting to put them in centers and watch .... but they won't learn as much on their own and I'm still responsible for them!


Friday, April 08, 2011

Traveling Forces me to Write

On train for several hours and grateful for the time to myself away from the kids. It has been a LONG week and one more to go until break.

The little light bulbs started flashing this week - reading, noticing, talking - exciting things. But the concern continues I doing enough? Am I doing it right?

Behavior continues to be an issue and I consider how much of it is the way I hold expectations for them...they are well behaved learners when I am around but then instantly become demonic imps when I'm gone, even if it is for 2 seconds. What did I do wrong there?

This coming week we will adventure into a new domain of writing thanks to my super literacy coach and mentor.

I loved introducing my kids to my mom last week - they loved her though again, they were not particularly attentive. At times when I catch myself laughing or being silly with them, I notice a change in their attitude and I realize I should do it more.

This week we also will do our science fair project on bubbles ... exciting but I anticipate a mess!
We will be trying to "make the biggest bubbles" using different wands.

Always good quotes .... but I am getting worse at writing them down.

Also received a gift this week .... in response to daffodils that I received last week - another little girl felt jealous and asked her mom to take her shopping, she bought me a glass figurine of a girl with flowers as well as an easter mug with candy in it. Though it is adorable and I am grateful, I know it came out of jealousy and I'm not sure how to handle it. She also was nasty to the first gift-giver who gave me beautiful daffodils that have since died. Makes it hard to be grateful!

Working on Mercy in the each child regardless of patterns of behavior, a fresh start at all times.

This week they have managed to have the whole class playing in the kitchen - making a "restaurant" out of my small group table, adorable though noisy!
We now sing Oh What a Beautiful Morning each day and I love their little voices singing along, it's very sweet and says more about our day then our former 2 good morning songs.

A little distracted, think I'll take a break.

Monday, March 28, 2011

kicking myself

I have started, saved, lost numerous posts and therefore numerous moments where I melt, clench my jaw, or laugh hysterically with my 21 learners. It is now March and there is an abyss in my journal of January-until now. In fact, in 3 short days it will be April.

 I suppose I could blame it on fantastic gains - which are true - but should also contribute it to an engagement and carefully juggling wedding plans, a social life (kind of), and planning for fantastic gains....all of which do not work well with each other at all!

Needless to say today was a BEAUTIFUL day in SO many ways, in fact out of sheer exhaustion and overwhelming joy at where I am right now, I might cry while writing and it would be refreshing.

My  wonderful para was out today - remarkably the kids are different when she's not there, as if they know they have to listen....I don't understand it and I am so incredibly grateful for her that I don't really know how to describe what happens, but the kids and I are different. The day started with me teaching them a new good morning song, "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" - which I rarely do with my para there because I won't sing in front of grown ups....they LOVE when I sing.

We were silly during phonics as "word detectives" "Sound detectives" with serious detective faces and all...and they were more attentive than ever. They went to their centers- they were relatively on task. They were delightful at lunch. They loved the story.

Then it was math....I knew I was introducing sorting, I had grand ideas of how to do so in a "grown up" and serious fashion and suddenly my spontaneous nature overthrew my dutiful studious perspective. I grabbed the bag of 50 shapes - red, green, yellow, blue (squares, rectangles, 2 sizes of circles each) and dumped it on the floor then mocked being upset by asking who made the big mess. With peels of laughter they pointed at me and I shook my head - began blaming students. They giggled profusely. I brought them back, I said "well if you're not going to tell me who made the mess, you could at least help me sort it out" and proceeded to tell them what it means to sort and we spent about 35 exploratory minutes playing with sorting .... nothing definitive, very open and some great conversation. WOW. It was like being an intern with M2 again - kids "adding on" to each other's ideas left and right, "arguing" about how to sort, deciding what looked best, giggling at my silly questions. Only 1 student - my JD, fresh as can be, was beginning to sigh, wondering why it was I couldn't figure it out myself. But then again she had done that during reader's workshop too, when I was pretending I didn't know a word and tried to use first sounds to help me read. She was clearly irritated and said "don't you know it?"
The rest of them LOVED it - and as I dismissed them to line for recess I heard "you're the best teacher ever" though that is not the case, I realize they live for the excitement and spontaneity that I enjoy but don't use in the room. What happened to my fun-loving teaching style? I'm not really sure, but I want it back.

Then there was recess - jump ropes, chalk and bubbles - never before used at recess all together, and they loved it. Then I drew them a hopscotch and about 7 of them stood in line for 20 minutes or so waiting to jump, watching me model it over and over again. It was a blast.

I adore them. I chuckle at them in the morning - MB today came in as a ballet dancer ...twirling away in her own world - even to the garbage to throw away her breakfast. RB wanted to know why we didn't have school on Saturday. TP was in good spirits! Princess friend .... she had a tantrum, first in awhile. My special buddy T? He is turning into quite the learner when he chooses to - I retested his letter ID today - 38 ... pretty much on target, but he fought me the whole way through the exam. Then when his ride home was late - said "Mi'Towe Can I have a piece of gum?" How do I say no? Of course, handed him a piece and it was met with the biggest grin. Told him to have a good night "ok" he said back.

My friends are READING - yes READING. How does that happen? I don't even know! The light switch goes on and I really don't know how - I don't feel like I've taught enough but it is there - some of them are really decoding....amazing amazing stuff. The rest of following patterns, finding sight words, noticing structure, punctuation, and pictures. It's fantastic. There are times when I just want to watch them go through the day. I want to sit back and it's hard to keep chugging. They have to grow in all areas - not just reading!

My friends are SPEAKING in full sentences with amazing detail, structure, and thought. Suddenly in the last two weeks I found myself saying "WOW you just made a great sentence with your thinking!" They talk to each other - and when they get mad, they scream " I DON"T LIKE WHEN YOU DO THAT!" Apologize then add on (this is new today) and say "I feel ______ when you do that" and shake hands, find a solution and move on. It's pretty cool.
I really think kindergarten is the best job in the world ..... I won't argue with my principal who says it's hardest - though I could never deal with high schoolers so I don't really know. They are beautiful as an open book that's not yet written but at the same time like an untrained horse who has to learn to WALK not run helter skelter down the hall,   errr sit upside down in a chair, or perhaps shove a friend out of their chair just because you wanted it - though they are all identical sandstone chairs.

They are something else.....and I love them - every single one of their faces - now somewhat closer to mine and older looking. They are going places and I'm running to keep up with them!

Friday, February 25, 2011

"I'm having the worst day EVER."

I started my day near tears when TP - my little "man" who is often grumpy and becomes disgruntle at the drop of a hat, arrived in the room and announced that "It is a bad day - the worst day ever." I felt awful to hear that from him so early, before anything could have gone wrong so I quickly pulled him aside to check in.
He informed me that this morning, he climbed on the bus to wave to his mom and she didn't turn and wave to him. He was crushed - to a point of tears and frustration that she somehow missed saying goodbye to him. I don't know why or how but it hit me like a ton a bricks, I remember looking back until the last possible second - numerous times to make sure mom was still watching me wave ... and she always always was - and still is every time I go to the airport. But it crushed me to think that this little boy turned to wave and mom wasn't there. I hugged him and told him it was raining so mom must not have been able to see the windows of the bus and that I was sure she loved him and couldn't wait to see him when he returned it would turn out, while my para was reading "Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day" with him (which I pulled just for his benefit) - he informed her that his dad didn't want him to go to mom's anymore and that he would be at dad's for the weekend. He expressed concern about not being able to go back to mom's. He even cried. While he tends to make poor decisions, he is a sweet and very handsome kid and today he broke my heart.

On a different note....Around 3pm today I got a burst of energy and excitement and experienced first hand that "fake it till you make it" is actually effective...very much so. We had a GREAT writing time!

Monday is the 100th day of school - we are more than 1/2 way through kindergarten and now I start to worry...will they leave with what they need? Did I show them I love them enough? I can't believe it but at the same time it feels like an eternity. I love it ... and I'm exhausted by it - all at the same time. I haven't written in forever and I need to. The quotes just get better and better as their language skills increase.

Last week I went to a wedding and TP (the same from today) said, "Where ya goin Miss Stowe?"
"To a wedding!" "You're getting married?"
"Well, I am but not today - my friend is!"
"I KNEW you was getting married!"

Not sure if I already shared this quote from 2 weeks ago or not but MB was eating breakfast and proceeded to announce "Hey look Miss Stowe, when I close my eyes I can see people's bones."
"Oh really?" I replied - half listening, half concerned .... half interested... "Yeah, see. Right now I can see Miguel's bones." Here I had to laugh outloud. "Cool" No sooner did she say that but 3 or 4 others caught on and were admiring their abilities to see each other's strange.

wiped out - will reflect on monday.

I am in the world to change the world.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Classroom Pet!

Thanks to my apartment mate we now have a classroom pet - he is a teal beta fish with bright purple rocks and fantastic little bubbling tank I keep on the counter. I got him yesterday - when I went in on my snowday to get things done. Because you know ... I think I'm still a teacher even though this is yet another 4 day weekend thanks to snow! I am going to let the kids vote to name him ... talk about how voting can help you decide things - like who is going to be president and what the name of our fish is going to be....that is of course if he lives to Monday. It would be awful if he was floating when we got there.

The kids are working hard - lots of Letter ID and Letter Sound scores to celebrate, Oral Language scores to wonder at .... (not good), and boring Concepts About Print Tests to still give...the DRA is the best part of the 3 I've given, I had a level 3, a level 2, and a level 1 - all appropriate gains, in fact a 3 is higher than I might expect except given the little girl who did it....she is something else. I love to place a book in front of them and let them shine - they have grown SO much in 84 days of school and I love them even more today than I did on day 1 when I was still in awe of being a real live teacher. Sometimes I still feel that awe - mostly when I unlock my classroom, before the lights turn on as I walk in the room and I look around at all the clean little tables, fat tri-hold pencils, and decorations for Valentine's Day and Winter. Like yesterday - 2 solid hours to myself in my room - reorganizing, doing things I have wanted to do since day 1 but haven't had time to do....makes me enjoy the fact that I am finally a teacher. It's nice to have those little refreshing moments because though I love the job and the kids and the school - there are moments when "MISS STOWE" makes me want to run out of the room straight to my car. I need to remember that they aren't trying to annoy - and that each child is asking for the first time, it's just that there are 21 first times in a given work period! I am "needed" I suppose but I need to work on finding joy in them asking for my attention.

I anticipate Monday being difficult....but I will be ready to see them for sure!
More to come ... I have been slacking in writing and I don't want to miss details.

Quotes This Week:

"Miss how did your hair get so red?"

"Your cat is on the naughty list!"

D: "My Mom won't let me go outside in the snow cuz she says not to throw snow at cats..."
Me: "Do you usually throw snow at cats?"
D: "My Cat isn't scared of snow but other cats is."


"Miss I'm going to be a nurse when I grow up"
"Will you take care of me when I'm sick?"

"I has ringworms - they jumped on me!" - gross.

"The thermometer was green - says I can go to school today so I didn't take no medicine." What? (she had been in school all week....unclear what the issue was here)

D: (now my calendar helper for 2 weeks) "The month is October! The Year is 2010"
Oh dear - where have you been for 3 months my friend?

I have more written down on random post-its in my bag... have to write them down - it's great!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

what is school?

Snow day yesteday
delay today
more snow coming tomorrow... ugh

kids forgot how to come in today. and I was missing 8. It was kinda perfect but it's hard to do new things with half the class missing!

T wrote his name unprompted with no assistance! Also completed addition - INDEPENDENTLY. wow.
Princess friend cried off and on ALL morning.

Did an exercise in equality and fairness after we read a story about Martin Luther King Jr. Today. I told the kids that only my friends who wear pink can have recess. So 4 kids got to have recess - at first - kids got  upset and it was perfect to get them to talk about how they felt. They were having a hard time picturing not being able to eat at certain restaurants or drink out of water fountains...I think it helped. I will do something similar tomorrow and use stickers. It's a deep concept for them but it's important when we are teaching our code of character - respect and unity tie perfectly into fairness and equality and rights.

Sania told me today she was going to be a nurse and I told her she had to take care of me when I get sick. She said ok :).

Then during math we solved an addition problem together and she said - without raising her hand "Miss Stowe you are the best!" Muhiba added " Yeah she is." It was cute - unasked for and made me grin. I responded " You're pretty great too."

Did I mention I love them?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

afraid to write

So much has changed since I last wrote and it was overwhelming to think about let alone process in writing.

Coming back from vacation was ....exhausting and a disaster. Kids got taller and I missed them A LOT but they forgot A LOT of things that we are just getting back now. I pretty much told them now we start getting ready for 1st grade and it is very serious business. Then T was placed in a foster family (YAY!) and we were told he was gone (after he had gone home already - OH NO!) I cried...yes I did. So did my para. Then the next morning he showed up 45 minutes late with a DCF case worker (YES!) We grinned like idiots as we met them at the door and were told that his social worker will drive him to and from school every day (WOW!) AND that he would be having surgery to fix his eyes (INCREDIBLE) which now are straight and though puffy and red, watery, and easily infected, are already helping him write. It's amazing.

I'm pushing through some last minute Letter ID and sound review because the testing window opened this week and by February 2nd all LID, LS, Concepts About Print, and DRA scores have to be done. So naturally my highest kids are bombarded this week - giving the lower set time to soak up some more skill before they get tested. Already seeing positive growth in LID and CAP - kids know about words and letters, also 1:1 match, periods, commas, and even quotation marks. They are ALL able to identify "We" which is great.

This week I laminated 25 sight words (or star words as we call them) and taped them to each child's seat (well all but 6 who received modified words). The children practice their words when they think they are done. It's great!

Also a new rule - no more saying "I'm done" not only is it my pet peeve but it's not true, I taught them to say "Our learning is never done!"

Added journals to our writing experience, added science to our weekly schedule, and made centers SERIOUS working times.

Just redid my groups and also made groups for my para to see so that they are getting read to and oral language more often.
I LOVE my I'm anxiously awaiting the results of all our testing to see whether I'm DOING my job!