Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Proud Moments

I really need to do better with this blogging thing.  Yes, I know I've said it before, but I'm going to try and do better...But in the meantime I'm going to catch you up on a few things that took place since my last post...

Towards the end of March, we had consultants come to my school from Standards Solution, to help get our students better prepared for the EOY PARCC Assessment.  Well the math consultant raved on and on about my third graders and how impressed she was with their math skills.  She said she visited several third grade classrooms and that my third graders were much more advanced than all the other schools she visited.  It really felt great hearing those words!  Often times I feel like I'm not getting through to my students or my hard work is going unnoticed.  To have someone come into your classroom and tell you that you are indeed doing a great job, it is truly a confidence booster.  Our Academic coaches and Administration does a good job of complimenting the staff, but when you have a total stranger say those things, it just reconfirm things.  I just wish that more people could see how well my students have progressed over the school year, and not have PARCC overshadow everything that they've accomplished.  We completed the EOY PARCC Assessment the first week in April, and I'm so glad that testing is over!  

We've accomplished so much this school year, and I'm so very proud of my third graders.  I was able to introduce skills much earlier than last school year.  Back in August when I attended PD, It was suggested that I start the school year off with multiplication.  I'm so glad I followed this suggestion.  I feel good knowing that the majority of my students have mastered their multiplication facts and they are pretty good with comparing fractions.  Both multiplication facts and fractions were a struggle last year, and for this reason I'm glad I started both concepts much earlier in the school year.

Well that about sums up some of my thoughts since my last post.  But before I go, I wanted to share some more good news.  About two weeks ago, I learned that I was named the March/April Teacher of the Month!  I was ecstatic to receive this award!  One day I hope to fulfill my goal of being named Teacher of the Year.  

Until next time!

Friday, March 6, 2015

PARCC Testing

It's day two and I'm home enjoying my extended weekend due to a snow storm.  These days off were much needed.  

Like so many schools across the nation, my school begin PARCC Testing on Tuesday.  For the most part, I would say the day was a success and by success I mean all the students completed the test without incident.  No tears were shed by the students or Ms. Leach.  Lol!  As students completed the math portion, I saw them give a quick fist pump and mouth "Yes!"  One student motioned me over to take a look at her screen.  What had the students feeling accomplished were the green numbers on the screen.  You see, at my school we use Go Math in our math curriculum. I have my students complete their chapter assessments on Think Central, students receive their grades immediately.  Correct answers are marked green and incorrect answers are marked red.  So as students completed the PARCC Assessment and saw those green numbers they automatically assumed they answered every question correctly.  Those green numbers actually meant that the questions were only answered, not necessarily correct.  The red numbers meant that the student did not answer the question. 

For my students, just seeing those green numbers removed some, if not all of the anxiety for the test.  So students were actually looking forward to day 2 of the test.  Day 2 went pretty much like day one with the silent cheers and excitement of seeing green numbers.  Because students saw green, they were reluctant to go back and check their work (sigh).  But it is what it is.....all I could ask of them, were to try their best and not to give up.  My third graders did just that and for that I'm proud of them.  This PARCC Assessment can not tell me anything different than what I already know about my students.  I'm interested in the progress my students have gained since September to now, and they have made tremendous progress.  I don't need these standardized test to overshadow the hard work my students have put in over the past 6 months.  They're growing and learning, some at a much faster pace than others but they are all progressing.  We have one more day of testing on Monday and then we're done with PARCC til May.  If I had my way PARCC wouldn't be an issue, but I don't have that power so I have not choice but to fall in line.  

To all my fellow educators taking the PARCC or preparing for, don't let it stress you out!  Just do what you do best, and that is to educate your students.  Everything else will fall into place.  

Until next time!  

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflections of 2014

Just minutes away before 2015 and I'm so grateful for life and the experiences I had this year. I'm praying that 2015 be even greater!  In 2014 I experienced many "firsts", and being that I didn't make many posts this year, allow me to share my year in review...

For a few years, I've wanted to join the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America Program, to become a big sister to you a young girl.  I was on the list for a year and was finally matched with my "little" in March.  Just a week later of meeting my "little", I arrived home to find a package from Cape Town, South Africa, with a picture of my new penpal.  Let me tell you how this came about..I decided to get involved in a program called Metro Kids Africa after reading a blog from one of my favorite bloggers, Curly Nikki.  She and her hubby took a trip to South Africa and while there they stopped by an orphanage that is run by Metro Kids Africa.  And since I always wanted to get involved with a charity in Africa, I decided to investigate further and reach out to Mrs. Janet Senior, who is the director of the program.  After a few conversations with Janet, I was all ready to get involved with the program.  And just a few weeks later, I was able to "meet" my new friend in South Africa.  I enjoy receiving mail and cards from her, and I'm so thankful that I'm able to be a blessing to these girls.

Another great thing that occurred this year was that I finally became a member of the Illustrious Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc!!!  I've had an interest in this organization since my undergrad years, and now a few years later, I'm officially a Zeta Women!

More great news on a professional note...I love departmentalization!  As I shared with you before, the Administrators at my school decided to departmentalize grades 3-5 for the 2014-2015 school year.  I was reluctant when I first heard of the change but I absolutely love it!  I love teaching my favorite subjects and lesson planning is so much easier.  And last but not least of my 2014 "firsts", I had the great opportunity to have a student teacher in my classroom.  As you already know,  I was very apprehensive in taking on a student teacher.  But I'm so grateful of the opportunity, and being able to mentor this young lady during her journey to becoming an educator.  She was awesome and great with the students, we learned a lot from each other.  I already have another student teacher lined up in January, I pray she's just as great!

2014 was good to me, and it is my prayer that GOD allows 2015 to be even greater!  No New Year resolutions as I don't keep them anyway, I just pray to learn how to "live" more each day.  

Happy New Year!!!!








Friday, September 5, 2014

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Wow!  I really have to get better with making updates, as I realize my last post was August 1st.  I have to do better!  So much has happened since my last post, one of them being the start of a new school year.  Yes, I'm back to work as of this past Tuesday, and I'm loving the new changes that I stressed over this summer.  I'm still working on my room as I only had three full days to work on it.  But I'm going to keep working on it until it's where I want it to be.  I'm not exactly sure when I'll get  everything done, working after school is no-go.  My classroom will house the after-school program, so I'll have to work around students.  But I'm thankful for the extra set of hands I have this year.  Oh wait, I forgot to share this information with you...

So, this year I have the pleasure of having a Student Teacher in my classroom.  I'll admit, when I first received the news I was very apprehensive of the idea.  But after conversing over email, and finally meeting each other, I'm glad that I was chosen.  "Jessica" is very sweet, with a bubbly personality.  We actually have many things in common.  She came to the school and helped me out tremendously with the room.  She's eager to learn, and happy to be in our classroom.  I'm both humbled and honored to be a part of her journey to educator.

As I shared with you all in a previous post, grades 3-5 are now departmentalized.  I will teach mathematics, science, and social studies, I enjoy teaching all three subjects.  At my school there are two third grade classes.  I teach my homeroom students math, and science/social studies, then switch with the other third grade class.  My students travel across the hall to to receive their language arts lessons, while I teach science/social studies and math to my other students. Since I've worked with these kids as kindergartners, I pretty much know them all.  So learning 40 new kids isn't too much of a problem.  

As much as I worried this summer about the school year, the nervousness has taken a back seat to the feeling of excitement.  I'm ready to soar to greater heights this year and I'm claiming this year to be my BEST year yet!

Here are a few pics of my classroom, more pics to come!






Friday, August 1, 2014

It's August Already...


Today marks the first day of August.  For many teachers everywhere, the month of August is a sign that summer vacation is slowly coming to an end.  How is that summer vacation is nearly over, when I haven't even begun?  My school year ended on June 27th, yet I haven't stopped working, except for the July 4th Holiday.  Since school ended, I've helped to get curriculum ready for the upcoming school year, as well as attend training for a new program my school is piloting in September.  So much for summer vacation, right?  Well, I have off the next two weeks and I'm going to make the best of it by enjoying my summer.  

I have so much to do, with very little time. I promised myself not to stress over things that are beyond my control but I can't help but to worry (just a tad bit), about getting ready for September.  My school is housing a summer camp, and some of the classrooms are being used, one of those classrooms belong to me.  Because my room is being utilized, I won't have much time to prep it before students return to school.  I'm not too happy about this but it's beyond my control.  It's one of those things that I just have to deal with.  Getting myself worked up about it, will not do me any good.  I have to remind myself that it's not just me that's affected, it's my entire floor.  But I sure wish things were handled a little differently with the camp situation.  I'll have to come up with a game plan on how I'm going to tackle my classroom; make every second count in that short time frame.  I'm sure everything will work out fine, and my room will be ready, and welcoming on the first day of school.


Until next time...


Friday, July 18, 2014

The Shake Up

Many changes took place this week at the workplace.  I was called into the office on Tuesday to sit down with my Principal, and other Administrative Staff to discuss changes for the upcoming school year.  I really didn't know what to expect, all I know is that I was hella nervous.  I knew they weren't letting me go, I just figured whatever it was going to be, would be pretty heavy.  Then came the news..........after having such an awesome year with my fabulous partner, she and I would no longer be a team.  The 2014-15 school year will be my third year teaching third grade, as well as my third partner change.  My old partner is moving down to kindergarten, and my new partner is moving up from first grade.  There was a total shake up, and moving around of staff.  Everyone except for three teachers (myself included), will have a new grade level in September. 

As if a change in partners weren't enough, I also learned that grades 3-5 will be departmentalized for the new school year.  I will teach math, science, and social studies while my partner will teach language arts - reading, writing, and word work/vocabulary.  I'm not exactly sure how it will work, but I'm up for the challenge.  I can honestly say that language arts is not my favorite subject or strongest area.  But I love math, science, and social studies.  I'm not quite sure how departmentalizing will work in third grade, but I'm willing (as if I have choice) to give it a try.  This is definitely going to be an interesting school year, and I will make sure to tell you all about it.......

Until next time! 


Friday, July 11, 2014

End of 2nd Year




I can't believe I went the whole year without making a post :-(  Well the school year ended just two weeks ago, today.......yes we have a loooooong school year.  I truly do not know how I made it through the year, my class was tough!  We did have some great times though.  I enjoyed working with my new grade partner (she's the best), she made my year more bearable.

I wasn't able to do many of the things that I did the previous year.  But I'm determined to make the 2014-2015 school year my greatest year yet!  I'm back at work, preparing for September and I'm getting excited about our social studies program (although, I hate the textbooks).  Sometimes science and social studies is pushed to the back burner, but my grade partner and I have come up with some awesome units and we're excited to teach them.