Friday, September 21, 2012

I Survived Back to School Night

"It's Friday night and the weekend's here I need to unwind with the party, Mr. DJ, DJ!"

Well it's Friday and the weekend is finally here!  I wanted to make a post earlier this week but I was experiencing technical difficulties with Blogger.  Tuesday evening was Back to School Night, but not too many parents attended.  The low attendance was due in large part to inclement weather.  I can tell you that I was very nervous at the thought of standing in front of a room full of parents by myself.  Yes, I've attended Back to School Night as a Teacher's Assistant, but I wasn't in the forefront or alone.  Anyway, we started the evening in the multipurpose room where the principal introduced all the teachers.  Teachers were called by grade level, with kindergarten being introduced first.  My heart pounded as each teacher was introduced.  Finally, I here my name called, and wouldn't you know it, I hear cheers of "Yay Ms. Leach!" and "Go Ms. Leach!"  By then I was cheesing!  LOL!  It felt good to hear the cheers and see people genuinely happy for me in my new position.  After the introductions, I became less nervous.  

The teachers were dismissed to get ready to meet the parents.  I mingled with the other teachers in my grade hallway, and talking with them released more of the nerves.  By this point I was ready to meet the parents.  Only three parents showed up, but as I stated earlier we were experiencing bad weather.  Having worked with some of these same parents in kindergarten, I know that the majority of them are involved parents and I'm quite sure there will be more in attendance during Parent/Teacher Conferences.  Anyway, I was happy with the parents who did come out and they were happy and satisfied with me.  One parent raved about our OWL Folders, she loves it!  Another parent even offered to assist me with getting more technology in my classroom.  Yes!!!!  I'm very much pleased with the way things are going.  

Before I end my post, I have to tell you how proud I am of my students.  I was having issues with writer's workshop in getting my students motivated to write.  Most of my students didn't seem interested in writing, for some it was like pulling teeth.  Nothing I seemed to do worked.  Well yesterday, I sat in on my grade partner, Jill's writing lesson.  I took everything she did back to my students and reassessed my approach to writing.  The lesson went much better then previous lessons and my students were prepared to write.  

Fast forward to today's writing session.  Writing is right after recess so they're pretty worked up after playing on the playground.  After making a restroom and water fountain stop we proceeded to class.  My lights were already off when we entered the classroom, so I decided to keep them off and let the sun do its job.  I reviewed the strategies for writing and reread one of my journal entries.  I gave my expectations and set them free to write.  I walked over to my computer, clicked on Pandora, hit the classical station tab and watched the magic begin.  I couldn't believe it was the same group of students.  They wrote the whole time without any complaints.  They were so engrossed in their writing, I was in awe!  I wish I would have taken pictures.  I have to remember to keep my camera nearby.  But even hours later, I'm still happy with the kiddos and their progress.  I hope it continues next week!

Have a great weekend!

Oh yeah, these are the images of our OWL (Organized Weekly Learning) Folders  

Front Cover

Homework pocket & OWL Folder rules

Class information (blurred for privacy)

Weekly report 

Parent/Teacher Communication Log

Important Papers

Keep at home

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