Thursday, January 12, 2012

Snowy Days

WHEWWW! Am I worn out from today or what!?! I guess 24 third graders will do that to ya! Not to mention the "distraction" we had today. Although I had an exhausting day it was still wonderful, as always!

This week our class has been working on feature articles. It was so interesting to see what topics the kids picked on Monday. I was so excited to learn more about their interests. One of my students chose Steve Jobs. When I asked him what made him choose Steve Jobs he replied with, "He was the smartest man in the world, Ms. Shell and I want to be a computer engineer just like him"! What a bright little guy! I hope he follows those dreams. He also shared that he loves Apple. Me too, friend, me too! Now ... about that iPad I've been wanting!! Anywho...

As we are working on our feature articles one student raises her hand. I walk over to her and she signals me to come closer. Then, she WHISPERS in my ear, "Ms. Shell it's snowing really hard outside." Now, what child WHISPERS when they see snow? What a little angel. About five minutes later, one student reacted just how I imagined. He stands out of his chair, points, and says (not at a voice level 1) SNOW! SNOW! SNOW! Well if that wasn't enough to make the class go wild! We lost them! Lost them! Their little brains were now scattered from Steve Jobs, Dolphins, Harry Potter, and Hammerhead Sharks to...Snow. With a wiggle here and a wiggle there (I like to call this ants in the pants), it was apparent all the students were dying to perform their snow dances. The teacher prepared the students for, "incase we have a snow day". After finally getting the students back on track, the room was finally at a level 0 and their little hands were writing so quickly! Focused. Focused. Focused. That's exactly what they were! Until....

A student yells, "It's snowing outside!!!!" Now, if you have been reading, you know that another student already made this very clear to the entire class. My question is, where was this student? She wasn't out of the room? I like to think she was just so focused and distracted by her feature article, she missed the memo. Unfortunately I'm not so sure if that was the case! Never a dull moment in an elementary classroom! I LOVE IT!

I guess the little wiggles and cheers did the trick. Those kiddo's prayers sure were answered... a snow day. Four days off may hand us a crazy Tuesday!

Now, I would be completely fibbing if I said I wouldn't enjoy a four day weekend! There is certainly PLENTY of things I could HAVE TO get done! Therefore, I am going to treat myself tonight. Which means, staying up past 9:30, watching all Brittany's DVR shows, and not working on a single thing!! Am I old or what? I like to think of it as... focused. So snow day friends, put your jammies on and raise your hot chocolate! Cheers to SNOW!

Till' Next Time :)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Versatile Blogger & my first FREEBIE!

Hope everyone is enjoying their Sunday Funday! :) First, I want to thank the sweet, Meghan Mayhew at Inside The Classroom for awarding me "The Versatile Blogger". It is so exciting when my email pops up and I see people commenting on my blogs, even more so giving me an award!! Thank you so much Meghan! So sweet of you to think of me!! are the rules for accepting the award:

1. Thank the person that nominated you with a link back to them.
2. Tell 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass this award on to 15 newly discovered blogs and let them know that they've received an award!

7 things about me!!

1. I have lived in Kentucky my whole life! I love this state and don't see myself ever living anywhere else!!

2. When I was in the 5th grade, I had the most amazing teacher that introduced me to the Holocaust by reading Number the Stars by: Lois Lowry. Ever since, I have loved learning the history of WWII and the Holocaust! This subject has always remained close to my heart and is one of my favorite things to learn about. (Which is why I have chosen Germany for my International Student Teaching placement!)

3. I am constantly making "To-Do" lists. I usually have about two to three different lists, in which majority of the time have repetitive tasks to complete on multiple lists! I can't help it! I'm that person that crosses off something when it is finished, and if the list is complete...I throw it away. There is just something about that feeling of crossing a task off, knowing it is finished!!

4. I recently started my New Year's revolution that is probably the same for most people! Yes, that dreadful word... Diet. I was hesitant to even mention this, as I am known for beginning them and then finding a way to "cheat" my way out! However, maybe if I mention it to the blogging world, I'll be more motivated to continue and reach my goal!!

5. Let's talk about Pearl. Oh! My angel! For of those of you who do not know Pearl (shame on you) she is my beloved White 2000 Toyota Camry. Not only does she purr at me every time I get in the car, she has now begun making dragon-like noises as I go over a bump or a simple crack in the road. Not to mention she cries every time it rains (leaks from the windshield). Bless her heart. Pearl is on her death bed, and I will have a nice ceremony for her when we pull the plug. With Graduation in May, my fantastic parents are finally replacing Pearl with a brand spankin' new .... SOMETHING! Can't wait!

6. I am a complete bargain shopper. If it's not on sale, I probably won't buy it. I'm in the process of teaching my best friend, Brittany, this vocab. word... "Bargain". Maybe I should make her write the definition, draw a picture, and use the word in a sentence like my kiddos do? :)

7. One of my most favorite things in the whole wide world (I actually have a lot!) is DVR. Can anyone relate? I do not like commercials! They drive me insane, unless of course they are the funny ones like the pig swooping down the zip-line screaming "WHHHEEEEEEEEEEE!" God bless DVR so I can watch my shows without interruption.

And the blogs I nominate are.....

Inside the Classroom
Loving and Learning in Pre-K
Teacher in the City
Ms. Smit
Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade
Mrs. Bailey's Kindergarten
Waiting on the Butterflies
Crayons and Curls
Wheet Chic
Ms. Preppy
A Teacher's Treasure

I didn't quite get 15!! Forgive me :)

Last but not least... since I have been working on Contextual Factors for my TWS, I need to know my students interests. Therefore, I decided to make an inventory. Although this may not be very helpful right now to many teachers (as this is a beginning of the year activity), feel free to leave your email if you would like me to send my very first Freebie to you anyway. To all of my student teaching friends, I will be more than happy to send it to you so you can use it in your classroom!!! Here's what the worksheet looks like... ENJOY!

Till Next Time :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

"Happy as a Duck in Water!"

Well now that Christmas (break) is over, the New Year has begun, and my first week of Student Teaching is complete, I finally have time to take a deep breath and do what I love.. BLOG! When beginning this adventure I thought to myself, "I'll blog everyday, about everything, and never miss a day"! Wrong-oh! Life certainly got the best of me! All the stress and school work has begun piling so high that the light of at the end of the tunnel, is now completely black. I have to remind myself daily to "be a duck". Not that I want to waddle around, be yellow, and have a beak.. but in that I must swim quickly underwater, paddling my little heart out, working harder than ever, while staying calm, cool, and collective on top. Although the Teacher Work Sample is now taking over majority my life, there is certainly one thing that is making me happy as a duck in water. MY THIRD GRADERS.

So let me share about how much I talked about loving sixth grade. Not only do I call my mom that lives two hours away every time I sneeze (I miss her a lot!!), but her phone rang every Tuesday or Thursday after school at 3:30 last semester. We talked forever about my day at school. Sharing so many memories that I will never forget. It was simply one of the best semesters I ever had! After last semester, I was convinced that sixth grade was my favorite grade. However, after this past week in the third grade, I love it just as much! How is this possible??! I hear teachers saying there's no way I could leave ___ grade, or ___ grade is my favorite. As for me, time will tell I reckon! I'm sure once I have my own classroom (WHOO HOO!!!!!! YEAH!!!), I will figure out which grade I'm meant to be! Can you tell I'm excited?! I can honestly say that I have loved every grade that I have been in so far. I would be pleased to have ANY grade, now let's just pray after this semester... I get a job! :)

There is such a difference in the young adults of sixth grade and the little darlings of third grade. Except, the one commonality... my love for them. Seriously! If someone asked me to give up anything in this world for one of my kids, I would do it.. without hesitation. Maybe this is why I am becoming a teacher. I've always had a nurturing side to me, I get that from my mother, but there is something about being a schoolroom with 25+ kids that makes everything in my life, complete. I notice a repetitive conversation every semester that ends with, "I have the best group of kids!" But in all honesty, I have! I am SOOO very excited for the next month in the third grade before I make my way back to sixth grade, and then to Germany I go!!

I'm sure many of you have heard of the story, Have you filled your bucket today? By: Carol McCloud. Our classroom has a list of "What to do when I'm through" tasks. One of them is filling the student of the week's bucket. Meaning that they fill out a slip to one of their peers, sharing kindness, love, and all that warm, fuzzy stuff! One of my students filled my bucket on Thursday!! It was the best!

Still working on their spelling!! But it says, "Ms. Shell, You are an awesome student teacher. We all were super excited for your arrival. Thanks for saying my picture was beautiful in centers. You are so nice. I could not think of someone to replace you. I "heart" Mrs. Shell." Then, she draws the picture of what she drew in centers and writes "remember this". TOO CUTE! Then, directs me to "flip over and look in corner" where the student's name is located and the back is filled with more pictures! LOVE IT!

Something as little as a note can make your day, it certainly did mine! Not only is this great for the classroom, but reminds me to fill someone's bucket daily!! Have YOU filled someone's bucket today?! :)

I absolutely can't wait to share ideas and memories from this semester. I can already tell I am going to learn SO much, give SO much, and have an unforgettable semester! All the dedication, time, and work will pay off, when I see my kiddos learning!

Till next time :)