Teaching 1st Grade: Kids Say the Darnedest Things
I am going to start keeping a list of all the funny things the students say and what I say or think in response.
Yesterday: a student looked at my ID badge and said, “Oh, is that what you used to look like?” I said, “That picture was taken last week. Do I look that tired?” “No.”
Today: while talking to two students who weren’t getting along, I asked one of the girls if she could find a different place to play in the sand, instead of in the shade. She said, “I can’t play in the sun. I’ll turn to chocolate.” (She is dark skinned) I couldn’t help but laugh and could only say, “Well, I don’t think you will melt.”
I think Wednesdays and 1st grade don’t agree with me
Tuesdays just seem to go on forever and there is no downtime. The day starts with an hour long team meeting. Then we just right into the classroom and teaching. During planning time, while the students are at specials, we spend the time figuring out what is going to happen the rest of the week or gathering supplies, like copies from the copier which is far away from the 1st grade hall. Then as soon as school is out I have to rush out of the building to get to campus with enough time to hunt for a parking space and then get to class on time. 3 HOURS later class gets out and I finally get to go home. I am greeted by my cat who demands attention before I can set all of my stuff down. Then I can write the lesson plan(s) for Wednesday.
All of this means I am basically going with no time to relax from about 7am to 9pm (if I can get the lesson plans done quickly). So on Wednesdays, when my professor comes to observe me teaching lessons, I am exhausted and usually easily frustrated by lessons not going as planned.
So I am about 8 weeks into my 2nd student teaching placement. I posted a little while back about moving from 4th grade to 1st grade. There is a BIG difference. And I won’t lie, I haven’t had the best experiences with 1st graders in the past so I wasn’t too thrilled going into this placement. Today really helped cement in my mind that I am not really cut out for teaching 1st grade. I will get through this placement and my month of independent teaching (creeping up very quickly).
I think what I need to do is take a step back and reevaluate how I have been approaching all of this. My supervising professor and I had a good conversation today about this. We also talked about working on really getting to know the students on a more personal level. This has been tough for me partially because I came into this already established classroom halfway through the year. For me it has been like trying to find my place in the classroom without stepping on too many toes and trying to fit into established routines instead of helping to set them like I was able to do in the fall.
I can do it. I know I can. I just wish I could take a week off to have a chance to relax and be able to think about what I can do differently that will help me in the classroom.
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…
I was told, ‘My sons cannot memorize their times tables — yet they sing along with Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones, and they get their words.’
—Bob Dorough, who composed, conducted and even sang much of Schoolhouse Rock’s music, on the idea for “Multiplication Rock,” the very first series of Schoolhouse Rock shorts. Hear the full interview from Weekend Edition.
Believe it or not, Schoolhouse Rock is 40 years old.
Who would’ve passed the third grade without Schoolhouse Rock? No one.
Loved most of School House Rock. So glad to have the collection on DVD . Thanks to the America Rock portion for helping me memorize the Preamble to the Constitution in 5th grade.
First full week back at school after winter break
I have moved from 4th grade to 1st grade. I will be here through my independent teaching time which is the month of April. So far I have just been getting to know the kids and the regular classroom routines. I am going to start slowly picking up some activities in the classroom. I will start with reading one-on-one with two students who need some extra reading attention. I have not always had the best experience with 1st graders, but this groups seems pretty good so far. I think I am going to really enjoy my time here.
Does anyone who follows me have suggestions on activities/lessons to do with 1st graders that they have found fun?
And for this week…
I had today (Monday) off from school.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) I am doing a calendar math lesson.
Wednesday I am doing calendar math plus a lesson on fractions.
Thursday I am doing calendar math and a personal narrative read aloud.
And Friday I am doing calendar math and maybe something else.
Somewhere in there I think I am being observed twice, here’s to hoping everything goes mostly to plan.
Can you tell yet that I have taken over calendar math? Its kind of nice because it is mostly the same lesson each day with a few tweaks here and there to highlight certain information.
I feel like I am drowning…
There is so much that I need to get done and I feel like there isn’t enough time to get it done. I have to get the paperwork together for my biweekly evaluation by my cooperating teacher by tomorrow. I have to read for my book club meeting for my literacy class. I need to read several weeks worth of assigned readings for both math and literacy. I should probably re-do an assignment that another professor essentially said that I did wrong, but she didn’t email me about it, another student told me she had responded to my blackboard discussion post. But she never said I needed to re-do the assignment…should I? Probably. I need to respond to two other people’s posts for this same assignment. I have to design a math assessment for a student that I have not decided on yet. And finally I need to do all of the reading that was given to me last week for my student teaching internship placement.
And that’s just work related to school. I also need to wash my dishes which are piling up in the sink and iron my clothes so I have more to wear to school.
Here goes let’s see how much I can get done before I get too tired and Big Bang Theory and then Grey’s Anatomy start back up tonight.
Nervous and excited for tomorrow
I think I am going to be observed by my professor for the first time tomorrow while I am teaching a lesson. I am going to be doing a math remediation lesson after a post-assessment and then a read aloud later in the day. Here’s to hoping it all goes mostly as planned.