Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So I have one group of students this year that leave me with a headache and wishing I had more patience. It is totally the dynamic of the class because separately these students are the nicest and sweetest kids ever. They just have a huge problem LISTENING!!!!

Today I was so fed up with their yapping that I made them raise one hand in the air while I checked homework ( a good 3-5 minute process with them). Why raise their hand, you may ask? Because the way I get the attention of the class is to ring my class bell and they raise their hands so I know they are listening and ready to hear what I have to say. Today I rang the bell because they were out of control and I made them leave their hand raised, which worked so well. They could tell I was at the end of my rope... and they had only been in class five minutes.

My goal for these students is to work on their listening skills. I swear, I will give directions for an assignment and as I turn to start passing the papers out, I get a question about the directions I JUST SAID!!!! Today one student did that to me so I proceeded to take a deep breath and asked another student to repeat the answer for me because I had just told that class that answer.

Or when they do their homework, they do the completely wrong exercise even though I model it for them when I'm giving them the assignment, wrote the complete assignment title on the homework board, and made sure they wrote it correctly in the agenda book.

Whew... Sorry, that was a lot of venting right there. My other two classes are going really well. I really feel like I lucked out my first year. All the students are great and really want to learn (which I figured would be the opposite by this grade). Lots of avid readers too, which makes me really love the middle school level.

Anyways, off to the mall with Yellie and then back at the ranch for more correcting and prepping. Good thing my husband loves to enter grades in my grade book... He is such a huge help!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The baby bug..

So this past weekend, Dougie and I babysat Eli, our friend's beautiful four month old and we had a blast. Eli's mom and dad went out for a movie and drinks so we got to practice changing diapers, feeding, changing clothes, and putting Eli to bed. It was so much fun (and a great learning experience) getting to rock Eli to sleep and reading him a book (its never too early to start!!!).

This week at school we are finishing our first short story and learning about plot, setting, and theme. We also learned this week's spelling words (silent e and suffixes are the type of words) and we have our first vocab quiz on Wednesday. All in all its been so great. My students are sweet as pie and are working hard already. We are are working on our 5 paragraph essays this week as well (something we started the first week of school), revising and peer editing them so I can correct the first draft this weekend.

I have my first staff meeting tomorrow after school and my first new teacher meeting Thursday so I'm looking forward to seeing how those go. Other than that, I'm really having a great first year (which makes me think I'm not doing it right!!!).

Anyways, off to correct and prep for tomorrow!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I've survived... and went shopping!

Hello everyone!

I survived my very first week of school (and have the cold to prove it) and adjusting to the 80 minute blocks and my 75 students very well. I spent last week on icebreakers, getting to know you writing, and group work so I'm looking forward to starting this week. Right now they are working on their first five paragraph essay of the year (yay MCAS prep) and tomorrow we are starting to use the text book (a cute short story that is school related). All my kids are wicked sweet and I love helping them with their lockers or finding the perfect silent reading book. The best part is the end of the day as I'm walking through the halls. They love to find me just to say goodbye! Isn't that sweet?!?!?!

My team is great... The other team members have been super helpful whether it is helping me fill out the attendance form or getting locks for my homeroom's lockers.... I feel so darn lucky!!!

This weekend I tried to get as much prep work done (which didn't work out after all) and I even took some time to go shopping with my mother-in-law. There is a new Nordstroms in Burlington and I can promise you I will be a repeat shopper there. First, the setup was fantastic! No more annoying racks blocking walkways or random racks of stained clothes (sorry Macys!). And I had a personal shopper! Me, a first year teacher getting advice from my very own personal shopper. She was amazing and she even helped me score some awesome sale items. I ended up with a pair of black dress pants, two cardigans, a beautiful white button down shirt with puffed short sleeves, and the most comfortable black cords ever (Jag is the name is anyone is interested). I can't wait to go back!

Then we headed to the Blue Stove, Nordstrom's dining area for a very unique meal. They serve something called shared plates so the dishes are smaller and meant to be shared among the group. We ordered the fingerling potatoes, the short ribs, organic garlic chicken with a wonderful arugula salad, and a vegetable salad that was amazing. It was such a great experience all around.

Anyways, I'm off to sleep off this cold and then plan for the rest of this week. Hope everyone is having a wonderful Tuesday!!!