Sunday, September 15, 2013

Catching Up and Newsletter Templates

Ugh!  The weekend is almost over!  We have the busiest fall ever and it starts this week!  Between catering events, work trips, family visiting, and horse shows, my hubby and I will hardly see each other for the next 8 weeks.

We have been assessing our poor kiddos at school to death.  They have our "normal" assessments (running records, literacy assessments, etc.) and then our district adopted a new math and reading assessment and a new reading program which includes its own assessment.  The poor kiddos are sick of taking tests!  The computer is no longer "fun".  All of these assessments keep screaming the same dreaded information, our kiddos need every ounce of our attention this year.  We have been meeting as a team to adapt and modify our expectations and activities as much as possible.  We are feeling as defeated as our kiddos are.
Hopefully, everything starts to turn around with all of these accomodations.  

We survived Back To School Night!  Almost half of my families showed up which is better than what my teammates had.

On a lighter note, I have been working away on a set of 22 Newsletter Templates!  They cover a variety of themes including:

*Back To School
*Halloween*Thanksgiving*Christmas*Winter*Valentine's Day*St. Patrick's Day*Easter*Rainy Day*Spring*Summer*Monsters*Circus*Pirates*Owls*Space*Superheroes*Movies*Kids Playing Outside*Western*Farm

Make sure you check them out!

Monday, September 2, 2013

First Full Week Done!

We made it!  We survived our first full week.  Now if only the rest of the year can keep getting better!  We definitely have our hands full this year.  You know how some groups of kiddos have a reputation?  This is one of those groups.  I have three known "runners" hopefully they don't all decide to act up at the same time or we will all be in trouble.  The first grade teachers will win!  We will have a good year whether the kiddos do or not!  I already had to send a note home with my kiddos about homework because so many kiddos didn't turn it on Friday.  It makes me sad that I can't get one piece of paper back for the whole week.  Oh well, their grades will reflect it.

The first grade team is already making a huge change in our plan for math.  Our kiddos are just not ready to start Everyday Math.  Our district has adopted the Engage NY lessons, however we are not ready to throw Everyday Math out the window and jump into Engage NY.  To be honest, our kids aren't ready to start Engage NY either.  My teammate did a little research and discovered Kuske Math.  Check out their website and search for their videos on YouTube.  Trust me it's worth it!  The videos are not fancy, however the kids love them and are already having "lightbulb" moments.  Each video is less than 10 minutes long and goes nice and slow.  This is where our kiddos are.  This is where we need to start.  So our new plan is to try to catch them up with Kuske during the month of September and then jump into EDM and supplement with Engage NY.  Yes, it is a lot, but we have to create a rigorous program to fill in the gaps.  For right now, guided math groups will not exist because we just can't go low enough and cover everything they need to know.  Maybe in a few months we can back off a little bit, but for now we have to push.