Saturday, December 29, 2012

Professional Development

I am determined to make it all the way through this linky party - whether anyone is reading it or not!  Today, I am linking up with Amanda at One Extra Degree to share my professional development goals for 2013.
Here are a few:
  • I returned to the public schools two years ago and began work on my CTEL certificate which would enable me to work with ELL students.  I opted to take classes so that I could earn some units and move over on the pay scale.  I finished my last class just before Christmas!  Thank goodness!  I only have my portfolio to compile and submit and then I WILL BE DONE!!  It was a challenge to balance my classroom, my school, and my family.  Needless to say, once my certificate is granted I will be taking a break from school - I think my kids and husband would kill me if I took anymore course work right away!

  • As a result of my course work, I have become very interested in the ELL porgram at our school and the involvement of our second language parents.  I hope to do more with this group and creater a greater sense of community at our school.  Not sure if that is professional growth, but it is a need.  Any suggestions?

  • I have wanted to go to the California Kindergarten Conference for years but have never been able.  My husband, a wrestling coach, has always held his tourament this SAME weekend.  I may not get to go this year, but I can hope!  I love getting new ideas and learning from the experts!  Thanks to the blogging world I have learned so much and feel like a better teacher already!
  • I want to really help our Kindergarten team get ready for the Common Core.  I feel we are a little late to the party in our district and know there will be many changes that will need to be made.  I look forward to learning more and using many of the resources I have found on TpT.
Lots to accomplish already, and it's not even 2013 yet!
Mrs. M.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Organization - 2013 Here I Come!


So today I am linking up with Hope at 2nd Grade Shenanigans to talk about - organization!  I am not the most organized person.  I like to think that parts of my life are organized, but if you ask my husband I am sure he would have a different opinion.  With four children I have to have something organized - don't I?  I haven't lost any of them!
A few positives:

  • At school I spent the better part of my Thanksgiving break sorting through my August, September, October and November boxes.  I keep everything in these boxes, except for my theme books which have an entire shelf all their own.  Inside each box I have my theme binder with all the masters and units and manila envelopes with each project inside.  These are great when I am prepping because I can keep all the copies and various pieces inside.  I usually put the specifics - how many of each, etc.  on the outside.  Makes it pretty easy for my parent volunteers. 

  • I have settled with a binder for my reading groups.  I have a section for each group with a binder pocket and have a template for my small group lessons.  This has helped me to stay on top of who I have seen and who needs to be seen.  I also cleared out a file drawer in my desk, which is right behind my reading table, where I keep each groups books and small group materials right at hand.  I have seen lots of ideas to use a cart to organize the "typical" reading group materials and I am planning on doing that too. 

A few resolutions:

  • When I moved to my new school two years ago everything got stuffed into any available space.  In addition, I changed grade levels from 9 years of Kinder to a 1st/2nd combination.  So the amount of "stuff"  I collected grew and grew and grew!  As the year progresses I hope to continue purging and organizing my boxes and purging my unused or dated materials.

  • While my theme books are organized my month. . . Well, they look unsightly!  They are on a long open shelf under one of my white boards.  They contribute a ton of visual clutter because of the open shelving.  So I hope to make these, from Simply Keirste, to create a cleaner look.  They will cover it up but still have it be easily accessible.

Pinned Image

  • And then there is my classroom library!  This had been on my to-do list for way too many years.  2013 is the year!
Happy Organization to you and yours!
Mrs. M.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

It's a Technology Linky!

I am joining Kathleen at Growing Kinders to share my technology resolutions for the coming year.  I left a school which had purchased Promethean Boards for all of its teachers.  I was just getting comfortable with that technology when I moved schools and was with out the board - sigh!  I used my board daily for my morning message.  We could circle or highlight words and edit right on the screen.  Each day I would print out the two copies and let my helper of the day take one home.  I would put the other in a binder for students to read at library time.  It became a class favorite!   At the end of the year I made a copy of the whole book for each child - a great kindergarten keepsake!

As for this year - No Promethean Board but plenty of To-Do's:

  • I have an ELMO that I use everyday.  It works great, especially for math.  Last year, we all got Mobi Pads and I was using it at the end of the year.  This year I haven't even taken it out of the box!  The Mobi really gives me mobility and allows me to walk around the room and monitor students better.  I will get that puppy charged and ready to go!
  • With so many people talking about using iPads and iPods in the classroom - I want one or two!  My Principal suggested it to replace the dinosaur computers that are in my classroom.  A little more research and I will be ready to write a grant for them for next year.
  • I want to upload all my music and make easier to access.  I have some of it on my iTunes account but got frustrated because the audio available is horrible.  The only sound I have is from the computer speakers.  Need to work on that!  My kiddos can't even hear it.
  • I need an operational listening center!  I was trying to be resourceful and use what was available - but none of it works!  Another source of frustration.  I worked on it over the Thanksgiving break and thought I had the problem solved - NOT!  I am trying to make more "Listen to Reading" options available for my students.  U-tube is blocked in our district so many of the on-line stories are not available.
  • They have been working on setting up a new computer lab for the K-3 side of our school.  I am determined to be in there and create some tech savvy kinders.
  • It has been nearly a year since I first discovered blogs and I have learned so much from the fabulous teachers who put their heart and soul on the line to share their successes and a failure or two - We call those learning experiences!  I look forward to blogging a little more!
Go ahead and Link-up!
Mrs. M.

Saturday, December 15, 2012