It’s official. I am starting a writer’s club this school year. For several years now I have wanted to conduct a writing club, but wasn’t sure how. This year I took the plunge and wrote the proposal! My principal is excited about this new endeavor at our school. The name of the club is The Spilling Ink Writer’s Club. I have the book Spilling Ink: A Young Writer’s Handbook and wanted to learn more, so I googled it. Guess what? The authors have a blog with a plethora of writing information for young writers. This year we will use the book Spilling Ink. I have made buying the book optional. The club is for students in grades 4-8. My hope is that the students will come to enjoy being with a community of writers along with creative writing. Our first official meeting will be Wednesday, October 21. I can’t wait!
5th Grade September 15, 2011
Tomorrow marks the one month anniversary of being a 5th grade teacher. I didn’t think I would like it as much as I do. It has been a little difficult getting used to the maturity level of the kids, but other than that I love it! My former students still visit me every day. It’s hard seeing them in a different classroom, but I am happy with this change. I am learning new things. Social Studies has been the subject that’s out of my element; however, I am making it work. I’ve implemented a new way for taking notes with them (it’s nothing very innovative). Instead of having them copy notes from the screen, we make webs or graphic organizers. Sometimes the students get into groups and read a section of the book, make a web, and then present them to the class. I also use the tool United Streaming, which is a big help! I look forward to what’s to come in 5th grade!
First Day Delights August 11, 2011
I love the first day of school
Freshly waxed floors
Happy smiles with contagious laughter
Hugs from previous students
Eager eyes wait in anticipation of the new year
Questions, questions, questions
Answers, answers, answers
More on Digital Storytelling June 23, 2011
Summer for me is a time to teach writing camp. I have been fortunate to teach at two camps this year. This week I have been working with kids from grades 3-8 in Martin, TN. We blasted off the week with Digital Storytelling. We used the website LittleBirdTales to create our stories. On the site students can upload pictures or use a paint program to draw their very own pictures. This site now allows teachers to create student accounts and the teacher is able to manage each account. See my post from February. The only thing that I wish this site had now was a spelling/grammar check option.
I just love digital stories. They are a great way for students to showcase their work. The best part about them is the students can work on them at home! I loved seeing their creativity shine.
Below is my digital story and two student examples from this week:
CHANGE is Good ~ Right? June 16, 2011
Last Monday my principal called and left me a voice mail. I was intrigued by what she wanted to talk to me about. Thousands of thoughts passed through my mind — what does she want? Does she want me to teach computer? Is she finally going to ask me to teach 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English?
My heart pounded as I punched in her number. I really wasn’t sure what she was going to ask me. As the phone rang, my heart fluttered more and more. “Hello,” said the quite voice on the other end. “Sister, this is Andi returning your call.” Then it came. The question that I wasn’t expecting at all. “How would you like to teach 5th grade?” A long pause went by before I answered. “Oh, I am not so sure. I am going to need time to think about it.”
We ended the phone conversation and my mind was going 90 miles an hour. My first reaction was to tell her absolutely not. Why would I want to move down? I have been teaching 6th grade for 10 years. Why change when I have my routines set? Is this really something I want to do? Would I hate it? Would I love it? These were all the questions running through my mind – no let’s say sprinting through my mind.
Three days had past and I decided to call her and tell her that I wasn’t going to take the 5th grade position. I waited until 7:30p.m. to call her. “Sister, I don’t think I want to teach 5th grade. I don’t think I would like it.” Sister sounded disappointed, but at that moment I didn’t care. It was over. I made the decision. I’m staying in 6th grade.
“Not so fast!” my heart said. Something didn’t feel right. My heart wasn’t settled. I kept pondering my decision. The clock’s minutes ticked away. I couldn’t sleep. My decision seemed to be haunting me. Of course I had to call my mom. I dialed her number hoping she would still be awake. I didn’t care that it was midnight. I needed my mom’s words of wisdom.
The next morning around 6:45 I called my principal. I changed my mind. I will be embarking on a new adventure this 2011 school year — 5th grade! I am ecstatic about my decision. My heart feels at peace and I’m ready for this new journey in my life. Who knew?
See Fun with Literature for project guidelines.
Environmental Issues May 3, 2011
As a SACS accredited school, we have to continuely work on our school. Each year we have plans that are implemented and this year we have the goal of addressing to students about global and environmental issues. I had no clue to how I was to go about this because I am not a science teacher. I decided to do some research and found a local website about recycling called Recycle Jackson. On this site was information on E-Waste and a video clip on the global impact of what goes on when countries don’t recycle. I had this information in the back of my mind because I knew I had to implement the goal before school let out in May.
Today I decided since I wasn’t going to get to see both of my sixth grade reading classes this week due to Music practice performances that I would give my students a quick eye opener. I quickly created a power point that had facts, pictures, and that video clip. I introduced it to my students and they were amazed at what landfills looked like and above all what goes on in other countries. I felt that it was a good lesson for the students to realize that our trash does affect others. Below is my power point that I showed my students.