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Sunday, February 12, 2012

One month in....

It has been one month since I started teaching full-time. I have been teaching for years, but never officially with a "teacher's license," but more informally in the business world, in workshops, seminars and other public arenas. This month it's been my lesson plans, my execution of those lesson plans, the discipline that it takes to make sure the lessons are reaching their intended targets, plus the balancing act of all of the interruptions which occur in a normal school days and normal school weeks.

I'm thoroughly thrilled with my new classroom. I love the process, the freshness that each new day brings and the new changes that my students bring with them each day they walk onto the school property, or get off the bus, and move throughout the school. They are such neat students. Each one has some level of special need - some more than others, but they all have become infected with my passion for learning.

They didn't know they wanted it until we cleared out all of the cob webs that had been created the previous semester. We had to unlearn some habits, re-learn some good things we wanted to keep, and most importantly, learn to follow the schedule and to keep everyone on a consistent level of activity.  No one can be left to their own desires. No one. Everyone has to be engaged at some level... even if it's helping someone else to do what they are doing.

I find that my biggest challenge as a new teacher has been to create easy transitions. In using the "First... Then.." efforts for students with special needs, we have to create ways to make the transitions back to working easier and intriguing.  I have used music, videos, singing, and other "hooks" to draw my Kindergarten students attention back to their tables or to the next area of the room according to their visual schedule that is easily viewed and workable, to get them readily re-engaged in learning.

Some transition easily and are ready for the next task, others not so much. But one thing I have noticed.... just transition and make the lesson fun, engaging and challenge their curiosity and even those that stand and shed tears, will do so for just a few seconds. They see others engaged and will become engaged in the next task of the day. It is infectious behavior!

The students have had to learn to trust the visual schedule and to trust in the "First... Then..." process. Consistency has been mt "C" word of the month.

I love my new school and my new students. I love the challenge they each bring to me every day. I'm thankful for being able to be one small, consistent, part of their daily lives.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Need some new resources to peruse? Here's a great list of 280 of them!

That's right, 280 from # to Z to look through and see what you can use in your classroom, for your own personal learning community or personal learning network.  Check out this great compilation, HERE.

Be sure to LIKE or TWEET for Jose to know that you were there and to tell him thanks for curating the list.


Have you checked out the Live Binders?

Steven W. Anderson has created his list of favorite LiveBinders and listed them on his website.  Check them out HERE!

If you have not gotten hooked on LIVE BINDER as we have, then go HERE to find out more and setup your account!


Stopping boredom - Using Classroom Management

I have found this to be so true: "If the students are not engaged in meaningful, relative activities of learning, they will devise their own relative activities."  So, in order for them to remain engaged, this website of 8 Thing Teachers Do To Bore Students was a great find.   Check it out and be sure to leave a message on their site if it has helped you!!

8 Things Teachers Do To Cause Boredom