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Thursday, February 23, 2012

So Miss Smith went to Wawa...

A zillion years ago I would write a sentence or two about my progress in first grade. Almost a whole month later, I have a ton of updates.

First, I still can't wrap my brain around the fact that kids can't read automatically. It sounds silly, but it's true. I keep making these posters and lessons and charts with all of these words on them and then realize that my little firsties have no idea what they say. I'm going to tell myself I'm using a whole language approach to my literacy block, but really it's just remnants of my fourth grade friends. (Why yes, I have completely devolved into using strictly teacher language: everyone is my friend, 1, 2, 3, eyes on me whenever I do not have your complete attention, this is not the desert, you don't need a drink right now, that's the right answer to a different question, you're filling my bucket, kiss your brain you are so smart, and  you need to make a better choice.)

I have become a book hoarder and have sent family members across the country looking for just-right books for my fgf (first grade friends). We just got back from the library book sale where I was fully prepared to pay a quarter for every children's book I grabbed but was granted a special teacher discount where a man estimated I owed him only $7 for 5 whole boxes crammed full of books. I have my mom leveling books 24/7 and we are even starting to find some easy easy easy books, thank God.

It is insane to try and cram in an arts and crafts activity in less than 4 days. Also, bottles of glue are my arch nemesis.

I've taken on painting a stool from around my house as our "Author's Chair." It's painted wild colors and I'm going to mod-podge on words so I don't have to try and draw anything. I can't wait to see the commotion when I whip it out next week. (There are already fistfights for sharing our stories, can't wait for the next brawl to ensue.)

We got our class pictures--all of my students are absolutely adorable.

I'm starting to have cute stories, too. In math we were talking about pennies and nickels and were trying to get them to figure out you could trade in 5 pennies for a nickel. I tell this big elaborate story: "Miss Smith is walking to Wawa to buy a stick of gum for 6 cents. I have 6 pennies in my hands, but, boys and girls, you know how clumsy Miss Smith is (insert wild stories of me stomping on someone's hand every single day) so if I walk to Wawa carrying my 6 pennies, I'm totally going to drop them.  How can I still take 6 cents to Wawa without having to carry my 6 pennies?"  One girl's hand shoots right up so I think she's got it already. She says, "Well, you could put 3 pennies in one hand, and 3 pennies in the other hand!" I almost die laughing, but in my "multiple approaches to the same problem" attitude, I try and nudge her along. "You are so right, I could totally do that! But, I am sooooooo clumsy, 3 pennies are still TOO MANY coins for me to hold onto at once.... What could I do?" She thinks for a minute and then her face lights up-- "You can put two pennies in one hand, two pennies in the other hand, and hold on to the other two pennies with your pointer fingers and thumbs!" A voice from the peanut gallery shouts out that I could put the pennies in my pocket. Congratulations, first graders, you got me there.

I am really excited to do my plans this wek, Lindsey and I talked about our plans for like 2 hours yesterday. And I now have the SMARTBoard software on my computer. Watch out, first grade friends, Miss Smith is gonna blow you away next week. I'm terrified to do progress reports (due Tuesday) and have to plan all of my lessons still, but here is my author's chair:

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