Sunday, May 13, 2012

Another One Bites the Dust.....

Another One Bites the Dust...... Every time I hear this title,  I begin to hum this song.   I'm joining up with Amber at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher for her very first linky party.  I LOVE her blog, and the great ideas that she shares.  This linky party is all about your school year in review.  What went well, what flopped, and what do you hope to improve upon....  Click on the link below to join Amber's Linky Party.

Here's my year in review:

What went well:

1.  My new and improved classroom decor-  I was tired of the same ole look I have had for a few years now and wanted something bright and cheery. So I found Schoolgirl Style's Polka Dotted inspired classroom, and used this idea to redecorate my classroom. I love polka dots!

2. Math Stations-  I have to admit that I often used stations during a portion of my reading class, but rarely during math.  Don't get me wrong, we did lots of hands-on activities to reinforce concepts being learned, but I just never used math stations.  I felt most comfortable creating reading stations and activites, but not with math.  I worked a lot on this during second semester.  My students loved the stations, and I felt it was very beneficial to all of my students.  I was able to challenge my higher level students and reinforce concepts being taught for my lower level students.    I hope to work more on these math stations over the summer ( ... one of the many things on my summer bucket list).  Here are a few pics of some stations in action.

3. Pinterest and blogging......  I absolutely adore the ideas I have received from other bloggers!  I have really amped up my teaching since I began blogging and getting ideas from Pinterest.  There are so many fabulous ideas out there.  I appreciate everyone's willingness to share new ideas!  Thank you! You rock!!

4. My new and improved organized classroom.... I love to be organized.  I'm a bit cray cray in that I feel as if I can't function if things aren't organized and in their place.   Silly, I know, but that is how I feel.  Just ask my hubs about our home organization.   I really wanted everything to have its place so that I or my students could easily locate it.  I created a home for all of my math, reading, science, social studies, and language file folder games and etc.  I also organized my math manipulatives so that every item has its place.  Before they were in three large rubbermaid containers all mixed up together.

What flopped:

1.  My file organization ( Paper and computer).... I love to be organized, but my filing cabinet is another issue in itself ( It looks nice and neat when the cabinets are closed.:)   I began the year with  completely organized and functional filing cabinets.  I dare to say they are even close to that at the end of the school year.  Each year, I tell myself I'm going to keep my files more organized and put everything back in order ,and each year I fail miserably in this area.   My computer files are very similar.  I have flash drives labeled with reading, math, poetry, science, social studies and so forth... but I need to have folders with only measurement, fractions, and multiplication.  You get the idea.   This too is on my summer bucket list. 
2. My writing center.... I began well by creating my writing center with student binders and a shelf with material.. but it was too small and did not hold all of the materials I needed.  I have already pinpointed the area in my classroom that will work perfectly for our new writing center along with some posters, and some shelves to use.   I also can't wait to enhance  my writing curriculum with some ideas I have taken from Christi at Ms. Fultz's Corner.  She had a fabulous series on her Innovations in writing.

Other things I want to work on:

1.  Common Core Standards-  I had the privilege to attend several workshops at the beginning of second semester given by our ROE.  I gained so much information about the Common Core.  I have spent second semester looking at the curriculum I teach and determining how I could improve upon it so that it is aligned to the Common Core.  This is a work in progress as I get to each unit in our 3rd grade curriculum.  A couple of  my  fellow 3rd grade colleagues and myself plan to get together this summer and work on aligning our curriculum to the Common Core.  We are hoping to create more whole language units to meet these objectives.  More for the summer bucket list...

2. My R.T.I. data collection-  Many schools have an R.T. I. teacher or coordinator, unfortunately we do not, so anything with data collection is something we teachers  are responsible for ourselves.  I have to admit, I began the year strong in this area, but after Christmas I waned a little bit with the data collection.  I worked with my RTI kiddos in small groups almost daily to provide interventions, but when it came to giving them the benchmarking probes weekly or every other week, I failed miserably at times.    Fortunately next year, our A.P. has offered to progress monitor all our 3rd graders on a given day during the school week, AND input these scores into the AIMS web program.  Yipee!!!

3.  I want to design a new classroom library.  I found so many great ideas from the classroom library linky party.  Currently, my classroom books are organized according to their A.R. levels.  I do not have them divided into fiction and nonfiction.  This is something I hope to do along with purchasing more nonfiction books.  Thank you so much for purchasing my items from TPT and TN because I am able to purchase new books, units, and classroom materials using the money I have earned from the sale of those products.

Take a peek at my inspiration for my new classroom library. This comes from Molly at Lessons With Laughter.
I adore how she uses the picture easels to display books. 

I love how she has organized her books into different genres also.

Don't forget to link up above with Adventure's From a Third Grade Teacher for... Another One Bites the Dust.

Sunday is nearing a close, but I hope that all of you Mom's out there had a fabulous Mother's Day!  You deserved to be spoiled on your special day!!!  My hubs spoiled me by taking our family out to Red Lobster to celebrate the occasion. I received some fabulous gifts from my family, including a new color printer that I desperately wanted.  I absolutely adore the handmade gifts my kids make at school. They are my favorites.  I laughed out loud when I read the card my kindergartner created for me.  It mentioned the food I cooked the best as hotdogs... too funny! The last page of this card was the best..... It asked to give my age and weight.   He wrote my age as 42  ( I'm not that YET! I still have a few years to go.) and my weight as 20 pounds.  I started giggling and he said to me, " That's what I thought you weighed Mom".  My daughter is in 5th grade, so it's a bit different when they get older.  She gave me a mug that she had designed ( except that she designed it to give me on Valentine's Day and forgot so instead she blocked out Happy Valentine's Day and put " Happy Mother's Day instead."  ( Did I mention I'm having a difficult time adjusting to this pre-teen stage she has entered?!  I need a manual for this stage of life.)   Our two year old went around saying " Happy, happy Mutter's Day" today.  It was so cute! With that being said,  I love my kids!!!   They are so precious! ( I have to admit Mother's Day has been a bit bittersweet for me with my sweet Mom celebrating her special day in Heaven.) 

Have a fabulous Monday!!!


Corinna said...

Wow, Krista you are such an amazing lady!! Teacher extraordinaire, 3 kids, a store full of amazing products and time to blog!! I only seem to find the time to blog when my kids go to bed;) Happy Mother's Day!!

Surfin' Through Second

Amber P. said...

Thanks for linking up girl! I love the polka dots!!

Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

Christi at Ms. Fultz's Corner said...

My ears perked up when you said you were going to work on writing because I super love writing workshop and then I kept reading to see my name, how funny!

I am loving math stations and have made it my goal to work on even more this summer.

Great post, lady!
Christi ツ
Ms. Fultz’s Corner

Casey Turner said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. I think that now will be the perfect time for me to reflect on the year because my kiddos will still be here for another 3 weeks. You will see me post something like this in the near future, thanks for reminding me to slow down and remember what works before I get too caught up in my report cards!!!

Second Grade Math Maniac

Molly said...


I just came to your blog to see what you have been up to and was super excited to see the pics you posted of my library!! That seriously made my evening!!!! :) What a fabulous reflection opportunity! My file organization completely flopped as well.. I will definitely be working on a new system this summer! I am just naturally a piler and am horrible at putting things right back in their place! At least we all have good summer goals so we can motivate and inspire each other!! Hope you have a fabulous week!!!

Lessons with Laughter