Friday, November 30, 2007

HEY, Library Lady..........

Today, I enjoyed the thrill of getting to be a librarian for the day. I have had several people mention to me that I would be good at it. I do love books, which is an interesting comment for a former dyslexic child. I did not have the easiest time learning to read but when I did I read everything I could get my hands on. I loved the library as a child and I think the poor librarian probably knew me better than she wanted to. I know I could do it and do it well. But I am sure I would miss the regular classroom too much.

I had a fabulous day in the library! I got to talk books, re-shelve books, discuss an author visit, talk about the internet and get an idea of what students are reading. A day all about books is a wonderful day indeed!

Here are a few books that the students shared with me:

The only one I have read personally is A Wrinkle in Time. I loved it when I read it. I put Princess Academy and Bella at Midnight on here because they looked good. Follow My Leader was recommended by a 5th grader. He said that it was his second time reading it. Any book a student will read twice is worth reading, in my opinion. The Invention of Hugo Cabret looks interesting. I read a few reviews on Shefari about it. They mentioned that it was thick but a fairly quick and easy read. Freddy and the Ignormus was also recommended by a 5th grader. She described the books as mystery books where all the characters are animals.

I loved my day as a librarian and no one even called me the Library Lady.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Prepping for A Substitute

I got to be in the classroom of a well-prepared teacher today. (If you refer to my Out of Body Exerience?, you will see that I didn't understand much of what was said in the classroom but that is another story.) Her sub folder included a pull-out schedule, a class list, a list of groups, an exit map, a schedule, a list of routines, and a set of emergency sub plans. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had everything I needed and a few things I just might need.

The pull-out schedule is a very nice piece because I have been in classrooms where students come and go. I trust the students. However, I would just feel more comfortable knowing where they are and when to expect them back.

The list of routines was remarkable. The routines included: arrival, end of the day/dismissal, fire and tornado drills, going to and from lunch, Morning Meeting, how to get the student's attention, student responsibilities, and the bathroom/fountain routine. Knowing the classroom routines in a class I am subbing in immensely simplifies my day. I know I will not do everything the same as the teacher but I like to try and keep the day as similar as possible.

The Emergency Sub Plans were great too. They gave several suggestions for what to do for Language Arts and Math. There were several options which can be nice to have because the day doesn't always match the plan. The plan also included the specials schedule.

There is also some student information that would be helpful to be aware of. I know that it is important to be confidential about many things. I will just give you one example. I had a fourth grade student who got a bloody nose at recess. I discovered upon picking up the class up for lunch that she hadn't eaten yet. So I explained that she could stay in the lunch room and eat or bring her lunch back up to the room. As I was explaining this to her I was told that she is probably not understanding me which would explain why she was in tears. She had already been through having to change her clothes in the nurses office. It would have been helpful for me to know that she didn't speak much English. Although, perhaps that is something that is confidential. It is just one particular that would have been helpful to know that day.

Any other suggestions would be great!

Out of Body Experience?

I have wondered what it would be like to be in a place where I didn't understand much of what was being said. I know that this is an everyday reality for some students in classrooms all over the world. Today, I spent the day at a French Immersion school. It was an experience. I have taught at a Spanish Immersion school and that was nothing like this afternoon. This morning I was in a Kindergarten room, which was fine. I had a great time teaching Math and the assistant teacher taught the other lessons. Not to mention the students talked to each other in English. The afternoon was a whole different ball game. It is not that it was a bad day. We did not even have any mild disasters. It was just that from the time I walked into the room I barely understood a word that was said. Not to worry they had an assistant from France that taught them for the afternoon.

My experience is hard to describe. I sat and watched the clock for most of the time. I thoroughly studied the sub folder. (I will share more about that later because I learned some great things.) I walked around the room and tried to read all the great signs that she had posted. I looked all through the Math curriculum. It was in English. I reread an article I had in my bag. I did most of this with a headache. I spent less than 3 hours in the class and I was almost bored out of my mind. I have never had a out of body experience nor do I really believe in them. But I am almost certain that I would have experienced one had I spent a little more time in that classroom today.

I wonder what those students feel like that don't understand much of what is going on in their classrooms all day everyday. After, a few hours I was stir crazy. I probably would have started climbing the walls and wondering why classrooms don't have chandeliers. It wouldn't have been a pretty sight. Not to mention I probably wouldn't get invited back as a sub and I could cross that district off the list of hopeful future homes. (Because don't we all live at school?) Well, I can say I got a taste of it today. Now I just have to paste it into my mind and remember it when I have students who experience it on an everyday basis. I will have to ponder how not to forget. If any of you have any ideas, please enlighten me.

This makes me think of the importance of keeping students engaged......I will have to ponder on that at a later date.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Creation of this Blog

Hello all,
I am going to begin. I would like you to know that I have been thinking about this for quite some time. I am a teacher who loves to teach. I am currently subbing which has been interesting. It wouldn't be my first choice but I am learning lots. I intend to share different thoughts about teaching and am hoping I will get feedback from others. The topics on the blog will probably be quite random because I am quite random. They will be good none the less.
Ms. Mize