Saturday, August 30, 2008

The One Where I Sum Up Week 2.....

WHEW.....I have survived the first 9 days of school...and now I am being rewarded with a 3 day weekend (unfortunately, not at the destination in the picture above!)

Whatever will I do?!?! Uh, lesson plans, putting together literacy centers, reading two books I am considering adding to my classroom library, grading papers...oh, and putting together "Monday Folders" which will actually go out on Tuesday next week due to the Labor Day holiday(try explaining that concept to a bunch of 9 year old boys..uh, Mrs. Barkers..if our Monday Folders go home on Tuesday, then when do we bring them back???)

So here is my week in a nutshell...we actually started instruction this week (Day 5) and got textbooks assigned on Day 7. I am not a fan of teaching from the book, so I actually go a lot accomplished. Our team is still making some modifications to our schedule and the lesson plan template we are all going to use (each team member writes plans for the entire team- for one content area).

I actually held our "Morning Meeting" 4 of the 5 days and the day we were not able to fit it in, my boys asked for it (GREAT SIGN).

I have begun to figure out the personalities of each of my boys and have figured out what roles they will play in the classroom this year. I have one boy "J" who doesn't play well with others"...he has been a challenge this week but I already have him on a behavior plan (yeah me!!) I have a few who are just plain clueless, a cryer, and one who told me he didn't have to respect me, I was just his teacher ( a note home with calls from BOTH Mom and Dad solved that one...and he gave me a hug Friday and told me he was sorry)

The highlight of my week was having my boys begging me to keep reading (HUGE...because it was time for us to go to lunch and they wanted more Treasure Island). I have been doing tons of reading this summer...lots of Boy Books...and I just finished reading the book "Reading Don't Fix No Chevys". next up...Ralph's Fletcher's "Boy Writers- Reclaiming Their Voice" I know from all the research that 4th grade is SUCH an important year for boys when it comes to reading..if they are struggling to read fluently by 4th grade and we don't fix it...this will greatly impact their future, and there is a greater chance they will drop out once they reach HS. This is my MISSION this instill in these 13 boys a love of reading and writing.

I am saddened to hear a few of my colleagues who are also teaching all boys say they won't do it again next year. Trust me, I have wondered out loud why I said "YES" when they asked me to do this. Some days are better than others but it is only the
9th day of school for crying out loud!!!

I became a teacher to make a difference, and right now..this is the first step.

PLEASE...leave me a comment, tell your teacher friends about this I am off to grade papers!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

The One Where I Come Home Exhausted Every Night...

okay, so it was a short week that felt like three weeks. Maybe I am just too old for this!! We started back to school on Tuesday and I went to be at 8:30 Tuesday night (after 2 beers, mind you!) Wednesday, ditto, early to bed. Thursday, you guessed it. Here is is Friday (night) and I should be relaxing but all I can think of is all the work I need to do to get ready for next week.
I do have an interesting class...all boys...13 of them. I know, I shouldn complain when I read blogs from teachers who have 30 kids. My roster started out with 15. One dropped out (not out of school, just our of my class--Mama didn't want him in an all boys class), and two never showed...I guess they took their business elsewhere.

All I can say is that it is going to be an interesting year...most of the boys are good, well they are all good kids, but a few of them will be providing me with some patience training, and if I end the school year with the tip of my tongue and my sanity, it will have been a good year.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The One Where I Am On The Countdown.... three days my young men will return for what will hopefully be a great 4th grade year. Ha!! Who am I kidding, when the bell rings on Tuesday morning I will be staring down 16 9-year-olds who would rather be ANYWHERE than in a school building. As cynical as I am, I am also excited about this year. Maybe it is the thrill of the unknown...who knows.

I did get to meet a few of my little darlings and their parents on Thursday night during "Meet the Teacher." Since this Single Gender program is new to our school this year, I was not sure how receptive these parents were going to be to having their son in an all boys class. Surprisingly, many of the parents I talked to had requested it (and after meeting their boys, I know why).

So this weekend I will drive myself crazy wondering if my room ir ready, if my papers are in order, and the dreaded "What am I going to do with them on the first day!!!" Our school promotes textbook-free week the first week to develop comunities within the classroom, learn (or re-learn) the procedures of the school, classroom, etc. So this will fill some of the time...but I think we are going to do some brainstorming about things we want to do this year.

And I am excited....only 68 more hours!!! Hooray!!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The One Where I Realize I Have to Go Back to Work In One Week!!!

Yes, you read that right sports fans...summer is officially over. Well almost. I have to be back to work next Monday. I am actually going in later this week to survey the disaster that is my classroom. When I last left it, the furniture was all askew as they had just finished stripping & waxing the floors.

Maybe the Classroom Fairy will visit and reorganize my files, set up my gradebook and do my bulletin boards.....not likely!

T-Minus 15 days till the young gentlemen return.

Until next time.......

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The one where I start my new blog.....

If you are a fan of the show "Friends" like I am ("how you doin"-Joey Tribiani) will "get" my post titles. If you're not...maybe you will....let me explain:
You see, each episode of this sitcom has a title that started with "The One...." such as "The One with Two Parties" or "The One After the Superbowl'' You get it now, right?

So the posts on my blog...sure to have quite a following, will follow a similar format (gee, wonder if that title-thingy is copyright-protected?)

Anyway..follow along as I chronicle my crazy, exciting year, with a classroom full of 9 year old boys....and don't worry, the names will be changed to protect..well my job.... I mean the innocent (and not so innocent!!)

I promise lots of laughs, maybe a tear or two (mine), and a lot of fun!!! Join me won't you....