100th Day of School

  100 days of school have come and gone already! Can you believe it? I was able to supply in a Grade 1/2 classroom on the 100th Day of School Celebration. We completed many different activities about the number 100. First, we started the day off with a read a loud of: 100th Day Worries. This was a really cute story about a girl who brought a lot of different things to school all based on her family’s love for her. The students really enjoyed the book.

Then, we completed different 100th Day of School Centers. The first centre was to guess which jar had 300 jellybeans in it. There were 3 different jars, and the teacher chose 300 jelly beans since 3 classes were participating and the 300 jelly beans represented the 100 days of school for each class. Students were really excited and their explanations about why they thought which jar had 300 were very interesting. Some noticed that some jars were larger and skinnier than the others, or that one was smaller but it was much wider (please see: http://twitpic.com/8ktbjv).

The second center was 100 Sets of Opposites. So, students in this center had to come up with different examples of opposites and write them down on the chart paper provided. The goal was to get 100 different examples. Some examples were hot/cold, up/down, white/black, forward/backward, etc. (see: http://twitpic.com/8ktc95).

The third center was a math center where students had to come up with different ways/equations to get the answer 100. Students wrote their answers on the chart paper. Some examples included 102-2=100, 98+2=100, 110-10=100, etc. It was interesting to see all the various equations using addition and subtraction (see: http://twitpic.com/8ktca5).

The fourth center was 100 Different Words. Here, students were given 10 different categories, and they needed to come up with 10 different words for each category. The categories included: 10 Names, 10 Books, 10 Beverages, 10 Number Words, 10 Chocolate Bars, 10 Words That Rhyme with “at”, 10 Animals, 10 Foods, 10 Words That Start With “H” and 10 Colours (see: http://twitpic.com/8ktcha). The fifth center was a timed station, where students were given scrap pieces of paper, and they were to write their name as many times as they can in 100 seconds. One student has a timer and the other students wrote their name, after, the students switched.

The last center was a chart where students has to tell me what they would want 100 of, and what they would not want 100 of. So, for example, one student wrote that he would love 100 dollars, but would not want 100 sisters. They were quite comical, and very clever (see: http://twitpic.com/8ktchl).

Prior to the 100th day of school, students were asked to bring in 100 things. These were used for our 100th Day Art Lesson. Students were given a cutout of the number 100. On the cutout, students decorated it using 10 pieces of 10 different things such as 10 pieces of macaroni, 10 pieces of tissue paper, writing their name 10 times, etc. They all turned out so nice and so different from one another, although most of them used the same materials. Here is an example of one (http://twitpic.com/8ktbd4).

My Week In Kindergarten

 I just completed a week in a FDK class at Lakeshore Public  School. My class was really great! We had some ups and downs (as the ECE teacher was absent a few days as well, which threw the children off a little bit). But we had a really great week together! I got the opportunity to work with a wide variety of young students-both behvaiuorals as well as an Autistic child. I love how excited and interested the students are in their learning. I got to work with the students as a large group, within a small group (separating the JKs from the SKs on occasion) as well as one on one.

What Did We Do In A Week?
Our week was well planned and executed without a hitch. The way their program is set up seems to work quite well. Depending on the day, and where the preps fall, I was really only with the students btw 3-4 periods in a day. Typically, the students come into the class in the morning, as we get undressed, which takes a little longer than anticipated as student have snowpants, jackets, boots, mittens, hats, etc. Once we are all ready, we take attendence, and students sign in by answering YES or NO to a question (i.e. Did you play in the snow on the weekend). Then, students chose a book and read or look through it quietly on the carpet. Once all students have had the chance to read for a few minutes, we then put away the books and gather on the carpet for a read aloud and community circle. Then, we move on to writer`s workshop. This week, our students`writing focused on flowers and the parts of a flower (see http://twitpic.com/8ee52j). After nutrition break, periods 3 and 4 are always PLAY. The students have many different centres they are allowed to play at including the house centre, sand centre, building blocks centre, writing centre, painting centre, dollhouse centre, castle centre and lego centre. Then, after the second nurition break, students usually have gym, computers or library, and then the last period of the day we look at and discuss our science project for the week (where we put white carnations into coloured water and watch how the carnations change colour). After a day in each water, we would change the water the flowers are in, so the colours mix together to create different coloured flowers. We had red, blue , yellow water, as well as plain water as our control. By the end of the week, after mixing the flowers into the different colours of water we ended up with a purple flower, an orange flower and a green flower (see http://twitpic.com/8ee4q6). It was a great activity to talk about the different parts of  flower, how the stem sucks up the water, and to get students predicting what would happen to the flowers when placed in the different colours of water.

Overall, it was a fun and great experience to work within a Full Day Kindergarten class. The young minds are so creative and the students are really excited to learn. I just loved my week in Kindie!

Grade 3 Ideas

I had the pleasure of working at Eastview Public School in Oakville a few times over the past few weeks. I have really enjoyed it there- the students and staff are friendly, and both are more than willing to help with anything I may need. Luckily, I always take my camera with me so I can take pictures of many of the wonderful anchor charts/papers I see in classrooms that I can use one day [in the near future] in my own classroom!

As we all know, literacy is a HUGE part of our programming, no matter what grade it is that you teach. Through my experiences, I find it helps students to use cross-curriculum so students are not JUST learning language, or math or science, but can learn and connect interchangably between all subject areas. I have seen this take place in many classrooms, and I have done this many of times as well. In all classrooms today, we should have Word Walls for our students. I have always been a fan of having many different word walls so that each subject has a Word Wall of its own. This picture illustrates how the Grade 3 class I supply taught in has created their Word Walls: http://twitpic.com/897iio. I just love this idea and will be using it in my own classroom as well!

Another part of my Comprehensive Literacy Program is to include the Daily 5, but have a special “Book Nook” area where each student can store their Language material. In this Grade 3 class, they has a classroom oragnizer which I so badly would LOVE to have within my own classroom. Each student would know exactly where their material for each section is supposed to go, as the bins are clearly labeled: http://twitpic.com/897i13 

**All pictures taken from Jennifer O’Hare’s Grade 3 Classroom at Eastview Public School **

Last Days of LTO

How fast time goes. I have completed my first LTO at Lakeshore Public School. It was a day filled with mixed emotions- I was excited to have my first LTO under my belt but I was sad to leave working everyday at Lakeshore. My students were quite upset, but I kept telling them that I would be back. It is not Goodbye!  My last few days at Lakeshore were quite busy but we had a great time together going skating, having a hot chocolate party while watching The Polar Express, and the Christmas Concert.

In the new year, I am lucky enough to have pre-booked supply days at Lakeshore so I will be back and will get to see many of your faces again! I am also looking forward to having the opportunity to visit and teach at other schools until something permanent comes up! I am really enjoying my teaching career and I look forward to seeing everyone at Lakeshore again soon! Cheers until next time 🙂

Robert Munsch Play

 On Friday, I had the pleasure to supervise my Grade 1 class on our trip to Central Highschool for the Robert Munsch production put on by the Burlington Fire Department. The plays were a huge success- both students and teachers seemed to really enjoy it. We were able to see 4 different plays: 50 Below Zero, Murmur Murmur, The Mud Puddle and The Paperbag Princess. We were able to intergrate this into our writer’s workshop when we arrived back at school, as the students had a specific purpose for their writing: a thank you letter to the firefighters. First, we completed a shared model of writing a thank you letter, and then students were given an opportunity to write their letters thanking the firefighters for all the time and effort they had put into the plays.

Thank you to all the parent volunteers who came with us on our trip, and to the Burlington Fire Department for putting on such a wonderful production for a wonderful cause.

Phys Ed / Grade 1

 Wow! I have been so blessed to have acquired an LTO shortly after being hired by HDSB. Luckily, I have acquired a part time LTO at Lakeshore Public School in Burlington. I have be working part time as the Phys Ed teacher, and part time as a Grade 1 teacher since November 22. I have been responsible for teaching Language (Writer’s Workshop), Math, Social Studies and Health to my Grade 1 class, and Co-operative Ball Games in P.E. 

I have also picked up the supervision of the Primary and Junior Pinball Intramural Teams during Nutrition Break on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It is a lot of fun, and the students really enjoy it. Girls teams play on one side of the gym, while boys play on the other. Tuesdays are the Primary games, and Thursdays are the Junior games. I would love to create this in the future at another LTO I hope to acquire in the new year. 

Unfortunately, this LTO is only for one month, as my last day at Lakeshore will be Tuesday December 20, 2011. It has been such a great experience already, as I have gained so much valuable information and teaching techniques that really work within the classroom.

Hired By HDSB

  WOW! My dream has come true- I have been employed with the Halton District School Board. Working for  this board  has always been a wish, but I didn’t think I would actually get the chance. Yesterday, that all changed. I received an email stating that I was successful in my interview and am now a HDSB employee. I am beyond thrilled. I feel on top of the world right now. I have my orientation this upcoming Monday November 7, 2011 and can hopefully start supplying late next week! I am very eager to start my career with HDSB! I feel I have a long, wonderful and successful career ahead of me. Thanks to much help and support from my family, Fiance, friends, associate teachers, principals in both HWDSB, HDSB and Six Nations School Board for all your guidance, help and support! HDSB- Here I Come!!!

HDSB

I am so excited! I was fortunate enough to gain an interview with the Halton District School Board. This board would be a wonderful school board to work for. I feel really good about the interview and the answers I gave, so now I wait to hear back. They said I would know within 1-2 weeks! I bet this will be the longest 1-2 weeks in my life.

Why do I want to work for HDSB?
There are so many reasons why I would love to work for HDSB. I truly believe that it is important to work within a school board that reflects your own teaching practice. In saying this, HDSB is committed to every student. This corresponds with my teaching practice, as I am committed to each and every one of my students. I am dedicated to my students and will be committed to give them challenge, choice and support in their learning. I know that I will do whatever possible to help EACH and EVERY one of my students to succeed and achieve.

Many of HDSB`s schools use the TRIBES model in their schools. As I am TRIBES trained, using the TRIBES model in my classroom is important and essential to creating a classroom community. I would love to work for a board that supports this model. By using the TRIBES model in my classroom, I am able to give my students a safe, respectful, inclusive and engaging classroom.

I believe that HDSB is a growing board- a board that is constantly growing to meet the needs of their communities. I would love to work within a growing board, and one with much diversity. Some of the areas that HDSB covers, it quite diverse. I would love to work within a board that is growing and one where I can be engaged with a diverse community.

TLCP Planning

Last Thursday, I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Junior Division TLCP Planning Time at Buchanan Park Elementary School.

As I have never been to one of these before, I found it interesting and actually became an active member by contributing ideas, asking for clarification, etc.

Although we did run out of time, most of our time was spent discussing and becoming familiar with the two terms: Learning Goals and Success Criteria. I really enjoyed this as I have been a little fuzzy regarding how they differ from one another. Through discussions and handouts, we were able to walk ourselves through a great understanding of what they are and how to use them in the classroom.

This is what we had come up with:
1) Learning Goals: are brief, concise statements in student-friendly language that describes what the students are to know or be able to do at the end of a period of time. Essentially, they are developed from curriculum expectations!
* Learning goals are the “Where are I am going?” question

2) Success Criteria: describe, from a students perspective, what successful attainment of a learning goal looks like. They provide students with the tools to monitor their learning and to determine their level of proficiency with respect to the learning goal.
* Success Criterias are the “How am I going?” question

Once we had a solid understanding of these terms, we watched some online clips from www.edugains.ca (click here on the link for the video: Edugains) showing how to use this within the classroom.

Learning Goals: are where the students are going and should be posted in the classroom. Students should also record the goals in their own books so they can look back if needed. It is always a good idea to have students reflect and discuss the meaning of the learning goals. Also, to make these goals authentic, we need to allow the students to make connections. This is sometimes done by creating a BIG IDEA! As a teacher, we need to ask specifi questions about the learning goals to help students understand them.

As for the Success Criteria, we can gather these from the descriptors in the curriculum documents. These are used to show students what success looks liked. The Success Criteria guides your Learning Goals and allows you and the students what their next steps are. When using Success Criteria there is focus and the students (as well as you, the teacher) know what to look for in their work.

In the Classroom:
Some colleagues indicated that they like to have students come up with their work and compare it to the exemplars to know/see exactly what level they are at. Also, the teacher can give students anonymous work samples and have them discuss and determine what level (level 1, 2, 3 or 4) the students work is at.

As previously stated, we did run out of time so I did not get to see too much of collaboration/planning between the division take place but I was able to see how the TLCP planning process is carried out!

Thank you Scott Lowery and the Junior Division at Buchanan Park for allowing me to partake in TLCP planning process!

Top 10 Educational Technology Resources

I love trying and using different technologies in my classrooms! I find that using technology within the classroom really motivates my students and keeps them interested at the topic at hand!

Thanks to my online discussions and collaborations with my professional Twitter colleagues, I was able to find the top 10 sites for using technology within the classroom.

Follow the link to view them: http://www.teachervision.fen.com/slideshow/educational-technology/71463.html?page=1