Thursday, August 18, 2011

A New Year...

I really took a long break this summer. I ended up staying home in North Carolina for 8 weeks instead of 4. Best.summer.ever! I was not looking forward to coming back to the midwest and having to work.

I had a wonderful class last year and was very nervous about the group I would be getting this year. I ended up not getting the class I wanted and got a kid I retained from last year. I felt really down and disappointed for a couple of days and then decided that whoever is supposed to be in my class will be there and whoever isn't there isn't supposed to be there. From then on I have been getting more and more excited about the group coming into my room.

Unfortunately our numbers kept going up. All 3 classes are at 24 on their rosters. However, not all 24 have shown up in our rooms. I'm at 23. The one student missing is the one who was retained from last year. PRAISE THE LORD! He was the one I was dreading the most. I did not want to deal with the same kid again. He apparently doesn't live in our district; his family life is tragic. If he does come back, we'll make things work. And if not, I hope that he gets put with a great teacher and a great class.

So..we've been in school for 2 days. It's been difficult to transition from a wonderful group of kids to some I'm not sure about or don't know very well. I miss my kids from last year but am excited to see them move on to second grade. And I love that they're still on my hallway.

I am loving my kids. We're so cramped in our room, so we're spending time discussing how we can be respectful and how important it is that we keep in our areas. I'm launching the clip-up/clip-down behavior chart that so many teachers use this year. I learned about it from reading lots of blogs and browsing lots of pictures. It so fits my personality better than just flipping cards. My kids seemed so excited that they could actually move up and earn more rewards. They were given the compliment of "best class in art" today, and as a reward, I let the whole class clip-up. None of my classes before have ever gotten that compliment. The kids were so excited and proud. I also shared with them about earning class compliments. In the past I've use plastic chain links to make a chain to the floor. It usually takes about 45 compliments to hit the floor. We had to wait a bit to go into Art today. The kids waited so patiently and were complimented by the Art teacher. I congratulated the class on their first compliment. One of my boys asked me if we could put stars up rather than links. What a brilliant idea! I immediately die-cut stars and got one up on the wall. I love this because I can put the date and who the compliment came from. We ended up getting three today!!

I can foresee a few problems arising, but I think we'll be ok this year. But TWENTY-THREE!?!?! (9 boys and 14 girls) My biggest class was 20. Which I realize is only 3 less...but 3 bodies makes a big difference. I can get rid of two tables in my room with 3 less kids.

I am so glad to be excited about this. I was not thrilled about coming back to work after experiencing a great summer. I definitely think these kids are going to make the transition easier. :)

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