Sunday, June 28, 2015

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My Personal Side Summer Linky

Thank you Molly from Classroom Confections for coming up with such a great idea. I am not new to blogging, but new to using it to connect with other teachers.  What a great way to get to know other teacher bloggers!  My awesome friend Maggie from Maggie’s KinderCorner invited me to link up!

I absolutely love coffee and I even brought my Keurig from home to put in my classroom!  However, since the beginning of summer vacation I’ve tried to significantly reduce the amount of coffee I drink. So far, I’ve only consumed one cup of coffee from Starbucks! Instead, I've been drinking a lot of green tea with raw honey and lemon.  This is my absolute favorite mug to use for my hot beverages……
It was a gift from one of my sweet kinder students last year and it's big enough to double as a soup bowl! Head on over to Molly's blog(click the pic above) and check out faves from other teacher bloggers.

Teaching with Intention Chapter 4

This week chapter 4 is being hosted by Schroeder's Shenanigans in 2nd and Positively LearningHead over to their blogs to read their thoughts on “Creating Classroom Cultures that Support and Promote Student Thinking”.  Chapter 4 of Teaching with Intention was so powerful, because it is at the heart of what we want our students to be….metacognitive and reflective. 
I think that is so powerful for students.  As a teacher, I am accustomed to modeling many types of behaviors for my students, because this is what I want them to eventually do independently. However, it must be intentional, deliberate and planned.   For me, writing down questions will ensure that I am asking more open-ended higher-level questions rather than ones that don’t require students to think or create meaning of their experiences.  This video shows a kindergarten teacher using a think aloud to model making predictions.
She used sticky notes to mark places in the text that she wanted to use with the students.  This emphasizes the point that as teachers we must be intentional about our language, thus it must be planned. You will not be able to cultivate a classroom of thinkers if you are planning for it.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Teaching with Intention-Chapter 3

Thank you to Kindergarten Smorgasboard for organizing such a great book study!  Surfin Through Second, The Learning Chambers and Sassy Savvy Simple Teaching are hosting this week, so hop on over to their blogs to read their thoughts about classroom environments. 
Wow! Chapter 3 really helped me to think about my own classroom environment and how it relates to my teaching beliefs! 
I am definitely the type that wants to have everything in place before the first day of school, but this chapter prompted me to rethink that. This is what I discovered- my beliefs about teaching and learning were not fully reflected in my classroom’s physical environment. My personal preference is to avoid a lot store bought signs that follow a certain theme. However, I was I was still hanging up artifacts that were primarily created by me and not the students.  I wholeheartedly agree with Debbie Miller’s statement, “...instead, everything on those walls was purposeful and authentic”. For me, this means that students have a use for it and they have a hand in creating it.  Next year I want the walls of my classroom to reflect more of my students and less of me.
This is an example of how I want students to take ownership of our environment.  I absolutely love the idea of students creating a word wall that is more relevant and meaningful for them. 

I love these examples from Debbie Clement's Rainbows within Reach.  This is the type of work that I want to adorn my classroom walls. 
I do believe that students should participate in the creation of class rules.  This type of student-made chart will surely make the students feel as if they have a voice.

We read a lot of nursery rhymes and usually I spent a lot of time creating anchor charts for students which are eventually are displayed on the classroom walls.  How awesome is this student-created nursery rhyme and more meaningful than one that is made without them.

This chapter has caused me to rethink my classroom environment, to reflect on my beliefs and determine if they are evident in the way that I organize my physical space. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Beginnings!

I am so excited to start my blogging adventure with Blogger-Thanks to Gabby’s Classroom.  Hopefully, this will make connecting with other Teacher Bloggers a little bit easier! I am looking forward to sharing and learning from all of the awesome educators I have met on this journey.