What's going well for you so far?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Koriemo, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. Koriemo

    Koriemo Comrade

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    Aug 26, 2015

    For those of you who are a couple weeks in, what's going well in your classes so far?

    Over in my high school English classroom:
    - One of my classes is overloaded with students, while another has only 16. Thankfully, the class of 16 seems to have all of the needy and/or talkative students, and the overloaded class seems to have students that are at a higher level and are more focused.

    - I redid the format of all of my notes, and I am requiring all of the students to follow along exactly the way the notes are written. I was worried that requiring them to be so precise might be a disaster, but it's actually working out very well, even for my disorganized students.

    - I started the year with personality tests and a writing unit. The kids seem to love the personality tests, and they are giving us a great starting point for our writing assignments.

    - Our staff seems to have a lot of coherency and consistency this year. A couple of the areas that were difficult last year were study hall expectations and dress codes. All teachers seem to be on board with school policy, and the kids are noticing.
     
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  3. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Aug 26, 2015

    ALL of my classes are overloaded (36-38 students). It's kind of crazy, but I'm still doing well regardless.

    I'm a lot more confident this year than in years past, even if I was freaking out right before the first day. Interacting with students in the way that I need to to build a strong classroom environment with respect just seems a lot more natural to me. In the past I was always worried about not being consistent. For some reason I just know I'm going to be consistent this entire year.

    Last year these kids were one of the rougher classes to come through the school. I think their personalities are still there and could cause problems, and I was a bit nervous, but after having them in my class I think we'll be just fine. They're nothing I can't handle.

    I have a new room and a LOOOVE it. I'm waiting to see if my cockroach bait works out. If so, I'd gladly buy enough for the entire school to eradicate our cockroach problem.

    Also my whiteboard looks so snazzy this year.
     
  4. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    What are you using? I've tried some of the cockroach "bombs" from Home Depot but they were not effective and I am looking for a more effective product.
     
  5. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    It's called Combat Source Kill. I got two different types. One lasts for like 12 months but only works on small cockroaches (because they can only fit in the holes). The other ones I got last for only 3 months but can fit the large cockroaches.

    The reviews on Amazon were good, and they're nice and self-contained. The teacher next door was concerned that some of her classroom pets might escape and eat the poison. I don't think they can with these guys.

    You just leave them around, and they're supposed to attract cockroaches who take the bait, eat some, and bring it back to the next. It's slow acting. I've heard it will take multiple generations of cockroaches before it really kills them off, but I'm willing to wait a year if it means I have a cockroach free room.
     
  6. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    My class is really sweet. They are getting the hang of most procedures. They work really well together.
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    so far everything is going great. I'm hoping it will continue, but I'm also working on it :) I feel more comfortable and more relaxed, this get better and better each year. I'm not even killing myself with planning, somehow it takes a very little effort with the desired results. I'm still kinda tired though, this is our 2nd week and I'm just still not adjusted to be waking up earlier and being "on' for 6 hours. But that also is getting easier.

    I switched classrooms, for the first week I was in the computer lab, with just the minimal supplies, it worked out ok. Yesterday we moved into my classroom, which means all the furniture and boxes and boxes full of books were put on room (the furniture was arranged based on my sketch. It only took 1 day for everything to be put away. All the kids in every period were putting books away, wiping up desks, putting up bulletin boards and large posters, breaking down and removing boxes while I was putting up my small decorations and putting everything away in my desk area. They were awesome, for the most part everyone helped.

    Today my class looks great, it's brand new, AC working great, it smells great, it's clean, all electronics are working (I'm just waiting for the projector to be put up and the cameras). I even bought a microwave yesterday, and I already ad a fridge.

    I feel like I'm back in my home. I'm a happy camper overall. I love my schedule and my preps. No student is giving me a problem
     
  8. mathmagic

    mathmagic Enthusiast

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    No kids yet (meet and greet tomorrow, first day on Tuesday), but this is my 2nd full year, and I'm already feeling much more confident and a lot less "overwhelmed" than the first year. Plus, I feel as though I've found several ways in which I'm going to improve, a few immediately, and some throughout the course of the year, which is highly exciting. Finally, I'm beginning to become obsessed with Publisher. For someone as "bare bones" as me in terms of decorating, I just made a (Seahawks-themed) cover for a "missed you" folder, and fun labels for my goal setting and math fact bins.
     
  9. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    I have learned to give students time to work on assignments in class. It has strongly increased my student engagement far beyond what I have experienced in years past teaching bell-to-bell.
     
  10. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    Aug 26, 2015

    I am teaching 3rd grade this year, and it brings back fond memories of my time as a 4th grade teacher but without the awful behaviors at my old school. I finally feel at home! :)

    It's been a bit of a rough start because I had to call a parent on the first day for behavior reasons, and my AC went out yesterday in the middle of the summer heat (105 degrees... yeesh), but even so, it's the best start to a school year I've ever had. Awesome students, support from parents/admin, and my classroom is running smoothly.
     
  11. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    Aug 27, 2015

    I am loving being full-time on one campus instead of going back and forth across town! I also have my own room this year and don't have to share. It's so nice knowing I can come in and know it will be there exactly as I left it.

    My classes are off to a great start -- one of my two senior sections was grouchy about my bathroom pass policy (basically just the fact that I have one) but they seem to be accepting their fate lol :)

    And, to Peregrin and GoBlue, I am so thankful that I'm not dealing with an infestation like yours! I just get "lucky crickets" that I scoop up and put outside.
     
  12. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    I am determined to make my speech classes more interactive, even if it is exhausting by the end of the day. I'm hearing from students that they love my class, and hearing how wonderful my class is. I've only used two worksheets all year, where as last year I came to rely on them too much.

    Not related to instruction, but I'm loving how things are going with my extracurricular I sponsor this year. I'm so much more on top of things, and the kids are so much more excited!
     
  13. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I feel like I'm off to a good start in my classroom management. I'm also pretty impressed at how quickly I've been able to get the basic assessments done--not as impressed with the general scores, though.
     
  14. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Aug 27, 2015

    We've been in for 3 weeks.

    I have a great group this year - they are sweet, creative, and VERY enthusiastic!

    I have flexible/alternative seating this year - no assigned seats, a variety including stools, chairs, hokki stools, benches, beanbags, and a couch - and so far it's going really well.

    I also have tables instead of desks this year, which I LOVE!

    I switched to math stations this year, so I rarely teach math whole group. It's a lot more work, but I love it, the kids love it, and I feel like I have a lot better understanding of where the kids are mathematically. I can also differentiate a lot more.

    I'm trying Genius Hour this year, and although I still have some trepidation, the kids are SUPER motivated!

    I got trained for Project Lead the Way, a STEM curriculum, this summer. We are still waiting on our materials, but I've been using that time to do STEM challenges with the kids every week. It's FUN and the kids are loving it!

    I'm trying Love and Logic this year, and I love, love, LOVE it. But I still need to improve a lot in it! It fits so well with my personality and validates so much of what I've been wanting to do all along. I've completely gotten rid of any kind of reward system for the first time, and so far I am loving it.

    Wow, that's a lot of new stuff. No wonder I am so tired. ;)
     
  15. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 28, 2015

    I'm a month in already. Whew!

    I'm having a great year. I moved classrooms (after 17 years in the same room) and grade levels (after about 10 with ONLY 7th grade). I have a new grade-level partner, a new team, new curriculum with new books, and a new superintendent.

    With everything new, it still seems like I'm right at home because it's the same kids I had last year. After half of my kids were in my class last year, and the rest of them I know because the school is small.

    I have a great cooperating teacher one period per day.

    I also have an intern. Her room is across from mine. She seems to be doing pretty well, but she has a lunch class from you-know-where. I'm trying not to interfere too much, but I am there to help and I'm on planning when she has the wild bunch. She doesn't feel well today, so I'm going to go take some of them off her hands here in a few minutes when I finish my lunch.
     
  16. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Ima, you are a sweetie!
     
  17. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    So thrilled for all of you!
     
  18. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    We're done with week 3. I gotta say I'm really enjoying all my classes. Yes, there are 1 or 2 students who need some special attention but otherwise it's awesome. I have had a few class clowns who I was able to shut down early and now they're contributing members of the class.
    Some students are now freshmen, last year they were in middle school (also at our site) and they were such trouble makers. Now, they blend in with the older kids and are doing fantastic.

    One kid is often the first in my class for 3rd period (a lot of students take some times as they only have 1 minute passing period. It's a small campus but it's not enough time to use the restroom). He said last week: "I'm here first because I care about you and your class." and this kid was such a huge issue in middle school last year.
    Things like this make my day :)
     
  19. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Most schools start Tuesday here. Some got waivers & started last week.
     
  20. heatherberm

    heatherberm Cohort

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    Ooh, I might have to pick your brain later. I was kind of thinking about doing Genius Hour in the second half of the year. I have to see how time management works out in the first half of the year. Due to some schedule changes I only see my kids every other day rather than every day so I have less time with them than I was anticipating which is going to make it harder. But I'd still love to hear about it!
     
  21. platypusok

    platypusok Companion

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    Sep 6, 2015

    One stressful thing-
    I've got a not-so-great class. It's trying but 1 out of 6 is not bad. Sadly, that class is also a class with an important test at the end of they year (the students have to pass it to graduate) and it's also my biggest at 38.

    Great things-
    I'm doing interactive notebooks for the first time with 8th graders. It's going well and the kids are liking it.

    I had a junior last year who did not do well because he wouldn't turn in work and he wouldn't put in effort in the work he did turn in. His freshmen and sophomore year he did pretty well. I tried to talk to him but got nothing. His mom blamed me for everything. It's going pretty well this year and he actually apologized to me last week and told me that he acting like a jerk in class last year and didn't try at his work but he's going back to how he was his freshmen year. It legitimately almost made me cry.

    My extra-curriculars I sponsor are going really well. Academic bowl lost all of its members to graduation and some kids moved. So I went from none to 11 kids-they've either never been on an academic bowl team before or they are freshmen but they are willing to participate so that's all I can ask. Plus, I found out that one knows a lot of history (apparently all he reads are non-fiction books about history) and another is a secret math savant.

    Plus, they paved the teacher parking spots and put up signs that read "faculty parking only". You don't know how excited I was to see that because it would get muddy and yucky whenever it rains.
     
  22. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    I'm at a new school which is K-8 instead of 6-12, so the day is from 8-2:40 instead of 8-3. I didn't think that the 20 minutes would make a huge difference, but it gives me 20-50 minutes to play with and I can still leave by 3:30.
     
  23. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    What is "genius hour?"
     
  24. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Sep 7, 2015

    PM me if you'd like. :)

    I did find this: http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=829279 It's a wealth of information - almost too much! ;)
     

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