You All are AMAZING!!

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by sarbea, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. sarbea

    sarbea Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 27, 2007

    This was my first day teaching a class of 22 first and second graders from 8:00 to 4:00. I left at 4:05 to pick up my kids from the babysitter

    I still have to replan for the rest of the week.....I miscalculated the amount of work 1st graders would do, their neediness, their lack of attention, their neediness, and my unpreparedness.......

    and all I want to do is sit here on the computer and type with my glass of wine.

    What is up with the bathroom? Do they really have to go that freakin much? I can't say no, what if they pee themselves and then I have a wet cryin kid?

    I was prepared..I thought. You go to the bathroom at break and lunch...you even move the fricken apple to out...they got that down...you hold up you hand and sign 'toilet'...they got that down...but they have to go all the time....guess I'll have to keep track of who goes to the bathroom and them make them sit out from recess for going to the bathroom.

    They want to use the computers, the library, but I have to come up with enough freakin centers to occupy the rest of the grade, so I can work with the other....I'm overwhelmed...help.
     
  2.  
  3. sarbea

    sarbea Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 27, 2007

    Yes...you are all so amazing that you do this day in and day out. I bow to you....I thought I was bored staying home and doing the housewife stuff, what was I thinking? :eek:

    O.K. the kids were good today, it went smoothly, but my feet hurt, I still have to plan, and I can't because my 2 babies (pre-school and 1st grade) are home and I feel guilty dragging them to school after 8 hours of it.

    Am I the only one who has ever thought,"What the hell did I get myself into?"

    Any advice is welcome...you amazing people.
     
  4. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2006
    Messages:
    2,518
    Likes Received:
    9

    Aug 27, 2007

    First off, get yourself some really good supportive shoes. Merrills are great and some are even stylish. Danskos are great, but not comfortable for everyone. Of course, good supportive walking tennies are great too if they go with your outfit. I just bought Merrills from Eddie Bauer today. Even though they were 80 bucks, the last pair I bought lasted 5 years and had great support.

    Second, yes, the little whippersnappers do have to go to the bathroom a lot. Their bladders are small and some of them just physically can't hold it, and no, you don't want them wetting their pants. It would be good if you scheduled a bathroom break in the morning and in the afternoon and took the whole class, that way, everyone would eventually get on the same schedule. Along about mid year, if they ask to go to the bathroom I might make them wait until the lesson is done, but especially at the beginning of the year you just have to work it out, they can't help it.

    Yes they are needy. One of the big goals in my class, which I make sure all parents are aware of, is for the kids to become independent. No, mom does not need to hang up Johnny's jacket, he is capable. No, dad does not need to turn in Johnny's homework - he is capable. I try to build up the kids by telling them, "I think you can do that" or "Why don't you give it a try yourself" when they ask me to do things they are capable of. Like opening 20 Gogurts at snack time, or 20 anything. I tell them, "Get out your scissors." I just try to be positive and challenge them to do everything they can themselves, then praise them for the effort and accepting the effort even if it is not perfect.

    Yes, it is exhausting. Get the class in a daily routine and you will start to lose some of the burden of thinking for everyone. The planning is pretty strenuous the first year but it gets easier after that.
    Hope you love your year!
     
  5. autumnpumpkin

    autumnpumpkin Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2007
    Messages:
    46
    Likes Received:
    0

    Aug 28, 2007

    Yes it is definitely difficult to find ways to keep one grade busy while you work with another grade and then even when you get them busy they tend to be noisy and distract the kids you are teaching lol. Phew! Lots of work, head needs to be on a swivel! :)
    If you want something to occupy the kids attention, give them pattern blocks with tangram pictures, and give them linking cubes. They love to build and will rarely get bored of them.
    Don't worry, it might take awhile but once you get the swing of things, it will all work out!
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Aug 28, 2007

    I remember last year writing:

    I have _____________________.

    I put the word "a dog" in the blank for my example. They understood that I didn't want them to use my example. I wanted them to come up with an example of their own. They also understood that they were supposed to copy the other part. What I neglected to tell them was that they aren't supposed to copy the _______________
    part. I had to take myself down a notch and remember that everything has to be taught and modeled first.

    Now with the bathroom, think about it this way. They spend all summer going at their own free will. Heck, even I have to go more often at the beginning. Then as the year wears on and they get used to not going until the end of that class period (or until seatwork), then they start to be able to hold it a little longer. By the end of the year, I'm not even taking a single bathroom break all day!

    As far as centers go...

    Remember that adage, "You can never be too prepared." Well that's definately true here. Also, don't be afraid to copy some fun puzzle worksheets and have a "backup folder." In fact, I would write down about 10 "back up" things they could do at any time, including reading a book. My teacher told me to plan a game for tomorrow's assessment. Her only criteria was that they practice spelling each others names. I came up with about 6 games so I could pick and choose based on their level of restlessness and attention. I will likely do about 2-3 games.

    Don't be afraid to make 1-2 of your centers standard. Change up the information, materials or manipulatives provided but keep the structure and basic idea the same. No need to reinvent yourself every single day.

    If the fall line is out already, Walmart got a new brand called "Earth Spirit." Those and Dr. Scholls (tend to be mens unfortunately) are wonderful! Plus they are cheap!
     
  7. Pattie

    Pattie Companion

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 2, 2007

    I know exactly how you feel. It's madness sometimes. I went from a low ESL first grade to a gifted first grade (kind of like 2nd graders) so I was thrown for a loop first week when they could do everything right out of the gate. So I bought some individual play dough cans for each one and a baggie of pattern blocks. I said if you get done early with anything you can pull out a book, clay or pattern blocks. That helped me a lot while I developed my routines.

    Don't let them go to the bathroom but once in the morning and once in the afternoon. They can hold it till recess. I have 3 tags. One for boys bathroom, one for girls, one for drinks. They have to take the tag, put it on their desk and go. One at a time they go and I don't have to be bothered.

    Other thing that helps, put a morning routine together and stick with it for a few weeks. i.e. 1st thing silent reading while you get it all together. 2nd thing some phonics workbook or grammar worksheet, 3rd thing journaling w/writing prompt & a class brainstorm, 4th thing rug activity (peace circle, share a read aloud or poem, calendar, songs whatever) Then some spelling activities like bingo or word wall, then guided reading and centers. If you do the same 5 things every morning and just vary them a little it becomes easier. I didn't do routines for several years, I just reinvented every day. Crazy me. :eek:
     
  8. sarbea

    sarbea Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0

    Sep 2, 2007

    Hey All,

    Well I made it through the first week. I think the amount of time I was putting in (leaving early in the morning, coming home and going in the evening) and still feeling unprepared was difficult to deal with. With 4th graders you can give them a worksheet, a journal, etc, and they can quietly do it. With this grade level, they can't read, so you have to be more creative. I did the play-do thing and it was great, but I think maybe it is time to take away because I'm figuring out a routine and it can be a distraction.

    I spent so much time planning...and re-planning, I didn't focus on delivery of my lessons. I haven't taught in 4 years, and last Friday the 'delivery' started coming back and it has gotten better.

    I started out using Saxxon Phonics with all kids, but these first graders already seem to know their letters and sounds, and it was sooo laborious and repetive that the kids were really bored, so I'll switch to open court with them. My second graders seem to have quite a spread. Some are reading really well, most not-too-well, and a few painfully slow. I plan on staying with Saxxon Phonics with the second graders expect for the higher ones...I don't want to bore them. I was surprised that I haven't liked Saxxon with the younger grades...I taught the math in 4th, 6th grades and loved it, but hate it here....maybe I'll get into a groove later.
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,938
    Likes Received:
    681

    Sep 2, 2007

    I would be very consistent, almost rigid, with most things, but not with bathroom issues. Give them scheduled opportunities at the same time each day, but then let those who need to go, go. They might be nervous, have tiny bladders, etc.

    I second the opinion of Earth Spirit shoes. I just can't buy $80 shoes, so the low price helps. Flexible, supportive shoes with rubber soles work for me.

    Read aloud every day for as long as they can sit still. Have planned simple exercise times (search for Brain Gym exercises on this site). Make sure they know exactly what to do when they come in the room in the morning.

    Yes, plan as much as possible, but don't neglect your family. Have a few tried and true, simple activities that you can turn to when you need a filler. Have heavy paper cut up in bookmark shape to make a bookmark about a favorite story. Have letter tiles (or make your own from printed ABCs) in baggies so they can practice spelling independently. Keep magazine pictures in page protectors, one per student, for them to cut and glue on paper plates for collages.

    Use those empty Play Do cans to hold small manipulatives, Legos, or counting tiles.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. miss-m
Total: 276 (members: 4, guests: 240, robots: 32)
test