Thursday, February 16, 2012

Home Sweet Home!

Hello! I am currently writing this post from my beautiful home in Goddard, Kansas. We have a three-day weekend (holla!) and I definitely needed to decompress at home for a few days!

This week we had parent-teacher conferences Tuesday night, Wednesday night, and all day today. We've been very busy! It was so great to finally meet all the parents and get to know them a little better. I got to lead a conference today, and it went pretty well. I'm very glad they're over, though! Time consuming and exhausting!!

We also had our Valentine's Day party this week. Definitely interesting to be on the other side of things! I loooooved V-Day as a kid! I love it as a teacher, too, but it is more work on this side! And it's hard teaching lessons right before their party!! :)

I will be finishing up my unit next week. I will assess them on Wednesday and see how much they learned! They had soooo much fun with the activities they did this week. They created a gallon guy/girl and had to measure each of his/her "limbs." They did so great! They also learned a story to help them remember about cups, pints, quarts, and gallons.
In the land of Gallon, there were four queens (quarts). Each queen had a prince and princess (pints). Each prince and princess had two children (cups). 
They got a kick out of that. :) Much easier to remember all the equivalencies with that story! Honestly, I couldn't remember how many pints went into one quart before I started teaching my measuring unit...

We have been working hard to prepare for state assessments. They have been troopers and have been taking so many formative tests. They probably take 2-3 per week. Poor kids...but I have a great feeling that all of the kiddos are going to do awesome during state assessment time!!

I'm getting more and more attached to these kids. It will be so hard to leave them in April to go to fourth grade. Thankfully, I will literally be right across the hall from them, so I will get to see them every day. But they will always have a really special place in my heart!! I wonder how it will be when I have a real classroom and have the kids for a whole year!

Time for bed. At 9:50. On a Thursday night. Don't be jealous.

Miss Wallisch

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's been a while!

HOLY MOLY it's been a while since I've posted. So sorry!

What a crazy past couple of weeks. I started my unit over measurement last Monday. So far, it has been going pretty well! I think the kiddos have learned a few things, so that's always a positive. :) My teacher has had great things to say about it so far, so that's also good! I am being formally observed tomorrow by my clinical instructor, so I have some preparation to do before that lesson.

Last week, I taught about measuring lengths to the nearest inch and half-inch. They've gotten A LOT better with this!! Makes me proud. :) I also taught about measuring weight. Since it was a teacher work day on Friday, I had different centers to review the things I taught over the week on Thursday. I had 5 stations. The first was creating a foldable about measuring lengths and weights-it also included conversions (16 oz. = 1 lb.; 12 in. = 1 ft.; etc.). The second station was learning different songs about measurement (not my favorite station, but I think the kids liked it). The third station was reading different books about measurement and identifying the main idea of those (yea...cross-curricular integration...pretty proud of myself). The fourth was by far their favorite-they got to measure Twizzler strings to the nearest inch and half-inch. Of course, the main question: "Miss Wallisch, can we eat these?!?" So I had to tell them that they didn't want to eat the ones they were measuring because everyone would be touching them and they were on my floor. But in the end, I let them eat one that they measured themselves. The fifth station was working with me-they each had a whiteboard and we did some conversions. I taught them a trick about how to remember that 3 feet are in a yard and 12 inches are in a foot. My cooperating teacher took some pictures, so I'll get those posted as soon as I edit them-gotta take the faces off the kids (that sounds creepy).

This week is a short week-just three days! Parent-teacher conferences start after school on Wednesday and then all day on Thursday. I'm excited to meet the parents, but I'm a little nervous for the actual conferences. Friday we don't have school-WOOHOO! I'm in desperate need of a break! As much as I love my kiddos, a few days away from them is always nice. :) And, I'm going home!! Can't wait!!

Entry 2 is complete, lesson plans for the week are complete, my formal lesson plan and guiding questions are done, so I'm sitting pretty right now! Feels good. Still don't feel quite caught up with everything, but I don't think I'll ever feel caught up this semester. One day at a time...

Only 60 school days of student teaching left. Crazy!

Miss Wallisch

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy birthday, Kansas!!

Kansas turns 151 years old today! Happy birthday, Kansas! This past week, we've been "road tripping" through Kansas during Social Studies and hitting all the hot spots of the state. It's been really fun for the kids. I think they are starting to realize they live in a pretty cool state (or at least I think so!). :)

Last week was CRAZY to say the least. It felt like the longest week of my life. I taught two math lessons over subtracting money. It's a pretty dry concept, so I couldn't really make it very fun. Sorry, kids. I also taught two science lessons that went over a lot better than my math lessons did. They did experiments involving electricity. They got to make a light bulb light up using a battery. Oh my, they LOVED doing that!! They were so excited to see their light bulb light up after their hard work of making a complete circuit! Next week, I am teaching two more science lessons and they will get to make a motor run using a battery. I think they'll love that just as much! :)

Last week I started back up at my job at the Union. Definitely makes for some LONG days-going from working 8 hours at the school right to work at the Union. Oh well. Gives me less time to procrastinate! This week I have two formal lesson observations. I have a lot of work to do before tomorrow begins. I will be observed during one science and one math lesson. My math lesson will be over converting hours and minutes. Again, another pretty dry concept. Oh well. I'm realizing this semester that you can't make all your lessons fun and exciting for the kids. Sometimes, they are going to be a little bored. It's just not realistic to make every lesson fun and engaging at every point of the lesson.

I'm feeling really great about student teaching so far. I really get along with my cooperating teachers (yup, I have two!) and the kids. All the planning and stress is worth it when I see the kids every day. Of course, I still have my doubts about whether I'm cut out for this profession or not, but I think all teachers go through this. Right? I hope so...

My unit on measurement begins the 6th. LOTS to do before I can get started teaching that! I need to quit blogging and get to work!

Hope everyone has a great week!

Miss Wallisch

Sunday, January 22, 2012

And The Portfolio Work Begins...

Hello, friends! I hope you've all had a great weekend and are ready to tackle another week!!

Sorry it's been a while since I've posted. I am currently sitting here in bed with my cat on my lap, about ready to go to sleep because all my grading and lesson plans are done!! :) Life seems pretty good right now!

Last week seemed to fly by!! Holy moly! It was a crazy week. We didn't have school Monday, so it was only a four day week. I wish we had four day weeks every week! My interview was Tuesday night, so I was not focused at all on Tuesday. I felt bad for my kids-I was probably not giving them the attention and focus they usually get from me. I left school around 3 to make sure I made it to my 6:30 interview on time (it was in Kansas City). I only got there with an hour and a half to spare-C L O S E  C A L L!! So, I changed into my interview outfit and hung out at classy Arby's for about an hour. Basically, I sat in a booth trying not to throw up from nerves. I interviewed with a principal of one of the elementary schools in the district. She graduated from K-State and student taught in third grade, too! I think the interview went really well!! I'm not holding my breath or expecting an offer because the school district is INCREDIBLE-one of the best in Missouri. They're probably looking for more experience. However, I am so fortunate I was able to interview and gain that experience! I definitely learned from it!

I got to teach two math lessons, a science lesson, reading groups every day, and spelling. At this point, I feel like a very ineffective teacher. I know that I have so much to learn, and I am probably very hard on myself, but I wish that I felt like I was doing a better job. I wish I was better at differentiating instruction. My kids are so different, and I sometimes feel like I'm teaching them like they all have the same needs. I tend to stay in my comfort zone when teaching. I would like to branch out and experiment with new things in the classroom. I guess that comes with time...Hopefully this week will boost my confidence a bit!

We student teachers get to start working on our portfolios-joy! The first entry is due this Friday for the student teachers at my school. I know it will get done, so there's no need for me to stress about it, right?? Right...

I found out I will be teaching fourth graders for my short block. At the school I am teaching at, they give student teachers the opportunity to teach in two different grades to give you more experience. We call it long and short block. The move to fourth grade won't happen until April 9 though, so I still have plenty of time to enjoy teaching my third graders! I love the fact that I have an opportunity to experience two different grade levels during student teaching.

Ok, that's all I have for now! Have a great week! Sorry for any typos...I'm too lazy to proofread! :)

Miss Wallisch

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"We're so lucky to have you!"

Hello, friends!! Happy 3 day weekend!!

Last week was the first full week of school. It was a great and challenging week! Monday was probably the best day (I know, I did a double take when I typed that). I was able to teach by myself for the first hour because my teacher had a meeting. It was nice to be in the room with just the kids. It took the pressure off of me a little because as a student teacher, I feel like I'm constantly being watched. It's hard to remember that nobody is waiting for me to fail! Monday also began the week of sickness. I was fortunate enough (please note the sarcasm) to witness one of my poor kiddos throwing up all over the hallway. And he was trying to talk to me mid-throw up! What a trooper... I think he was not only embarrassed that he was throwing up, but also that his throw up was pink. Poor guy. It seemed like there were many kids absent because of sickness the rest of the week. I'm just patiently waiting until it hits me...

Wednesday I was able to teach my first real math lesson. I was so excited, yet so nervous for this lesson because I love math and want to do it justice!! We were doing bar models in math, and those are really hard for the kids to grasp! They are pretty abstract. During my lesson, I did hear one of my struggling kids say, "Math is kind of fun!" I just about died-how wonderful to hear!!! My teacher had great things to say about my lesson, so that was great! I led reading groups this whole week and those went pretty smoothly, too.

Next week I will be teaching two math lessons, one science lesson, reading groups, spelling, daily language, math for today, and calendar. Lots of planning, but I am excited to start the week!

The most exciting part of this coming week happens on Tuesday night-my first real job interview!!!! It's in Kansas City, so I will be leaving school a little early on Tuesday and driving back Wednesday morning. Tuesday and Wednesday will be long days, but hopefully worth it! I'm getting very nervous for it!! Eek!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! Now, off to planning!

Miss Wallisch

P.S. The title of this post is what one of my kids said to me on Friday. It's the little things...:)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Survived.

Hello!!! I survived my first week!! Ok, it was technically only half a week. But I lived to tell about it!

Tuesday was a meeting with the clinical instructor going over logistics of the semester. A little overwhelming, but nothing the other student teachers and I can't handle! Wednesday was the first day of school. It was so great to be back in the same classroom that I was in last semester. I sure missed those kiddos! It was so nice getting lots of hugs when they saw me Wednesday morning! The morning was familiar to me since that's all I saw last semester. The afternoon was fun to see because it was all about math, my favorite subject. :) I was able to lead a reading group Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It was nice to already be thrown into teaching a little bit. Next week, I get to run Daily Language at the beginning of the day, reading groups every day, and a math and science lesson on Wednesday.

I can already tell this semester is going to be filled with lots of challenges! Passing notes, tattling, and drama among girls seem to be the trends already.  Also, talking with British accents are popular among the third graders. Funny for the first ten minutes, a little annoying for the other 7.5 hours of the day.

I need to start writing down the funny things the kids say. I seemed to always be laughing at things that they said, but when I sat down to write this post, those funny things magically disappeared from my mind. Hmph. I will work on that for next week.

I think the most exciting part of my week happened outside of school. I was watching the Cotton Bowl (proud of my Wildcats even though they lost) at Tubby's, and all of a sudden a table of guys started punching each other! Lord only knows the trivial thing they were drunkenly fighting about, but it turned into a full out BRAWL!! It was so crazy and weird- I had never seen a fight before in my life. I guess I lead a sheltered life? I did have a nice front row seat to the action. Needless to say, they got kicked out. So yea, that was pretty exciting.

Hope everyone had a great week!!

Miss Wallisch

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!!


Wow! Can you believe it is 2012 already?!? In celebration of the new year, I have decided to try something waaaay out of my comfort zone-blogging! It is a scary thing for me. Apart from my middle school Xanga account (woot woot!) where I expressed how awful and difficult my life was at that age, I have never tried blogging. Even just posting status updates on Facebook, I get a little nervous and uneasy knowing that all my Facebook friends will see what I'm thinking.

I admire those people who are witty and funny in their blogs. Don't expect that from my blog. Although I wish I could make my thousands of followers laugh out loud after reading my posts, my blog is merely a way for me to track my progression during student teaching, and (hopefully!) my first big girl job. Let's just hope I can keep up with blogging during student teaching!

Anyways, enough of the introductions! My New Year's resolution is a little different from the usual. Instead of wanting to lose things from my life, my resolution is to gain instead. I hope to gain new ideas, new friends, new experiences. I'm so excited for this year because a lot of big things are coming my way!! Graduation in just a little over four short months (I just hyperventilated a little bit), getting a real job, and of course, weddings!!! Three of my dear friends are getting married this year, and I couldn't be happier for them!

Student teaching starts in TWO days. I am sooooo excited!! I'm sure I will be nervous once I wake up Tuesday morning, but right now, I'm stoked to begin my last semester! I will be in the same third grade classroom I was in last semester during Block C. I love my kiddos! They make me smile and laugh, challenge me, and sometimes frustrate me. But teaching wouldn't be as fun if it was easy and the students were always good, right? Right...

Phewwww...I guess blogging isn't that hard.

Hope everyone had a great New Year!!

Miss Wallisch

"He who dares to teach must never cease to learn." -John Cotton Dana