Friday, February 15, 2013

Trying Again

" 'Tis a lesson you should heed:
Try, try, try again.
If at first you don't succeed,
Try, try, try again." 

 - William Edward Hickson

So... I tried blogging last summer. I didn't do so well. Time got away from me. I went out of town and went straight back to school after my trip. 

My feet haven't touched the ground since.

We've been working through our first year of Common Core implementation in English Language Arts and Math. Right now, the Common Core and I have a love-hate relationship. I love the freedom, I love the depth, I love the focus on thinking. I don't love how it feels like my first year of teaching in so many ways - and many of our resources don't work anymore! Teachers Pay Teachers and my debit card have a very healthy relationship right now. :/ I also dislike that my kids will be tested on the old Arizona state standards this year and next they have to learn a LOT more, in greater depth. There simply aren't enough hours in the day to do it all, so some things aren't getting the time they need or deserve.

On top of all that, our new school principal is very passionate about cooperative learning. This isn't a bad thing. However, his expectation is that we have at least one element of cooperative learning (Kagan style) in every. single. lesson. This means that every lesson I teach needs a twist. Old practice pages need revisions. I've made countless task cards for Quiz-Quiz-Trade, Fan-n-Pick, and Inside-Outside Circle. (Sometimes I mix it up by having them play Scoot with a partner and have them Rally Coach or Sage-n-Scribe.)

Needless to say, I am spending a lot more time on school work this year than I have in recent years.

Fortunately, I am excited about the changes. Unfortunately, I have caught several colds this year, and I've learned that my eyes don't look great with black circles under them. We celebrated the 100th day of school....over four weeks ago. Our third quarter ends in two weeks. State testing is in two months. The school year ends in mid-May. Where did time go?!?

In the midst of this crazy year, I have continued to read many wonderful teachers' blogs and I'm inspired by your creative ideas!

So here I am, trying again. I hope to join the ranks of bloggers who post on a regular basis. My goal, to start, is to post once a week. We'll see how that goes. :)

I leave you with a picture of this year's group of angels, posing with books we received through Donors Choose.

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