Another One Bites The Dust Linky

Only 4 days cards almost done...starting to pack...and thinking about what I will use for next year and what I plan to change.

Amber at Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher is having a linky and I'm a bit late to the party, but it's fun to reflect on the year and what's ahead.

Things that went really well this year:

My guided reading groups!!  I had four different groups this year as my kiddos ranges went from having some students who were reading at a 5th grade level and some who were a low 1st.  I really vamped up my centers and used these resources so much!!

     Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work

I also used so many resources from Reading A-Z and fabulous centers from you wonderful ladies out there!!

 My students came so far in reading!! I had 6 ELL students who were below level when they came in and did so fantastic that 5 of the 6 were exited out of ELL!! I also had 3 SPED students who I kept with me all year. I really pushed them and they kept up with their peers and worked so hard for me. They still struggle, but their confidence is way up!!

 I also really pushed my upper kids with challenging, but appropriate reading material and enriching activities.  It was alot of work, but I enjoyed differentiating for this group.

I just purchased these to read over the summer:

The CAFE Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literary Assessment and InstructionDifferentiated Literacy Centers: 85 + Leveled Activities-With Reproducible Planning Sheets and Student Pages-to Support Centers in Fluency, Reading Comprehension, and Word Study

Another thing that went well this year was our new Math Curriculum.

Our school purchased Go Math and I was sooo happy with it!! It was so much more kid friendly than Everyday Math and every single kid passed every assessment that we had!!! No tears, no "This is too hard!"  This was one of their favorite subjects, maybe because it was one of mine as well.

I had one little boy write in a journal entry:  "Last year I was soo bad at math, but this year I did awesome!!

The other thing that was so fantastic this year was discovering Pinterest and Teaching Blogs!!

I have become so inspired again even after 20 years of teaching!! All these ideas and the community I have become a part of makes me want to be a better teacher:))  Thank you to all your wonderful insights and enthusiasm for a rewarding, but tough profession!

Okay what didn't work out so well:

Our second grade team decided to specialize in a subject and teach the 3 separate classes.  I taught PE and my other colleagues taught Science and Social Studies.  Although all the second graders had a lot more PE lessons this year, and I received funding for new equipment, I really did not love teaching the same class 3 times.  I also felt the time was too rushed and I missed teaching Science and Social Studies:(  If we decide to do this again we need to rework the time and maybe switch out subjects during the year.

My classroom arrangement was also not my favorite.  I want to keep the students in groups and it often feels bunched up.  I also did not like my computer area, it was not as functional as I would have liked it.

The final thing that needs some work for next year is my parent communication/participation.  I kind of held my parents at bay this year because I really don't know what to do with them.  I just want to teach, not teach them how to teach.  I have so many parents who tell me they want to help out in the class, but I don't really know what I want them to do!!  I would LOVE any ideas if you have them!!!

So another year has come and gone and it is great to look forward to relaxing and slowly start thinking on the new year ahead!!

Don't forget to link up with Amber!!


  1. Enjoy your holidays, you lucky girl! I have another 5 weeks to go :)

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  2. Thanks for linking up! I am a new follower!

    My sister lives on Oahu and I am super jealous! I love it there!

    Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

  3. I'm trying to figure out parents this year too! I did a newsletter that went home weekly, which was good... but like you, I didn't use volunteers near enough!

    I have thought about trying to have a parent sign up as a 'science volunteer' who comes in once a month, or a 'bulletin board' volunteer who will take things down or put them up for me (since I never seem to get around to it). I could also stand to have someone come in once a week and time my kids on a fluency passage. I just have to get it all organized!

    Surely I could use a volunteer during centers, too- even if it's occasional- to play a review game along with kids who need the review. Some of my kids would honestly just love to read to someone, so maybe I should make that happen.

    Our school does do copy room volunteers, and we have a little slip where we write in how many copies, check off if it should be one-sided or double-sided, grouped or collated, or we can check laminate, cut, bind, etc. The slips make it much faster to paper-clip and leave it for parents to know what to do! I store it all in a little file folder with a homemade envelope stapled inside for small pieces.

    1. Until I hit publish, I didn't realize I'd written such a book- sorry! You just got me thinking :)

      Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  4. I had a science mom who came in once a week. I left out my science T.E. to the page with that week's experiment. I showed her ahead of time where I kept all of the supplies. She set up the entire experiment while I taught a whole group lesson. She stayed and helped with crowd patrol, and then afterwards cleaned up everything. I thought my students had the best science instruction I had ever delivered because this amazing mom was so dedicated to come in each week. It took a little time in the beginning to show her where everything was, but after that everything flowed like clockwork. This mom was the exception. You might want to train 2 moms in case one of them has an emergency.


  5. Congrats on all the wonderful things that made you feel succesful! Nothing better than seeing growth :)
    I lack on giving my parents opportunities to be in my classroom. I am with you. I wish I could find a happy medium where I do not have to spend tons of time training them, and yet make them feel they have helped me throughout the year.
    My Second Sense

  6. I don't know what I am going to do... I'm looping again with my kids to 3rd grade. This will be the 3rd year with most of my kids and the 2nd year with the others. This was first year in 2nd and I LOVED it!!! Now, I am off to 3rd and the FCAT (our icky standardized test). One thing that has worked for me this year was a private FACEBOOK group...where I posted pictures of the kids and messages to my parents who joined the group. The other was our communication binder...I have the kids put their agenda in the 3 ring binder...and I write notes to the parents when I have to or when they have to. During the summer, I maintain a blog for summer reading. I've used newsletters before, but since everyone is trying to go GREEN. I stopped. Good luck next year. I'll stop by often. :)

  7. I've just given you the One Lovely Blog Award!
    Come check it out!

  8. Thank you so much for commenting on my blog, which brought me to your blog. You blog looks super-cute and I can't wait to read more. I am your newest follower!

    The REAL Teachers of Orange County


Mahalo Nui Loa For Commenting!!

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