lunes, 17 de agosto de 2015

Reflection on Week 1 (On to Week 2!)


It's hard to believe that our Geckos have already finished their first week of fourth grade and are on to week two!  Our first week was full of community building, reading, storytelling, journaling, drawing, creating, playing, and above all, FUN!  This week we will continue to build voracity in reading and writing, begin division and problem solving in math, and embark on a GAMIFIED social studies unit to learn Venezuelan history (I was so excited about it last night that I couldn't sleep!)

One thing that has most-impressed me with this group of students is their leadership capabilities.  In just the first week, I have witnessed multiple accounts of both active and passive leadership.  Our student-led classroom requires students to take charge in multiple ways, from getting the day started to telling the class when to change subjects, from taking charge of their own learning by asking peers for help to keeping the class' behavior on task, and from leading by example to setting class SMART goals.  The students have more control of the classroom this year than in years past and are still learning how to handle their new responsibilities, but they are transitioning well.   Parents, you should be very proud of your students!

THANK YOU to all parents who have turned in the parent surveys.  They truly help Ms. Jezabel and I to learn more about you, your child, and your child's needs from the very start of the year.

A few reminders for this week:

  • CIPLC Open House Grades K-5 is this Thursday, August 20, from 5:00 to 7:00.  There are two sessions and each will be an hour.  We look forward to seeing you there!
  • Please remember to check Instagram and Twitter for daily classroom photo updates!

And now, a section for the students: 

Answers to Questions 

Ms. McAuley had you write letters to me at the end of third grade, and I greatly enjoyed reading them over the summer.  Many of you asked me questions, which I now will take the time to answer:

What do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy running, hiking, dancing, teaching OULA, skiing, swimming, scuba diving, reading, traveling, spending time with my family and friends, reading, and learning something new (just to name a few!).

Will you be kind?

Hopefully by now you know that I try my best to be a kind person.  We are all human and all have bad days, but I always want you to know that I care about you and have your best interests at heart.

What will you teach?

You will learn all about fractions, multiplication, division, measurement, geometry, comprehension, summaries, inferring, writing all different types of texts, earth science, structures of life, Venezuelan history, service learning, and more!  I also want you to have time to explore what personally interests you, so we will have "Passion Time" for you to learn about what intrigues you and then to teach others all about it!

Will we have more homework?

You will have spelling, math, and 15 minutes of reading each night.  You can expect about 40 minutes of homework each night in fourth grade.

What events are in fourth grade?

We will have Edcamps, poetry slams, International Day, Egg Drop, Make a Change, Dot Day, Carnaval, Mystery Skypes, Global Exchanges, and more!

Will you do the Gecko Store?

Yes, we will continue to do the Gecko Store, starting this week (Week 2)!

Are you married?

No, I'm not married.

Do you have any sisters?

I don't have any sisters, but I do have a younger brother named Daniel.  He is 20 and lives in Colorado.

Do you like to cook?

I enjoy cooking when I have the time.  I especially like to bake!

Can we bring devices?

We follow CIPLC's school-wide policy in the fourth grade, so please leave your devices at home.

What are the privileges in fourth grade?

As you now know, you have many privileges because YOU get to lead the classroom! Others include 1:1 iPads, Passion Time, earning a Silent Day (for the teachers only!), and reading wheel prizes.

Will we do crafts with moms?

Last year fourth grade decorated Christmas cards with their mothers.  I would be interested in doing more crafts this year though, because everyone really enjoyed it!

Will we use Google Classroom?

Yes.  As soon as your email accounts are all up and running, we will use Google Classroom for assignments - especially for online days!

Will the routines be the same as third grade?

I doubt that they are the same, although I know Ms. McAuley and I have some similarities such as Daily 5 and Morning Meeting.  Now that you've entered fourth grade, what do you notice is the same?  What is different?

What inspired you to be a teacher?

When I was 16 I began teaching swimming lessons, and I had so much fun doing it that I was inspired to go to college for elementary education.  (By the way, my favorite level to teach was Level 4, which was full of - you guessed it - FOURTH GRADERS!)

What do you love the most about CIPLC?

That's an easy one.  What I love most about CIPLC is the students.  You are the reason I am excited to get up every morning and go to work.  I learn from you every day, you make me want to be a better person, and you make my life FUN!

What's your favorite sport?

If I had to choose one sport, I would say running because that's what I do most often.  However, I'm also an avid skiier when I'm back at home in the snow!

What's your favorite color?

My favorite color is pink.

How old are you?

I am 26 years old, but will turn 27 this week!

What do you like about school?

I appreciate how every day is different and that I get to work with students.  Every day is an adventure!

Where did you learn to dance?

I took ballet from kindergarten until 8th grade, and I was a cheerleader in high school so I danced quite a bit then as well.  I enjoyed swing dancing in college, and became an OULA instructor after that.  In other words, I've danced throughout my life in one form or another!

Where were you born?

I was born in Big Timber, Montana, which is a small town in the northern United States.  I grew up on a ranch with my Mom, Dad, and brother.

What are three lessons you've learned in life?

1:  Believe.  There's a reason this is our class word.  It's important to believe in yourself and your capabilities, as well as to believe in the good in other people.  

2:  "You get whatever you settle for."  As long as you believe in yourself and are willing to work hard, you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to.  Always try your best and never settle for less.

3:  "Don't let anybody steal your joy."  You are in charge of your attitude, and it's important to remain positive even if others try to put you down.  Happiness is a choice.  Choose happy.

What are your passions?

My passions are working out, OULA, fire, traveling, and teaching.  I am also passionate about my students, friends, and family.

What are your favorite subjects in school?

I have always loved to read and write, and music was a favorite of mine as well.

Do you like science?

I do like science, and am excited to partake in some wonderful units with you this year!

Where do you live?

Now that I've moved to Venezuela, I live in Lecheria.  We are so lucky to live by the beach!

Do you like to teach?

I love to teach.  There is nothing else I would rather do!

What is your favorite thing to do?

If I had to choose just one thing, I would choose to travel.  Luckily, life is full of variety so I can do all of my favorite hobbies and engage in various passions!

How long have you been at CIPLC?

This is my second year, and I'm still happy to be here.

What were other jobs that you've had?

In addition to being a teacher, I have worked as a lifeguard, swimming instructor, camp counselor, nanny, and wildland firefighter.

How many fires were you on?

I can't count how many fires I have been on - there were too many to count!  I know that I've been on over 60, though!

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