Those are the exact words I must repeatedly remind myself as I think back to 2013 and look forward to the new year. 2013 was filled with such amazing blessings. However, I struggle with not focusing on the one thing that didn't happen in the year. So, I must realize that every day is a new beginning and I MUST stay away from thinking about what might have been and focus on what can still be :)
On a teacher note at our last literacy team meeting before break we got to think and answer these insightful questions...
(1) What is something you are excited to share that happened in 2013?
(2) What in 2013 reminded you of why you became a teacher?
(3) What goal do want to work toward in 2014?
I am SO excited and very proud of the progress I have seen in my students this year! All, yes A-L-L of them know their capital & lower case letters, they also all know their letter sounds...simply amazing! I look back to my first year and I can't believe how much my teaching has changed in just four years. What I know now...and more over...what I know my students can now do- there is no stopping us!
Anyway, just like most of you...I always wanted to be teacher. Never did I even think about something else. I played school and would go outside in my yard for "recess." I would blow my whistle and put kids in to timeout...I have no idea what the neighbors thought ;)
I had the opportunity to student teacher with my first grade teacher and in the same elementary school I went to. I was also lucky to get offered a position in that same school so it's like I never left! Now I get to teach and give back to the school that inspired me to become a teacher. When I think about what part God plays in the way life turns out I can't help but think maybe my purpose for life was to be a teacher...and maybe even a great one :) Maybe one day I'll have my own little ones to care for, but for now my life consists of 20 fun loving and sometimes needy little ones!
In 2014 I want to teach my students to PERSEVERE! We talk about it time to time and it's really adorable to hear them say it, but we haven't really been able to "try it out!" Perseverance is something that as adults we've done it ourselves and heard numerous stories of others that have had to persevere through life. However, how do you take those big words and stories and place them into kid friendly terms? Before Christmas break I started with some problems of the day in math. They are by no means life altering perseverance tasks, but they do get the kids to think and challenge themselves.
As adults we are guilty of it as well...thinking that everything must be done correctly the FIRST time! Our kids have this fear of being wrong..so how do we teach them that it's okay to struggle? In 2014 I want to help my students set goals for themselves. In writing, reading, mathematics, etc. Along with setting the goals I also want to teach them that there will be steps and possible struggles or set backs on the way to reaching those goals.
I want to teach my students that failure is not something bad, yet a learning experience that they can grow upon. I want my students to know that I believe in them, but even more that they can believe in themselves. I want them to know that they are stronger than they ever though they could be. When you persevere you never give up....you keep going and going....trying and trying- never stopping until success has been reached.
Here is a great video I saw last Spring and every since then have been trying to get this into my classroom. It is a 5th grade classroom...but so doable for Kindergarten too :)
Grab the freebie persevere posters below for your classroom! :) Mine will be going above my smartboard so we see it each and everyday. A reminder to myself and the students! I post will post a snap shot once mine is up!
Now let's make it our mission to challenge our kiddos in a healthy and learning way! I mentioned above that before Christmas break we had started a few challenging problem of the days for math. Below are some snap shots of their work!
(1) The number on my five frame is less than 4. Show the possible results.
(2) The number on my five frame is greater than 2. Show the possible results.
Choose a object from the classroom and describe its characteristics. Show your work.
Roll the dot cube. Build that number cube tower. Draw each tower you build. Circle the biggest tower.
I also like to write the problem of the day on the chart paper so we can discuss it before and after they work on it. This is our problem for after Christmas break :)
Below is the packet of 20 challenging problems for young learners. All of the problems are common core aligned with the standard listed on each sheet! The packet sells for $3, but will be on sale through the new year.
And better late than never....the kiddos parent gifts for Christmas! They made Christmas tree ornaments and I placed them in a cute little bag with this adorable poem :)
And the best for last....it's a sale! My entire store will be on sale 20% off through Wednesday, January 1st! Head over now to start grabbing some great deals for the new year. I will be back each day giving you some great ideas on how to kick of the new year in your classroom! Have a great end to your weekend!