Friday, November 18, 2011


I learned...a fre children being out of the room can really change the dynamic of the group. It's so interesting to watch it then change instantly when they come back into the room.

Something great that happened was...successfully helping the kids read "Strega Nona" and determine the story's problem and solution was. Plus, I got to read one of my favorite books!

Something challenging that happened was...trying to get a child to focus when his mind was clearly checked out for the weekend.

A question I have many times can you say a child's' name before they are intentionally tuning you out?

I wonder crazy our first very short week of school will be, I know my mind is halfway to vacation, I bet theirs are too.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I learned...that sometimes all it takes for a reluctant child to participate is a good friend by their side.

Something great that happened was...Bhavya being able to easily get over a small scuffle during soccer and after a small cool down he was able to rejoin the soccer game. Progress!

Something challenging that happened was...watching a child who is usually well behaved get hurt because he and his friend were goofing off during lunch.

A question I have is...where the kids just off today or are the expectations of first grade becoming too much for all of them?

I wonder about...what the next 3 weeks hols leading up to the holidays...


I learned...that it's totally normal to write up a "script" for your lesson to help you stay focused and on task.

Something great that happened lesson went well and I got great feedback from Jane and Elaine. I am so proud of myself for taking a huge chance with this google earth lesson and seeing it come to life!

Something challenging that happened was...the class being on crazy pills during this lesson, cheese and crackers it was a classroom management nightmare!

A question I have do you address serious behavior issues like that? Do you let them slide and the next day is a new day?

I wonder the class will be the next time I teach a lesson in front of Elaine, oy!


I learned...that sometimes the best way to help a child who can be indifferent and struggle with routines is to have his best friend be their "cheerleader"

Something great that happened was...feeling validated when Jane wanted to use a worksheet I designed for math again in another lesson!

Something challenging that happened was...having Neila give me serious attitude and say to me "I nodded my head, are you blind?" - but I kept my cool and followed through with a consequence.

A question I have do you help a child who already has trouble with reading to read something other than "Nickolodeon" books?

I wonder my big supervised lesson will go tomorrow?


I learned...that it's totally fine to call for help when you need it. Even if you think you can do the problem, nothing wrong in showing you can ask for the help that is available to you.

Something great that happened was...I taught my students something I learned from my teacher when I was in second grade. It felt great to pass on something that I loved and clearly still remembered!

Something challenging that happened was...being stretched in 18 different directions today during mapping. Oy!

A question I have it appropriate that many of the kids have no idea where the continents go, even when looking at a map? If so, why teach a concept they aren't ready to grasp?

I wonder about...if the class will remember things I teach them when they're 23, just like I do...


I learned...that it's great to get back to school after a break, I really had missed the kiddos.

Something great that happened was...we all had a smooth day back from our first vacation of the year. We all fell back into the groove with minimal fuss and had a great day.

Something challenging that happened was...despite the overall smooth transition, having Connor having a rough morning, it was too be expected but it's still unsettling.

A question I have do you respond to a parent who is convinced that something is wrong with their 6 year old's handwriting and spelling, and therefore something else is wrong, even when the child is fine?

I wonder the next few weeks, as we get closer to the holidays and winter vacation will be for all of us...


I learned...that a half day before a holiday is a day of fun learning, because let's face it, everyone's mind is on vacation!

Something great that happened was...sitting down and planning all next week with Jane, holy moly, I'm teaching a ton, but I'm so stoked about it.

Something challenging that happened was...trying to keep everyone focused on the little bit of learning we were going to accomplish today!

A question I have it better to barely teach about Thanksgiving or to teach it and risk "othering" or getting to "cute"?

I wonder refreshed everyone will or won't be on Monday.


I learned...that even 3 students being absent really makes the class feel smaller and more intimant.

Something great that happened was...they had a great time making more word wall word memory cards, they all played with their partners for 20 minutes and they were really practicing their words!

Something challenging that happened was...having Max not eat lunch at all since there were no more bagels available. I couldn't convince him to try something else rather than go hungry.

A question I have do you comfort a child whose upset about not getting the lunch they wanted while gently encouraging them to eat so they won't go hungry?

I wonder about...will we get any learning done tomorrow, or should we even try?


I learned...if you ask students to write a "story problem" some of them may give you a novel!

Something great that happened was...feeling a part of the team during consult today, and really being able to provide my two cents on what is happening with a child.

Something challenging that happened was...having Bhavya get very upset when I asked him to walk back into the room calmly. He just wasn't into that and was ready to take out his aggressions on me...

A question I have is...when is a child just being the "class clown" and when are they using their behaviors to seek help?

I wonder quickly does sickness really pass in a class...


I learned...that math book's shouldn't teach word problems in first grade until later in the year when more kids are reading! They can do the math, but not the reading!

Something great that happened was...feeling comfortable to speak up about a child during a conference. it felt great to ad my perspective and two cents about how the child is doing in the classroom.

Something challenging that happened was...watching a child brood and not knowing over what. I wanted to help him, but he wasn't willing to share his two cents.

A question I have text book companies really understand what the average 6 year old is like? Or are they just in it for the money?

I wonder insane the lead up to the Thanksgiving holiday will be...


I learned...that some days are "on" days for kids and today was one of those days for Malachi.

Something great that happened was...Malachi did a fantastic job on his reading and spelling today. It felt great to watch him do well and know he was doing well.

Something challenging that happened was...having Neila shout at me, loud and clear, "I hate you and 1L and wish I was in 1R" after I asked her to share the tire swing.

A question I have do you deal with a child yelling like that in your face, do you let them go cool off or do you immediately reprimand them?

I wonder about...what tomorrow holds, both literally and metaphorically speaking.


I learned...that I can successfully teach an entire day's lessons and manage the class!

Something great that happened was...I did it! I ran the classroom from arrival to dismissal, without my supervising teacher and only a sub, (who honestly wasn't more than a warm body).

Something challenging that happened was... essentially being the only teacher in the room. Having to deal with conflicts and behavior issues alone, and try to teach everything, somethings for the first time (when did handwriting get so involved!)

A question I have in the world do teacher's run a classroom of 19 kids without an aid or an intern to be there as support?

I wonder about...if I really did well today, did they learn what I was trying to teach, did they understand my expectations...


I learned...that for some kids doing something out of context can throw them for a loop, even simply solving addition problems with missing addends in a cross-number puzzle can make a child with strong math facts go blank.

Something great that happened was...having Marcia give Jane great feedback about how I am doing upstairs in the learning center!

Something challenging that happened was...having Malachi tell everyone that "Ms. Benjamin ruined my weekend when she told my mom I didn't behave...."

A question I have is...when do you just tell a student an answer rather than let them get frustrated trying to figure it out or have you re-explain it 15x?

I wonder tomorrow will go when it's just me and the kids...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I learned...that I can successfully discipline a student and be firm, and that just because a student doesn't listen to me doesn't mean I am not doing an adequate job at being firm.

Something great that happened was...Marcia gave me great feedback on my conference report write ups for Malachi!

Something challenging that happened was...Malachi constantly disobeying me and outright defying my requests for him to follow the rules.

A question I have is...when is ignoring a child's bad behavior a smart decision and when is it the wrong way to respond.

I wonder about...what the other children think when they see a classmate downright ignoring a teacher's directions.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I learned...that conferences are a truly great time to learn more about your students' parents and your student. I really saw how much Bhavya's mom is doing for him and how much she knows about what works for him and how hard she works to make sure it all works.

Something great that happened lesson went super well and I got excellent reviews from Elaine and Marcia!

Something challenging that happened was...Neila giving me attitude over asking her to finish her work and come over to the rug.

A question I have is...don't, in theory, all students need a behavior plan?

I wonder about...what a bunch of 6 year olds thought of our lock down drill...

Friday, November 4, 2011


I learned...that sometimes it is best, and okay, to just ignore a child who is having a hard time. It will help the mood pass.

Something great that happened was...being able to talk with the SLP and have her hear my ideas and concerns about Malachi's processing issues and then have her get excited that I had/had experience with CAPD. I felt like a real professional.

Something challenging that happened was...having Malachi deliberately defy my instructions several times today, it was a real struggle to not get into a power struggle but also exert my power. 

A question I have is...what do you do when a behavior plan isn't motivating a child at all?

I wonder insane they'll be next week with it being a three day week and all...

Thursday, November 3, 2011


I learned...that you shouldn't repat an answer from a student, since it makes them feel like you have to have the last word in - what an interesting concept!

Something great that happened was...I was able to help Malachi get over a "rock brain" moment and figure out a great solution to the problem.

Something challenging that happened was...having Max get upset when he put his name in a center before finishing his work and then having to not get to go to that center. I felt bad, but I know it was the right way to deal with it.

A question I have do you respond or not respond to a child who is upset about a consequence?

I wonder about...why some children go to the bathroom every 5 minutes! Are we that boring?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


I learned...that when a child has not been doing what's expected of them and they then beging to follow the rules/directions you don't say thank you since it was what was expected to begin with.

Something great that happened was...being able to sit with Marcia and go over my lesson plan and really talk about some great things to incorporate to ensure it goes well.

Something challenging that happened was...dealing with figuring out what exactly happened at recess between Shane and Bhavya, then having to bring in Carrie to mediate.

A question I have is...when do you realize that the behaviors and actions be exhibited in class need to be dealt with once and for all versus trying this or trying that.

I wonder about...the difference between tears of "oh nuts I'm in trouble" and "I really didn't do it."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I learned...ignoring behaviors sends just as strong a message as paying attention to those same behaviors.

Something great that happened was...Jane and I had great professional discussions about some of the kids and some upcoming lessons, I felt like her co-teacher rather than a little intern.

Something challenging that happened was...Neila pitching a fit when I asked her to line up for gym. Some times you just have no idea how to handle the attitude.

A question I have is...why do some children feel that pitching fits is the best way to communicate?

I wonder about...the kids that are just humming along in the middle of the class, the ones who listen and follow directions and we don't say their names 500x a day - am I paying them enough attention then...