Sunday, January 6, 2013

Such a Different Year!


I cannot believe we are officially in the second part of the school year.  Blows. My. Mind.  In a good way, of course.  Last year, I remember counting down the seconds until the school day would end or hastily marking off days on my calendar anxiously awaiting my next day off.  It didn’t help that we didn’t have a stitch of snow last year, and our five built-in days just meant five more extra working days.  Eh.

This year is different.  I can’t believe that I’ve already completed four whole months of school and that the 100th day is on the horizon!  Stop the world!  That’s twelve kinds of crazy!  My husband would attest – I am a different girl this year.  A better mom.  A better wife.  A better teacher. 

It’s awesome.

My job is completely different, too.  Here’s a look at my day as a Title I teacher…

My Day

This schedule actually starts this week!  Prior to Christmas Break, I did three RTI groups – 5th grade and 3rd grade math, plus my kindergarteners – each for 30 minutes.  I always feel like I am running around the school! 

System 44 is new to me.  I’m actually being trained Tuesday.  From what I’ve read and observed, it’s a phonics intervention program used with 3rd-5th graders who lack basic phonics knowledge.  I’ll be able to give you a better idea of it after my training and when I’ve had a chance to work with the kiddos. 

In other news, Winter DIBELS benchmark is getting ready to take over my life.  Our district does not mandate that we complete it within a certain time frame, so our school’s decision was that I would begin the winter benchmark in January.  ALONE!  We want our teachers to have as much instructional time with their students as possible, so it was decided that teachers will no longer be responsible for DIBELing their classes. I will DIBEL the bottom 40% of students (based on MAP testing) in grades K-3.  I do a few 4th and 5th graders, too, depending on what interventions they’re involved in.  However, it all comes down to this: A WHOLE LOT OF KIDS TO DIBEL!  Fortunately, we currently DIBEL using iPads, which makes it really easy to not only give the assessment, but also to sync it to the system.  I’ll probably finish sometime in February :P  I’m going cross-eyed just thinking about it!

My day is super flexible, which is really great.  It’s also ever-changing.  I just kind of go with the flow and meet whatever needs need to be met – meeting with teachers, meeting with our administrators, reworking scheduling, watching over RTI, moderating our Reading Intervention program, etc.  I also do a LOT of data collection, organization, and analysis.  More than I EVER thought I would do!  Not gonna lie…I kinda like it :)

What do I miss the most?  All the fun seasonal activities.  And, teaching reading.  I LOVE teaching reading.  And, teaching math.  I might miss that a little, too.   If I go back to the classroom, it will be as a kindergarten teacher.  I realized this year just how much I miss those precious little kinder kids!  They’re just little sponges and their growth is palpable.  I love them!

Fortunately, I’m getting to teach literacy to my kindergarten RTI group.  And, Becks.  He helps fill my need and fuel my creativity :)  Just about sent me over the moon when he signed for his very first library card today. 

IMG_0765[1]      IMG_0767[1]

Well, the weekend is just about over and I have a crazy week ahead!  Catch up with our family over at :)


mrs. tabb said...

love this schedule...i want something like this so I don't have to leave Lilly all day when she gets older! :)

Amanda said...

There have been two times in my teaching career where I had the opportunity to take a Title I position full day. I really had to think long and hard about whether leaving the classroom was the right thing for me. I chose to stay in the classroom, but there are some days when I wonder about what would have happened had I taken the position. But I do love my little kinder kids and I can't truly imagine teaching anything else.

Glad to hear you are enjoying your time as a Title I teacher. I love that you are able to spend more time with your family. I would love that!

Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

Tricia said...

Your kiddos are lucky to have such an accomplished and dedicated teacher such as your self. So often Districts put the young inexperienced teachers in this vital role of title teacher. When in reality we need the most experienced teachers helping our struggling readers.

Jess said...

Your schedule looks great! That is so awesome you get to be with your child more! I would love one day to be a reading coach. I know that's not exactly what you do but I think I would thrive off a flexible schedule! Hope you have a wonderful Monday tomorrow and a productive training on Tuesday!
Rambling About Reading

The Matthews' Family said...

You have my dream job! Next year I am planning to go part time and I would love to find a reading recovery! And prayers for you and your family during your adoption process!

O FISH ally a First Grader (Corinna) said...

Wow! I am so happy for you! I know we love our jobs but sometimes the guilt of neglecting my children is overwhelming. I've tried to find balance but in order to do everything I need to do for my job, but most importantly for my first graders, it requires lots of lots of time, hours and effort. I'm so happy something opened up for you so you can enjoy your family. Congratulations! I don't teach at a Title 1 school and I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't even know if our district has Title 1 teachers at our Title 1 schools. I would assume they must. I wonder if it's something I should look into?

Holly said...

I can't believe we're in the second part of the school year either. This is my first year teaching and it has already gone by so fast! Do you have any really great reading tips for first grade? I am trying to absorb as much information as I can so I can move my babies along.


The Polished Teacher said...

Thanks for sharing your schedule! It was great to hear about some of the things that you do that I have never heard of. Can't wait to learn more!

And the 1st library card is such a special occasion! I still remember getting mine!


Jennifer said...

What you are doing sounds like a nice change of pace. I can see how you miss the classroom though. I wish our school would do DIBELS after break. Good luck testing!

Darling Little Learners

Anonymous said...

I'm th DIBELS coordinator at my school, and for the next few weeks that's what my days will consist of. I would love to use an iPad to speed up the process! How does that work?

Ms. Cranfill said...

I can't believe you are responsible for DIBELing all of those kiddos on your own! I can't imagine!

Ms. Cranfill's Class

Miss Eshbaugh said...

This is a great schedule! :-) You kids are so lucky to have you and I'm sure it's been fun getting to know other kids in the school or even having some of your kids again! We are about to start testing too! Good luck and thanks for sharing with us!! :-)

Amanda said...

I'd love to hear more about how you use your iPad to speed up the DIBELing process, too! :)

Kristen O'Brien said...

I'd love to hear more about the iPads and DIBELing as well!

Brittany Weidlich said...

Hey Abby since your how to on making printables was so fabulous and explained everything crystal clear for me I was wondering if you would know- How do you make clipart to where it doesn't show that white box around it? I didn't know if there is a way to have only the clipart appear over a digital background without the surrounding white box. Thanks for all your help!

Lovely Literacy & More

Leann said...

I was a Resource Room/Consultant Teacher prior to come to St KItts and teaching a 1/2 multiage.. and I am currently like you are at the beginning of your blog most days (except we work 15 weeks on with ONE long weekend - and then a 2 -3 week break, year round!). I miss so much working with high needs children, small groups, flexible schedule! So jealous! Would love your job!

Congrats on your adoption as well! I love reading your blog and keeping up on your precious family <3


Natalie said...

We started DIBELS benchmarks this week...eeek! We all have to DIBEL a classroom of students, during our regular instructional time. So imagine the stress...ahh! Glad you are enjoying your new job :)

Teachery Tidbits

Nancy said...

Hi Abby,

I'd also like to hear how you are using the iPad as well!

Once more thing--what's that adorable chalkboard font and where did you get it?


karen said...

I was a Title I teacher for 8 years. Loved it to pieces. Then I moved to Kindergarten, and loved it more. Its great having the flexibility without the day-to-day stresses of classroom life.

P.S. Were you going INSANE Dibeling for that long? We spent 1 day Dibeling our Kinder class and by the end of the day if I had to say "sim" or "lut" one more time I was going to poke out my eyeballs! :)
Mrs. Jones’s Kindergarten

Dusty Drosche said...

So glad you're having a great year and feeling good about it too! You are amazing to follow no matter what you're doing or teaching! Thanks so much!

Kelley Dolling said...

I remembering getting my first library card! My grandmother had to hold me up to the counter to sign my name (complete with capital E's and a backward Y). I love that you did this with your sweetie at such an early age :) It's a magical memory that will last forever!

kEllEY :)

Amanda said...

I love your schedule! I'm an elementary Title 1 teacher but we do blocked scheduling. Every grade level uses me for RTI Tier 2 intervention each hour of the day. I don't have any scheduled plan during the day--it certainly makes for long days!