SOL Review Fun
Posted by newbie-tchr at 9:10 pm in students, Web finds that work

Hard to believe, but it’s already that time of the year – total review for the SOL’s and then 1 month of teaching whatever I want before summer. While the review hasn’t been the most exhilarating thing in the world to plan, it’s something that has to be done. (especially since I’m trying to snag this job for next year – wanna look good!)

The biggest dilemma thus far has been that all of the computers are reserved for the tests – which means that all those cool online resources are totally unusable in my classroom. Now I have managed to get around it with some creativity, by using my own laptop and a loaner from the library – but it is a far cry from the many activities I had planned with online flashcards, games, review sites & the like.

The one site I’ve managed to use on both my own and the loaner has been, which is free for most parts of the site. Only a few review games require a password, but I highly recommend navigating it a bit to see if there are any public review games you could utilize in your classroom.  To accommodate the lack of technology, my 7th graders have been doing a lot of paper copies of review sheets…a lot. Going just two weeks with computers has reminded me how much I take them for granted in the classroom – and how much I hate the copy room. (Why is everything always broken in there? Are paper jams REALLY supposed to happen that much?)

Tuesday is the big day though, and I’m really anxious for the kids to do well. Granted I’ve only been in this longterm subbing position for two and half months, but in a way I think it reflects upon me – and there’s no doubt I want to look like a viable candidate for the job. Fingers crossed that the week of review we’ve been working on helps, and the kids ace it.

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…..5th graders
Posted by newbie-tchr at 10:43 am in students, subbing

Since the recent snow in my area meant that the schools were no longer taking President’s Day off, I subbed for an Art teacher at an elementary school nearby. Immediate thoughts: So glad I brought a book, Kindergarteners are adorable, Art can get really messy, really quick; and 5th graders are an abomination.

I called my mom afterwards and told her my new found opinion of 5th graders – which she thought were hilarious considering some of the stories I told her about my 12th graders, and how they didn’t bother me nearly as much. And honestly, I could have gotten a rotter of a class – but, here’s what kills me: 12th graders, I expect an attitude. I remember being 17 – you’re tired of high school and you think you’re the top dog. 5th graders are still so young, but the attitudes – maybe because they were unexpected were just exhausting. I don’t know how elementary school teachers do it. The blessing was that I just had them for a period versus the entire day.

Kindergarteners though – ohhh they’re so little and precious I could have had them all day.  There was just a wee bit of tattling and the occasional tears but they’re so cute I could have forgiven anything.

I will say I enjoyed it – especially since the teacher included really detailed art lesson plans. I have noooo idea what I would have done with all those kids without them! I’m subbing for another art teacher today, and fingers crossed she leaves some too. If not, I’m planning on remembering everything from yesterday and just redoing it today. And hopefully I get better 5th graders this time around…

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Using Her Powers for Good instead of Evil…
Posted by newbie-tchr at 10:43 pm in Classroom management, students

stewie Pictures, Images and Photos
First week’s over and done with, and

I’ve always been one of those annoying people who can find the good in everything, and so I’m trying to keep that in check, but my situation seems almost ideal. My peers, both teachers and fellow student teachers are awesome, the kids are interesting in a good way, and I’m a government nerd teaching government. But I did say “almost ideal…”

I have a student, and I know we all have these students, that I can already foresee trouble with. She’s been known to get into physical and verbal fights with students, and hasn’t hesitated to try and do the same with teachers in the past. All of this would be tolerable, even fine, if she didn’t have the adverse effect of seemingly “spoiling” the students who sit around her. I don’t know how or why, but there’s this quality in this child that’s almost a magnet. But instead of being a magnet of positive energy, it’s more of a magnet for bringing out the hateful side in people. So if you couldn’t tell – potential problem student.

Now, I figure instead of giving myself a complex about this child, I might as well make a plan of attack for taking all those potentially negative qualities about her being in my class and using it to my advantage. Contrary to her initial attitude on coming in to the class, I’ve found that she responds pretty well to positive attention AND looooooves being given a task. (I don’t question it, but it’s amazing how kids get excited about something so simple as passing out papers – it’s totally awesome.) So my solution? In two days I’m teaching my first solo lesson(s), which entails of a of a lecture on the origins of American government using a tool called Prezi, and a competitive game reviewing the information students just learned out of the lecture. (In regards to Prezi – use it and you’ll realize how cool and addictive it is, plus kids actually pay attention since it’s not like anything they’ve seen before) So for my little problem-child, I’m going to incorporate her into my review game, having her help keep track of scores on the SMARTboard. It may seem stupid, but I already told her about it and she was really excited already.  Plus, it’ll give her that purpose to encourage her to behave in class, while separating her from her peers and taking away that negative influence she seems to have. We’ll see if it works, but I’m really crossing my fingers on this one. If anyone has other ideas/behavior management techniques that would work with such a confrontational student, please feel free to pass them on. My teacher has been great, but I feel like new ideas wouldn’t be a bad thing to add to the toolbox.

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