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Life In 1st Grade


October's Autumn
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I've now had my own class for a little over 2 weeks! HOw exciting! It is also nerve racking. I'm exhausted! I spend 4+ hours writing lessons plans for a week. I usually am at school from 7:30-7:45 in the morning until 4:15-4:30 in the evening. I have a 30 minute lunch (it is so hot we don't have a full lunch or afternoon recess). I started my class with 13 boys and 2 girls! Now I have 13 boys and 4 girls. When it comes to gender in the classroom it is all about balance. You don't want too many of one or the other. My class is slowly coming together. I am also finding there are a billion requirements I have to meet. And I don't have everything I need. (LIke an easle or a computer!) No wonder teachers burn out. I had forgotten how tiring it is. Of course it is a different kind of exhaustion than when I was subbing. I prefer this to that. At least I have my own kids, now!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Gosh you guys start early!!! And I thought August 7 was ridiculous. Anyway that's when I start.

Have fun with your first graders. I would teach little kids but I can't stand the administrations,

which I think you have more contact with than if you teach high school.

 

Keep us posted. Kids say the darnednest things. ;-)

 

 

--des

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Gosh you guys start early!!! And I thought August 7 was ridiculous. Anyway that's when I start.

Have fun with your first graders. I would teach little kids but I can't stand the administrations,

which I think you have more contact with than if you teach high school.

 

Keep us posted. Kids say the darnednest things. ;-)

--des

 

 

I will. We are year round. I have October, February, & June off! I work a total of 187 days (on my salary). I'll probably work an extra 4-10 days with extra pay doing trainings! THis year I'm focusing on Language trainings, next year -- Math!

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We just started Monday. We don't have any kids yet, just hours and hours of (mostly) ridiculous inservices, registering about 3000 high school kids (no not singlehandedly!). Tomorrow we have all day at some hotel. I don't have high hopes for any inservice we might have, but I like the idea of going out to lunch! Monday the kids arrive.

 

We have what appears to be a sharp new assistant principal, who might go crazy there.

 

--des

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One of my students got poked in the chest and I was trying to ask him if the nurse found any marks on him. I pointed to my chest (well above my breast) and said something about a "boo-boo." The kids started laughing and gasping so I repeated it with "owwie." I don't know if they've ever heard of a "boo-boo" before!

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Ha!!

This week I started with the HS kids. I team teach and we have small groups as we are teachign them to read. I am appalled at the no. of nonreaders. We have 3-4 kids this year who read at a pre-primer level!!

I am just stunnned. We have a high no. of immigrant kids from Mexico, so I am hoping they just weren't taught or are very new to the US. (I had one boy last year, wasn't quite that low, who was totally literate in Spanish.) We really need quite homogeneous groups, and don't have them in some cases. Last year, for instance, we had retarded kids in one class which made life easier all around. Now we have them in all different classes. The more homogeneous the groups the better this works, so it has us concerned.

On a sort of funnier note, some of the girls want to be with my partner. He has lost weigt so I'm sure that won't hurt his popularity. :-)

 

(BTW, I was right not to expect too much from the hotel speaker. The lunch was terrific anyway. :-))

 

 

--des

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Ha!!

This week I started with the HS kids. I team teach and we have small groups as we are teachign them to read. I am appalled at the no. of nonreaders. We have 3-4 kids this year who read at a pre-primer level!!

I am just stunnned. We have a high no. of immigrant kids from Mexico, so I am hoping they just weren't taught or are very new to the US. (I had one boy last year, wasn't quite that low, who was totally literate in Spanish.) We really need quite homogeneous groups, and don't have them in some cases. Last year, for instance, we had retarded kids in one class which made life easier all around. Now we have them in all different classes. The more homogeneous the groups the better this works, so it has us concerned.

On a sort of funnier note, some of the girls want to be with my partner. He has lost weigt so I'm sure that won't hurt his popularity. :-)

 

(BTW, I was right not to expect too much from the hotel speaker. The lunch was terrific anyway. :-))

--des

 

 

Teaching some kids to read is *so* hard. I have a few right now who I suspect are terrified of it. It seems that some of us are programmed to learn to read with almost no effort and for others it seems like a horrible struggle! *sigh*

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>Teaching some kids to read is *so* hard. I have a few right now who I suspect are terrified of it. It seems that some of us are programmed to learn to read with almost no effort and for others it seems like a horrible struggle! *sigh*

 

It is absolutely true. From a neurological pov there is no place in the brain for reading. The brain pulls in from various areas to make it possible. Some kids, perhaps, a 1/5th will learn regularless of how or whether they are taught. About 1/5th are dyslexics of some level or another (from very severe who need the most intensive of approaches to mild). And the rest are somewhere in between.

 

--des

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>Teaching some kids to read is *so* hard. I have a few right now who I suspect are terrified of it. It seems that some of us are programmed to learn to read with almost no effort and for others it seems like a horrible struggle! *sigh*

 

It is absolutely true. From a neurological pov there is no place in the brain for reading. The brain pulls in from various areas to make it possible. Some kids, perhaps, a 1/5th will learn regularless of how or whether they are taught. About 1/5th are dyslexics of some level or another (from very severe who need the most intensive of approaches to mild). And the rest are somewhere in between.

 

--des

 

 

Now that is something I never learned! It makes sense. I was one of those kids who would learn regardless of how I was taught, just needed to be taught. Because I was so young I don't really remember actually learning to read. I couldn't read and then I could read just about anything. I do recall learning how to spell although it came easy. At the time it was nice but it can make it harder to teach.

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I'm not too surprised (that you didn't know that). There is much recent info on reading, and most of

it is not made available to teachers in training. There is an excellent article "Reading IS Rocket Science".

www.aft.org/pubs-reports/ downloads/teachers/rocketsci.pdf

 

Tells how and why teaching reading is a much harder task than we usually think.

 

 

--des

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I'm not too surprised (that you didn't know that). There is much recent info on reading, and most of

it is not made available to teachers in training. There is an excellent article "Reading IS Rocket Science".

www.aft.org/pubs-reports/ downloads/teachers/rocketsci.pdf

 

Tells how and why teaching reading is a much harder task than we usually think.

--des

 

 

ACK! I got a 404 on it!

Edited by October's Autumn
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A 404?????

 

 

BTW, a good friend of mine teaches 5th grade in a pretty rough school. A kid came in the other day complete with hooded sweatshirt (hood up) (note: It's 90 degrees) and an attitude. She told him, "You're

not a hommy, you're not "bad", and your in 5th grade and a little kid. Please come and act like one." Today he came in "normally)".

 

There is no way I can tell my kids they aren't hommies, etc. But most of htem that think they are are wannabes.

 

--des

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A 404?????

BTW, a good friend of mine teaches 5th grade in a pretty rough school. A kid came in the other day complete with hooded sweatshirt (hood up) (note: It's 90 degrees) and an attitude. She told him, "You're

not a hommy, you're not "bad", and your in 5th grade and a little kid. Please come and act like one." Today he came in "normally)".

 

There is no way I can tell my kids they aren't hommies, etc. But most of htem that think they are are wannabes.

 

--des

 

404, the page doesn't exist :(

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Hi des and Octobers Autumn,

just thought I'd drop in on your chat and say Hi as well as "keep going" !!

I worked in a couple of high schools and saw the huge impact that literacy levels had on young people. The ability to read (even just a little bit!) can reframe someone's life and future, bring hope and give confidence, encourage independence, often when they thought there was no real chance for them to go very far. Keep doing what you're doing, it sounds great.

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I use a multisensory-- called Orton Gillingham-- based approach which is very systematic and structured. My partner and I are getting some amazing results. I suppose the average for kids who we can get engaged, and we can't get them all engaged, is 2 years gain in one year. A kid starting out at a 3rd grade

reading level would end up reading at a sixth grade level in 3 years. That might not sound like much but it is what most newspapers are.

 

We had about four girls who just did an amazing job, jumping 4-5 grade levels or so. They start reading for pleasure and that sort of thing.

 

I really wish we'd get these kids in grade school though!! That's where October comes in. :-)

 

--des

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I really wish we'd get these kids in grade school though!! That's where October comes in. :-)

 

--des

 

I skimmed that article. It is what they are doing in my Teacher Credentialing program.

 

I try to get as many as possible. I have one little guy who insists he can't do anything! I plan to convince him otherwise. I did have some success with him using word wheels and word families. Decoding is step one, comprehension after decoding is step two! (Verus comprehension from listening to someone else).

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Guest Michaeljc4

I am a teacher, too (grade six English Language Arts). Literacy is the biggest challenge we face. Kids who come from "reading rich" environments--even if they don't enjoy reading for pleasure--do much better in all of their classes. I've heard this described as the Mathew Effect: "To he who has much, he shall be given even more, and in abundance. To he who has little, even that which he has shall be taken away." Kids who come to school ready to learn because of their familial and social circumstances will more often than not do much better than kids who don't have those blessings. Intelligence has little to do with it, I've found. It's the cumulative effect of forces outside the walls of the school that will in no small part determine how well kids learn.

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  • 7 months later...

I now have 30 days left! WAHOO! It has been an extremely stressful year. I was told it would be but didn't really believe it. When I rule the world new teachers will not be given classes like this!

 

I have multiple teachers telling me they don't know how I do it because I have such a crazy group of students. I now have 17 boys and 3 girls. UGGHHH! Of course 5 of my best behaved students are boys and 2 of my worst behaved students are girls.

 

Some days I'm not sure why I became a teacher. This too shall past. It takes looking at the big picture and not the day to day stuff. *sigh*

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  • 4 weeks later...

Congratulations to all of the teachers that see this. You are all my heroes. I taught high school Alg. in the 70 and 80's for 21 years and I can't tell you how I feel today when some 45-50 year old ex student comes up to me and tells me she/he remembers something that we did in my class. I can only imagine how difficult the job is now compared to then and especially the reading thing. OA, Des, Michael and others you form a great community of which I am proud to be a small little part of. sincerely Bob VE

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have 5 days now until my school year is over. I'm pretty excited to be done with the hell that is the 1st year of teaching. Oddly, I've been teaching for 5 1/2 years (most of it subbing) and this is actually my second year with my own class although it is my first year on contract. For several reasons this year was more stressful than my first year -- partially because there are more demands on a 1st year teacher under contract than one who is a long term sub.

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I have 5 days now until my school year is over. I'm pretty excited to be done with the hell that is the 1st year of teaching. Oddly, I've been teaching for 5 1/2 years (most of it subbing) and this is actually my second year with my own class although it is my first year on contract. For several reasons this year was more stressful than my first year -- partially because there are more demands on a 1st year teacher under contract than one who is a long term sub.

 

Congratulations on almost being done! Sorry that it was stressful...do you think it will be better next year?

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