Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Live and Learn

looking at a map, right there! But apparently, just for funsies.
Strangely, for being an extremely naturally disorganized person, I have control issues. Or maybe that's typical of disorganized people? I don't know.  But that control button really got pushed today in Economics.

I went ahead an had them design the map for the town.  And I know I convinced myself yesterday that this was the best course of action, and it needed to be student driven- but I think, truthfully, I was being lazy and just didn't want to draw it myself. The problem here is I already sort of had it in my head WHAT the map should look like. And I am probably also at fault for not reviewing maps more thoroughly today.  After all, we did them back in October, and even then it wasn't a great effort on my part as I had just started teaching again and I was all overwhelmed with everything.  Regardless. We made the maps.  I gave them some guidelines.  They went off to work, and I appreciated the time they spent on their maps because I was able to crank out some more DRA tests. But then they finished and we voted and the map that won doesn't even look like a map.  It just looks like a picture.  And now I feel deflated. Maybe I should have disqualified all the entries that weren't map like before we voted.  Maybe I shouldn't have been giving these end of the year evaluations and been walking around saying "Great Googly-Moogly how is that a map?". Ruff.  But they've voted. And this "map" received votes from half of the class.  So I need to honor their opinion somehow- but arg.  How bad would I be to have the two girls who won the map contest redraw it more map like?  That WOULD be the RIGHT thing to do, no? Confused. Dilemma.
but they picked this one
thought this one would win

At least I went ahead and got my behavior books put together.  I used the charts we had made up on how we expected different parts of our day to look and sound and feel- which I was inspired by the behavior management tips in the Daily 5 book. And then I also kneaded into the mix positive We Can statements that I've been noticing on a lot of anchor charts lately on Pinterest.  I ended up with ten books, one for each part of our day- Morning Routines, Carpet meetings, Writer's Workshop, Guided Reading, Recess, Lunch, Math Workshop, Encore, Window of Inquiry, and Packing Up.

I did make up semi-corny titles.  They all have How To make Blar blar- Blar Blary. Worked the Alliteration Angle as best I could. How to make every morning marvelous, how to make Carpet time terrific, How to make writer's workshop wonderful, how to make guided reading great, how to make recess really fun, how to have a lovely lunch, -Ohhhhppps, I forgot I made one on how to make a quality line too- how to make math workshop magnificent, how to make encore excellent, how to make window of inquiry incredible, and how to make packing up pleasurable.  Inside I made a We Can statement for each thing I wanted them to do.  There are no don'ts anywhere in the books.  I'm making an effort not to give instructions that way as well when I'm speaking.  It's hard!  The books are available at the moment for the kids to add illustrations to, but I have an idea for that as well.  Whenever I come across a student NOT performing a WE CAN statement, I'll have them read the book to me, pick the we can statement they need to work on, and draw a picture of themselves doing that we can statement and I'll put it in the book.
 I'm going to laminate the pages without pictures on them and then bind them together.  I bought picture corners and small glue dots in the scrapbooking aisle at Walmart today to add the pictures on over top of the laminate.  That way I can have new kids illustrate every year. Each book ends with a We Can statement restating the title.  We can have a pleasurable pack-up time.  We can have a great time at guided reading.  I think my writer's workshop one is different though, and ends with we can be wonderful authors and illustrators.  I like them.  I used rainbow colored cardstock and giant index cards. I'll be happy when I've got them in their final form.

 We also finished up our Goods and Services People.  Came up with the idea this morning that I should have given them store flyers to cut out pictures of goods and services instead of just writing them inside.  Stopped by a gas station on the way to work and got a couple of newspapers and free flyers and the kids made do with what I had.  Next year though- Super Teacher year- I'll be ready!


  1. You could also use clear sheet protectors for the illustrations in your "We Can" books.

    ❤ Karen
    Flamingo Fabulous in Second Grade

    1. Also a thought I had when I first started them. But do you think they make sheet protectors small though? I ended up liking the contrast of the giant white index card on the colored background, so now I'm not being as flexible with the books as I should be. Color me OCD.