I haven't blogged about school in a while. That's because I have found it very difficult to be excited about my new job. We also weren't having much fun up until the TAKS test last week, because the kids were SO FAR BEHIND that I couldn't spare a single minute. The few exceptions were weekly TAKS baseball and a few days of centers with games and practice. But now, that's all changed! I am starting to embrace all of the technology that we have in Klein and to appreciate the personalities of my new students. I still wish that I had more of a peer group at my new school, but that will come with time.
We do this really great thing for promoting kindness and caring about others. It's called "Bucket Fillers" and it goes with Carol McCloud's book "Have You Filled a Bucket Today?". The idea is that everyone in the world walks around with an invisible bucket, and that their bucket is filled when people say or do kind things for them. However, the bucket is "dipped" out of when someone says mean things or acts like a bully. We teach our students to be "bucket fillers" and not "bucket dippers." When you fill someone else's bucket, it makes you feel happy so then you are actually filling yours at the same time. I spend a lot of time saying "Oh my. When you called Paul a huge dork were you being a bucket filler or a bucket dipper?"
To go along with it, we have little paper buckets with slips that others can write on to fill our buckets with. I made each student a checklist of all of the other students so that they can keep track of whose buckets they have filled each week. So far they are really loving it. Here are some pictures:
I've also implemented "Fun Day Friday," on which we do literacy stations during the whole ELA block. This is fun because I am able to do a station at the StarBoard. I am also in charge of teaching art and taking grades for it to my own class, so this is when I incoporate art. We had to do Fun Day Friday today this week because the rest of the week is too crazy with field day, book fair, etc. Here's what we did!
Station 1 was the StarBoard. I had the kids playing a basketball game with common and proper nouns and then playing a grammar scavenger hunt. They LOVE it:
Station 2 was art. I had them cutting words out of magazines to make a verb collage.
Station 3 was research. I gave them a choice between 4 different presidents to research using Net Trekker and they had to write facts about him.
Station 4 is where they work in small groups with me. Today, I was helping them revise and edit their Writer's Workshop rough drafts.
Last is Station 5, which is poetry. Today they were working on Acrostic Poems and they turned out to be very adorable!
I've also added another "treasure" to my list of things you can purchase with tickets. Teacher's Assistant comes at a hefty price of 40 tickets!
Also, this post would not be complete without showing off my first gift for Teacher Appreciation Week this year:
Yes, that is a silk, zebra-print tank top.
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