Sunday, January 19, 2014

5 for Faturday (hee hee Friday&& Saturday Combined)

So excited to link up again with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for my veryyyy late 5 for Friday. Since I'm linking up on a Saturday, I found it only fitting to call it Faturday (Friday & Saturday combined hee hee).

If you've been following my blog, I've been referring to a lot of Project GLAD strategies (Guided Language Acquisition. As I'm Tier I trained, I've been having the opportunity to further my training through a Follow-Up Professsional Development course. One of the strategies we'll be discussing next is called T-Graph for Social Skills with Team Points. With now 26 students (and still the highest count in my grade level), I must admit its been a challenge with my students staying on-task. During Winter Break, it occurred to me... what if they don't know what being on-task looks like nor sounds like (Dr. Gru liiiight bulb voice).

On the first day back from Winter Break, I decided to introduce Team Points (based on their team colors in Hawaiian) and their social skill for the month. Its been a week and half since this strategy was introduced in my class, and my students L O V E it. I refer to this T-Graph on a daily basis with the Three Personal Standards (Show respect/Make a good decision/Solve your own problems). My kids love adding points to their team colors. Next week Friday, they will be finding out how many more points they need in order to reach their team goal. When the students reach the team goal, they'll be able to select a reward from a menu of options. (Adding and subtracting fluently up to 1,000,000 is a CCSS Math standard for 4th grade.)

As my students take a Tripod Survey based on my teaching, one of the points I want to make sure I hit is giving my students choices. Now that I know what I like my students doing after they work independently, my students can use the Fast Finisher BINGO for extra review. When they reach five in a row, they can redeem for a reward in my class treasure box.

My students have also been lacking in their subtraction fluency. My students are tested once a week on multiplication, but I don't want them to lose their subtraction. Therefore, I've been working on an "I have... Who has..." for subtraction. I'll try it out when we get back on Tuesday!

On Friday, we went to the Punalu`u Lo`i to educate the students about one of the most important food source for the Hawaiians: kalo (in English, it's called taro). My students were so grossed out by the lo`i (the irrigated terraces with the wai -- fresh water stream) and the fact they'd have to go in the mud! Once they got a feel of it and pulling the weeds of the kalo, they had a lot of fun! The "uncles" also showed them how to prepare the lo`i for farming and growing kalo.

Thanks to the GLAD strategies, and the Taro Pictorial Input Chart I created (and thanks to my trainers for demonstrating in November), my students understood more about the importance of kalo and the lo`i with the divisions of the ahupua`a (the land). They were more prepared than I could imagine, and even my ELL students were observing and questioning their surroundings. Truly a H U G E milestone for my class :)

For almost a month now, there have been 3 different occasions where I've been reminded about my future goals. I'm living my dream as a fourth grade teacher in a Title I school, but everyone around me has reminded me to look even further at my options to prepare myself. The discussion of reclassification and thinking about my long-term goals within the education system has been a topic for quite some time. Trust me, I think about my career future more than I realize myself.

Upon graduating with my Master's, I told my mom after I'm hired for my first teaching position, give me five years to decide if I'm going to apply for a doctoral program. Well, its been 1 out of 5 now and I'm realizing it's creeping up on me faster than I can imagine! I was told to look into University of Southern California's doctoral program. Surprisingly, there's a cohort in Hawai`i! I'm not sure if I'll be going for my doctorate, but I have 4 more years to decide if I still have the drive to conduct research and further my own education. As a single girl with a career driven focus, I'm realizing my possibilities are endless at this point!

I think that if life separates us and we end up in totally different places, we’ll always remember when our paths aligned for this period of time and I’ll be thankful for that. and I hope that wherever you are, you’ll be thankful, too. and I think that’s the best we can wish for. -- Josh (Phil Wang)

love Wong Fu Productions! They bring real-life situations into YouTube. Strangers, again is my all-time favorite Wong Fu video. It's about the different stages of a relationship and how each person's decision determines the path of the relationship. No matter how we all hope for the best, sometimes the choices we make lead to the inevitable. This week, I learned how important each decision is and how listening to a person's words makes all the difference. I feel it takes two people to create and maintain a relationship, and the comfortable stage tends to be the turning point in all relationships without us realizing it.

I hope you all had a wonderful week and are having an amazing weekend :) This week may have been a rough one for me personally, but I'm optimistic in knowing that everything happens for a reason.

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