Another Year Down...

Happy Mother's teachers we are all mothers even if we don't have any "personal" children of our own.

So, Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

Now, on to Amber's Linky party.  First off, I knew I had to join in on this one because Amber and I are like besties- Right Amber?  Seriously, she and her "real life" friend Elisabeth were like two of my first bloggy friends.  I {heart} them both!

Want to join in the fun?  Of course you do!!

1. Head on over to Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher to find the original post.

2. Share three things that were great about this school year, and three things that were not so great.
3. Be sure to link up your post with the linky party on Amber's blog. 

I have only 13 days left this school year...well technically 11.5 because the last 3 days are 1/2 days.  Does your school do that?  Those days are a waste of time...but we clean everything and have fun goofing off together.

Now, on to the business of the post:
The Great 
1.  Math Rotations 
I have loved, loved, loved teaching this way!  Click on this link or this link to take you to what I think about math rotations.  I love the fact that I've made it work.  I know that my students learned more and I feel like I got to know them more (and their needs) because I met with each student in small groups EVERY DAY.  I haven't done that in years.  It's been so refreshing!

2. Teacher Blogging
I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  Originally, I thought I wanted to create a blog of my life.  I do have that blog.  I've posted to it maybe 5 times.  One aspect of that blog was teaching.  I branched off of that blog and created my teaching blog.  My life (and my teaching) has changed tremendously (for the better) since then.  I've learned so much and know that I've grown as a teacher more this year than probably the last 5 years combined.  For Real!
 3. Working with Others
I've had the opportunity to have two teachers in my classroom (at different times) this year to help me with my resource students.  (They are also great and work with other students, too.).  I've enjoyed this collaboration so much this year.  I've learned from them and I hope, in return, they have learned from me.  It has definitely provided some entertainment.  One of them is moving away this summer {sigh} and I will MISS her. (She's my "STOP IT" girl). I'm looking forward to continuing to grow in this type of "shared" teaching situation next year. 

The Not So Great
1. Guided Reading
I don't feel like I've conquered guided reading yet.  I've tried.  I really, really have tried.  I've been teaching "traditionally" for over a decade.  It was just the way things were done at my school.  Now that we have a new principal who is wanting us to embrace the Balanced Literacy Model, I'm slowly sinking my teeth back into it, so to speak.  I'm just not getting the flow of making this work like I have made my math rotations work.  I need to read more, maybe get a few good books to learn more, or just simply observe some teachers in action. 

2. Parent Communication
I stole this one from Amber.  Yes, this is one of my weakest links.  I did a great job at the beginning of the year sending a newsletter by email each week.  I then reverted to a simple email (without a cute newsletter attached) when several parents couldn't open the newsletter on their smart phones.  This died down around February and I can't remember the last time I've sent a group email.  I do communicate through the students' agendas, but not anything formal.  My issue with this is that I'm not sure it's missed.  NO ONE has asked me what happened.  Do they even read them?  Do I start again next year?  I've got a BAD ATTITUDE about it that I need to get rid of quick!

3.  Organization

That's probably why organization is at the top of my bucket list for the summer.  The best part about this is that we can get into the building during the summer {I think}.  We used to not be allowed.  So, I'm going to re-organize pretty much EVERYTHING.  Yes, right down to putting labels on my son.  {Well, at least his his dresser, people...not his underwear.  I'm not that weird.  Well, maybe I am a little.}

Head on over to Amber's blog and link up too!


  1. It makes me feel better that I'm not the only one who hasn't sent home a newsletter in a LONG time! Thanks for sharing your greats and not so greats with us! I'm trying small group math next year and I can't wait to try it! I'm excited that you had so much success with it!

  2. Thanks for linking up! I knew I could count on you! You are totally my bloggy BFF!

    Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

  3. Organization is something I need to get better at too!
    I hear you on the parent communication, I've always, always done a newsletter weekly and felt at my previous school, it was read and appreciated by most of my parents. This year, I didn't always do it every week and nobody has said a word!
    I look forward to reading more about your journey with guided reading, our model is very traditional and I'd love to branch out!
    Stories From Second

  4. Parent Communication - here is my confession are you sitting down for this? After the first couple ones of the year - I throw them away without reading them. The kids tell me what is going on. There is nothing really interesting in there. Field trip permission slips and other notes home give me all the details I need. I prefer a website where I can "peek in" if I feel the urge to see what is going on or if the kids are suddenly closed lipped. One thing I would read - a weekly blog written by the students about what they did in class. Why? Well if every kid wrote a brief synopsis of the week and you randomly posted one I would have to go on there to see if it was my kid right? Just a thought...

    Off to run and hide my head in shame!
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

  5. I'm your newest follower! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Parent communication can be such a difficult thing. Some want it some could care less. It's so important to have a positive attitude about parents and so easy to have a bad one. I can't wait for that blogger meet-up!

    Sweet Seconds