Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Videos

Today, Mrs. Edwards (guidance counselor) came to our class to talk to the kids about tattling and bullying. They were given the opportunity to write a skit for various scenarios and then I recorded their skits. They're on the website for your enjoyment.

Mrs. Walker

The Small Things...

There are days when being a teacher is the easiest thing in the world for me. Somedays, things just go so perfectly and lessons go exactly as planned, the kids behave exactly as I'd like and I sit back and just beam from the pleasure that these things bring. Then there are days when teaching is really hard. Time goes by too fast, I didn't get to teach exactly as I'd planned in my head, and the kids just don't cooperate, and it causes me to really stress. It happens. Just like any job, there are good days and bad. Fortunately, as a teacher, I get the pleasure of experiencing many more good days than bad.

Well, today was a pretty good day all things considering (I'm sick). At the end of the day, sometimes I play music for the kids to listen to while they wait for their buses to be called (sometimes we don't get out until 4:10).

I saw something today at the end of the day that just tickled me and made me smile. It was the kind of thing that I try to remember and then when I'm having a bad day, I think about to make me smile and remember why I absolutely love teaching.

Three boys were standing side-by-side at the table where the cd player is, and they were listening to "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay and they were singing their hearts out. It was so cute because they had no idea that anyone was watching them and they were just feeling the song. It was really cute and made me smile.

Mrs. Walker

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What A Week!

Okay-- the shirt design is completed (see above) and they look AWESOME!! I cannot believe how wonderful they look! We placed the order today and they should be ready within the month. Our first field trip isn't until October 14th so we'll for sure have them by then.
We got a new student to our class this week. His name is Erick and he's from California! He was very nervous yesterday and is very shy, but he seems like a really sweet boy and the kids really did a nice job of welcoming him. He had several notes in the mailbox at the end of the day and the kids were excited to finally see him smile!
On the other end of the spectrum, we lost a student this week. Chris will no longer be attending school at Oak Grove. We'll miss him a whole lot! He's going to possibly "meet us" at the field trip locations so we'll still get to see him.
This week in reading we spent the whole week talking about the CROP-QV. On Friday we listened to a North Carolina Legend called "The Ship of Fire." The kids had to write down all the CROP-QV that they could think of. I was very impressed by how well most of them did!
We also learned about schema this week. Schema is defined as background knowledge that enables the reader to make predictions for more successful interactions. We all have different schema because we all have different experiences, emotions, feelings, and thoughts. We talked about schema being like a giant filing cabinet in the brain that holds all the things we see, feel, touch, taste, and smell. Included with these senses are the thoughts while experiencing these things. All of them together create our schema and really dictate how we connect to the world. The more we grow and expose ourselves to new things, the broader our schema becomes. The schema that we have today is not as enhanced as it will be in June.
We finished our social studies for the quarter this week. We'll be having a study session on Monday and then we'll be taking the test on Tuesday. Hopefully everyone has been studying at home and really putting forth an effort!! The class really enjoyed learning about the Lost Colony. We talked about several theories and I read a book to the class on Friday. Earlier in the week the kids drew pictures of what they think happened to the Lost Colonists.
Next week we'll be switching with Ms. Allen for science. Our class will be going to her room to learn Science and her class will be coming to our room for Social Studies. We're both very excited about this and have been working together to get things all ironed out. I'm going to be sending home her welcome letter on Monday. Be sure to read it and let her know if you have any specific questions. We will not be switching on Thursdays (we have guidance on Thursdays, and a lot of our field trips are on Thursdays).
I sent home the August book orders this week. Please send back the order and money (cash or a check made to SCHOLASTIC) by Wednesday, September 3rd. You can also order books on the Scholastic website. Email me if you have questions.
Next week is when I'm starting parent-teacher conferences. If you have not signed up for a day and time yet, please let me know when you'd like to meet! I look forward to talking about your child and all the great things that we've been doing!!
Have a frog-tastic weekend!
Mrs. Walker

Monday, August 18, 2008

So Much To Do!!

Have you ever felt like you had a million things to do and no time to do any of them?? That's how I felt today! I feel sorry for the parents in my class because they probably feel just as overwhelmed by all my emails as I do sending them! It seriously seems like there's so much to do and no time to do it all!

I'm excited about our upcoming field trips. Not only are they going to be amazing, but we're going to have class shirts. My husband has connections to an environmentally friendly company and they're going to give us a HUGE deal on the shirts. They're going to be really cute and I'm excited to see all my kids wearing them!

Our trips this year are going to surpass the trips last year. Even better, they're going to be cheaper than they were last year! This year we're going to be going to Old Salem in December. I'm really excited because we're going to be learning about Old Salem and the Moravian's this week in Social Studies! The kids are going to see it all in person! We're also going to the beach, but this trip is going to take us to the Crystal Coast (Beaufort, New Bern, and Kinston). We're going to the NC Aquarium at Pine Knolls, Fort Macon, Tryon Palace, the NC Maritime Museum (to see Blackbeard stuff), and then off to Kinston for dinner. Our trips to Raleigh (Capitol/Legislative Building and then NC Science Museum) will also take us to Pullen Park and Kids Together Park for lunch. We're also going to Oak View Park again and then a rock quarry!!

This week we'll be spending time talking about CROP-QV (Connections, Reactions, Opnions, Predictions, Questions and Visualizations) while reading and then in Writing we're starting to really concentrate on the area of Focus. Two really big areas in one week. The kids really seem to understand CROP-QV and seemed to have a pretty good understanding of what it means for writing to be focused.

I'm off to bed... it was rough waking up so early today!!
Mrs. Walker

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Back to School

It's back to school time and I love it! I have always loved back to school shopping and couldn't imagine my life without the joy that back to school brings. I guess it's how I know that I'm meant to be a teacher- I can't go into any store that sells office supplies, without stopping by and browsing (and nine times out of ten purchasing).

So this was my last week of vacation. The July-August track out is essentially the "Summer Vacation" for track 3. All the traditional calendar schools go back on Monday (the same day that track 3 returns), and the end of summer is "officially" here. I can't really complain because I had a really enjoyable track out and caught up on some much-needed sleep. :)

You might ask, "Did you do anything school-related over track out?" Well, yes I did! I actually updated the Wikis and they're ready for me to show the kids. The kids don't have any writing or artwork or projects to put on their Wikis yet, but they're ready for them. So during our first week back, I am going to show them what the Wikis look like and give them their passwords. I also set up my online leveled readers for Houghton-Mifflin. They are awesome because the kids can read the books at home (on the computer). I also set up their accounts with Harcourt (our Social Studies program) and they can access the SS book online (in case they need their book while they're at home).

I also updated the website. The buttons all have a different look and I think it looks frog-tastic! It took more than 18 hours total to get it all set up and ready to be published. However, all the time was worth it because I really like it. I also set up this blog. :)

At school we organized all of our field trips for the year and we've finalized the dates and times for almost all of them. It's going to be a frog-tastic year for our fourth graders at Oak Grove!! I've updated my website (Montly Events page) with each of our (track 3) field trips, the times and the approximate costs. Check it out if you're interested!

When we return on Monday the kids will begin the Citipass fundraiser. I am excited because I think the Citipass is an awesome deal! Last year we added some storage space to our garage and my dad and Steve (my husband) went to Home Depot a few times to get some wood. I handed Steve the coupons for Home Depot and he saved $50!! The coupons paid for the Citipass ($20) and then some! What I like about this fundraiser is that $10 of each book goes back to Oak Grove, and it ends up adding up really fast! It's a wonderful and easy way to bring some money to the school!!

I've got a newsletter to write, so I'm going to go for now. Hopefully you're enjoying this blog and will check back to see what new things I have to share about our class!

Mrs. Walker

Sunday, August 10, 2008

First Post


This is the first entry for this frog-tastic blog!! Hopefully this will be something that not only the parents in my 4th grade class will enjoy, but their children (my students) will as well!

My hope is that I will be able to post various happenings on here and share all the wonderful things that take place on a daily basis in my classroom. I'm not sure how often I'll be able to post, but I'm setting a goal of at least once a week. I can't post at school, but I can post on the weekends for sure.

Please be sure to sign up for the updates (it'll send you an email each time this blog is updated) and bookmark us!!

Hopppy Blogging!
Mrs. Walker