It seems like February has totally flown by. It's been a fun one with the kids as we've learned about MLK Jr, George Washington Carver, Rosa Parks, and Ruby Bridges for Black History Month. We've also had visitors from Delta Dental and have talked about the importance of healthy teeth. The kids cannot believe the pictures of decayed teeth and how people could ever let their pearly whites get so... dull. Our biggest project of the month has been writing biographies. Using the website pebblego (if you've never checked it out, maybe do. SUCH a great educational resoure!), students researched a famous person. They filled out a note taking sheet about a person of their choice (ranging from Jesse Owens, to Squanto, to Marie Curie, to Walt Disney). Then the kids wrote a rough draft, edited, and completed a final copy complete with illustration to display in the hallway. I can't believe I forgot to take a picture of them! You'll just have to trust me, the biographies look bomb.
One thing I did remember to get pictures of is my Frozen bulletin board! I didn't forget my promise to you dear blog readers. Duh.
The kids did a great job creating their own "melted snowmen" and even provided the names of their favorite books for our bulletin board. Jack and Annie and Junie B. Jones books were definitely the MVPs.
Here's a quick list of other classroom things that have been happening:
- A new seating arrangement- pods. I'm not a huge a fan, but I wanted the kids to experience sitting in groups. It was time for a change.... although it's been an extremely chatty change.
-Conferences. Round two! I will definitely admit that round two was far less stressful than round one. Most of the kids are doing well but it's always nice to see the parents anyway!
-Interventions. Following middle of the year testing, some planning, and conferences, interventions have been put into place for math and reading. All the kids are making progress... but we're pushing to see more improvement. So some of the students who're getting intervention or extra support are already above grade level... But haven't shown enough growth. I really struggle with this side of teaching because 1. it's not something I've really worked with before. And 2. how am I supposed to grow and enrich the learning of kids who are way above second grade level when I'm teaching second grade? It's been frustrating to me, but I'm working to figure it out. It's all for the kids and that's the most important part :)
-My third observation. It was a science lesson. Last Friday. Afternoon. 2 pm to be exact. With not even my class (because my class switches with another after for science and social studies). I know what you're thinking... why would you DO that to yourself, Jayna?! And honestly, I don't think I was really comprehending the situation that I voluntarily put myself in. I was more concerned with a) returning the observation request form to my principal and b) setting up a time for her to see science. Because I really like teaching science and think it's fun! So I decided that the best way to approach this Friday afternoon observation adventure was by planning a project! The class made diagrams of the parts of a plant complete with labels and the functions of each part. We did the project to review parts of a plant. We finished all the hard written work on Thursday in preparation for Friday. So Friday, we got to do the fun part... drawing, and gluing, and coloring, and labeling. It went well! It's a little bit hard for me to reflect on the madness of the activity because it was chatty Friday afternoon madness, but I think it was nice. I know it wasn't perfect, but lessons rarely are. I wanted my principal to see chaos. And although I obviously want to impress her, I also want her to see me as the teacher that I truly am. I am not perfect, and I'm perfectly okay with that. The students and I get to grow and learn together :)
Wow, that got a lot longer than I expected. Oops! I guess that's what happens when you're passionate about something. And although teaching has been harder than I expected, and frustrating, and exhausting, and confusing all at the same time, it's incredibly rewarding. The good times and days outweigh the negatives. So there's me being sappy for you!
Time for some fun stuff. Enjoy the journal entries... The prompt was to "write what you would do if you had a secret valentine."
"Daddy would pound him into the ground" Sounds promising to your future suitors...
"ahh, young love blossoming in the savannah!" Name that movie quote? Anyone?
It's Lion King. Still my favorite movie of all time.
There was also this winning answer in our weekly reading test... don't worry. He got credit for it.
Finally some Valentine's Day pictures. It was a full out, heart shaped, sugared up day of madness, but the kids had fun and that's what counts. I was also very fortunate to have awesome parent volunteers!
How cute is B's Valentine's Day box?! Her mom said that B simply "had to make it for Miss Specht!" I thought it was a HOOT! haha :)
Candy mitten race.
Minute to win it conversation heart stack. Sweet, simple, and oh so entertaining!
As for my own Valentine's weekend, it started off watching my baby sis perform at state gymnastics. She's only a freshman, and I was so happy to watch her on beam, floor, and vault. She makes me very proud :) (Don't worry middle sissy, you definitely do too!) I spent actual Valentine's day with one of my best friends! Ash came up for the weekend which was awesome because Cody had to work. We road tripped, had entirely too much chocolate, watched some BCU track, met up with old friends, picked out bridesmaid dresses (YES!), laughed, laughed some more and had an all around amazing time. It was busy, but so so great!
Ash and chocolate. Two of my all time favorite things!
By the time Ash left and Cody was finally done working, I was ready to spend some quality time with him! Unfortunately that time ended up being in the clinic. My poor little fiancé was in the clinic twice last week for flu. It was awful for him to feel so bad and awful that I felt helpless to make things any better. So like a loving fiancé, I did things like this....
Created an oh-so-informal save the date and documented his time feeling miserable. Finally, I left town! You're welcome honey :). Okay, so I actually felt really bad on skipping town while Cody was so sick, but I had long ago made plans with two college friends to be in SC while one was visiting from Arizona. We had an awesome time together. It was hard to believe that we'd been apart for so long because things felt so normal. Within minutes (seriously) we were mostly caught up on nine months of time apart. EEK! It's crazy to think that it' been that long since we graduated! Anyway, here are some pictures to commemorate the night. As they say, if you didn't instagram it, did it even happen? I'm happy to say that YES, yes it did.
I'm also happy to say that I get to see these stinkers again in just 144 short days as my personal attendants! Can you believe it?! I know time is just going to fly by until then! I often think back to just how crazy life has been especially in this past year. While I'll spare you from yet another sappy recap, I can't believe that's it's less than 5 months until the big day. Cody and I have been somewhat (okay, seriously) slacking on our wedding planning, but we've established our big important details and the bridesmaids will, in fact, NOT be going naked. So I'm pretty proud of that.... now it's time to clothe those groomsmen. Hmmm... Maybe I will have better news on that next time!
Peace, love, and pure happiness,