Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hello Sarah are you out there?

I just tried to contact the winner of the Putumayo Kids cd unfortunately she did not leave me a way to contact her. Since I already announced her as the winner I'll give her days otherwise I will pick a new winner. If anyone knows her please let her know!

The Winner is...

Sorry fro the delay but real quick before I am out the door again the randomy selected winner of the Putumayo Kids cd is Sarah! Congrats! Sorry I have been MIA we have had family in from Colorado, I've been interviewing like crazy and planning a bridal shower for next weekend. Not really sure which end is up right now!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Have I Mentioned Before....

that we love Putumayo Kids? Well fyi we do! Their newest cd "European Playground" is no exception. We've listened to it no less than 10 times in the car this week which is fine with me because if I have to listen to the mixed cd I made as party favors for Madison's birthday one more time I fear that it or I may jump out of the car at dangerously fast speeds. I really think my ears may bleed if I have to hear "Happy Birthday" one more time!
In typical Putumayo kids fashion they have not only given us more great music for kids but are making teachers lives a little easier too! Be sure to check out the teacher guide that goes along with "European Playground".
Anyone really wanting a copy of this cd for themselves. Would you like it for free? If so leave a comment about why you want the cd and if your kid has a song that is on the verge of making your ears bleed like "Happy Birthday" is doing to me.
Get a second entry by blogging about this contest with a link to the post.
Entries will be excepting through midnight 6/10. The winner will be randomly selected. Make sure you have left me a way to get back to you so I can send you the cd. If the winner does not contact me within 3 days of winning I will select a new winner. Good luck to all!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Interview update....

My big interview was yesterday and I thin kit went really well!!!! As you can imagine I did not sleep at all the night before. I kept running Gasp...have a really frizzy, gross hair day!

The drive out took FOREVER! The school I interviewed at is roughly 45 miles from my house. Unfortunately it is by highway and not parkway so local traffic can get a little hairy. The trip took 1 hour and 20 minutes. Luckily I gave myself an additional 20 minutes to what I thought would be an hour drive. I made it just in time. Typically I like to have a few extra minutes to gather myself but at least I wasn't late!

The principal of the school was super friendly. He and the principal of the township's other elementary school interviewed me. I wasn't told if this was def. for a kindergarten position or if there were multiple positions so we'll see about that.

I wore a new suit that I picked up for a screamin' deal ($197 down to $38, AWESOME!) and I must have looked pretty darn good 'cause the female principal apologized for not dressing appropriately. Her school was having field day yesterday so she had on a sleeveless blouse instead of a suit. When does a principal ever apologize to a person that they are interviewing????

The questions they asked were typical. How do I collaborate with other teachers? How will I include parents in my classroom? How do I differentiate instruction? What is my classroom management philosophy?

Next came the lesson plan. This was the part that I had been stressing most. I didn't have to teach it just present it. I handed each principal a copy and as soon as I started to run through my anticipatory set the male principal said, "Wow! You nailed it. This is exactly what I was looking for". Seriously people I think the clouds parted and somewhere in the distance an angel two started singing "Alleluia"! I was ready to jump out of my seat and hug him but I thought better of that!

The female principal commented on how much she loved that I had included lesson variations for struggling and gifted students. This is a part that I had contemplated taking out but thought more information is better than not enough. Obviously it was a good thing that I left it in.
Before parting ways the male principal explained that I wouldn't hear anything this week because interviews were on going. He said that from those interviewed a select few would make it to the second tier of interviews. This will most likely be done next week because he wants the new teacher voted in by the board of education my 6/24. I could take this info two different ways.
  • He tells everyone
  • He told me because he is interested

I'm an optimist so I am going with the second reason!

My only concern was that the interview was only 20 minutes long. As a rule of thumb if an interview goes for less than 1/2 an hour you tanked but I have a felling it was because I was the first of a very long day of interviews and he didn't want to fall behind.

So now it is just a wait and see. If offered the position I will def. take it and try to find a quicker route to school but in the meantime I'm hoping a more local school gives me a call!

Monday, June 1, 2009

First Steps to Going Back to Work Full Time

Hello! Yep, I'm still here and really do want to get back to blogging regularly. As for now I'm just trying to get through tomorrow.

I have a job interview tomorrow. It is a little farther from home than I had originally planned on looking but it is a potential job so I'll be okay with the commute.

In the meantime if anyone feels like saying a prayer, crossing their fingers, sending some good vibes or whatever else you may do I'ld aprreciate it! Thanks and I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow!

P.S. Here is the very long, detailed lesson plan that I have decided on. Now I'm off to dust off my interviewing suit. Good night all!

Lesson Plan Title: Using mental imagery to assist with reading comprehension.
Concept / Topic To Teach: Reading comprehension strategies
Standards Addressed:
3.1.12.E.1 Assess, and apply reading strategies that are effective for a variety of texts (e.g., previewing, generating questions, visualizing, monitoring, summarizing, evaluating).
3.1.12.E.2 Use a variety of graphic organizers with various text types for memory retention and monitoring comprehension.
Goal(s): SWBAT improve reading comprehension skills through the use of the five senses.
Required Materials: black, white board or chart paper, chalk, dry erase or markers, Draw and Label Visualizations Graphic Organizer, crayons, Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Monster Who Ate My Peas by Danny Schnitzlein, Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day
Anticipatory Set (Lead-In):
· Review the five senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, taste)
· Explain that good readers create a movie in their minds by imagining what they would be seeing, smelling, hearing, touching and tasting if they were in the story.
· Model what the class is going to be doing. Read an excerpt from Where the Wild Things Are "That very night in Max's room a forest grew and grew and grew until his ceiling hung with vines and the walls became the world all around." Describe how I use my senses to create the “movie in my mind”.
· See: a dark bedroom where trees suddenly appear, vines are creeping in through the window. They begin to grow all over the room. I look up to see the dark night sky instead of my ceiling. Stars are twinkling and the moon is shining.
· Hear: Creatures that come to life at night. Crickets chirping, owls hooting.
· Smell: The scent of wildflowers all around, freshly fallen rain in the air.
· Feel: Sleepy at first but quickly become wide awake, cool summer night air on my skin, the damp grass on my feet.
· Taste: These thoughts of the wild make me think of camping. I imagine the taste of a s’mores and roasted marshmallows.
· Draw a picture on the board or chart paper that goes along with what I am seeing. Remind students that what matters is what they see in their minds not if they are artists or not.
· Explain that we will be using our five senses to make a movie in our heads of the story we are about to read together.

Step-By-Step Procedures:
· “Without showing the cover of the book read the title The Monster Who Ate My Peas by Danny Schnitzlein.
· Read first page without looking at the pictures. “Has anyone ever been made to eat something you don’t like? The boy says he would “rather eat dirt”. What do you think dirt tastes like? If he would rather eat dirt how do you think he feels about peas?”
· Read second page. “As the boy begs and pleads what do you imagine his voice sounding like? How does the mom sound?”
· Read pages 3-4, Read page 5-6 without showing the picture. Have students describe what they think the monster looks like. “How does his breathe smell? How would you feel right now if you were the boy?” Show picture.
· Read 7-9. “How did the boy feel when he thought about his soccer ball? How did he feel when he looked at his peas? What do you think it sounded like as the monster ate up the peas?”
· Read to page 12. “The monster disappears with a “F-O-O-O-O-M”. That is the sound he makes as he disappears. Do you think he goes quickly or slowly? How did that ice cream taste? How is the boy feeling now?”
· Read13-14. “Now that the boy doesn’t have his soccer ball how does he feel? Do you think he should have eaten his peas instead?
· Read pages 15-16. “Will the boy give up his bike?”
· Read pages 17-18. “How does the boy feel now that the bike is gone?”
· Read pages 19-20 “Will the boy give up his puppy? The monster “growled” at the boy how do you think he is feeling?”
· Read page 21. “What do you think the boys face looked like when he put the first pea in his mouth? If the pea taste surprised him how do you think it tasted to him?”
· Read page 22. “Why did Ralph lick the boy? How do you think Ralph and the boy were feeling? Have you ever been made to eat a food that you didn’t think you would like but you really did?”
· Read pages 23-24. “What is happening to the monster in this picture? How do you think the monster is feeling?”
Plan For Independent Practice: This lesson would be an introduction to visualizing a story. As the year progresses students will begin to draw their visualizing sketches for each story that he/she is reading on their own.
Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set): “Did creating the story in your mind help you understand the story more? What did you like about thinking of the book as a movie?” Discuss and share visualization sketches.
· Assessment Based On Objectives: Monitor class discussion for appropriate descriptions of what is happening in the book. Students go back to desk. Hand out “Draw and Label Visualizations” graphic organizer. Students will draw a picture of the story based on what they see in the “movie “ in their mind. Remind them of the drawing I did on “Where the Wild Things Are”. Also remind them that they do not have to be perfect artists. Depending on ability write words or a sentence on the lines under the picture either describing the picture or what they imagine hearing, smelling, feeling and tasting from the story. Score the graphic organizer on a scale from 0-2.
§ 0 = does not show comprehension of the story based on the picture drawn or what was written.
§ 1 = Shows some comprehension of the story based on either the picture drawn or what was written.
§ 2= Shows story comprehension based on what was drawn and written.

Adaptations (For Students With Learning Disabilities) Connect to prior knowledge. Do not use the complete story. Use only passages or choose a poem instead. Limit what needs to be written based on student’s ISP.
Extensions (For Gifted Students): Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day. Read first page to the student (if necessary), explain that the mother is going out for a little while and the dog needs to care for the baby. The mother doesn’t expect the baby to do anything but sleep but the pictures will show you what really happens. Have student look through book. Have student look at the page where the baby is sitting at the stop of the laundry chute. Check to make sure that the student knows what a laundry chute is. If not explain. Student will then draw a picture showing why the dog is running down the stairs in the next picture. Depending on ability student will write words or sentence describing his/her drawing.
Possible Connections To Other Subjects:
Visualizing to assist in reading comprehension can be used in all subjects that require reading.