Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teacher Week! Meet the Teacher Monday

I have been dying to start my teaching blog and there could not be a more perfect week to start than Teacher Week over at Blog Hoppin'. The girls at this blog are rockstars and a huge reason why I wanted to start blogging about my adventures in teaching. I am looking forward to linking up and learning from these fab teachers & co.

Tell us a little something about you...

My name is Sarah, but in the classroom I am known as Miss P.  I am getting married in April and one thing I will not have to change is my monogram! Miss P will become Mrs. P :) When I'm not wedding planning or lesson planning, I try to get get in as much time as possible with my sweet niece, who I absolutely adore. My family & friends mean the world to me and I am so blessed to have a rock solid group of girls that I can always be myself around. I am thrilled to be marrying my college sweetheart this spring, after five years of dating. We just bought our first home and I am loving this new phase of life we are beginning. 

How long have you been teaching?

This is my fifth year teaching fifth grade. I started teaching all subjects except social studies and I now teach only math and science and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I was beyond lucky to get a job right out of college and then to be able to keep the same one since then. While I originally thought I would teach the lower grades, my heart belongs to fifth grade.

You might not know...

I went into college undeclared because I was torn between a career in Broadcast Journalism and Education. As the oldest of four, and one of the oldest of over twenty first cousins, I was always the mom when we played house and the teacher when we played school. Around 10 years old, I became the babysitter when I officially started Babysitters Inc. in my neighborhood. My heart was always in education but I also have a passion for writing so when it was time to apply for college, I dreamed of living a city life in a studio apartment, writing for a magazine. Carrie Bradshaw much? After finishing the prerequisites, I could not avoid the calling any further. However,I am the biggest second guesser of all time and about halfway through college, I debated switching my major to nursing. Thank God that I followed my heart because I cannot imagine myself anywhere else.

What are you looking most forward to this school year?

I have so many ideas brewing in my head and cannot wait to start fresh with a new group of kiddos. This was the first summer that I did not work and I feel completely renewed and while I always look forward to the new school year, I feel mentally ready to take this year by storm.

What do you need to improve?

A few things that I want to work on this year are time management, reading/math workshop, and differentiated instruction.

1. Time Management - This goes for myself before and after school, and for my kiddos. We have a schedule that I'm not a big fan of and it leaves about an hour and a half of time that I have no control over. During this time, I would like to implement more group work and direct instruction to some of my struggling kiddos. I would also like to tweak my instruction so that I can effectively teach both math and science classes within my wacky schedule. As for me, if I can get to school an hour earlier, I won't have to stay late. This will be a big deal because we are going to a public online grade book this year and there is never enough time in the day to correct!

2. Reading/Math Workshop - Reading and Writing Workshop are the two major times of the day that I have no control over. I teach math and science so the reading teacher gives instruction for independent reading and writing during this time, which also serves as the pull out time for my kiddos with interventions. Since the whole school has the same pull out time, I usually end up with most of my kiddos at this time, due to overlapping schedules, and they end up getting pulled during a different class. I want to get some small group work going during this time and take math workshop to a whole new level. My kiddos LOVE math workshop and I think that if I can use a chunk of this reading time to get it going, they will have a more well balanced independent work block.

3. I took a wonderful workshop this summer for English Language Learners and I cannot wait to try some of the great strategies. Our district has over 60 represented languages and my classroom usually has at least 6 different languages spoken at home. Between that and the wide range of learning disabilities, I am SO excited to try some new things with my kiddos this year to find what works best for them. Every year brings a new challenge :)

{Perhaps by writing them out in great detail, they will really happen!}

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?

My wide array of Flair pens are my go-to correcting pens.

My bible binder. This has tabs for daily team meetings, parent communication, IEP notes, MCAS data, DIBELS, and benchmark testing. This binder goes with me everywhere and I am thinking of breaking it into two binders this year because it got pretty serious last year!

I love a fresh Crayola marker on chart paper. Oh, the possibilities!

I have become a HUGE fan of the jumbo sized post-it chart paper pads.
Oh. my. word.

My Elmo doc-viewer is my life-saver.

My Keurig machine :)

I will have a fridge in my room for the first time this year and I am totally looking forward to a fresh supply of Diet Coke around the clock.

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  1. Love my keurig machine too, even though I don't drink coffee. But I am so the one to go to for hot chocolate! :-)

    I taught 5th for the past two years, but am in fourth now. I'm teaching math and language arts only. I'm curious to see what you do for math workshop!

  2. I agree, yay for more fifth grade blogs! Did you read The Babysitters' Club books when you were younger? I used to dream of starting my own club, too! :) Congrats on your upcoming marriage! Looking forward to reading more from you!

  3. YAY!! Another fifth grade teacher! It seems like there are way more k - 2 teacher bloggers! I am definitely your newest follower. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Let's all shoot some ideas around. I am in GA teaching 5th for my 5th year!

  4. I am so excited to have found your blog. i teach 5th grade too!