Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Are You Smarter Than A Fourth Grader?

You know the show "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” Well some days I ask myself if I am even smarter than a fourth grader! Fourth grade has been quite the challenge for me. I know I know…it is ONLY fourth grade, but it is a huge difference from teaching first grade. The first grade content was so easy and I could do cutsey fun things with the kiddos. Now everything is SO serious and it is so much harder for me to come up with ways to keep the kids engaged.

Math is the hardest for me! I’m not very good at math to begin with. In my mind all I see are a bunch of numbers (like in this picture). So it is a challenge for me to really really make sure I get it, and then explain it to the kids. Today I had to teach multiplication of decimals. The curriculum we use is SO strange, and they had to estimate the answer, then remove the decimals and multiply the numbers, and then use the estimate to decide where the decimal point should go. Sounds weird? It is! Anyway, I thought they were totally getting it and I was feeling really good about the lesson and then I set them off to do some problems on their own. When we started checking their work I realized they were clueless. Sheesh. So now I have to break it down a little more tomorrow. Also, I have been taking over this class at a much slower pace. My last teacher let me take over the class after one week. This teacher (who is wonderful by the way) is only having me do a couple of things a day and not everything like the last teacher was. Next week is spring break and I believe her plan is to let me take over everything when we return.

On another note I am trying to figure out what will happen after I graduate (on May 7th by the way!) I have applied to teach summer school and I am REALLY praying that I will get the job. Also I will be applying for positions in Virginia Beach for the fall. I’m also REALLY praying that that will work out. I have applied to teach at a school in Kenya and I am going through the process of applying to teach missionary kids, possibly in either Uganda or Sudan. I’m thinking it would be great if I could teach in Virginia Beach for a year, while paying off my grad school loan and raising support, and then head overseas for a couple years. I really do believe this is the direction God is calling me in. We’ll see what He has in store. I am really nervous/excited to see what happens!

I would GREATLY appreciate your prayers if you think of it. Please pray for the rest of my student teaching to go well, jobs for the summer/fall, and the process of knowing if/when/where God wants me to serve Him as a teacher. Thanks!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Last Day of First Grade

These are adjective fish, which I like to call adjefish. The kids made fish combined with some of their favorite things. This was my favorite hall display to make.

This is my elefish.

One of the parents made this delicious cookie cake for my last day!

One day in class I told one of the students if he finished his work on time I would dance on the desk. Well he did, so I danced on the desk! Ever since that day the kids have been begging me to dance on the desk. So today for my last day I danced on every single student’s desk while they laughed uncontrollably.

These are some of the amazing gifts I received today. The kids made an adorable book for me and they all wrote me notes. These are a few of my favorite notes…

(Many of the kids made comments about Miss Nelson, and Miss Viola Swamp. I read these books to them about the sweet teacher, Miss Nelson, and her mean substitute, Miss Viola Swamp.)

Dear Miss Stephens,

You say kind words to us. You don’t sound like Miss V. Swamp. You sound sweet.

Love, Kiddo

Dear Miss Stephens,

1. You can be good at crafts. 2. You never frown.

Love, Kiddo

Dear Miss Stephens,

You have good ideas for lessons. And your ideas are stuck in my head. I just can’t get it out of my head.

Love, Kiddo

One of the gifts I received from the teacher I was working with was a notebook to write down the funny things kids say. The kiddos make me laugh every single day! Maybe one day I will publish a book with all of these funny quotes :)