…and a lot has gone incredibly off track since then. School has ended. It’s been one of the most difficult years I’ve ever had as a teacher. That’s saying something considering my first class was a “trial by fire” with some of the biggest behavior problems in the school in that class. I miss those guys. I felt like craziness, at the time, but I look back on that year and think about how well we meshed and how much support I had. I haven’t had it since. Part of that may be moving to Savannah from rural North Georgia, but even if I don’t count that first year (Lord knows the state of GA doesn’t!), the culture of the classroom has changed so much in the last 14 years…
*waves her hand* I’m not going to babble about that. It’s summer break. Time to let it go and move on! Me and my fidget spinner are embarking on a new world!
You see, both of my girls need academic help this summer. Tadpole doesn’t know even 50 sight words. Peanut has trouble with comprehension on things she’s not interested in reading. Tadpole needs to learn addition facts, Peanut needs to learn multiplication facts. Both have been promoted, both are going to need A TON of help unless I can turn this around for them this summer.
Translation, I’m trading a traditional classroom for a homeschool classroom for a few months.
While this sounds easy, I know it’s not going to be. Sure, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Even more, I have 3 additional certifications! One in Reading, one in Science, and one in Gifted Education. I have a certification for Brain-Based Teaching and I have been trained on all the latest technology and… I can’t get these two to keep their rooms clean! *rubs her temples*
So, I’ve spent the last few weeks establishing my attack strategies. Starting tomorrow, we will be on a home school schedule every day. It will begin at 8 AM, when the girls grab their Rise and Shine Binders and begin their morning work. Breakfast will be eaten before this (or during this) and it is VERY INVOLVED in the morning work department. I’ve already differentiated (ugh, that word during the summer!!!) their Morning Math, Vocabulary, and Reading assignments. I’ve added a reading goal using the Tower of Books Challenge (20 books in 8 weeks isn’t bad!). I’ve added comprehension strategies using a single text and a more difficult reading passage by incorporating Trifold Read-Its but focusing on an easy phonics concept. I’ve added more difficult reading strategies and questions for Peanut, and I’m focusing on basic story elements with Tadpole. I have journals for them to write in, complete with a new digital camera for each of them (it was cheap, don’t start thinking I’ve hit the lottery) that will have journal entries written about each picture taken, as well as handwriting practice! I will have them online at alternating times, giving me one-on-one time with each kid to make sure they’re understanding what I’m throwing at them. Peanut will be on Moby Max Learning, Prodigy, XtraMath, or Sumdog; Tadpole on ABCMouse, ABCya, XtraMath, and RazKids.
I’m looking for field trips, from the super organized stuff like the local Forts to the beach and Chuck E Cheese. I’ve built in recess time, read aloud time, library time, independent reading time… I’ve written lesson plans.
And I’m praying that all of this will balance with enough fun stuff to equal a good summer AND academic growth for next year. It starts tomorrow. Yes, on Memorial Day. Guess what we’re going to be researching and visiting tomorrow??