Saturday, November 26, 2016

Lesson Plans on Planbook.com


I hope you all had a enjoyable Thanksgiving.  We had my family over.  Mr. FiberJewels got a Traeger Wood Stove so we had a "turkey cook off" of sort.  I tossed the 25 pound Butterball turkey in the oven.  Popped fresh thyme and rosemary in the cavity, sprayed it down with olive oil and basted it once it started to get a lovely brown.

His turkey required more prep - under the skin he put about 1/4 inch of a mix of butter, garlic cloves, fresh rosemary & thyme, salt and pepper.

The reviews from the family is that both were great and no one had a favorite between the plane oven roasted and the wood oven roasted.

Yesterday, after post-Thanksgiving clean up of the kitchen, we took a trip to urgent care -- I'm fighting a sinus infection, but as I have no fever, they will not give me antibiotics, but I did manage to get drugs to help me deal with the symptoms.

Early in the morning, I fell into the rabbit hole that we call Pinterest!  I was looking for information about Daily 5, and ended up stumbling on Planbook.com.  Planbook.com is an online planner, you can access it from any computer, I believe there are also apps for smart phones and tablets (but I haven't researched that).

taken from planbook.com page
I have been struggling with lesson plans.

We are a new team, and one of my Teaching Assistants (TA's) is very new and YOUNG.  I think the best way to explain this TA is that she has the attitudes of her generation.  In a word, she's a millennial!  She needs a lot of guidance and positive reinforcement and I'm finding I have to have EVERYTHING written out for her.  Recommendations to her are frequently met with her telling me why she does it a different way.

So, in addition to writing lesson plans for the students, I need to write expectations of the adults in my room.  This is not something I've had to deal with as I've been lucky, and the TA's I've had are my age with a wealth of knowledge.

I was using a word document.  When I worked on it at home, I'd save and email a copy to work. At work, I'd save and send a copy to me at home.  I had several copies with the same name, and it was getting cumbersome.  Additionally, I have to hand in my lesson plans at the end of the school year.

While at the bottom of a rabbit hole, I learned how one teacher was using Planbook.com.  A quick search on youtube lead me to this video, Planbook.com Walkthrough ~ Teacher Organization Tool, and set up my own account.  I spent most of the day yesterday setting up my schedule, adding notes I want to stay with the various lesson times in my own Planbook.com account.  The vlogger also has a part two video, Planbook.com Additional Features ~ Teacher Organizational Tool.  In the videos, she shared a discount code for a free six months!  So check them out and grab the discount code and explore Planbook.com!

Today?  I'll be leaving for school shortly - I have an IEP meeting Tuesday that I am NOT ready for (have to write the IEP and to do so, I have to be on a school computer, on the school network).  I'll also finish up this week's lesson plans!

I hope to finish my LazyKaty Shawl tomorrow; I have a row or two to complete.  The "bind off" will be crocheted.  Pictures to come.

Edited to add:  Planbook.com keeps getting better.  At school right now working on an IEP for a student.  Feeling very rusty after 18 months away from school.  Can pull up my state's standards and am using them for goals and objectives!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thankful

Hard to believe that only four months ago, when a friend asked me, "Do you ever think you'll return to the classroom?'  I quickly, without a thought, responded with, "Probably not!"

Three months ago, on my way home after visiting with a friend, I picked up a substitute teacher packet--it took me a month to fill it in and gather all the necessary information and update my resume.

Two months ago, I hit "submit" on my online application, and delivered the remaining documents to HR.

Last month I interviewed and was hired for what I thought was a long-term sub position.  If I had started this position only two working days later, it would have been a long-term position, but it wasn't.  A big jump in pay, as well as full benefits, and all the responsibilities!

As I stated post, I'm tired.  I often come home, eat dinner and go straight to bed.  The students drain me.

During our language rotations, the students were working in various groups, while I pulled students to my table to help cut up vegetables (thanks to my Pampered Cheif chopper, no fingers were near sharp objects) the principal entered our classroom.  After chatting with various groups, she walked over to my table, asked the student what we are doing, he proudly announced, "We're making STONE SOUP!"  She looked at me and simply said, "Amazing!"  and walked out!

I LOVE this little group of kids.  It both breaks and warms my heart when various school staff will stand at my door and just watch the class and share comments with me such as, "I love watching your class and seeing that the chaos is gone and they learning and laughing."

I'm so thankful that things have changed so much from August when I never EVER thought I'd ever return to the classroom, and now, though always tired, I have the BEST class in the world!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I. Am. Tired.

Friday marked my 23rd day in my new classroom.

I am still waiting for the time I no longer feel like I'm behind the 8 ball!

The Special Education process is SO different from the other district I was working at, I almost feel like I'm in a different state and not just a neighboring district!

Completed my "Mandated New Teacher Training" today, one week late!  oops!

Still spending more time on behaviors than on academics. We are getting better each day!

I'm still doing lesson plans daily ~ every time I think I can do a week's worth of lessons, something happens on Monday, and I'm back to writing plans for the day each and every day.
Each. And. Every. Day!
Every morning, I look at our daily schedule and fill it is.
Did I tell you I do this EVERY day?!
EVERY DAY!

I have my first Three-year re-eval and IEP on a student Tuesday.
SURPRISE! Exiting teacher did NOTHING for it!
It is what it is -- I'm attempting to let it go.
I'm to OCD to let it go, but I'm trying!

I have been asked here, as well as other places:
With the huge Special Education Teacher shortage, how could they let one go?

The teacher was on a plan of improvement and wasn't making improvements.
The teacher had ZERO classroom management skills.
NONE!
I've seen the videos of her in action.
I'm dealing with the fall out of her lack of control!

Yes, it was bad enough that this teacher had NO business in a classroom!

The students ran the classroom -- First and second graders RAN the classroom!
First and second graders with behavior issues ran the classroom!
The classroom was not safe.
I continue to deal with coping behaviors from the chaos of the first 40 days of school!

Three days, that's all I have to survive this week.

We are doing a mini unit on Stone Soup!

I am managing to get some knitting in evenings - it's been my saving grace each day.

Spent today printing a million and one things from Teachers Pay Teachers, ordered book bins, and completed the last of my "mandated training".

Now I can focus on the training I NEED -- the Special Education training for the district!