Thursday, July 30, 2015

First Days of School

The day after Debra left, I had to report to work for in-service. This year, it wasn't too bad. I actually attended a workshop on how to use technology in the classroom.

One of the cool things I learned about was a product called Plicker. You load a quiz and your students' names into the app on your phone. Each student is given a specific card, with a specific number. (I already give my students numbers, so this would be super easy for me.) Then you pass out cards with these specific patterns on them. Each side of the card has an A, B, C orD. The student chooses an answer, and holds his card so that is letter choice is on the top. Now, here is the cool part: The teacher then uses the camera feature on her phone and can scan the answers of the entire class by sweeping the room. The cards came in the mail today. I can't wait to use them.

Our school year, in second grade, has started off on shaky ground. My teammate was diagnosed with breast cancer a week before school started.  his is her second time battling cancer. We were suppose to have 3 second grade teachers.  However, there is an over one thousand person teacher shortage in AZ. When it became clear that we weren't going to find anyone the decision was made to have a teacher teach a 1st/2nd ELL combo class. That way we wouldn't need to hire a 3rd second grade teacher.

The first grade ELL teacher and I were asked to decide between the two of us who would take it. After talking it over, it made more sense for her to do it.  First, she had just had half of the kids, secondly, she taught first grade, so she was ok with teaching the first grade (I was not so sure after my disastrous kindergarten experience.), and third, with my teammate being sick, it would be better if we had someone on the team who could support her substitute and her when she got back.

So, that is how I find myself teaching second grade gen-ed. this year. I am excited to stay in second grade, but I do miss being an ELL teacher.

My old teammate from last year, (who moved to a new non-teaching position within the district), has come back this week to help cover the other second grade class. We are hoping the district has found a sub for Monday. In the meantime, I will be doing the plans for both classes (something I would not have been able to do if I taught ELL) until my teammate comes back.

I had 31 on my roster the first morning. I had 4 who did not show up, and then several new ones who had registered that morning. All in all, I have 28 kids so far. (ELL classrooms are smaller, so I only had 19 last year.) There is a possibility that I may get a few more on Monday, but I hope it stays at 28. I have had to rearrange my room to make room for all of the desks.

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