Sunday, August 12, 2012

My First Week as a Teacher

We have now completed the first week of of our ministries. I promised pictures of my classroom, so here they are:
I have a morning procedure for my 3rd and 4th graders as they arrive. The first thing they do is keyboarding on their NEOs. (If you look on their desks, it's those things that look like small black typewriters.) The Renaissance Program we use has a Keyboarding program that I am very impressed with. They were putting their fingers on the right keys from day one. The program teaches them typing at their own pace, and I just walk around to make sure that they are using the right fingers.
To the right is our prayer corner. Every classroom has one. We are supposed to include the color for the Liturgical season as well as the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching. A different principle is highlighted each month. I also have a rosary for each person in my class. We pray a decade each day so that by the end of the week we will have prayed the rosary. Last week, we did the Joyful Mysteries and this week we'll be praying the Luminous Mysteries. The children have done really well with this! They have even started to bring in their own rosaries. 

Below is a picture of my Accelerated Reading and Math motivation board. For Accelerated Reading, the students and their teachers work together to create individualized goals. For my board, as they get closer to their goal for the quarter (percentage-wise), they move from an egg to a caterpillar to a chrysalis to a butterfly. When everyone becomes butterflies we are going to make a butterfly craft.

In addition to teaching the general classroom subjects, each teacher teaches art and p.e. (Sr. Carol Ann is the music teacher.) I decided that we would start out with a basketball unit, so I pumped air into enough basketballs for everyone, and on Friday I taught them how to dribble. They are learning the fundamentals of the sport before they get to play the game. Those who already know how to play are my assistant coaches. Otherwise, they would be bored with going over the basics.

For a "Friday Evening Vacation," Sr. Hannah and I went to Salt Pond Beach. At first I was nervous, but there was a reef separating us from the sharks. We had a great time swimming in the water! I was surprised how deep the water was. In Lake Michigan you have to walk out a great distance just to get up to your waist. In the ocean, we were treading water before we knew it! The waves were pretty calm but we did try out the Boogie boards on them. It was probably good practice for me for staying on the Boogie board.

All in all, I like it here. :)