Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Binge Grading

You know that feeling when you sit down on your comfy couch, with a  bowl of your favorite chips in hand, and then you hear the sound: "Bum Bum!" It's Netflix coming on and you have every intention of watching at least a dozen episodes of __________?  Binge Watching has been collectively termed as an actual noun now.  It's what we do this day in age.  We can sit down in front of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu (you name it!) and watch as many shows as you want in sequential order.   Gone are the days of having to wait a week for the latest episode.  Now, we can just wait for it to come on one of the above and watch it to our heart's content.

That's the great side of bingeing.  

There's a darker side, unfortunately.

There is a term in our house that has recently been used about twice a quarter: Binge Grading.

Binge Grading: (v) the act of grading things in one sitting, without stops. (AKA procrastination grading)

Sentence: Mrs. Ficquette was binge grading in her office until three in the morning the day before report cards are due.

Does anyone else do this?  Does anyone else put off the majority of their grading until a day or two before report cards come out.  Tests and quizzes are graded and put into the grade book relatively quickly - parents can see that data on Homebase.  But regular classroom? Homework?  I'm so ashamed to say that grading those things has gotten sadly out of hand since I moved to third grade.  Maybe it has something to do with not having an assistant.  Maybe it's the demands of life.  Who knows!  Either way, I have this new pastime called "Binge Grading" and another bout of it should be coming along pretty soon because Progress Reports go home soon.

What are some tips for keeping up with the grading process?  What works and doesn't work for you!

Monday, June 13, 2016

National Board Certification Process

Here it is... another new entry that is posted nearly a year after the previous entry.  Since then, life has definitely changed.  I have hit a new decade (the big 3-0!), my husband and I have celebrated another anniversary, and I have completed my seventh year of teaching.  Crazy how time flies.

However, the biggest change in my life is a new adventure I am embarking on with a fellow third grade teammate.   We are going for our National Board Certification in Early and Middle Childhood/Literacy:  Reading-Language Arts.  For the past few weeks, I have been studying my backside off for the assessment component and my brain is literally to the point of being fried!  It's hard though;  the pearson and national board website gives information about what to study and what will be on the assessment, but it's such a wide range of information.  I need to know all aspects of literacy from Pre-K to eight grade.  I need to know about reading, writing, visual literacy, phonics, strategies, miscues, errors, etc., etc.   I will be asked multiple choice questions and be given scenarios to answer in writing - all of it timed!

Needless to say, this lady is overwhelmed.  However, I am also ready to do it!  I sincerely hope I'm prepared and that I pass with flying colors.  If not, I suppose it helps having more of an idea of what the test looks like because it can always be taken again?

Studying for my national boards with my sweet dog, Lucy,
snuggled up close by!
So, now that I've gotten that off my chest...back to studying!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August First... Again

Keeping to the tradition of being completely oblivious to the school year start date, today is THE DAY.  Today is the day that I finally open my district's webpage and check out when I am to report back to school.  I have the webpage open right now, but it pains me to look.  While I LOVE teaching and love being in my classroom, I have thoroughly enjoyed my summer this year.  It has been peaceful, quiet, and absolutely relaxing.  Most days have consisted of snuggling on the couch with my dog, Lucy Belle.   If we weren't doing that, then we were tucked away on the bed, reading a book (Outlander is our current favorite).  I have slept in until 12:00pm most days, have forgotten about dieting and exercising, and have just done nothing. Unless I wanted to. So, BEST. SUMMER. EVER.

Now, I know I have to do it.  I literally just turned to Lucy and said, "Okay, time to look."  And, perhaps I'm mistaken, but her little eyes went sad.  Does she know that this means summer and extra snuggle time is almost over? 

Okay, so I finally got up the courage to look and....

August 17th.

Only 17 (really sixteen) more days left of summer.   Excuse me while I go snuggle with my sweet Lucy for awhile.  We are both going to need it! 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

No Longer a Second Grade Teacher

Well, hello there blog world!  I haven't been around for nearly a year, but a recent phone call has made it a necessity to mark the momentous occasion.  After being a second grade teacher for my entire career, I have been *dun dun dun* asked to move to third grade!  My Principal is retiring and our third grade team has left for new adventures, so I have been asked to step up and be apart of a new third grade team. 

*deep breath!*

Goodness knows that I am anxious and nervous about the impending move.  Having only ever taught second grade, it's a wee bit nerve-wracking thinking that I'm basically starting all over again.  New standards, new curriculum, new classroom, but the same students as last year.  The latter is my comfort.  I don't get to loop, per se, but I know this group of students, and I adore them!  They can be challenging at times, but after watching them grow so much already, I can't wait to help them grow even more!

Right now, I'm trying to familiarize myself with the new standards I will be teaching.  I've already picked out which of the empty classrooms I want and my lovely husband helped me settle on a theme. 

We already visited Education Express and picked out the borders, background paper, and a few other miscellaneous items.  Now, I just need to find the owls and several other things.  I also need to go to Party City and get the poms and such!  I can't wait to see how it turns out.
Friday, August 1, 2014

Gearing Up

So, I have this yearly tradition when it comes to summer vacation. I never look at the school calendar to see when I am going back until August 1st.  It may sound silly, but I've always felt that if I looked before then, then my summer wouldn't be as enjoyable.  Not knowing when I am going back allows me to thoroughly enjoy myself and not worry about all the things to come until August.  A few of my colleagues think I'm strange to do this.  My husband supports it, though I think he thinks it's strange.  Hey, but to each their own, right?

Well, today is August the first and I woke up knowing that today was D-Day.  So, after having my morning bowl of cereal, catching a bit of the news, and taking my sweet furbaby Lucy for a quick potty trip in the rain, I decided it was time.  I sat down at my computer, logged onto my school's website, checked out the teacher's page and pulled up the master calendar.  And then there (dun dun dun!!), staring me in the face was the date of my first teacher workday:  August 18.

I went through several emotions: excitement, disbelief at how soon it was, and a twinge of disappointment (because this has been a fantastic summer!).  Despite the different emotions, however, I knew that it was time to start getting brain turned back onto teacher mode so I could begin gearing up for the start of (I hope!) another fabulous year.
Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Start of the Beginning

Over the past few years, I have been addicted to Pinterest.  With that addiction, I have been directed to so many amazing teacher blogs out there.  I have found so many wonderful resources and ideas for my classroom.  Needless to say, I was inspired!  I was inspired to start my very own blog.  I have always wanted a way to post the interesting things that happen within the walls of my classroom and to have a place to record some of the hilarious stories, so here I am!

This is the start of the beginning!