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I miss this blog. So much. 🙁  I cannot believe I only posted on here, like twice. I know my few followers have given up on me – and I deserve that. Can’t have an active blog if, well, it’s not active. So I think I will just type this up as if I were writing in my dear diary. Which I have never had. Alas, I digress.

Here I am 4 weeks away from the end. My first year of teaching first grade all done. Reflection is a HUGE part of teaching. I do it all the time. What can I do better? How can I do this? How can I make my assessments more meaningful? How can I get these kids to listen and want to follow instructions? How can I make it more fun for them?

I think about what I was doing the first week of school. Cutting. Laminating. Putting centers out that looked “cute” but had nothing to do with what I was teaching.  Forcing centers without structure. Expecting my kids (my fresh outta kindergarten kids) to know how to use their “quiet voice” without really going over it. Not practicing. Practicing the wrong way. Getting frustrated when they came up to me during my small groups and said “I’M DONE!” Small groups were a joke and I had no CLUE what I was doing with them. What a complete disaster I was! I thought to myself several times “WHY in the world are they letting me teach these kids?!” I knew what I had to do and I had so many grand ideas for my first graders – differentiation, reading activities, center games, projects, buy eye yi yi, I could NOT for the life of me, get it together!

Then December came. In the blink of an eye.  And we were getting better with centers. I was getting better with providing matching practice games/activities with what I was teaching — or at least that I had taught previously {thanks to TpT!!!!} And my small groups were getting much better. I started realizing what they needed. I knew their reading levels. I knew their learning styles. I knew what behavior management system worked with them. I knew that just because something was cute, doesn’t mean it should go into a center. {I cannot tell you how much money I spent on TpT buying things that I didn’t need — at that time. I look back now and I am SO excited that I have all of these goodies to use, and now I know how and when to use them!!}  I even made my own math journal activities and math tubs to beef up my math block. 

I know now what to do. I have a plan. I know the order in which I will teach phonics. I know what assessments I will use – and I have a TON! I have meaningful, differentiated small group activities. {I’m still working on some — I have a couple of 1st graders reading on a 4th/5th grade level, so that is still a current challenge.} , and I have centers coming out of my ears. And I know WHEN to use them! HOORAY!! I. THINK. I. ACTUALLY. KNOW. WHAT. THE. HECK. I. AM. DOING. Finally. April 26th. Ha!! Better late than never.

I still have some work to do. I will always have work to do as a teacher. I will never teach the perfect day. No teacher ever will. But, I will get better. I will look for ways to make my lessons more meaningful. I will look for more structure. I will look for behavior management options. I will change things. All the flippin time. And I’m ok with that!

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