Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pencils, Glue, Acronyms, and Theme

Six weeks into school and I already had to give my students the pencil and glue talk. You would hope that by fifth grade they could use glue sticks sparingly or not go through so many pencils...but it doesn't change.

They still paint or color with the glue sticks...still not sure why! I know we do a lot of gluing because of interactive notes, but I brought up the fact that I do the SAME things they do (because I always model my note or projects)...and I have yet to use half of a glue stick. I'm not sure if they believe me or even listened to me.

As for the pencils, at this rate we will be out of my stash by Christmas. I use my handy sharpened/broken buckets...but somehow both always seem to be empty, as well as the pencils box I keep in our bucket (I keep a class set of pencils in a little box that travels with us in our class caddy, this way when we go to the computer lab or specials and need pencils...well there they are!)

So after the famous speech of using resources wisely and sparingly I have a few of my girls that are on a crusade to save the pencils! I get daily updates of how many pencils we started with for the day, how many we currently have, how many were used...and so on. They also took it upon themselves to post these signs! I guess I can be happy they are using their math skills in real world situations!

As most of you know my class make up this year is a little different. I have a fourth/fifth grade combo, in a way. I have the students that failed the fourth grade state tests, yep they move them on to fifth grade and call them transition students. They have to be retaught the areas they still failed as well as learn the fifth grade content. Well I have about 10 of these students. Of course this is something that must be done with TONS of documentation. I had to meet with the parents prior to school or the first week of school to discuss what all of this meant and get them to sign the "okay" for the student to be in such a class...and now I am on round two of meetings to discuss the student's ILPs (individual learning plans), yep each of them have their own learning plans, much like a mod. plan or IEP (individual education plan), they are a working document. I also had to SST (student support team) each of them, to document what I am doing in the room to make them successful. I am swamped in paperwork! It's not an easy class to have. I guess I am thankful that most of them are great kids. Just need a lot of support.

I say all of this to express my JOY (sarcasm) of school related acronyms. I was sitting in said SST (student support team) meeting with our AP (assistant principal), school psychologist, speech/language teacher, a county interpreter, and a mom. I was telling mom of all the things we had in place for her student and what our plan was for one point I had to stop, look at my AP and make sure I was using the correct acronym. This student is a different case, not all my students have all this support, but pretty close. She is currently considered 4/5 transition therefore she has an ILP (individualized learning plan), she is also EL (use to be called ESOL, English Speaker of Other Languages)...but she is considered consult, she still has a MOD plan (modification plan), she is also SPED (special education) because she is in speech, she therefore has an IEP (individualized learning plan) for speech, she also qualifies for EIP (early intervention program) because of her low test scores, we are wanting to make sure she there is nothing else interfering with her learning so we will begin RTI (response to intervention) to do some progress monitoring, the psychologist will also be completing a full panel of tests to rule out any other learning weaknesses and strengths. Not to mention all the data we did review in this meeting from the CRCT, CoGAT, ITBS, and  BASC tests already administered. WHEW!!!! And that is one of my students. What are some of the acronyms you enJOY at your school?

FINALLY I am so excited to start working on our comparing and contrasting theme unit for reading. I built the unit off three books we have already read in our classroom and then found other books that have similar themes, so we can compare/contrast them. Here are the ones we will be using. LOVE these books!

Compare/Contrast with

 Compare/Contrast with

Compare/Contrast with

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!


Kelli said...

Oh Pink and Say! I cried when a professor read this to us in Grad school!!

Good luck to you with that 4/5 class! They are lucky to have you! It definitely sounds like a lot of work! Are they doing that for third graders that don't pass as well? Very interesting.

Tales From a Traveling Teacher

Katrina said...

We have a lot of acronyms in my district too. I think I could hold an entire conversation just using them. I have always wondered if parents really understand what we are talking about during conferences. But it is always worse for first year teachers. I know they have no clue what is being said because veteran teachers just assume everyone understands what's being said. With a new teacher on my grade level this year, we are constantly having to "translate" the conversation.

Good luck with the 4/5 split. I completely understand all the paperwork.


Tara said...

Thanks for sharing about those books:) I will be adding the ones I don't already have to my library:) I totally get the pencil thing....last year I was convinced that my students were eating them!!!! Several disappeared DAILY! Love the signs your kids made:) Too funny!

4th Grade Frolics

Anonymous said...

I'm in my 14th year of teaching 5th grade, and they never understand "All you need are 4 dots, one in each corner of your paper." Something about that glue :/

mrsyoung said...

I love Pink and Say! Need to check out Cecil's Story, haven't read that one. I can't wait to teach Civil War! Some of my FAV acronyms: SOL's (Standards of Learning), RtI (Response to Intervention), VGLA (Virginia Grade Level Alternative). I'm your FNF...Favorite Newest Follower! : )

Mrs. Young
Young Daze in 5th Grade

Heather (TeacherBug) said...

I really LOVE The Librarian of Basra. I think it provides a lot of opportunity to think about culture and differences in the way we live.

Sarah said...

21We have "schools in the middle" - for schools who have students stuck in the 'mid-range' instead of meeting expectations on the provincial standardized test. It's "SIM" but we can't help thinking "Stuck in the Middle" like the song;)

wvwc94 said...

I was laughing out loud when I read, "Pencils, Glue, Acronyms, and Theme". I love the sign that your students made warning about the pencils. Thanks for making me smile. :)