Wow! This school year has gotten off to a bang! I must say I LOVE my class this year. They are an AWESOME group of kiddos. I was totally prepared for this to be my last year in fifth grade, so what does God do - He gives me a teaser by giving me a group of kids that reminds me why I moved to fifth in the first place and how much fun it can be. However, this year has been full of challenges. We have changed our work hours 3 different times so far so I never know now when I am supposed to be at work and when I can leave. We are possibly having off Monday due to Tropical Storm Isaac, but no one knows. Our school is a shelter for a command post for Emergency Workers so today I had to put up a lot of the stuff I just put up 3 weeks ago - wow can't believe I have only been back 2.5 weeks so far - feels like forever. My kids are so good that I feel like we must already be in October/November already. I must admit I feel a HUGE part of it is that I have fallen in love. L-O-V-E with my new main squeeze - whole brain teaching! It is AMAZING. Thank you Pinterest and you fellow bloggers who led me to this lovely universe. I also must thank whoever came up with the "clip" behavior chart. It holds me so much more accountable. The whole brain teaching thing is just wonderful though. It saves me so many teacher hours of lecturing that i find at the end of the day we have time leftover because the time I used to factor in my day as "lost" time, isn't there any more. I am flabbergasted daily at how well this works, even for my big, bad fifth graders who I thought would look at me and laugh the first time I said "Class, Yes" and then I thought they would laugh again when I added in "Eyes and Hands". But, they LOVE it. Especially since they consistently beat the teacher. And, I don't have to lecture anymore about wasted time for talking (which is also wasted time). The eye-opener was when I earned my 3rd point to their 1 the first day and one of my lovelies said "I couldn't hear you - that's not fair." To which I replied, "And, that's the point!" Of course his make me laugh reply was, "Oh, so we DID get the point?" which nicely led to a vocabulary lesson. Anyway, before I get off my whole brain soapbox, if you aren't doing whole brain teaching - try looking into it. It is bringing me so much sanity. Did I feel dumb the first time I did it, Yes. But come on, aren't we all actors and actresses in disguise anyway?!
On another note. I got my Pencil Sharpener from http://www.classroomfriendlysupplies.com/. The kids and I are in love with it. I have never seen such a great classroom tool. I really thought the buzz was crazy (I mean come on it's a pencil sharpener), but OMG! It is FABULOUS! Pencils are sharpened from brand new to pointy perfection in about 10 seconds or less. It is quick, quiet, and oh-so-easy to use. I have shown it to a few fellow teachers who are equally impressed. The next goal is to get my principal to purchase some for us. I love the suggestion a former colleague of mine had, which is she bought one for each table group. How cool! Kids then never have to ask to get up to sharpen a pencil and since it is so quiet & quick, having students sharpen at their table isn't distracting to others. I highly recommend this product to others!