Mrs. Williams' Daily Reflections

All about my learning at Lee

January 5, 2016

Today was a very exciting day! I started the day by welcoming a new student, Anoreen, to the class. She seems very sweet! I am excited that we have another student in the class. When my class went to specials, I met with Yellow House and discussed our new Impact Challenge. We plan to launch it this week. How exciting! During our ELA lesson, we discussed comma rules. I'm not sure I had everyone's attention. I may need to adjust how I teach grammar in the future. After lunch, we had a really exciting number talk that involved mixed numbers and decimals. It was interesting to see my students try to add and subtract mixed numbers. Overall, it was a great day!

January 6, 2016

Even though I wasn't feeling my best today, I still had a good day. We started the day by exploring our new 4th grade Symbaloo. The learners seemed to really appreciate all of the resources on it. They especially liked Free Rice, a vocabulary website, and Duolingo, a language learning program. We reviewed expectations for our expository biography, which is due Friday. The learners have made great progress with this assignment, so I am really looking forward to reading their essays.

January 7, 2016

To be honest, I had just an okay day. I've had a terrible headache since last night, so it was hard for me to focus at school. Luckily I have a great class that is understanding about the fact that I'm a human too. I feel grateful to have them as my students. Hopefully tomorrow I will feel better.

My take away from today is that time management is everything. I've altered how we do our schedule and I really like it. I've seen it pay off this week. I hope my students like it just as much.

I'm also very proud of my students and how they performed on their January ISIP. ALL of my learners were on Tier 1, which is the highest level of reading. I am excited to share their results with the rest of our fourth grade team during our PLC meeting today.

January 10, 2016

I realize it's a weekend, but I needed a space to reflect. What better place to reflect about school than on my school reflection page? Today I worked almost a full work day to try to prepare for my students tomorrow... not that that is abnormal, but I felt completely energized doing it.

I am so excited for the school week ahead and hope my students are as well. We are going to learn a little bit more about one of my own interests -- the Holocaust -- and what we can learn from it moving forward. The literacy and social studies implications are huge. I can't wait. It's going to be a great week!

January 12, 2016

My biggest "hooray" today was when my class finally learned about what "Come and Take It" means. The Texas Revolution is my favorite Texas history subject to teach... I just can't imagine the bravery and courage that the Texans must have had to fight for their freedom. From the Conflict of Anahuac to the Battle of the Alamo, I'm intrigued by the politics and warfare involved with the Texas Revolution.

Even though grammar isn't my favorite thing to teach, I think my students are getting better with using commas. Conventions is one of the hardest things to learn in writing, and learning the rules can be boring. Hopefully learning a little bit at a time will make learning all these rules more interesting!

I'm really interested to find out what happens next in Number the Stars. I haven't read it since I was in grade school, but it was one of my favorite books as a child. Even though I can't really relate to the situation that Annemarie and Ellen are going through, I admire their courage to stand up for what is right.

Tomorrow is going to be a great day because we have a writing lesson! I'm so excited to see how my learners incorporate this week's writing lessons into their own compositions. Their first full draft is due Friday; I hope I am impressed!

January 13, 2016

Overall, today was a really great day! We learned a little bit about how to make strong conclusions, but I underestimated the amount of time that I needed to teach the lesson. Hopefully I will see evidence of their understanding in the writing this week, but if not, I will help them during small groups on Thursday and Friday.

After we finished writing, we finished learning about the Texas Revolution! I'm really pumped for the kiddos to explore their menu starting tomorrow. It has some fun options for them, but I think it will be informative too.

After lunch, things were pretty normal. We had our number talk, our Green Light time, then moved into small groups. Our class was pretty crazy during science time, but we had fun learning about the different forms of energy anyway. =)

Tomorrow I will be absent at school because I will be attending a math workshop to learn how to teach geometry and measurement better. Hopefully I come back with some new methods of teaching these math subjects!

January 15, 2016

After being at a workshop for math on Thursday, I was excited to be back at school with my students today! The substitute left notes about how great they were. I was really looking forward to seeing them today. =)

Because it was the last day of the second nine weeks, we had a spirit assembly. My favorite part of the assembly was when Aaratrika won LEEder of the Week. It makes me happy to make my students happy. I only wish I could recognize more than one a week! I really enjoyed the cup-stacking competition as well.

After the assembly, we came back and read a very calming chapter of Number of Stars. I'm predicting that "a storm" will be coming soon in the book. The book has been very suspenseful so far; I am anxious to get to the climax of the novel!

My students worked diligently during reading/writing workshop to finish their expository essays, take their spelling tests, and make sure they completed 2 sessions of iStation. I was very impressed by their work ethic and focus; it allowed me to meet with multiple students about their writing.

In the afternoon, we took our second 9 weeks math assessment. It went alright-- I need to review which concepts we're still struggling with and the ones that we have down pat. I think for the most part, my class is pretty solid. I am very proud of their progress in math.

We have a long weekend ahead and I CAN'T WAIT!

January 19, 2016

Today went by really fast; whole group lesson days always go by really fast! Our morning went by especially fast. We read a suspenseful chapter of Number the Stars, then my students met their new Enrichment teacher, Ms. Lucas. She seems very nice! I think the kids enjoyed her a lot. While the kiddos were at Enrichment, I had my MOY conference with Mrs. Kastrounis and Dr. Herauf. We talk about goals a lot in class, and just like they have goals, I have goals, too. Mrs. Kastrounis, Dr. Herauf, and I met together to discuss my goals and how I'm doing with them. My MOY conference was a great time to talk about what's going well, what I can improve in, and my next steps for my own professional journey.

After specials, we took our 9-weeks reading assessment. I was REALLY impressed with how well they did on it; I know our 4th grade team will be blown away by their results. They make me so proud! We concluded our morning with a writing lesson that I think will help our class be more on track and focused during reading/writing workshop. They now have an outline to use during workshop so they can focus less on brainstorming and more on writing.

The afternoon didn't really go like I planned. I had planned an interactive Counting Cogs lesson, but didn't realize that it couldn't be done on the iPads. We had to improvise a little bit and do a numberless word problem to launch our division unit, but I still think the learners enjoyed it nonetheless.

It was a great day-- I'm looking forward to a full week of zones and workshop!

January 20, 2016

Overall, today was a great day! Since we are short on time, I will just write about my favorite part of the day. My best moment of the day was when all of my groups figured out how to light a lightbulb. It took a bit of struggle, but eventually they figured out that they needed a battery, bulb, and wire! It was a really fun, engaging experiment. I am looking forward to learning more about circuits, conductors, and insulators this week!