Last night at our school we made history!

Students, parents and teachers participated in our first ever iLEAP/LEAP/ Black History event. The 3-5th grade students and teachers participated in the event.

The teachers presented test taking strategies such as: process of elimination, UNERD ( underline the title, number the paragraphs, evaluate the questions, read and determine the answers), SSP (steal, sentence, prove), strategies for proof reading and information resources as well as how to differentiate between a multiplication and a division math word problem.

The students performed short skits, sang songs and recited poems. My class recited the poem "Go to the Back of the Bus Rosa Parks."

My cheerleaders also performed starting off the event.

Today was my first day back to work/school since our winter break. Today was Staff Development day and one of the topics on our agenda was Holy, 13.

So, what is Holy, 13? Holy 13 is the amount of points our school needs to grow in order to raise our grade as a school within our parish, and since it is the year 2013, thats what makes it holy. I guess?? Anyway, we need to grow 10 to maintain our grade, but three extra points would boost us to the next letter. So we are going for it! Our principal asked us to list 13 goals we have as educators for the remainder of the year.

Here is my 13!

1. Focused- I must stay focused on the skill for the week. I tend to want to cover so much with the students and fill their heads with as much information as possible, but sometimes I think I may overwhelm them and I think I also tend to overwhelm myself.

2. Motivate, Motivate, Motivate!- I borrowed this one from a co-worker. We have to motivate our students and be their cheerleaders. How else will they be successful unless they have someone cheering and challenging them to put forth their best effort.

3. Fluency- My goal is to implement fluency into my centers for the second half of the year. Students will read with a partner or listen to reading to increase their fluency.

4. Confer with students on their writing- My partner teacher, Mr. Martinez, who teaches English/Writing with me in the morning does a great job of conferring with our students about their writing. He gives them lots of immediate feedback and helps them in better developing their essays. I want to follow his model by conferring more with my afternoon group of students.

5. La Pass- Louisiana pass is a testing website students use to practice for our state test. I am also going to implement this into centers for the next few months. Students will log on and take practice tests charting their progress.

6. Guided Instruction for lower students- One thing I would like to really focus on with my lower achieving students is helping them apply the reading strategies with test like passages, cluing in on key words and helping them to answer test like questions.

7. Higher Expectations for Test Completeness- I say over and over again that I want students to show me their thinking while they take their test by using stop and think strategies that we have been working on each week. However, I still have a few students who don't use any strategies at all. So, from now on if students take their tests and don't apply those strategies, I will meet with those students to figure out why and how I can better meet their needs and we can discuss how they can better attain my expectation.

8. Re-state questions verbally and written- Many of my students have difficulty with short answer questions. They can give you the answer, but it is often at times very brief and not always complete. We will practice restating the question and then writing our answer using part of the question stem.

9. Differentiate homework for students

10. Positive Feedback- I want to give positive feedback to students more often.

11. Self Assess/ Reflection- There's an anchor chart I found on Pinterest that I want to re-create for my students to self-assess their work.

12. Goal Setting- When students return on Monday, they will begin setting academic and behavioral goals and stating how they will attain these goals. Our principal and assistant principal plan to meet with each student before testing to discuss their goals.

13. Integrate more Technology projects into my lessons.

What is one of your resolutions or goals for the new year with your students?
I know I'm a few days late, 3, to be exact but better late than never, right? I'm linking up with Farley from Oh' Boy Fourth Grade and lots of other bloggers. 

Listening- I am listening to the Today Show in the background. I usually get to listen to about 15 minutes of the show in the morning, but during the break I've been able to sit down and drink my coffee and enjoy the show.

Loving- Loving that I was able to sleep till 9am every morning during the break. This was due in part to my wonderful husband who took off of work during the holidays. He woke up with our three boys every morning.

Thinking- about all that I will do on my last day off today- SHOPPING! That's what I'll do. Hoping they still have lots of good sales.

Wanting- to update my house this year. I started yesterday with buying paint for the hallway bathroom, the twins' room and our kitchen. My husband started on the bathroom last night and it will be finished today. I also ordered a new shower curtain from WestElm to go in the hallway bathroom. This bathroom really needed an update for the boys. Now to decorate the walls!

Needing- to take down the Christmas decorations. I think out Christmas tree is staying up till the 9th. Thats's when they are coming by to pick up trees to use them to help in saving our wetlands. Other than that, I still need to pick up a few things outside and inside the house.

My One Little Word is FOCUSED- Let's just leave it at that!
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