Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Need a Hall Pass!

I don't even know where to begin. Today was terrible. To start things off, today was our 4th indoor recess in a row. We aren't allowed to send the kids out of it's less than 20 degrees. If it's between 20-25, they get 15 minutes in and 15 minutes out. This week, I think the high "feels like" temperature in beautiful, central Pennsylvania, has been 19. UGH. My kids are really well behaved during indoor recess, but I really like that 30 minutes of precious ME time to get ready for the afternoon.

To top things off, we had a math test today. Here's why I hate math tests and first grade. Our math series is super language heavy, and most of my kiddos can't read the problems on their own, so I read all the test questions to them, and we go through every test one problem at a time. It's fine for the first few problems, then I'm about ready to rip my hair out when half the class is working ahead, a few are right with me, and there's a few that forget to raise their hands if I'm going too fast. It's usually fine, and I try to remain calm.

Except for today.

While walking around the room and monitoring progress during the test, one of my firsties raised his hand and snapped at me to get my attention.... I had no words.

Which brings me to my post... Do you ever feel like you need a little break to breathe? A hall pass, shall we say?  Today, I wish I had one. I'm linking up with Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits for my hall pass!  Check out her post, and join in the fun!

My favorite product in my TpT store right now is actually a FREEBIE! If you haven't downloaded Ka-Pow!, my nonsense word freebie, check it out! I'm quickly turning into a clipart junkie, and my favorite pack is the Super-hero pack I found from Digital Bakeshop.

Here's a picture of my favorite area of my classroom. There are SO many reasons that I love my carpet area. (Sorry for the terrible picture, I snapped it on my phone as I furiously rushed out of school this afternoon!) I LOVE my carpet that I found at Target. I just wish I'd had it from the beginning of the school year, because I know my low reading group could have really utilized it to practice letter sounds. I've got tons of Christmas lights in my room, because I love leaving the overhead lights off while the kids are working - keeps them super calm! Did you see the fun ladybug and star lamps on the wall? IKEA! (My home away from home. I could literally live there).

I've got a handful of go-to signals that I use for transitions. One of my favorites is "put your finger on your nose, so I KNOWS you're listening!" Forces them to drop what they're doing. Love it. My ALL-TIME favorite signal isn't technically a signal, but who cares. I can't stand when my kids put their heads down on their desks while I'm teaching. Drives me nuts. I'm learning to deal with it. I've found a way to make light of the situation. (Actually, my wife, who's an AMAZING 9th grade English teacher, dreamed this one up. I know. 9th grade. English. I'd rather die). You know that song "Keep Your Head Up" by Andy Grammer? I've taken to singing a kid's name in the song if they've got their head down. It goes a little something like this... "Bradley, pick your head up" and the whole class goes "Whoaaaa!" Makes me smile instead of getting angry!

I would die without my coffee. No lie. I have a one-cup Keurig in my classroom that's kind of hiding on the counter by the sink beside a really big box because I'm not sure if I'm even allowed to have it in my room but if it gets taken away I'll cry so I'm hiding it just in case. What I love most about my Keurig... my students know the sound it makes when it's done brewing. Someone will usually come over to me to let me know my coffee is done. They're angels, I swear.

If you're not a blogger, please share some of the things that keep you going! I'm always looking for more transition signals and ways to stay sane! 

Also, pick YOUR head up, it's almost Friday!


Kelly said...

Love your reading area & your signals. I absolutely can't stand when the kids put their hands down mid-lesson! Definitely going to try that one :)

First Grade Fairytales

Kim said...

Hi Mr. First Grade! Found you on Reagan's linky and am your newest follower! I LOVE your signal for students with their heads down! I can't wait to use it!

Holly said...

I also found you over at the linky party. This year I have SO many first graders who are putting their heads down. I haven't experienced this crazy's driving me bonkers!!! I'll have to try out your song...

Great to be following you!

Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

Christy said...

Love your room! It looks very inviting and I am sure that your Littles love learning there. I would love to *hide* a Keurig in my room, but the custodian in my building is sort of a Nazi about certain things. I have been lobbying hard for one to be purchased for our lounge.


Positively Learning said...

I'm totally with you on the K-Cups! I would truly be unable to teach without coffee. My students are also very protective of my coffee, so sweet :)

Reagan Tunstall said...

Gray chevron, gorgeous classroom, hilarious signal, and coffee drinker! I love it all! Thanks for linking up!

Tamera said...

Love your area. The tree is so cute and I love the low shelves.