August 20, 2011

First Week Back & Last Call for Giveaway

The first week back to work is always so exhausting and that's without the kids!  I have to rebuild my own stamina and get back on a normal sleep schedule. Every day this week required Starbucks! 

We actually go back a full week before the students. By Wednesday, we had already sat through 2 full days of meetings/presentations, but the fun didn't stop there. Wednesday was district curriculum day! All 4th grade teachers went to another all day affair regarding math and the new STAAR test. It is definitely going to be more rigorous than the TAKS test. 75% of the problems on the test will have mathematical processing skills embedded, which basically means we need to step it up in problem solving skills.  I like where this is going, because I do think problem solving skills are the skills that these kids NEED for the future.  That being said, I know it is something that many of our students struggle with.  It's a little nerve-wracking, but I know our kiddos can do it. Any other Texas teachers feeling some anxiety with the new STAAR?  Comment below...we may need to start a support group.

Meet the Teacher was Thursday night and  a huge success!  I had all but three of my students come and say hello.  Since I am looping with nearly half my class, it was fun to see so many kids and parents that I already knew.  All of the students were very friendly and eager to say hello. I even got hugs from the newbies! We are going to be an awesome class... I can just tell. :)

So, school starts on Monday and I'm as ready as I am going to be.  I only have one more thing to figure out.  What will my clean-up song be this year?  I'm hoping to speed up the end of the day routine by giving a time limit in a fun way. I figure we can all sing along, clean, and pack.  Hmmm... I like the 50's hit "Yackity Yack" and I could see the kids really getting into saying, "yackity yack, don't talk back." But, I'm not sold on the idea. I also thought about the Mission Impossible theme, but no words.  I just can't decide.
Any song suggestions?  Please comment below with your ideas.

 Finally, don't forget...

Expo markers are a teacher's best friend and the giveaway ends tonight!
 I will announce a winner tomorrow.


  1. I am a 5th grade teacher in Texas and definitely feeling the heat regarding STARR. Especially since I am at a school that was Academically Acceptable last year and we have been told that basically we have to get up to exemplary level this year (even though we get the same rating for 2 years)! Need lots of support!

  2. Oh my goodness I know what you mean. Last week was preplanning for me also and I was so tired! I also hit up the Starbucks more last week than I usually do. I wish the best of luck with your school year!!!

  3. All I can say is YIKES! They told us that the kids who got commended on the TAKS will be likely to pass STAAR....holy smokes Batman! We are an exemplary campus but we are still freaking out. And then 4th grade has 2 days of writing????? Reading and Math are timed????? OMG!!!!!!!!!! I will take any support I can get!!!!!!!!!!


  4. Wow, I love Texas, but I feel for y'all!!! The LEAP in Louisiana is stressful enough! When will they realize that testing the kids to death isn't beneficial for them?

    I like the idea of doing an end-of-the-day cleanup song! I just bought some songs for the morning: We're All In This Together from the High School Musical Soundtrack, Celebrate You by Corbin Bleu, Smile by Uncle Kracker, Somewhere Over the Rainbowby Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, and
    Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. Can't wait to hear what you choose!


  5. All the new info on STAAR blew me away. What I have the most problem with is that we won't get the results until Dec. 2012. I always like knowing where I need to focus, and have used my scores to do that in the past. Guess I will just wait it out...

  6. I am a 5th grade Math teacher in Texas and I am DEFINITELY feeling the pressure. I just wish I knew what it looked like?!? I depended a lot on the released TAKS tests to do practice problems. Anything y'all find out, I would be interested in knowing....Glad to find your blog.


Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts!