Report cards time!

Yep! It’s that time of the year again (actually one of the three times of the year!) And to think that the teachers in the US are already done with it! Ough! :P It really is not that bad. I never felt so ready and organised about it. Now if I can just stop organizing and start grading, that would be great!

I did not share anything lately because of that. So much to do! I’ll catch up, I promise! I had so many great things going on! The one I want to talk about today is an evaluation I made today. I have to evaluate odd and even numbers, “ordre croissant et décroissant” and number pattern. Some of my kiddos really get stuck whenever there is writing involved. I did not want them to fail this assessment because of that. I also wanted  to do more differentiation in math. I found the perfect idea.

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I created a sheet to be used with sticker dots. I glued the stripe to the sheet (No Mme Lysiaaaaane! I lost one!!!!) All you have to do is stick them to the right place! The kids will just love it and won’t probably realized it’s a test!

Confession of a new teacher

C’est ma première année d’enseignement à temps plein. J’ai étudié 7 ans à l’université avant de trouver mon chemin, du moins, ce bout de chemin-là. J’ai trouvé mon école de rêve, mais comme je ne faisais qu’un remplacement de quelques mois (jusqu’à la fin février), j’ai trouvé autre chose, dans une très belle et accueillante école, mais 2 fois plus loin de chez moi. Pas évident en partant. Mais bon, je commence, je mange mes croutes, j’apprends à tous les jours, je ne me plains pas trop. Sauf quand les enfants sont pas du monde!

Le fait est qu’en temps que nouveau prof, on peut être super apprécié par certains. On a l’énergie, la naiveté, la créativité, on n’a souvent pas de famille alors on se donne corps et âme dans notre travail, souvent trop. Mais il y a aussi l’autre côté de la médaille. On a les groupes et les contrats que personne veut, on arrive au milieu de l’année ou on n’a pas 100% de tâche, on se fait regarder par les parents comme si on ne connaissait rien et qu’ils en savent toujours plus que nous. Combien de nouveau prof s’est fait demandé par un parent: “En avez-vous, vous des enfants? Vous m’en reparlerez!” Ma mère, sage orthopédagogue à la retraite, m’a suggéré la réponse suivante: ” Avez-vous déjà été prof, vous? Vous m’en reparlerez!”

Et puis il y a les autres enseignants. Disons-le, c’est un milieu de filles. Pas de femmes, de filles. Parce que des fois, on se croit à l’école secondaire. J’ai grandi dans des écoles. Les partys d’amis de ma mère, c’était des profs. Presque tous les profs que j’ai eu durant mon primaire étaient déjà venu prendre un verre chez moi. Et j’en savais beaucoup plus sur eux et leurs interactions qu’ils auraient voulu que j’en sachs. Vous savez les niaiseries de filles au secondaire? Ben souvent elles se sont transportées à l’université dans les programmes d’enseignement (c’est pourquoi le monde de linguistique n’aiment pas les cours communs avec éducation) et ces niaiseries-là se transportent trop souvent dans les écoles, principalement primaire. Mon expérience de stage au secondaire ne me permet pas de m’étendre sur le sujet.

Ce n’est pas SI pire que ça. C’est juste qu’une fois de temps en temps, tu as un prof qui lance quelque chose à un jeune (genre first year teacher) pour lui faire sentir que tu sais pas encore comment ça marche, que eux, dans leur temps, ils n’auraient jamais osé, que la jeune génération (!) n’a pas le même respect envers les gens d’expérience qu’eux… Bref, qui te fait sentir comme une petite merde qui connait rien. La joie.

Et je suis certaine que beaucoup ne le font pas intentionnellement. Le sentiment en résultant est le même. Heureusement il y a les autres fois où ces mêmes collègues nous font sentir en sécurité, qu’ils te conseillent sans jamais te faire sentir que tu as BESOIN de leur conseil. C’est fragile l’orgueil et la confiance de nouveaux profs! Je suis entourée d’une équipe incroyable depuis le début de l’année (well… deux équipes incroyables). J’apprends énormément et je sais que j’ai encore beaucoup à apprendre.

J’adore mon travail, même si c’en est pas un facile.

My little monsters!

I say that in the sweetest possible way! At 6 and 7 years old, they are certainly not monks or even remotely serious! But that’s how I love them! I threw away the green-yellow-red light system that the teacher before me used and I implemented my own system, one I used at my previous school but that I can now improve to fit my little ones. If you have not heard of this website (and I know some of my classmates from uni probably have not) you HAVE to go and try it! It’s Classdojo!

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It’s fairly simple to use. I use my smartphone in class to award good points to the students who are doing good things (helping others, being on task, great team work, speaking French…) and I can also remove points when they break one of our class rule (being off task, disrespectful, talk without raising their hand or do not follow instructions) When they get 35 points, they can choose a reward from the reward poster.

We went to the computer lab on Friday and the kids got to customize their monster. I printed them with their names and glued them on the class door. I can’t wait to see their face on Monday when they see them.

I was really impressed with the impact of Classdojo on my own little monsters. I’ve never seen them so helpful and concentrated! The classroom atmosphere was so nice, full of positive energy! I just hope that last!

Keeping track…

I knew this would happen! Life catching up, still things I want to post about but very little time and energy to do so. And I admit it, my kiddos have not been very cooperative up until last week. I got the confirmation that I would finish the year with them, but the rythm was still not the one of a regular classroom. The kids were still acting as if I was a sub. And it can be honestly exausting! I made a lot of change in my class, put some kids on a behavior tracker, turned the desk to the front of the class, in teams of two or three (instead of the teams of 4 they had since the beginning of the year), bought a Yacker Tracker and, most importantly, started using Classdojo with them. But I’ll talk about that later.

Today, I wanted to share my craft of the weekend. I have so many things to think about already, keeping track of who is where is not someting I want to spend mental energy on. I had clips for the bathrooms, but my boys broke theirs. I was back at square one.

I decided to have a little fun with pattered tape again. Here is what I came up with.

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Cookie pan, tape, label stickers and basic dollarstore magnets.

The kids can just move their magnet when I give them permission to leave the room. If another one asks me to go, a look at the board tells me if the other one is back (I probably don’t even remember who I just said yes to, I have the memory of a goldfish sometimes!) I trust my kiddos to be responsible enough to move their magnet when needed. This first week with it will tell!

Friday afternoon, before a long weekend

What else was I supposed to do other than an Easter craft? I really had no choice, especially since I gave a dictée in the morning. So bouncy Easter character it was!

I talked a few days ago about a page I found on Google image, showing a craft with plastic eggs. It needed preparation and patience, but we made it! The hot glue gun was the main problem, since my kiddos are 6 and 7. So they would come up to me when they had 2 or 3 pieces to glue, and were doing the rest at their seat.

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We added pompoms for the frogs’ eyes, cotton for the bunny’s tail, and feathers on top of the chicks head. Te googly eyes were a must and I let the kids play with the Sharpies to draw the face.

The result was really cute! The kids were so happy to bring that home!

P.S. Sadly, I can’t post what I used as template for the feet, hands, wings, and ears, because I basically cropped part of coloring page found on internet.

A little maths and craft

I finally found time in my day to make an educational craft with my little ones. I prepared it long ago, but could never find the time. What a bad teacher I am! ;)

I wanted the kids to create a problem based on a subtraction. I created the worksheet for them to work on so it would be easier to manage.

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They chose numbers that would fit the problem, cut the basket and glued it on paper. The tricky part started for some of them. How many eggs did they need to cut and glue in and out of their basket. I could easily see the ones who understood subtraction and the ones who just knew their table by heart.

It was an opportunity at the same time to assess their fine motor skills, with the cutting of the basket and the eggs (that they had to trace before cutting them.)

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Easter is coming

Some more creating fun on the way! Plus, it will be rewarded by a 5 days weekend since Tuesday is a work off ped day! It gives me just enough strength to finish this week I barely started.

The kids are so excited these days! They take all my energy! Fortunately, I came up with a few things that are making my life easier, just a little bit. Fisrt, there’s the “I’m invisible” button. When the light is on, the kids know they are not to talk to me, or the person I am with. I can then mark a few things without being interrupted and it gives a chance to the children to be a little bit more independent. So far, it is working, but I only used it today!

I’ve been slacking up on my workshops last week. Hopefully, I’ll get back on track for the 3 days left to this week. I created one especially for Easter. I printed images related to Easter, small enough to fit in a plastic egg. I then put the letters to spell the word of what is represented in the image, making sure they were numbered to be able to know which letter goes in which egg in case they “accidentally” get mixed up by the kids! ;)

Ta-da! instant workshop! I’ll put the documents I created online tonight when I get home.

I found a craft to do with the eggs as well. Something I found online (not even with Pinterest! Wow!) that could easily be done by my students little hand, given the proper preparation. They are hoppy bunny, frog and chick. It will look awesome hanged on my class ceiling! I’ll post my class result soon!

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