Friday, March 19, 2010


I learned about Wordle while I was browsing a new blog. Currently I am brainstorming ways to use it in my classroom. The "sticky notes" on the site (thanks to fellow diigo users-a universal bookmarking site that also has many other features) helped me to understand it. However, before I use it in the classroom, I need to make sure it is used in a meaningful way that is more than just fun. What did I create my first wordle on? This site! Click here to see everything that is this site and the neat way wordle puts it together.

Teacher Appreciation

Borders is having 30% off this week for teachers. I'm not sure what their "Special Reception" entails, but it is Saturday the 20th from 2-6 pm. Take a look at the link to their site for more information.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Today I rearranged the classroom because the new seating order was not working out. Typically when this happens, it is to seperate two students who do not work well together or two students that are too chatty, and are not paying attention. Today it was the latter.

The difference in today's movement and movements I have made in the past, was that today it was between one of my better students. When I write "better students", I am not playing favorites. This is just a student who is very successful in school and seldom gets in trouble. When I approached her to let her know her seat would be moved, due to much talking with another student, she seemed surprised.

She said something to the effect of, "well both me and him [the other student she was conversing with] are getting our work done, we can listen and talk and we are not bothering other people". I told her that was true, but I do not allow others to talk while I am instructing and it would be no different for her. After school, I switched her seat with another student's.

It was surprising to me that she thought the rules did not apply to her in the same way that it applies to other students. It makes me wonder if maybe she was a 'teacher's pet' last year and therefore had different privileges. Or perhaps she is just not used to having consequences for her actions, as her actions are typically positive.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Life without a Smart Board

So the projector on the smart board went out a few days ago. We are suppose to be getting a new one, today, we shall see.

This has forced me not to rely on technology to aid my instruction. The students had to look at their worksheets and follow along on the page as I explained it, rather than look off of the document camera-shocker! *laughs*

The timer for timed tests was on the Smart Board (I had to improvise last second, because I didn't think of that until it was too late). Good old fashioned clocks work just fine, though!

My biggest adjustment was writing on the white board (which had been covered by the Smart Board). I slant my words upward unless I am really thinking about it. My students call it "the wave". As I tend to get writing, forget about it, then remember and come back down. One told me yesterday, "Good thing we are so smart we can read the wave", I'm glad my students have a sense of humor-because they certainly need it with me as the teacher. I'm not sure what my new student thinks of me. Probably that I am either a big goofball, because of the projector missing or that I am a Nazi, as the students have been rowdy of late.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Multiple Intelligences

I found this wonderful kid-friendly site to test my student's multiple intelligences. I integrated a computer station into after Illinois State Achievement Testing activities, so that my students could each take the test and I would have a better understanding of where their strengths lie. Ideally, I would have done this at the beginning of the year, but since I am just now able to officially take over the classroom (planning included), this is when it got accomplished.

Each student took the test. Some students I was surprised at their lack of confidence in their skills, as I thought some should have been much higher. Others tested right where I would have predicted them to test. The surprising thing, however, was how many of my students tested high in musical abilities. By taking a look at my results, it is clear that musical abilities are lacking, at best. So this is where my research began.

What can I do for these musical students?! I want to bring out their strong points and give them choices in how they are assessed based on the multiple intelligences, but how when I am so musically ungifted? My research tells me to allow students to write song lyrics related to the learned subject, preform a self written rap or make up sounds and sound effects. These options I can handle. The others included: giving presentations with appropriate musics accompaniment, write a new ending to a composition that explains the learned material, create a musical collage to depict the learned material and presenting a short musical on the learned material. How do I go about having my students be able to do the last set of things when I, myself couldn't do them?

I have a starting point (the easier ones), but I want to make this more meaningful for my students and to be able to incorporate this throughout the rest of the school year. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Today I learned that the students fully understand how important standardized testing is. I yawned while reading during read aloud (at the end of the day). One of the students said, "Miss Speerly, you need to get enough sleep tonight, ISATs are tomorrow morning". Students make me smile :D

Job Hunt

I attended the Illinois State University Job fair yesterday. It was incredible how many districts were there! Too bad there weren't more closer to where I am wanting to teach. Oh well. I have decided that I have put my resume out there, and it is now up to the administration to pick the teacher that will be best for their schools. I would rather wait than be in their positions (Lord, give me patience). I can't imagine interviewing hundreds of applicants, even one hundred would be daunting, in an attempt to find the one that is the correct match for the schools.

Good Luck to the administrators out there. I will be waiting to see if I am lucky enough to be considered for a position in your schools.