Friday, August 23, 2013

Confessions of a Combo Class Teacher -- Survival

Well, I made it through the first week of school! And boy was it a tiring week! After a teacher orientation week of meeting galore the first week ended with me feeling totally exhausted. It was a fantastic week though. I can already tell that this is going to be a great year. I love my class of 2nd and 3rd graders. What a sweet group of kiddos. 

The combo class this year is definitely causing me to think outside the box. I can't teach things the way I usually teach it because the 2nd graders won't necessarily be able to follow. Some of them can, don't get me wrong, but there are others who cannot. History for instance. Usually the 3rd graders and I read through the textbook all together. It generally takes a while for them to figure out how to follow along in the book, but we get there after a few days. 2nd graders aren't ready for that at all. Over the last few days of teaching history I've taken to having a few 3rd graders read and then I talk about what they've read as if I'm telling a story to the class. While the 3rd grader is ready the 2nd graders are a little glassy-eyed. But I can get their attention back when I retell it to them or continue on to the next paragraph. I'm not sure if that is the best way to do it or not, but for yesterday and today it worked pretty well. Today when I said we were moving on to history a few of the 2nd graders whispered "yes!" under their breath. That made my heart happy for sure. 

So as I said before, I'll be thinking outside the box all year long. But I think that is good. At the end of last year I was feeling like I was stuck in a rut. It is easy just to teach what the textbook gives you...especially when you are ready for summer. Now I'm having to really think about how I'm going to keep the 2nd graders engaged and challenge the 3rd graders. So I'm constantly searching pinterest and to find new ideas of how to teach my students. 

But right now I'm sitting on my bed relaxing. And I intend to do that for the rest of the evening! So there! :) As much as I love my job, I'm thrilled that tomorrow is the first Saturday of the school year and I don't have to set my alarm clock for any reason. (Huge sigh of relief!) 

Below are a few pictures of my classroom. I bought burlap this year to cover my bulletin boards. I love how bright and colorful they look! I took these before school started, there is student work up on them now. 

Enjoy your weekend! 

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

Looks GREAT!!!! How fun! The burlap looks amazing! You are an amazing teacher! :) Excited to read about all of your adventures this year! I had a moment of nostalgia seeing that silver chair - oh sweet 3rd grade memories!