Thursday, February 12, 2009

I get to sleep in (no class till 8:30!!) tomorrow

I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable with my kids but I'm still nervous about officially starting to teach next week. I'll be in charge of the whole day except for math--but S teachers math twice for 70 minutes each time so really its a lot of time I don't have to worry about.

Speaking of math, it was my favorite part of the day today. They are working on division right now. S does timed tests which I really don't like but I do think it makes them really work hard to learn the multiplication and division facts. The two math classes are split by ability. In the first class they almost all pass the tests every time. In the second class I think there are only 3 or 4 who have passed everyday. They get to play a lot of fun games to learn them though. That's mostly what I do with the kids while S works with a small group. Today D--one of my favorite kids--got in trouble during recess which is right before math. He is EBD so he has a really hard time of cooling down on his own. S asked if he wanted to practice his 2s in division since he still hadn't passed them. He said yes so she asked if he wanted her to help him or if he wanted Miss Bracken. He chose me!! And after we practiced he passed!!! A little girl named T didn't pass her 2s though and she was really sad and started to cry. She has a twin sister who is in the high math class and has done well on her division tests so I think that might have something to do with it. S said that if T wanted she could retry the test in a little while after practicing some more with me. So I worked with her and then she passed too! I think that both D and T know how to do division they just can't do it very fast and aren't good under pressure.

Another good part of my day was when I was walking back to the classroom after bringing my kids to art. A little kindergarten boy passed me and I said hi and he ran up and hugged me. He was missing a bunch of teeth and couldn't talk very well. It was really cute.


  1. I think you're right about working under pressure. When B was in 2nd grade they had timed tests for addition and subtraction. When they passed a test their name was put on a big chart in the hall. B was excellent at math and had been doing addition and subtraction since before kindergarten, but the timed tests stressed her out. As more names were added to the charts the more stressed she became and she started doing worse and worse on the tests. The teacher (Dixie) was worried and talked to me. She let me take home one of the timed tests to practice. The next day B passed ALL of the addition/subtraction tests, including some that no one had yet passed, and got her name on EVERY chart (hers was the only name on several). You practicing with Dakota and Trinity was kind of the same. You gave them confidence! That's about the best thing a teacher can do for a student.

  2. I thought of that story about me when I read this too! I hope Dakota and Trinity don't turn out to be big fat perfectionists like your big sister.