#ReflectiveTeacher Blog Day Challenges Days 22, 23, 24 & 25!!!!!

classroom management, reflections

Day 22 – My PLN.  This is a new term for me that I cannot believe I missed out on all of this time.  Right now I have been using Twitter to search for new ideas.  I have been blogging, also new, but I was hoping for some more advice.  That’s ok though.  I am interested in contributing to the #langchat discussions, however, I am not always familiar with the topic.  Somehow, I have missed some important concepts and tools of teaching these past four years as a teacher.  I am excited though to use these networks to grow and become a more proficient Spanish teacher so that I can get my students to reach proficient fluency as well.

Day 23 – I would love to meaningfully involve my school’s community in the learning of my classroom but I am not doing this currently.  Last year I did have a website, but my students barely knew it existed even though it was on the board all year and I mentioned it every single day.  Therefore, I have not started up a new classroom website just yet.  I would like to try google classroom for my students though or another site.  I am not sure which is best and will meet all of my and my students needs.  I was using google sites last year.  Any ideas for best class site?

Day 24 – I have been hearing more and more TCI and TPRS.  While I thought these were strategies that I learned about in my foreign language education courses, apparently it encompasses more than what I already know.  I work in a school where I think my students’ access to technology outside of school is limited, so right now I would rather focus on something with which I can see the results working in front of me.  Flipped classroom sounds great but in this setting I know the students would never do the work outside of school unfortunately.

Day 25 – I want to see my students helping one another more in their interactions.  I want them to only speak Spanish.  When someone doesn’t know an answer, I want someone to give hints in Spanish to help their peer.  I want them to use more circumlocution and not get discouraged and complain when they don’t understand every single word that is presented to them.  I want them to be more positive and patient and QUIET so that they are receptive to instruction and learning.  I still haven’t gotten the classroom management underway and it has been very very hard.  I am not a brand new teacher, but I believe this is the worst I have experienced.  I have been very discouraged.  I want to use all of these new ideas to teach my students but I can barely teach some classes anything without them acting up and being disrespectful.  I have gone over rules and procedures many times but it hasn’t helped.  I spend each day staying a couple hours over calling parents and writing referrals.  I really don’t know what to do, but I hope to make some improvements and it better be soon.

#ReflectiveTeacher Blog Challenge Day 16 – thunder ring –> NEED ADVICE

classroom management

Ok, so my superpower would NOT be blasting the students with a magic ring of thunder.  My superpower would be that I could turn and face them and simply say “shhhhhhhhhh” towards them and they would all silence.  I have a really difficult class this year that won’t stop talking.  I really need some advice.  I have no idea what to do.  Those that want to learn have been suffering these past few weeks.  I’ve moved seats, I’ve written referrals, I’ve called homes, I’ve tried talking to them about the importance of Spanish, and I cannot win.  If anyone has had a particularly unruly class that they’ve had success with I would be extremely grateful for some advice.  Thanks:)

Reflections Day 5 – minha classe

classroom management

Ok so I don’t teach Portuguese but I’ve taken some classes and I love it.  I teach Spanish 2, Spanish 3, Spanish 3 Honors and Spanish 4 mixed levels.  I’ve mentioned previously that I’m in a new school from last year that is same school district but different from where I was.  There are pros and cons but one of the pros is the classroom situation.  We’ll there are actually 2 but the main one has the potential to be pretty amazing and pretty much already is.  The changes I believe that need to be made are on my end really.

I took someone’s place who pretty much left everything (good and bad) and being that I only found out one week before school started where I would even be, there wasn’t as much time as I would’ve liked available to get organized. Not knowing where I would be until last minute and having more preps than I’ve had in the past, and also probably having some summer Portuguese classes on the brain are all elements that have contributed to my disorganization and sense of being overwhelmed.  Therefore, it’s no surprise that some of my classes have not really gone exactly as planned.

I don’t have a picture right now, but the room where I teach 4 out of 5 classes has about 30-some desks, chalkboards (still) two monitors a projector and a smart board and an iPad cart.  It’s nuts.  There were 3 monitors on the desk, but I sent one away.  The teacher from this room was also the tech guy – no surprise.

So chalkboard is useless and messy because the projector screen doesn’t go up right in the middle and the smart board is mounted on the right hand side so the left small portion is the only place I can write.  There’s a left chalkboard  but I forgot to mention – there are six student computers!  Perfect for speaking assessments. And the projector is not hooked up to the second computer right now (it’s in the ceiling).

But…oh gosh this is getting boring.  Anyhow, I need some order.  Objectives on tiny board space – no good. Once everything is running I will prob use the other computer for power points and objectives and the smart board for going over stuff the students can see.  It will be where I ‘write on the board’ and do Elmo stuff, there’s also one of those too if necessary.

Warm ups smart board.  I’ve been having trouble keeping the students on task and from talking, but today I noticed that when I simply wrote answers, or allowed them to write answers on the smart board they weren’t talking over me asking what we were doing or what number we were on to their peers across the room.  Also I realized yesterday that they don’t fully understand the procedures, such as the warm-up.  Last year even though I said it everyday, it took quite some time for the kids to get it, to pick up handouts, or get their missed work, even though I reminded them everyday.

And the discipline procedure is: break rule, you get a warning, call home, then a referral and once you hit referral level, you get another referral each time you break the rule.  I also found out that when you have to ask two or three times they are moving up that ladder, even if in the same class.  That is where you stay until the end of the marking period in which it is reset.  This is school wide.  We have a new principal this year who is working hard to get things in order and if everyone is on board, we will limit the discipline issues for sure.  Some of the main rules are no cell phones, no food, and I guess I better check the rest, but mine are pretty simple, just raise hands, no talking out of turn, no disrespect, come in sit down and get started on the warm up…etc.

So plan is, re-explain the expectations, and the consequences and the few procedures, get the electronics and instructional space organized, make it all consistent and get rolling so that these kids can become proficient because they are all capable.  And year five, maybe I’ll get it right from day one.  (This is my 4th year)

So question to you all, I’ve already written referrals.  Should I re-explain and wipe slate clean, or keep my slate?  I’m sure I mentioned the order of disciplinary action but I forgot about the non reset until end of marking period.  I also didn’t realize I was supposed to let it escalate to referral level in one class period.  In past years I’ve always believed in trying to reach a parent before writing a referral which is probably why I didn’t think it could all happen in one class.  I guess I didn’t listen to everything in the PD first week.  My mind was in my classroom, maybe.



la segunda semana

classroom management

Too many ideas, not enough time to get organized

Last week was the first week of school for me in a new school that is pretty different from where I was last year. Being new to this school district last year, I was furloughed and then reassigned to a different location since I only had one year’s worth of seniority. I am excited for this new challenge, as I know it will definitely be a huge one.

The first week was more than stressful and extremely exhausting. I am hoping and praying for the ability to overcome the challenge before me by stimulating my students with tons of interesting ideas that engage them in their exploration of Spanish speaking cultures. This assignment is going to take a lot of thinking outside of the box and A LOT of hard work. Hopefully by blogging and searching for ideas on Twitter I can come up with neat ways to make the language accessible to these students.

They are a difficult bunch, many of them declaring that they don’t know Spanish and don’t understand me the few times I tried to use the Target Language when I wasn’t busy managing the classroom behavior. Instead of 5 students that talk out, try 20 out of 24 all during instruction. In addition I have more preps than normal (Spanish 4, Spanish 3 CAS – advanced, Spanish 3 PSP – reg, and Spanish 2 – reg.). I have a ton of materials to pull from even in my short 4 years of teaching but I think I have to really reach high to create more thematic units and making instruction more meaningful because a regularly structured lesson plan is not going to work for this group, I’m afraid. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, but in the meantime, I will be striving to find resources to assist me in this test I have been dealt to improve my teaching.