Thursday, December 20, 2012

I've found a HOME!

After a week of interviews, I have finally found a home!  I have been offered a job at Thomasville Heights Elementary School!  I am VERY excited!!!!  I will be teaching Kindergarten after my orientation on January 9th, 2013!  I will be using the break to gather materials and create a blog for my new classroom!  Please provide me with any tips that you think are beneficial for a first year teacher!  Go Cougars!

Friday, December 14, 2012


The day is finally here!  The day this student teacher ends her college career and begins a new chapter in her life!  I am so thankful that this day has finally come!  It feels very surreal...almost like it may not be true!  Alas, it is very real and what a wonderful reality it is!  My commencement was at 10AM this morning on Kennesaw State University's campus!  Here are a few wonderful family photos that were taken this morning:

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Last Day : (

It is my last day and I am sad to say that I will miss everyone very dearly.  I have fallen in love with the enthusiasm of my students and the family-like atmosphere of the staff.  I could not have been placed at a better school for my student teaching experience.  I am grateful that I was able to meet everyone and I hope that I can bring this wonderful feeling with me to my next school! 

My amazing fifth grade class on my last day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Program

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!  This was taken at our school's holiday program held every year, after school, around December 4th!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Art Partners Program

Fun-filled, Fantastic Friday at the Woodruff Arts Center for an Arts Partners Program! 
     Our fifth grade team attended this program to get a good look at how we could incorporate music in the classroom.  We were shown a lot  of fun and interesting ways to make this happen with every subject.  The program focused on how the teachers could successful step back during their lessons and how they could get the students to successfully collaborate together.  (We all discussed how collaboration is an important skill to teach because it is a necessary life skill and students have to realize that sometimes they cannot achieve certain goals on their own.)
    At the end of the program we were broken up into smaller groups.  Our groups had to create a song that went with a specific fifth grade standard.  The standards that were used for this activity focused Animal Classification, Chemical Changes, and Graphing.  Our standard was focused on graphing and the song we created goes with a 4:4 tempo with eight beats for each line.

Chorus: Cartesian Coordinates and coordinate planes, start at the origin before you begin (2x)

Verse 1: X is a cross so x is across, from left to right you'll never get lost. (2x)

Verse 2: Y is up high you've walked now fly, from bottom to the numbers don't stop. (2x)

Verse 3: Order your pairs and mark your point, now your graphing we rocked this joint. (2x)

We had a lot of fun creating and presenting our song.  We all agreed to use it in our classrooms and we also shared our song with everyone else! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Math Mega-Lab!

   --> Today, we had another Mega-Lab with all seventy-five students in the auditorium.  This time, the Mega-Lab was focused on Math!  We had four centers: Equivalent Bingo, “Frac-Chews”, Hop-Scotch Decimals, and The Mad Math Minute.  All of the centers focues on different fifth grade math standards, such as: equivalent fractions, adding fractions with like and unlike denominators, adding decimals, and multiplying decimals.  I really enjoy these large labs because it allows all of the teachers to work with students who are not in their own classroom.  It also gives the students variety and changes up their everyday routine.  I think this definitely contributes to the fact that with each Mega-Lab we have never had any discipline problems.  These Mega-Labs have been a wonderful inspiration for me because I will implement this idea at my future career site. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to the blogging world!  I hope Everyone had a Wonderful Thanksgiving break!  
Today, it was quite hard to get back into the swing of things.  I was sick this morning and had a hard time reminding my students of the rules.  They may not get back into their routine until Thursday!  I think that with the break.....they forgot how to act at school!  But, no worries......they will be in tip top shape once again ;)  I have learned enough classroom management skills this semester to properly direct all of my students (and keep them in line). 

Overall today went very well.  The students eagerly participated in our writing and group activities for the day.  The work they produced was up to the standard so they were not lacking in that area.  However, when I tried to play a new math game with them.....they did not do so well.  The game was a simple review of simplifying fractions.  The students had to simplify fractions, I called out, and were to record the correct answer on their card.  However, many students had forgotten how to simplify fractions.  This was an issue because this is a fourth grade standard and this week we are supposed to be covering adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators.  After our review didn't go so well, I realized that I would have to rearrange the lesson plans to add review time for the fourth grade standards that the students did not remember or did not learn.  Sometimes this type of thing happens and you have to be ready for it!  That is why I am glad I was prepared with extra review material from KHAN Academy and Promethean Planet!  I will always keep this incident in mind because I need to remember to have review materials for all subjects at all times in case a similar situation ever arises in my own personal classroom.

Today, we also had our faculty meeting.  The guest speakers provided us with material about SST and data tracking.  The materials given in this meeting were especially helpful for myself because I did not have a clear understanding of the job of a SST.  I always knew that it was a program to help those students who were struggling to receive extra help but I did not know that process was a three tiered program.  I am glad that I was provided the materials to better understand this program and its components because I know I may have to be apart of a SST one day!

After the faculty meeting, I took some time to change my door decorations for the last time!  :(   It is very sad for me because I am now realizing that my last day for student teaching is approaching quite rapidly!  I will miss working with these students and decorating the room to make learning fun!  
This is my Winter Door!  
"Fall Fell and it's in the it's time for a Winter Blast!"
The boarder is snowflake ribbon from Michaels and the paper snowflakes have all of my students names on them!  I drew the two polar bears on poster board and laminated them to add some Winter 'cuddliness.'

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Week! (11/19-11/23)

I want to wish all of my fellow teachers and students a Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope that everyone takes this week off to rest and be with their friends and family!  :)

Blogging Break: 11/19-11/23

Monday, November 12, 2012

New Interactive Math Board

We have a new Interactive Math Board!  It focuses on multiplying and dividing decimals!  It shows the work of four (imaginary) students.  These students may or may not have gotten the correct answer.  The directions for our fifth graders are to write down who got the answers correct or incorrect and why.  They have slips of paper to write on and they cast their votes in the clear boxes hanging from the board.  I have had a lot of students try this activity and it is a great way for me to see if the students understand these mathematical concepts.  Here is a picture of our wonderful new board:

Friday, November 9, 2012

New door Decorations for Fall!

FALL HAS FELL......and now it's time for hay-rides, apple cider, festivals, and Thanksgiving!  Fall is my favorite season, so I was very excited to put up my Fall door!  On it, it has Fall poems and facts about the First Thanksgiving.  All of the students loved reading the poems and learning interesting facts about our country's Fall holiday.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day!

All day faculty/staff meeting!  Then......time to go and vote!  I encourage everyone to GET OUT AND VOTE!  Every vote counts and one person can make a difference!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Winning Wednesdy! : ) (Day 46)

  Wednesday marked the end of our Drug Free week.  We had a wonderful week of activities which encouraged the students to “turn their backs on drugs,” not to “let drugs sneak up on them,” to “team up against drugs,” and to “shade out drugs” because Real Life is Drug Free!  I strongly endorsed this week because I had a personal connection with someone who lost his life because of drugs.  In this community, I have heard that drugs are easily obtained and I wanted students to understand the devastation that drugs can cause.  I also brought in my personal fifth grade D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) essay plaque because I wanted the students to see that if they stick to what they say when they are in fifth grade they can and will have a drug free life.  
                               ..........AND........DRUM ROLL PLEASE...............
We won! We won! Our door decor for the Drug Free Week won!  Our class gets a pizza party!  I have been so busy that I have forgotten to upload a wonderful picture of our new class door!  Here it is:
I got this wonderful idea from a post on pinterest!  I have spider webs, small spiders, and two large spiders from Wal*Mart for supporting decorations!  But I am absolutely in love with the saying!  It is funny, cute, and it ties in Halloween since it was such a close holiday!  (But it was not focused on a Halloween theme! Not everyone celebrates such a holiday!)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tracker Tuesday (Day 45)

Grade Level Planning:  Data Tracker Tuesday.  
Each week the fifth grade team must post grades for Reading and Math.  Every other week the team must post grades for Science and Social Studies. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Magnificent Monday (Day 44)

Today, everything went as planned.  All of the lessons and transitions went smoothly, the students were always engaged, and they understood all of the material that was presented to them.  The only negative thing I have to say is about our lack of Social Studies instruction due to our free Salvation Army concert.   We didn't get to focus on Social Studies, so I had them to do it for homework.
     As far as the free concert was a little "iffy."  The concert was presented by a Christian rock band.  The students seemed to really enjoy it but the focus of their songs and their lyrics were heavily laden with Jesus references.  They even had crowd interaction with one of their "creator" songs.  Now, I am not trying to say that the concert was not enjoyable for the students but I do not think it was a smart idea to have this type of group perform at our school.  There are a lot of different beliefs at our school in regards to religion.   If a parent of a child who was of a different religion were to become upset by this concert it would not mean positive things for Gideons.
    I personally thought that the concert was going to be focused on a Drug Free theme because it was apart of our Drug Free Week festivities.  So, needless to say, I was quite surprised and taken aback by the presentation of a Christian band.  If our school was a Private Christian Academy then this concert would have posed no problem.  However, our school is not and I think that a different band should have been used for our school concert. I am just simply thinking of those parents who are of a different religion and chose to put their students into a pubic school versus a religious private school.  I do not think that the concert was negative in any way.  Yet, I understand how this could have a negative impact on the school.  I am a graduate of a school, Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School, who thought nothing of putting up Christian based football signs and having prayers at games and received a negative spotlight because of it.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday (Day 43)

Yesterday, I had a lot going on, so I thought that I would post about our Technology class and our planning meeting.  We had a visitor from the main Atlanta office that came to instruct us on how to efficiently use our Smart Boards.  She taught us some very useful tips and tricks and also gave us a few wonderful websites to use.  Some of the sites I have used before but she explored them with us and I even learned a few new things that I didn't know.  

Update:  I use Discovery Education ALL the time for Social Studies instruction!  I absolutely love the short 2-3min clips about the topics found in our book!  They are short enough to engage the students and long enough to have a lot of subject matter to begin a great class discussion! (The students love to see the old recordings and compare them to our technology today!)

Planning Meeting went as follows:

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thrifty Thursday & Mega-Lab Day (Day 42)

Last night, I headed to the dollar tree to gather my final materials for my last supervisor visit.  I decided to do a Mega-Lab in the gym with ALL 75 of our fifth graders.   I needed materials for each individual center that I decided to create.  There were only three centers, but I had two supervisors at each one.  (One fifth grade teacher and their student teacher per center.)  I had to gather materials for all of the fifth grade students to be able to complete the lab successfully.

Lesson Plan for the Mega-Lab:
Lesson Observation #4
Animal Classification Mega-Lab
Student Teacher Ms.Tiffany Hedrick
Subject: Life Science
Main Standard:
S5L1. Students will classify organisms into groups and relate how they determined the groups with how and why scientists use classification.
a. Demonstrate how animals are sorted into groups (vertebrate and invertebrate) and how vertebrates are sorted into groups (fish, amphibian, reptile, bird, and mammal).
b. Demonstrate how plants are sorted into groups.
Additional Standards:
Literacy Integration
CCGPS Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Standards
SL. 3. 1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly
SL. 3. 6 Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification
L. 3. 3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading or listening
Students will understand that…..
-living things are grouped based on similarities and differences
-vertebrates animals are sorted into groups –
-scientists use classification to -identify and study new species
Essential Questions:
            -Why do scientists classify living things?
            -How do scientists group organisms?
            Students will understand that living things are grouped based on similarities and differences vertebrates animals are sorted into groups scientists use classification to identify and study new species.
Technology Integration:
            -Online Timer
            -Flip Chart (Computer)
            -ActivExpressions- Experiment in Auditorium
            -7 classification posters
            -Reflection sheet for each student (75)
            -pencils for each student
            -Dry Erase Markers (at least 6 per center)
            -Variety of Candy (2-3 large bags)
            -Pipe Cleaners (one large bag)
            -Macaroni noodles (10 small bags)
            -Construction paper (75 sheets)
            -Scissors (12)
            Opening & Review (5-10min):
                        -Explore Review FlipChart with students.
                        -Ask review questions.  Students will respond with ActivExpressions.
                        -Introduce the centers.
            Work Period (45min):
                        Labs/Centers: 15 min per center
                                    Center #1:  Students will review the differences between vertebrate and invertebrate.  Students will create backbones using art materials.  Students will explore how the backbone can still move flexibly but still maintains a hard shape.
                                    Center #2:  Students will review how to classify and sort living things.  Students will practice sorting and classification by arranging various candy into smaller groups based on traits. 
                                    Center #3:  Students will review vocabulary associated with the classification of living things. Students will review the vocabulary as they complete a large, poster-sized word sort.
            Review (5min):
                        -Students will reflect on their lab experience with lab worksheets.
                        -When students return to class, the teacher will review their findings as a group.
            Each student will be assessed by their participation and completed lab reflection sheets.  The teachers will watch all students and will collaborate and discuss their observations of students after the lab is complete.  The teachers will note if there were any students who struggled with the ActivExpressions or with any of the center activities.  
Posters for the Activity:

Myself: Closing the Flip Chart presentation and transitioning to centers.
Here I am explaining the directions for our vertebrate and invertebrate lab/center.
Handing out our materials to the students.

 Ms. Thomas and her student teacher explaining their candy sorting lab that connects classification.
Mrs.Mitchell-Reed and her student teacher, Ms.Lemon, reviewing vocabulary words and providing directions for the word search activity.
I would not have been able to accomplish such a successful Mega-Lab without the help of my fellow Student Teachers and Certified Teachers. This lab was proof that successful collaboration is key to a successful and thriving learning environment.  This large lab was a megahit because all of the students were thoroughly engaged at each station and they were extremely excited about learning!  All seventy-five students were able to complete their lab sheets successfully and were able to clearly explain the standards and new knowledge gained from their experience.  This was the most challenging, thrilling, engaging, blockbuster lesson that I have ever created.  I intend on implementing many more Mega-Labs in my future!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday (Day 41)

Our classroom on Parent Night.  Mr.Mitchell presenting what we do with the students everyday and teaching the parents how to use the ActivExpressions.

Myself during Mr.Mitchell's presentation.  Ready to help out parents who need direction with the ActivExpressions.

A good view of our room and the parents from the door.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday (Day 40)

Here is our Agenda from this morning's team meeting.  (The date on it is incorrect.  It should say 10/23/2012.)  We talked about submitting our weekly assessments into our data tracker and began to plan for curriculum night.  The curriculum night planning took up a great deal of time during our meeting.  We had to plan what we were going to present to the parents and how we were going to set up the entire night.  We also had to meet with the fourth grade team because our curriculum night is for both the fourth and fifth grade team.

Also, today is the first day of our Drug Free Week!  It is filled with fun activities to promote drug awareness and resistance!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday (Day 38)

Our new Social Studies board.  It is focused on the growing nation, during and after the the Era of Reconstruction.  It has five sections, as shown on the board with the pictures backed with different colors.  All of the pictures were taken during this time and thus they are all in black and white.  (This unit also has four sets of vocabulary cards at the bottom of the board for students to take and study during their free time.)

Our new informational texts board.  Five small posters on this board are from the Teachers Pay Teachers Website.  They provide students with clues to Descriptive Words, Cause & Effect Words, Comparing & Contrasting Clues, Sequence Words, and Problem & Solution Cues.   The papers that are backed with Orange are examples of student summaries from our informational text on Getting Out the Vote.  At the bottom left, there is an informational text story and story questions for the students to interactively use.  At the bottom right, there are three examples of informational reading books.  All three of these books are available for the students to read because they are located on a table beneath the board.

All of the fifth grade students go into the cafeteria for a writer's workshop every Friday.  They are practicing how to gather ideas, create rough drafts, and complete a great piece of writing that includes 'juicy' details.
(I am in the back right corner helping out a student.)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thursday (Day 37)

Completed Math board.  With student work to the left of Marty the Math Detective board directions.  The file in front of Marty says 'Confidential' and, in the file, there are worksheets that have math problems that involve decimals.  Students are to multiply, add, and subtract the numbers is order to solve the mystery.  When they solve the problem, they lift up the flap on the matching window to reveal a letter.   There are spaces to record their letter and answer on the worksheet so they can find out who the suspect is.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday (Day 36)

     I completed my new Science board for the inside of the classroom today.  I used the activity they did at Stone Mountain to put on the board.  Yesterday, I also had the students come up with an acronym for Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species.  I typed the one they created and put it on our new board.  They loved that I did that!

     I am currently working on our new Math board as well. It is going to be an interactive board with decimals that has a Halloween theme.  I hope the students will participate when the board is completed!  Here is the board so far:
                                                          Decimals are NOT spooky!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teacher of the Year Tuesday! (Day 35)

     This evening, I attended the Teacher of the Year Appreciation and Recognition Program for South Atlanta.  Since my Collaborating Teacher was Teacher of the Year, last year, I attended to support him.    It was a wonderful ceremony and I enjoyed meeting all of the Honorees at the reception.  
Mr. Mitchell (My Collaborating Teacher) and myself.
Left to right: Myself, Mr. Mitchell, and Ms.Harmon (the principal at Gideons ES)

Ms. Harmon and Mr. Mitchell