Floating down the Delaware

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap

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so I thought there was no better way to really reflect upon and wrap up my 2nd year of teaching than to write a mini reflection about each of my 15 pumpkins from the year. They made me smile, they made me laugh, they made me frustrated, upset, and sad. They knew how to push…

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May 12 2010

Day 147: Seen and Heard

Seen and heard in 1st grade today D: Today, when I was the numerator, and I was reading the story…. I’m pretty sure he meant narrator, but hey, at least some math vocabulary from last month stuck around

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So today we learned French. The videos from l-gains were fantastic, and my students enjoyed watching her mannerisms. For instance one asked, “Why does she raise her eyebrow when she talks in French? Do all French people do that?” Another noticed that we look nothing alike but sound similiar. Best quote of the day though…

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Mar 15 2010

French 101, as taught by my sister

So L-gains made me a whole bunch of videos of her speaking some french basics – colors, numbers, alphabet, greetings. Tomorrow, my children are going to watch and practice. I cannot wait for the hilarity to ensue.

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Mar 10 2010

Day 111: Streeeeeetch it out

So yesterday it was bee-you-tee-full outside so I went for a run. A nice 2 mile run to the Battleship New Jersey and back. Nothing too major, almost fell in the Delaware River, no big deal. Well today my body was not happy with my decision. Sitting on the carpet criss-cross applesauce all day was…

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Mar 05 2010

Day 108: Go ahead and test me

Testing after a million bajillion snowdays is not fun. Testing on a Friday is not fun. Testing in first grade is not fun. Teaching first grade can sometimes not be fun. Do you know how stressful it is to be responsible for teaching 15 children how to read? Or count money? Or do addition and subtraction…

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Mar 04 2010

Seen and Heard in 1st Grade…

While reading a story about Ruby Bridges: “If my friends were the white people and you were Mrs. Henry, you’d move them to red. Being mean and tattle-tailing is not fair” talk about some good text-to-self connections…

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Feb 22 2010

Day 101: Hockey Hangover

Apparently I have a hockey hangover from watching the olympics last night because today, while teaching, I actually said “Boys in Ms. Smith’s class we don’t fistacuff, we talk with one another at the peace table. Our hands are for helping and hugging, not for hurting.” at least I’m teaching them new vocabulary…

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Feb 22 2010

Happy 100th Day (plus 1)

The 2nd graders had a field trip on Friday which was our 100th Day of School so instead of celebrating it last week we celebrated it today with constant activities all centered around the number 100th and this milestone. And let me tell you, I am EXHAAAAAAAAAAAAUSTED. I think there should be a rule that…

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Jan 25 2010

Day 86: Rain, Rain, Go Away

It rained today. I’m blaming everything that happened today on the rain. I realize that by blaming the day on the weather, I have the logic of a 6-year old, but such was life today. It POURED today. My classroom was shaking at times from the wind. We’re talking lights flickering, windows shaking rain. My…

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Jan 21 2010

Day 84: Coin Drive for Haiti

So in just three short days, my school (120 amazing kinder-2nd students) has raised over $860 dollars for aid relief in Haiti. Cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I was saving this to buy xyz but the children in Haiti need it more”. Brings tears to my eyes just thinking about the generosity…

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so yesterday was awful with a capital A. My wonderful children decided to take chatty pills and my morning was just awful. So today I went into school with a plan – change some seats and put everything to a song. You see, my kids LOVE to sing. I’m pretty sure they would sing the…

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One of my kiddos wasn’t in school yesterday, but came to back to school night with her mom. She ran up to me, gave me the biggest hug, and said, “Ms. S, I wasn’t grumpy or sad I couldn’t see you yesterday because I had a beautiful picture of you in my mind all day…

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Sep 09 2009

year 2, day 1

well I survived. just barely, but I made it. so where to start? how about the beginning. 6:15 came waaaaay too early this morning. I was up pretty much every hour from like 3 on. Excitement, nerves, you know the drill. Thankfully I showered last night because getting up any earlier than I did would…

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Jan 22 2009

I know an old lady…

Ms. S! In the book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly there is a food chain except it’s not a real food chain because food chains always have the sun and plants. Enough said. And if that wasn’t good enough, my PD was there to see it all. :-)!!!!!!

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Jan 12 2009

Day 81…

Today was just one of those days. Every once and awhile you have those days where nothing seems to go right. And I mean nothing. Today was just one of those days. Every morning my kids get morning work to do before school starts. School starts at 8:30 but kids are allowed to arrive as…

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Jan 10 2009


I took a little break from this for a bit… it was really rough before winter break (as the previous post explains) and then this past week in school has been tough as well, but I’m back and have tons to share Since we got back from winter break my kiddos have been learning about…

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Dec 19 2008

a case of the downs…

I forgot I teach in Camden. It’s a very easy thing to do – my school is in a nice area, it’s a nice school, and a great little community has been built around this school. This week I was reminded twice that I actually teach in Camden, a tough urban environment… The first reminder…

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Dec 04 2008

it’s the little things

It’s been 62 days and I’m still taken aback at times by how my kids are amazed and engrossed with the littlest things. Today all it took was peanut butter, pine cones, and bird seed. Their naive outlook on life is refreshing. It’s a fun exercise to take a look back and look through life…

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Head, Thorax, Abdomen (Abdomen) Head, Thorax, Abdomen (Abdomen) Insects have 3 body parts Head, Thorax, Abdomen (Abdomen) I’m pretty sure that song will be stuck in my head until the rest of time. I’m teaching it to my kiddos to help them remember the parts of an insect.  All day today during exploration stations all…

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Oct 07 2008

Chapter 2…

Average pretest score – 42% Average end of chapter test – 92% % Growth – 50%!!! Smashed my goals…again 85% class average goal – check! 30% growth goal – check! and no one scored below a 75%

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Sep 24 2008

we never did this at my old school

that’s what one of my kids told me today. “We never did this at my old school, I love it here” We planted seeds today. The kiddies gobbled it up. Who knew digging a hole and planting seeds could bring them so much joy. I also had them wear their goggles to make them feel…

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Sep 23 2008

the ups and the downs

On Friday my students took their first science test. The average grade was a 87%. My goal was 85% so I was very happy to see us make our first goal. Yesterday, I gave my kids a pre-test on the next chapter (plants/living and non-living things). The class average was a 41%. Welllll… I guess…

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The few, the proud, the Camden Corps

Greater Philadelphia
Elementary School
Elementary Education

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