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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Time to rest, relax, and REFLECT!

Hi friends!

It's been a long time (a whole school year) since I have blogged.   The end of last year brought many changes for me... after 6 years in 4th grade I moved back to third.   I also became an empty nester!

First, the hardest thing for me... becoming an old lady empty nester.  My daughter, Bella, is 22 years old and attends Texas A&M San Antonio and lives on her own.   My son, Jake, who is 19, just finished his Freshman year at Texas A&M College Station and lived in the dorms.  He now has moved to an apartment while he attends some summer classes and  finishes his next 3 years as an Aggie!   I am so proud of both my kids.  They amaze me with their independence, their drive, their intelligence, and their great morals!   Even though they are both so independent and doing great, its so hard "untying those apron strings".   My husband and I raised them to be the awesome kids they are but it took me almost a year not to shed a few tears daily because I miss them so much.  I hear from them weekly and the come home to visit when they can.

So I can rest and relax after this year of changes, my husband and I are going to take our very first vacation (without the kids) in 23 years.  Tomorrow we leave for Vegas!  I can't wait!  Neither of us have ever been to Vegas so it will be a fun adventure for us.  We are staying at Planet Hollywood in the middle of the strip and have tickets to a comedy show,  Jennifer Lopez, and a tour of Pawn Stars (my hubby's favorite show besides sports).

My move to 3rd grade was a welcome one, 3rd grade is my favorite grade to teach!  I taught 3rd grade for 6 years when I first came to my current school.   However, so much has changed since I first taught third.   I had to learn a whole new curriculum and had a whole new team to work with (except for one teacher, my mentee and BFF, Melissa).   Planning, teaching, and everything in between was very different between my new team and last team.  AND  I totally forgot how young beginning of the year 3rd graders were.   I can go on and on about how 3rd had changed but now that this year is over it is time to reflect about two important things....   1) What went well and 2) What I may need to change for next year.   Let me preface this by saying that every year you have a new group of kids and you need to adjust everything to their needs but the things that went well can be continued with adjustments and the things that didn't go like you would have liked need to be changed completely.
My Fabulous 3rd Grade Froggies 2016 - 2017
Things I did well and will continue next year:
  • build relationships with my students
  • provide a safe, engaging, and a risk taking environment/classroom 
  • classroom management
  • advocate for my students
  • was a BYOD classroom (Bring your own device)
  • parent communication
Things I need to change for next year:
  • include specific student use of technology in plans
  • do more enrichment
  • use the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) to plan with my team and not just "do what they did last year"
  • keep classroom less cluttered and more organized
  • blog and share about my class happenings here not just on my twitter
I will go in more detail in my next post since I still need to pack for my Vegas trip but I want to share two teacher resource books I have on my reading list for this summer.  Let me know in the comments if you have read these or have heard anything about them.  To learn more about them click on the book itself to see them on Amazon.

What are your reflections for this year?  What educational books are you reading?  Let me know in the comments.    My next post will be on explaining how I am going to make the changes I need to make for next year.  I will hopefully have ordered my teacher planner by then and talk about that too!

Hoppy Summer!

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