I have to admit it is very frustrating "starting over" again. I was just getting into a groove with middle school kids, and even though I moved from 7/8 to 5/6 over the last 6 years, it was an easier transition.
Teaching 3rd graders is a whole new experience and I feel like a first year teacher. Every day I make mistakes and immediately realize them. I guess that is better than making them and not even knowing it. I feel like I should know better though.
For example, I planned to teach rounding 2 and 3 digit numbers to the nearest ten and hundred. Well, I should have just started with rounding 2 digit numbers to the nearest ten today and build on from there. Tomorrow we will review just rounding 2 digits to the nearest ten and then 3 digit to the nearest ten. If they have retained today's lesson, I will move on to rounding 3 digit numbers to the nearest hundred.
I am still struggling with behavior in one of my classes. There are many students who refuse to follow directions. Not only do they not follow them, they go out of their way to do the opposite of my directions. They have the mindset that they are "BAD" kids and their expectations of themselves are so low. Today I couldn't take it anymore and started calling parents. I am really trying to stay committed to WBT strategies and I feel if I start handing out consequences like calling home it is going to reinforce their beliefs. I am introducing the Super Improver Wall tomorrow and boy do they have a lot to improve on! I plan on telling them that I believe in them even if they don't believe in themselves and that I will not give up on them! I also plan on giving them index cards with the goal I want them to work on. I know this is the Star Card strategy and I should be waiting to introduce these new "games" but I think this might help them. I feel like if I just introduce the Super Improver Wall, they will be thinking "I'm never going to move up a level" but if they have the card and I start making lines when I catch them improving towards their goal, it will make it a little more concrete and attainable. I really do believe they can do it!
I will blog about the wall and the cards tomorrow after I introduce it. Wish me luck!