Budding Bloggers Showcase: O "FISH" ally a First Grader
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Hi! My name is Corinna and I just started my blog, O "FISH" ally a First Grader at the end of July. I want to thank Amanda for showcasing my new blog and hosting Best Budding Blog!
My family and I live in Texas. I have two wonderful teenage boys, and I have been married for 25 years. I love to read, hang out with family and friends and go to the beach!
Currently I teach First Grade. This will be my thirteenth year of teaching. Right out of college I taught for four years and then I stayed home for twelve years to raise my two sons. This will be my ninth year back. I have taught Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First and Second Grades.
It's hard for me to pick my favorite subject to teach because I like many of them for different reasons. If I have to pick, I will say Writing. I am always amazed to watch how my First Graders grow as authors or writers throughout the year. It is truly rewarding!
If you popped into my classroom unannounced you would most likely see me working with small groups of students or individuals while the rest of my class is working with partners or doing group work to complete hands-on literacy and math activities. You might also catch me reading to my students, singing or playing a game. I try to make learning fun.
I'm not sure if my computer and my external hard drive are considered teaching resources, but I definitely cannot live without them. From creating activities, to stalking Pinterest and other teacher blogs, I am constantly on my computer. It feels like my life is stored on my external hard drive. I carry it back and forth from home and school. It holds everything I've made or have ever found.
One of my favorite teaching activities is when we do our Ocean Research Unit. I almost feel guilty because it seems that the students do the learning on their own. I try to follow Tony Stead's advice from his book "Is That a Fact?: Teaching Nonfiction Writing." If you haven't read it, you should! I was blessed to attend a training in our district with Tony Stead as the speaker. Please understand that before the students begin researching independently, I have modeled using research tools, summarizing information in my own words, taking notes and then selecting and organizing my information by writing a nonfiction book. Once we are finished with our class book, then they begin spending several days rotating through research stations. They use post-it notes and a RAN chart to take notes in the following stations: Pictures and Captions, Computer, Listening and Books. Some animals lend themselves to an Observational Station too. It's amazing to watch the students while they are researching. They are totally engaged and learning about their animal on their own! I am not doing the teaching. After they have went to all of the stations, they begin writing their nonfiction books. Their books turn out fabulous and they are so proud of themselves when they are done. They truly take on ownership in their own learning during this project.
I'll be honest I struggled with the idea of beginning a blog. I was apprehensive because I really don't have the slightest idea of how to be a blogger. However, I feel like I've gotten so many wonderful ideas from other teacher blogs. It has inspired me to be a better teacher by making and finding engaging activities for my students. I'm hoping my blog will push me to be more creative!
Thanks again Amanda for offering me the opportunity to introduce myself. I truly appreciate your support.