Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Evaluating Our First Two Days of School

When I was student teaching, we were required to keep a journal of reflection on how we felt our lessons went, what we would change, what we would keep, and how we would improve ourselves for the next class we taught.  In all honesty, I didn't do a great job at it.  I did the assignment like I was supposed to, but I don't think I was as reflective as my professor hoped us to be (I wasn't as reflective then as I am now).

When I began teaching at the Christian Academy, after school each day, I would evaluate my lessons, what worked, what didn't, and changed what needed to be changed to have a successful day the following day.  Over the summer, I would look ahead to the following year, and determine what I wanted my students to get out of our class.  Boy, would my professor be proud of me now!

After two days of classes, I am evaluating what is working and what needs to be adjusted.  Do you remember that time gauge from Monday?  Well, it doesn't take 15 minutes to go through a number page with one child... it takes five!  It may also have something to do with the fact that she already knows her numbers 1-10.  So I am having to take some of our review items from other times to fill the empty space.

Because this is also a more structured method of learning than we have had before, Addie is learning to sit in her chair when Mommy tells her to and not when she feels like it (sometimes Mommy lets Addie sit in her lap to color the worksheets).  She is doing very well with it though.  I am so proud.

I have found that one of her worksheets works better after she wakes up from her nap.  I like that since it gives us something fun to look forward to after she wakes up.  I also learned that playing with Play-doh right before lunch is not a good idea.  Some little hungry person has tried to taste it when I am not looking.  Oh, you should see her eyes when she gets caught trying! 

I am learning that I am not as afraid of glue and little beans as I thought I would be. I love seeing how excited Addie gets when I pull out something new and exciting for her to do.  I love seeing how excited Addie is when she shows her papers to Brian when he comes home from work.  I also love seeing Brian's reaction to everything she shows him.  Many feel good moments.

I am being surprised continually with what Addie is capable of doing.  Except for wet diapers at night, she has been successful at the potty (major happiness going on right now!).  Her little potty chart is almost filled with stickers.  Another accomplishment, she knows how to use the computer!  On Monday, she asked to play her game.  She sat at the big computer, pulled out the mouse, and proceeded to maneuver the cursor to where she wanted it and click.  Now, I just sit on the sofa next to the computer and watch her play her game (Reader Rabbit).   

As for our schedule, I am loving it.  I wake up at 5:00 am (yes, some days 5:00 just gets here way too early).  By the time Brian leaves for work I am able to have my prayer and devotion time, check emails, make sure the blog has posted, do a short abs exercise, put on the coffee (which has been set to go the night before), pack Brian's lunch (also made the night before), put 1 load of laundry to wash, clean one or more rooms, set my laundry to dry (rain has been too unpredictable to hang the laundry), get dressed, get Addie up, and get Brian's breakfast ready for him while he reads Addie's devotions to her.

I have found times in our schedule when I can do some extra things in the house.  While Addie is eating breakfast and watching the Your Baby Can Read video, I am able to fold the laundry and unload the dishwasher.  When Addie has her alone playtime, I am able to accomplish one or more cleaning items (washing the trash can lid, scrubbing out the microwave, wiping down the kitchen counters, etc.).  And, of course, when Addie naps I have a two and a half hour period where I can accomplish quite a bit.

I also scheduled in some "expendable" items.  These are things that we can do if we happen to be home at that time, but they are scheduled during the time I prefer to go out to do our shopping, library time, visiting with others, etc.

Our first two days have been a success.  As the school year goes on, I will continue to refine our schedule, my schedule, and Addie's schedule (Daddy is not on a Mommy-made schedule.  When he comes home, we are on Daddy time:).  I am looking forward to seeing the changes that we make and the progress that it brings about.  In December/ January, I plan on looking back to see where the halfway point of the school year has brought us.


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