Let me tell you a few things about my school and where I fit in. I work in a charter school. Since I started there in 2005, I have taught 2nd, 1st, and 5th. This year I am returning to first from teaching fifth grade math for four years. This year we started a ton of new innovative approaches. First we are a blended learning school. Our students spend about 1 hour a day on the computer with three programs (Mimio for reading, Reflex for fact mastery, and Dreambox for math). We specialize from k-12th grade, so there is a math teacher, reading teacher, and science/social studies teacher for each grade level. There are four groups and they rotate to each teacher and the computer lab every day.
I am teaching in a Singapore math program called Math in Focus. I am really enjoying it, but this year I am feeling my way through and I hope to do better with it next year. I have also encountered parents that have no idea how to help their students (especially this week). While I am trying to teach them with common core and singapore math ideas, their parents are teaching them old school. Anyone else encountering this?
My students come from a variety of backgrounds. Most of them are low income. Many of them are from broken homes. Some do not live with their parents. A few I have never met. It is challenging to begin with, but even more so this year as we are starting so many new things to give them a better education.
I get discouraged because I get these great ideas and they fall flat. For example this week I was really excited to use the paint in the ziploc bags. They could practice writing their number words on the bags and it would show up in the paint.
It was the first block to try it and two girls already had paint on their hands. There went that idea. Don't get me wrong, I keep trying. I will not give up even on those days I want to just go home and cry.
I try to be cheerful and upbeat on my blogs. That is why I tend to look at resources rather than reflect. There are just some evenings I just need some time to look at what I can try the next day.