Small Groups and Cha...cha....Changes....

Hello all! I am sorry I have not blogged in a bit.....this year has started off with lots of busy and lots of changes and this girl has been feeling a little overwhelmed....
Change........NOT my favorite word......I don't roll easily with changes.......I need time to think things through and process.....seems like the theme of this year is change.   Changes in the form of new reading series, rolling out common core BUT still testing sunshine state standards, having an aide in my room a few days a week to help with my ELLS, new common core math books, lots of meetings, changes to our teacher evaluations.......just changes!!!
My mind seems to be going a thousand different places and I can't seem to get settled!!!  I can't tell you the last time I sat and was able to read blogs, let alone blog myself. 
This new reading series is gonna flip my Daily 5 all over the place!!!  Not sure how yet....we just got our books.....I'll be spending lots of time this weekend trying to make it all work.  One thing I know for sure is I have got to keep my small groups!!!  HAVE TO!!!  I connect with my kiddos so much better when I use small math and reading:) 
So being have completely forgotten to take pics of what all we have been doing:/  I also haven't felt like blogging because I didn't want to be a Debbie Downer:/  So sorry if this is a downer.....I will perk up as soon as I process all these changes....right now my attitude is more in the way than the
We have been successfully doing Daily 5 (my version).  My version is kinda different, but it's what works for me and now with more changes coming, I'm adjusting and changing it daily.  Here are some pics of our day and our different rotations.
I LOVE having a helper a few times a week:)  It's like 2 of me!!! (although 2 of me would be  Today the kiddos got to do making words with her:)
I HAVE to meet with my small groups everyday:)  I love that time!  I call that Teacher Time in my Daily 5 rotations.  Right now (BB......Before Basal) we have been using these I-Ready common core books.  I love them:) 

Of course we are constantly using my multiple choice fans:) (you can read more about those here)
Another change to our rotations is software that our school has (also I-Ready), so one of their rotations has to be that.  Gonna shoot for 3 days a week:)  We will see how that goes.
Today we did have time for Work on Writing....which was making a science foldable.  I know, I know......none of my names go with my activities.....maybe I need to rename everything and make a new rotation board......hmmmmmmmm?
Working on inherited traits, inherited behaviors, acquired traits, and learned traits.....that's a mouthful!
So there ya have it.....a look into my day today.  I am sorry if this post seems poopy.....:(  Teachers get overwhelmed at times and I guess my time is now.  Thanks for listening:)  I'm just trying to adjust to all the changes (I didn't tell you all of them), get my kiddos where they need to be and smile all at the same time.....I hope you all had a wonderful hump day and a super rest of your week!  I'll be back soon with smiles and sunshine....I promise:)


  1. Your post did not sound poopy at all - it sounded super real - the trials and tribulations of a new school year - with your triumphs to come soon. Hope things start to calm down so that you can adjust to all the changes and make it work for you and your students. I may or may not be notorious at my school for hating change - but I keep telling myself (and everyone else) that this year is different - I am open to change - I figure if I say it enough it may come true. Thanks for sharing how things are going for you.

  2. I completely understand how you feel. I am in the midst of preparing a very similar post. We also use I-ready at our school and I love it! Such a fantastic program.

  3. You're not alone Tara! I think we're all in the same boat- this year is bringing a lot of changes (good and bad) to a lot of schools. Just keep swimming!

    Everyone deServes to Learn

  4. You are definitely not alone. I appreciate that you shared your feelings because it makes me feel that I'm not the only one. This is a CRAZY time of year. I feel like I haven't found my groove yet. Hopefully, IT will find ME soon. :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  5. This is real life in teaching. I am in Northern Calfornia feeling the same way due to not knowing what our curriculum will be to meet the CCSS. We are all in a transition year or two and it will be rough. I love how you still LOVE your small groups, me too!

  6. I think FL should change the name of FCAT to PRESSURE because that is definitely what I'm feeling this year also. I've been doing this 16 years and haven't felt as overwhelmed starting out as I have this year. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE being in a testing grade...I just can't wrap my head around NGSSS/CCSS yet and how it is all going to play out for us in testing THIS year. Thinking about the VAM and teacher evaluations just about sends me over the edge. We didn't get a new reading series, but our Go Math switched to CCSS. I set aside two hours a day for math and it still hasn't been enough to get everything accomplished. We are in week 5 and I am just now assessing the end of Chapter 1 tomorrow. UGH! If you ever need to vent, I'll listen! Promise!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  7. I'm right there with you Tara! Hang in there! :) I'm a teacher in California and we're still not sure what's going on with our normal state testing, but we now for sure our students will be taking the SBAC. We have been using the Ready Common Core books too and they are so wonderful!!! I just received a student teacher this week and told him the biggest thing about being a teacher is having to be flexible and adapt to change. :) Hang in there, you can do this!

  8. Feeling the same pressure with the Common Core, teacher eval....CHANGE! We have to support eachother. These aren't easy times but that's what makes us (educators) a special breed!

  9. You are not alone. I feel the SAME way! We are starting this new teacher evaluation system OTES (Ohio Teacher Evaluation System) and it is absolutely ridiculous. Like so ridiculous, we have so many meetings and even our superintendent and principals don't understand how they're formulating the data. They basically told all of us that we will be considered "developing"!

    Your post was not poopy, it was real. I appreciate you admitting you're overwhelmed. Hearing that from you (since I think you're SO amazing) makes me feel a little better about being so overwhelmed. We have to stick together and remind ourselves that we are good teachers, even with all of the craziness!

    Sending lots of LOVE and hugs your way!


  10. Hang in there, Tara! Know that you're not alone! So many teachers are feeling exactly as you are this time of year!
    Crafting Connections

  11. You are not alone, girl!

    I am feeling the same pressures you are! And with the news of moving...eeeekkkkkk! I am just trying to survive at this point.

  12. I feel the exact same way! Every year is more stuff I have to use, but still keep doing what I'm doing! It gets better! We are in our rd year with common core and it'll all come together in a few! haha!

  13. Same here in Jersey!! We changed from Storytown to Journeys. Didn't get my teacher's manual yet. What did you switch to? Our grade level found out about the change the week before school started.
    We also switched math from Every Day Math to Math Expressions. Combine that with all the new eval. stuff... I feel like I don't know what I'm doing.
    I'm having to change my Daily 5/CAFE now too. I don't think I can make it all fit the way I've done it before.
    Your posts keep me hanging in, so I hope you know how important you are!

  14. Hang in there! You inspire me and I have been teaching for 30 years! (Yes, we old dinosaurs still look for new ideas! LOL!)

    Our school had a very rough year last year--a zealous administrator, new materials, new APPR, CCLS, etc.. Thankfully, this year, we have a new principal who is very child oriented.

    We will get through this if we all stick together for the sake of the kids!

    Best wishes for a better week ahead! One day at a time...

  15. Overwhelmed? Teachers? At the beginning of the year? And wait. Changes? Dear, God, girl, I'm right there with ya. We will survive! :)

    Teach On.

  16. Hi Tara! I feel like I was reading about myself in this blog post!! I am in adjusting to change overload this year too!!! AHHHH!! I'm trying to hard to make it all work out, but there are days where I leave thinking, my goodness, did I get anything accomplished today?!?! I, too, have a new reading series . . . .JUST when I thought I had this Daily 5 thing down - BAM - new reading series! I LOVE some of the resources that have come with it, but it's so hard to try and plug into the slots which once were so perfectly filled with Daily 5! My motto this year . . . one foot in front of the other. And the timing of stumbling upon this AMAZING network of teachers in bloggy land just this year could not have been more perfect. THANK YOU for being part of the daily smiles that I always manage to find from/through my bloggy teacher friends <3 Happy Monday!! Hope things settle down for you soon!!


  17. Hi there! I just stumbled upon your blog and am enjoying reading it. Thanks for all the great ideas. Which I-Ready books do you use in your classroom? There are quite a few on their website. Which ones do you recommend?

  18. Hi there! I just stumbled upon your blog and am enjoying reading it. Thanks for all the great ideas. Which I-Ready books do you use in your classroom? There are quite a few on their website. Which ones do you recommend?


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