Sunday, April 7, 2013


Hi Everyone,

With exactly 44 days left before I'm woefully unemployed, I've already started to think about and reflect on this past year. Honestly, I'm really proud of all the things that I've accomplished thus far but I'm also overwhelmingly disappointed with my constant struggles to get my classroom management under control. Recently my class size went down to 19 students and I truly believed things would start to get better. They haven't.  Although I feel like I have my back up against the wall, I'm not giving up until I hear that dismissal bell ring on June 7 and will continue to remain hopeful.

Student teaching, every resource I've read, every teacher I've spoken too, none of it seems to be helping me get through my daily challenges with my students' behavior. I just feel lost. Luckily, I can feel my skin thickening every minute that I am in the classroom and I know come next school year, I'll be ready, so ready. I've found that in these times of trouble, Mother Mary does not call to me. Instead, I get quite the morale boost from reading all the stories my kiddos have written capturing some pretty special moments in the classroom, reminding me that no matter how hard I am on myself, I am a good teacher and I can do this!

Last week we started our mud themed unit. I gave a sneak peak of the writing project on Monday but here it is in its entirety. Looking at the big picture, I knew that we would be moving away from narrative writing into informative writing this quarter. As a nice transition I thought I would combine the two forms. Students had the opportunity to tell a semi-fictional story while simultaneously providing information in a logical order. It worked out great! 

On Monday, I read The Best Mud Pie by Lin Quinn. The story is about a boy named Roberto who reveals his family's secret recipe for making the best mud pie. I loved loosely using the book as a mentor text for students to model their writing after.

After discussing the story and introducing the writing objective, I had students fill out a mind map graphic organizer with their "controlling idea" in the middle. The term "controlling idea" is our curriculum's way of introducing the idea of a thesis in a kinder-friendly way. I actually really like this idea, especially for kinders. The next day I had students use their mind maps to help them organize their story and write their introduction. On Wednesday and Thursday, students continued to add to their drafts and tell the reader about their recipe. Finally on Friday we talked about publishing our recipes - taking all the work we had done and making it perfect! I met with groups of students and had writing conferences where I introduced the power words: first, next, then, and finally. Below are some student samples where you can really see the development of my students' writing as they went through the writing process.

Final Draft: My name is Marissa. This is my mud pie. First I put in mud. Next I put water. Then I put in flowers. Finally I have a pretty mud pie!

Final Draft: My name is Tiffany. This is my mud pie. It is my secret. First I put in water. Next I put in seeds. Then I put in leaves. Finally I put in grass. Now I made a mud pie!

Final Draft: My name is Angel. First I put water. Next I put rocks in mud. Then I put a rose. Finally this is my mud pie.

Final Draft: My name is Daviana. This is my mud pie. First I got a water squeezer. Next I wet the dirt. Then I put in rocks. Finally I put worms.

Final Draft: My name is Kaden. I make a mud pie! First I make mud. Next I put in water. Then I put in leaves. Finally I put in holes.

As always, thanks so much for reading!


  1. I gotta know... what's *your* mud pie recipe? Did your class actually go play in mud at some point? What a fun unit :)

  2. Haha, my mud pie recipe is definitely a secret ;). We're finishing up with dirt/soil this week and this Friday will be their Mud Day where they actually get to make their mud pies. :)