Welcome to my teaching blog! I am an SEI teacher for kindergarten and 1st grade students, and this is my 3rd year of teaching in my own classroom. Every day is a new adventure, and there's never a dull moment! Please consider following my blog. :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • Tuesdays are super long days because I have my grad class at night...just wait until those Category trainings start next Saturday!! boooo
  • Began the penguin unit today, and my kids are loving it!  The books I chose are engaging, and they are really liking my visuals/ graphic organizers
  • Planned for penguin activities tomorrow afternoon with my para while I'm at a 3-hour PD
  • small groups in ESL today worked well I think with the 1st-grade split in 2...noise level is a constant concern thought
  • nervous about tomorrow's OTL CPT because we have to show student work
  • my students' parent went to the library today and asked for my mother! so cute :)
  • school printer in the basement is broken again...ughhh!!
  • finally received my formal observation write-up and signed my mid-year eval
  • my para and I always speak about our students in code (using their initials) and today, one of the kids knew his! how embarrassing...

Biggest Concerns:
  • future observations
  • units within the next 2 weeks
  • quarterly assessments
  • IEP meeting in 2 weeks...

Pre-unit/ reading activity...making predictions and stating ideas

Penguins by Fiona Watt

Choice time = At the Markers Center, one student was inspired to draw Superman Penguin...with an egg.  Tooo funny.

Parts of a Penguin

14 school days til vaca

Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • K report cards went out today...hopefully they will all be signed and returned by tmrw
  • ESL was a little unorganized today...tensionn
  • Recess duty scheduling--bah humbug
  • Impromptu K test on Friday... lovely
  • Started getting math games ready to send home...hmmm

Biggest concerns:
  • quarterly assessments
  • penguin unit
  • groundhog day
  • 100th day
  • valentine's day

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • When the kids first walked in, "Ms. Seeto, I missed you yesterday." awe, that's nice. :)
  • We caught a first-grader cheating on her spelling test! with a piece of paper in her pocket! Gasp...shocked.  My aide spoke to her, and then when I spoke to her, the student began bawling.  I gave her a second chance for the test after lunch, and hopefully my words will convince her to never do it again.  And she'd have to call her mother and tell her herself what she did wrong.  The nerve...
  • I am really enjoying my ESL time with my kindergarteners.  They did their best today with letter naming and sounds A-N...woohoo! Hopefully, they don't forget them over the weekend...
  • Read our last Chinese New Year story (My First Chinese New Year by Karen Katz).  Such a cute book!!!  I photocopied some of the illustrations and had my students recall details about Chinese New Year that they've learned this week. 
  • The kids watched the Kidsongs "At Old MacDonald's Farm" today, but I think it wasn't as engaging as the career one...
  • completed my K report cards, woohoo! enclosed in each envelope are: a letter about the SEI program, a 2 paragraph narrative about the specific student, the K comment sheet, a copy of the K comment sheet for parents to keep, and the regular report card.  Fun times.

Biggest Concerns:
  • category trainings held on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in addition to the DSAC math PD course by the district and my regular grad course ...lovely.
  • mid-year evaluation write-up
  • where I will be next year

Chinese New Year wrap-up and whole-class map using photos from My First Chinese New Year
lanterns are hanging up at the expense of my safety while climbing onto tables, bookshelves, and desks to do so. :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thursday training

All day DSAC math training today; so my para was my sub. I learned about tons of number sense activities for the classroom that focus on subitising and counting...hope they work with my kids! And I'll be able to send some home too. :)

My aide told me that the day went well. The kids loved the dragon masks for Chinese New Year after reading Dragon Dance. They had a celebration dragon parade with the masks. :) Then they colored pre-printed cards for my mom and her coworker for the activity yesterday. So cute! and my mom loved them. :)

Finally finished drafts for report cards and emailed my principal. Maybe I'll type up the scores for her see tomorrow...

Wednesday wonders

Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • Super busy morning with copying completed for my ESL MTEL, hw, math course tmrw...oh man, nothing like a solid copying job. :)
  • Testing up the wazoo for my little friend J that might not even need testing now! Oops...
  • Brought up friend R during OTL and was proud to have a lot of data that I didn't really prepare well beforehand... the team was helpful and I really appreciated and valued their input.
  • My mom and her coworker came in for a Chinese New Year lesson today and it was really fun! Super rushed with a story, props, fried rice, and making lanterns, but the kids had fun and so did my super nervous mom.
  • CPT with my liaison was very productive today, but I feel like we are constantly talking over each other..headaches.
  • Missed kindergarten Info Night BC of my dinner tonight..

Biggest concerns:
  • K report cards
  • Students up for evaluation and how to get that done correctly 

Lucky envelopes, sample dragon head ornaments, Lucky New Year! pop-up book

My vest when I was a youngin'


Bedazzled lantern?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • thought it was my recess duty, but it wasn't-- wore the neon yellow vest around and outside the school for no reason...lovely.  that is my life!
  • fortune cookies and dragon coloring this afternoon (to prepare for my mom coming in tomorrow!)
  • all assessments done?  what? no...
  • splitting first graders in half for ESL...hopefully that will bring up their scores/comprehension
  • kindergarten loves the farm unit! :)
  • grocery shopping in math today...twas fun, but I hope they're understanding what I'm talking about...
  • Tattling Tiger was b-u-s-y today!
  • My kids were horrible during lunch...I heard them being spoken to from my classroom, when  my door was closed...ughhhh.  Keeping my para with them for the whole period now..
  • First grad class of the semester tonight...was a VERY long day! >.<

Biggest Concerns:
  • finding challenging fluency passages
  • getting my extra licenses...
  • materials for next year?
  • survival until February vacation...

MLK, Jr "I have a dream..." bulletin board (the students' faces are blocked out)

Sample from "I have a dream..." bulletin

Long Monday

Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • Happy Lunar New Year! :) Since my family celebrates Chinese New Year, I encouraged the whole school to wear red to bring good luck (with tons of help from my principal). I was excited to see so much red yesterday! In my class, we read Chinese New Year by Nancy Dickmann and talked about the different animals of the zodiac. I created coloring sheets with information stated particular to each student. While they colored, my aide and I handed out orange slices to bring more luck. Fun end of the day activity...
  • We finally finished my MLK bulletin..thank goodness..gonna leave it up for Black History Month.
  • Made up for some missing assessments today thanks to my aide.
  • Long staff meeting today about crisis prevention
  • Fire drill from an old light bulb
  • Notified at 10:30 that my liaison wasn't coming in for her 9:30 time. Okay...
  • 6 on the Tattling Tiger list today

Biggest concerns:
  • Fitting in all my winter themes in January/ February
  • K report cards
  • K math development and pacing

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Friday frenzies

Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • Assessments and data collection are full steam ahead...wondering why my first graders did so poorly on some...extending instruction time to meet their needs...Thinking about switching K and Grade 1 instructors/ instruction if the next unit assessments are still poor
  • MLK board is coming together...just need to add 3 more finished projects
  • First winter snow shovel out of my driveway this morning .. rough.
  • Another indoor recess, but restarting my comp and inserting/ ejecting the DVD repeatedly made the video play! Woohooo! They loved Kidsongs "What I Want to Be" (knew they would)!
  • Put up signs today for wearing red for the Lunar New Year
  • Post conference with my director...uneasy about signing so quickly?... of course she didn't mention any dates about the ESL MTEL class...-.-
  • Math K is struggling with partners and how the counters can be rearranged so many times and equal the same number

Biggest concerns:
  • When should I start my penguin unit?  Maybe on the 30th...
  • CNY starts Monday, and my mom is coming in on Wednesday to talk to the kids about it. :]
  • New units beginning on Monday...lots to do
  • K report cards
  • tax forms
  • my grad class starts on Tuesday
  • future unannounced informal observations...
  • penguin bulletin board outside the classroom
  • farm animal display inside the classroom
Introducing "Tattling Tiger"...if a student begins to tattle about a friend, they have to sit in this chair ( in the corner of the room) and tell Tattling Tiger; then, he/she signs her name (and I add the dates later).  In the future, they will begin to write out their tattles.  This random idea of mine is genius...revolutionary!

Tattling Tiger Area

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday thinks

Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • No masking tape in the building = lack of my bulletin boards and creativity sinking... boo!!!
  • Lack of tape led to one of my students S bringing Scotch tape from home for me...so sweet :)
  • Tattling was OFF THE CHAIN today...and so begins the "Tattling Tiger"...
  • My comp at school says that its missing a working DVD device...I hate a nontechie school!
  • Indoor recess was so rough and noisy

Biggest concerns:
  • Assessments
  • K report cards
  • MLk bulletin..which is taking foreverrrr to complete

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

wednesday activities

Highlights/ Low-lights:
  • Assessment madness continues
  • Doctor was in the building
  • Math pre-test for k that I made myself
  • First k ESL unit assessment...went fairly well I think
Biggest Concerns:
  • K PA assessments
  • K report cards
  • Penguin unit
  • bulletin board

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Thought it was not Tuesday

So I came into school today with a list of things to do, but I was still running around like a chicken with its head cut off all day...oh well...

  • My aide was out today and didn't send me a text.  Very weird when someone is waiting for you in your room and you planned for a day with someone familiar with your kids!  However, she was very good with them, and I love seeing how other people would do things differently than me in my classroom. 
  • Scholastic Book orders were organized by the sub today (woohoo!), and she was so pro about it!  Now I have my letter all typed up (including under $1 items) to send home with the kids tomorrow.
  • Today started the day of the many assessments for my kiddos. :( Rough times ahead!  Today, we began the follow: writing our addresses/phone numbers/birthdays; spelling pre-test for Grade 1; Unit 5 pre-test for Grade 1 in Math; Unit 3 math test for K; HF testing for K; and ongoing PA testing for K...will I ever get that last one finished?!  It is taking me FOREVER!
  • Failed Zumba class at school today b/c the CD/CD player wasn't working...bummer!

Biggest Concerns:
  • Assessing my students and making the data useful to me...as well as organizing results so that I can refer back to different tests!
  • post-conference on Friday
  • Chinese New Year festivities
  • Penguin theme next week?
  • New units for K and 1 in Reach starting next week
  • Spelling tests for K starting next week

Monday, January 16, 2012

Friday the 13th

  • L was my para's sub today! :)  I put her to work immediately, but I think she was okay with it. ;-)  She was SUCH a huge help to me, and it was nice knowing that I could trust her with so much to do!
  • I was able to do a chunk of assessments when putting L in charge of K during Literacy time, and she helped me with my troubled ones during our job writing...
  • I love having recess duty only 1-2x a week!! :) :)
  • Rushed out at 5:30 to meet past co-workers...nice setting myself a limit on Fridays...

Biggest Concerns:
  • assessments for K and Grade 1 in ELA-- obvi!
  • quarterly assessments in 3 weeks -- dun dun DUN!
  • post-conference next week
  • running records/ fluency growth
  • kindergarten  night
  • K report cards
  • math PD work
  • my grad class starting next week!

Photos: Key Words for Math Story Problems! Stolen from theteacherwife.blogpost.com.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Early Release Days

Early Release days are always crazy...

  • Today consisted of Morning meeting, Snack, Language songs, Specials, ESL, lunch @ 10:55, calendar and language song at the end of the day.
  • I always run late on half days!  and it was pouring rain today.
  • PD until 3:30 and issues with communication between administrators = a huge pain!

Biggest Concerns:
  • assessments
  • positions of power

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


I am so tired this week! It's absolute crazy in my head, and I'm not sure when it'll clear up!

  • began the PA test with some K students...R surprised me with the syllable-clapping.  Good for you, Glen Coco.
  • Long meeting after school today-- I hate meetings that don't include snacks! 
  • Finally figured out my MEPID number, thank goodness
  • long PD tomorrow from 12:30-3:30...rough times. And I'm going to go back to school to organize my life!
  • MEPA tests are being ordered; so I need to figure out how to do that again
  • I did a running record for all the first graders who have not been DRA'ed...very behind schedule, but oh well, what can you do?
  • unannounced formal observation today-- I was unusually calm, but still a little nervous, too.  I think it went ok...

Biggest concerns:
  • MEPA
  • DOE visit?
  • informal observation feedback and post-conference
  • math PD class this semester
  • Friday's schedule without my para
  • MTEL in March
  • running records
  • PA assessments
  • letter ID/sounds still for some kids :x

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Topsy Turvy Tuesday

  • Omigoodness!  The day began with me being bamboozled by another teacher!  Taking the credit for something I worked so hard on...Then, two of my kids came into the room five minutes early because of drop-off times--ugh!  Then, the buses for my kids were late, so they didn't show up until 8:45 and school starts at 8:30am!  Then, I had to switch Gym times from the afternoon to the morning and had to cancel my CPT time in the afternoon as well as have the office contact my liaison so that she knew to come in at a later time than our usual Tuesdays.  Then, my liaison was 10 minutes late, and I thought that she never got the message.  Cah-razyyy!
  • High praise on the comment sheet I created, but lots of drama too...
  • expecting a new student soon
  • I loved working with a group of just 4 kindergarteners today!
  • EXHAUSTED, and just got home a half hour ago.

Biggest Concerns:
  • juggling work, grad school, and the new math PD for this semester
  • Kindergarten report cards
  • taking credit when it's due
  • bulletin boards
  • wall space in my room

Monday, January 9, 2012

crazy Monday!

There was so much to do today and so little time!! I got to school at 7am, and the janitor joked all day about me being late!  That is my life...

  • J in my class is so cute! He works so hard and has progressed so much since Day 1 in Kindergarten.  I am so proud of him.  He drew the cutest version of Fireman Small in his journal today...loves it.
  • I am loving my group of 5 kindergarteners.  It is such a treat after our first half of the year, which was quite crazy and nutso.
  • Why are the first graders not understanding representations of 10?  They need help...
  • I just finished formatting a new comment sheet/report card for Kindergarten, using the notes from the 2 K teachers at my school.  It definitely took me 2 hours to do, but it looks bomb. :) Just size 9 font though...
  • I love the new Monday/Tuesday schedules now because we get so much work done in the morning, and then the kids can have their fun in the afternoon!
  • The principal helped me officially announce the first day of the Lunar New Year (Jan. 23rd), and we agreed to ask everyone to wear red for good luck.
  • Definitely started shopping for Valentine's Day supplies today...NBD.

Biggest Concerns:
  • My next formal evaluation is unannounced-- ay caramba!!  The warning came out in our weekly update today that the next cycle of evals will be completed on the 25th...great.
  • How well will my K students do on their Unit test this week?
  • How will the first graders do with the quarterly in February if we are just finishing Unit 4 mid-next week? Hm..
  • Kindergarten report cards
  • How well will my students be able to memorize their phone numbers and addresses in 2 weeks? eek!
  • My mom's CNY activity on the 25th

Photos: trying to start a "Grammar" wall...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Week of the Year done!

  • ESL has been going really well, and I'm happy that I'm able to work with my new team really well.  It helps to have two teachers with the first grade because their levels are very different.
  • Math crackers for teacher more or less/fewer-- funny how food can motivate kids so much (I am the same way. :))
  • trouble with fitting in kindergarten songs with the afternoon...

Biggest Concerns:
  • kindergarten assessments for report cards
  • kindergarten math and progress for unit test next week and quarterly in February
  • Phonemic awareness assessment
  • category trainings
  • My "I have a dream" bulletin board

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


  • The new Wed/Thurs/Fri schedule went well today.  I think I like the Mon/Tues one best, though, because getting all that work done in the morning allows us to slack off a little bit in the afternoon or play catchup. :)
  • trying to keep the upper hand on certain things, but it's really difficult to keep my composure sometimes...
  • Math was interesting today because different students from the usual shown, and we also focused on really grasping our teen numbers...shaving cream numbers soon? hmmm...
  • I was happy to go to CPT today so that I can see what the other grades are doing-- don't want to be left in the dust!  They were also discussing running records, which I really need help with!

Biggest concerns:
  • Kindergarten report cards
  • keeping up with data and assessments
  • losing prep time two days out of the week
  • upcoming math PD work along with my grad work...oh boy

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Teaching Day of 2012

First day back-- happy new year to all my confused students!  So happy to be back with their friends, but also so tired by the end of the day.  I think the day flew by, even with our new schedule flipping our world upside down.  My kids are flexible though...and try to transition/adapt as quickly as they can. :]

  • Pumpkin soup from my aide for Haiti's Independence Day...yummmy
  • 3/14 students brought back "extra credit" work from vacation...hmm
  • trying to make up for the lack of resources I have to teach my Kindergarten kids from "their" curriculum

Biggest Concerns:
  • worried about how to write my language objectives for ESL/ELA
  • worried about the upcoming quarterly assessments
  • kindergarten report cards are when...?
  • assessments at the right time and ones that assess the right skills (or at least the skills taught!)
  • another grad class starting again in 3 weeks...

Monday, January 2, 2012

vacation is over

No school today in honor of New Year's.  HOLY SMOKES, vacation flew by...and I can't wait for February break.  Is that bad?  Ugh, 5am is not going to be pretty tomorrow!!