Holy cow, talk about a crazy day! First of all, I got to meet my field supervisor today. She happened to be substitute teaching for part of the day at the elementary school I'm at. The crazy part came when my mentor teacher had to go home unexpectedly and left the class in my hands. Of course, because I'm not certified yet I have to have a certified teacher in there with me. My supervisor just happened to be available for that portion of the day so she agreed to assist me. Talk about nerve-racking. Our kiddos were already struggling quite a bit today with behavior so the change in routine did not help.
Luckily it was late enough in the day that the only things left on our schedule where library, cursive, art, and daily wrap up. I still had a few students though who wanted to test my boundaries without my mentor teacher there. Although thinking about it now may have been a benefit to have this occur early in the school year. I was able to make clear to the children where my boundaries were (obviously not as far as they had hoped) and establish with them my authority in the classroom. I also made sure to over emphasize my ability to positively reinforce the good behaviors I saw. Once I rolled out the Cougar Paws (school money), star charts, and "class compliment" jar, a number of my kiddos caught on that I was much more willing to praise positive behavior than to discipline negative behavior.
On a more fun note, we also had our first birthday today! I have a bunch of cute birthday treats pinned and saved but I kept putting off actually making them because I thought I had time. Then we had a new kiddo join us yesterday and of course his birthday was the third day of school when I still wasn't ready.
I got lucky though last night when I saw Meredith over at The Big Apple Teacher posted these adorable and simple birthday crazy straws. I just so happened to have the supplies lying around so I whipped up a small batch of testers and decided I love them. I follow the same basic steps Meredith did. Printed out the signs, laminated them, punched two holes and then stuck them on the straws. Our birthday guy today also enjoyed it so I will likely be picking up more straws this weekend to finish enough for the class. I plan to leave them behind with my mentor teacher even after I leave so that each kid gets a little something for me. And I do love sharing so if you'd like to use my happy birthday signs, you can get them here.