Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday's Weekly Wisdom: The Great Compromise

On Wednesdays, we are planning to present to our readers a little wisdom from the Teamed Up Teachers!

(insert applause!)

Today's wisdom is on our scheduling since you all need to get to know us!

We currently have about 18-20 students in each homeroom.  This hasn't always been the case, but it has worked with any number of students.  We do have to admit that it has been SOOOOOO much nicer with just a few kids (compared to 24-25 the past few years!).  

When we first started scheduling, we had many factors to include: 20 minute recess, 25 minute lunch, 60 minute Discovery (art, music, PE, Wellness, Computer, kitchen sink, bologna, cheese...oops wrong get the point!), 30 minute Classworks (computer program that is SUPPOSED to help us!), etc.  So it was very overwhelming for both of us to get our way.  

So we learned the first step to successful TEAMED UP TEACHING......drum roll please!!!!!!


We both wanted our subject taught in the morning before the kiddos fell asleep after that delicious and nutritious school lunch!  We also wanted equal teaching time with every student.  SO.....

We came to the conclusion that we would have each homeroom split the mornings with us.  Every student would have Reading and Math before lunch since these are the two focus areas for our school.  This not only gives us equal time with them, but it keeps the students alert and on their toes with the switch mid-morning.  

Don't get us wrong...we didn't want to switch back and forth all day.  So, we keep one homeroom all afternoon on odd days.  We call our schedule the "GAGA Schedule" because when we write it down in shorthand, our names make GAGA!


Monday/Wednesday Schedule:
 8:00-10:00 Gibson homeroom Math
                   Ayers homeroom Reading
10:00-12:00 Gibson homeroom Reading
                     Ayers homeroom Math
12:00-2:00   Gibson Writing/Language
                     Ayers   Science/Social Studies

The Tuesday/Thursday Schedule is the exact opposite homeroom...I guess that is the AGAG schedule!  

Fridays are split depending on testing.

We know that this is not the number one solution!  Just another option.  

How do you schedule your classes?  Any thoughts on ours?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


We are two teachers that work together teaching 4th grade!

Meet the team!!!

Whitney: This is my blogging debut, so I am a little nervous.  I am in my 3rd year of teaching, and my second year departmentalized. I absolutely, positively (sometimes) love my job.  Don't get me wrong, there are some c-uh-razy days, but I could not imagine myself anywhere else.  When they told me I would be partnered up to be departmentalized, I was nervous about how it would work, but it has turned out to be great.  Brenda and I have been able to do some great things as a team, and I hope you are able to use some of ideas to help you with any of your own situations.  You will find out that I am the crazy, nervous-wreck one (seriously, I have used the word nervous 3, make that 4 times now). However, I am here to pass on anything I think that can be helpful, and give you a laugh or two in the process.

Brenda: I am in my 8th year of teaching, and my third year of departmentalized.  I taught Kindergarten for 2 weeks (now that's a long story for another time!) before being moved to 5th grade to teach Math and Spelling (odd combination, I know!) for one year.  I then taught 4th grade self-contained for 5 years.  Now Whitney and I teach 4th grade together.  I was also a little nervous to change gears for 4th grade, but it has worked out great!  I am generally the more laid back, crafty, Pinterest-following teacher! 

We are hoping to share the ups and downs (more ups hopefully!) of team teaching.  Whitney teaches Reading, Language, and Writing.  Brenda teaches Math, Science, and Social Studies.  So, we will also be able to provide our ideas and strategies that go along with our curriculum.  

We will be sharing useful ideas, funny stories, recipes (we both like to cook and eat!), and are here to share and receive advice and tips that we learn through our journey as TEAMED UP TEACHERS!

Whitney and Brenda