Meet my friend Michelle from No Monkey Business!!!
Hello! I'm Michelle from No Monkey Business...Just Bunches of Learning! This is my 23rd year in education. I've taught everything K-3, and am now serving as my school's literacy coach. I thought I had always wanted to be in the medical profession, which is hysterical now that I think about it. I can't even watch the nurse take my own blood. How did I end up here? I was in my senior year of high school in an Advanced Placement Spanish class where my teacher required the AP students to TEACH basic Spanish to a local elementary class. I fell in love the moment I walked in the door. Kids were eager to learn, happy to see me each week, and I couldn't believe the amazing feeling of being responsible for making sure they were learning. The rest is history. I did cry my eyes out leaving my classroom last year, BUT it has given me a whole new perspective and even appreciation for everyone involved in the education process. I now get to share my love of teaching with students AND teachers. Instead of the 23 little friends within the four walls of my classroom, I have 775 little friends AND their 37 amazing teachers to work with.
One of the greatest things I ever started in my classroom was interactive notebooking. What began as a goal to make learning more fun and engaging, ended up being more than that. It DID make learning more enjoyable and interactive, but it also made my students better writers and more responsible for their own
learning. I quickly learned if they could explain their thinking through the notebooking process, they truly understood what they learned. Students love making them, and parents love them because they serve as wonderful study tools when students prepare for the test on a particular unit. Here are some quick snapshots of the interactive notebook on Money. Students have some "Foldi-fun" with flips and flaps, cutting, gluing, manipulating money pieces, and explaining their learning as they go. Once you try one notebook with your students, be prepared, though, to be hooked and ready to tackle more. I currently have seven Math notebooks available. (Numeracy, Addition/Subtraction, Multiplication concepts, Division concepts, Money, Fractions, and Geometry, with MORE on the way! (Bundled for less!)
The greatest thing about notebooking is that you truly don't HAVE to buy anything. My first notebook attempt included students doing all the illustrations, folding, and writing. Who carries the cheapest notebooks to put your material in? Any of the dollar stores are great for that. Walmart also runs those back to school sales, where I've gotten them for as little as .33 cents before. I also got really lucky when a local business donated boxes and boxes of notebooks to our school! The biggest piece of advice I have is to start small, and start with a topic/subject that you yourself enjoy teaching. You'll be amazed at how creative you AND your students can be!
Enjoy what's left of your school year. Thanks for letting me share a little bit about myself on Jennifer's blog! Hoping you'll SWING on over to my blog sometime and say hi and grab over 20 freebies! :-)
Bananas for bloggers that share their space!