Sunday, August 14, 2016

I'm a Catch!

I'm a Catch!

Why should a school district hire me?  It is a perfect question.  What do I have that would STAND OUT and make someone want ME?  Yes, me!  April Wolfe?!

Ever since I was a little girl I always dreamed of being a teacher.  I have never wanted to be anything else.  I remember setting out my stuffed animals in a row and trying to teach them. 
Photo of Stuffed Animals
 I must say I don't know if they learned anything, but I enjoyed trying my best to teach them. 

In High School I was able to get practice and experience teaching.  My parents ran the local YMCA and they would have people not be able to come into work so I would get to go in and help.  I was able to teach gymnastic classes to swim classes to senior classes.  It was great experience for me working with children and also adults.  I helped out in the daycare too.

I was a cheerleader growing up so cheerleading helped me be a leader as well as adding to my resume in teaching.  My mom and I started an All Star Cheerleading Squad and I got to teach them how to cheer.  In college I cheered too and was part of the Universal Cheerleading Association.  My summers were full of working with younger cheerleaders and teaching them how to be better at cheerleading.
photo of BGSU

I graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education.  I was finally able to get my own classroom and get to do what I had always dreamed of.  I was SO excited!  I got to teach second grade in the school that I grew up going to.  I taught second grade there (in Ohio) for two years.
2 years of Second Grade Experience

Then I moved to Florida.  I got a job as a kindergarten teacher.  While I was teaching kindergarten that year I also earned my Master's degree in Reading from Nova Southeastern University.  I knew that at that time that I needed to get my Master's in case I ever went back to Ohio because they were going to start requiring it.
  Photo of Nova
 I stayed at that school and taught kindergarten for a year and then I found another school that was just opening and closer to where I lived.  It made sense to switch schools. 

1 decade of experience in All Day Everyday Kindergarten. 

I taught kindergarten there for another 9 years.  Also while teaching kindergarten I ended up working on getting certified as a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT).  I earned my National Board status in 2008.

National Board Certified Teacher

   Then I decided I wanted to teach first grade. I taught first grade for two years and then moved over the summer back to Ohio due to my husband's job.

2 years First Grade Experience
14 total years of teaching experience

So there you have my background.  The experience that I have had.   Now I want to share somethings I do in my classroom and my classroom atmosphere.

 I LOVE my students.  They become part of my family.  I build great rapport with my students and my classroom parents.  I feel I communicate with my classroom parents very well.  I feel communication on both parts is essential to having a great year.  I get my parents notified on everything that has to do with our classroom.  This past year I found an excellent app that allowed my communication with parents to expand.  I loved using the app Seesaw to do this.  

Photo of Seesaw

Seesaw is a digital portfolio app.  My students would take pictures of completed work and share with their parents.  The parents could like and comment on their work.  The students loved getting a little note from their parent on their work and being able to comment on other classmates work.  We could reflect on the students work with the app.  I could send notes, newsletters, and videos within the app.  The parents would receive a notification allowing them to check the app.  Another way I communicate with parents is by sending home a weekly newsletter.  This way parents have another glimpse into our classroom.  I always tell my parents to call, email, come in if they have a question or a concern.


I used a lot of the Whole Brain Teaching (WBT) techniques in my classroom.  I love teaching vocabulary using the Teach! Okay! method.  I love the students being able to be silly, talking to one another, and moving.  It helps them learn the material.  I used the WBT rules and scoreboard too.

Photo of WBT

Another way I run my class or help my class run is by using Daily 5.  One of my favorite times of the day is guided reading time.  I love being able to teach my students how to be independent.  I love pulling small groups and feeling like I make a difference in their learning.  I also like incorporating guided math groups. 


Guided Reading and Math

I have used different things for discipline.  I have used the clip chart that has colors up and down.  I have also used Classdojo.  I love how Classdojo shows the parents exactly why their child is earning or losing points.  I like being as specific  as possible so the parents understand.  I do think it is important for students to hear praise.  I try to praise my students a lot!!

One of my passions is incorporating technology to my teaching.  The last two years I have piloted 1:1 iPads in my classroom.  The students love them and so do I.


I use the iPads as a way to enhance their learning.  In today's world technology is so important so I think it is important to include it in my teaching. 

Here is a video I made about what we did for the week of April 11th. 


Here is another project my students did on researching a famous person (as seen above) but then they took everything they learned and used an app to create a project.


Part of teaching kids to use technology is also teaching the students to code.  I have used great apps/websites to help the kiddos learn how to code.


One year I had my class make a movie.  It was a great experience for the class and myself.  We entered the movie in a movie awards. We ran away with a first place trophy in a comedy.


This past year at the end of the year my class made a music video.  It was a fun time with the class.


I really focused on teaching writing last year.  My kiddos were so motivated to write their stories.  Here is one of my kiddos stories that she wrote and then made a video of it.


Here is another video newsletter.  I loved being able to give parents a better picture of inside our classroom.


I think students having accountability is very important in their learning.  Here is a video one of my students made showing me what she worked on during center/Daily 5.

I love teaching!! It is my passion.  I love being a leader and a mentor.  I have had numerous student teachers over the years as well as first year teachers that I mentored.


I love setting up my classroom at the beginning of every year.  I love researching for new ideas on blogs and Pinterest.

My whole blog post today is dedicated to showing how and why I'M A CATCH for teaching.  I am a hardworking, creative, and an experienced teacher!  I work hard to do everything possible so my students can succeed.  I like making a difference in the child's life.

                                                     photo of apple

Thanks so much for stopping by to see why I'm a catch!

Have a Wolfelicious day!

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I love using Seesaw! Do you want an extra free month of Seesaw Plus on me! Just scan my QR code and it shall be yours!  #Seesaw

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