Sunday, August 12, 2012

Whole Brain Teaching Social Media Intern!!!!!

WOW!  I have been selected as a Whole Brain Teaching Social Media Intern!  I am so honored to have been selected! lNever in a million years did I think they would select me! My goal, along with my 6 team mates, is to increase the number of views and subscribers on the WBT Webcast channel and the number of pins on the Pinterest board. I am very honored to have been chosen! If you haven't looked into this, you are really missing out!

I am so looking forward to sharing all that I learn with all of my faithful followers!

This is my life as I know it right now.....


Monday, July 9, 2012

WOW! An Award!

A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to Mrs. Stoltenberg at
Mrs. Stoltenberg's Second Grade Class

for nominating me for the Versitile Blogger Award!  I am very honored!

So here are the required 7 random facts about me:
1. I have 2 daughters.  Daughter #1 just graduated and is going to be a physics teacher in a teeny tiny town in Illinois.  Daughter #2 is currently in Mexico studying abroad.  She is a Homeland Security/Criminal Justice/Spanish major and will be a Sr. in the Fall!
2.  I have 3 dogs and 3 cats that are spoiled rotten!
3.  I am teaching 1st Grade ELL Summer School.
4.  I am reading "Gone Girl" on my Nook.
5.  I've been married for 28 years to my college sweetheart!
6.  I've lost 50 lbs. since last June! 
7.  I joined a local Couch to 5K program in February of this year.  I have ran 4 - 5Ks and I run 3miles every other day.

I'm going to have to look for 15 great blogs to nominate for this fantastic award so I'll be back later for an update!  Thanks again Mrs. Stoltenberg!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Tradition Education vs. Whole Brain thoughts.

Traditional Education: “Try not to have a good time - this is supposed to be educational”.
Charles M. Schulz
Since when has learning new things not been fun! Who doesn’t remember the first time you learned to ride a bike? Squeals of joy came out of everyone involved as I unsteadily made that first trek down the road! I felt as if I could conquer the world after that! As an adult, I recently trained for and learned how to run a 5K. When I crossed that finish line my arms were in the air, fist pumping, high fiving, spectators were cheering! I felt like a million dollars! The training, concentration and perseverance to achieve both of those skills were grueling. But the end result of pure joy was worth the amount of bumps, bruises and scrapes sustained in the process! Learning is FUN! The rigor and requirements in education today is much like enduring all those bumps, bruises, and scrapes but without the same rewards.
Fun doesn’t have to be superficial, simplified or amusing. What fun in education does mean is highly motivational, actively engaged, innovative, creative and imaginative learning. Children are supposed to LOVE learning! It is understandable that today, in traditional educational settings, children find it very difficult to love the boring, monotonous, repetitive, meaningless hours of sitting at a desk or in front of a computer being force fed superficial facts for high stakes testing.
What about WBT isn’t FUN? When I incorporate WBT into my day, not only do my students have fun but I do as well! My kids beg to play Super Speed 100! My class loves to act out their basal reading stories with their hands, bodies and silly voices. Teach/Okay shows students how others think. “It’s okay” encourages students to not be afraid to give a wrong answer. WBT naturally encourages critical thinking skills without the students even knowing it! My test scores and exemplary evaluations prove that WBT works!
Laurie Matko
ELL teacher in VA (I attended the WBT orientation)

Please join me as I go through the stages of being certified as a Whole Brain Teacher!  I promise this will make your life easier!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's A New Year. Big Decisions.

Happy New Year! January ALWAYS tends to be the BEST teaching month EVER! The kids are more mature and are settled into the first grade routine. I'm refreshed after the Winter Break. They suck up all the information I am teaching like a sponge! This is also the time that my class changes due to the fact they are very transitional. (They move around a lot) I've lost 3 of my sweetest babies and have gained 1. It's so bittersweet because I get so darned attached. This is also the time when we start thinking about retentions. I have one little fellow in mind. Our system is not big on the idea of retaining "anyone" so it has to be for very good reasons. I think I have enough evidence to get this one little baby to be retained. Retention isn't always a negative thing. Sometimes it just makes sense and is right for the student. I retained one fellow last year and he is a straight A student and is a leader. How can that be a "bad" thing? But it is a difficult decision that I don't take lightly. What a difference one year can make!
That's my life as I know it......


Monday, December 26, 2011

Not At My School! Finally have time to vent....

I haven't blogged in forever but I thought I could pull off at least one post per week but noo......WRONG, FAIL! But the good intention was there....
But in the meantime, I've been blog stalking and looking at all of the wonderful arts and crafts EVERONE did over the holidays. Plus I've been reading about how the students were driving all of their teacher's crazy with all their hyped up behavior.
Said to admit, none of this went on in my classroom. Our ACADEMIC calendar was priority and it did not include anything FUN. (And I teach 1st grade!)We did finally make 2 "arts"y activities on the 19th and 20th. And my kids weren't all hyped up over the holidays because they are too poor! They don't get to go to the mall or stores to see all of the Christmas fan fair. They don't even have trees up. And NOOOOOOO Santa does not visit them so they figure they have been naughty all year. But Santa Matko (me) tried to make up for it as much as my pocket could afford..... Hopefully I made them feel a part of the season and that they were NEVER that naughty to get punished by not getting Santa's presents. So our last weeks of school were like any other ordinary day. I only wish my students would have been fortunate enough to do all of the above activities and been so excited about the holidays they were crawling out of their skins!
My Principal is also GREAT about the celebrating! So much more than other Principals in our district! She acknowledges our clientele and makes it the best she can for them. She supports everything we do, as long as it is for the kids! I am so fortunate to have her as a principal! And my Assistants are just as awesome! But our hands are tied to the curriculum no matter WHAT!
So for anyone that reads my blog, be thankful for all the things that make children, children and make children believe in Santa, The Tooth Fairy, The Easter Bunny, etc.......and be thankful your curriculum still allows time for the fun things!

This is my life as I know know it right now.