Thursday, March 29, 2012
As my class was watching the first half of Johnny Tremain this afternoon I was subconsciously rewriting the "song that never ends." My version went something like "This is the week that will not end, seems to go on and on my friend. It started with a surprise staff meeting and ended with a test, no matter how many times I remind them, these students will not clean up their mess....This is the week that will not end..." You get the idea, it's been one of those weeks. I'm sure many of us are experiencing this, especially with how warm last week was (80s here in MA, in MARCH!!), they definitely had a dose of summer weather, and now seem to think summer is right around the corner. Sorry kiddos! We still have a LOT to do! We've been working on writing back to our pen pals this week, and each time we write I am so surprised by how many students have actually been complaining about having to write these letters. I'm starting to feel down about it. I thought that writing to a new friend in a state that no one in our class has been to would be very interesting to them. I can't figure out if it's because they aren't all that familiar with friendly letter writing, or writing for a real purpose, I can't figure them out. Any ideas on how to get these reluctant writers more interesting in writing to their pen pals?
Monday, March 26, 2012
Today was one of those days that made me recall that show that Bill Cobsy used to host "Kids Say the Darndest Things" (I think that's what it was called??). I have a very interesting group this year, they are very active, very chatty, and what personalities they have on them! Needless to say there's never a dull moment in our room. I have a group of about six boys who tend to be mischievous, not naughty per say, but definitely rambunctious eight and nine year old boys. Two of them have a habit of saying things to be funny, and when they think they've cracked a great joke will chuckle and say "giggle." This morning I was not at my peppiest, as I sure many of us aren't after an all to short weekend with interrupted/restless sleep. One of these boys in particular was standing right next to me when someone else in class was trying to be funny for a change. My normal comedian was clearly unimpressed with his classmate's attempt at humor, and he lifted up an eyebrow and said "crickets." Another student near us was wondering what he meant by "crickets" and he was all to happy to explain "that's when someone tries to make a joke and it just doesn't work." I quietly reminded him that we are kind to our classmates and to not make comments that others could find hurtful, but I have to admit, it popped into my head where old shows sometimes had someone saying something trying to be funny, and having the audience not buying it, and accenting that with cricket sounds! lol Happy Monday!
Saturday, March 24, 2012
This weekend's goal was to kick back and relax. I surprised myself with an incredibly laid back and lazy day. It included a combination of being a couch potato, staying in pjs, and watching Lifetime movies all day long (my husband was oh so thrilled ;) Not!). I did my fair share of surfing the net, blog stalking, and pinning on Pinterest. I sometimes wonder if I'm the only teacher in the world who can get so stressed out by the nonstop school stuff during the school week, yet on the weekends I can find hours of looking for new and creative ideas for my classroom incredibly relaxing...is it just me?
Friday, March 23, 2012
I cannot tell you how happy I am that the weekend is here and that our ELA state testing is OVER! Talk about stressful. Our first day of testing was Wednesday and the children did really well with it. It took just over two hours for them to complete the first session, and over all they put a lot of effort into their work. I think they felt better about it Wednesday because it was still brand new to them so they didn't know what to expect exactly. Our second session on Thursday was a different matter. Half of my class looked like they had very restless nights when they walked through the door which is never a good sign. Fifteen minutes into the test session on of my girls has literally sleeping on her desk. I was worried the "testing police" might object, but I had to wake her up! I can't even describe how badly I felt for this poor child. Her eyes kept wanting to roll back and close, and it took about ten minutes of staying right there next to her to make sure she was really awake. =( Poor thing...someone not really familiar with how state testing goes said to me "I certainly hope there's a place on the test where you can mark that the poor child fell asleep and didn't do their best!" Um, nope, unfortunately there is not, and they do not take such things into consideration. Needless to say this afternoon a colleague and I took our classes outside for some extra recess, they definitely needed a break! Now the weekend is here and my goal is to try to relax and recharge my batteries...wish me luck! =)
Monday, March 19, 2012
Testing season has crept up on us once again. How does that happen? (It could have something to do with our classroom clock that is an hour ahead now since Daylight Savings has come and gone??? We had it changed and it went ahead an hour. Of course it's so far up on the wall I can't reach it even if I'm standing on a desk.) I keep a good pace throughout the school year, I hate having to worry about cramming content in before a test. In order to preserve my sanity (and the prevent any more pesky gray hairs from popping up), I try to allow for as much review as I can before we take our state tests. Today I was excited to try out Laura Candler's Buddy Test Prep activity. It worked out very well, the kids understood right away what was expected of them and were very engaged. I was very pleased. I really wish that I had come across that suggestion sooner than I did, it's definitely going to be a study strategy that we implement much earlier in the school year next year! I would definitely recommend checking it out for yourself to use with your students. Unrelated to school I have to say how glad I am that winter (fingers crossed) seems to really be on it's way out. I know this is New England and we could have two feet of snow tomorrow, but I can't tell you how much I enjoyed going to school with capris, sandals, and 75 degree weather this fabulous March day!