Monday, December 28, 2009

Diagnosis: Homework

Hey, guys, since it's pretty public knowledge what happened to me (it was during school, so yeah, people figured it out), I thought I'd let everyone know that the testing is all over, and today I finally went in and got my test results. I had a clean bill of health, and we're just going to "keep an eye on it" for awhile. They couldn't find anything wrong with me over the course of the five tests they did. I can't tell you what a huge relief this was to me today.

I hope everyone's having a fantastic break. Now that this is off my mind, I'm able to focus on school, and over the next few days, I can start developing my grand plan for the spring. Don't worry, it won't be TOO much more homework. Mwwwhahahahahaaaa!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Have a Good One!

Happy Holidays, everyone! And just remember, there's room for everyone on the nice list, so make sure to be good over break.

I'll see you next year!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Life Less Ordinary

Hey, this is the 300th post! Woohooooo!

Today we went to the second grade and helped Mrs. Bartlett's class with some gingerbread houses and read with them, came back and talked about the Social Studies test tomorrow, took a Caesar's English quiz, and then did a DOL, journal, and silent reading. And this afternoon we got to make gifts (shhhh!!). THAT was chaotic, but very fun. If they didn't bring it home today, they'll bring it home tomorrow.

Needless to say, days around 5-1 right now are anything but ordinary, but pretty darn fun in the end.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Keeping the Lid on the Boiler Pot Clamped Down Hard

This week's test/due date schedule:

Tuesday: Caesar's English quiz. This list is the one that was given to them last Tuesday. The roots they need to know are bene, son, nov, sangui, and cogn.

Wednesday: OPEN BOOK Social Studies quiz/test over chapters six and seven. This is nothing to worry about. As I told them this morning, this is the same thing as having a worksheet to do without partners--and without being able to take it home to finish, either. Don't worry, plenty of time will be given.

Thursday: OPEN NOTE quiz/test for Science. Astronomy is the topic, and they have copious notes on this subject. Of course, they will have to use their inferences and their brains.

Friday: Spelling Test. I promise this list is pretty easy compared to the last few weeks worth of lists. It's a half-day (despite the new rule--I have no idea what's going on, honestly), but I still need the kids to be wearing their thinking caps that day.

I'm giving them a book report worksheet (not a project!) today, and this is due on Wednesday. I told them that this is for either of the two novels they have read over the last six weeks.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Soul of Wit

The days are getting more and more frenetic as the big break gets closer and closer, but that's the same as every year. The bottom line is that your kids are some of the best around, and I enjoy each day I spend teaching them.

Happy Friday to you all. Tomorrow I'll post next week's quiz and test days.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

One Foot Out the Door

Today we bid farewell to Mr. Shriver, our cadet teacher. We're going to miss that kid (or technically, adult) in 5-1. He is going to be a natural at teaching. I first met Mr. Shriver through my karate dojo, where he's been teaching for awhile.

I like to think that he discovered the same thing about teaching that I did--teaching school doesn't automatically make you awesome at teaching karate (in my case) and vice versa (his case). Of course, with time, he became extremely comfortable with the kids and had them eating out of his hand. We've worked together quite a bit at the karate school, so I was really happy when he wanted to do his cadet teaching with me.

The kids wrote him letters of advice today before he left. I liked hearing these as he read them out loud--very insightful. I hope one day he'll come back and student teach with me, because he's going to be an awesome teacher.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Breaking Away

It was a wild goose chase--actually a wild hamster chase--today when Queen Whiskers broke free of her cage. The new rule is that no one is allowed to either open the cage nor put their hands in it. Queen Whiskers it to be enjoyed only from the outside.

Ever since the great escape, Barton has been shoveling away at the bottom of his aquarium. I imagine he's thinking, "If that rodent can break free, then so can I..."

Other than that, we had a pretty full day. We learned about the New England and Middle Colonies in Social Studies, and they had homework (the two aforementioned regions' worth of their SS journal pages 40-41, along with page 38. The kids also have spelling, a DOL, and my Math class has page 168 in the MJ and study link 5.2. (They most likely already have the MJ page done.)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Another Great Philosopher

Bah! No news yet. It was only for an EMG (not sure what that means, but evidently it stands for "we're going to poke you with needles and electrocute you"). When the lady called, she said it was to let me know what the tests thus far said. Now I'll find out right after Christmas.

Anyway, for your information, we're going to try to have the semester wrapped up by next Thursday, which means we're going to have to be regular whirlwinds up to that point. I'll do my best not to over-test, but we really should get another book report in there somewhere (don't worry, not another project), a Social Studies test, and at least one more Caesar's English test. I'll let the kids know tomorrow what is going to come when, but I'll also do my best to go easy on them.

The last thing my grandfather ever said to me was while he was in hospice: "You go easy on those kids!" His eyes were closed and it was almost not understandable, but it came through loud and clear. This was five years ago, right after I was talking about how I had to come down on some of them for being idiots that day. I try to remember that whenever I'm making decisions in the classroom, but often it falls to the back of my mind. I have to think that it must have seemed important to someone who was about to die, and I figure that's about the most clarity you're ever going to have on life. Even though it doesn't entirely make sense sometimes to me, I figure there's more truth to it than I know in the here and now.

So we'll successfully wrap up our semester, but if there are some loose ends, that's okay too.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Anyone? Anyone?

It's been a long weekend, but I wish everyone a fantastic week ahead. If there's one thing I've learned this weekend (and there has actually been much more, but I say nonetheless), it's this. From the wisdom that is Ferris Bueller:

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Oh, and by the way, no, this is not some allusion to some bad news I got from a doctor. I still have no news on that one yet (doctor's appointment tomorrow). I just didn't want everyone calling in all worried about me! I'm fine--honest! :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Drawn to the Deep End

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. We had a good day yesterday--we had a drawing lesson at the end of the morning. I don't think the kids realize that even though I can draw, I'm not actually much of a drawing teacher. It took me eight years of teaching drawing at camp to realize that. The kids seemed to like it, though. And I have to say also that having the document camera makes teaching drawing so much easier.