Saturday, March 19, 2011

Eventful Friday

Yesterday was Friday--and a very fun day at school for me!

1. We had our County Fair during language arts time.
2. I got to help out with the readers theater at chapel time.
3. Third grade went up to middle school for some electricity presentations
4. Lots of specials in the afternoon...and no Chinese lessons for me (which is a definite plus with my pregnancy brain)

It was also a little stressful because we had another outbreak of lice among the elementary students towards the end of the day and everyone had to be checked. I also realized that I was moving from 12 students to 18 students starting on Monday and needed to rearrange my classroom to accommodate the growth. I hadn't thought of how I wanted to change the room before, so at 3:30 I had a little panic attack. I stayed until 8pm to make sure everything was ready for Monday. I guess this paragraph isn't entirely honest. I had planned to stay late anyway (but to work on organizing files). And I already had about 16 students during math, but now the numbers are increasing in all subject areas.

Also, next week is going to be quite crazy with lessons. We're watching "Charlotte's Web" and "The Tale of Despereaux" since we just finished both books. We have five writing projects. We have a big science review and test (and an abnormal science schedule). We have new students in just about every class. I have a new Korean student who is going to be in mainstream--but he wont be able to do any of the language arts lessons that the others will be working on since he didn't read "Charlotte's Web"--so I have to have 75 minutes of separate plans for him...every day...for two weeks. There's also the read-a-thon to help with after school on Friday, and a few new units to start throughout the week. Usually weeks are not this crazy. I had to make a whole schedule for just this week because it is so different than normal and I couldn't visualize what it was going to look like.

Monday is like the first day of school all over again. So many changes!

Here are some pictures from the County Fair. It was a short activity but the kids seemed to be very excited about it. They brought in treats and their prized stuffed animals to exhibit. We played fair-like games and they dressed in the "Sunday best" outfits. We had an "animal competition". They ate a rat's paradise, literally, just like Templeton. If I were to do this again, I would definitely make a limit on sweets. I was shocked at how much they ate while my back was turned! We also awarded some stuffed animals with blue ribbons. It was fun, and cute! Most of them have never been to a county fair before and some had never heard of one before. It's a little hard to emulate a fair in one's classroom--but the kids didn't notice the limitations at all. Before the fair started, I sent them downstairs with our TI to pop the popcorn. While they were gone, I quickly set up the games. When they came back, I handed them their tickets and quickly explained how to play some of the activities. They were all "oohing" and "ahing" as if the classroom had been transformed into a magical place. Really, only minor changes were made--so I loved their enthusiasm.

Some animals in their "pens". And the sharp shooter's booth.

Some more animals.

Dropping clothes pins into a jar...really these are such simple activities, but the students go gaga over them.

The cup game---try to guess which cup has the piece of paper underneath and win five tickets!

These were just some of the treats that we ate. More cookies and popcorn came out as well. I ate too much sugar as well. Oof. Friday was a sugar-fest.

The room was ready for the students!

Later that day, we were in Mr. Johnson's classroom where the 8th graders gave some fun presentations to my students. Both 3rd grade and 8th grade were working on an electricity unit. This was a great opportunity for Adam and I to collaborate together. I wish that we had done this more often in the past!

One of the groups that was running a station had a lot of problems. The computer they were using kept crashing, and the lemon/light bulb demo that had planned was not working. There seemed to be a problem with the wires---I felt bad for the students who had planned this presentation. It's always stressful when technical difficulties inhibit teaching/learning.

Adam tried to fix their lemon/light bulb contraption--but to no avail.

Classroom Spaces

Late on Friday ready as I could manage to get before 8pm.
Just a few minor changes, you might not even notice, but to me they feel huge.
I had to remove 5 pieces of furniture and currently don't have a desk chair.
Pieces were shifted around and desks were rotated. I have a whole new table group.
My easel is gone...most sad about that.

In retrospect, I wish that the little whiteboard (which used to rest on my easel) had been hung several inches lower so that it was more in line with window sill. Oh well. The holes that the nails caused are quite gruesome, and moving it lower will just make the wall look worse at this point. The white board is also crooked. I don't know what it is, but our truly awesome maintenance staff often has difficulty hanging bulletin boards/white boards/whatever so that they are level. It's going to drive the OCD in me crazy!

Rather than get rid of my little reading rug, just found a new corner for it.

Still so much to get ready, but that can be done throughout the week. I hope everything will work out smoothly on Monday with all the new transitions.


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