Monthly Archives: October 2012

9 Down, 29 To Go

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This week was a short week because my students had a few days off of school and we also had parent-teacher conferences. So, there isn’t much school-wise to discuss. We reviewed skills from the previous eight weeks, did a holiday craft with a parent-volunteer, and tried to stay calm until the long weekend began.

This was as much a struggle for me as it was for the kids, because the moment parent-teacher conferences ended…I went camping!

Jack picked me up from school, and we made the short drive to Bend, TX.  We got to the entrance two hours after we left the school, but it wasn’t until 30 minutes later that we got to the Ranger Station! Those were some of the slowest six miles I’ve ever traveled in a car. It was an unimproved dirt road littered with thousands of medium sized rocks.  Ugh!

When we finally got to the river, it was beautiful! We had our choice of campsites, since it was not yet the weekend rush. We found a lovely site under the shade of willow trees, close enough to the river to hear it flowing, but far enough away to avoid getting wet.

We took a short walk and then retired back at our site so that we could make dinner.  We had chicken fajitas. We put the chicken, onion, and peppers into marinade at home and then cooked it on the propane stove that evening. They were delicious and very easy to make. Then we made a small fire and cooked s’mores.

That night, a large cold front blew in. In the morning, it was about 45 degrees and raining! We were dismayed to say the least. But, we got out of the tent when the rain stopped, and made some oatmeal and bacon.  I was still a little hungry, so I got out a tortilla that wasn’t used the night prior for fajitas and decided to warm it.  I was just about to rinse out the pan used for frying bacon when I realized. Frying it in the pan would be delicious! I tried it, and it was indeed delicious.

We went on a partially cloudy, partially rainy walk and then retired back to the tent, exhausted. It was still rainy, so we at lunch in the tent and then took a nap. When we woke up, the sun was up!  We were able to take another lovely walk, this time in sun-soaked breezy weather. Much more pleasant.

We had a spaghetti dinner, ate more s’mores, and went to bed. In the morning, we woke up and cleaned up our campsite, but not before enjoying more oatmeal, bacon, and bacon tortillas! We took another short walk and then began our big adventure of the trip.

We went caving!  It was a fabulous adventure and just a bit scary. There were two groups of two plus one guide to make five.  We had to drop down into the cave, but didn’t worry about falling because the opening was so narrow, we could barely get through. There were some parts of the cave that I had to crawl over a rock and then twist my body sideways so that my hips could go through a hole in the rock. Then, it would open up into a small room that all five of us could fit into and rest for a few moments before going through the next swiss cheese-like section.

 

 

When we got out, Jack and I were exhausted and completely muddy, but overjoyed.  We were overjoyed because it was so much fun, but also because it was the last thing we were set to do, and we could look forward to a long, comfy car ride back home and a nice warm bed to recuperate in.

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8 Down, 30 To Go

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This week was pretty uneventful, which is a good thing. The only major interruption to our school day was on Wednesday when we had picture day. I decided to wear a dress because I wanted to look a little nicer than the usual grungy persona that I project most days.  There were two things that I totally expected that totally happened.

1) All the teachers and all the students loved my dress.

2) I hated my dress.

Dresses are so annoying when you have to be stooping down to pick things off the floor, sitting outside monitoring recess, sitting on the carpet for calendar time.  I can’t imagine how teachers did it before they were allowed to wear pants!

But I looked nice in the picture, which I will remember for years; unlike the trouble that the dress caused me, which I will not remember.

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In language arts, we learned about cause and effect which is so much fun. The kids really got into it and all did well on the quiz.  We also worked on the short /u/ sound which is a good deal of fun too, because it makes the sound that people being wounded make. So, we all practiced saying, “Uhh!” and grabbing our gut.

In math, we finished up our unit on subtraction (yippee!) and have now begun a unit on using a ten-frame, which the kids really seem to be getting (yippee!)

In social studies, we took a quiz about wants and needs, which the munchkins totally rocked! I was so pleased with what they had learned. Now, we are beginning a unit on good citizenship, which should be lots of fun.

In science, we finished states and changes in matter and began our large unit on force, motion, and energy. We have begun by studying light energy. We will look at: lamps, flashlights, candles, the sun (not directly), and lighting bugs (also known to weirdos and my husband as fireflies).

7 Down, 31 To Go

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Late again, I know it’s shameful.  But, you see, last weekend was BUSY.

Friday

  • 8:00-4:00 (School)
  • 4:00-5:00 (Prepare for party)
  • 5:00-11:00 (Dinner with friend)

Saturday

  • 8:00-10:30 (Prepare for Party)
  • 10:30-2:30 (Joint Birthday/Watch UT get creamed by OU party)
  • 2:30-5:00 (Clean up and recuperate)
  • 5:00-6:00- (Go to HEB for flu shots and eat leftover party food for dinner)
  • 6:00-11:00 (Westlake Marching Festival)

Sunday

  • 8:00-10:00 (Watch Get Smart…this is very important)
  • 10:00-1:00  (Church)
  • 1:00-3:00 (Lunch with Church friends)
  • 3:00-5:00 (Farmer’s Market)
  • 5:00-8:00 (Dinner with Jack’s Family
  • 8:00-11:00 (Laundry!)

So, I didn’t get around to posting about my week. But here’s the rundown.

In language arts, we talked more about main idea and details. This is still very difficult for the munchkins. They want the main idea to be a word, not a sentence. What they give me is the topic. Ironically, for the title of their first book, most of them gave me the main idea, not the topic/title. I will let the second grade teacher straighten them out next year.

In math, we’re doing more subtraction.  The munchkins are getting the hang of it now, but still have trouble with using subtraction to compare (Andrea has 11 flowers, Jack has 4, how many MORE does Andrea have?) and have trouble with fact families. It baffles me that fact families can be a problem. You take 3 numbers and create two addition and two subtraction sentences. They will write 2+3=5, 3+2=5, 5-3=2 and 5-1=4. AHHHH!!!

In social studies, we finished learning about families and began discussing wants and needs.  Students know that the four needs are: water, food, shelter, and clothing. They also know that they need to fulfill needs before they can purchase wants.  We created a fake little budget and the kids had to first pay for their house, groceries, water bill, and clothes before they could get a cookie or a game.

In science, we had MATTER SHOW. Jack came and did some really neat demonstrations for the munchkins about states and changes in matter. The kids loved it and many parents came up to me and said that their child won’t stop talking about everything they saw. I was proud of my students and my honey.

 

6 Down, 32 To Go

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I’m baaaaack! Why have I been gone for a week? Well, it wasn’t my choice. WordPress shut down my account for violating the terms of service. I was so disheartened!

 

 

 

It turns out that a picture I had posted months ago (of wedding rings, no less) violated the terms of service because it linked to a website. Weird, huh?

Anyway, I’m back, and the past two weeks have been much better.

In language arts, we’ve continued to work on vowel patterns, nouns, verbs, as well as beginning to learn about main idea and details (which is a hard concept for anyone, but especially six-year-olds).  We also finished up our first story, a personal narrative.  I wish I could post the full text of all of the stories for your amusement, but I can’t. So, I will just let you know that no less than six stories mentioned H.E.B.

In math, we finished up addition and began subtraction. For two weeks, students read problems, summed the numbers and wrote the sum down on paper. So, it was quite a difficult shift for the kids when they had to find the difference. In fact, for two or three days, many of them continued to add the numbers show, rather than subtract.

In social studies, we discussed families and family chores. We’ll take a quiz on it this Monday and then get into wants and needs. Hooray!

In science, we finished up learning about physical properties of matter (mass, length, color, shape, size, texture) and created a small book about it.  We have now begun to learn about the states of matter and the ways that matter can be changed.