Monthly Archives: November 2012

13 Down, 25 To Go

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There isn’t much to talk about this week because it was so short and we didn’t practice any new skills. Instead the kindergarten teacher and I decided to preview some skills that the students will see on their standardized test in March that won’t fully be covered in class until April or May. The classes also worked on skills that we always want to teach, but don’t have time for during the normal week–tying shoes for example.  We also planned fun stuff. Plenty of fun stuff.

Some parents came to pick up their child early from school on Tuesday and a few asked, “You’re not doing anything important are you?”

My reply:

“An hour before Thanksgiving break? Not a chance! I’m trying to keep them from destroying the room! “

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12 Down, 26 To Go

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This week started out great, but as the days went on, and the kids got closer to Thanks giving Break, it started to get a bit crazy. Oh well, fortunately we won’t be doing much next week.

In language arts, we studied author’s purpose.  It was pretty hard for the munchkins. I’m glad that we’ll have another week to study it.

In math, we finished up learning about subtraction, which is a great relief to many of my students. Some of them use very clever ways to get around subtracting/counting backwards. They will create, basically, a simple algebra problem. For instance, if “Johnny has 4 cookies and he eats 3, how many does he have now?” was the given problem, they would not write 4-3=1, they would write 3+_=4.

In social studies, we’re learning about good citizens. We read about Rosa Parks and Susan B. Anthony. The munchkins were totally stunned to find out that some people thought you were less of a person if you were black or a woman. They kept calling out “That’s not being fair!!” while I was reading the books. It did my heart good.

In science, we’re learning about forces. We learned that a force is a push or a pull and that some forces can be invisible, like gravity or magnetism. We had a really neat computer game from the BBC that let the kids test different levels of force as well as letting them put in strong and weak opposing forces to see what happens.

11 Down, 27 To Go

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This week we elected a President! And so did the rest of the country! But that one was far less exciting than the election we held in school. Students lined up and cast a ballot for either candidate (in secret booths, of course). We then gave everyone their very own “I voted” sticker and began to count ballots.

All in all, Obama won by a large majority. However, at that time, we weren’t sure if it would match the national election, so we drew a map of the U.S. and colored in states red and blue so that it would end in a tie.

We’ve been pressing on as usual with our studies. In language arts, we worked on cause and effect, which the kids really seem to be getting, and the a_e pattern, which some of the kids seem to be getting. It was so sweet/sad on the spelling test on Friday. One of the girls raised her hand and said, “He’s crying.”  I went over to the little boy, and indeed he was crying. I asked him what was wrong. He said,

I just can’t spell “take”

I told him to try to sound it out, but if he couldn’t, neither mommy or I would be upset. He seemed to pull it together and when I got his paper, it looked like this

3. tack  tace  take

I was so proud of his perseverance!

In math, science, and social studies, we’ve been doing the same old thing, nothing too much to report.

10 Down, 28 To Go

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There is a disturbing trend going on in kindergarten and first grade.  They have decided that it would be fun to ask mommy to buy them 50 cookies to bring to school. This happened three times THIS WEEK. There are several things that this trend is bad for:

1. Learning: the kids cannot learn while hyped up on sugar

2. Inter-grade friendships: since we are talking about five, six, and seven-year-olds,they all burst into tears or pout if the other grade gets cookies one day and they don’t.

3. My waistline: the cookie-toting munchkin always gives a cookie to me and then stands there expectantly. I can’t disappoint the little dears!

However, it has significantly raised morale in the class, which is nice. Also, I think my dentist is underpaid.

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This was an interesting week because we took a whole-school field trip to Reunion Ranch in Georgetown on Monday. We all gathered at school, and the munchkins spent about 20 minutes talking about how they only brought a snack to school. This was obviously hilarious. Then we all trooped to the bathroom to at least try to go.

After that we all buddied up. I told them to hold hands with their buddy on the bus so that we could easily place them in seats; and they did exactly what I said, because they are too little to care about holding hands. Thank goodness. Then we headed off behind the caravan of other buses. About four minutes into the trip they began asking us when we were going to get there. We told them it would be an hour, and to take a nap; and they did exactly what I said, because they are able to fall asleep anywhere, in any situation.

When we were at Reunion Ranch, we played mini-golf, drew with chalk, played on several playgrounds, rode a zip line, ate hot dogs, broke a pinata, and went on an obstacle course. Everything has to be modified for little ones. At mini-golf the kids pushed their balls into the holes with their clubs instead of taking strokes. Many of the kinders would only ride the zip line if they rode on me or the kindergarten teacher. And on the obstacle course, the munchkins went under most of the obstacles rather than over, because they’re too small. But it was lots of fun, and most of the kids were asleep before we got off the ranch.

I love first grade.

PS: I was able to upload some photos from our recent trip into my last post!