Monthly Archives: January 2013

20 Down, 18 To Go

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This week was a four-day week and, more importantly, SCIENCE FAIR WEEK. So, there isn’t much to post about what we did academically. We got plenty done, it was all just small and disjointed. And, even though I only ended up teaching 3 days, I still feel inordinately tired. My pastor at church even said so. *Sigh* Is it that  obvious?

In language arts, we began a unit on fact and opinion. Students did a good job “stop!”ing me while I was reading when they heard an opinion. It paired nicely with our unit on media because we were able to talk about how advertisers sometimes state opinions, but make them sound like facts. I think the kids are more aware than ever.

In math, we finished up our unit on tens and ones. Many of the kids didn’t do so hot on the last quiz, so this was a chance to relearn material that they hadn’t picked up the first time. I was happy to look at the test scores on Friday and see that almost all of them went up. Now, I just have to rue the fact that Monday begins our unit on money. I will be in a a very bad mood come next week.

In social studies and science, we didn’t get a chance to do a whole lot. Monday was a holiday, Tuesday was preparing for science fair, Wednesday was going to science fair, Thursday was hearing the results of science fair, and there was a special assembly on Friday. Still, we did manage to play some games to review the kids about safety (in SS) and water (in science).

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19 Down, 19 To Go: halfway there!

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Woohoo! It’s downhill from here! This week was was pretty uneventful except for one, very eventful trip to the fire station. Each day during calendar time, we would count how many days there were left until the little fire station logo on Thursday. The problem was that on Wednesday, they thought they had reached the mark because there were no blank days left. Also, when we were doing our chant, the kids said, “Yesterday was…Tuesday. Today is …Wednesday. Tomorrow will be…THURSDAY!!!”

When the much-anticipated day arrived, we had to do english language arts, which might have been the hardest 90 minutes of their lives (since the last field trip, of course). We then put on our paper fire hats and lined up to go.

The fire fighters put on a great show for the munchkins. They gave a tour of the fire station, showed what it sounds like when the 911 dispatchers call:” *beep! beep! *911 Dispatch office sending a message to fire station 5 and their very important guests” and even let the munchkins walk through the fire truck.

Oh, and they put on a fire suit and scared the living daylights out of 3 kindergarteners. A nice fire fighter man went out the door, and a monster  came back in; a monster that got on the floor; a monster who the first graders and most of the kindergarteners happily interacted with and touched. Even after the monster had taken off all his protective gear, his tank, his hat, and his mask, the three kindergartners still eyed him suspiciously from the safety of our arms.

In the end, we gave them our home-baked cookies and waved good-bye to fire station 5. Fortunately for the teachers, there was a playground nearby and the kids were able to run off some of their exuberance before climbing back on the bus.

18 Down, 20 To Go

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This week was all about getting back into the routine. Most of my students had forgotten how to behave like the little angels that they are, and came back to school with the habits of winter break–namely, eating, sleeping, and playing whenever they wanted to. The munchkins were always whining about how they were starving (at 9:00!) or exhausted (at 11:30!). Compounding the difficulty getting back to good school habits was that it rained for two days, so students couldn’t go outside for recess. This hurt them, because they were used to playing, and it hurt me because they were big bundles of energy all day long. Some of the munchkins got “yellow days,” much to their dismay. Next week should be better…

In language arts, we reviewed sequence. This was a good topic to ease into school, because they are generally very good at sequencing events in a story. We read books, wrote the events on note cards, and then students arranged the note cards in the correct sequence and presented them to the class.

In math, we did a super-short unit on tens and ones. Students learned the 57 is 5 tens and 7 ones, 18 is 1 ten and 8 ones, etc. Most of them were completely baffled until they got the pattern. I’d hear the furious scratching of pencils and then an, “Oh!!!! I get it!” followed my more furious scratching, and then another joyful outburst. 

In science, it as pretty dull. We were learning about rocks. I don’t want to waste time with it, because social studies was AMAZING!!!

In social studies, we are learning about safety. During water safety day, I explained that it is important not to play with electronics in the bathtub. We talked about what it felt like to get a shock from touching something, and how that was only a few volts, whereas a shock from a plug is over 100 volts. One of my little ones piped in, “Did you know that the body makes electricity?” I told him that I did know that. Then he asked, “How much electricity does the brain conduct?” 

What I thought: WHAT?!?!?! YOU ARE SIX YEARS OLD!!

What I said: The brain has enough electricity to power a small light

Also in amazing social studies questions, we were talking about dialing 911. We read a great little book about a boy whose father gets trapped in the basement because the doorknob comes off. The boy knows just what to do and calls 911 (a fantastic non-scary situation). Afterwards, one of my students asked, “Can kids call 911?” I told her that, yes, kids can call 911 and we would talk about times when it is OK to call. Then, one of my other little darling munchkins said, “Sometimes my mom and dad lock the door in their bedroom. Should I call 911?”

What I thought: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA I can just imagine your poor parents hearing sirens and fire fighters breaking down the door….

What I said: No, unless they are trapped, do NOT call 911. It isn’t an emergency.

 

I love my munchkins…