Monthly Archives: April 2013

32 Down, 6 To Go

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This week, we had two very special events: Muffins with Mommy and a field trip to the Texas state history museum. 

On Tuesday, many of the kids’ moms came for a presentation by the elementary school students followed by a Mommy-and-me muffin party. The Pre-K sang “You are my Mommy” to the tune of “You are my Sunshine.”  It was a-dor-a-ble.  Then the real show began–Kindergarten and 1st grade recited the poem “Sick” by Shel Silverstein.  Then some big kids performed “Deep in the Heart of Texas” and read poems that they wrote for their moms. Nice, but not nearly as wonderful as my munchkins.

We then had Wednesday to recover before the next adventure…

On Thursday we (Kinder and 1st grade) went to the Bob Bullock museum to see a documentary about Texas culture. The kids loved it. There was a segment where the filmmakers strapped a camera to the front of a car and then drove on famous Texas highways very quickly. I looked down the row and all the little boys had their arms out, pretending to drive, and their heads tilted back in sheer delight. They also liked watching the kids ride on the back of sheep at the rodeo.    

After the movie, we risked life and limb crossing a busy street downtown with forty five, six, and seven-year-olds so that we could eat a picnic lunch on the UT lawn.  My munchkins are wonderful in so many ways, but understanding the sense of urgency when crossing the street is not one of them.  They were admiring the traffic lights and the cars stopped at a red light as we politely shouted for them to “hurry! hurry!”

When we got to the lawn, we ate our lunch and then let the kids run around on the grassy hill. We teachers were watching all the UT students watching the kids and we agreed that we were making all the students second guess if they would EVER be ready for a baby. Our kids weren’t doing anything bad, but there were A LOT of them, and they were RUNNING.

By the time that we crossed the street again and got on the bus, the munchkins were pretty wiped out. But, big kids don’t take naps.  Instead, we had “quiet coloring time” in which the lights were off and students colored silently. And, if they wanted to put their heads down, we wouldn’t stop them…..

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30 and 31 Down, 7 To Go

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This is getting ridiculous. I am being a total slacker. I could use my honey being out of town this week as an excuse for not posting but, if anything, I would have MORE time to post. I can say that along with forgetting to post, I also forgot to read my Bible, and eat dinner all this week (unless I was going out to dinner with one of my FABULOUS gal pals). 

So I’m combining. 

These past couple of weeks have been hard because spring fever is really setting in.  My first grade munchkins are turning me from Glinda into the Wicked Witch of the West.  They’re so hyper and crazy! The strong arm of the law has had to come down more than once. 

Fortunately, we’ve had a few small interruptions to our school week that has kept things interesting, like going to see the middle schoolers present at “Culture Day.”  It gives them something to look forward to and a carrot for me to dangle in front of them.

We’ve still been learning a lot in all our classes. We finished up two digit addition/subtraction and began learning about geometry. The kids thought that math was “easy peasy” on day one when we were reviewing shapes, but then got a bit freaked out when we introduced solid figures with their faces and vertices (big kid words).

I have a great quote from this week to end with:

Child 1: I have 100 video games

Child 2: I have 1000 hot wheels cars!

Child 3: Well I listen to public wadio!

It’s nice that at least some of my munchkins have standards.

29 Down, 9 To Go

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This was a glorious week for me because I got an extra planning period each day. Creative Action, a theater group for children, came to do a play for the first graders.  So, while my little munchkins were learning how to state their feelings and resolve conflicts, I got to sit and make lesson plans. It let me come home early afternoon, which was most enjoyable. 

Last year, they came and I had to deal with the kids singing the insipid songs they learned for at least 2 weeks. This time around, I dodged a bullet and the kids have completely forgotten the songs they learned. Woohoo!

I also learned a valuable lesson: students do their best work before 1 p.m. Usually we get through language arts and math by 1:15, and simply do science and social studies in the afternoon. However, with the play taking up the first hour-and-a-quarter of the day, it pushed everything back and my students did math from 1:15 to the end of the day. 

They were so crabby!

Students would whine and moan, complain about imaginary pains, and just stare off into space. I learned in teacher school to begin every day with the most thought-intensive subjects and move to the most hands-on, fun activities at the end, which is what I have done, and will continue to do!

28 Down, 10 To Go

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10 more weeks! 10 more weeks! 

This year is going by so much faster than last year. I think most of it has to do with the fact that I am so much more prepared this year. I had last year to learn, and all summer to plan for a great new school year. I also think that it is me maturing as a teacher. Do you remember when you were little and it was positively agonizing to wait for your birthday. You’d count down the months, then the weeks, then the days until that blessed event.  And then somewhere around 14, you wake up and say, “hmm, my birthday is in two days” and go on with your life. 

This week went surprisingly well. I thought that having two four-day-weeks in a row with an academic competition in between would be miserable. But no, the kids seem pretty cool and comfortable. My goal is that this will last until week 32. I feel like if we can get that far, six weeks is just not that long to wait. 

We learned about facts and details this week, which was extremely difficult for the munchkins. They’ve spent so much time summarizing, finding the main idea, the theme–all the big picture stuff. Now, I’m asking them to simply pick out bits of information from a text and they’re unable. They feel like they have to condense it into a pearl of insight. 

First grader: The three bears were shocked at finding Goldilocks in the bed because she wasn’t of the same species. 

Me: That’s a great idea, but what I’m looking for is “The three bears growled at Goldilocks”

I’ve made them too smart…

They are also enchanted with the project that we’re doing in social studies called, “First Gradia” in which they design a map using all the physical features that we’ve learned about: mountains, hills, plains, valleys, oceans, rivers, lakes coasts etc. 

One picture stood out to me though. It was executed flawlessly, with majestic mountains and rolling hills, beautiful water features….and a plane flying in the air. I guess that kid was absent the day we talked about plains, and drew the only one he knew about…