Thursday, January 28, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Please, pretty please with a cherry on top, stop the rain! Rainy days, although welcome in AZ, are not so much welcome when you are a teacher. Feel free to rain anytime on the weekends and from 2:15 P.M. to 7:45 A.M. during the week. No joke, the rain is simply put a punishment to teachers everywhere. So what exactly do teachers do when it rains? Why, we put in a movie of course!

Jill and I would never just "put in a movie" for no reason whatsoever, well we might, but certainly not for days in a row. So, in went "The Little Mermaid". It's a movie with water, so we were tying it to the theme of the week, but we took it one step further. While they were watching the movie all of the kids, all 41 of them, were on the hunt for nouns and verbs. We tied it all together! We survived the rainy day. Or so we thought. Wake up and what's happening? Rain, more rain! So in to school I went, movie in hand, lesson ready. This time we watched "Monsters' Inc." and recorded adjectives. Mission accomplished. Stir crazy children were content, exhausted teachers were happy.

Not only did we watch movies though. My class made boats. S came to me and suggested we make boats to float in the puddle/pond that was our South Playground. Out came boxes, wrappers, everything in the recycle bin and they built boats. They were very creative, and I must say, watching them build their floating creations was pretty fabulous!

The kids were just itching to get outside by Friday afternoon, so once the rain stopped Jill and I planned on taking them to the North Field. It wasn't flooded like ours was. We didn't tell them until we were lined up, knowing that they would have been ecstatic for the 30 minutes we had left. Q came up to me and said "can I run around? I need to stretch!" as he stretched all around. Too cute. They just RAN to the playground. It was so nice for all of us to get some fresh air.

Our fun Friday wasn't over yet. We finally got a chance to float our boats. The sun was out and the puddles were waiting. Originally, I tried to keep them from walking, standing, splashing in the puddles, but whats the fun in that. So knowing that they were heading home in a mere 10 minutes, I gave up and they got wet. Most of the boats sailed, all of the kids splashed. A very fun way to end the week from you know where!

Well, just when we thought the rain was over, the following Wednesday came. Not only did I have a headache, it was also a half day (which are always nuts!). I couldn't wait for our 9:30 recess to come. Just as I walked out the door to go and pick them up from specials, which would directly lead to recess...the sky's opened! Seriously?!?!

My final thoughts: Movies can be used productively. Puddles are meant to be splashed in. Just as there are snow days back east, we should have rain days. Sunshine please, pretty please come back!

'Til next time...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Ok, so my goal of writing at least one sentence a year has gone right out the door already! But with good reason...I was sick. It's one of the many perks of teaching. We came back from winter break on Monday and on Tuesday I had that scratchy throat thing going on. I sucked it up and went in on Wednesday, but knowing that I had a trip on the weekend, I stayed home on Thursday. A quick trip to the doctor turned up a diagnosis of bronchitis. Ick! Well a day of rest and then a half of a day on Friday and I was back in action.

Last week was a short week since I was out of town on Monday, but short weeks always feel longer then regular weeks! We got a lot accomplished though. We've learned all about verbs, which are easy for the kiddo's to pick out of a list, but not so easy to write. We'll continue to work on that for sure!

This next week will be a short week as well. No school because of MLK's Birthday. It's nice to have a day off. Seems that the days off come at just the right moment! You would think that after having a two week break for the Holiday's, we'd still be ready to roll...not so much! It's crazy, but this 3-Day weekend was heaven sent.

So for now, that's all. But I'll be back as we continue our trek through grammar. Wish me luck!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Halfway Point

Well, we made it. I made it! I survived the first half of the year teaching the little ones. And I have to admit I love it. I was pretty skeptical at first. So much prep work during the summer, so many tears in the beginning, but all of the hard work and we've made it through the first half of the year.

I've cried. Day one, after using the word "decipher", taking the whole lunch period to get the kids through the line and being asked a million questions about where they were supposed to go...I cried. I didn't want to do it anymore, did anyone want to switch grade levels? But I got through it. Jill and ALL of the admin was on my side and it turned out just fine. No tears since then!

I've laughed. If nothing else the kids have made me laugh on a daily basis! Everything from "I can touch my brain" to a mini MJ doing the moonwalk across the floor. I've seen it all! Not to mention that Jill and I have shared some great moments and laughs in the first 09 of the 09-10 school year.

I've taught. The biggest difference between the older and younger kids, is that I can see the learning as it happens with the little ones. I teach them to read a new word today, and tomorrow they read it to me! I show them how to spell "who" today, and tomorrow they write it in their story. I'm pretty sure I taught the 5/6's something, but I couldn't see it. This year it's different. I can see it pretty much immediately. Immediate gratification for me and for them.

Overall it's been a great first half. I have a lot of ideas in mind for the second half of the year. We'll see how that goes. I know I've fallen off the page with this blog. But I'm back now. My goal is to write here at least once a week, even if it's just a sentence. So for now...