Saturday, September 27, 2014

This Week at School

I feel like I was hardly in the classroom this week at school (this is a lie I suppose as I didn't have a single meeting or outing until Thursday but I'm clearly choosing to remember the end of the school week here).

-  My students are so smart... I put a bunch of random objects that involved simple machines in gift bags and had them walk around the room pulling the objects out of the bags and picking simple machines that were in that object.  What did we discover?  A lot of objects use levers and (none that I brought in) use pulleys.  Now we are ready to start learning more about each specific simple machine.

-  We are still working on our Picasso portraits in art class.  I'm hoping to move onto something more fallish for our next art class... but with so many unfinished it may not happen.

-  In math we pulled out the textbooks for the first time and it was nearly a disaster.  I need to figure out how to teach 2 groups at once.. I feel like it is nearly impossible BUT I'm not the first person to ever teach in a split grade class so it must be doable... I just have to figure out a routine that works for me.

-  In SS we are learning about beringia, the land bridge, and the ice age.  I'm teaching both grades SS but didn't want to split the class in half for that class so we are just going to plow through both grades... but it has taken us nearly a month to get started so I'm thinking I'll just be picking and choosing what we learn.

-  LUCKILY, the grade 5 curriculum is on First People's and on Thursday we had aboriginal day.  I lead them in a craft so I'm not sure exactly what they did at all the other stations but hopefully they learned a lot so we don't have to spend so much time on it.  What was my craft?  Sash weaving.  Some got it... many found it hard.  I guess it didn't help that there was a bit of wind this day.  If I'm still around for next year I'll have to come up with another craft I think.

-  In ELA I discovered that many of my students don't know what a paragraph is.  So we took their writing folders and a story that I made with a bunch of errors in it and worked through the editing process with it.  We did the first half together and their job will be too fix up the last half.  We only got through checking spelling and punctuation so we'll be working on this for a while.

-  On Friday we had our first cross country meet (our 2nd and last one is this coming Friday).  It was the perfect afternoon to spend outside (I don't think we will be so lucky next Friday).  One of the students on my team got first and the grade 9 boys also came in with a first and second place.  I see some banners in our future....

-  Other than all of that I've had meetings for 2 of my students.  I've got some extra programing to do which is kind of frustrating but if you have a class where everyone is working at grade level without adaptations well then... lucky you. Our first step is going to be instilling the "ask 3 before me" rule for all subjects.  It is just too much for me to teach 2 grades in math and then deal with everyones questions and those who want me to just sit next to them and read them the problem.  So for our next health class we are going to talk about each of our strengths and make a poster for "ask 3 before me" where each student signs up for 2 subjects or areas that they think are their best that others can come to them when they have questions.  I'm thinking what people can sign up for will be:
- Math
- Social Studies
- Science
- Reading
- Writing (this person will hopefully be good at spelling)
- Listening (this person will hopefully be good at listening to instructions)
- Art (for everyone who needs me to draw them a circle (yes, it has happened this year)
Once everyone has signed up for someone all students have to do is check the poster to see who they should ask for any topic and pick a couple of people from there BEFORE asking me.

-  I switched up my seating plan after school on Friday... one of my students needs to be sitting in a way that she sees the least amount of distractions in the room.  So, I tried to sit her where she wouldn't see the back wall at all and instead mostly see the front which is just white boards.  I even sat in that spot for a while to make sure it was the least distracting.  
I'm feeling good by at least taking 2 of the suggestions given to me at one of these meetings already.

-  I also booked my classes first field trip!  We are going to see a local performance of Peter Pan right before Christmas.  It is kind of expensive so I'm going to try to use some of my classroom budget to off set the ticket costs for them... but I think it should be a fantastic play!

Next week is another busy week with meetings and a cross country meet... this time my meeting is after school so I guess at least I'll be in the classroom.

a while ago I mentioned I would start showing off bits and pieces of my halloween costume
for the record we do not celebrate halloween at my school
but I'm one of those people that doesn't think the idea of halloween is something that needs to be celebrated anyways.
But we do have a day where we get dressed up and we will likely have our first classroom party of the year.

so without further ado... here is the part of my costume that I didn't need to go out and buy.

It's hard to tell what it is because it is all black... on the left we've got some black tights and on the right is a black long sleeved shirt.

Any guesses as to what I could be going as?

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