Kid: "Are we learning any Common Core this year?"
Saturday, October 18, 2014
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Friday, September 19, 2014
Poor little 4th grade Michelle.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I cut my hand.
Friday, September 12, 2014
Here are all the ways my students spelled the word "punctuation" today:
Sunday, September 7, 2014
As we do every year, we are using Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree to introduce the Depth and Complexity Icons we will use throughout the year. One icon is Unanswered Questions. For example:
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
At the end of each day, I choose one student to receive a red licorice. The name is kept secret and only revealed if the child packs up silently and gets in line without a peep. Since it could be anyone, they all line up quietly in the hopes they are the one.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Today I was going over the Accelerated Reader progress of my class; calling individuals to my desk to discuss concerns and rewarding ones who are making progress.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Teachers have our little go-to time-filler activities, and one of my math class' favorite is "Who has...?"
It's a whole class game where each student gets a card with an answer and a question on it. The first student reads his card, such as "I have 16. Who has 5 x 4?" The student with the card that reads "I have 20" reads their card next. We bounce our way around the room until we get back to the first kid. It's fun! I time them, and they're always trying to beat their last score.
Well, there are 30 cards in the deck, however today I only had 26 kids in class. Several kids had to take two cards. As we worked our way through the game, Tanya (who had two cards) had the answer on one card to the question on her other card. All the kids thought it was so funny that she answered her own question! (This becomes relevant in a moment.)
After our first round, we had about 2 minutes left to fill. The kids wanted to beat their score of 1 minute and 54 seconds, so I told them to swap cards with their neighbor. I picked someone to start us off and started the timer.
We were flying through the cards. Everyone was focused and we were going to beat our time for sure!
Until we got to Oliver.
Oliver had swapped cards with Tonya.
He read his card and waited for the answer.
And then began looking around with this exasperated look on his face and began mumbling under his breath about how people need to be paying attention. "Hellooooo, people," he hissed.
Now, my little troopers didn't let on to what they ALL knew (check the other card in your hand, knucklehead) because we are each responsible for our own card.
So Oliver grumbled and mumbled and looked around accusingly. "C'mon, everybody! Figure it out," he spat.
Until finally Tanya nodded her head in the direction of his other card.
Whoops! (Insert face palm)
Sheepishly, he read his answer and the entire class roared with laughter.
Lesson learned, I hope.
And we STILL beat our time!
Friday, March 28, 2014
Today was reading fluency testing day in my room.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
So, one of our kiddos was a terror.
He was caustic.
He was lazy.
He was mouthy.
He refused to work.
He disturbed others.
I don't know what happened. We spent an enormous amount of time working with him, encouraging him, giving him a safe place to be at recess and reinforcing the behaviors we wanted to see. His parents have also consistently been giving him ADHD medication.
I don't know if it's one of these things or all of these things, but he has been behaving like a great kid kid, working harder in class than anyone else and has been for months now. Even when he forgets his medication, he's goofy but manageable. We tell him every day how proud of him we are. I tell him that he's my hero. Changes like that are not easy.
Well, today one of our student teachers from earlier this year was at school today subbing for another teacher. When she was working with our 4th graders, he made her life hell. I'm surprised she became a teacher after dealing with him.
He walked right up to her and said, "Hi Miss Walsh. Guess what? I'm a new kid now!"
And he is!
I'm so glad he knows it.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I wish I were a better communicator under pressure.
Friday, March 7, 2014
I'm going to tell you two short stories that will seemingly have nothing in common.
I have been teaching my kids about fractions. They have struggled to understand the concept of what a fraction is and where to place them on a number line. We spent days and days on it, and we finally ended the math topic with most of them having a very tenuous grasp on fractions.
One of our male students got pantsed today at school. For those of you not in the know, that means some other kid pulled down his pants. It happened on the playground, no less, at the height of lunch recess. How horrifying for him! We called in witnesses to tell the whole, sordid tale and the bully who did it was given an appropriate consequence.
Oh! I forgot to tell you how these stories are connected.
One of the witnesses was my math student. When asked to describe if she saw skin or underwear when the pants were pulled down, she said:
"I saw about 2/4 skin."
Proud teaching moment?
If only she'd put that fraction into simplest form…