Saturday, December 22, 2012

Twas the Week Before Christmas

'Twas the week before Christmas,
and all through the school, 
children were acting quite like a fool,
The teachers were dreaming of the holidays with flair,
in hopes that sweet sleep soon would be there.

I expected this past week at school to be completely chaotic.  I was pleasantly surprised.  My kiddos have, yes, been excited (though arguably not as excited as us teachers), but have mostly behaved and only been a little wired.  

I woke up Wednesday with absolutely no voice.  As in, couldn't get the dog to come from across the yard because I couldn't make any sounds.  I just knew the kids were going to absolutely run over me because they knew I couldn't say anything to stop them.  Luckily, I texted a sweet college friend before I left for work, and she suggested making typing/ writing everything to my kiddos as a game instead of just typing/ writing.  I did, and it worked splendidly! Nevermind that she's an early childhood teacher and I teach upper middle school.... it worked! All but one of my classes were excellent.  I didn't have to remind kids to stay in their seats, to lower their volume, nothing.  As a plus, many of my kiddos were genuinely concerned about me, which may have motivated their behavior.  

It's been a busy week at the "Skreet," as our students call our rusty old building.  Monday (and the following days) were filled with hugs from my babies, who hadn't learned anything from us about Connecticut on Friday, reminders about security protocols, and some really good, thought provoking discussions with two of my classes about school security and safety.  Actually, we missed the National moment of silence yesterday (Friday) because we were in an assembly.  I'd already told my class that we'd be observing it, and that I'd chosen to spend one second in silence/thought/ prayer for each victim.  When we got back from the assembly, several of the kids raised their hands and informed me that we'd missed the moment of silence.  I told them that I knew but that we'd been in the assembly.  As a class, they chose to observe the moment of silence late and, even after it was over, remained thoughtful and quiet for a little while.  Pretty impressive for the last day of school before a holiday break, eh?

We've been working on all sorts of projects as we finish up our long unit on the human body systems.  Half of my kids have been writing their own versions of The Night Before Christmas in their writing class, so I addressed that in my room as well.  I found a great cell style version of the story and posted it on my door.  It was a good review for the kiddos.  We also made a classroom quote/ doodle page.

Nutrition extra Credit- analayze your favorite foods' nutritional values.  As a plus, I had a couple of kids who actually brought in some foods that I'd eat. :)  It made me think of my 30 days on the plate friends.

 Santa let us know how our progress was coming behavior-wise...

We took off on the "Organ Trail" to search for naughty organs.... some of the kids got really into it, creating rewards, etc.  A lot of what I noticed is based on their levels of experiential knowledge, which will be another post in not-too-distant future.


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