Friday, April 20, 2012

State Testing Time

It's that time of year when state testing is just a few weeks away. Exciting! My school district has a policy about not being able to give students food, or kids being able to bring in birthday treats. I have cleverly found a way around that policy on numerous occasions with "Learning Experiences." Heh heh heh! All valid and good reasons. I promise.

A Kindergarten teacher shared this with me, and I am just determined to find a way to use these adorable notes of encouragement.  Shannon from technology rocks. seriously. made these up. They are great. I can't do the candy (boo!), so I was thinking about attaching some kind of something (mechanical pencil, eraser) to the last note of encouragement. Or, attaching a pinwheel or one of those horns you blow at New Year's to the first note. Probably will do the cheapest/fastest/easiest one.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Historic Moment of my Teaching Career

I have been a classroom teacher for nine years now. Within that time, I can only remember two moments in recent history that I have gotten to share with my students. Today was the second one, the shuttle Discovery taking its last flight. I teach just three to four miles away from Dulles International Airport. My school's playground serves as a flight path for numerous flights. Many teachers decided to take our classes outside and watch the skies for the shuttle. The cool fifth grade teacher who goes on the roof to recover lost kickballs and frisbees was our lookout. He would call me, I'd relay information to all the other teachers via walkie talkie and then we would update our kids. We debated if the front of the school or the back of the school on the hill was the best spot to view the flight path. The first time we saw the shuttle was brief. We got a three second glimpse and then it went behind the tree line. After that, we scurried back inside to watch the plane on the news.

When the plane was making its way back to our area, we hurried back outside. We got a longer viewer, but it was hard to get a good picture. See if you can spot it in my picture.

It's very close to the center of the picture

Not being able to view the plane clearly or up close was not a big deal, just seeing it was very exciting. Watching my kids glued to the television and fielding their questions afterwards was an amazing feeling. It's what teaching SHOULD be all about. I'm hoping my students will remember this day for a long time.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Take a Break

It seems as though I have been on a long break myself. I'm sorry about that. I wouldn't even know where to begin with where I have been, what (who) I have been dealing with, etc. That's almost over now, but school is not. I found this great link on Pinterest over the weekend. Just another place I've been hanging out! This link interested me because at times I feel like my fifth graders need a little break - more structured than snack time, more interesting than just talking with a friend for a few minutes. This site has great ideas for activities. I just tried the plate game today. The kids LOVED it. I wish I had taken a picture of it for you, but it didn't dawn on me until after we had played the game. It makes me so happy when I find something that even the "coolest" kid has a good time playing. Watching them laugh and play is so rewarding. With the school year coming to a close, redirecting their energy is probably a good sanity saver for everyone involved. Check it out!