Monthly Archives: May 2013

Pizza Party

My class was the upper grade class that raised the most money for our Pennies for the Cure fundraiser.  That meant we got a pizza party.  The class still went through the lunch line, but then went right back to our classroom, where 2 pepperoni and 1 cheese pizza was waiting for them.  I even got half a sausage and artichoke pizza for myself.

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Drinking Fountains

Here’s my problem.  I’ve just finished some PE, and my class is tired and thirsty.  I sit my class down at the lunch tables near the drinking fountains, and I let a few go at a time to get a drink.  That way they don’t get restless and into trouble while waiting in a long line.

Then another teacher finishes PE and just lets her entire class run over and get a drink.  Now the lines are very long, and my students have to be in the back of a long line.

#frustrating

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Testing, Day 2

It’s day 2 of testing.  In 4th grade its part 2 for the Language Arts portion.  I hate it how it says “English – Language Arts Test,” as if we give any other language tests.

HOW WE DO IT

I like to let my kids get their brains awake before we start testing.  I’ve been told light exercise is good for that, so I like to let my kids run a little, and maybe do some stretching before we head up to the classroom.  Then I want to let them get drinks and use the bathroom so they don’t have to worry about that after we start testing.  Once the testing starts, they aren’t allowed to leave their desks or the classroom.

Once we are in the classroom and ready to start, I have them spread their desks out so they are away from everyone.  Now this year I have the biggest class I have ever had, so when they spread out there isn’t a ton of room between every desk.  But at least they are not right next to someone.

One they are spread out, I pass out the pencils, and then the test booklets and answer documents.  Obviously, it’s important that they get THEIR same answer document, but because there are different versions of the test, it’s important that they get their same testing booklet as well.

Once those are passed out, I read the directions exactly like the Directions for Administration tells me to.  They actually have boxes that say, “Say….”  You are only aloud to say what those boxes say; no more, no less.

Then I let them begin.  They end up getting from about 9:20 till 11:10 (that is our recess).  If they need more time they are escorted to another room where they finish.  I know – that means they don’t get their recess.  It’s a bummer, but I don’t know of any other way.  Throughout the state, they are not allowed to talk with students during the test, in the classroom or outside of it, where they might talk about the test and give away answers.  If you let people who were not done with the test out for recess with those who are finished, there is potential there for cheating.

After recess, we spend the day doing things that are not so rigorous, and we do some math review as well.  Those who did not finish before recess stay in the room they were brought to and stay there until they are done.

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Testing

It’s that time of the year again.  Easy on the lesson plans, tough on the nerves; State testing.  We spend the entire year getting ready for it.  We practice for it.  I know many students are stressed about it.  I know a lot of teachers are.

I typically have my students spread their desks out while testing.  This year I was thinking they didn’t do a very good job this year.  They’re all still packed in tight.  Then I remembered the 5 extra students I have this year.  That’s why they are still packed in tight, even when they spread out.

In years passed I’ve given each of my students a roll of Smarties, as a treat, while they are testing.  I like to think it gives them a little break from the test.  This year our district said no mints, no gum, no candies.  Nothing that could give them an unfair advantage.  Really??  I miss snacking on those Smarties.

I find testing to be tiring, for me and my students.  The teachers are told not to be sitting at their desks while the students are testing.  Walk around, monitor, check to make sure students are not skipping questions or answering in the wrong section.  I just find it tiring walking up and down the aisles all morning.

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Teacher Appreciation Day

Normally we don’t get a lot of action on Teacher Appreciation Day, at least not from our parents.  However, the PTA and our school administration always does something to show their gratitude!  This year our P and VP gave us lunch out on our patio on Wednesday, with the food from some taco truck.  It was great!  We also got an hour long lunch, so it was nice to sit out in the sunlight, and have plenty of time to eat and chat.

Our PTA gave us a breakfast on Friday.  We had donuts, bagels, fruit, coffee, and juice.  It was very nice.

Picking up the students that morning, there were a lot of students with flowers and other gifts for their teachers.  It was nice.  I received about 8 flowers, and about 4 gifts, not including the 2 gifts I got Wednesday from students.  Apparently, the Auto-Call called the parents Thursday night and let them know it was Teacher Appreciation Day.  That was nice.

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