Category Archives: playground

Open House – Part II

Leaving Open House, and getting home from it, are two great feelings.  Walking to your car, with all the other teachers heading out doing the same, leaves me with a feeling of accomplishment, of achievement.  I’ve gotten through another Open House.  I put on another successful show.  But getting home feels great.  I never go home between then end of the half day a school, and the event.  There is usually too much to do, and if I happen to be ready enough, I just worry too much while I’m at home.  So I stay, get my work done, and hopefully enjoy a very casual, stress free, early dinners.  So by the time the night is over, it has been a long day.

I think this year’s Open House was good.  I think I had about 25 families show up, but more than that, I had about 5 former students come by to say hello.  One was in 10th grade, and apparently making really bad decisions (baby on the way and in a gang).  Another was a 22 year old I had when I taught 2nd grade at Price.  I totally remembered her for some reason .  It turns out she is the oldest sister of a current student of mine (I had the two girls’ brother in between having the two of them).  I had 2 students who are now juniors in high school, and apparently doing well, with plans to go to college.  And then I had 2 girl who I had 3 or 4 years ago.

It’s always pretty fun to see former students.  But when they are young adults, it’s just weird.

* * * * *

It’s always good to get Open House over with, for a couple of reasons.  The first (and they are in no particular order) is that there is always a push with teachers to get new, good work up on the bulletin boards.  That means pushing your students for their best work, and then taking down all their old work and putting up new work.  And teachers usually put more art work, and work in general, up on the boards.  So we’re jamming art, writing, and math all over, in every space we can find.

Another reason is that once Open House is over, it seems the end of the year is finally in sight.  All year long you look for the State test, and prep for that.  Once that is over, it’s the big push for Open House.  Now that that is behind us, we can finally look towards the end of the year.  But it’s going to be a busy 3 weeks.

In a couple of days we have the all-school Olympics, which my class has not prepared for at all.  Then the week after that is Gold Rush, which we are way behind in.  We are going to have to practice singing, dancing, and doing the play a lot these next 10 or so school days!  And then some time around then there is our report card prep day.  Once that hits, I’ll be busy after school for about 3 hours, for at least 3 days, and probably more.  Then there is a whole list of little things that need to be done before the school year ends (literally, we are given a list), all of which take time and energy.  By the time that last half day of school rolls around, it feels so good to get it over with.

I think we’re planning root beer floats after lunch on that day, just like last year.

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Johnny, So Much to Write, So Little Time

There’s a 5th Grade Fitness test next year, so I need my class to be a little fit.  So I make them run some laps for PE.

So out we go, and I notice Johnny is obviously covering his ear.  I think, “Uh oh, what’s up.”

He tells me something bit him on the ear.  I look at it, and it looks like it is really sticking out significantly.  It’s also red, and looks swollen.  But a soar ear is no reason not to run, right?  So off I send him.  Well, as he comes around for his last lap, he’s still covering his ear, and for some reason holding his other hand up to his chest.  (That cannot be a good running position!)

He just looks goofy.  Another teacher joked that he was making call on his cell phone.

In the classroom, he keeps his hood on.  I make him take it off, but he really doesn’t want to!  He does, but then he covers it with his hand.  He can’t go all day covering his ear with hand, so I make him put it down.  Again, he really doesn’t want to.  But I make him.  He tries to raise his hood up over his ear.  I assure him that if he does that, or tries in other ways to cover it, he will just look goofy, and others will think something weird is going on.  So, hesitantly, he just leaves it alone, and no one notices.  No one says a thing.  But it does look big, read, and a bit goofy!

Oh yea, he also left his glasses at home.

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Testing Hangover

Testing spoils you, as a teacher, that is.  Your planning is already set for the morning – testing.  During most of the other times during the day, you’re doing test prep, or something fun to relax the students.  You just don’t do too much during the two weeks of testing.  And the homework load is light, as well.  You don’t want your class staying up late doing homework the night before the test.  So there is little homework to check.

But there is a problem.  What to do the rest of the year.  I can go back and cover the things I’ve skipped in math, but that isn’t much.  Everything important needed to be taught before the test.  I do have one more theme in language arts, but I’ve taught all the important concepts.  So I’ve got about 2 weeks worth of stuff to teach in math, and maybe 4 weeks worth of stuff in language arts.  And about 6 weeks left in school.

Well, our Gold Rush play is coming up, so we can spend lots of time learning that, and the square dance we’ll be doing.  And we just found out we’ll be having and upper grade Olympics towards the end of school, so we can spend lots of time getting ready for that.  Those two, plus lots of science and social studies.

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Johnny vs. Adam

I’m keeping an eye on Johnny, and a journal as well.  Just keeping track of his problems, successes, and oddities.  Got a note from  his mom today.  She said a boy, Adam,  was threatening to beat him up.  Him and his “army.”  I talked to Adam about it.  He says that sometime they play army together, and at the end of recess they ask how many people their armies killed.  Hmmmm.

Talked to Johnny about that.  I asked him if anyone was bothering him.  Right away he said, “Oh, is this because my mom gave you that note?”

He says they never play together, let alone play “army.”  I asked him if  Adam  bothers him.  He said, “Last Friday, not to day, but a week ago, on Friday, [he used hand signals to help show me], “Adam had said we were bff’s, then he said were weren’t bffs.  Then he kept saying bff, bff, bff, bff.  I told him to stop, we’re not bff’s.  Then Adam said then I’m going to beat you up.  I said you and what army.  He said me and my army.”

I asked Johnny if he was scared of Adam.  He said he wasn’t.  I asked if he likes sitting next to Adam (yes, they sit next to each other).  He said he did.  I asked Johnny if I should move Adam.  He said no.

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Week 2

We’re in our second full week of school.  For the last 3 school days we’ve had “inclement weather” schedule because of the heat, but mostly because of the smoke in the air.  Today they got to have recess outside, but when the air quality report came in, the powers that be decided to eat and play in for lunch.  That mean a short, half-hour lunch instead of our usual 45 minutes.  Hopefully we won’t have to wait until the fire is out before the air quality improves enough for them to play out for recess and lunch.

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Troubles at Recess

You remember Timmy?  Well, let me introduce you to “Jimmy.”  Jimmy is a “special needs” student of mine.  If you met him, you might not pick up on that.  You might think he’s a little odd, but that’s about it.  If you spent time with him, you might guess he has some special needs.  But he is very, very normal.

Jimmy has many friends, and even a few good friends.  But the problem is, Jimmy plays with a group of boys who often end up not getting along.  Timmy is one of those boys.  So is Billy.

Well, yesterday, apparently Jimmy was sick and tired of Billy being so bossy.  And Billy was tired of Jimmy making the group only do what he wanted to do.  The playground supervisors let me know that there is trouble again with these to. (Yes, there has been trouble between them before, but they always manage to bury the hatchet and play together.)

These guys just can’t seem to get along with each other for too long.  Maybe they should be in different classes next year.

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