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Gold Rush, 2011

We had a lot to do the morning of, but got the town all set up, thanks to the help of a few parents and students.

The kids did a great job singing, and especially square dancing.  It was a very fun atmosphere.  After we got all the classes seated at the stage, many of the parents came down to take pictures, so we just hung out for a short while.  After the play/singing, the kids quietly went to their dance spots, and did great!  You could tell they were having fun.  And you could tell the parents were enjoying watching their children perform.

After the square dancing, everyone hung out a bit more while parents came over to take more pictures.  Lots of pictures student with teacher.

We said goodbye to the parents and went back up to our classes to let the judges do their thing for the costume contest.  I had Wilbur and Suzy as my winners.  Wilbur had an authentic bandana to go with the rest of his cowboy gear, as well as an authentic lasso.  Suzy had an pink, frilly old fashion dress.

Then we went down to the Boom Town.  The kids loved it.  Jason worked at the saloon playing cards and pouring root bear.  Kids were getting “married,” playing horse shoes, getting a “shave,” dressing up, and going to jail.  Not to mention getting free pie.

The parents really helped in the boom town.  All we teachers had to do was stand around and chat.  It was really nice.

A half hour before lunch the classes went up, while Amy, some parents and I stayed back to help the custodians clean up.  After lunch I went back to finish cleaning up.

After school Amy and I made floats for the 4th grade teachers and custodians.  A great ending to an exhausting, but fun, day.

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Open House, 2011

We only had a week after testing to get ready for Open House.  It felt a bit rushed.  But we got it together.  I’m sure the room didn’t win any awards for most awesomest room in the world, but it looked alright.  And although my room looked like a bomb went off in the morning of the big day, I didn’t have to rush to get everything together.  I actually had some extra time before the night began.

I only had 11 families not show up.  Not too bad.  I really enjoyed talking with some of the parents.  I had a sister of one of my students about 7 years ago.  Her dad is a little Mexican man who speaks very broken English.  But he’s really nice, and the older sister came, too.  It was fun to see all of them.

It’s so nice to get the evening over with.

Now, on to Gold Rush, and the end of school.

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Gold Rush

Gold Rush went off without a hitch today.  Most of the kids had costumes.  There were lots of parents there to watch.  The play went great, the kids sang great (and only messed up the words a couple times).  The square dancing was great!  It’s amazing how much the kids enjoy the dancing!  Every year they fuss when they start, but by the time the Gold Rush comes, they are loving it and want to practice more than the teachers do.

The Gold Rush town was fun, too.  There was plenty of root beer, pie, and water.  The kids had a great time playing the different games.  I got to be the “preacher” at the chapel to perform the best friends ceremony.

We wrapped up a little early because the kids were getting a little out of hand.  After lunch we all watched “Bull-Whip Griffen.”

But the highlight was after the kids went home, when Amy, Kelly, and I had root beer floats and pie.  Gayle came in and joined us, and anyone coming in the lounge was invited as well.  We sat and enjoyed our feast and conversations.

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Happy June

Aren’t long weekends great!

I am sooo far behind for Open House!  I have all day Tuesday, and half day Wednesday with the class to get things done with them.  Then half a day Wednesday afternoon to get the room ready.

I need to mount my math wall, mount my language arts wall (2 papers each), finish our line drawings, do another “arty” project, mount that, move half of my language arts board, move my focus wall and language arts charts, wash desks, clean out the desks, and I’m sure a few more things.  Oh yes, and correct all their missions reports, and change my Social Studies wall.

It’s going to be a long 2 days.  Then after that I have to focus on the Olympics, Gold Rush, moving classrooms, and report cards.

Hang on!

* * * * *

Did I mention I don’t feel like I can trust this class.  There is always someone who will screw something up unless I watch them like a hawk.

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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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Gold Rush, Finally

It went off without a hitch.  Gold Rush, that is.  The most of the kids were all dressed up in their 49er costumes, and they were all excited.  Up to the room we went, took attendance, then back down for the singin’ and the dancin’.

There were lots of parents.  You could see the kids looking around for their parents.  I was looking around for my family (Julie promised they’d come).  And with the 3rd grade classes out to watch, there was quite the crowd for us.

Oh, and wait until you hear the drama.  Did I mention that 3 days ago the girl who was the lead character showed up with her mom and said they were going back to Iraq (yes, Iraq!).   She had to have known before.  Then this morning 3 of the other characters left their scripts at home.  Grrrrreeaaat!

We made a few quick copies and got everything set.  And they did a great job singing and reading their parts.  I think the parents really liked it, and I could tell the kids loved performing.

After that we went to our dance places.  That too went off without a hitch.  It’s so funny at the beginning of the year the students come in asking if they HAVE to dance at Gold Rush, and even as we start practicing they almost all squirm when they have to touch a member of the opposite sex.  But by this morning, they all loved it.  They had a great time.  I was really proud of them.

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Root Beer, and. . .

Gold Rush is coming up in a couple of days.  Each fourth grade class is asking its students to bring something to eat or drink for the rest of the grade level.  My class is in charge of bringing root beer.  That’s easy, right?  2 two leter bottles each.  1 if that’s all you can do.  Well, after about a week of asking, I’ve had about 5 students bring some in.

Billy tells me that mom said they don’t have the money for it.  Hmmmm.  I have a hard time with this.  Am I wrong?  I explain to him that he and mom can go down to the dollar store or find it on sale somewhere and buy 1 bottle for a buck.  She can do that, I tell Billy.  Today Billy comes in and lets me know that while he and mom were shopping, he reminded her, and she let him know that they couldn’t afford it.

Is it me, or couldn’t she just not buy so many Twinkies (see below) for a week and spring for some root beer for Billy’s class?  Way to support school, mom!  Thanks.


A lunch supervisor came up to me the other day to let me know she had a look in billy’s lunch.  Among other things, she found a Ding-Dong and 2 Twinkies.  She asked Billy if he could just eat one and take the other 2 home.  Good call.

Billy had a talk with another fourth grade teacher.  We’ll call her “Kelly.”  Billy told Kelly that his mom is trying to help him gain weight, hence the 3 Hostess snack goodies.  Kelly tried to give him a quick lesson on nutrition, but I’m sure it went in one ear and out the other.  Kelly knows this.  You just have to try.

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Things to Do

The end of the year is coming quick.  Things I need to do (in no particular order):

Figure out Club Ape prizes, Fluency, Benchmark L.A., Writing, and Math Test, input benchmark test results, Reflections paper, for my principal, Bulletin Boards for Open House, Writing for Open House, Translate my report cards, Do my cums, Insurance audit papers put together, and make certificates for Gold Rush winners.  Plus, we still have to get ready for Gold Rush, which is on Friday.

Hmmmmm, I think that’s it.  I’m FREAKIN’ OUT!

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Gold Rush

We’re getting ready for our “Gold Rush” day, so we’re doing a lot of singing in the morning.  The Gold Rush is a special day the fourth grade has every year at the end of the school year.  It starts off with a small play with songs scattered throughout.  After that we pair up and line up for some square dancing.  When that is over, the students get to go into our Gold Rush Town for some fun activities.

This year we’re having a barber (someone will put shaving cream on their faces and “shave” them with a Popsicle stick), a pastor (to marry couples or make “best friends forever”), potato sack races, horseshoes, a spelling bee, and a saloon (for root beer and playing cards), among other things. Oh, we’ll also have a costume contest.

It’s a pretty fun day.  We invite the parents and the third graders to watch the play and the square dancing.  I’d like to invite the second graders, too.

But there is a lot to do to get ready for it.  Today we went out with all the fourth grade classes to sing together with the music.  Wednesday we’ll practice the singing and the dancing.  I think the students are starting to like the dancing.  There are a few students, mostly boys, who are still a bit squeamish when they have to touch a girl’s hands or link elbows with a girl.  But for the most part I think most of them are over it.

The squeamish ones still pull their sleeves down so they don’t actually have to touch the girl’s skin.  It’s a little silly, and you can sure tell who the immature ones are.  But when someone in the morning asks if we’re dancing today, most of them seem happy when I inform them that we are.  And they’re getting pretty good at it, too.  They have difficulty singing in time with the music.  For now, they are still singing with the words and the music.  Later on they’ll be singing with only the music.  They really have difficulty with the timing.  Even with the words, they can’t seem to stay with the beat.

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