SO NICE to be back in my own school! As much as I enjoyed and learned from my middle school internship, I missed having my own space, and windows.
Of course I was much to busy today to enjoy things like space and windows, except in passing.
My principal, Ms. W called me last night with some hard truths about next year's budget, and what that will look like for the specialist team and the prep schedule (which has been placed into my hands to arrange). The prep schedule is like a very complicated equation. It takes awhile to figure out, but logic plays its role, and little is left to guess work, although a fair amount of creative thinking is needed. Once that equation is solved, there is definitely a sense of satisfaction. I almost enjoy the task of doing the prep schedule, if only I had more time to work on it.
Because right now I just want some french silk pie left over from Pi Day yesterday, and a book to read.
This morning budget talks continued. I missed a budget meeting on Friday, but saw the notes and wishes of the staff, and of course my conversation with the principal last night. We had another meeting this morning, although it was optional so only about half the staff came. Ms. W let the staff know that they could e-mail me and herself with their grade-level's requests for next year's schedule. I rather like doing the Prep Equation alone because there's more satisfaction when it's done, but the feedback I got from staff was very useful, and I think it creates more unity when voices are listened to.
Today I only had three classes, and they all went very well. All of my administration time was taken up working on the prep schedule, and conferring with Ms. W. I had to force myself to stop and eat, and got a hand cramp from working so hard on it.
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In conversation with two second grade teachers a few weeks ago I was asked to help with teaching the second graders to type up stories they had written in class. They left up to me the particulars of the typing, and will come to class prepared with their written work.
Today I focused only on them writing their full name, using the shift key to capitalize, and the return key to type their room number below their name. Only size 18 font was allowed, and no fancy writing (they love to play with the colors and font styles, to the detriment of the overall product, so I let them write it again fancy for extra credit if they had time). Even that simple assignment was a challenge for most of the class; only a handful of the class got it correct with no teacher input.
In the fall, one of the 2nd grade classes typed up a story they had written with their teacher, so I foresee that class doing much better with the lesson. Another 2nd grade class has been focusing on The Three Little Pigs, and rewriting it in their own words, so I decided to do that same assignment with the third 2nd grade class, who will not be coming with anything written up. Of course a few students will come with nothing to type, whether they were absent a few days or off-task, so they will still participate, only they will have to make it up as they go.
The hard part is getting the shift key and return key ingrained in their minds, so the actual writing of the story has been much simpler in past experiences. The real challenge will be in timing. I did this last year, and it took several weeks since I only see them once a week. They enjoy it, though, and tend to work very hard. As evidenced by the 4 they earned for behavior today.
The next lesson (next week) will focus on centering the title, and beginning the typing.
I just realized that we only have two weeks until Spring Break, so chances are very good the project will be split over spring break. Ugh. I don't like doing that. It really will test their memory.
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Rumpelstiltskin, and only a few of them had heard the story before. It was actually a great lead-in to the assignment of writing their name, since it was a main concept in the story. I would like to get some of the classic Grimm's Fairy Tales to share with the older students, they would probably love the gore.
I read The Three Little Pigs with the kindergarten class today. It was a rather grimm version with the wolf eating the first two pigs, and the third pig eating the wolf (in soup form) at the end and they of course loved it. Again, I was surprised at how few of them were familiar with the story. I am going to have to amp up my reading of classic tales.
After my administration time (95% working on prep schedule, 4% checking to see if Study Island was working for my 4th graders, 1% lunch), I had my 4th graders work on Study Island, which is how I think we'll do most of our MCA prep. This group has done quite a bit of MCA prep in the past few weeks with their teacher, but most of them haven't done much on Study Island, so that was a nice change for them, although they seemed really sleepy today and a bit more distracted than most days. Tomorrow we'll do Study Island's game format, which rewards students with a 10 second game every time they get a correct answer, I think that will help motivate them.
Off to crunch some more numbers in the Great Prep Equation (and eat some pie, too)