Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I know why the caged monkey goes nuts....

We are taking the BIG state standardized test this week at my school. Well, I say "we", but all I'm doing is reading from a script and watching a dozen of my 6th grade girls read, write, and fill in bubbles for 15 to 45 minutes at a time. I envy them that they actually have something to engage their minds in. I've been carrying a notepad around with me while I monitor them in case something pops into my head. I can't do anything about it, but I can write it down and do something about it later.
In the afternoons, our homerooms come to us for the rest of the day. I started to read Peter Pan, my absolute favorite book, to them yesterday, but they wanted to talk or play hand games or make smart remarks about the story..... it was quite frustrating. Today I let them play games and chat for an hour before torturing them with the brilliance of J. M. Barry again. They actually seemed to be into the story today, though. The first chapter is so full of analogies and figurative writing that they just didn't get it. But today the action was emerging, and the humor began to show. Waiting for the hour to pass before settling them was rough, though. I love those little toots, but they were certainly rowled up after sitting prostrate over a test all morning. Our principal dismissed all grades to play for the rest of the day at 2pm. Boy, they needed it!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Acceptance on a roll....I hope

So I got an email today stating that both lesson I submitted to an alternate educators conference were accepted, meaning I've been approved to present a professional development conference for other educators. I'm excited, but feeling a bit intimidated, too. What if they people who attend think my lessons are dumb... what if I get nervous an talk in circles or say something stupid (it happens... a lot). What if no one signs up for my sessions..... sigh...
I think the lessons are neat, but I designed them; and quite a few others have asked for a copy of one of them. Perhaps I shouldn't psych myself out. They wouldn't have chosen me if they didn't think I have something to offer, right? Speaking of accepted, I'm waiting to hear from the online masters program I applied to for acceptance. I'm also waiting to hear if I will be given any financial aid. If not, I guess they can throw that bill on the pile, too. Keep your legs crossed for me, folks...
Funny, I wrote that as if anyone is reading... I have serious doubts about that one!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Typical Saturday

While Maysie naps, I have the chance to get to my To Do's.... when there are no major things to do, I'm stymied. Strange. So I suppose some scripted reflection is in order....
Maysie has taken a liking to cleaning. She's always enjoyed sweeping the floor, helping to wipe the tables and picking up, but now she wants- WANTS- to wash her dishes out, too. I took some pics of her smiling while doing dishes to prove that it's her idea!

I think it's stinkin' adorable! Might as well nurture her desire to clean up after herself while she has one! She's getting to be so independent, too. I try not to offer her any help with little tasks unless she asks for it, and I always try to give her choices whenever applicable.

Lately, in order to feed the need to create that I've been feeling since Spring hit, I've been trying to come up with some new recipes. Food Network is one of my favorite channels, and the one I choose to watch the most after Maysie goes to bed. I get plenty of flavor ideas there, it's the execution I'm not familiar with. Tonight, I'm going to make a ground turkey pita with greek yogurt and cucumber dressing. We'll see how that goes.
I've also been using my classroom as a creative outlet, too. The Benchmark is next week, so my lessons have all focused on preparing the students for that lately, but I've already written out a scope for the rest of the year. I love the 6 weeks after Benchmark. The test stress is over, and I can focus on the areas of the curriculum that are not stressed on the English portion of the test. I plan to start with poetry: reading, interpreting, and writing, then move into drama: reading, writing, and performing! I can't wait! Several of the lessons/ activities are some that I've done before, some have been modified, but others are brand new! My favorite part about teaching is coming up with the lessons and accompanying activities. I also enjoy attending workshops for ideas. Most of my lessons are original, as far as I know, anyway.... I've found 3 local workshop that I want to attend this summer. I'm also attending the second year of a 2 year literacy program that my school is funding. It's out of town, which means I have to leave Maysie for 4 nights! Last year it nearly killed me! She kept asking where I had gone and waiting by the window for me to drive up. This year, I'm trying to work out a plan for Mom and Maysie (and Chadi, too, if he can) to come Searcy for the last day of the conference, and we'll all spend the weekend in Little Rock afterwards.
I feel a bit word-drained.... and my book is calling. A student of mine is foaming at the mouth to get his hands on the book when I finish it, too.....