Saturday, March 22, 2014

See Me

This is a funny little story to me. 

We just got done with a writing project. So I had this rubric for their grade. It looked like this:


And I had two kiddos that hadn't turned in their graphic organizer or their sloppy copy. Which would definitely hurt their grade. And I hate giving bad grades! 

So I wrote "See Me" on the top of their paper. 

It's more a reminder to me than to them - because apparently the words "See Me" written by your teacher mean nothing to a 2nd grader. This has happened more than once. In years past, I would write See Me on a paper, pass the paper out, and then, when it was too late, realize that kiddo never came and saw me. 

So now I put the See Me papers on top and I grab the kid as they walk in the door. 

So I grabbed these two kiddos. And asked for their other papers on this project. 

And the next day, the little girl said her mom wanted to talk to me. I wasn't surprised. Even with the other papers, her grade was still lower than she usually does.

Her mom happens to work at my school, and she catches me in the hall. And we start talking. And I'm explaining the grade. The mom is rather limited in her English, so I ask the school secretary to come help us. And we're still talking about the grade and what happened, and why. Then I decide to break down the whole thing, and I tell the mom that the little girl hadn't even handed in everything, so I had put See Me on her paper. And the mom says, "Well, you said, See Me. So I didn't understand why, and my daughter didn't know why, but I came!" 

Umm, no I don't necessarily want to see you. I want to see your kid. And really, just her papers. 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Desk Thinking

This is a picture from my desk, looking out at my room. 

And way back there....

is my noisiest table group. Every single time. Doesn't matter who I put there. They are noisy. 

Especially when we are doing writing. And I'm sitting at my desk, chatting it up with my little writers. 

And I read something the other day about being only 4 steps away from every student. 

Yep. I'm more than 4 from this cozy little group. 

To go along with that, I'm wanting a new, smaller desk. 

And I was thinking...what if I put my desk where my projector cart is. My desk wouldn't move around like my cart does. I'd be in the middle of the room. I'd lose one piece of furniture. I'd be close to everybody.

And I was only joking with myself when I first thought of this. But maybe....

Thursday, March 20, 2014

March Madness

Our school has a Relay for Life team that is pretty active. One of the things they do ties in to March Madness. 

We have door decorating contests -

Well, it isn't really a door decorating contest. We're supposed to decorate our door to go along with March Madness. Then the kids can buy little paper basketballs for like a quarter each - and we add them to the door. The class with the most basketballs wins something - like a popcorn party or something. It is really crazy {madness!} how many of those little orange paper basketballs the kids will buy.

I tell you what - I was drawing a blank! I asked my hubby, what should I do to decorate my door in basketball fashion. That smart man that he is, said - ask your kids. 

So I did. Anybody that had an idea got to share it. We voted on about 13 or so ideas. Then we voted on the top 2 ideas. This one won. 

I actually think it's rather clever. One of my boys said to have yellow clovers coming out of a basketball goal. So I showed them {apparently not well enough for some of them!} how to draw a cloverleaf - on white paper. And then they - or some of them - cut them out. And they got to put them wherever they wanted on the door. {And yes, I made the basketball goal - which is pretty clever, too, I'm thinking! I cut out an oval shape and then added the yarn to make a net.}

And the best part is, as my hubby said, if anybody asks - I can say, well, my kids did it!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Right Before Spring Break

I take class room subscriptions to Ranger Rick and what's now called Ranger Rick, Jr.

Ranger Rick Magazine 

 Ranger Rick Jr Magazine
 As you can see, they are just $15 a year. {No commercials here - LOL}

And my daughter used to love NG Kids - and we just never stopped that subscription, so I take those to school, too. 

And then what happens? I have a ton of magazines! I put out about 5 years worth of each for the month in my class library - ie, for March, I'll put out 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010. And what do I do with those poor older magazines? 


For some reason, this makes my kids feel like they have hit pay dirt!

So I put a whole bunch of magazines out - draw sticks - and let them pick a magazine. Once I put their name on it, it's theirs. 

I like to do this right before spring break. I have great hopes that they take their magazine home and read it. And read it again. And read it to mom or dad. And read it to their siblings. Yes, indeedy - I've got High Hopes! 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I care about you

As I wrote yesterday, my Spring Break started yesterday!

And then I started thinking about some of my kiddos - 1 in particular and perhaps two or three others. 

And I remembered this post from Kimberly at First in Maine about Christmas vacation.

I think one of my girls needs every bit of loving I can manage to send her way. And unfortunately, I haven't been doing too good of a job in that area. {She's a sweetie, but sometimes annoying - like asking questions, just as I'm trying to get everyone quiet so that I can tell them what's next - which would answer her question!}

And I had this thought - {Oh, please let me follow through!} 
Our kids come to school, and if they eat breakfast, go do that, and then head to the gym until it's time for school to start. So what if, every once in a while - I invited her to come to my room after she finishes breakfast. And the two of us could just hang out - she could help me with whatever - for 10 minutes. Which might seem like a pretty big deal in her book.  

My other thought is that since winter break, I feel like I've been slacking off in the "I care about you department." But my next thought was - I have 9 more weeks, please God, don't let me waste them!!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Expectations - and Spring Break

Spring break officially started at 3:49 yesterday. One of my co-workers volunteered to wait outside with all the 2nd grade kiddos, so I rushed to get my room in vacation order and hurried home because College Girl was there waiting for me!!!!!

I plan to do not a lot of school stuff - I have 2 things I have to do - one of which I wrote on my to-do list and the other I can't remember - LOL, so it just may not get done. And I'm going to have College Girl order some books off of Amazon because she can get them delivered speedy quick!

{Anybody got any good titles I need to add to my wish list???}

I've written before that my afternoons are LOOOOONG. There's only so much a person can do with the schedule they are given. But Thursday afternoon, I was a grumpy bear. And Friday afternoon, ditto that squared. The 4th grade teacher in our building asked if the 2nd grade classes would like to do pen pal letters. Sure, why not. Except when the letters came, we were in the middle of another writing project. When that got done, off we went! We hadn't talked much about letters and the form. But we looked at some mentor text - 

I have to tell you that Dear Mrs. LaRue was tough - they are letters, and they do use the correct form - but it's got a lot of inferring and that just wasn't what we were doing. Ack! I read it one day and we just never finished it {Bad Teacher!}

Anyway, we moved through the process. I'd say 16 of my 19 kiddos followed my instructions and wrote an opening, answered questions, asked questions, and did a closing. {We did each step on a single day and then combined it all in a sloppy copy.} Then I had a thought - I have 2 boys whose writing in unreadable - I mean, I can't even decipher - how could a 4th grader? Then I have a second tier of about 3 whose writing is a little tough. So I thought - let's type these letters. Ah, yeah, that will make them nice and readable. Oh, just pull my hair out now!

And I realized last night {after College Girl left to spend time with her friend who is a boy ;)} that my grumpy bearness doesn't have much to do with 2nd graders being 2nd graders - but my unrealistic expectations of what they are able to do and what we as a group of 20 can get done in the amount of time we have.

So yea - I have this week to regroup, refresh and probably {because this silly little brain doesn't seem to ever shut off} rethink. 

Happy Spring Break for those of you that are right there with me!