February 7, 2011

Once upon a time, I sacrificed ISAT practice in favor of actual good teaching...

...and I only feel a little bit guilty.

I tell ya, coming back to school today after a surprise 5 day snow weekend was not the easiest thing in the world.  But it was nice to see the kiddos. :)  Even if they did seem to forget how to raise their hands...can someone explain to me why that always seems to happen?  Oh and I have ANOTHER new student.  That makes #4 this year.  Yikes!  Good thing he seems like a sweetheart, or I'd have to send him back... ;)  Only kidding!

In the midst of a jungle of ISAT PREP that will only get worse over the next 3 weeks til the big tests, I managed to squeeze in a few fun things.  One area the kiddos always struggle in when it comes to testing is literary genres. Since I have hit them and hit them again during literacy, I decided to sneakily fit in a second dose during writing workshop.  For fun I did a mini-lesson on fairy tales today (not that this is a genre they need help with...but sometimes you just gonna teach something fun).  We brainstormed elements of fairy tales, then I read aloud part of Rapunzel. (I don't always read an entire mentor text for WW because it takes too long.  They need to be writing the majority of the time!  All it usually takes is part of a story to get the gist.  The kids begged me not to stop, though, so I will probably finish it during another lesson later this week.)  Then I gave them a story starter for their fairy tale: "Once upon a time there lived a prince/princess with a big secret..."  We did a 2 minute quick-write after that building on the sentence frame (I ALWAYS write with them during quick-writes.  I love it!), before going off during writing time to work on whatever projects their little writer hearts desire.  Some of the kids continued running with the fairy tale idea, and I loved hearing them during sharing time.  Now that we have fairy tales set in our heads, what genre should I try next?  Mystery maybe?  

I am also looking forward to kicking off a science unit tomorrow.  We have been deep in social studies land since early December, and I just realized that report cards are mere weeks away and I have ZERO science grades...oops!  The next unit is on Matter, so we're starting with some hands-on discovery lessons this week. Even though science was my arch nemesis as a child, I kinda love teaching it.  Updates to come on how the carefully planned lessons go in the real-life classroom!

No sign of Mr. Principal's surprise observation yet... :-/ gosh I hate these things!  I get nervous enough when I know when they are/what he'll be observing!  This is just cruel.

Side note:  Some of you know that I moved back in with Mom & Dad when I graduated from college in '09, mostly to save $$$ and partly because I am way too lazy to look for an apartment.  While I am planning to move out in the near future, I will be the first to admit that I've got it pretty good here, and am in no real hurry...Case in point, here's what was waiting on the counter for me when I got home from school:

Costco sized box of my favorite cereal (9 grams of protein per serving?!  be still my vegetarian heart) and giant bottles of my favorite shampoo and conditioner.  Come on.  You can't beat that.  Oh, and my dad was making tofu and veggie stir fry.  Seriously.  Do I have to grow up?


  1. That is my favorite cereal of all time. Are you going with a group down to the Disney Princess Half? I'm going with my husband and daughter but running alone. We're staying at the Doubletree on property.

  2. I love the fairy tale idea!! And I hated science growing up, but I love teaching it, just like you :)


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