Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Oh holidays, oh holidays,
With children ever laughing,
They talk and talk,
They laugh and play,
Homework, no they do not do,
For days before the break!

Decorations hung with care,
Brazil's celebration studied deep,
The tree they made,
It made me laugh,
Their imagination got the best
Of their logic and sound judgement
I think I see a Jewish star!
Candy garlands,
Made from wrappers scarfed from me.
The ideas they had,
Initially... based on research sound!

Every year, we do Christmas door decorations by homeroom- this year in a an effort to be more "multi-cultural" each class chose a celebration from another country. My class chose Brazil - it did start out wonderfully - they did some research and got some ideas - but as they made they their own ornaments for the tree, their individualness took over the sound research - we have one with an Insane Posse Clown (which rotates on a metal brad..) a orange and black Jewish star (our school colors are orange and black... why a Jewish star we do not have an answer. The girl who made it does not even KNOW anyone Jewish!) We have a ballerina, a snow globe... our paper covering the door is 3 inches too short, and cut jaggedly... the tree itself is about maybe 18 inches tall on my 7 foot classroom door. It is lovely.... colorful, creative, and all theirs!

Tomorrow, let them behave as I go to the high school for a math department meeting... they have their assignments... they know what is expected... oh please don't let them call me!

Thursday, December 04, 2003

I feel like I am living in the center of a whirling cylcone... time is zooming by, at home and at school. I just need to reach out and grab ahold of something to keep from blowing away.

Math is great - geometry is always my favorite unit. The students enjoy it also - I just got the "latest" state standards, by grade level, which when I adhere to strictly, will greatly reduce/change my geometry unit. The 3-d drawings, much of the measurement part, a few other odds and ends, are no longer 7th grade fodder. I must admit I am disappointed because these things are so hands-on and active for the students to get involved in. I wish we could actually find and purchase a new math program though; I am tired of digging for everything I use in class. I spend so much time looking for activities to fit with what we should be covering, I often feel that I spend more time doing that than actually teaching!

Social studies - our Latin American country posters and presentations are underway. I think I needed to do a bit more scaffolding with the assignment - I am disappointed in the quality of some of the posters. Maybe a bit more time spent on actually HOW TO RESEARCH, how to organize your findings, and how to create a poster would help. The oral presentations are going well though. For the first time this year these guys have done something like this, I must say I am impressed with their efforts so far.

The other 2 7th grade core teachers and the spec ed teacher and I sat down this afternoon to plan the last day before Christmas break - it should be a great day! Video rooms, craft rooms, snacks, games... gym time... WOW!! To be a 7th grader again... me, I'll just be beat by the end of the day!!

Speaking of spec ed... after the last year, with all the conflict, this year is going so well. I enjoy working with the person in there now... she is so positive, looks for ways to help, comes into my math class(YES!!) and actually finds ways to support my curriculum for her students! AMAZING!! SO much less stress and conflict than this time last year!

Parents... oh what a week with them and kids! I was gone on Monday and some of the kids did not do so great on the assignment I has left. I gave them time on Tuesday to redo this assignment. Unfortunately, quite a few did not see the need. Annoyed, I wrote notes on those papers that had gotten failing grades and were not being redone, saying "______ had class time to redo this assignment but is choosing to fail instead. Please sign that you are aware of this choice." One mom wrote back a snippy-ish note asking if her son really "choose" not to, or was he in fact working on something else. I wrote back that he indeed wasted at least 15-20 minutes of classtime... well... that changed her tune a bit. ANother young man forged mom's signature... dead giveaway when the signature was erased and rewritten!! ANyway, he ended up with an hour of after school detention, and mom and I had a nice long chat. Very supportive, she was!!

Survivor night so I really must cut this short with lots more to say... another day... that is my Christmas break daily!!