Monday, May 09, 2011

Monday Blues

Mondays are generally my easiest school day of the week. I basically have two prep periods in the afternoon which makes for a very smooth day. However, today I seem to be hanging on for dear life. My students have been constantly at each other all morning and appear to be all ready for summer even though there are still 7 weeks to go!

Also, we (only) have 3 weeks to prepare for our Provincial Math Assessments. I am reviewing skills and concepts with them on a daily basis while still trying to work on outcomes that have not yet been covered. On top of trying to prepare the students for Provincial Assessments, we are asked to administer the third set of math screeners. It will be interesting to see how my students do on these math screeners. I am very interested to see if their scores have improved since the last set. It would have been better if we would have received our screeners a couple of weeks ago. This would have given us more time to help those students that truly need it before the provincial assessment. At this point, we will not receive the screener results in time to successfully guide our teaching. On a more positive note, I am over the moon excited to fill in more bubble sheets (insert sarcasm here).

Even with the screeners being given as late as they are, I do perform more than enough formative assessment during math that has guided my teaching all year. Flexible groupings have been difficult to manage due to the many behavioural challenges in my classroom this year. I have been looking into the 'Daily 3' Math centers and would like to talk to teachers who have been using it to get some feedback as to whether this is something that works well. I am very excited to pilot it in my classroom next year.

To take my mind off the provincial assessments and the stressfulness of today .. I thought I would take 5 minutes to de-stress. I have seen this A to Z game online and I thought I'd fill it out...

A - Age: 27
B - Bride - in 95 days!!
C - Chore you hate: cleaning the bathroom
D - Dog's name: Boots
E - Essential start your day item: coffee
F - Favourite color: blue
G - Gold or Silver or Platinum: White Gold
H - Height: 5'7
I - Instruments you play: Back in the day (4th-8th grades) I played the Tenor Saxophone
J - Job title: Grade 5 Intensive French teacher
K - Kid(s): currently - 0 - in the future we are going for 2
L - Living arrangements: cute bungalow w. the hubby-to-be, has a Sunroom add-on & in-ground pool :)
M - Mom's name: Winnie (Hope you had a good rest of Mother's Day xo)
N - Nicknames: Shea, Sheils
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: thankfully - never
P - Pet Peeve: I can't name just one... but unnecessary noises drive me insane
Q - Quote - Live.Dream.Discover
R - Right handed or left handed: Left
S - Siblings: 1 brother & 2 future sister-in-laws :)
T - Time you wake up: 6:30
U- Underwear: Yes I wear them
V - Vegetable you dislike: I love them all!
W - Ways you run late: Whenever I get up super early to get ready for something, I am always a little bit late
X - X-rays you've had: When I broke my wrist skiing for the first time & when I rolled a truck
Y - Yummy food you make: Hmmm, this question is tough.
Z - Zoo favourite: None - Unless it is open-range, Zoos are cruel.

Happy Monday! :)

Sunday, May 01, 2011

"Royal Wedding Day"

The Royal Wedding: Friday, April 29th, 2011 at Westminister Abbey
With such a monumental event happening this past Friday, I decided to take full advantage in my classroom and named it "Royal Wedding Day".  As my students entered class Friday morning, they saw these words posted on the whiteboard at the front of the class and were first learly of what this meant. A lot of the boys in my class (which is most of the class as I have 17 boys to 6 girls) were not very interested in the Royal Wedding and thought it was just a silly event. Meanwhile, all the girls were very excited about it and could not wait to hear what I had planned. One of the girls actually stayed home to watch the Royal Wedding with Grandmother which I did not necessarily approve of, but parents had the final say on that one.

The morning literacy activities began with Oral Debates regarding the Royal Wedding. Students had to argue 'for' or 'against' whether or not it was a good decision to be marrying into the Royal Family. I also had 4 other groups arguing 'for' and 'against' the retail industry as well as the media's role in the Royal Wedding. The students performed very well and all groups made interesting points to argue their case.

Following the debates, the students launched into writing letters to either William or Kate to congratulate them on getting married. The students wrote such amazing letters. I was so impressed. One boy wrote William and wrote that he was so proud of him. He also mentioned that it was very nice that his brother Harry was able to be there for him on such a special day. The same boy also wrote that he hopes that his brother will do the same for him one day and stand beside him when he gets married. Such emotion for a grade 5 student!

At the back of the class, I had a round table set up with a table cloth and had many hats, props and a tiara. The students had the chance to earn 5 tickets for good behaviour throughout the day and once they earned the 5 tickets they were then able to sit at the "Royal Table" for the rest of the day. The students were so motivated and desperately wanted to sit at this table that all students were so well-behaved all morning. I caught myself a few times during the morning actually enjoying the peace and quiet while the students worked on their assignments.

In the afternoon, one of the students who had been named 'Prince William' led the students in a guided reading of Castle Diary which is part of our social studies curriculum. He called on some of the commoners (students still at their seats) as well as some of the Royal Family members from the orange table to do some of the readings from the book.

Overall, it was great to involve such an important event within some of the subjects being taught Friday. The students enjoyed every activity presented because they were different as well as very engaging. I am so glad that I took the opportunity to use such an important event and apply it in making royalty-themed lessons.

~ Did you watch the wedding or incorporate it into your lesson plan?

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