Friday, November 25, 2011

Report Card Season

So here I am at end of term. Report cards are due on Monday because parent teacher conferences (my first solo ones) are happening on Friday, Dec. 2.

What am I doing on this four day weekend? Resting? Oh gosh no! I'm grading papers that will essentially make me have legitimate grades for report cards. Could I go off the cuff? According to some friends and colleagues, absolutely. I know how the kids are doing, after all. But ethically I can't. Because I know that I would feel horrible if I didn't have the proof that parents need to see and know that their kids are really doing (or not doing) the things they need to succeed in second grade. I'm tired. I am frazzled. I am going crazy. To top it all off I'm wondering about why I had to do progress reports a few weeks back and then now I have to do report cards. AGH!

And I just remembered that I have to have something in the kids' folders to show that I am not just making things up...but I'm going through this work and I'm honestly not sure what should stay and what should go. I am putting their start of the year assessments (DIBELS and Storytown Benchmarks that I haven't graded); some math assessments, their science tests. I suppose I should put some writing samples. Second grade writing is not that great. Please, I have seen college writing samples that aren't so great!

So please, pray for me as I go into this non-stop grading mode so that I can put the grades in correctly and promptly by Sunday (my personal deadline) - and know that I did get to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family and a bit of shopping with Daniel and Sam today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I have to do WHAT?!?!?

I know this next post is supposed to be about the glorious field trip we took to the MSI a few weeks ago but this has got to be said...

I already know that I have to figure something out for my kids to perform during the Christmas Pageant. I already have one song and I am trying to work on another one that is whimsical, fun, and EASY! I actually rather enjoy working at a school that unabashedly celebrates Christmas...but then I get an e-mail that just floored me...

Teachers, the tree trimming party is on November 30. Please make sure to have your kids make their ornaments for the tree...WHAT!?!?!?!?!?

I think I almost passed out right there and then. I'm wondering when there will be enough time in the day, let alone the month to figure something out. And now that I know I have to do this my mind has already kicked into gear about what kind of ornament I will have the kids make...I would like to do something that doesn't duplicate something the kids have done in the last three years of being at our school...and something where I don't have to spend too much money...I have pipe cleaners, origami paper, Popsicle sticks and construction paper...I think I might even have a glue gun and I definitely have a ton of googly eyes...I have websites, craft books, and a few I just need to find the time to make a demo ornament and make sure I have enough supplies for 18 kids to make said ornaments!

You may resume your normally scheduled lives...I think I need to take my blood pressure pill.

Novice Teacher

Monday, November 7, 2011

Four day week

Most teachers would be thrilled at a four day week.

I know what you're thinking, wait a second, isn't this newest blog supposed to be about the field trip? I'll get to that sometime this week, I promise.

Anyhow, back to this four day work week...While I am thrilled and delighted I get a Friday off to do with whatever I please I am NOT so happy about the fact that my already limited (by half an hour) teaching time in language arts is going away for one day. I'm supposed to cram five days worth of instruction (at two hours each day) into four days worth and one and a half hours each day! GAH!

On top of all this I want to get guided reading groups done; read stories aloud (I'm sure I haven't mentioned my shock and dismay at learning that my kids haven't heard of the modern classic tales of "Where the Wild Things Are", "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" - the book version, NOT the movie, "Officer Buckle and Gloria", among many others, I know, I could seriously bring in Daniel's whole home library and only a few will have read any of them before I read it to them! - I digress); and I expect my kids to take their accelerated reader (AR) tests because, let's face it, some of them have intentionally been skipping taking them because they think I'm not paying attention, but I am!

I would like to get another chapter in math knocked out too, on addition strategies, so that I can move onto subtraction strategies...and I'm having a hard time with this whole math series because I can see that a lot of my kids have these tips and tricks up their sleeves already while some definitely need the help...and by some I mean four kids...

I'm starting a new topic in science after a successful showing of my kids (10 got As, two of whom got perfect scores, 3 got Bs, 1 got a C - and not even the kid you think!!!).

AND this week kicks off my second and third graders campaign to help some needy families in Northfield by hosting a food drive. Speaking of which, I should probably put my donation in already...

So, four day school week? Any other time of year I would welcome you with open arms and my body would thank you...but this week you are just a pain!

Until next time - Novice Teacher