"Mom, I think math teachers must sell their souls to the devil or something." said my 13 year old daughter. Aghast, I asked if she meant math teacher was mean? "No," she replied, "they must sell their souls in order to understand math because this stuff is hard!" I nearly choked on my Pepsi Max at that point, but I managed to keep it together long enough to help her figure out how to multiply mixed fractions - and we both kept our souls in the process!
"Mom! I need to get my backpack out of the car! There's something I have to show you!" cried my middle son at dinner time. He raced out to the car and brought his backpack in. It was completely empty save for a crumpled piece of lined paper on which he had carefully copied the words "Altai Mountains". "This is where I want to go on vacation!" he exclaimed. Apparently he had been reading a book about fossils at school today and found a reference to a burial site in the Altai Mountains and decided it would be a great place to go on our next vacation (the rest of us were talking about Disney Land lol). It's going to break his heart when I tell him we're not going to Siberia for Spring Break!
Moments like these are a great way to unwind from the stress of my day! What stress you ask? Hmmm how about a fire drill that occurs when the kindergarten classes are in transition to Music - halfway between the new wing and their classroom in the old wing. When the fire alarm went off, the magnets on the doors immediately disengaged, thus trapping 10 kinders on one side of the doors and 15 on the other side. One of the 10 on my side immediately launched into hysterics because of a prior fire experience at her house, thus prompting the other 9 to start crying as well. Their teacher had to go back for the other 15, who of course were panicking and crying on the other side of the door that almost crushed them! Luckily my kids were actually still in the Music teacher's custody so I was able to grab the 9 (I sent the screamer to her mother who is my teaching partner lol) and drag them out the door, having to go back several times to round them all up as their first instinct was to cover their ears and stare up at the alarm, thus missing the fact that we were leaving. Since I didn't know their names, and the alarm was so loud, I had to start and stop several times. By the time we got them all out into the field and rounded up against the fence I was almost crying lol!
I also had the bright idea to get out the paint and play dough at the same time today! We tried to do a 3 station rotation, which actually worked pretty well until my 2nd rotation of play dough decided it would be more fun to stack all the play dough cups and crash them onto the floor rather than actually clean up. We have brand new carpeting and I live in terror of the custodian/principal deciding that my stations are too messy, so needless to say, play dough on the floor was not something I was happy about!
There are good times though. For instance, I introduced my clipchart yesterday and have had very good results. It is so much nicer to be on the lookout for kiddos to clip up rather than focusing on the negative! We are also loving our callbacks. So far we have two: I say "Did Pete cry?" and the kids say "Goodness no!" (yes we love Pete!). Our other one is from "Where the Wild Things Are" of course. I say "We'll eat you up!" and the kids reply with "We love you so!" which I think is just precious every time they do it!
I also have to share how in love we are with a book that I pulled out of my stack as I was unpacking boxes this year. I don't know where/when I got it, but I flipped through the pages as I was putting books away and fell in love. I've read it 3 times so far this week and the children keep clamoring for more. It is such a powerful story, but told in a way that the kids can understand. I love the illustrations! It is called "One" and is the story of how the color Red was a bully to Blue. None of the other colors stood up for Blue and so Red got bigger and bigger and started bullying all of the colors. Until One came along who told Red "No." and empowered the other colors to take a stand as well. I am now adding this to my permanent back-to-school reading list as it is such a great way to teach students how to stand up for themselves and others and is a good jumping off point for talking about bullying.
Oh! and I almost forgot one of the best things!! We got word that our Smartboards should be installed on Friday - I'm doing a major happy dance! Oh! and speaking of happy dances - there is nothing like doing Dr. Jean's "Hello Neighbor" song! There's absolutely no way anyone can be cranky or moody or a stinkin' patootie while that song is playing. That's it for me tonight - I'm heading for bed so I don't fall-back-to-sleep-after-turning-my-alarm-off and end up almost late to school again tomorrow lol! Have a great night and great Thursday!