Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow and the treadmill of the holiday season

Today was the first real snow of the season up here in Massachusetts. I've decided that snow makes people crazy, whether it is waiting for the car to heat up/defreeze or children acting like they have never seen snow before. Every few minutes today it was like, "It's snowing!" My response: "Yes!!!! It is winter and we live in Massachusetts…now let's move on." It's extremely distracting and it doesn't help that I am missing blinds in my room so can't even cover up the windows. 

However, it is also inspiring. My students are starting a writing project called "If I was stuck in a snow globe." They are so excited about it! They are going to write a first person narrative in which they describe how they got into the snow globe and how they are to escape, and everything in between. Using figurative language, they are going to try to make me want to read more! Some of my students even spent some of their indoor recess brainstorming and starting their rough drafts. It's good to see them so excited about school!

In other news, I feel like this November and December has been like a treadmill. When one thing finishes, another thing begins. First it was my observation, then it was conferences, then a bunch of assessments, then report cards, and meanwhile there are birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I feel like I have not even been able to start thinking about Christmas and the holiday season because I can't keep up. However, I did do my Christmas shopping online (even though two of my packages went missing and I spent too much money). I have incorporated listening to Christmas music while I do my daily lesson planning. 

There is so much to do in the next week and a half. However, next week students are not going to be focused on school because they'll be thinking about winter break. 

It's a crazy time of the year, but I'm trying to incorporate activities into my day that are not related to school: reading, watching a tv show, blogging, and this weekend I'm going snowboarding!  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Fever

Hello faithful followers,
I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving and are getting ready for Christmas. The last 2 weeks have been the hardest for me in 5th grade, ending in a breakdown in the principal's office today. Last week, the students were all focused on Thanksgiving and therefore a little rowdy. This week, coming back from Thanksgiving, I thought they would be back into school mode, but I was wrong! I feel like the atmosphere in my classroom has been really off this week. In some ways, I feel like we are back to how things were in September. I have just been more on edge with my students recently and frustrated that it is December and I still have to go through what a quiet classroom looks like. I'm hopeful that eventually I can maintain a quiet classroom.

In the meantime, it is time to reestablish routines and set my expectations higher than I have. It came to my attention today that some students have been disrespectful and inattentive. They figure that if they don't raise their hands, I will not call on them. This is something I can change easily, by calling on people randomly and having students repeat what other students say. I am the type of person that usually ignores people when they are disrespectful, but I can't ignore it anymore. I wrote it off as holiday fever and being unmotivated, but it is more than that. It is time to teach them how to talk to adults and how to be respectful, even when they do not want to do something. This is a skill that they need to have in life.  I need to be more stern with my students and let them get away with nothing. I am still learning how to be an authority figure. Please pray that I have regain patience and consistency with my students.