The Next Page Entry 62: Overheard in Room 36

The Next Page Entry 62: Overheard in Room 36

a man listening, holding his hand up to his ear

Glad I’ve been keeping a small notebook with me…

Overheard in the classroom yesterday. : 

— “Do you think Ms. Page has a plan for today?”

— “No way! I would never mix sardines with peanut butter!”

— “They should make kids be the crossing guards. My grandpa said he used to be one.”

— “I think I saw Ms. Page talking to Mr. Taylor after school.”
“So? Teachers are always talking to each other.”
“What do you think they talk about?”
“Probably snoopy kids like you.”


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The Next Page Entry 61: One year ago today…

The Next Page Entry 61: One year ago today…

One Year Ago Today…

I was teaching lockstep with the instructional schedule.
I was teaching straight out of the district-approved and embarrassingly overpriced language arts series. The scope-and-sequence was the Bible.
I was bored with the reading selections and so were the kids. 
Our writing assignments were dry as dust and so focused on non-fiction writing and ‘writing to learn’ that nothing felt new or original.
One year ago today I wasn’t bringing brownies and apple cake to staff meetings and I hadn’t forged a friendship with Mrs. Helm.

I think I’m liking this year a whole lot better.
Not sure how much grief might be awaiting me around the corner, but that’s a shruggable item for another day.

The Next Page Entry 60: Weekend Homework? Really?

The Next Page Entry 60: Weekend Homework? Really?

So, I gave the kids homework over the weekend.
Yes, ruthless, aren’t I?
I kept it simple.
“Bring in a piece of cardboard at least two feet wide and two feet long.”
And I gave them two nights to do it. And I encouraged those who had extra cardboard to offer some to others who weren’t able to [or choosing to] track some down. And I suggested to the cardboard-deprived kids to ask their classmates or neighbors or a store for a single sheet.
Two nights!
Ask for help!
Result: 12 out of 27 kids brought some in.
Give me a break!
And yet, I had a feeling this would happen, so I was ready.
I had sauntered down the aisles of Foodko during late-night shelf stocking and asked the folks for the emptied boxes. They were champs.
So, yesterday I had cardboard sheets stacked for those who hadn’t followed through.
But everything has a price, even castoff cardboard…

The Next Page Entry 50: The da Vinci Zone spreads

The Next Page Entry 50: The da Vinci Zone spreads

da vinci word cloud curiosity

Seems we’re getting a little bogged down in class.

The kids all wanted to share their videos and their findings from yesterday.

And they wanted extra notebook/codex time.

I guess it’s a good version of being bogged down, but we didn’t exactly dive into any new lessons. That may come back to haunt me…but then again, not sure I’m overly concerned with any possible misfortune.

And more than a few of them surrounded Mrs. Helm today, wanting their work to be included in the school’s weekly newsletter.

I don’t see that happening, but I will say that our class web page [thanks to Mrs. Helm] is, to use her term, ‘vibrant’ with all kinds of video clips and photos.

Kind of fun.

Haven’t caught up to Mrs. Nix re: her wanting to see me. [Or is it, I haven’t let her catch up with me?]

Time to get home to bake for Mrs. Helm. Staff meeting tomorrow and since she joined me last time, I’d better be well-supplied. Plus, I owe her for keeping up our class web page. I sent my right- and left-hand people [Beth and Sanjay] to find out what our beloved librarian would like for a treat.

Verdict: Oatmeal raisin cookies.

 

The Next Page Entry 49: Supermarket Spree

The Next Page Entry 49: Supermarket Spree

Leonardo da Vinci self sketch saying oh lord, the questions!

So, it’s like this. 

I’ve unleashed a new brand of crazy inside and outside the classroom.

It’s called ‘the da Vinci-zone’. 

I got the kids all amped up on being observant and curious. Oy. It’s so not easy to rein them in. Am figuring it will calm down, but for now…they were in full-swing on the walk to the supermarket and back. I take that back. Inside Food City as well.

The poor manager was engulfed with questions, like:

  • What temperature do you keep the ice cream at? 
  • How old are the spare ribs?
  • Which gum sells the fastest?
  • How early in the day does the smell of your roasted chicken start to travel around the store?
  • What is YOUR favorite smell in the store?
  • Do you move the older apples from the bottom to the top so they don’t get old?
  • My mom says in the old days the cashiers had to punch in numbers for the prices. Was she kidding?

I decided the day before to scale back on their activity sheets, so it was down to:

  • English/Language Arts: Write down the sentence or sentences that make you want to buy a product.
  • Report to your iPad/camera buddy and have them record you telling two things you learned during the visit.
  • Math: Fill in the blanks: I would buy ten [name of product]. It would cost me [_______].
  • Science: Find an item that depends on aging or fermentation.
    Find an item that you think consists of 30% to 70% water.

Let’s just say there were multiple flurries of activity throughout the store.

Of course, nothing compared to the cheer for the free donuts they scored at the end of the visit. [When we got back, they had to calculate the number of calories they consumed, based on Dunkin Donuts estimated per item count of 260 calories. I told them the donut gave them each enough added energy to do the math.]

When we got back, Mr. Taylor told me Mrs. Nix was looking for me. 

Film at 11 on that one…

The Next Page Entry 48: Creating a monster

The Next Page Entry 48: Creating a monster

Between thisred button push this

and this notebook collage

well, I really am doing myself in. I’m feeling, well, like…

bee juggling marbles

But, more and more, I’ve realized… 1. Philosophically, I reeeeallly don’t belong here.   2. I’m still helping kids…despite my utter inability to follow the ‘painstakingly-concocted-but-unrealistic-to-many-learners’-needs’ schedule. 3. I’m not just juggling lessons and activities, I’m juggling emotions and suspicions…and baking chores. [After all, Mr. Taylor and Mrs. Helm do need the occasional dose of

baked goodsAs crazy as things are, I’m almost scared to take the whole class  into a grocery store.

Almost…

***

Bee image by Roland Mey from Pixabay

Baked goods image created from Canva collage tool.

The Next Page Entry 47: A new teacher tool

The Next Page Entry 47: A new teacher tool

red button push this

So, this is different.

Someone told me about a teacher who printed out an image of a big red button and posting the words,

 “Press the button below and get ready to create!” above that image.

He posted it at the entrance to the classroom and kids were expected to press the image every morning and any time they needed a jolt of inspiration.

Loved it.

So I figured, why not go one better?

I ordered a pressable button with my own message.

It even lets me record a message, but while that sounded cool, the thought of hearing it 27 times every morning…and the extreme likelihood that the kids would treat it as a source of teacher annoyance…well, I’ll keep batteries miles away from that thing. Still, though, looking forward to it. [Can’t help wondering if our principal will take the bait on her next visit.]