Sunday, June 22, 2008

Missed It By THAT Much...

We just saw Get Smart. It was ...

Woiuld you believe...terrible
Would you believe boring...
Would you believe silly...

Seriously though, it was ok but it is nothing like the original.

Check out some clips of the original show here, here and here!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Let It Be Over With Already!

Waking up this week has been awful. I can't believe that I am still in school. The kids and I are tired of being at school every day. I still have 7 more days to go. I don't know if I can hang in there....


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Little House

For the past 3 weeks I have had my students listen to two books on tape, Little House in the Big Woods and Little House on the Prairie. They are so into the books! We do a chapter or two a day and discuss the events. Sometimes the discussions range from a comparison to the life of the Wilder family to our lives today to discussions of the usage of a racist term in song lyrics sung by Pa. That discussion was deep but good. This week I have started to show the Little House on the Prairie movie. We watch about 20 minutes of it a day. The kids can't get enough of it and are sad when it is time to turn it off. We had a special surprise this week when the 5th graders had their Pioneer Day. My students thought it was so cool to see the 5th graders dressed like the characters in their books. During recess, they followed the Oregon Trail that was set up around campus. It was great fun!

I am always amazed at how interested my second graders are in this series. I guess that good literature always reels you in regardless of how old it is!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Mixed Emotions

I am getting ready to wrap up the school year. We have three weeks left and I have started counting down the days because I am just so exhausted and ready for a break. Although I am ready for vacation, a part of me is a little sad to see this year end.

One of the reasons that I am sad to see the year end is because I have the world's most fantastic student teacher. She is just amazing. She is a natural at teaching and was such a quick study. I so honored to have had the opportunity to have worked with her. I am also extremely proud of her accomplishments. Not only did she successfully complete the year long student teaching program but she also went above and beyond the credential requirements and challenged herself by working towards and receiving special certification in direct instruction. The job market in our part of California is quite slim right now. Despite this fact, my student teacher went to several teaching fairs. Why they had them, I don't know because no one was hiring. She did however talk to one representative from a small, newer school district close by. This conversation was followed up by a call for an interview and then a job offer for fourth grade for the coming year. She got a job when no one else has! Yay! I am so sad to see her go but so happy for her.

The other reason that I am sad to see this year end is because I have one of, if not the best group of students that I have ever had. Academically, they are not necessarily the cream of the crop but in the areas of respectfulness, kindness, good naturedness, risk taking, hard working and just plain good heartedness, they are the best ever. They started out great and got even better. My student teacher and I were commenting on Friday at how well they behave and how independent they have become. In fact, on Friday, I marveled at their working habits. I had some group work planned for them and was ready to pop around to all of the groups and help out but they had it all under control without me. In fact, they handled the entire day that way. It was amazing. If one student didn't know how to spell a word, another one sitting close by helped him out. When another student needed help with a math problem, a peer would offer to help that student out in solving the problem. The most incredible thing about this though was in the way they helped each other. They were so kind, positive and approached it in an educational manner by helping their friends learn how to solve the problem by themselves. I heard a lot of "mini-me's" on Friday. "What part of the word so you know?" "Did you check to see what the operation is? Do you need to add or subtract?" "What do you always need at the beginning of a sentence" "Remember, synonyms are the same or almost the same thing." etc.

I was so floored and proud of their behavior. It was just the greatest gift a teacher can receive to see their students using what they know effectively and independently. At one point during the day on Friday I just sat back and watched my busy little bees and started feeling sad because I am going to miss all of those great little personalities next year. I stopped the class for a few minutes in the afternoon to tell them just how proud of them I was and one little boy sweetly said "Well, thank you!" Then they all got back to work. Wow!

I guess that my babies are ready to go on and fly. I know that they will just soar.

Another side of Hillary (for me, at least)

I have never really been a Hillary Clinton fan. I just watched her today endorsing Obama and I have to say, she gave quite an outstanding speech. Within the first few minutes I had goosebumps and was brought to a tear or two listening to her stories of supporters. I still don't know how I feel about an Obama/Hillary ticket but I do have a new view of Hillary.
On a side note, I made Sabina watch the speech today with my mom. She was not happy at first because the cartoon channel sounded more interesting than a speech. She did listen to the speech and make comments along the way such as running for president is like playing chess. (someone loses, someone wins, you have to think about your moves and you could get knocked down along the way!) It was cool to have our three generations of women watching this historic moment inhistory.