Saturday, March 6, 2010

Week One

Well, we just concluded our first week of test review, and I must say that it was reeeally boring. The other 4th grade teacher and I are using an OCCT prep book and it is set up well for review... short enough but includes good details. It also includes some good practice as well as an OCCT practice test for each unit.


But, it's just so BORING. I don't know how to cover what I need to without boring the snot out of my kids.

Any suggestions would be so welcome! :)

Other updates, hmmm.

My difficult friend with the crazy mom and many other issues moved last week. He came in Friday announcing he was moving and his mom came and picked him up early, unenrolled him, and he left in tears. For all the trouble I've had with him, I was sad to see him go. He just needs so much help. He didn't wait long to reveal problems with his new teacher, though. I got a call from her on Thursday (after he had been there only 3 days) and he was showing the same problems, but worse: banging his head on his desk, yelling, refusing to do work, having to be physically removed from the room, etc. We had a long conversation and I'm hoping she can pick up where we left off, and get him the extra support and help that he desperately, desperately needs. While classroom life has been easier this week, I hate knowing that he is so miserable. I hope he is able to get what he needs. It sounds like he has a caring, experienced teacher there so I am glad of that.

This week included 2 practices of the Tulsa Public Schools "Gymnaestrada." With my gymnastics experience, I was recruited and gladly willing to help out with the practices. A few of my especially difficult kids are in this program, so I think it was really great to interact with them in a very different setting than the classroom. I'm hoping this builds on my relationships with them and that I will see improvement in classroom behavior because of it.

On a side note, I am an animal-killer. It's true.

I can't remember if I wrote about this or not, but we just concluded a science unit that involved our class studying and caring for African dwarf frogs, fiddler crabs, and millipedes. We learned about habitats, things all animals need, realizing that all have specific needs, etc. The kids loved having the animals in our room, and it was neat to feel like I was giving them the opportunity to see their science hands-on, living in front of them, instead of out of a textbook. I took pictures of them holding the millipedes, but I'm pretty sure it's illegal to post them on the internet. They sure looked like they were having fun though! It made me feel good inside. The down side? The awful smell my room has emitted for the last 7 weeks, and the fact that these particular species cannot simply be released into the wild. So, what does that mean? The freezer. (I promise, it's humane! That's what the teacher guide said to do. Don't think I'm a terrible person.) You should have heard the squealing and laughing going on as me and my mentor teacher were loading them into their bags... quite hysterical, and gross.

I am looking forward to a fresher-smelling room again (however fresh a room can smell with a room full of fourth-graders... they're at that age when things are changing, ya know!). I am also looking forward to Spring Break in 1 week! And, I am looking forward to only 11 Mondays after that until summer break and the conclusion of my first year of teaching! And, oh yeah, my wedding! :) It feels like there are so many hard days ahead, though my outlook is a little better this week. Countdown to testing: 5 weeks.

Thanks for following along! The next time I post, I will be on Spring Break! Yahoo!

From the looking-ahead,
Miss Davis