Archive for February, 2012

February 14, 2012

Sick day

by stryson

So, I’m sick. Sick enough to take two days off of work, which hardly ever happens. I went into school yesterday morning under the classic assumption, made at six a.m., that it was just a cold and that I’d feel better after being awake for an hour or so. That assumption was wrong.

By seven-thirty, I’d already text messaged my assistant director, asking him to get me a sub for the  day. I did my morning duty, got the sub oriented, and prepared to leave. One of my first period fourth graders overheard the sub tell me to get plenty of rest. So, naturally, as I walked out the door, he calls after me:

“Hey, Mrs. Tryson, rest in peace!”

I did take the time to explain, in my strangled-not-really-there-voice, that I appreciated the sentiment but that it wasn’t correct to phrase it that way. I was definitely chuckling on the inside, though.

I’m still home, and still run-down, and my voice really isn’t back yet. I’m sick of being sick!

February 8, 2012

Synonym Scavenger Hunt

by stryson

My classroom does not really make a good case for proving my sanity right now. If you were to walk in through my door, one of the first things you’d see is this:

Yes, at first glance, it appears that I’ve labeled my printer “automobile.” No, I haven’t completely lost my vocabulary skills.

I actually set up an ongoing game/activity for my reading classes, in which I have a stack of index cards with “simple” words on them, like “funny,” “sad,” etc.

Around my room, I’ve taped fancier synonyms for these words. Examples for the ones in this picture include “hilarious,” “considerate,” “stroll,” “canine,” “automobile,” and “luminous.”

 

 

At the beginning of class, as they walk through the doorway, each child receives a card. He or she has to find the matching synonym and return both cards to me before he or she is allowed to sit down to begin class.

Today, it went well. Moving forward? We’ll see how it goes. I’m reaching for any fun entertaining way to expand these kids’ vocabularies and to make them really think about their word choices.

February 7, 2012

Like, OMG.

by stryson

Well, folks, the day has finally come. This is what the answers in my sixth grade have come to:

4. How does Miss Harris react to Gilly?

Miss Harris is like OMG when she caught Gilly in the hallway.

 

February 7, 2012

Oh, my homeroom…

by stryson

Kid 1: Do you believe in Santa Claus?

Me: Of course I believe in Santa Claus.

Kid 2: Do you believe in harmony?

Me: Of course I believe in harmony.

Kid 3: What’s harmony? What’s harmony? What’s harmony? What’s harmony?

Me: When two notes sound nice together.

Kid 3: Well, that’s dumb. Of course harmony exists!

February 6, 2012

Main Idea Activities

by stryson

I’ve been doing a review in a few of my classes recently, so I’ve been back to touching on Main Idea. In my search for resources, I found that BrainPop has this excellent video. Under “Activities,” they have a few excellent worksheets. I particularly liked the Inverted Pyramid graphic organizer.

This game over at Harcourt Publishers was good, but I was disappointed at how quickly it goes by. I’d love to find a similar game that could allow for more turns at the smart board.

I haven’t used it with my classes yet, but this Main Idea Song is cute. One of my classes is still struggling with details as opposed to main ideas, so I may break it out for them later this week.

If you have any fun suggestions for Main Idea, I’d love to hear them – feel free to share in the comments below.

February 6, 2012

Superbowl

by stryson

Could we please have a policy that when your city/state/region is in the Super Bowl, you have off of school the next day? The kids are a wreck from all of the excitement, diet changes, and staying up late last night.

But, hey, go Giants!

By and large, it appears that the kids were also really unhappy with the halftime show. I know Madonna was way before their time, but it’s felt odd to hear them talk with vehemence about how “old” she is and how they felt she was a poor choice. Personally, I thought the show was okay, but not spectacular. That wasn’t for lack of trying on Madonna’s part; it just didn’t strike my fancy.

In any case, I’m looking forward to a calmer and quieter day tomorrow.

February 2, 2012

Overheard in the classroom

by stryson

This morning, as I look at the steadily growing pile of quotes from children on my desk, I can’t help but think of the website Overheard in New York. (Warning: if you’re unfamiliar with that site, it may not be appropriate to open at work because of language.) Many of my classroom quotes of late have very little context – and I feel that way even though I was there! They remain funny in an absurdist way, even if they are not an explainable kind of funny.

For example, a snippet of overheard conversation in my Take Aim class produced, “Moby Dick eats aliens.”

Another student in that class was trying to defend his illustration of the word “reside.” He’d drawn a woman and a box. To justify it, he said, “She lives in a box! She loves the box! She’s going to marry the box!”

… no amount of coffee allows me to make sense of that.

I have had some funny moments this week that do make sense, though. My two clever fourth-grade boys that often get quoted in here have been at it again. One is notoriously pessimistic, and the other is quite a wisecracker. The other day, when it was FDR’s birthday, I asked if anyone knew what the Great Depression was. The wisecracker said (and I’m replacing the other child’s name with “Pessimist” here), “Pessimist is, because he’s always depressed!”

We start the day with Brain Gym exercises, one of which is “hot air balloon.” When I announced that move yesterday, Wisecracker announced, “Pessimist, this should be easy for you! You’re full of hot air.”

These guys are best friends, and Pessimist sees the humor each time, so I let the ribbing continue. I’m hoping that Wisecracker can loosen him up. In the meantime, it’s hilarious.