Last week, I hid my frustrations about my class by having them tip their desks over, dump everything out, and clean/organize EVERYTHING.
Today, the desk fairy visited all of the desks that were still nice and shiny....since it's only been a week. Oh man, it was tough....some of those landfills fill up quickly. Who would have thought that was possible when I have passed out only 2 small packets since then...and they both live in the fix and finish folder.
It amazes me what finds its way into the desk, drawn by the magnetic quality of their personalities, I suppose. In the Great Desk Dump of 2012, I found beanies, all of the pencils I had been missing, menus from months ago, toys, food, basically anything that I had ever told them to take home or throw away. (Further proving that we need to continue to work on listening skills).
Regardless, most of the desks weren't awful today, but about six were exceptionally amazing and still organized exactly the way they had been organized a week ago...go team OCD!
In other news, this trimester our writing focus is on the friendly letter. We are told that this standard will go away at some point, but for now we are focusing a little bit more on our Star Student letters each week and trying to figure out good ways to make the topic more interesting...We had been tossing the idea around for a couple of weeks, but today Co-worker and I sat down and paired our classes up for pen pals!
Oh man, I am probably more excited about this than the kids are! We tried to put friends together, and I am exploding with curiosity about what they'll say!
Co-worker is ahead of me and already had her kids writing their letters today - which is great, because it will inspire my kids with questions to answer as well as questions to ask (just in case they didn't know their pal) so that they will not sit and stare at me like I'm a crazy person for assigning this project. While C7's letters were being written, I was compiling cards to deliver the names of their pen pals:
A note card, clip art, tape, and procrastinating on prepping next week's copying during silent reading....not bad! I set them to work on their persuasive posters/presentations while I put on the finishing touches, and then I got to deliver the mail. Like I said, we tried to put friends together to the best of our not-out-at-recess-with-them abilities, so the joy that happened when the kids received their pen pals was hilariously awesome. Everyone left in a good mood! Now I just need to make a cute mail box that our classes can pass back and forth.
Finally, our whole district has been learning about and using the CHAMPS program to fine-tune our classroom management strategies in a positive way. Yesterday, our staff meeting was all about analyzing what sorts of chronic behavior issues crop up in our rooms and why (attention seeking, lack of awareness, etc.)...Most importantly, we talked about how we should be reacting to these issues. What did I walk away with? Don't react emotionally to issues in the classroom.. Oh man....is that something I need to work on, or what?!
How often do I find myself with a mental face-palm about the fact that we are HALFWAY THROUGH SECOND GRADE! Why are you still acting like that?!....Usually manifests in some sort of side discussion that nobody walks away from happily.
Today I opted to not react with my emotions (I swear, my kids probably think I'm bipolar), and it was wonderful! The morning was so productive that I pulled a small group to read! I never get to do that without crazy chatter around the room. Plus, I got to have a great conversation with one of my very silly squirrels (who usually produces very little work) about how he kills all sorts of zombies on his video game. Like highly detailed. I love zombies and all, but I love him talking about them even more. He is protected from the zombie "invasion" apparently. Said something about machine gun, missiles, and body armor? Cool. I'm going to your house in the event of Zombieland, dude!
Granted, by the end of the day I was more drained than usual....it was rather difficult to keep everything bottled up 100%. We shall see how it goes tomorrow! Hopefully they will become as calm as I appear to be. Just as long as they are not as wound up as I am in my head, we should be good!
Pull-up workout from Monday was ok, but bench press workout from yesterday was exhausting. My upper body is about to give up on movement. I say that's time for bed!