Fifth grade, year 2

October 7, 2006 § Leave a comment

Thanks for your fifth grade memories!  I don’t think I’ll do class pets this year, seeing as my hermit crabs from third grade all died and weren’t terribly interesting.  I know I should get something furry or fuzzy as a pet for the class…but things die under my “care”.

I’m really enjoying my second year of fifth grade.  Not only are my students this year really great, but I still get to see my students from last year, wandering around as Middle School kids!  These ex-students will drop by and visit my classroom, complaining about certain things that I have now that we didn’t have last year.  “Why is there so much color on the wall?  WE didn’t have that must color on the wall!” to which I shrug my shoulders and say, “I was new to this site.  It doesn’t mean I liked you less.”  I have the same boy from last year telling me random riddles that I can never solve.

Someone left a copy of Bay Area Parent on my desk.  I have never read the publication, mostly because I am not a parent.  I thumbed through it and one article caught my attention.  Title:  How to Teach Kids Self-Control in a World That Screams ‘Now!’ The article spoke of how often these days kids will wear down their parents with whining until they get what they want.  I noticed that my students really enjoy whining as well.  The article spoke of how self-discipline is a learned skill, and must be practiced in this instant-gratification society.  Just some food for thought.  I mean, J and I can’t even sit still for very long.  We want fast internet, quickly microwaved food, etc.

To practice, I had my students sit still for one minute in silence after recess, with their hands folded.  It took some practice.  There was a lot of picking at facing, reading, eyes darting around, wiggling, etc.  I have also been trying to point out that sometimes school is not fun.  Sometimes it is very hard work, and you need to put in the effort, and turn your brains on and wrestle to understand.  We’ll see how this year goes.

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Fifth grade, year 2 – open house

September 26, 2006 § Leave a comment

School is now in full swing.  We’re in week five, and the kids are used to me and I am used to them.  So far it has been a good year.  The only unfortunate thing is that I am now sick.  It usually happens once the school year starts up, but I thought I’d be a bit tougher now.

Anyone care to share memorable moments from their own fifth grade classes?  Anything I can implement that really impacted you?

Teaching Bible this year has been really great so far, thanks to Pastor Mike’s series on Genesis at Baylight.  We are up to the flood now, and the kids have tons of questions.  It has been a real blessing.  At Back-to-School night I tried to be much bolder this time around, encouraging the parents to come and talk to me if they have any questions or comments at all about what I’m teaching in Bible.  I also encouraged them all to consider bringing their kids to church.  I feel blessed with where I’m at right now.

Preparing for camp

August 4, 2006 § Leave a comment

A couple days until camp….

J and I spent today studying in a cafe.  I’m getting excited and nervous about school starting up again.  I’ve been reading through Pastor Mike’s sermon notes to prep teaching Genesis.  What a blessing!  I am being refreshed and restored going through all of it, and remembering and knowing what kind of God we have – faithful when we are faithless, gracious, pursuing us in love, bestowing undeserved blessing, pulling us out of the mire, and on and on.

M & M came over tonight for dinner.  Good friends and conversation.  I love it.  Not to mention good food.  J actually made the Chevy’s corn stuff.  He got a recipe online, and tried it out, and also made steak and chicken fajitas.  What a quality guy I married!  (Not just for the food, but also for his great character.)

Another School Year Gone By

June 11, 2006 § Leave a comment

School ended Friday….  I was sad to see the kids go, but relieved that we made it through the year.  God is good.  My technology-savy kids made slideshows that we watched on the last day of school.  I will miss them.

Saturday morning hopped on a plane with J’s family.  Now we are in Taiwan.  After sleeping 10 hours, I’m feeling really good and relaxed.

Fifth Grade Camp

May 21, 2006 § Leave a comment

Three more weeks of school!  After June 9th, my fifth graders will be moving on to middle school.  It has been a tiring, yet good year.

In the first week of May, the fifth grade classes went camping, two classes at a time.  I was very nervous ALL YEAR about this trip.  Riding horses?  Sleeping outdoors?  No showers?  Hmmmm….

Fortunately, I was going with a veteran 5th grade teacher, who showed me the ropes, and helped me along.  It ended up being a great time of chilling with the kids, and just being outdoors.  We went Horseback riding, made kites, made ice cream, decorated t-shirts, had devotions and quiet times, sang songs, and fed them lots of sugar right before bed (s’mores, etc).

My trusty J came for part of the time.  Two groups of boys from my class offered J a place in their tents.  The first tent had clothes and other various items spilling out of open duffel bags.  The second tent looked packed, but a little neater.  J seemed doubtful, but the boys assured him there was plenty of room.  They shoved his sleeping bag in between theirs and insisted he stay.  That night, J woke up to the sounds of snoring fifth graders, all comfortably snuggled around him.  Fifth graders can be so cool!

God is good.

Getting Your Money’s Worth

February 16, 2006 § Leave a comment

I’ve been sick for over a month now.  This Sunday I finally broke down and called to make a doctor’s appointment.

J took me over to the doctor’s, and waited outside.  The doctor came in, looked down my throat, asked a couple questions, prescribed some medicine, and bam!  I was done!  It was the fastest appointment EVER!  I almost felt like I didn’t get my money’s worth.

I left the doctor’s office, and said, “J, should we just get out of here?  Otherwise, we’ll have to pay for the medicine too, and then it might be a $60 sickness.”  He insisted we stay.  I’m now taking the purple stuff several times a day.  Hope is restored.

The classroom money system is going pretty well now.  I had the end-of-January auction, where I sold the kids all kinds of junk and crud.  They bid on everything!  A set of 6 weak magnets went for 800 Mrs. Marcia dollars!  HA HA HA!  I’m still laughing at that one kid, who puts his head in his hands and says, “Can I get a refund?”

Good times had by me.  🙂

Stewardship and Fake Money

January 12, 2006 § Leave a comment

Starting right after the Christmas break, I began a little money system in the classroom.  I printed all this Monopoly-like Mrs. Marcia money, and created sets of checks for each kid, as well as a checkbook balance sheet.  I announced that each child would pay rent for his or her seat (I got this all from a book), and that each child would have a job which would earn a monthly wage.  (There are janitors, bankers, graders, line monitors, an attendance taker, a prayer/pledge/announcements monitor, and more).

The kids were thrilled.  Bonus $100 for each A+ test.  Bonus for having no behavior issues.  Penalties for various infractions – talking out at the wrong times, rudeness, etc.

I quickly noticed something take over the room.  Full-blown GREED.  “Will anyone do this for me…” (2 hands raised) “…for $10?” (all hands raised and kids out of their seats).  Hmmmm.  We pondered as a class if this was a great idea, or if GREED would run us.  I decided we would give it a try.

Immediately kids began opening their own businesses, complete with little signs that read “Open”.  I shut down one shady business where kids were promised all of their homework done for $600.00.  A few pluses so far, the classroom is cleaner, and the kids are more well-behaved.

Fortunately, in LTG (Life Transformation Group, a Baylight Bible study), we studied stewardship last week.  God reminded me that all these things that I have been hoarding, are really His.  My life is not about accumulating as much as possible.  Things will pass away.  It was a great reminder.  I took the study notes from J and brought them to class to work through with the kids.  It has been great this year getting to talk with the fifth graders about real issues, and to break down what life is all about.  God is so good.

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