This is the door to my room. The kids wrote their favorite memories of the year on a bubble gum shape!
This is part of my wall. Note the self portraits about the Wow board; some were good, some were hilarious :).
This is a picture of me taken this morning, as I paused by the door to showcase our butterfly house. We set them free this morning!
This is a picture of me encouraging the last butterfly to fly away free, but he just wouldn't leave. When I looked more closely, I noticed that the tip of his wing was missing (which is caused by incomplete development in the chrysalis). So... meet our new class pet. He's taken permanent residence in our butterfly house :). Of course the kids don't mind!
One last word about my butterflies. Five caterpillars came in the mail. One caterpillar died as a caterpillar; one butterfly died as it tried to emerge from its chrysalis; and one ended up with a broken wing. My colleague/friend from across the hall also has butterflies which she set free today and they fared much better. When I told her about mine, she remarked: "Aww. Yours must be special ed butterflies!!" I laughed really really hard. :)
I also had fun checking out my colleagues' classrooms, as well as meeting some of the families of the students that I'll have next year. By the end of the night (8:15), I felt so wiped out that I could hardly stand!
I have some great pictures of my room which I PROMISE I'll post tonight! For now, I'm still fighting off sickness (a losing battle), so my main focus today is to make it to 3 without collapsing....
I'll be posting pictures of my awesome room later on in the day!
In any case, the whole job took about one hour and twenty minutes. Not a lot of academics this morning...
The worst part may have been the sinking realization that these caterpillars look nothing like our other caterpillars (butterflies now, by the way!) and may in fact, be disgusting moths.
In other news, our chrysalides haven't hatched yet, and I 'm horrified to think they might emerge this weekend when no one is there to watch! I just pray that they can hang in there until Monday! Isn't it nice that God still cares about the little stuff?
I have a fun weekend to look forward to. Max and I are going to the movies (a seemingly bi-annual event!); I'm getting my hair cut; and tomorrow I'm going to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale to blow through the rest of my birthday money (thanks you guys!)
And then.... FIVE MORE WEEKS! FIVE MORE WEEKS! FIVE MORE WEEKS!
Today my aide was out sick so I scrambled around for some whole group activities. The day went well as my kids are getting a little better at working independently. It also helped that there was no major drama out on the playground!
I had the kids write about caterpillars today and this is some of what they came up with (I know you're all just dying to see what they wrote!).
Student 1: "The caterpillar is fat. The caterpillar is going to Mexico to meet his mom and dad. He is going to be a butterfly when he gets to Mexico. He is going to be excited."
[insert picture of a caterpillar on a boat holding a beer--yes, I meant beer]
Student 2: "The super caterpillar he flew away to the tree at summer because he want to be chrysalis."
Student 3: "The caterpillar ate leves outside at egg."
Can't wait to show all of these writing samples to parents at Open House next week.... :)
I don't expect anyone to understand unless they've actually spent time teaching in the classroom... I was warned by my professors in college that there would be times in my career where I would have mini-breakdowns (and not to worry; breakdowns are normal, they said). I thought I knew what they were referring to when I caught myself hurling my keys against the door in total frustration (don't worry; the kids were nowhere near me), but never did I expect to be crouched under my desk trying to stop the tears and get my act together before the morning bell rang.
I'm so thankful for people at school like Mrs. K who are able to pray for me, encourage me, and get me to come back to work tomorrow! It also helps to have the best husband in the world waiting for me when I get home :)
Maybe I will have something more uplifting to say tomorrow :)
Yesterday, we ended our insect unit by watching Disney's "A Bug's Life". It was perfect; the kids loved it, and I got 95 minutes of freedom! Unfortunately, much of that freedom was spent mediating a dispute between two of my students which had occured on the playground during recess. I really hate mediating between kids; I don't feel that I'm that good at it, and it's even more difficult when one of the students' speech is unintelligible and the other student has a very low language level. I come to a final decision about who's responsible and I give a consequence. Then, I leave the situation still doubting myself. But the alternative is to spend my precious break time out on the playground, and that is out of the question :).
In other news, our mail-order caterpillars haved become chrysalises (still ugly, as you can see from the picture) .
In other news, today is the last day of our two week testing period (YES!), which is great because I'm sick and tired of seeing my students struggling over material they haven't learned, and language they don't understand. I'm also looking forward to removing the "shrouds of death" (butcher paper) that have covered my walls of all things educational. It will be nice to have my room back.
Today promises to be a good day...
Clue 1: "It is yellow"
Clue 2: "It is a fruit"
Said student yells: "a Sister!!"
Teacher redirects with clue #3: "You can peel it"
Said student yells: "THE WIND!!"
On a side note, I have heard this student use the word "banana" before and he frequently brings them to school as a snack. And yes, this student was really trying to guess this word. Maybe it was a fluke, you say? Here is the next real-life example:
Clue 1: "It lives in the ocean"
Clue 2: "It has sharp teeth"
Said student says: "A dinosaur!!"
Teacher redirects with clue #3: "It likes the smell of blood"
Said student yells: "I know! A baby!"
Could anyone out there please tell me what I, as an educator, am supposed to do with that???
Here are our mail-order caterpillars! They are bigger now, and uglier, and grosser. (It amazes me that someday soon they will be beautiful butterflies.) What is particularly disturbing is the round yellow stuff that is called "frass"... aka: caterpillar poop. You can see it in the picture if you look closely. It would be funny if that turned into the next "crap", you know, "Oh, frass!", or "what the frass?" I'm not sure if it would be catchy enough, but you never know!
In other news: SEVEN MORE WEEKS!! SEVEN MORE WEEKS!!
Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!! My kids had a field day with all the food we brought in (made by teachers, not students, so as to avoid any stomach-pumping; see comment from post below). We ate nachos (with the real cheese heated in a crockpot) and taquitos with home-made guacamole as well as salsa and sour cream. YUM! The kids ate so much.... to top it off, we had popsicles-- I couldn't really think of a Mexican dessert. And to work off all those calories, we danced around a paper sombrero to the tunes of a mariachi band on the CD player. I'm not sure you could call it a true Mexican hat dance, but we sure had fun hopping and skipping around. I am such a ham.
As if all that food wasn't enough, when the kids were out on lunch recess my awesome aide threw me another birthday party, this time with staff. Always one to outdo herself, she brought two cakes (chocolate mousse, and tiramisu) complete with candles. Let's just say that it was all I could do to roll myself out the door at the end of the day!
Turn off phones,
I am in a meeting.
I am in a meeting.
I am in a meeting.
Six more hours,
I am in a meeting.
"Why am I in this meeting?"
In keeping with the ice cream theme, my present from Max is to eat all the ice cream I want today :). Usually he has to dole out my portions so I don't overdo it, but not today!!! I enjoyed a blizzard at DQ earlier this afternoon and I plan to give myself a generous serving of Rocky Road ice cream tonight! Happy Birthday to me!! Thank you to all the wonderful family and friends who called, sent cards, and sent packages. You made my day great even though I wasn't there to celebrate with everyone in person... I love you all!
I did some research and discovered that they looked a lot like painted lady butterfly eggs (a butterfly common across the country). Every day for days now, they check to see if the eggs have hatched. I was cautiously optimistic as I found out they could either take days or months to hatch.
Lo and behold, they hatched! I took a look in the clear box this morning before the first bell rang and thought they might have hatched, but they looked an awful lot like specks of dirt. They weren't moving, and when I gently blew on them, they just blew to the side. My ever-optimistic student checked and came running out of the classroom screaming that they had hatched! I pulled him aside and tried to explain that it was just dirt from the leaves, but he would hear none of it. He wouldn't even let me finish my sentence, just kept proclaiming for the world to hear that his eggs had hatched ("I saw them moving", he claimed). I went back inside to check, and sure enough, they were crawling--how did I miss that?
So, my classroom is now home to hundreds of microscopic caterpillars as well as nine ecstatic students. Ironically, the painted lady caterpillars that I had ordered through a magazine two weeks ago arrived in the mail today. There are five of them and they are quite a bit bigger. Needless to say, caterpillars are all my kids can think about or talk about these days....
I'll include pictures soon!