Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

The seasons are a-changin' and summer weather is almost a thing of the past! I'm coming to find out that a lot of my friends consider Autumn their favorite season. While mine is definitely summer, the fall has been growing on me the past few years. I enjoy spending the cooler days outside, wearing sweatshirts/sweatpants, drinking hot apple cider, candy corn, changing leaves, football and getting ready for the holiday season. I do NOT enjoy hurricane season and the accompanying rain and shorter amounts of sunlight (it's way too dark outside when I wake up!). Since the first day of Autumn was only last week, mostly we still have summer weather out here (broke a record for high temperature on Friday!), but the rain has started setting in. Since we had a pretty bad drought this summer and I do enjoy cuddling up to a movie on a rainy day, I am not upset about the rain itself. However, when a teacher wakes up on a Monday morning and sees that the forecast for the week is rain EVERYDAY, it kind of puts a damper on things. Being stuck in a classroom with 23 hyperactive 9-year-olds for 5 days (with only one 30-minute block of PE as our very last activity on Friday) cannot be healthy for anyone! Needless to say, this week has started off interestingly.

Yesterday my kids were TERRIBLE! They could/would NOT stop talking in class, in the cafeteria, during music, in the hallway, in the bathroom, etc. One of them (if you ever came to my classroom you could probably identify him the moment you walked through the door!) spent no more than a total of 45 minutes in his seat the entire day (despite CONSTANT requests and consequences) because he was too busy doing everything he knows he is not supposed to do at school/in my classroom. A few of the kids were arguing about stupid name-calling issues the whole day. Ugh. It was so miserable. I ended the day with all of them putting their heads down and telling them that part of their homework was to think about how 4th graders are supposed to act and how we can make sure we never have a day like this again. Once they were gone, I headed promptly to the gym to release lots and lots of stress! And from there, headed to a friend's house to hang out and make sure I had lots of time and conversation with adults!

Believe it or not, today was incredible! Apparently they took to heart what I had told them to think about and they came in and were on-point all day! We were laughing and joking around (which hopefully they'll start to realize is what happens when Ms. Wacek doesn't have to yell at them all day!!) and got through a lot of learning. One particularly funny incident was when I was reading a (dumb, but required!) story to them for writing. It's called "The Mud Pony" and is about a poor Native American who really wants a horse, so he makes one of out mud and it comes to life and saves his life and makes him famous. Anyway, the purpose of reading was for the students to pay attention to the Organization of writing (good beginning, organized middle, conclusive ending). So, after I read the first few pages that said something along the lines of "there was a poor
Indian boy who would always go and watch the other boys take care of their horses and really wanted one for himself," I paused and asked students what they thought of the beginning/if it made them want to keep reading, etc. Then, just because predictions are a huge deal in 4th grade, I asked students what they thought would happen next. I got a few typical responses, and then one boy raised his hand and said "He's gonna man up." I laughed because the way he said it was very atypical of this student, but then stopped to think about it for a second and realized I had absolutely no idea what that meant. I decided instead of try and get to the bottom of his statement, I would just keep reading. Oh, if only it were possible to understand what was going through their pretty little heads. The rest of the day was awesome with only one little freak out period after I found out they had misbehaved in the cafeteria. I'm hoping that tomorrow (being an early-dismissal day) will be equally as great!

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