This week has been LONG! I can't believe summer vacation was just last week... I'm quickly getting acquainted with my new kids and learning SO much about each of them! They are a WONDERFUL group and I'm excited for the year.
For those of you who are not teachers, I'll let you know that the first week can be a little awkward, difficult, nerve-wracking, etc. It usually involves a lot of awkward silences (especially Day 1 when the students are staring at you like you're some freak who walked off of a strange planet), rules and routines, a lot of get-to-know-you activities, rules and routines, a constant flow of new students registering and joining your class (leaving you to greet this new student and get him or her acquainted, find him a desk and all of the necessary textbooks and journals, all while making sure the other 20 students are doing something productive), reviewing from last year to get a grasp on the ability level of your students (after which there is either a HUGE sigh of relief and excitement or a HUGE groan and pulling out of hair wondering how this child ever made it to 4th grade!), and lots more rules and routines. Thankfully, I've been blessed with a terrific group of children so this first week has been positive and we've already gotten through a lot of learning!
Along with the first week jitters and craziness, there have been some funny moments. For instance, yesterday we did an activity to help students learn each others' names. In the game, the students each had to think of an animal or food that started with the same letter as their first name. (I only included food because often there are a lot of names starting with the same letter and we run out of animals or the child's name starts with a letter for which there are no animals!... next time I play this game, I will require students to come up with an action to go with their animal or food to assist in the memory part.) The first person in the circle says her name and her animal (Chelsea the Cat). The second person says her name and her animal/food, and then the first person's name and animal/food (Jamey the Jellybean and Chelsea the Cat). It continues around until the last person has to repeat everyone's name and animal. While the game itself turned out to be a lot longer than expected and the kids got tired of standing around and listening, I had a good time listening to the animals and foods they came up with. First sign of trouble was when one of my student's name started with a T and she decided her food would be Pizza... hmm. No alliteration there, so she changed to Tomato. I had another boy begging for me to let him change his name to something with a C (it's currently a B) just so he could be Cheetah. Then I had Nicholas the Nihilator (yes, you read that correctly) and Kaleb King Cobra. Haha. We study plants and animals at the end of the school year, so I take no credit for those choices.
Another funny story happened today during writing. The students were working on writing news articles about an important time in their lives. The directions said to include enough detail to answer the questions who, what, when, where and why. Now, through my explanation most kids gathered that the Why referred to "Why was it important?"... one child, however, missed that part. This girl was writing about her baby brother being born. When she got to the Why she asked "Do I have to answer the question "Why was my mom pregnant?'" Not wanting to have my Family Life Education lessons any earlier than required, I quickly said "NO! Why is your baby brother important?" and walked away. phew. They sure do keep me on my toes!