Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Day in the Life

Another blogger I read regularly did a post like this and I thought it was fun.  So, here we go! :)

This is a typical day for me:


Alarm goes off at 5:45, snooze a couple of times, feel panicked and hop in shower at 6:15

Race to school for 7:15 tutoring, arrive at 7:12, but tutoring kiddos are a couple minutes late so I have time to check and reply to a couple of emails.

Tutor 7:18-7:50

Announcements and then switch homerooms.

Teach kiddos until 8:40:  We're reviewing several grammar concepts they've asked for clarification on: specifically commas.  Commas are hard!

Take students to computer (This is one of our specials: Students go to music, computers, art, and PE at some point during the week.) before I have a meeting with the 4th grade team and counselor at 8:45, but slip in to see Beverly about a DonorsChoose question and arrive a little late for team meeting.

Official meeting breaks up, and then our team discusses a game plan for several upcoming events (with 3 new team members this year, there is more explaining involved than would typically need to happen.)

Pick up kiddos at 9:30, and they walk in to class asking if we can do Social Studies.  They absolutely LOVED acting out a cattle round-up yesterday and watching me demonstrate a buffalo hunt last week, so they ask for Social Studies constantly.  I LOVE hearing this, of course!

They eat snack while I review the 8 comma rules.  Several kiddos have "ah-ha!" moments in regards to commas with dependent and independent clauses, so this is a MAJOR success moment that I, as a teacher, and they, as students, CELEBRATE! :)

Students are writing to various prompts in the classroom.  In the next day or so, they will share their stories and classmates will need to identify if that author's composition is expository or personal narrative.  While they write, I answer questions and take posters down off the walls that can't be up for STAAR, which is next week.  I also create a DonorsChoose project for some whisperphones for our classroom.  I submit it, but have to wait for DonorsChoose to approve it before it goes live.

We go over a comma IP (independent practice) from yesterday.  They have a few minutes to read around the room and work on their extra credit projects.  Reading around the room is their FAVORITE, so I see lots of smiles and hear several murmurs of "yes!" as they scamper for their favorite spot.  Several students chose to re-enact a buffalo hunt as an extra credit project, so they work on writing their script while others are reading.  Another little one is researching a person she is enthralled with and writing a speech, so she's on the Mac tucked under a table, busily searching for information.

We switch classes at 11:10.

I am in a slightly different place with commas with this class, just due to length of discussion the day before, so we're still reviewing commas, but they help me remember what we've already done and what we still need to do.  (Gotta love 4th graders that can remember and help me out!)  They complete an independent practice activity to help me to see which types of commas we need to hit a little more.  They learn Washington has to be separated from D.C. with a comma.  I know it has to go there, but I'm not sure why, so I google it to learn, too!

At 11:20, I receive an email from our AP asking for a meeting with my teaching partner and me.  This week is slammed with meetings and J, my teaching partner, is off-campus for the afternoon, so the three of us go back and forth trying to find a time we can meet.  We offer for her to join us for lunch duty on Wednesday (yes, we're THAT busy with meetings and commitments that joining us for duty is what we have available this week), but the meeting has to take place today so she can get back to the parent asking the questions.

This group works on their compositions.  They ask some questions that make my heart go pitter-pat since the Writing test is next week, and I feel like they should know the answers to the questions they're asking, but I remind myself this happens every year, and the kids still do fine.  They DO know what to do, but sometimes they just need to hear it again.  I smile and answer every question they think of. :)

At 12:25, we line up for recess.  I'm on recess duty today and our playground and building can be a bit of a wind tunnel, and the current temperature is 49, so I encourage kiddos to take a jacket with them.  B, another teacher on our team, takes anyone to the field that wants to go, and I watch children on the playground playing basketball, 4 square and monkey bars, etc.  The sun is out and shining warmly, so many jackets get hung on the fence.

12:55, we blow the whistle and line up to go inside for lunch.  A couple of helpers hold up any forgotten jackets, and I walk in with one on my arm that wasn't claimed.

We try to walk in quietly, as there are classrooms around us, but 4th graders that just had recess are a little difficult to corral.  At some point, someone claims a jacket from my arm while I'm handing off the walkie-talkie to a teacher for lunch duty and passing on a lunchbox to someone else that forgot it, while letting a birthday child know that his special treats are in the office.

1:02: I meet with my AP to catch her up on some background in a certain situation.

1:17 I dash into the bathroom for the first time today.

1:18: I pop popcorn for lunch and drink an iced green tea while chatting with a teacher friend.

1:30 Kids come back from lunch.  They finish up the comma independent practice and continue to work on their compositions.  We go over the comma IP.

2:00:  I know the math STAAR simulation is tomorrow, and the Writing STAAR is next week, so I move desks around to be totally separate from everyone else, while kiddos are reading silently at their desks.  This is always fun (No, really!  We're all smiling!) , because they giggle while I drag their chairs and desks, but I need them in their desks to know who sits where so I know where I want the desks to go, and they're reading, so fluency and comprehension is being practiced. :)

2:30: We pack up a little early because one of my kiddos has cookie cake to share with our class for his birthday.  The parents forgot to send a knife/plates, so he passes out tissues while I pop over to another teacher's room to get a knife.  Kids want icing or don't want icing and everyone wants seconds. :)  We sing Happy Birthday to the birthday boy.

2:45: Younger siblings arrive and react to the moved desks.  I hear lots of calls of "What did you DO, Ms, Ross?!" General hub-bub of kids moving around and seeing friends in the hallway and sharing their day with their younger brothers and sisters that have joined us for dismissal.

2:50: Walkers leave to go with the walker crowd.  Car riders come outside with me.  The Lone Star Challenge team streams into my room with backpacks and flash cards and binders.  I'm calling numbers at car rider today.  That's a fairly new thing for me, and I'm still learning cars and parents' faces.  I'm not as good at this job as I am at directing traffic, but we get the job done! :)

3:05: Lone Star Challenge meets in my room.  We watch some videos on Colonial America and play a board game with questions they have made up to quiz each other.

4:10: LSC kiddos head home.  I answer 24 emails and make a seating chart for STAAR.  I usually tutor on Tuesdays at a student's house, but cancelled today due to my "to-do" list that I feel very behind on.  I've rescheduled his tutoring for Saturday at my house.  I've never cancelled on him before, so I don't feel too guilty about it.

6:00 Leave work and text Julie that I'm still coming to Let's Art Party, but won't be able to bring brownies like I'd planned since I left work late.

7:00 Join a couple girl friends I hadn't seen in awhile.  Eat pretzels and hummus, drink chardonnay while following the teachers' directions to paint a fun picture.

10:00 Stop by Mom's house to show her my fun picture...I remember I'm taking a meal to a new foster mom tomorrow night, and I haven't made the brownies yet!  Bolt for home.

10:15: Brownies go in the oven and I clean the house, wash my face, download a pic of my new painting to Facebook.

10:45: Brownies come out of the oven and I fall into bed, but my mind is running 90 to nothin', so it takes a few minutes to actually fall asleep.

11:15 Receive a text message (I have to keep my phone on, in case Arrow calls.  Can someone tell me HOW to not hear text messages at night, but still have the phone ring!? Sheesh!)

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