You know when you have one of those weekends where nothing gets done? I mean nothing, not even schoolwork. This was one of those weekends. Mini me had his middle school musical (he premiered as Link in Hairspray), he shaved his head for St. Baldrick’s, and my sister and her boys came to visit for the weekend. It was an unforgettable weekend, but nothing got done.:)
- On Thursday, we finished the read aloud Glory Be. This coming Wednesday, we will be Skyping with the author, Mrs. Augusta Scattergood. The kids can’t wait. I can’t wait. My ELA classes have been Skyping with her for the last five years and she is WONDERFUL. The kids will ask her questions about her book, writing, and reading. This will likely be a highlight again next week. The next read aloud is Hound Dog True by Linda Urban, which we will start on Tuesday.
- The Women Scientists museum walk was extraordinary. The kids worked on the project on Tuesday and Thursday, and then on Friday, they showcased the life and accomplishments of their specific women scientist. In between walking around the room, we took breaks to watch a few short Brain Pop videos about six of the scientists. We closed with an awesome discussion about why it took so long for these women to be recognized in history. We also talked about how this can’t happen again, and we will have to keep learning about women scientists and all of the great things that they are doing for the scientific world.
- We did some “mood” writing this past week. I wrote about it on Saturday. This year’s modification of adding some of my own writing to the examples was crucial to the understanding – authentic writing beats out a worksheet any day of the week. The kids did some great “mood” writing, and this week, we will look to identify the mood of the writing in our Kate Messner literature circle novels.
- Grading, grading, grading – I had so much grading to do this weekend, and the weekend got away from me. I only got two small piles of grading complete. I have three more piles that I will tackle tonight. I just walked in from a budget board meeting, so it is unlikely that I will get all three piles graded, but I’ll get two piles done.:) On Sunday night, I had this hanging over my head as I tossed and turned in bed. I needed sleep, so I am hoping to start the week off right by getting the grading completed on Monday and Tuesday.
- Over the last few weeks, I have spent tons of time planning the Forms of Energy unit that I will start tomorrow (Tuesday). It was very difficult to spend so much of last week with my final preparations because this will be the last year that we teach the unit. I spent hours last week preparing for the unit, and next year, the unit will be replaced with an astronomy (space exploration) unit. I will be able to use some of my lesson plans and activities in the Energy, Forces, and Motion unit, but the unit is already tightly packed with information, so I won’t be able to use much. It is a bit difficult to get fired up to teach a unit that I will only teach for one year (this is my first year teaching science; I taught social studies for seventeen years). I am hopeful that after teaching the beginning of the unit this week I will be moving this up to a “High” for next week.
I am looking forward to a good (and busy) week. This week, the students will take the NYS ELA tests on Wednesday and Thursday, so the schedule will be impacted for those days. We have a two-hour delay on Wednesday and a three-hour delay on Thursday. Three hours of testing seems like a long morning for a sixth grader. I’m not sure what I will be able to teach the kids after five hours of testing. I will try.