Grumpy Teacher has a new nephew! My sister Linh welcomed her second child, William, earlier this week on Wednesday. While I've had my fair share of experiences with newborns, I still have to admit, newborns terrify me. They're like aliens. I called my niece "E.T." for the first few months of her life and this little newbie to the world is no exception. But for an alien, he's still pretty darn cute.
2. Testing, Testing and More Testing
We just completed our second week of the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments, our state's standardized tests. Testing is so taxing on the children, but I'm continually amazed by the students' motivation and enthusiasm. They worked hard all year long and really shined over the last two weeks. My wonderful colleague in 4th grade left a treat each morning for her students--the treats and notes really got the children excited!
3. Fun with Idioms
A few weeks ago, I spent several days creating an Amelia Bedelia Book Unit. I love this book by Peggy Parish and couldn't wait to launch this book unit with a lesson on idioms. The kiddos had so much fun with idioms. I used "Hit the Hay" to introduce idioms. I created posters to display in the classroom to remind the students the meaning of the words literal and implied.
Since majority of my students are ELL students, I wanted to make sure they had a firm understanding of key vocabulary words from the book before actually reading it. After teaching each of the 12 vocabulary words, I had the students cut out the vocabulary cards to review the definition of each vocabulary word. After reviewing for about 5 minutes, we played "Pictionary" using the the vocabulary words. The students and I had a ball! For each remaining day of the week, they spent about 5 minutes to complete a vocabulary worksheet for further practice. The kiddos are anxious to read the book next week.
4. The Countdown to Summer Vacation
The week of rain definitely made us even more anxious for summer vacation. It's hard to believe we just have a month left of school. While we teachers all look forward to the much needed break, we also all dread the "summer slide" and worry about what the students will retain once they come back in the fall. Back when I used to teach first grade, I would send home a summer packet to review the concepts we covered throughout the year in math and reading. The daily review summer packet would take on average 10-15 minutes each day for the students complete so it provided just enough daily practice for 8 weeks without cutting too much into their "summer fun" time. The first grade teachers at my school were thrilled to receive a copy to send home with their kiddos. Get the first week of the Summer Packet: Going into 2nd Grade-FREEBIE!
5. My New Watch
It was so incredibly difficult saying goodbye to such a wonderful family. I spent the last four years tutoring three amazing sisters every Saturday morning. However, as I venture further and further into my career as a teacher, I'm finding spare time is difficult to come by to spend with my family and friends. I also hate saying this out loud, but now that I'm well into my 30s...I just get worn out so much quicker than I did in my 20s. While I love the challenge of additional responsibilities at my school, it was a tough decision to resign from my private tutoring position with this family. They surprised me on my last day with the most beautiful Baume & Mercier Hampton watch, thanking me for the time I spent with their family. I was so touched!
Thanks to Doodle Bugs Teaching for the linky! Have a great weekend everyone!