Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What teachers do when they are going crazy for Winter break!!!!!

A friend of mine, Mindi's Mind posted a blog sharing the joys that she shared with her second grade team at our staff Holiday party this year. It made me laugh so hard that I thought I should also share the memories my fourth grade team made and how things played out from our perspective!!!

I'm going to back up a little bit to explain WHY all of us teachers started acting so crazy!!!

It was such a loooong week, the kids were going NUTS, the teachers were loosing their minds, and the weather was all over the place! We were cooped up from cold weather a majority of the week, grades were due and kids were antsy to get a break (kids meaning students and teachers!!!).

Rundown of the week:
The week that grades are due is always crazy in my classroom. I'll be honest, grading is a weakness for me...why? because I HATE it!!! I would much rather do the hands on class assignments, read read read, and conduct class discussions! BUT...part of the assessment process is to see if my students can take what they've learned and apply it the way they will be asked to do on TAKS!!!

We were also doing an in-class assignment called a "VOCABULARY PARADE," and THAT was fun, so it became an additional distraction from grading. However, I was going to be counting this project for 2 test grades for 2 different subjects - English and Reading. The kids worked extremely hard and it really paid off!! We actually had our fourth graders march around the school chanting a cool verse that we wrote about reading and learning new words, etc. They each chose a word and got to dress up as that word! Their presentation of the word needed to represent the word's meaning in some form or fashion!!!

Okay, so I've gotten a little side tracked...

Back to WHEN ALL the Teachers Loose their Minds on Thursday afternoon, December 17....

Well, if you checked out Mindi's Mind, then you know that the second grade teachers did!

NOW...teaching second grade and fourth grade have some similarities, but then there is A LOT that is different!!! Here's the thing about teaching fourth seems that the higher the grade level you teach the more "boring" you are supposed to least that is the assumption that people have! Well, maybe not boring, but definetely not the fun, creative, bubbly, bouncy type of teacher that students are used to having in the primary grades! Which, people are right, not a lot of the upper grade level teachers are, but COME ON...FOURTH GRADE teachers at my school KNOW HOW to have fun!!! Plus, on this particular afternoon, Mr. Keith was lucky enough to join our team!! (He is Mason's Pre-K teacher!! He is married with 4 daughters, so he is used to being around the girls!)

So as this crazy, overwhelming, extremely long, semester was coming to a close...

The staff was invited to a Christmas lunch, catered by Uncle Julio's, YUMMY! The fourth grade team spotted the "Christmas Carol Challenge" and we were frantically determined to WIN THIS COMPETITION! My team asked me what the prize was for the grade level who figured out the most answers, and I exclaimed, "I don't know and I don't care...I just wanna win!!!" So we pulled out our IPHONES and googled Christmas Carols. We figured out that the "scramble" wasn't a scramble after was the first letter of each word from the first line of the song!! maybe using our cell phone internet might have been considered "cheating" by some, but it was not cheating by my books, it was being RESOURCEFUL!!!

As soon as we finished eating, my principal announced that there was going to be a picture scavenger hunt and that we would have 30 minutes to conduct various activities on the "list" from the handout that was being passed out and take a picture of ourselves doing these things. The most thorough and the most creative team would win the challenge!! the fourth grade team minds' we automatically assumed that there was also a requirement to see who could be the fastest to complete the "list." Obviously we caused ourselves a lot of un-necessary excersize by racing around the school and playground to "win" because it wasn't a race!

The first things we did was....write out "Holiday" words with objects, and needless to say, ours wasn't as creative as we thought! BUT...we thought it was a RACE!!

We spelled out the words with peppermints...which by the way we later realized wouldn't count because WE were supposed to be IN the picture! Just like a bunch of teachers not to READ THE DIRECTIONS!!

The next activity required us to include a nativity scene...and since we THOUGHT it was a race we thought we were really clever to get one off the computer and put it on the T.V. in my classroom!!! Ha!!!

Kim, me, Mary, and Keith (the Pre-K teacher!)

We were supposed to find the smallest space that we could all fit we borrowed a cabinet in an empty classroom!!!

Me, Mary, Cristy, and Kim

Our human pyramid...which I just knew was "my thing" with the cheerleading background and all, but we didn't have time to get technical because we trying to go AS FAST AS WE COULD!

umm...ya, it was fun!!!

So on our way back into the building from the pyramid, we reread some of the directions. THis is when we realized that we had done the first activity WRONG, so we did what we tell our students to do...REDO!!!

After that we had to have a sit on "Santa's" was funny, because we were going as fast we were running as fast as we could, when we went into the library I somehow became voted as the team "Santa" and hot, tired, and ready to be DONE!

Finally, we were supposed to paint our faces, which NONE of us were thrilled about so we laughed at the thought of being smarter than the average bear. We decided to do rudolph noses, which we didn't get any credit for because it wasn't one of the options we were given to choose from to paint our faces as!!! Oh well...we had a blast being a team of rudolphs!!

Sooo...that was our crazy "RACE" that wasn't a race of a scavenger hunt! When we sprinted into the cafeteria and we were the first group back, we started cheering!!! That's when we were so kindly informed by Mel, the school secretary that it wasn't a race and that we could have been more creative because we had more time!!! Well, of course I jump at the opportunity to at least finish the "Christmas Carol Challenge." We got all but 1 of the songs!!! I was so proud of my brilliant team...well when it comes to Christmas carols!!

BUT...apparently that was just for winners, no prizes, not even any ackowledgement, so once again we were so anxious to WIN, we didn't even think that it would be "just for fun!!!'

It was a great way to loosen up, enjoy some "play" time...and yes, teachers need that too!! It made Friday so much easier and more enjoyable to have been able to release so much energy the day before!

I am so lucky to get to work with such amazing teachers, women, and administration. I love my job, I love what I do, and I love my Lord for blessing me with my gift....

the gift of teaching, teaching reading, teaching writing, and more importantly teaching children about love. That each and every child is special, they are precious, they are unique individuals who are just needing to know that they are worth it...they are worth everything!

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