Monday, September 29, 2014

The Two-Stringed Morin Khuur

I've been thinking about boredom.  It seems like, compared to 30 years ago when I was little, kids have more access to instant stimulation.  If you find yourself with nothing to do for a moment, and you're uncertain of how to proceed, you can just pick up a device and watch or do something that somebody's already made.

One reason I liked our camping trip was that there was time in which boredom could creep in.  And then, silliness and fun ensued once the children developed their own game.  Sure enough, there have been several studies about boredom breeding creativity.  Here's one.

This makes me wonder about school.  How can we harness the power of boredom there?  Without being, like, boring?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What What


We did it.  We camped.  I cooked over the fire.  There was minimal fighting and whining.  We made priceless, precious memories, people.

I came home and madly tried to catch up on life here, what with the laundry and the lesson planning.  Looks like I might make it through the week.  We'll see.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Tonight's the Night

The boys and I are going camping this weekend.  We'll be staying in this very tent.  Right now I have to pack the car.  There are a lot of supplies needed for a weekend camping trip.  I'm thinking it'll be the best time ever, but I'm also thinking I should lower my expectations.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Joiner

I'm going to be honest and say that some of my sixth grade colleagues have found it slightly amusing that I'm making the kids sing in advisory.  They may or may not be making a little bit of fun of me.  This includes my teaching partner, KK, who is also my neighbor and with whom I team teach at least once per week.

We're already aware of our differences.  I'm the warm, fuzzy, and goofy member of our pair.  She's more of the no-nonsense type.  The partnership works.  We click along.

But, she clearly wasn't into the advisory singing.  She may have even laughed in my face.

But then.  BUT THEN.

I had the great idea to invite that second grade class in which my students used to sing to a sing-A-LONG with the sixers.  We could each teach each other a song and then sing a song we all know. Maybe read some poems together too.

(Okay, yes, I got this idea in Third Land, the best place on earth.)

All of a sudden, KK, whose son is in said second grade class, was all, "I want to sing too" and "Can I join the singing?"

You see how this goes.  It's all fun and games until you want in on the party.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

You Get a Thumbs Up

You're probably wondering what happened when I implemented my new advisory format on Monday.  It was the one where we sing folk-type songs, read a poem, and then go about our business.

Well, it was awesome.

I told the kids the plan, handed out the three-pronged folders in which we'll keep the songs, just as they do in Thirdlandia.  One guy was like, "It's flashback to second grade!" I got some deets, and sure enough, the second grade teachers are loving the singing.

"What about after that?" I asked.  "Didn't your classes sing in third, fourth, or fifth?"

No, they said.

NO?!  Well, it's a good thing we're singing in sixth.

We loved "Building Bridges."  We even got it into a round.  I think we'll practice it again on Friday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dip, Dip and Swing


It's been fun to be back home with these fine gentlemen.  I think they missed me only a little bit, but now they're happy to have me back.  While I was gone, Mac began speaking about himself in the third person pretty much exclusively.

"Mackie wants breakfast," for example.  "Mackie loves Mama," is a favorite.  Yesterday he said, "Mackie hates Extended Day," which is not true and caused me inconvenience.

Sheffie does not speak about himself in the third person, which is delightful.  He's mad at me about continually making him sit in the back (because I care about his safety and don't want him to DIE), but generally that doesn't impede his pleasantness.

Monday, September 22, 2014

All of Our Voices

It's time to hit the road and go back to school for another Monday.  It won't be Thirdlandia, and I'm going to miss those little citizens.  They'll just continue to do their work, and I won't even get to be there.  They'll tell their news at morning meeting, and I won't get to hear it.

And yet.  The sixers will do their work, and I'll be right along side them. This is a fact that brings me joy.  I even decided to copy Dr. H's morning meeting format for my advisory group, so today when my ten homeroomers come in, we'll sing a song I learned in Third Land.  It's a tune we can all enjoy, celebrating the connections between us.