Sunday, March 22, 2015

Five days

Spring (and its allergens) have officially hit Las Vegas.  It's pleasantly in the 80s and that magical time of year when I need neither the heat nor the air conditioning on inside.  I simply open the windows, run fans, and the temperature is fabulous.

We've taken the students outside to read a few times because it's so lovely outside.

This gorgeous weather makes for irksome behaviors and lots of parent teacher conferences.

While most of the country has already had spring break, we are sitting at five days out.  Five long days.

Here's the gist of what's causing their spring madness:

1) The fifth graders are getting the elementary version of island-fever.  

They've been to their middle school (which is across the street) and registered for next year's classes.  They've seen all the clubs and activities that are available to them as sixth graders.  Most are starting to experience puberty and all the roller coaster emotions (and smells) that accompany these natural changes.  They feel they've outgrown elementary school and are ready for the next step.  Some are excited while some are terrified.  I've set out my "how to deal with middle school bucket" and made myself available at recess to talk about middle school myths.

2) Testing season is soon.  

We have a large pep rally soon and the primary classes are adopting the intermediate ones to sponsor with messages and little treats.  I will be digging out this:

to read to them.  We'll be talking about testing strategies and crossing our fingers for perfect attendance.  This year we'll be taking the SBAC, which is all online...which presents a whole new set of problems.

3)  Their emotions.

 I find that i need to, on an almost daily basis, re-establish our classroom norms.  On any given day, I say any (and all) of these things:

No child, you can't stand up and run out of the classroom bawling hysterically.  If you don't feel well, ask for a nurse pass. I am not a mind reader.

No child, you can't choose to do none of your work and still expect a reward.  

No child, you can't roll your eyes at me and expect me not to call you on that. There will be a card change and a hallway conversation.

 No child, you can't pull your tooth out and bleed all over your test as a strategy to get out of taking it.  A clean, blood-free one will be waiting for you when you return from the nurse.
No child, you can't take a bathroom break right when the class returns from recess.  

No child, you can't try to sneak off for a ten minute bathroom break every time we are ready to take a timed math quiz.

No child, you can't try to use the bathroom three times in the afternoon because you don't want to read your book.  If you keep asking, you're going to the nurse because something may be medically wrong if you insist you must use the bathroom every twenty minutes.

No child, you and your best friend can't both go to the bathroom together. I'm female, I know you want to go outside and giggle.  One at a time, nice try.

4) The excitement.

We've got several guest speakers lined up.  Field day is this Friday.  We're watching The Lightning Thief in the morning (because we finished the novel) before doing this activity as a table team.  Math is hands-on and reading is integrating history (American Revolution).  They are simply so excited about every thing we are doing.  Every little thing.

You know when Oprah would give away free things and the audience goes absolutely wild?  That's what teaching fifth grade is like.  It's exhausting.

Five days.  I can do this!

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