Thursday, January 22, 2009

Books and movies

Yesterday I had a full day job at a school that shall go unnamed. They release their kids early on Wednesdays (teacher planning and meetings, I'm guessing), and with their lunch schedules, my fourth graders left 10 minutes after they got back from lunch! Needless to say, it was an easy day.

They have assemblies on Wednesdays, like most of the schools in this district do, and yesterday was their assembly honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I know this is corny, but it was actually very moving. A number of things happened, the best thing being that the fifth graders all stood up around the gym to read, sentence by sentence, the "I Have a Dream" sentence. I have heard the most famous lines of that speech, like we all have, so many times. But, what I was struck by the most was the line, "This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism."

So I had a good day and I had so much extra time on my hands. With a full lunch break, the kids leaving early, and my official clocking out time a couple of hours after they left, I had reading time. I had brought Coraline with me, a new copy I had picked up. I read this book, by Neil Gaiman, a few years ago with my fifth graders. It has just the right amount of creepiness for fifth graders (and me), and I loved it. When I found out, a year ago, it was being made into a movie, I was super excited. Seeing the trailer has wet my appetite, because having it directed by the man who did A Nightmare Before Christmas seems absolutely perfect.

I spent this morning in an ELL class, which is always enjoyable, as I'm considering an ELL endorsement when getting my Masters. I was going to go running this afternoon, but I just got my hair did.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Oh, First Graders

In trying to explain to my family yesterday about my difficulties at my subbing job, I think I came to a conclusion. First graders puzzle me. I feel as if they should act older, be able to accomplish more things, need less direction. With kindergarteners, I feel a sense of empathy toward them because it's their first year of school and they're still getting the hang of things. Even the word "kindergarten" makes me think of very small children. Yet, first graders, I expect to have a better grasp on things. Not so, and I need to get used to that. First graders still need an immense amount of direction and comforting. I don't think I was made to teach first grade.

My favorite conversation yesterday was right after I told the students about the goody bag I had brought. I announced I had a secret and had forgot to tell them that I had a goody bag for the table group who was doing their best work, paying attention, and getting their work done. They lit up. Then came the barrage of questions as to what might be in my goody bag. After a lot of guesses I finally said "It probably isn't what you think it is"

Girl: "Is the same things you give your kids?" (random!)
Me: "uhhh no. I don't have kids"
Boy: "So you're a kidless person."
Me: "uhhhh haha. Yeah. I guess I am. I am a kidless person".

I thought that was cute.

I scored majorly today when I hit up Target and found a bunch of great pencils, stamps, and stickers in the Dollar Spot section, perfect for my goody bag. I got so excited I'm sure my mom would have pronounced me a nerd, had she been there.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Well, Portland was hit with a snowstorm of monster proportions. We had a week of off and on snow and ice, which was a small amount, but enough to close most school districts for the whole week, or the majority of the week. That means I didn't work at all. Then there were two weeks of vacation in which I didn't work, one week being almost snowbound and watching lots of movies and reading and wasting time online. Fun!

I had to wait until after Christmas to post pictures of things I crafted for presents. I started this summer (!!) on my mom's cross-stitch. Designed by yours truly.

And I made a bunch of stand up little tote bags for friends and my sister in law. They went over fairly well. They are reversible.

Well, after all that work, I feel like I should have made more stuff. As in, I can't believe I only have two things to show. Oh well!