Big thanks to Ms M, our first New York Cares joinee! Thanks! Who'll be next??
Yesterday, I gave all my students a pre-test by dictating sentences with homophones in them. Then I made them write a bunch of notes on the most confusing ones. I copied the notes from confusingwords.com, which are short and easy to understand. Hurrah! I gave them a very stern lecture about how the days of spelling mistakes are OVER. From that day forward, they WILL use the correct homophones in their writing. NO EXCUSES. It was fun to get out all my grammar geek irritation, and I figured it would be a good intimidation/motivation for them.
My smartest class is really the smartest class; about six kids got 100% on the pre-test. Whee!
We'll see how well they paid attention, when I give a post-test next week.
There wasn't much time for the homophone activity (two classes had approximately four minutes!), but I'm going to revisit it next week, along with the synonyms activity I had originally planned for yesterday.
Today we had another day off for the Jewish holiday.
I watched some tv, but later I did work out. And took a nap. Plus I went clothes shopping and food shopping. Couldn't really afford it very well, but oh well, I kinda need it. Many of my pants are old and/or too big. (Cause my bum is so cute and tiny. sweet!) And I was at Marshall's, not Bloomie's or even Macy's.
When I got home, I finished the grading and grade-inputting. And THEN I made some parent phone calls--my first of the year! I know, I know, I should have made contact with all of them in the first few weeks of school, and I really meant to, but...meh. I just never feel like it.
My second call went like this:
Me: Hi, is Mr or Mrs O there?
Child: .... Who's this?
Me: This is Ms C from [my school].
Child:.... They're not here right now.
Me: Is this A [the student]?
Me, pleasantly: Oh, okay, well, I'll just call your mom's cell phone then, ok?
Mrs O: Hello?
Heh. Excellent teacher manipulation. But only in response to the child's manipulation. This is the kid who pulls this, "who, me?" face anytime I call him on his bullshit, things like making fun of people or not being on task. It's dumb cause he's quite smart and he should excel. But half the time he's just sitting there not doing anything productive.
Tomorrow I will be reading "Encounter" by Jane Yolen and then the students will review their stories and their peers' stories, according to the rubric that I will be grading the final drafts, when they're due on Monday.
Last weekend, when I was so bored and broke, I again broke out my Popular Season One DVDs and watched two whole discs' worth. And if you never watched the show when it was on, around 1999-2000, at least rent it. It's brilliantly ironic, sarcastic, and just hilarious. I maintain that Mary Cherry is one of television's best and most memorable characters of all time. I love Mary Cherry, especially her weird, fake Southern accent.
Mary Cherry: [after being shown a cheer routine] Do we have to do those splits? I'm a Christian.
Guess what else? One entire episode revolves around a featured guest star: none other than the uber-hot Wentworth Miller. Only instead of middle-distance staring, and plotting and planning, he's a new student cheerleader with a slight flair. Brilliant. And hot.