Thursday, March 16, 2006

Moving....just barely

(Me and the week both)

This week, with the testing madness and my general malaise, I decided to begin grammar stuff for reals. On Tuesday we started with nouns. I put up notes with the four categories and examples (common, proper, singular, plural), and then made a little game. I said, name as many ____ nouns as you can in one minute. The last round we did was plural proper, and that had them stumped a bit. I was walking around, pointing at people at random. For a not-exactly-exciting lesson, it ended up being kinda fun. Ish. Oh, and then they had to practice by copying down some sentences, identifying the nouns and then figuring out what type of nouns they were. They did well and I was happy with it.

The next day, we finished up the sentence noun work. I was tired, so after the first few, I said, 'I'm tired of being the teacher. It's time for you guys to do the work. I just called on so-and-so, and he/she will be the one to call on the next one and pretend to be me.' It was fun to watch. I certainly saw more hands up and waving around; they all wanted to participate when their classmates were the ones calling on them. My last class didn't do so well, though, descending into confusion, and they kept looking at me and saying, can you be the teacher again? or telling a student, you're not a good teacher! I had to stop myself laughing. After I got their attention again, I said, well, I hope you can appreciate that teaching is not so easy, and also how the chattiness of the class detracts from the discussion. They all nodded with renewed understanding. Funny.

Today we hit verbs. (Get it? I'm very punny lately; about the skits, I said yesterday, If you haven't done your script yet, you better get your act together! ha!) Regular verbs are pretty easy, so my challenge was getting them to understand and identify helping verbs. I gave out copies of a bunch of blurby articles from a Scholastic science magazine, directed them to the first paragraph of a particular mini-article, and let them identify all the verbs. They did need my guidance with it, because the sentences were very complex, two or three verbs or verb phrases in each sentence. But by the end, I think they were getting it. We'll continue with another mini-article perhaps tomorrow.


I went to bed earlyish last night. Sadly, I mostly dreamed about giving vocabulary tests. That's the kind of dreaming that actually makes you feel like you haven't been sleeping at all, and you feel not only tired but cheated out of true rest. I hate that.

Once again, I felt....more than just tired or sleepy. I think I have slipped into a bit of a melancholy spell. Feeling sad and pointless and lonely. This morning, while walking up with my students, I very nearly began crying. For no reason at all. Needless to say, that worried me a bit, and I really just wanted to curl up in a cozy bed and wallow. So 'teaching' was no fun today. My kids have been behaving pretty well lately, and they've been especially cooperative since I've asked them to do regular work even with the test. Maybe they're just being good so they can keep doing the skits (I'm always having to tell them things like, 'When you guys are so chatty, that tells me you don't deserve fun projects like skits, and I am very willing to accomodate that.' Heh, I'm awesomely mean.). My point was that the day went well despite me not being anywhere near the top of my game.

Skits tomorrow and a little bit Monday, then it will be time to start the media stuff! I can't wait. I hope I'm adequately prepared in time. I've been putting things together, but in the mindset that it was off in the future. So this weekend I need to solidify the plans. I've actually already planned a 3 week unit plan (daily agendas), I guess I just need to review and adjust it if needed.

But mostly, I need to get some rest and figure out how to boost myself back up. Spring break is still a long way off, and I don't want to be desperate for it like I was last year. I think March is always just a bitch of a month, so long and without respite. Ugh.


ms. frizzle said...

hey - hang in there, spring is indeed on the way, and the longer hours of daylight & warmer weather will help... as will the break.... if you need someone to grade papers with, I'm almost always up for meeting in a cafe and spending an evening/afternoon working, helps keep me on task, too.

Miss Browneyedgirlie said...

I can absolutely relate!

I had 2 job related interviews today, plus a meeting at the college I'm transfering to to comoplete my Masters, and if that wasn't enough, I had to go to my part time job until 10 p.m.

I'm not a drinker, but I told Jack earlier that we'll definitely need to partake of the fruity alcoholic beverages this weekend.

Happy early Friday!