--New cute shoes that don't hurt
--Leaving before 6.30!!!
--Eating dinner (man, I'm hungry again...)
--My class today
--Dealing with my class without Chatty Chad
Today was a great day! We worked hard, but also had a good time. (Except for some name-calling...but they're elementary kids. I'm working on it, but I doubt that I can eliminate that completely, sadly)
Since there direction/map knowledge seemed to be nil, I did a neat lesson about that today. A few days ago, I put up direction signs on the classroom walls. We talked about what is a compass, and then I asked them to find the one I'd put in the room. I asked them to stand up, and one by one told them to face each direction. (I joked, "This is fun! Maybe I'll just keep spinning you all in circles!") Then they had to face one direction and take a step in a different direction. They totally got it and I was pleased.
Then they had to work with the map of the US, answering direction questions I had written. Things like, What states border Nebraska on the west? Things like that. My questions were a bit too ambitious (they don't know what a coast is!), but part of my reasoning was to force them to look at the state names (which a lot of them had trouble pronouncing, of a lot of states. so we'll practice, and they'll learn!) and start getting to understand directions. As always, a few kids finished all the questions quickly, a few barely started, and the rest fell somewhere in the middle. I think I saw pretty much everyone get the hang of it in general, though. I found a big map that I have posted near the carpet now too, and make use of that to get them used to looking at and understanding maps. (I love maps! I have so many I can show them (love that National Geographic subscription)! but one thing at a time. :D)
Writing workshop was pretty amazing today too. I've been sort of hemming and hawing and not really using my time well, "accidentally." So today I just dove in and figured we'd see how it went. I pretty much bs-ed my way through it. (I say that with five years' experience of doing them, though, so I know my way around it in my head to bs with.) And dude, they ROCKED. At the beginning I said we'll try for ten or fifteen minutes, and they wrote for like half an hour! I just hope we can keep that kind of stamina and interest up.
Also, math continues to go pretty well. I'm not at all making creative lessons, I'm just using the book. But can I say, HALLELUJAH I love having a textbook! What a wonderful treat to have things spelled out in front of you, to pick and choose and use or lose! The kids are keeping up well too, but of course it's all pretty easy review stuff, so a nice way to ease into the year.
Did I mention I left before 6.30? I practically skipped out of there feeling great! I've got stuff ready for tomorrow, and vague things for the next couple days, but I think leaving at that decent hour is so worth it. I made it to the gym later on too, which also felt great. The only problem is getting home and only having an hour or so before it's supposed to be bedtime. Stupid early wake-up.
Anyway, so it was a good day all around. Keep in mind that yesterday, I wanted to throw all of them out the window and I was fed up with myself too. It's funny how it seems to be all or nothing, huh?
Cross your fingers that I haven't angered the gods and someone does something completely crazy tomorrow. :)