Third Grade

BB: Blog and Basketball

Holy crap it’s been freaking forever.  Sorry about that.  I have no good excuse for my absence, but I have a few mediocre ones:

  1. The six weeks of class at the beginning of the semester were “kinda” busy
  2. I haven’t had anything interesting to post about
  3. Student teaching has me trying to keep my head above the water so I have, admittedly, put this sucker on hold until I get a better grip on lesson plans, projects, and other student teaching related stuff
  4. I forgot I had a blog

Fortunately, Potential Mr. Teach has reminded me that I had a blog, as did the lovely lady over at Performing in Fifth Grade.  If you are a teacher friend, go check her out.  She has some useful tips and tricks up her sleeve(s).  (She also has a pretty groovy Facebook page)

A fun story from this past week to finish off the post:

At the beginning of my student teaching placement I sent home a letter to families introducing myself.  In this letter, I like to put down little bits and pieces about me when I was the age of my students, in this case when I was 8 or 9 years old.  I also try to think of things I know my students relate to by picking sports or activities my students and I have in common.  I have a couple sporty boys in my class, so I mentioned, “When I was in third grade I played basketball, gymnastics, and dabbled in figure skating.”  My cooperating teacher read “I played basketball” and volunteered me for the 2nd v. 3rd grade basketball game that was to take place, in front of students, the following week.

Never mind that I scored a whopping 2 points in my two year career as a ball player.

And thus I found myself dreading the afternoon last Monday morning, donning my new maxi skirt (work out leggings hidden underneath in the event of a quick change later) and green for my team and, conveniently, St. Patrick’s Day.  I thought I was being smart wearing a maxi skirt with my leggings underneath – I looked professional yet was ready for the ball game all at once!

The students were skeptical.  Not just of my maxi skirt.  The following is a conversation during our morning cursive lesson:

Student 1: You’re not going to play basketball in that are you?

Me: (suppressing a giggle) No, I have leggings on underneath

Student 1: Phew, I was gonna say…

Student 2: Do you even have any experience playing basketball?

HA!  I politely responded, “Yes, I played for two years when I was your age” and then redirected him back to his cursive As, or Qs or whatever letter we were on that day.  He still seemed skeptical, but that changed when I scored 8 points and had two rebounds in our game that afternoon.  My team won, and Student 2 asked me for my autograph the rest of the afternoon.

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Teaching.  WIN.

MissTake by MissTeach

Last week I went to visit the classroom I will be student teaching in soon.  The classroom is big, there are usually two teachers in the class, and there is a multitude of access to technology.

But the best part of the classroom was not the decorations.  it was not the computer cart that got wheeled in for an hour of video-making.  It was not the freedom students felt amid a structured environment.

The best part was this statement from my cooperating teacher: “Isn’t it nice to know your teacher makes mistakes too?”

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Shocking, right?!

She had been reading the science textbook with the kids and came across a section about the various calls whales make.  One of the calls was a mating call, so we embarked on a discussion about what mating means – finding a boyfriend or girlfriend.  After a little discussion, we moved onto the next section entitled, “Long Songs.”  On her lovey-dovey kick, my cooperating teacher accidentally said, “Love songs” and hilarity ensued.

The kids loved that she made a mistake, and I loved it too.  Too often kids are afraid to get the answer wrong, and I think we need to show them that making mistakes, choosing the wrong answer is okay.

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Two of these faces staring back at you is intimidating. Especially on day 1.

A little later in the day I was working with a pair of girls on their project on hurricanes.  They were supposed to be entering their pictures into moodnote, and were nearly finished but in the process of moving to a new table one of them closed the computer, exiting out of the program.  Needless to say they were devastated.  And I mean devastated. Their shoulders dropped and their faces became expressionless.  They stared at the computer and began pushing buttons, willing it’s black screen saying “your presentation has broken” to suddenly wake up again.  So I tried to calm them down: “It’s alright, just close out and open up moodnote again and I’ll log you back on.”

They were having none of it.

But after a little more coaxing, they got back on track and were organized within minutes.  When I said, “See you had nothing to worry about” they just shrugged me off like I didn’t know what they had just gone through.  I guess I still have to learn not to say I told ya so to my kiddos…one lesson at a time Miss Teach.

In other news, this is what Potential Mr. Teach and I talked about on Skype tonight: our new sheets.  We’re excited about sheets.

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SHEETS! And yes, my expression was solely for the purpose of this photo. Ok, it wasn’t only for this photo but I did ham it up a bit.