Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hilarious Quotes of the Day

Covering sexual and asexual reproduction always has very funny outcomes. Today was such a day.

Throughout the day students had fun having the opportunity to yell out SPERM! When well-timed this lead to many laughs. Kids will never get over the idea that plant "have sex" or rather reproduce sexually with two half cells combining.

One of the funniest things I tell kids is that pollen is a plant's version of sperm: a half-cell or gamete. I told one class today that they are often breathing in plant's gametes or sex cells. Then in one corner I had a student breathing out heavily repeatedly (as if that would rid his body of these innapropriate objects in the air) and another student yelled out "So when you breathe in pollen could you make a baby plant grow in your stomach?" [this is ridiculous because of course there is not a human half-cell in your stomach and you breathe into your lungs, not your stomach] Then another girl, looking horrified, asks "What would a plant-human look like?" When I explain that no, it was impossible, yet another girl said, "But cats and dogs can have babies, like CatDog!" Everyone laughed as I explained that only happened in the cartoon!

And, of course, their favorite example of weird mutants is the liger, with all the Neopolian quotes that go with it.

EXCITED with planning...what else?

I am so ecstatic right now! I just sat down and looked at the chaos that spring and MCAS bring and came up with an awesome plan that uses all the pieces I have lying around. See, my husband is making a movie with my class, I have units to complete, I am supposed to review all science before MCAS, through my new teacher's group I have to do an inquiry project on a topic of my choice (differentiation), and I want to go outside as much as possible in June.

So this is what I came up with. Differentiation inquiry project will happen dring MCAS review. Students will pursue a project avenue of their choice to learn what testing determines in their weakest area in science. During MCAS B will distract them from their torture by making a movie with them. Could be any topic but I or they need to think of a way to give it some focus. And then after MCAS we will do a series of outside observations of our schoolyard ecosystem and prep for the science fair.

Rock on! This means that after April vacation I will be mostly done teaching new content and they will be working on projects of their choice for the rest of the year! YES! I'd much rather they teach themselves all the time. :-) But wouldn't any teacher? Probably not, but I prefer to guide rather than yank, pull, and drag.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Just another crazy day

My first class now has 26 kids in it, which feels big compared to my others, but this is better because I have a really good aide in that class. Good help makes all the difference! My second class of the day is improving daily. And afternoon classes remain incorrigible and hillarious!

After lunch today one boy started singing "Hey Baby, Hey Baby, Hey" by No Doubt. I just stared at him in disbelief, which is a normal occurance with him. I laughed and then later got mad at him because it was then stuck in my head, and still is I might add. I also had a student tell me that if he got a B in my class he would be so happy that he would run around the school naked. After looking at him like he had just sprouted 5 heads I told him that he would be getting a C...he knew I was kidding. Another kid told me that he shouldn't have to go to middle school because it could offer nothing to leverage his career as a comedian. I argued that there would be plenty of things to joke about when reflecting back on middle school.

I don't know where they come up with this stuff, but it keeps me entertained and gets me through my day. Who would ever want to teach high school when you can have a constant comedy routine of randomness instead? What will tomorrow bring? I can't imagine.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Exerpt from another post on another blog

I want to do things alternatively. I want to shape my students into people more successful than previously thought possible. I want to get kids engaged in real science. I want students to work hard and learn more. I want to make school more creative and less systematic. Lately what I find most discouraging is that my students are so used to using textbooks and doing easy assignment that they ask for it and I get feedback from the people over me that my classroom is too hard, too confusing, too complicated. I know it is both confusing and different for them. I need to make the confusing parts extra simple to get them to the different stuff. I know this is important, but I still am constantly frustrated my the traditionalism around me because it makes two things to worry about instead of just trying to break the mold.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Half-way Through

This sounds mundane and very non-original, but I can't really believe the year is half over...and 4 weeks until February vacation. On the other hand, I have covered so much ground both in curriculum and experiences with my classroom.

At this time in the year, and my life, I mainly feel the overwhelming sense that I have so much started and not enough finished. I long to finish something and feel very frustrated that nothing is coming close to completion. I love lists, so here it goes:
Corner Cupboard
Aaron's Chair
Shelf for bedroom
Closet Organizing
Misc Sewing projects
b+j greene Clothing Line
Solar System Model CSL Project
Term 2 Grading
Altered Book #1
Misc Stencils
Dad Greene's website
Grant Applications for classroom technology
Reading Dragonriders of Pern
Exercise Routine
Hanging artwork after living here for 1.5 years
Planning Outdoor Club events
Planning Field Trips
Putting away Christmas decorations

Too many projects...too many responsibilities. No wonder I slept for 14 hours last night. At least I didn't make myself feel guilty for sleeping. That's when I just hate my projects...because everyone knows I need to sleep more. And hate never got anything accomplished.

Feeling unresolved is also just a product of January. I never like January. January and February seem to last forever and, curiously, I always end up feeling the most dizzy during these months. And I hate my nose always being cold like it is right now. Perhaps I need to just learn to love these months and the incompleteness of my projects...and maybe the hating is actually the source, not the product of this misery. Yeah, like I'll ever start loving darkness and freezing temperatures. I'll keep dreaming of the Dominican Republic and time will carry me into spring. Hallelujah!