Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Variety Pack

Wow!  It's been a week since my last post.  Sorry about that.  I don't like to go that long, but I was making the most of my spring break and then got crushed with work and deadlines since getting back to school on Monday.  In fact, I was at school tonight until 6:00 (as will be evidenced in a picture below) doing my supply order for next year and logging in some DRA data my principal requested.  Of course, our marking period grades are also due this week.  So, what do you think?  Good excuses for not blogging?  I hope so!

To make up for it, I am going to give you a variety pack of thoughts tonight.  Some of these were going to be longer, individual posts.  Then, I realized how much grading and data entry I have to do by Monday.  I may not get a chance to post again until then, so here goes. . .

A few years ago, our district replaced all the clocks in our schools.  They took out all the analog clocks and replaced them with digital clocks.
See, told you I was at school until 6.  :-)  Anyway, digital clocks are great unless. . .  oh. . . say YOU ARE STILL TRYING TO TEACH CHILDREN TO TELL TIME ON AN ANALOG CLOCK!!!!  Yeah, 5th grade and many still struggle with telling time and elapsed timed looking at an analog clock.  Here's what I did to solve this problem.
I purchased a huge analog clock and hung it on the other side of the room.  It's an 18 inch clock that I found pretty cheaply on Ebay.  I use it in class and make my friends use it.  But, they don't.  They still always look at the digital clock.  Then, this happens:
This is the sign that I tape over the digital clock.  I don't say anything to my friends, and it is hilarious to watch their faces the first time they look up at the digital clock and see this sign instead of the time.  I've done this for the past three years and I see, without fail, that they get much better with time when they are forced to use the analog clock.

Mistakes, I've Made a Few!
Kim over at Finding Joy in 6th Grade did a post about the making mistakes in blog posts.  She writes about how Pinterest puts our mistakes out there for all to see.  Boy, did that post speak to me!  I  make mistakes in my posts all the time!  The sad thing is, they are usually in pictures of the mistakes I make in my classroom!  Remember my post on Crafting Power Sentences?   The chart on there has a nice, big grammatical error for all to see.  Creeped instead of crept?  Yeah, I did that.  So, wouldn't it make sense that that's the picture that is quite popular on Pinterest?!!  Yup, my mistakes are out there for all to see.  And, that's just one of many I have made.  I usually try to go back and correct them in the post if I can, but once a picture gets out there it's like a butterfly in the wind. 

Like Kim, it really bugged me at first.  Now, I just decided that spit happens. :-D  I will make mistakes.  I will have typos.  I will not catch them all.  But, I will not make myself crazy over it.  The intentions are always good.  So Kim, relax!  I'm with ya on this one!

I had to change my center activities a couple of weeks ago.  My centers had really boring names.  They had names like creative writing center,  reading center, word study center, and so on.  Not much fun.  I was rushed in getting them out at the time and just didn't have a chance to get creative with it.    With my new centers, I decided to go with an ice cream theme in honor of summer.  Here are our new center signs.  Sorry that the pictures are a bit dark.

Aren't they cute?  My friends really liked them.  It got us all in a summer mood!  Speaking of summer. . .

Summer is Coming! How "KOOL" is That?
I can't wait for summer vacation.  I get out June 15th this year.  That's actually really early for us.  We don't usually get out until June 20th or later.  Because the winter was so mild, we didn't use any of our snow days, so they took them off the end of the year.  I know my teaching friends in the south get out earlier, but you also start earlier than we do.  Either way, I think we can all agree we probably enjoy our summer vacations more than the kids do!

I was in the grocery store (supermarket?  What do you call them?) and I saw that Kool Aid was on sale.  Five packets for a dollar.  I immediately grabbed enough for all my friends to do the end of year crazy straw gift I posted about.  I got them all pink lemonade.  You can't beat pink lemonade in the summer!

There have been some great comments on some of my previous posts that I want to respond to.  I'm going to try to get to them this week, but for now I wanted to just acknowledge them.  I read every comment you leave and really appreciate that you take the time to do so.  It's something I have to get better at myself.  I'm guilty of reading lots of blogs and not commenting myself even thought I know how much we bloggers love comments!

And, there you have it.  A variety pack of thoughts and ideas. Have a great one!


  1. They have analog clocks on the wall?!
    That's AMAZING to me!
    I have several kids who cannot "read" a "regular" clock. They don't think it is at all weird when they guess 7:00 and we just ate lunch...

    Thanks for the chuckle about the "bloggy boo boos." That made me feel better.

    Now here's a chuckle for you:

    From The Grammarist...

    "The verb to creep is traditionally inflected CREPT in the past and perfect tenses and as a past-participle. CREEPED has crept into the language, however, and is now accepted by many dictionaries.

    Crept is still considered preferable to creeped in almost all cases, with one main exception—in the past tense of the phrasal verb creep out, meaning to strike [someone] as weird in a frightening or off-putting way. As an inflection of this phrasal verb, creeped out is more common than crept out.

    Is it Friday yet?

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  2. I had a parent tell me that teaching time to kids an analog clock was a waste of time! Can you believe that! I was so shocked I didn't even know what to say. I love your sign for the digital clock and am thankful we still have "face" clocks.

    Chickadee Jubilee

  3. Love love love your ice cream center signs! My reading/writing classroom has a parlor type theme. I have spent countless hours trying to find pictures to go with my ice cream handouts. -would love if I could download yours. Do you know how I would do that??