Friday, October 25, 2013

Whew, Thank goodness it is Five for Friday!

Wow! A long week for sure. I am so thankful for cooler weather and the weekend! I am ready to relax. 
Being that it is Friday, means that it is time to link up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday!
It was a particularly long week because we were testing again. Yep, had the lovely pleasure of reading the script and walking circles while my kiddos shaded bubbles."Does everyone have the right place?" and  "If you have any questions, I will help you after the others have started." 
Thankful that my own son made it through his first round of the ITBS and hopefully feels more confident in his abilities. Testing anxiety is a huge issue, so trust me, I was worried about an administrator showing up with him in tears. I have no idea how he actually did, but he made it, and that is something to be thrilled about!
Next week, it will be nice to get back on track and actually hold math class and return to my normal routine.
Since their brains were fried from standardized testing I kept our post-test lesson learning light and fun. We played some rounds of Swat to review parts of speech and figurative language. They loved competing against each other and I quickly identified that they are struggling with prepositions, verbs, metaphors, hyperbole,  and idioms. Check out our figurative language "swat" game. 

They suggested I add flies, cute idea. I added "Fly Guy" next to personification and onomatopoeia (saying Buzz), and the pun of a pair of pants with the fly down. Some asked me to make the words fly around as they tried to swat, I opted out of that, but so glad to see them thinking. 
I think I  will make a swat the vocab. word game to review before our next Wordly Wise test.

I have clinical proof that my boys are great at sharing. Yes, 2 trips to urgent care and 3 positive strep tests! I also have 3 amoxicillin prescriptions and lots of Tylenol to ease the discomfort. During the second trip to the urgent care, I insisted that he run my throat culture since they love to hug, kiss, and share their germs with me. I escaped with a clean culture, but 3 sick children during testing week means I am one tired teacher/mom! 
As I mentioned, my oldest had ITBS this week, he insisted on taking the test with his teacher and not during a make-up session. "Mom the test is important, I don't want to take it with a stranger." How can you argue with that? So, I did what I could. Gave two rounds of antibiotics before going back to school, insisted he take Tylenol, and had my sweet hubby pick him up after the test was over. 
Like I said, he has high testing anxiety, so it was the best solution for him, eased his worry, and stopped his tears. I think he was more stressed about the potential of missing the test than the news that he was sick. 
How do you improve social relations in a class with kids who bicker and tease each other? Level the field by letting them play board games. 
They are whizzes on apps and video games, but none are super savvy with word building nor board games. I decided it was time to get out games for them to practice game playing (taking turns, teaching each other, working on following directions).  
I used to require them to read during dismissal, but I found that the majority were avoiding reading and I was repeating, "Sit down and read for the last 20 minutes of my day." I was wiped out and frustrated. 
I have a handful who still read, a few who love to listen to audio-books, but the others were avoiding reading every way possible. During dismissal, trying to coerce them to read was not productive and was spoiling our relationship. So, it was time to change things up. 
Words with Friends is "cool" to play because it is like an App.
I scored some Words with Friends for a few bucks at Wal-Mart, and during dismissal I group kids and let them play. I am called on to help them find words, or remind them about how to play. Their choice of words are very simple, but they are thinking and playing together. Our interactions are also better during this time which means we all score extra points! 

The rubber band fad has entered our home. My son recently spent the night at his grandma's, and while over there his aunt and him bonded over rubber band bracelets. She made bracelets with him and sent him home with the rubber bands. I finally broke down and ordered some from Amazon. 
He loves sitting in his room creating new bracelets. When I go to say hi to him at lunch, his best friend and him are either drawing or making bracelets together. It really is a great fine motor skill/sit still activity for him. 
 He was really proud of this one since it is our school colors. Wonder how long this fad will last? 

I hope you had a great week and have an even better weekend! Don't forgot to hop over to Doodle Bugs Teaching to see what everyone else has been up to! 


  1. My first graders love playing swat with sight words. The bracelet fad has not yet hit our little ones, thankfully!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting Sarah! I have had a bad experience in my classroom with the bracelets so my poor sons have heard many lectures about them as a distraction in class. So far no complaints from his teacher and he is proud of what he is creating which makes it worth it. Wish I had been the genius who sparked this money making fad!
      Have a great weekend!

  2. My students are loving those bracelets. They've made me a few of them...I'm just thankful it is helping them be creative and keeping them away from TV and video games for a change!


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