Wednesday, September 19, 2007

9/19 - Bug spray, more poetry and five year olds

Today I couldn’t teach in my room – we convert half of the cafeteria into our ‘art studio’ every year – because they were spraying for bugs. My 6th graders and I discussed if it was more gross that their cafeteria was overrun by bugs, or that the district was blasting the place they eat with pesticide. They were pretty much split in the middle, with a few declaring they were eating outside from here on out, even if it was raining. I don’t mind not being able to teach in there – sometimes we go outside anyway – but this early in the year I prefer to keep things consistent, but so it goes. I’m lucky to have a consistent room that I can teach, can store stuff, and hang up work in – it’s the first school - in eight years of teaching after school programming – I’ve ever had that set up, and I love it.

I had my two groups of Kindergartner’s today – little tiny guys only in their second week of school…ever! They did really good – had them copy and try to write a sentence about themselves so I could gauge what levels they were all at, then they drew me self portraits, showing me who they were and what was important to them, who they lived with, etc.

Student work - About Me project

It’s always funny to see them at this stage – they are all over the place in terms of personality and what not. I worked really hard to try to learn and remember all their names down today – I do that with all of my students, but I really make a concerted effort to try to get all the Kinder names down after my first hour with them. Usually takes me a few classes to commit them all to memory, but considering the fact I have about 80 students, the fact that I get them all down in about the first week isn’t too bad!

My 6th graders kicked ass on the poem project – they jumped right in, they got it, they even seemed excited about doing it. Don’t get how or why their response was so different from my 5th graders yesterday, but I guess in part I’m hoping it was because they did so much creative writing with me the year before. The response they had to the poem project in comparison to the 5th grade class was totally different – it really tripped me out. I hope this level of enthusiasm stays the way it is all year.

Azwaun working on his self portrait

My 6th grade group last year was a struggle to work with – I’m hoping this is a case of different personalities, and the result of my having a consistent relationship with them going on for two years now. Time will tell, I guess. Anyhow, their work turned out really good and it was a nice class – I enjoy getting to hang and do the projects with them.

Check out their poems:

Smart, funny, friendly
I love my friends and family
I hate family problems
I am afraid of any kind of spiders
I wish I had Starbucks

Mean, dumb, funny
I love hot cheetos
I hate coloring
I am afraid of my mom
I wish for me to go to Florida

Good looking, funny, athletic
I love basketball
I hate nothing
I am afraid of the belt
I wish to see God

Cool, sexy, hot
I love low riders
I hate loosing in video games
I am afraid of my God mom
I wish to get out of school

Funny, stupid, silly, energetic
I love to play soccer
I hate to write essays
I am afraid of loosing somebody
I wish for my sister to come back

Happy, tall excited
I love my family
I hate spiders, bees and worms
I am afraid of big roller coasters
I wish for a house with a pool

Friendly, nice, cool
I love pets
I hate when my sister pulls my hair
I am afraid of snakes
I wish I could go around the world

Happy, fun, energetic
I love my mom and dad
I hate spiders. Big spiders. All sizes.
I am afraid of any bugs that crawl on me except ladybugs
I wish for a laptop

Kheyli Tristen
Beautiful, outgoing, loving
I love my family and friends
I hate backstabbers, haters and drama
I am afraid of spiders and bugs
I wish for good things to happen

I love animals
I hate when I’m alone
I’m afraid of insects
I wish I was a celebrity

Nice and friendly
I love animals and my family and hearts
I hate nothing
I am afraid of snakes
I wish to see god

Some of them finished early, and since we couldn’t work on the stuff I normally have them do with down time – work in their journal, or the other ‘free time’ projects’ – I had them instead imagine they were famous fashion designers and they had a $50,000 budget to design a Halloween costume for any celebrity of their choice (I’m giving myself bonus points for thinking up that one on the spot!). Jequille brought Easy E back from the dead and made some sort of out of control suit that involved a lot of diamonds, Azwaun came up with an ornate cow costume for Chris Brown, Katie had a cute Jessica Alba outfit, and Chelsea, a new student to me, very quiet and what not – came up with an amazing cat woman costume for…Emma Watson. The other kids were very confused as to exactly who Emma Watson was, but Chelsea was happy with her work.

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