Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day is For . . . Class Parties

T.G.I.F. Today was our class Valentine party, and were the students ever wound! We were on a two hour delay schedule which means the class periods were shortened to one hour apiece instead of the usual ninety minutes. You might think that an hour is a long time to have a class, and you'd be right, but it seems like such a short time when I am trying to cram four subjects into that time frame.

Today my students had their usual Friday test/quiz routine. I gave them the weekly spelling test and the weekly Daily Oral Language Quiz. Also, Friday is when they turn in the weekly Daily Oral Language sheet that they take home on Thursday so they can study the week's sentences, and get it signed by a parent to show they studied. Today was ALSO the day I collected independent reading logs, AND the day I had scheduled their first independent reading project to be due. Poor planning on my part! I made MY workload huge!

So here is what the day looked like (times 3, since I teach three sections of fifth graders):

9:10 -9:30 - Morning Opening : 48 students coming into the room at different times bringing
projects in every shape, color, and size; parents bringing
treats and Valentine boxes; students tossing onto my desk
money, excuses, notes to the office, and homework for
different subjects; students telling me that they are going to
challenge, band, and/or breakfast; taking lunch count and
attendance; checking my email for important notices . . .

9:30 -10:00 - Morning Seatwork: Are you finished with your Math Problem of the Day? Have
you studied for your spelling test? Where is your
assignment book? Whose paper is this with no name?
Last call for lunch money and notes to the office. Where is
your math? Whose paper is this with no name? What were
you doing out in the hallway? What do you mean you don't
have a pencil? It's ten o'clock and you should have been
done already!!!!!!

10:00 - 11:00 - Reading/LA #1: Spelling test; Daily Language Quiz; Worksheet for reading;
Sharing projects; Playing with our Valentines; Showing off
our Valentine Boxes for the contest; Asking, "What time
is our party?"

11:00 - 11:30 - Recess: I have outside recess duty. At least the sun was shining,
it wasn't raining, and the kids were OUTSIDE!

11:30 - 11:45 - Lunch: For students; for me, potty break!

11:45 - 12:00 - Study Period: HA! Not today.

12:00 - 12:40 - Related Arts: Phys Ed for them - lunch for me (carrots and dip)

12:45 - 1:45 - Reading/LA #2 Spelling test; Daily Language Quiz; Worksheet for reading;
Sharing projects;

1:45 - 2:45 - Reading/LA #3 Repeat Above !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:45 - 3:35 - THE PARTY Homeroom students return and grab their Valentine
boxes from wherever they've been stashed around the room (including a five-foot-long cardboard limo) and put them on their desks. Next, eighteen students converge on me asking if they can pass out their candy, cards, cupcakes, cookies, fruit roll-ups, fruit kabobs, juice, cups, napkins, pencils, stickers, etc. (Room parents have strange looks on their faces) Students simultaneously: play a chopstick game; talk; gorge themselves; deliver "stuff" to other classrooms; vote for biggest, fanciest, and best theme Valentine boxes; gorge some more; chug sweet beverages; make a mess; open Valentines; make jokes; talk; mill around; try to get inside limo box; play bingo; gorge; make a mess, until YIPPEE! 3:35 has arrived!

3:35 - 3:40 Dismissal: Turn lights off; Tell students to put everything in bags;
clean up floor; go to lockers; Give clapping signal: Clap
once if you can hear me, Clap twice and look at me. "Put
your stuff in bags and clean up the floor!" Give school
quiet clap signal; "Put your stuff in bags and get ready
to go!" Turn lights off (again - supposed to stop talking)
"Put your stuff in bags and get ready to go!" Oh heck
"Car riders -leave, Busers -leave, Walkers - leave.

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