Friday, May 20, 2016

1- Paper Airplane Contest

My voice came back a little during the day! Which was good, because I needed to project my voice to keep order... but I think I talked too much and my voice is going away again...

We watched a Wishbone episode this morning as our "Challenge of the Week" prize.  Then we watched a second one in place of read-aloud since I couldn't really read aloud yet.  After that, we filled out some teacher/reading surveys to see if there's anything I should do different next year.  The majority of students didn't have anything I should change.  One question is, "write three words that describe me".  The most common ones are: reader, funny, nice, smart.

Then we did Summer Would You Rather, where I read a statement and the kids decided which option they preferred (went to separate sides of the classroom to show which one they picked). They had so much fun, they wanted to keep doing "would you rathers" instead of our paper airplane contest.  So that's what we did!  We did reading buddies, then BINGO prizes, then finished up last minute work, sang a thank-you to Melissa (the cook), then did more "would you rathers" I found online.  After lunch Miss H was my voice for the 7th graders' spelling test/book correcting.  When my kids came back we spent a half an hour cleaning out desks and then headed over to church for closing chapel!  Whew, the day went fast!

The kids all looked at their apples we stuck in jars at the beginning of the year.  They are super gross.  They all wanted to open them and smell what's inside.  I said absolutely not.  We stuck them in the dumpster.  One of the lids flipped open.  It was a metal lid and a small circle from the middle peeled up! So the lid was still attached, there was just a hole in the middle.  Gross.

We also pulled out our time capsules from the beginning of the year.  They forgot they'd even made them!  So many of them grew!!! In past years, my kiddos have grown maybe an inch or two, if that.  But a whole bunch grew five inches or more.  And their hands got bigger too! I had thought about skipping the project next year, but I think we'll keep doing it.

A few kids got me something for the last day of school. One girl gave me a pack of gum with a note that said, "You are an 'extra' good teacher."  Another brought in a poster board with a letter written and certain words replaced by candy bars.  Mmm!  One mom brought gourmet cupcakes for the teachers and cookies for my students.  A little first grader picked me some flowers.  A whole lot of lovin' going on today.

I still can't believe it's the last day of school!  I did get my grades finished; they're on the end of my desk, ready to pass out to my kiddos after the picnic/awards night.  That is starting in a few minutes, so I should wrap this up and get out there.  Joe will move to his summer home at the library tomorrow.  I've heard that Fulda kids are already asking about him, so it's about time!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

2- Play any game for WW or WR

Well, I have bronchitis.  And laryngitis.  I told my kids my voice went to Florida and left me behind.

It was an all right day considering I had to whisper the whole day! My kids mostly talked in whispers too... it was weird for them to use their normal voice.  Mr. D had trouble hearing my whisper-voice.  Thankfully, one of my kids picked up on the fact and acted as a translator!

The people from the WEM foundation presented me with my award today.  The whole school filed into my room for it. The trophy is pretty cool... it's clear and has a floating apple in the middle of it.  I have it by my computer.  Most kids guessed I'll use the $1500 check to buy books.  They're probably right.  One of the 6th graders kept telling me to go on a cruise.  Is he trying to get rid of me or something???

Miss W visited us again today.  I tried to convince her to teach the 5th and 6th graders about the Civil War, but she didn't take the bait.  We skipped read-aloud this morning (giving them time to catch up on missing/late assignments) with the intent that Miss W could read for us this afternoon.  But we didn't have enough time.  We did finish the Civil War stuff I wanted to!  Now time to get grades in... my goal is to finish them in time to pass them out at the awards potluck/carnival tomorrow night...

The other exciting thing today (besides me losing my voice) was our new playground equipment arrived! The guy came to our room first (when I had the 7th graders for class).  He thought I was deaf because I wasn't talking and because I made a gesture that looked like the sign for "deaf".  Nope, just good ol' laryngitis.  The 6th and 7th graders unloaded the pieces while I supervised.  We'll put up the equipment right before school starts.  For now, it's being stored in the gym.

Tomorrow's balloon activity (and last day of school!!!): paper airplane contest.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

3- Canoeing at Swan Lake

Today's canoe trip was AMAZING! Mr. E said the boys in my class said it was the best field trip they'd ever been on.  Woo!

...it wasn't even my idea! One of my students' parents works for the DNR and he set the whole thing up.  We got to Swan Lake shortly after 10:00 where Scott (the DNR guy/leader for this excursion) was waiting.  I thought we'd get right into the water, but he gave us a whole spiel about the Swan Lake area.  Did you know it covers over 10,000 acres? It's the largest wetland area in Minnesota.  And people can get lost in it... he covered that fact about ten times before we went out.  Stay in sight of the group; don't get separated or go off by yourself because you could get lost and we wouldn't be able to find you.  Apparently that happened to him when he took a group of high schoolers out... one canoe got lost!  Not so good for my peace of mind...

Thankfully no one got lost while we were out.  Scott gave us expert canoeing instructions and had us very orderly get into our canoes one at a time.  Then we struck out.  The sky was blue and clear, it was sunny, the birds were chirping... God couldn't have given us a better day.  No one wanted to come back in!  We paddled through reeds for a while until we reached the open part of the lake.  We saw/heard tons of birds and also saw a ton of muskrat houses.  After making it back to shore, we put all our canoeing equipment away. The kids were disappointed we didn't get to eat our sack lunches at Swan Lake (I didn't think there'd be a good place to eat, plus I didn't want us to litter).

There was a little trail that lead to an overlook of Swan Lake, so we followed it... and halfway through, we found out it was heavy with ticks.  Gross!  That is one thing that makes me squeamish... ticks!  After getting back to the parking lot, I flicked three ticks off my jeans.  I'm pretty sure 90% of the class found at least one (if not more) crawling on them.  Yuck!!!  Thankfully, ticks don't bite right away.  They crawl around for about 10 hours or so, so there's time to pick them off before they bite and transmit disease.

I think I'm losing my voice.  I could talk this morning, but as the day went on, it's gotten worse.  I'm still hacking up gunk when I cough, so I think my cold is not actually a cold... probably bronchitis or something.  So in to the doctor I go.  My usual doctor is full-up this week, so I'm doing the walk-in clinic thing.  Hopefully they can get me in quick since I have bible study tonight!

Tomorrow's balloon activity: play whatever game you want for word work or work on writing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

4- Caswell Softball Day

Play softball all day! The weather is sunny and mild... shouldn't be too warm or too cold.  Maybe a tad windy.  I'm giving two kids rides to the field, but their parents will give them rides home.

Sand volleyball has started up in Courtland. I didn't make it last week since I was sick... tonight we have a double header: 6:45 and 8:00.  Good thing I got all my correcting done last night!  Hopefully the weather stays warm-ish so I don't freeze!

Tomorrow's balloon activity: Canoe Trip to Swan Lake!

Monday, May 16, 2016

5- Use Beanbags All Day

Track and Field was cancelled on Friday with too late notice for grades 1-4 to have school, so everyone had the day off! It's too bad the event was cancelled; but with the end of the school year on Friday, it's just too hard to reschedule.

You can definitely tell it's the end of the year... my kids were off the wall today!!! So hard to settle! And we still have so much to do before the end of the year.  Although, we did cross a lot off that list today.  One of the 5th graders came in from PE beaming, "Miss H, I got so much done today! It's the last Monday of school, we're done with the mile, and with the last science test. Plus tomorrow we have Caswell."  Technically, that means we only have three days of school left.  I'm trying to get everything graded by Thursday so I can maybe hand out report cards that night at the potluck/carnival.  ...I don't think Mr. E will have math grades for me though, so maybe it won't happen.

Tomorrow's activity: Caswell Softball Day. We start with a round robin at 9:00, then get ranked and do a tournament starting at noon.  Good thing the weather will be nice!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

7- Eat Lunch Outside

We took a rain check on this activity.  It wasn't actually raining, but it wasn't warm or sunny.  Plus the wind made everyone want to stay inside.  So it was unanimously decided to skip it today with the hopes that next week will have better "eating outside" weather.

I woke up feeling a lot better.  A good night's sleep will do that for a person! Still have a cough and some chest congestion, but overall I have way more energy than I've had all week.

Can you believe next week is the last week of school??? Track and Field Day is tomorrow.  The weather sounds iffy, but I'm skipping so I can see Ivy graduate.  Mr. and Mrs. E are also skipping so they can make it out to Michigan for their youngest son's graduation tomorrow.  If track and field were cancelled, we are supposed to have school.  But with three teachers gone, it is impossible to find subs for all of us.  Mr. E called the school board about our options and they said in the event that it does rain, 1-4th grade will have school and 5-7th will not.  Not exactly fair, but there really isn't another option.

I'm just gonna pray for good weather... I know at least one teacher who will not be happy to be stuck in school teaching the wild children, which is only made worse by the fact that Mr. and Mrs. E and I get to be gallivanting around and don't even have to plan for subs.  I mentioned my concern to Mr. E and he said the teacher will have to suck it up; the school board said the rest of the grades have to have school.  And if we didn't have graduations to go to, we'd have to come in and teach too.  So lets all pray for good weather so hard feelings can be avoided!

Tomorrow's activity: recess all day (so I suppose even if T & F were cancelled, we could still have recess all day... might get a little boring... but we could do it!)

Monday's activity: use a beanbag all day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

8- Visit Miss H's Farm

Drippy weather all day.  About half the class brought umbrellas.  No one remembered spare clothes, although they probably would've been helpful.  Still, everyone had fun!

Highlights of the farm were the peacocks, the kittens in the haymow, swinging on the rope in the haymow (they could've done that for another hour if I'd let them), and bale tag in the rain.  Yes, they did play bale tag, and yes, they got completely soaked in the process.  I felt kind of bad we had to leave so soon after finding the bales; we had to get to End-O-Line around 11:30 to eat lunch so our 12:00 tour could start on time.  Most of their time at the bales was spent trying to get everyone on top of the bales.

Everyone made a pit stop at the basement sink to wash up before leaving.  The girls in my car said they were cold and wet and hungry and just wanted to go back to school.  But once they got to EOL, they got a little more excited.  The majority of the class thought the railroad park was neat!  We found a painted turtle and some frogs/toads and a muskrat.  Somehow after lunch they gained a TON of energy and zoomed around during the tour.  Our tour guide was more like a pilot than an information contributor; he didn't give a spiel in each building, instead let the kids look around and said they could ask him questions if they had any.  Far different tour from the ones we gave when I worked there! But it was probably better that way for my rambunctious kids.

Funniest moment of the day: while eating lunch at EOL, one of the chaperones realized that the guy leading us around the farm was my dad... she thought he was my brother!

Tomorrow's balloon activity: eat lunch outside.