Friday, March 29, 2013

Five for Friday

Do you know how excited I am about not hearing my last name for over a week? Super excited!!!! More excited than I've been in a very long time. Why will I not be hearing "Ms. Cade" for a week? Because SPRING BREAK is finally here. And I'm so excited. No alarm clocks, no fifth grade attitudes, no lessons to prepare, no parent phone calls. The best part is that I have no plans for next week, which means sleeping as long as I want to, staying in my pjs all day if I choose to, watching some trashy tv talk shows, ("You are NOT the father!"), and relaxing. I'm really not sure about how I will spend my week of freedom, but whatever I do I know I will enjoy it.

Well, I guess I'll start my spring break by reviewing my week with Doodlebug's weekly linky party Five for Friday. This was a pretty good week with lots of highlights so its hard to choose, but here we go.

1. Behavior
I have the class this year that every adult in my building knows about. That's right the class with the most behavior issues. While I love every one of my students, this year has been a struggle. I have tried everything in my power to fix the numerous behavior issues, but nothing has worked long term. I just have a room full of boys who make a lot of bad choices. Luckily, my girls are the complete opposite. (For the most part) They are so sweet and loving. They have definitely been my saving grace this year. Well, the behavior in my class was amazing this week. (with the exception of 2 boys). Usually when there is a full moon behavior gets worse, but I guess the full moon had the opposite effect on my class this week. Or maybe it was our behavior inventive program. Or maybe it was the looming spring break that had them behaving. Whatever it was, I will just take the time to be appreciative and hope this behavior continues after spring break.

2. Fifth Grade Olympics
It's spring and kids always start getting restless and excited for summer. Because of this, my assistant principal encouraged the fifth grade team to develop some type of behavior incentive to encourage appropriate behavior for the rest of the school year. Therefore, the Fifth Grade Olympics was born.

This is how it works. Each of the five fifth grade classes is a team. Each class will compete against each other in a series of events. The chart below will be kept in the fifth grade hall to track how well each class does in each event.

The catch is that individuals can only participate if they have appropriate behavior. Our first event was about 3 weeks ago. We played tug of war. Each class competed in a match against all the other classes. (My class only won one match, but they had fun, which is what's most important.)
The second event occured on Wednesday in the form of three legged races. One pair from each class competed in each heat. As they crossed the finish line, they were given points. Five points for first place and one point for last. After all the heats, points were totalled and places announced. Two teams tied for third place, two teams tied for second, and one winning team. Unfortunately, my class was third overall and we needed to have a conversation about sportsmanship because my scholars hate losing.

The good thing is that out of the 102 students only 5 of them needed to sit out because of behavior. (3 of them were from my class). But pretty good odds for the entire grade level.

3. Living Wax Museum
After we spent the last 6 weeks researching and writing an essay about an influential African American, it was time to invite the school to the Second Annual Fifth Grade Wax Museum on Thursday. All the fifth grade students were asked to portray the African American that they researched and prepare a brief speech to explain who they were and why they were influential. Each student created a prop and dressed similar to their subject. Once inside the "wax museum" they became wax and had to stay frozen. When a guest stopped in front of them, they had to recite your prepared speech. They did an amazing job. They were so proud of themselves. All students and staff members were invited to the wax museum and they enjoyed learning about the various historical figures.

Here are a couple of figures from my class.

Madame C.J. Walker - This student created the apron and place hair care products in it. She also brought in the doll to pretend like she was doing her hair. She also brought in money because she was the first African American self made millionaire.

Joe Louis - This student made a title belt to wear out of construction paper. Great creativity!!

After the wax museum, my scholars were extremely thirsty and exhausted. They kind of passed out in the hall as we were waiting for dismissal.

The wax museum was a huge success. I can't wait until we hold the wax museum next year!

4. Intent forms
Every year around this time we are asked to turn in intent forms explaining our plans for next year. I'll definitely be at the same school next year, but I think it is time for a change, so I asked to be moved to a different grade level. I'm currently in fifth grade, but I'd love to move back down to second or third grade. I loved teaching those grades. We were also asked if we would be interested in team teaching. That has been something that I have been interested in trying for years. So hopefully, I'll be team teaching in second or third grade next year. Fingers crossed!!

5. Teacher Workday
I love teacher workdays. Yesterday was the last day of the quarter, so today we had a teacher workday. Although I haven't completed everything on my to do list, I am happy I had the time to work in my classroom today.

Time for Spring Break!! I can't wait to get some much needed sleep.

Don't forget to stop by and link up to Doodlebug's linky party.

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