Friday, January 9, 2015

Year 5: Week 17 – Weird

This was a weird week.

The first week back from winter break is a unique challenge. My younger students as a group have forgotten how to act a students. This means that I have to slow down and spend time reinforcing concepts like “waiting to be called on,” and no, I’m not being sarcastic.

Some of my students, especially my older ones seem to enjoy being back in the swing of things. Middle school kids sometimes need the structure of school to provide them with much needed mental challenges that they often do not provide themselves outside of the context of the school.

I was very deliberate to be overly structured this week with my lesson, which my 3rd and 5th graders fought while my middle schools really embraced.

Part of the weirdness of this week had to do with the fact that for the second winter in a row we have temperatures that were so cold that schools cancelled classes. Most of the schools in the county including the Chicago Public School (whom we usually line up with when it comes to days off) cancelled school on Wednesday and Thursday. Administrators felt that the sub-zero wind-chill was a health hazard for students walking to school or waiting for school busses. Also, there is the issue of students being outside during emergency evacuations.

My school didn’t have any days off this week. This resulting in some minor complaints, but mostly jokes among the faculty and some whining amongst the students but for the most part our community embraced being at school even if other people were at home.

The biggest issue with the weather was indoor recess. If it’s too cold to have kids stand at bus stops then it’s too cold for students to go outside for recess. Young kids need to get outside for recess. They need to move around, socialize, and act silly. When they can’t go outside we try to let them play around inside in the classrooms but its not the same. I can always tell, my third graders had indoor recess. They seem unsettled like they are confused about something but they don’t know why.

We got through the cold and we got back into the swing of things. There are grades and comments that I need to jump into, my band kids have a concert coming up and my little kids are getting recorders soon. The excitement about this instrument is really cute and I really look forward to getting them going on what for many of them is their first instrument.

I kind of like weeks that feel “weird.” Yeah, it’s a challenge, but it’s also a lot of fun. I guess this makes sense because I'm pretty weird, I mean, I’m actually excited about giving a classroom full of third graders plastic recorders.

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