As the building coordinator for the Illinois Young Authors competition, I have the privilege of promoting this writing contest, recruiting a panel of judges, and reading a wide variety of amazing stories written by students at my school. We had seventeen submissions this year, but I could only select five of them to participate in our district celebration. Of those five, one was selected as the overall building winner, who will get the opportunity to attend the Illinois Young Authors Conference in May. (more…)
We don’t have very many half-days of school these days. When I was younger, it seemed like it happened on a regular basis. As a district, we have monthly staff inservice meetings that go all day for the elementary grades, but the middle school has half-days. But at the grade schools? We just don’t do them that often.
Today, though, was a half-day. The students arrived at 8:10, classes started at 8:15, and then they were dismissed at 12:45, which was an hour after lunch for the primary grades and fifteen minutes after lunch for the intermediate grades. Despite having a much shorter day, we had a very busy day!
We started the day reviewing our week’s spelling/vocabulary words (all with suffixes -ful, -ness, and/or -less. Then we had our weekly spelling test. As soon as the spelling test was done, it was time for our monthly Coyote College assembly. The “Duct Tape Divas” shared a video about the upcoming students-vs-teachers kickball game at the end of the month, and the second grade classes did a fantastic dance that they learned with our music/dance/drama teacher.
Following the assembly, the students took a math test on equivalent fractions and comparing fractions. We have been working on these skills for a couple of weeks now, and I am glad that the class as a whole is making progress. After the test, we watched a science video about weather and climate, and then I read a few sections of Wonder until lunch. Unfortunately, we had to leave off at one of the saddest parts of the entire story, which is when the Pullmans’ dog, Daisy, dies.I felt really bad stopping at that point, but it was time for lunch.
The day ended with the students gathering their mail, cleaning up the room, and getting their things. At least, the day ended for the students. I, along with the other staff in the building, had an afternoon of inservice training on the Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching. I’ve been learning about the Danielson Framework for about a year now, but it was nice to sit down with my colleagues and discuss the domains and share ideas about what they look like in practice.
It was a wonderful day with quite a bit of work done by both students and teachers! Have a wonderful weekend!
I love the Battle of the Books. It is a great program that gets students in third, fourth, and fifth grade to read a set of 30 award-winning books written for young people. The students work in teams of eight to read all 30 books and then they compete to answer trivia questions related to the books. Several of the books are selections that are on my To Read list, including Because of Mr. Terupt, Out Of My Mind, and The Name Of This Book Is Secret. There is also Love That Dog, which I read for the first time a few weeks ago when a friend purchased it for me as a gift. I don’t typically care for poetry as a genre (I’m not really sure why), but I love Love That Dog. (more…)