Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And it's now Spring Break...

Once again I am behind on my blogging but of course I have the best excuse, report card writing!  Report card writing is probably what teachers hate most!  And I am no exception but they are basically done so I can have a report card free spring break! 

A year and a half ago when I went back to the classroom the first set was pure torture as the new version of Silhouette and my old Mac seemed incompatible so that I ended up using Word and finding it tortuous work.  Unlike high schools, there are no simple report card comments to hit for elementary teachers.  Now at least I have my criteria basically set so that makes life easier but never simple. 

The other hard part is trying to teach and then having to turn your head to report card writing!  I notice I seem to get significantly crabbier.  Oh well!!! 

This week was as fast and furious as they come.  Thursday Division One and Two had a great couple of hours with scientists from Cardiome who did an amazing job really showing the students how science relates to every day life and all the career possibilities as well.  There were hands on workshops and demonstrations, a perfect introduction to our Chemistry unit.  The day culminated in getting to play basketball with some of the UBC basketball team.   

Then the class presented their Ancient Greek projects to their classmates, Ms. Wong, and myself.  Once again they did a great job, surpassing their Egyptian projects and they did it all in a couple of weeks (half the time they had for the Egyptian projects.  Of course, we ran out of time and had to finish  off the presentations the next morning. 

We also had another great round of lit circles on Friday.  My class loves reading and discussing their novels and do a very credible job.  

Then they were able to present their Greek projects to several other classes.  I hope this will inspire our younger students!  I loved it when one of our very lively grade two students exclaimed wide eyed, “Your class is wonderful, Ms. Kezar!”  In addition to models and posters, almost all students had slide shows, incorporated video clips, and made use of Glogster.  Our next step is to incorporate Prezi (not that I know how to use Prezi)… 

The technology in school can again be a frustration.  We ended up using my Mac Pro  when we presented to our own class, as students at home have better, more up to date equipment than we have at school.   

The great thing about project-based learning is that students are so engrossed in what they are doing they hardly realize it is work.   In every case students were ready to present so that all deadlines were met.  I may have to nag them about other homework but not about their projects. 

After the presentations, there was a lunch time meeting of our Me To We Club that most of my class is involved in.   After students told about their project to build a school in India on a Punjabi language radio station, they received enough money to complete the project.  This was announced at the meeting so that was really exciting for the kids and their teacher sponsors.  

 Then we had a pizza party to thank our Peer Helpers and Hall Monitors for their good work around the school.  I am really not sure how my class managed PE class.  Fortunately it was badminton so it wasn’t too strenuous an activity.  And I sailed away to Salt Spring thinking that I don’t feel quite ready to retire.

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