Mr. Kay's Blog

The day to day happenings of a 6th grade classroom teacher

  • In The Sixth Grade We Read

    Every week I take in how many pages each student has read. Below is the "Wall Of Fame", the top readers for the week, and "The 200+ Club", all the students who have read more than 200 pages in a week. Congratulations to all those mentioned!
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Archive for September, 2011

and everything is coming up roses coriander

Posted by willkay on September 30, 2011

The coriander (cilantro) is growing! I’m excited about this because my avocado seeds have failed me – although Castelina is trying her up most to split and grow, the other two seem to have given up totally. But, the coriander is growing!

Well, that was a week. Five days ago, I was sat here at the dining room table, staring at a bunch of maths exams, wondering where it had all gone wrong. Today, I’m sat at the same table, my mark book beside me, with a very happy grin on my face. From the ashes of the maths exam had risen the phoenix of success. The Spanish exam, the English exam, the Science exam, the History exam – in each case there were a healthy number of tens, and over half the class achieving a 9.0 or more. This is more like the sixth grade. This is more like being a sixth grade teacher. The exams have shown real effort, and a real desire to learn the facts. Today I offered not to do a Geography review, and was met with a resounding NO! These are students that want to achieve, want to do well. Monday was a blip, part of the learning curve. I know it’s silly to say it, but I’m looking forward to marking Monday’s Geography exam – but I am really looking forward to marking the maths exam. That’s the maths exam on 24th October!

The morning started with a staff meeting. We discussed the Halloween celebrations – the theme is FOOD! The teachers are all expected to turn up in costumes that depict food. Hmmmm, wondering how to make a giant taco costume now. Might have to borrow Aleksei’s piñata. We discussed the Christmas Extraordinary Assembly. Hmmm, it appears that I have to choreograph the dance. That’s going to be interesting. And then we wrote nice things about each other.

Now, it is going to be difficult to describe the rest of the day, because I didn’t see the sixth grade to teach them, until 2pm. Let me explain. We got into the classroom at 9:15. Miss Claudia didn’t want to wait until after recess, before they sat the History exam. So, I agreed to invigilate the exam. The class asked for some extra time to study, I gave them 15 minutes, and then they sat the exam. At 10am they went to art class. I visited the art class at 10:30 to take pictures.

I then left. At 11am I went back, to pick up my group to discover that they were all sat in a circle telling stories. The class asked if they could stay and continue telling their stories, and Miss Lilian (no, not that one) was happy for them to stay. And they never came back…

After recess there was a Spanish lesson. And then, well then Professor Marvin had the music lesson that the class missed on Wednesday. And so, I only got to see the class for half an hour! We managed to cover most of the Geography we have studied this month. Let’s hope enough sank in before Monday’s exam.

Homework:

  • Geography: exam Monday
  • Read: bring a book into school
  • Reading Log: numbers for The Wall of Fame
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Posted in art, geography | 7 Comments »

are you ready for the next assembly?

Posted by willkay on September 30, 2011

I don’t know about you, but I think this is brilliant! I’m fairly sure that Diego L.P. has got it covered, but what about the rest of you? Do you fancy doing this song/dance at the next assembly?

No? It looks easy enough. Over to you.

Posted in assembly, youtube | 5 Comments »

now we’re cooking with gas

Posted by willkay on September 29, 2011

Wednesday’s English exam was a total success. Two students scored 10, another twelve students got more than 9.0. In other words, fourteen out of twenty students managed to score over 9.0. I would call that fairly successful. I am also in the middle of marking the Science exams. So far there have already been two scores of 10, a 9.8, and two scores of 9.6. However, the thing that is most impressive? You can see the hard work that has gone into the studying. Whereas, in the maths exam, there was a certain amount of sloppiness and careless mistakes, now I can see the effort that the students have put into this exam. The answers demonstrate a learning of the topics, and an understanding of the subject. Facts have been reproduced perfectly, and where it is an open ended question, the students have written answers that show they know (and understand) what they are writing about. This is sixth grade work. This is what the students are capable of doing. This is why I was so disappointed on Tuesday. I felt that the students had let themselves down, not performed as well as they could. Suddenly, I see students with their books in the playground before morning line up, testing each other, helping each other learn. Now I get the feeling that students are aiming high, they are trying to get 10. At one point, in today’s exam, a student walked up to my desk to hand in his exam, and as usual I asked, “Are you sure?” And then, unusually, the student replied, “No.” He took his paper back, went and sat down again, and worked for another five minutes on hos exam. This is the correct attitude. The desire to get a 10, to achieve perfection. This is what the sixth grade should be like. I am a happy man.

There was a computing lesson. There was a Science exam. We went through yesterday’s English exam. We had a maths lesson. There was a review for tomorrow’s History exam. There was a PE lesson. We read from the English book. A good day all round I’d say. Now I’ve got to get on and finish marking these Science exams – if you’ll excuse me.
Homework:

  • History: exam tomorrow
  • Read: bring a book into school
  • Late Entry: school starts at 8:45am

Posted in computer class, english, exams, laptops, maths, science | 2 Comments »

bouncebackability

Posted by willkay on September 28, 2011

According to that great philosopher, Scarlett O’Hara: Tomorrow’s another day. Except, of course, tomorrow ends up being today. But, one of the (many) joys of teaching is that every day gives you a chance to start again – especially during exam week. A new day, a new exam. Plus, the added bonus, a new cover page for the new month, a new start. Every student has a grade of 10 for every subject, the hard work starts here in maintaining that through the whole month. And that is what we can do. Working together, we can learn, we can have fun, and we can achieve. It will get better. It will always get better.

Today was “International Play Your Bagpipes At Work Day”, but you knew that didn’t you? Of course you knew that, because someone brought their bagpipes into work and played them? Unfortunately, I don’t have a set of bagpipes. However, my friend (I have at least one) Donna Green is a bagpipe player, and she was very adamant that bagpipes should be played at people’s places of work. Not wanting to upset Donna (I have very few friends), and knowing that she is [stereotyping comment coming up] a feisty Scots lass, I decided that I would make sure that the students would get to hear some bagpipes today. So, on her recommendation we watched this video of a concert that she was at:

It’s the same song/tune/piece of music, but this time it is played by The Red Hot Chili Pipers [did you see what they did there?]. But really, can you get enough bagpipes in your life?

You’re welcome!

English exam first. No, delete that. Morning line up first. Actually, delete that. Conversation with Miss Lilian first. It’s always great to see Miss Lilian. She is really happy and enjoying life, and she gets to see everything from a more relaxed perspective. We did the “congratulations” thing [oh, it’s ok, we can talk about it now, I told asked Miss Monica that if I could get married on November 17th and she said: “YES!”], and then we talked about yesterday’s blog entry. Just because she is retired, doesn’t mean that she has lost any interest in the school, and she is still worried that everything is going wonderfully for the students. However, once I’d finished talking to Miss Lilian, I was late for morning line-up. As usual I quickly counted heads; 9 girls 12 boys. Wait, what? 12 boys! But that’s impossible, Arturo isn’t back until tomorro….Arturo is back! Back and doing the stretching exercis…..NOOOOOOOOOOOO! That was stopped pretty quickly. Then, then we did the English exam. I’d love to tell you that it went really well, however – I have no idea! Although many teachers turned up today (eventually), my non-contact time was reduced to zero. I spent some time discussing the geography exam (Miss Esther made me take the question about Sheffield off the exam – and I am still upset about that!), and then I had a talk with 6B about their targets for the upcoming year. After recess, I spent (way too much) time getting the geography exam through to Miss Alma (and there was still a spelling mistake in it…it appears that name is not spelt mane). And then I had to cover the music lesson because the music teacher wasn’t in. If only I had known that earlier, I wouldn’t have used up my bagpipe videos. So, I haven’t marked an English exam yet, so I can’t tell you how well/badly they went.

After the English exam, review for the science exam. I promised the students I would say this, so I will. [This is the moment that you call your mum/dad over to the computer and make them read this bit – or at least translate it.] Everything in the exam is in their notebooks, it isn’t in the fat book. The textbook is luvverly, wonderful, however what we do is read it, and then extract the most important bits – which we then write down in our notebooks. Everything you need to know for the exam is written in the notebook.

Then there was some time for maths – whoot. Fractions are my favourite. Yes, I know that everyone else hates dislikes fractions, but I love them. So, we spent some time discussing pieces of pie and pieces of cake and pieces of pizza. Because, when you go to teacher training college they tell you that the only way to teach fractions is by mentioning pie/cake/pizza! And then we got on to another, totally irrelevant discussion, that ended up with me explaining why I gave up smoking 21 years ago, and why some drugs are legal and why others are illegal. Which is, obviously, where you would end up when discussing fractions.

The day ended with me in Professor Ricardo’s classroom discussing the maths lessons for the fifth grade. I suppose it would be a bad thing to say in normal situations, but we ended up talking about maths and teaching for ages, and I didn’t get home until very late. But, you know, it is probably a good thing that I like talking about maths and teaching. Anyway, once I got home, it was nice to see that maria had received emails from students asking for books. She has tried her best. Some students are asking for books that aren’t in ebook form, so she’d quite like it if students asked for a “genre” rather than a specific book. But, it is good to see the whole in motion.
Homework:

  • Science: exam tomorrow
  • Read: bring a book into school
  • Laptop Computer: charged

Posted in english, exams, maths, morning line up, science, special event | 8 Comments »

black tuesday

Posted by willkay on September 27, 2011

Sometimes it is hard to get certain things across to students. The fact is, I want them to do well, I want them to succeed, I want them to achieve their full potential. Sometimes, when I look grumpy or people think I’m cross, it is because I am unhappy. I’m unhappy because I don’t believe that the students have achieved everything they are capable of doing. Yesterday was the maths exam. Yesterday was not a day when every student did well, when every student succeeded, when every student achieved their full potential.

The sixth grade is probably the best time of your life at school. You are top of the school, you are the biggest/brightest/best of all the students, and you are still young enough to enjoy going to school. My job is to make sixth grade the best year at BAI. The plan is that, in years to come, when you hold reunions, everyone sits around and remembers the year when they were in sixth grade! That’s my job. But, being the best needs work. It needs attitude. To be the best you have to “walk the walk, not just talk the talk“. Targets need to be set. Every exam, a sixth grade student should be aiming for a 10. No compromise. As a teacher, I give the students all the information – most times I tell them exactly what questions are going to be on the paper. Once a student knows what is required, they should be working towards their target, a 10. But achieving that target does require work, hard work. Passing exams, getting good grades cannot be done just because of the teacher, it needs effort from the student. They need to have self-motivation, self-determination, self-reliance. They need to want to achieve the best results, they need to be determined to get them, they need to rely on their own abilities. Because, let’s be honest here, in January when they sit their entrance exams to Junior High, the only person they can rely on is themselves.

And so, I’m disappointed. Normally after an exam I like to announce how many students got 10, how many students got over 9.0. Normally, I like to rejoice in their achievements. This time, however, we will just pull a veil over the results. We will accept that everything didn’t go as planned. That maybe, just being in the sixth grade doesn’t mean we can “sit back and let it happen“. And there are no excuses. I can pull up fifth grade exams that had addition/subtraction/multiplication of decimals questions in them. There hasn’t been a huuuuge leap from fifth grade to sixth grade. It’s still the same subject, it’s still pretty much the same questions. And, to be even more honest? On Friday I told the class every. single. question. What they chose to do with that information is why today was not a great day.

But tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow there is an English exam. New target. Thursday is the Science exam. New target. Monday is the Geography exam. New Target. And then, near the end of October, there will be another maths exam. New target. It will get better. I know it will get better. It is my job to make sure that the students who leave my care, at the end of the year, are fully prepared for Junior High. It will happen because I will do my job. It’ll be a lot easier if the students took a more active role in achieving it.

Moving on.

Apologies to Katherine! Unfortunately my blog is blocked at school. It appears that it is deemed as having “unsuitable content” for the students. This means that I cannot get to read my blog, nor write my blog in school. The reading bit I don’t mind, however the not being able to write it is a problem. Because of that problem, I wrote the names of The 200+ Club down on a piece of paper, carried the piece of paper home, typed up my blog yesterday, and left Katherine’s name off the list. Eek! I’m sorry. It is now corrected (couldn’t correct it at school) and it should be noted that there are 12 (TWELVE) students who have read more than 200 pages! Brilliant.

Thanks to maria. She has decided that Calibre (at calibre-ebook.com) is the best reader to use. All the students have to do is, go to the link, download the reader, and then send maria an email ( at maria.rocio [@] gmail.com – just remove the spaces and the square brackets [ ] ). Ask her for a book, or tell her the type of book you like – the author, the genre. She will do her up most to pull a book out of her library, and send you a copy. I will accept no excuses for not reading! Your laptop can now become your Kindle. True, not as good as my Kindle, but you can still read in bed! [As I am sat here tying this, maria has just received her first email, from Diana. Very exciting.]

Good news! I have booked my wedding. Don’t tell the school yet, because I haven’t asked permission, however I have now booked the whole thing for 17th November. I am doing my happy dance.
Homework:

  • English: exam tomorrow
  • Read: bring a book into school

Posted in english, exams, maths | 6 Comments »

STOP! Hammer time!

Posted by willkay on September 26, 2011

Before you go download the Kindle app – don’t. The wonderful maria has now taken this on board and will do some research. It appears that you might need an Amazon account to download the Kindle app, and I really don’t want that responsibility on my hands. So, no matter what was said in class, please don’t download the Kindle app. Wait. maria will find the best reading app that she can, we will all get that on to our laptops, and then “maria’s library” will be open for books!

This is going to be very much a hit and run blog post. There were four (FOUR) teachers away today, which meant that I was teaching the whole day through. I also have a private lesson at 4pm and another lesson at 5:30pm. This means that I won’t be free to eat until 7pm. I then have to mark the maths exam. This leaves me with twenty minutes to squeeze in the day’s events.

We started with an assembly, and then straight into the maths exam. I can’t tell you how anyone did, because I haven’t even looked at them yet, never mind start marking them. However, no one cried – which is always a good sign. Of course, there might still be time for tears tomorrow! The maths exam was followed by the auditions for the Christmas Assembly.

Then it was time to collect in The Reading Logs and total up the amount of pages read. So without further ado:

THE WALL OF FAME

  • 630 pages: Gerry

  • 575 pages: Diana

  • 480 pages: Andrea

  • 475 pages: Azereth

  • 376 pages: Hector

  • 375 pages: Manuel

  • 340 pages: Diego L.P.

Take another look at that list! There are seven (SEVEN) students who have read more than 299 in a single week. Well done to those students. And, with four other students also in The 200+ Club, that means that eleven out of twenty students read more than 200 pages – which is excellent!

After the joy and happiness of the Reading Logs, there was more joy and happiness as we did a spelling quiz. With no history lesson, we then tried to do a very complicated spelling list that mixed up plurals and possessives. What makes the spelling list even harder is that we don’t study possessives in Grammar until 2012. Hmmm, bad mistake there Mr, Englishbookwriter.

After recess I got to spend an hour with 3B. We read a story about penguins! Which was nice, because I really like penguins. Back in the classroom, we struggled a little more with plurals and possessives, and then we watched another episode of BBC Planet Earth.

Right, I have to get this published, change The Wall of Fame and The 200+ Club, and prepare myself to teach grade 8 maths! Whoot!
Homework:

  • Spanish: exam tomorrow
  • Read: bring a book into school

Posted in exams, maths, spelling, wall of fame | 3 Comments »

swing low, sweet chariot

Posted by willkay on September 25, 2011

England beat Romania yesterday 67-3. This means that they are one game away from qualifying for the knock out stages of The World Cup.

Posted in stuff | 1 Comment »

running late

Posted by willkay on September 23, 2011

Sorry, haven’t been able to get to a keyboard and sit down to write today’s blog until now. You know how it is: it’s Friday, you jump in the car, you intend to head home, just a quick stop at the shops, but first a visit to the bank to get some money, then the shops, then you have to pack the fridge, then you realise you’ve forgotten something, then there are friends to talk to, stuff to do, and it’s Friday – so no real pressure to produce a blog post. Just to make up for the lateness I’ll share a video I showed the class today. It’s one of my favourite because in a battle between lions, a crocodile, and some wildebeest, you have a fixed idea of who might win. In fact, surprisingly, it’s the wildebeest! And how do the wildebeest manage to save a young calf from the clutches of a pride of lions and a crocodile? Unity!

I spoke at morning line up. It didn’t go as well as I planned it in my head. In my head it sounded brilliant, it definitely used the idea that Rugby Union was a good example of unity. Unfortunately, I think it just turned into an argument between me and Miss Esther over who was going to win the second semi-final. Actually, it wasn’t an argument, because an argument implies that both people were stating a point of view from a position of strength. In this case, one of us was stating a true fact (that England would win), whilst the other was mumbling a hopeful dream (Ireland would make the semi-final).

Next week is exam week. Monday is the maths exam. This is a frightening moment for the students and for the teacher, me! The first set of exams are worrying for the students because they are new – how does this teacher write exams? Will they be easy or hard? Which topics will occur in the exams? However, exams are also worrying for teachers. This is the way we get feed back as to how successful we’ve been doing our jobs. Obviously, I go home every night thinking I’ve done a good job. True, there are some nights that I question what I’ve actually achieved, but most nights I can normally tick most of the targets that I have set. However, what happens if everyone fails the exam? What happens if no one has learnt anything? Aaaaarrrrghhhhhhh! Exams are scary for teachers.

The morning was spent reviewing the maths that we have covered this month. For a teacher this was very scary. Normally there is the odd moment when students don’t remember exactly how to do an operation or answer a question, but today I was confronted with totally bemused and confused faces. At times I felt the need to recheck the attendance register, just to see if students hadn’t been in school for the days that I had taught certain topics. Two hours. It took two hours until everyone was happy – students and teacher. Hopefully, Monday will be a good day. Good for the students because they will be able to demonstrate their abilities, good for the teacher because he will see that he has been able to teach something!

And that was about it for the day. Oh, there was some geography done – we managed to name 18 countries in Western Europe. We handed in book reports – well, at least 15 of the students did. We watched an episode of BBC Planet Earth. We also got a visit from Miss Lilian. She’d be in school, playing basketball with some students and needing a break from that, sought sanctuary in the sixth grade. Everyone was interested in her new role as a student, learning about anatomy and massage – but a bit disappointed that her lectures are on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the days 6A have PE. I think the students were keen to take on Miss Lilian on the other side of a volleyball net!

Now it is late on Friday evening. I’ve promised to sit down and watch “Submarine” with maria and her daughter, Danny. Tomorrow I have to go shopping for birthday presents with Nikos. Sunday there’s a volleyball tournament in Ensenada. And at some point I have to fit in watching six rugby matches (England play Romania at 11pm on Friday night), and I have to mark all the book reports. So, I’ll sign off now. G’night, have a good weekend.

Homework:

  • Maths: Exam on Monday
  • Read: 20 minutes. [Friday night – English. Saturday/Sunday – Spanish]
  • Reading Log: in on Monday. Signed and filled in.
  • Book: Bring a book in to school so yo have something to do *if* you finish the exam.

Posted in exams, geography, maths, morning line up | 1 Comment »

she said yes

Posted by willkay on September 22, 2011

Yesterday I mentioned that there was a long story about how W*dn*sd*y became W*dnesd*y.

I was born in Sheffield, The Steel City, in Yorkshire, England. Sheffield has two professional football clubs, Sheffield United and the other one, Sheffield W*dn*sd*y. I’m a Blade. I support Sheffield United. And, because this is how it works in supporting football teams, therefore I really, really, really don’t like Sheffield W*dn*sd*y. How much don’t I like them? I have difficulty typing their name! I also have a lot of problems with the day. W*dn*sd*y was always a day that I couldn’t get my head round.

maria found me through my blog. She was reading an article in The NY Times which pointed her to one blog, which pointed her to another blog, which pointed her to mine. I was in England, she was in Mexico. She read my blog, she commented, we started emailing, she came over to England. We met, for the very first time, on Sunday 18th September 2005. Six years ago. On the W*dn*sd*y we ended up in Covent Garden, in London. I don’t know if you know Covent Garden, but there is an underground area (still open to the daylight), where musicians perform (it’s right next to The Royal Opera House). We spent several hours, sat at a table, talking and listening to the music. At one point, a quartet played Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major. It was during this that I realised that I was going to follow her back to Mexico. It was the best W*dn*sd*y I had ever had. And so, to thank maria for helping me to like a W*dn*sd*y, and in celebration of that day, I offered her the chance to put one of the vowels back into that day of the week. She chose the middle “e”, and that’s why I now write the day as W*dnesd*y.

At the end of the week, maria went back to Mexico and I prepared to follow her. Three months later, 17th November, I landed in San Diego. From there, I crossed into Mexico for the first time. I was home.

Now, the reason I am telling you all this, rather than spending time telling you how my day at school has gone, is because in the last two hours certain things have been sorted out, agreed upon, put into motion – and most of them have little to do with what happened at school today. Except for one moment. That moment suddenly changed the whole day, the whole month, the whole year.

I started the day with *not* talking at morning line up. Miss Esther decided she wanted to talk, and who am I to argue with Miss Esther? I then left the sixth grade with Miss Yolanda, for the first computer lesson of the year (with laptops!), while I went to a meeting with parents. I should point out at this moment that I am always happy to meet with parents. I realise that there can be a “language barrier” because of my failure to speak Spanish, but BAI have always been very good at providing translators, and I always feel happy after meetings that the parents and I have understood each other totally and we are on “the same page“. The maths lesson was a bit of a roller coaster – there were high moments and low moments. Again, the students are having difficulty seeing “big picture”. Although they have the “tools” to answer questions, once they face a question that is wordy they start to block it, rather than opening up and rising to the challenge.

After maths, we went through the English homework. Once that was explained and understood, we moved on to Geography. Having finished studying the UK, we are know looking at the countries of Western Europe. This is a huge subject, however we did manage to squeeze in the important facts: Sweden is responsible for Volvo, ABBA, and IKEA. ‘Nuff said!

After recess, I had a meeting with Miss Monica. Obviously, this is not the place to recount the details of a meeting, and so I am not going to tell you what happened or what was said. Suffice to say, I was stunned at the school’s support and kindness.

We then had another English lesson. While reading through “Viva New Jersey”, we discussed the difficulties that girls have to face in school, whereas boys seem to have it so easy. This is best summed up with a “No Uniform Day”. To a boy, this means – jeans and a T-shirt. To a girl this means – pick something to wear before you go to bed; wake up in the middle of the night and change your mind; in the morning put something on totally different; change (maybe twice).

Then home.

At home I told maria about the conversation with Miss Monica. And she said, “Yes!” Here’s a slight forewarning: I will not be in school for the whole of  17th November. I am intending to come into school in the morning, teach until about 11, 11:30 and then leave.

I’m getting married on 17th November 2011.

Homework:

  • Maths: Study. Find the one/two/three thing(s) you haven’t understood this year, because tomorrow is the last day before the exam.
  • Writing Assignment: Book Report (for Friday – tomorrow)
  • Read: 20 minutes
  • Homework Diary: signed

Posted in english, geography, maths, morning line up, special event | 7 Comments »

get well soon

Posted by willkay on September 21, 2011

We were a student down yesterday, Arturo didn’t make it into school. I didn’t think too much about it because he had complained of a stomach ache on Monday. He wasn’t in today, because he was in hospital. Recovering. From an operation. Ooops. Earlier on this year, in August we had talked about adaptations in Science. We had discussed the fact that a long, long time ago humans used to eat grass. Grass is very difficult to digest. In fact, to help digest grass cows have four (?) stomachs. Humans only have the one stomach, but what they did have was a working appendix. This helped them with the heavy work of “getting the goodness out of grass“. Of course, nowadays most of us don’t eat grass – even Miss Lilian gives it a miss – so our appendix is useless. It just sits there, in our tummies with nothing to do. Except, it is fully loaded with “grass-digesting-acid” and when it gets bored, it decides to cause problems. it fills up with horrible stuff and makes a decision to explode. [This is a very bad description of appendicitis, if you are thinking of becoming a doctor I’d look elsewhere for a description.] Anyway, Arturo’s appendix had decided to “join the other side“. As I explained, back in August, this is not necessarily a problem if it is caught quickly enough. And, in Arturo’s case, he is fine. In fact, he has already told his mum that he expects to be back in school on Thursday – because there are exams next week! If you are reading this Arturo, don’t worry. Get better, get strong. The exams will wait. You are more important!

The maths lesson was a return to prime factors, in a way. It was also a quick revision of H.G.C.F. and a lead in to L.C.M.. It went well, very well. In fact, as far as I can remember, the only person who made a *huuuuuuuge* mistake was Mr. Kay. I confused the G.C.F. for the L.C.M. , and then proceeded to confuse everyone by claiming that the L.C.M. of 16 and 32 was 16 (instead of 32). I had to take myself out of the classroom and give myself a good talking to.  (I think there might have been some screaming and shouting involved as well.)

In the English lesson there was also some screaming and shouting. Again it was Mr. Kay who was involved, except in this case it had more to do with him creeping round the classroom, and coming up behind some third graders who were trying to hide near Sr. Francisco’s workshop. This put them very close (just outside) the classroom windows. The English lesson was complicated enough – trying to explain the difference between compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences – without several children sitting outside the window, chatting away. However, one good scream from Mr. Kay and they all ran away. It also had the added benefit of making sure that everyone in my classroom was also awake!

I love teaching. I really enjoy it. I like teaching maths because it is full of “oh yeah” moments. Those moments when students get something, suddenly understand it, and immediately (and totally involuntarily) go “Ohhhhhhh!”. As if a firework display had suddenly gone off in the classroom. I enjoy teaching Science. I love the fact that children have endless fascination about information. It is brilliant to see the world through children’s eyes, to realise that just because we, as adults, know stuff, the whole world is new to them. I love teaching sport, specifically rugby (I will talk about this a bit more at morning line up tomorrow). In fact, I enjoy teaching most subjects – even the ones that I am no good at. You should see some of my art! However, i could never be a music teacher. I popped in to Professor Marvin’s music lesson this afternoon, and he was quite happy with the work that was going on. He had given the students five minutes to practise a musical piece. They were all practising at the same time! It sounded like this:

I have nothing but respect for anyone who can sit through that without going home every night with a headache! Of course, because I know nothing, and he is a better music teacher than I will ever be, the result of this cacophony was very impressive:

Oh, I was going to tell you a story about why W*dn*sd*y became W*dnesd*y, and how, six years ago on September 21st 2006 I made a decision to move to Mexico. But that might have to wait for another time. The pizza has just arrived and I am hungry!
Homework:

  • Maths: Reteaching 3-4 Nos: 4 -> 9  Practice 3-4 Nos: 1 -> 10
  • English: Spelling Workbook p. 14, 16
  • Writing Assignment: Book Report (for Friday)
  • Read: 20 minutes
  • Homework Diary: signed
  • LAPTOPS: fully charged and in school

Posted in english, laptops, maths, music, stuff | 12 Comments »

 
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