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 the ‘maths’ Category

dreaming of a lazy Sunday

Posted by willkay on October 14, 2012

Last week we were talking to Nikos about how much the sixth grade at BAI read, and how impressed we were with them. [For those of you not quite up to speed on who Nikos is, he’s Mrs. Kay’s son, my step-son, and a sixth grader at Emma de la Vega.] At this point, Nikos mentioned that he would like to be on The Wall Of Fame. Obviously, this isn’t particularly possible. However, as neither of us wanted to discourage him from reading – could you imagine a world where Mr. and Mrs. Kay would actually tell someone to stop reading? Oh, hang on, I do that about seven times a day when I have to tell Andrea to put her book down and start listening to me – we told him to go for it. That was last week. One week later, this is a picture of Nikos, taken at 10:23 on a Sunday morning. Normally, by this stage, he has been on the computer, played on an iPad, watched some television, and is demanding that we do something because he is bored. However, this Sunday he is still on his bed, reading. He is desperately trying to get to the end of the book. Desperate because he wants to read book 2. You see, he’s already seen the film The Hunger Games, and he’s just discovered (in his own words) that the book is better than the film, it has more detail. Now he wants to read book 2, because he has no idea what is going to happen next. Oh, and the number of pages he has read so far, in one week? 367 (so far). This is enough to get him on The Wall Of Fame. So, if you can forgive a slight amount of parental indulgence (this is my blog after all), here’s a picture of Nikos doing his latest hobby:

Thursday seems so long ago. I remember we did some maths – changing improper fractions into mixed numbers, and changing mixed numbers into improper fractions. I know we read our Halloween stories. And I definitely know that we had a very long, very mature, very well thought out discussion about The Holocaust. Oh, and the SmartBoard in 6B exploded. I say exploded, but it was more like a rifle crack than an actual kaboom. Hopefully, Professor Victor spent Friday getting it to work, and Mrs. Kay will have something to use on Monday. Hopefully.

Friday there was no school. Actually, that’s not true. There was no school for the students, however there was school for the teachers. Eight o’clock in the morning saw us all try to squeeze into desks that were made for people a lot smaller than us.

It was a very interesting course, led by Miss Dulce. We discussed the reasons for evaluation, how to use evaluation better in the classroom, and all the new changes that are coming to the grading system. We worked in teams, we worked in pairs, we were told off a couple of times for talking, we were encouraged to participate, and we all came away better teachers for the experience. Big thanks to Miss Dulce for presenting the whole day. An even bigger thank you to Mrs. Kay who translated the whole day: as Miss Dulce spoke, Mrs. Kay typed away furiously, translating everything from Spanish to English, so that I could follow what was going on.

Saturday was spent at a volleyball tournament. However, there was a reward at the end of it all – birria tacos. And now it is Sunday, a day for chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’, all cool [and if you’re a student, and don’t know where those words come from, ask your parents. And, if they can’t receit the theme song from Fresh Prince, find it on YouTube, because really….in fact, here’s the original,

Ah, the 80s. Anyhoo, unfortunately this is not going to be a day for chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’, all cool because I have exams to write. Yes, the exam period has come around again, and I need to make sure that the exams are written, and ready for Monday, October 22nd. So, that’s my Sunday organised. Hopefully your Sunday is going better. You’ve already done your D.N.A. model, and that is ready to bring into school. Which means you can either read or try to beat my score on Subway Surfers. I’d suggest you read.

 

 

Posted in exams, geography, history, maths, reading log, science, smartboard, stuff | 4 Comments »

loads of stuff

Posted by willkay on October 10, 2012

Pablo was up early this morning to watch an attempt on the world freefall record. Unfortunately (for him) for the second day running the attempt was cancelled. The next attempt will be on Sunday. That’s good news for Pablo, he can go back to bed afterwards!

The Homeless World Cup is being held in Mexico City. Seventy-six countries are competing. You can catch up with all the details here.

Next Sunday (that’s the Sunday after this Sunday, this Sunday being the Sunday coming up, which means that next Sunday is actually the Sunday after the next Sunday…confused yet?) it’s The Mini Olympics. Yes, I know it is a Sunday. Yes, I know that it is early. However, this is an event not to be missed. This is the sixth grade, this is the students’ final year at BAI. As each day passes, they are slowly ticking off things they will never do again. This will be their final Mini Olympics. Many of the students will not compete again at sport for the rest of their academic career. None of the students will ever compete again at a BAI Mini Olympics. As each event rolls round, the students should embrace them, partake in them, and store the memories. True, at the moment they might not feel like wanting the memories. However, one day, they will look back on their time at school, and all they will have is memories. And, let’s face it, no one remembers the day they sat at home doing nothing, and thinks of it as a day well spent. However, this might be the year that Mr. Kay actually wins a race! And it would be a terrible moment if it was missed. [Please note: Mr. Kay will not be entering any races, so he won’t be winning any. But, who knows what he gets to say this year…I hope they have the theme tune from Rocky, I love that song!]

Maths was comparing fractions. English was regular and irregular plurals. Geography was WW2. The students also squeezed in a computer lesson, a Spanish lesson, and a music lesson. At some point I made Paola cry. With laughter. And there were a couple of other students laughing as well. So, that was a good thing. Oh, at another point the bell rang for recess, and no one wanted to go outside because they all wanted to stay in and listen to the lesson. So, that was a good thing. And Roberto has just become my friend on Game Center [sic].  (Center shows up as a spelling mistake on my computer, because centre should be spelt centre!) This should be a good thing. However, I can now see his scores on Temple Run (over 13 million), PvZ, and Where’s My Water. Suffice to say, all of his scores are better than mine. Plus, he finds time to read over 2000 pages a week! I need to go and practise a bit more. And read a bit more too.

Posted in english, geography, grammar, maths, olympics, stuff | 3 Comments »

six birthdays!

Posted by willkay on October 9, 2012

In the six years that I have been sixth grade teacher, I have only had four birthday parties in school for students. [I should, at this point, mention that I have been fortunate enough to have had six birthday parties and one pre-wedding party for me! Thank you parents.] In fact, I haven’t had a birthday party in my classroom for so long, that I had forgotten all about “Birthday Party Tuesday”. So, last month, when we actually had a party for Alfonso, it came as a bit of a shock to the system. This morning was a bigger shock. Not only would there be a birthday party in my classroom (again!), but it would be for six students. Yes, one third of my class were born in the month of September. So, pizza and brownies for lunch today! (Oh, and tea*.)

Maths turned into yet another extended lesson. Throughout the school there has been a timetable change. Every classroom gets seven hours of maths a week, except the sixth grade. When the changes were first presented Mrs. Kay and I discussed how many hours of maths we would we need a week. Realising that the entrance exams to Junior High come in January, we were prepared to teach two thirds of the maths’ course before then. This meant that after January, we wouldn’t have a lot left to teach. So, we declined the extra maths lessons, preferring to teach more science and geography. Except, that is after January! Before January comes, we have to cram in extra hours of maths. This, in my head, I know. I know this because I’ve been doing this now for nearly seven years. However, it always comes as a surprise to me when I end up having to teach extra maths. I suppose it is because Mrs. Kay and I plan our week’s/month’s lessons very meticulously. But when we plan, we still plan a certain amount for science and geography. Of course, this only leads to a mental pressure build up when we end up teaching more maths. It will all sort itself out in the long run, this I know. However, until I get to the middle of February, there will always be this nagging worry.

Anyhoo, as I was saying, maths turned into another extended lesson. We’ve arrived at fractions. I love fractions, as all true mathematicians do. There is something fantastic about fractions. I love the fact that there are an infinite amount of ways that you can write the same fraction. I love the whole common denominator/diagonal cancelling/change the top-change the bottom symmetry of the subject. I also love the fact that when the answer is a vulgar fraction, that’s the answer. No messing about with decimals for me! However, I am in a minority of one in my classroom. Fractions seem to be every child’s worst nightmare. It is my job to convince the children that they are wrong. That fractions can be a quick and easy answer to all the problems they face. The best way of going about this? Start all the way back at the beginning. Get them to ignore everything they’ve struggled with the first time round, and this time look at fractions with the eyes of a sixth grader. Of course, this isn’t a simple task. Some children are still stuck in the nightmare of fractions that is known as the fourth grade – that moment when the concepts suddenly get more confusing and the brain isn’t really mature enough to understand what is going on. We shall see how it goes. We will be stuck with fractions for the next 3/4 weeks (depending how much time the exams take out of the maths timetable).

I did remember to take a picture of all the children who read more than 300 pages. Following Mrs. Kay’s advice (she’s a professional photographer donchu’no), I took the picture in a different place – less sun should have led to less squinting. I’m not convinced that I got the best picture ever, but at least I remembered:

Geography turned into a history lesson. Trying to study Germany is impossible without mentioning the fact that it used to be two countries. This is impossible to mention with out talking about the Second World War. WW2 cannot be mentioned without talking about the Holocaust. You can’t talk about the Holocaust without mentioning Hitler. And you can’t talk about Hitler without talking about the National Socialist Party. Of course, you can’t mention the rise of the Nazi Party without actually explaining why Germany was in such a situation. S0 (are you following this?), today’s geography lesson was all about The Great War, or World War I as it is now called. We got as far as talking about the soldiers playing football in No-Man’s Land on Christmas Day. And I was building up to my grandpa’s role in the war, when the bell rang. Another day done.

[*tea – a mid-afternoon meal. Yes, in England, everything stops for tea. There are tea breaks, there is elevenses, there is afternoon tea, there is an evening cuppa. But these are all to drink tea. As far as meals go, there are: breakfast, brunch, lunch, tea, dinner, supper. Now do you realise who J.R.R. Tolkien based the Hobbits’ eating habits on?]

Posted in geography, history, maths, stuff | 1 Comment »

since when has there only been 60 minutes in an hour?

Posted by willkay on October 8, 2012

No photo.

Sorry, there’s no photo today of the readers of the week. This is not because there are no readers of the week, there are – and there are lots. However, someone (and I’m looking at me) didn’t get round to taking a photo. It all went wrong for me today. Not seriously wrong, don’t start to panic, but I seemed to be ten minutes out all day.

Instead of a one hour maths lesson, we ended up having a two hour maths lesson. This, in and of itself, was not a bad thing. Whilst trying to tell Raul what he had missed due to his four day illness, I discovered that many of the class had failed to pick up some basic concepts along the way. Therefore it became a review lesson. We went through the terms: factor; prime; composite; prime factors; common factors; greatest common factor; multiple; common multiple; lowest common multiple. These were terms (and concepts) that I thought the class knew and understood. Oops. However, two hours later, most of the class seemed to understand what was going on (and had been going on for the previous four lessons), so it wasn’t wasted time. It did mean though, that I was criminally behind for the rest of the day. Desperately trying to make up for lost time.

Eventually we got round to collecting in the reading numbers. WOW! and indeed WOW! again. It is important to note that my target (my unofficial target) is 140 pages a week. That’s all I ask for. However, I believe that reading is important. The reader has to understand what he is reading, he has to make mental pictures. All of this stimulates the mind. Also, reading involves sitting still for a period of time, concentrating. This, I also believe, is a good quality to practice. I am a firm believer that reading, and the activity of reading, makes you a better student. Plus, it can be jolly good fun. I always, always advocate reading a book that you enjoy. If you are not enjoying the book, stop reading it. Read something else. Out there, in the world, there are millions and millions of books – way too many for one person to read in one lifetime. And definitely too many to waste any time on a book that is not enjoyable. Read a book, read a book that you enjoy. You can’t go wrong.

And these people didn’t go wrong this week:

THE WALL OF FAME

  • 2456 pages: Roberto

  • 2138 pages: Andrea

  • 1176 pages: Ana Sophia

  • 708 pages: Manuel

  • 634 pages: Julien

  • 540 pages: Kristina

  • 504 pages: Carlos

  • 477 pages: Luis Francisco

  • 457 pages: Juan Fernando

  • 450 pages: Osvaldo

  • 382 pages: Yolitzin

  • 326 pages: Anafernanda

  • 315 pages: Paola

  • 3o8 pages: Alexa

  • 300 pages: Pedro

Fifteen out of 39 students read over 300 pages. PLUS, look at Ana Sophia, joining the 1000+ Pages Club. I am really impressed with the amount of reading that is going on. Added to these numbers is the fact that another nine students read over 200+ pages. Well done to everyone!

The writing assignment is a horror/ghost story (if the student wants to write one). Otherwise, it is just a story about an old abandoned building at the end of the street. It’s been empty now for nearly 60 years. I wonder what happened there? I wonder what happened to the last people who lived there? I wonder? Of course, with there being no school on Friday (for some – not the teachers) the writing assignment is now in on Thursday!

The spelling list was all about multisyllabic words. The hardest word being peony. Notice I said it was the hardest word, not the word with the most syllables. And then it was onto science and a multisyllabic word that I always, always, always fail to pronounce/say properly: Deoxyribonucleic acid. Every year we study this. Every year I practise saying it. And every year I fail miserably when it comes round to saying out loud! So, in science we studied D.N.A. – that I can say. I left the students with a project that they can do on Friday, while they aren’t a school, making a model of D.N.A.. These need to be brought into school next Monday!

And then the bell went for the end of school. I hadn’t taken a picture. I hadn’t even visited 6B to see their Reading Log scores. Aaarrrgggghhhh! Bad teacher that I am. Hey ho! Tomorrow is another day. I’ll go visit 6B. Congratulate them on their scores. And I should get round to taking a picture and posting on here. Right, the New York Jets are losing to Houston. This could be because I’m not watching them, and cheering them on. So, I need to go and shout at Mark Sanchez! Or, if this continues, Tim Tebow.

Posted in english, maths, reading log, science, spelling, wall of fame | 4 Comments »

growing pains

Posted by willkay on October 3, 2012

There is (at long last) some action in the cauliflower pots. Oddly enough, not in the pot we are just giving normal water to, but in the pot that we are just adding blue water. I thought that it would never grow, or if it did, there would be very little difference. However, the hot weather means that the blue cauliflower is now growing. Outside, the radishes have been struggling. Fortunately, Sr. Francisco has been planting other stuff on the side of the hill. This means that he has been tending his plants, and at the same time has been watering our radishes. Unfortunately, when I planted the seeds, I over planted – putting too many seeds in the bags, and not spreading them out far enough. To be fair, I was desperate for something to grow, because I wanted the children to see some “action”. However, this has meant that although there are some shoots, only a couple of those shoots have gone on to produce radishes. My cunning plan was to grow 40 radishes, so that every 6th grader could have one. It looks like there will be only four. Ooops. Never mind. Everything is in place (in my mind) for 2013. Once we get to March/April, I’ll have a go at tomatoes!

Yesterday, in maths, we did the rules for divisibility. That was so that today, we could work out the difference between a Prime number and a Composite number. First we made A Sieve of Eratosthenes. Eratosthenes was a Greek mathematician from the 3rd Century B.C. If you want to see exactly what we did in class today, click here to see an animation. [note: this is not an animation of the classroom, this is an animation of the sieve.]

English was fast, quick, and easy – it was Common and Proper Nouns. Then on to Geography which got very complicated, very quickly. We were supposed to be speaking about France. However, the conversation took a dramatic turn, and we ended up talking about politics. How good intentions can sometimes go very wrong if left in the wrong hands. How capitalism can change into Fascism and Socialism can move quickly into Communism. And also, how these two extremes can go badly wrong. There will be more of this conversation when we study Germany and Russia.

For me, the rest of the afternoon was spent on administration: exam grades have to be combined with classroom grades, to get an overall grade. These have then to be entered into Escualenet, so that the parents can see the final grades on Friday. The students had computing, followed by music.

On the way home, we stopped off at Randy’s (it’s opposite Wash Mobile) for a Torta de Loma. I can happily report it was delicious. It also appears that Randy (if that is his name) catered for the opening of BAI. I don’t know if that is true or not, I’m sure Miss Lilian might remember. However, I gladly recommend Randy’s Tortas! And I get no commission for that! Right, back to playing Temple Run to see if I can get anywhere near Roberto’s score!

Posted in english, geography, grammar, maths, planting, stuff | 2 Comments »

STOP! Hammer Time!

Posted by willkay on October 1, 2012

Last week, when Roberto announced that he had read 1033 pages there was an audible gasp in the classroom. However, if you listened very, very carefully, there was also a grumble. Andrea wasn’t happy! Andrea did not like the fact that Roberto had read more pages then her. At that moment, Andrea picked up her book and started reading. As the week progressed I watched her read at every possible moment. Recess – she read. Waiting to go home – she read. In between lessons – she read. After she had finished her exams – she read. There was no possible way that Roberto was going to read more than her,

In the classroom, on the wall, each student has their name. As they finish a book, they ask me for a small picture of a book, and the write the title of the book and (they are supposed to write also) the author of the book they have read. As the week progressed, Andrea has been sticking more and more books around her name. Of course, so has Roberto, but Andrea kept on reading. She’d read the most books. She would read more pages than Roberto.

And then came the moment for the Reading Log numbers. Because Roberto is before Andrea in the alphabet (yes, I know, but I use their surnames when I put the numbers in my mark book), I asked him first:

TWO THOUSAND, SEVEN HUNDRED, EIGHTY-THREE PAGES!

The classroom went quiet. I asked him to say the number again: 2738 pages! What a fantastic amount of reading! What an excellent result! But, at that moment, I was torn as a teacher. I knew I had to celebrate Roberto’s excellent achievement. I knew I had to congratulate him. I knew that I could not ignore such a fantastic moment. However, what should I do about Andrea? As a teacher I realised that this could go one of two ways. It could mean that she took on this new challenge, rose to the target that Roberto had set OR she could just give up.

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There was a third option. One that I hadn’t really contemplated. I quietly turned to Andrea and asked her how many pages she had read:

TWO THOUSAND, EIGHT HUNDRED PAGES!

She had beaten Roberto by 17 pages.

Of course, there aren’t just two students in the sixth grade who are reading. As the numbers came in, both Mrs. Kay and I were really proud of what the other students had achieved. Andrea’s brother, Julien, had managed to read nearly 900 pages (it must have been very quiet this week in their house). Anafernanda and Kristina both read over 500 pages, while Ana Sophia and Luis Francisco read over 400 pages. Arantza, Paulina, and Carlos made The Wall Of Fame by reading over 300 pages. And there were 13 students who read over 200 pages, which puts them into The 200+ Club. What a fantastic day for reading. Congratulations to everyone, and congratulations to the sixth grade as a whole.

THE WALL OF FAME

  • 2800 pages: Andrea

  • 2783 pages: Roberto

  • 897 pages: Julien

  • 568 pages: Anafernanda

  • 508 pages: Kristina

  • 480 pages: Luis Francisco

  • 461 pages: Ana Sophia

  • 356 pages: Arantza

  • 311 pages: Paulina

  • 305 pages: Vianette

  • 302 pages: Carlos

Simply Brilliant!

Geography exam in the morning. After that, I set the writing assignment for the week. This week’s assignment involves some investigation and some reporting. The students have to ask their parents what it was like when they (the parents) were in the sixth grade. Then they have to write a story about their mum (or dad) and their time in the sixth grade. Hopefully there will be some differences, and there will be some similarities. However, the idea is to get the children to listen to a story from their parents, and then report it in the third person. Maths was all about scientific notation, and science was all about mitosis. And everything was about the weather. Hot isn’t it? Do you know what would be nice? Sitting in the shade, sipping on a Sprite, reading a book. Go on, read a book!

Posted in exams, geography, maths, reading log, wall of fame | 5 Comments »

paella

Posted by willkay on September 25, 2012

We’ve been driving past this paella place (on Las Palmas) four/five times a week. Every time we go past, we mention that we should really try the place out. Last night, for reasons that are far too complicated to go into, we ended up not eating until very late – I had a bowl of cereal and Mrs. Kay had a tin of lentil soup. Today, on the way home, we stopped for paella.

Up to speed on my personal life? Cool. Right:

  • returned maths exams. Only one 10 and eight other students got a 9 or better. It’s a mindset. It’ll come with time, but the students need to aim for perfection. Most of them now realise that with a little more care, concentration, and effort, they could have score another 5 marks, which would have raised their grade a whole point. But, schools are for learning, so we’ll just chalk that down to a learning curve.
  • review for English exam
  • meetings all day about the maths books. Throughout the school (except in the 6th grade) we have a new set of maths books. It is part of my job to oversee the maths taught through the school, so I spent a lot of time in meetings/conversations today.
  • osmosis – the last topic before Thursday’s science exam.

Hopefully you’re up to date now with my professional life. So, I’m off to share a romantic paella for two with Mrs. Kay.

Posted in english, exams, maths, science, stuff | 1 Comment »

and so it begins…

Posted by willkay on September 24, 2012

I don’t have much time to write today: I’ve got a set of exams to mark; I’ve got my student coming round; and I’ve got a new iPad to play with. Oh, did I mention the new iPad? The luvverly Mrs. Kay won an iPad, a year ago, at a school event (for the teachers). From that moment on, she promised to get me my own iPad. She nearly managed to get one for my birthday, but she ended up getting me a rowing machine instead. However, yesterday, when we left the icebreaker, we went to the Apple store and I got….

It’s not really that big. It’s just me, I’m that tiny. The iPad could turn out to be a the bestest thing ever. My poor old laptop has been struggling over the past few months. And I don’t want to talk ill of a faithful war-horse, but I was starting to get mildly frustrated with it. Now I have a super new iPad, I can get on with everything else, while my MacBook pretends it is a PC. So, onwards and upwards….

It was 6B’s turn to present the assembly this morning, and what a jolly good presentation it was too! All of the children spoke loudly and clearly, but the best bit was the song/dance. Although Mrs. Kay had tested the CD several times during the week, this morning the school’s PA system did not want to know. The only way forward was to play the CD in an other player, put a microphone next to the player, and hope. Unfortunately, it didn’t work very well. However, the children were wonderful, and made up for the failings of the PA system. Instead of going quieter, they went LOUDER. They sang very well, and danced brilliantly. A great start to the morning.

From assembly we straight into the classroom and sat the maths exam. Oh, there was still time to talk about yesterday: the time spent sitting in the shade; the time spent throwing-Mrs-Kay-to-the-floor; the fact that Roberto brought a fridge/freezer; and the most important thing – I got an iPad [have I mentioned that yet?]. But then it was into the exam. I can’t tell you what the results were, because I haven’t marked them yet.

After the maths exam, it was time for the Reading Logs. Are you ready for this? I suggest you sit down to read this. Here it comes…

THE WALL OF FAME

  • 1033 pages: Roberto

  • 812 pages: Andrea

  • 670 pages: Kristina

  • 370 pages: Luis Francisco

  • 350 pages: Jorge

  • 340 pages: Pedro

  • 310 pages: Pablo

  • 306 pages: Hector

  • 301 pages: Anafernanda

WOW!! Do you see those numbers? Oh, quick request – does anyone have a copy of the third book in the Twilight series? It’s not for me, it’s for Kristina. She has read the first book three times, I’ve managed to get hold of the second book for her, but we can’t get the third one. She desperately needs it if she is to stay up there with Roberto and Andrea. As usual, congratulations to all those students on The Wall Of Fame, and a big “WHOOT!” to all of those who got into The 200+ Club too.

The rest of the day was spent studying Science. We still have ground to cover before we are ready for the science exam – which is on Thursday! Eek. Anyhoo, that’s me finished, world’s to conquer, work to do.

Posted in assembly, exams, maths, reading log, science, wall of fame | 5 Comments »

big sister, big brother

Posted by willkay on September 21, 2012

One thing we do in the sixth grade is “adopt” a first grader. School can sometimes be a big, scary place, especially when you are five. So, we ask the sixth graders to become a “big sister / big brother” to a first grader. For the first grade student it means that there is always someone bigger on the playground, who will look out for them. And for the sixth grade student it means that they get some sense of responsibility, and a chance to look out for someone smaller than them. Today was the first event, a “getting to know you” moment. Cards were exchanged, presents were given, and pizza and juice were drunk. There are pictures of the event here.

Maths review. Maths review. Maths review. Oh, assembly practice for 6B. The real business of being in the sixth grade starts on Monday. Six exams in a week and a day. Mrs. Kay and I are confident that every question has been studied, every student knows how to answer the questions, everything is prepared. Now it is just down to the student themselves – how much they study, how much they prepare, how much they want a good grade.

Have a good weekend – but STUDY. I shall see you on Sunday at the IceBreakerInThePark, so long as you are there early. Or else you can catch me later in the day at The Shakespeare Grille eating fish, chips, and mushy peas. I am quite excited about Sunday – not just the IceBreakerInThePark nor the chance to eat fish, chips, and mushy peas…but Mrs. Kay has promised me a present. A present from The Apple Store. I might not sleep tonight – too excited.

Posted in big sister/brother, exams, maths, photos, youtube | 5 Comments »

I love it when a plan comes together

Posted by willkay on September 19, 2012

Image

Brilliant start to the morning.

Mrs. Kay needed a little help with 6B, first thing in the morning, straight after morning line up. I turned to my class, told them to go into the classroom, and informed them I would be there in a minute (or two). Three minutes later, I walked into my classroom to discover:

  • a pile of homework diaries on my desk
  • every student sat at a desk
  • every student had their maths books on their desk
  • workbooks open to last night’s homework

It was perfect. What a brilliant way to start the day. And, you know what, from there on the rest of the day went well (for me).

In maths we went through yesterday’s work and corrected ALL the mistakes that were made in the homework – although that could have been my fault (bad teacher!). Then we moved on to the last topic before the maths exams, exponents. Fast, quick, and easy. Except, fast, quick, and easy does not mean you cannot concentrate. Sometimes it is when doing easy things that students make the most mistakes. [I hesitate to use the words careless mistakes, but you can probably see where I am coming from.]

Much to the students’ disappointment, it was straight into English and the new spelling list. I’m not sure that they were really disappointed, however they seemed to be looking forward to their Spanish lesson. That occurred after English and an explanation of the week’s words  [and no, a briefcase is not a case for briefs]. There was also time to fit in the first Earthquake practice of the year.

Spanish was working in teams, on projects. The students seemed to enjoy this tremendously, as they did not really want to settle back down to English again.

At the beginning of recess, we all sang “Happy Birthday” to Professor Marvin. This led to the first conversation of the year about “Cha-cha-cha“. In the sixth grade we don’t “Cha-cha-cha“. Ah, those sixth grade teachers and their grumpiness! After recess there was enough time to finish the spelling list and move onto the workbook. Then the day finished with computing and music.

Busy times ahead. On Sunday there is the Ice-Breaker. Mrs. Kay and I will be there very early! On Monday there is 6B’s assembly, and then there is the maths exam. Followed by a whole week of exams. Students should be organising their study guides, realising that they need to get these exams right, as good grades set the tone for the rest of the year.

Posted in english, exams, maths, spelling, team work | 2 Comments »

 
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