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 ‘student blog’ Category

(chillax) Thursday

Posted by willkay on May 20, 2010

You know, trying to fill the gap between the double layers of Iron Man’s armour with water, is a lot harder than you’d think. Especially if you thought you were supposed to be draining the liquid originally. Also, it appears that the engineers don’t like it when, whilst wearing Iron Man’s armour, you stick your tongue out, and try to press the buttons in the visual display, inside the helmet. It was at this point in my dream, that I got involved in an argument about whether, when telling this dream to maria in the morning, I should call it Iron Man’s Armour or Iron Man’s Suit. I settled on armour just before the alarm went off.

Three down, one to go. Third day running all homework notebooks signed. Tomorrow is the last day of the week. Will it be perfect?

Today was not a normal day, by any stretch of the imagination. Computing and Spanish were switched around, so that Miss Claudia could introduce the topic, split the class up into groups, and set the tasks. Computing lesson was putting all that into motion. The students are working on team presentations in Powerpoint.

We finished the story, we practised the song and dance for assembly, we filled in our homework notebooks, we marked the spelling homework, we went to recess. I made one swap at recess – I got The World Cup!

After recess the sixth grade had their bonding exercise with Miss Monica. I have no idea what happened, it was students only. So if you want to know ask a sixth grader. One chance you might get to find out is via Scarlatte, who is the only student who has kept on writing a blog, because she has a new blog. There is a chance she might write in it about what happened. So, click here to find out.

Something New: Tonight. First leg in Clausura 2010 Final. Go Santos!

Favourite Moment Of The Day (FMOTD): Where are we?

In theory, this shouldn’t be a FMOTD. When you ask a student to continue reading, they should know where we are in the book. So, if one student says it once it isn’t good. Twice, it is a bit annoying. Three times and…and you start to wonder what is going on in the lesson. When it happens the sixth/seventh/eighth time, you realise you are facing a losing battle, and the only thing left to do is chill-and-relax, chillax.

Attendance: All present.


  • Reading Log
  • Calculator
  • Umbrella
  • Writing Assignment (for Friday): A Memory of your school years at BAI.
  • Reading: This is not an option. You should be reading 20 minutes every night.

Posted in assembly, english, special event, spelling, student blog | Leave a Comment »

(day in the life) Thursday

Posted by willkay on April 15, 2010

6:20am: CD alarm goes off. Snow Patrol gentle wake me up. So gentle that I start to drift back to slee….

6:25am: Mobile Phone alarm goes off. Blur – Song2. Try to sleep through that!

6:30am: Struggle out of bed and start the day.

6:55am: Ready for school. Time to sit down and check my email.

7:10am: Late leaving the flat.

7:25am: Arrive at school. Talk to Miss Claudia about Valerio.

7:30am: Bell rings. Kids start to come in. Valerio is amongst them. Obviously decided against the 5 weeks off school option. Have to tell off the 2nd grade for going in and out of their classroom. First time this week I don’t have to remind the boys to speak English. Listen to Larizza practise her presentation for computer class.

7:50am: Line up. Erika is absent. Everyone silent when the second bell rings. Success! When it comes to marching, Valerio is a bit worried that he can’t “check his distance” because his right arm is in a sling. I point out that he never “checks his distance” anyway! The marching, from the boys, is poor. But I’ve got a long day ahead of me and I don’t want to start off the day being grumpy. I ignore it. We move from the playground to line up for computing class.

8:00am: Everyone has their flash drives. Everyone has their presentation. We wait for the school to finish emptying off the playground and set off for the computer lab. I leave the students in the capable hands of Professor Mauricio, and head back to my classroom. Check all the homework diaries – all of them signed! Double success! Mark books. Make a note to check how some students did in their maths homework – need to check understanding after having marked their books.

9:00am: Go pick up students from computer room. Monica, Paulina R., and Ana Elena are complaining because there was no internet. This meant that the computers were “useless”. I enquired if they did their presentations. All agreed that they hadn’t except for Shai. Shai had done his. There then followed one of those daft back-and-forth conversations between Shai and the rest of the class. It appeared that Shai had done his presentation, just not presented it. Which is what he meant. Left the students in the classroom to do Spanish, and went to the staff room to use the internet to prepare for this afternoon’s science lesson. Except there was no internet! Started work on lesson planner for May.

10:00am: Started lesson off by talking through last night’s activity on the blogs. Need to make sure that posts actually contain writing. Emphasised the fact that posts need to have more than just links to music. There must be a reason why I should go listen to this song – what does it mean to you! Checked the homework. Two students had done homework…but the wrong homework. Everyone seems to have the hang of Translation, time to move on to Reflection and Lines of Symmetry. Hope everyone went home tonight and checked their nostrils! After explaining what a line of symmetry was we then drew the letters of the alphabet in our maths notebooks, and then added in lines of symmetry. Long conversation about how many letters in the alphabet. This is sixth grade and yet they still had an argument over whether there was 25/26/27 letters in alphabet. Gotta lurve teaching! Went through the rules for tomorrow’s Spelling Bee with Andrea. There are moments she seems supremely cool and I am convinced that she will be totally unstoppable, winning the whole competition outright. Then there are those odd moments when she suddenly goes “wobbly”. Either way, she has worked incredibly hard on her spellings, and whatever the outcome, she is to be applauded for the work she has put in, and the seriousness that she has shown in rising to this challenge.

11:30am: Recess. I actually threw an American football today – badly. It has been ages since I threw an American football and I was totally off in my judgement! Not cool. Andrea spent recess being quizzed by friends on her spellings. The sixth grade boys played touch American football against the fifth grade. This was a nice moment. It is good to see them opening out and being more accepting. As the year has progressed it has been nice to watch the sixth grade come together more as a group. The divide between the boys and girls isn’t so big, and now sixth grade boys playing this fifth graders (and a couple of fourth graders), who’d have thought it!

12:00pm: Science lesson. Discussed solar eclipses and lunar eclipses. There was a five minute window when the internet was back on and I found this site. The next solar eclipse that will be visible in Mexico is on 8th April, 2024. This site has a brilliant video on it that shows the trajectory of the eclipse as it crosses Mexico (click here to view). Some how, we ended up in a discussion about 2012. FACT: the world is NOT going to end in 2012. This is a myth, based on a calendar, of a group of people who had a totally random counting system, and who’s world ended already! I am a mathematician. I am a scientist. And, I am a realist. The world will not end in 2012! [If it does you have my permission to find me and sing the song. You know the song? “I’m right, you’re wrong! That is why I sing this song!“]

1:05pm: Geography lesson. Facts about Egypt. Also had to clarify a whole “do elephants have knees” question. Except I couldn’t. Elephants don’t have knees, they have elbows??? Decided to take the best option available to a teacher: I dunno, find out for yourself! Ended up explaining the best way to oppress a citizenship: keep them working; keep them uneducated; introduce a religion. Worry that I might be creating a group of potential dictators or rebels.

1:50pm: End of days. Some of the boys leave for a football match. Eventually all the students are picked up. I get to go sign my timesheet – which means I get paid!!!

2;30pm: Leave school and am picked up by maria. We go to Soriana to spend my money. We get home. I check my email. Start organising what I am going to cook tonight for our meal.Will probably do: ground beef, onions, peas, all in a special gravy that is based on red wine/garlic/Marmite. Spend some time just chillin’ out.

4:30pm: Start checking the students’ blogs. Start writing my blog. Realise that I haven’t got a picture to put on my blog. Wanted to take a picture of Valerio and Camila but, as the day got busier and busier, didn’t get round to taking it. Oops.

Something New: Camila – One. Valerio – Two. If bad things come in threes…who is next?

Favourite Moment Of The Day (FMOTD): What? We won’t have a blog?

The question got asked: Will I still be writing a blog next (academic) year? I answered in the affirmative. However, I pointed out, I wouldn’t be running KidBlog for the present sixth grade anymore. People seemed upset about this…..

Attendance: One absent

Signed Homework Notebooks: 21 out of 21.


  • Maths: Reteaching 10-7 Nos: 1-3 ¬†Practice 10-7 ¬†Nos: 7-10
  • Story: Two blog entries (minimum) this week
  • Reading Log: Needs to be in tomorrow so we can count the numbers.
  • Reading: This is not an option. You should be reading 20 minutes every night.

Posted in geography, maths, mexico, morning line up, reading log, science, spelling, student blog | 1 Comment »

(lock ‘n’ load) [not Tuesday] Wednesday

Posted by willkay on April 14, 2010

I’m exhausted. When is the next holiday? I need a break, now! Last night was epic. Yesterday, I got home from school, having stopped off at the shops because I had a sudden need [and I mean need] for chocolate, at 3:10pm. I opened my laptop, intending to write my own blog post, and discovered that there were already three posts up on the sixth grade blog page. I immediately settled down to check them for spelling and grammar mistakes. As I was checking the posts, comments started to pile up, waiting to be approved. I also wanted to write comments on posts, so that had to be done. But what about us? I hear you plead. What about us, your loyal readers? Where’s your blog post? So, I had to write a post for here as well. By this stage there were more posts to check, more comments to approve, more comments to write. At this point maria stepped into the breach. As I became overwhelmed with editing, she took on the role of commenting on every blog post she could. Seven hours after I started, I closed my laptop lid and went for a shower, and then to bed. Last night I dreamt about blogs. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. Yesterday was fantastic. Thirty eight blog posts, thirty eight!! One hundred and fifty seven comments!! It is really fantastic. However, I cannot do it all again today. So, the students have been told: they need to proof read their posts before they press Publish.

The first two days back, after the holidays, have been fairly slow. The students have been settling back into a working mode. It has been slow going. Until today! Yes, after my fifteen hour day yesterday, today was the day that the students got it all together. In the maths lesson they worked through an hour’s lesson in under thirty minutes. This meant that we wrapped up the subject of Translation a day early. Then in the English lesson they quickly (and successfully) grasped possessive pronouns, and proved this by answering four pages of questions in the Grammar book. However, they did this so quickly that we then moved on to Indefinite and Reflexive Pronouns. With this topic they again managed to work through four pages of questions! In an hour and twenty minutes they had done three days work! I didn’t get a chance to sit down until recess.

After recess we moved onto Geography. However, all the hard work in the morning, caught up with the students come the afternoon. Half an hour into the lesson we were suddenly in slow-motion. We managed to get through the physical geography of Africa, and then followed that up with: Why the Earth has Seasons. It was hard work, and the bell for the end of school was a welcome sound.

Something New: 7.1 earthquake in China. Over 400 dead.

Favourite Moment Of The Day (FMOTD): ENGLISH!

I dropped one of the “Lollysticks of Randomness” on the floor. Carlo Ivan bent down, picked it up, and handed it to me. I, without thinking, thanked him. Except I thanked him in Spanish. I said, “Gracias.” Quick as a shot, a voice from the classroom called out: ENGLISH! So, that’s me in trouble then.

Attendance: All present

Signed Homework Notebooks: 21 out of 22.


  • Maths: Practice 10-6
  • Story: Two blog entries (minimum) this week
  • Reading: This is not an option. You should be reading 20 minutes every night.

Posted in english, geography, maths, science, student blog | 3 Comments »


Posted by willkay on April 14, 2010

In The Sixth Grade We Blog

Little did I realise what an understatement that was going to be. Yesterday, Tuesday 13th April, the sixth grade managed to write 38 posts and make 157 comments – in seven hours! True, they didn’t make all the comments, I’d like to thank Miss Lilian and maria for their input, however it was fast approaching over 100 comments. If you are a parent or just a visitor to this blog, could I ask you to visit their blogs, read a couple, and leave a comment?

Just click here, pick either a name from the sidebar, or a blog post from the list, read, and comment.

Thank you.

Posted in link, student blog | 7 Comments »

(blogs away) Tuesday

Posted by willkay on April 13, 2010

One, two, three. One: everybody in school, on time. Two: everyone silent and lined up when the second bell rang. Three: all homework notebooks signed (plus two notebooks belonging to absentees from yesterday). What a great way to start the day off.

Straight into the maths lesson, and checking last night’s homework. Never, in the history of mathematics, has a fractions homework been so easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy. Calculators are the bestest! (Yes, I know!) Then on to translations. Except this is a maths lesson, so translations doesn’t mean what you think it means. A Translation, in maths, means moving an object using a sliding motion. This sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. Or the total silence I was met with as I started to explain this topic was not misunderstanding but back-to-school-itis. Fortunately by the end of the lesson everyone understood and thought it was easy. Tonight’s homework will prove the point one way or the other.

The English lesson started with a quick sprint round the playground. Second day back at school, body clocks not quite working, windows and door closed, all these had combined to induce a sense of drowsiness in the students. So, time for a jog, throw open the windows, and a wake-up moment. Reading Logs. Some of the students felt that holidays meant no reading. This means that there were a couple of zeros, a three, and two fives. However, eleven students still managed to read over 200 pages with special mention to:


  • 2704 pages: Scarlatte
  • 609 pages: Andrea
  • 547 pages: Valerio
  • 490 pages: Ruben
  • 387 pages: Paulina R.
  • 315 pages: Monica
  • 308 pages: Ana Elena
  • Yes, you did read that correctly, Scarlatte read 2704 pages. All the students on this list should be congratulated, well done. And it is nice to see a new name on the list.

    Blogs. For the next three weeks, the writing assignment for the sixth grade is to write, and keep updated with new posts, a blog. I have built a page that will hold all of their blogs and you (yes, you gentle reader) can visit the page (by clicking here) and read their blogs. It would be nice if you did, and if you also left a comment after having read a post. So, the English lesson became a long, complicated lesson on how to write and publish a page. It was complicated because it is very difficult to teach a computing lesson without access to a computer. We also talked about what topics you could write about in a blog. Obviously the answer is anything, but it is interesting to note (or maybe only to me) how many students have no idea what to write. Anyway, as with the maths homework, the proof will be in the pudding.In other words, you can see how well they are doing by clicking here, and reading their attempts.

    The day finished, as usual for a Tuesday, with PE. Today the students were practising volleyball – some with more enthusiasm than others.

    Something New: Five Blogs plus One. (Five people have already written posts on their blogs – and Jose Manuel has a blog)

    Favourite Moment Of The Day (FMOTD): Carlo Ivan and Ivan.

    Both of these boys did something thoughtful today, something that showed they were aware of what was going on around them. Their actions showed that they were thinking of others, rather than just themselves. Carlo Ivan helped Camila with her backpack, and Ivan cleaned a table after recess. Neither of them were asked to do what they did, nor did they expect any reward. A couple of really nice moments.

    Attendance: All present

    Signed Homework Notebooks: 19 out of 17. Yes, you read that correctly. Only 17 homework diaries went home last night, 19 came back signed!


    • Maths: Page: 552 Nos: 6 – 11
    • Story: Two blog entries (minimum)
    • Reading: This is not an option. You should be reading 20 minutes every night.

    Posted in maths, morning line up, PE, reading log, stories, student blog, wall of fame | 8 Comments »

    Have you seen this?

    Posted by willkay on February 3, 2010

    Valerio, Ruben, and Memo have set up their own blog here. It keeps changing, as they make their improvements, but please go visit and say hello.

    Posted in student blog | 1 Comment »

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