Mr. Kay's Blog

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

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Archive for the ‘world cup’ Category

Sunday, Bloody Sunday

Posted by willkay on June 27, 2010

I have nothing to say.

Feel my pain.

Posted in world cup | 10 Comments »

(In-ger-land! In-ger-land! In-ger-land!) Wednesday

Posted by willkay on June 23, 2010

Allow me to celebrate, just until Saturday!

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The dream is still alive!

Now back to our usual programming…In at 6:50am, and all my fears vanished – the England match was on television, the USA match was ignored (and when I say ignored, I mean ignored). There were no students in early, so I got to share the first half with Professor Dandy and Professor Rene. By half time England were winning 1-0, and (for the first time this World Cup) were looking like a team that could play well and score goals.

By the start of the second half, students had started to arrive. Fourteen eventually made it into school. Or that should read, thirteen students who I recognised made it into school, and Ruben had had a haircut! (He’s got ears!!)

Although England started the second half well, the match hit a dead patch in the middle, and then the tension started to increase. The closer and closer we got to the end of the match, the more important it became to hang on to the 1-0 lead. And they did. England are through to the next round! The sad news, Slovenia were in tears? Why? What? They had played so well, and the result from the USA v Algeria match was 0-0. Wasn’t it? And so it became a desperate search for the USA result (the television station was really ignoring the match). A last minute goal, meant that England go through in second place. Now, all that needs to happen is England to beat Germany, Mexico to beat Argentina, and then we have an England v Mexico quarter final. And that would be…well, that would be terrible. I have no idea how that would go down in our flat.

Then there was the rest of the day. Fortunately the girls, in their infinite wisdom, had brought things into school, to do. Again I was presented with a group of boys who spent the morning asking: What do we do now? Although the most common answer was: Speak English! Working as a team, I had brought in my DVD player, and Ana Karen had brought in some DVDs. In preparation for Friday (we’re going to Disney!!), we watched some Disney films!

THURSDAY: Tomorrow is the last day in school for the sixth grade. On Friday, we go to Disney. On Tuesday, there is the graduation. Which means that tomorrow is the last full day in school. It would be nice if we were all in school. I know, I’ve been rather ambivalent to your attendance for most of this week, but I really, really think you should be in school tomorrow (Thursday). It might not mean much now, but it might be something that you regret later. Please be in school.

Posted in world cup | 1 Comment »

(heads up warning for tomorrow) Wednesday

Posted by willkay on June 22, 2010

The Bad News: Be aware. Although England are playing tomorrow morning, at 7am, so are USA. There is a chance that local channels might decide to follow the USA v Algeria match, rather than the England match. If you are coming in early to watch the England match, I can’t guarantee that it will be on live.

The Good News: The England match might not be on live tomorrow. Which means that you won’t get to see Mr. Kay cry.

Posted in world cup | 2 Comments »

(one to nil) Tuesday

Posted by willkay on June 22, 2010

I was at school at 6:50am. The television was on, the national anthems were sung, the game started. I was not alone, the administration staff discovered that I had a tele, and soon my classroom was full (ish).

At 7:30 the bell rang, and students entered school in dribs and drabs. Soon the classroom was full of 1st graders, 2nd graders, 3rd graders, and 5th graders (the 4th grade had their own tele). At 7:46am the one (and only) 6th grader turned up. Yes, after missing yesterday, Alejandro made it into school today. He won’t be in school tomorrow. So there was one.

The match was exciting. Not a great result, but Mexico go through to the next round! And then Alejandro went home, and I was left in school alone. Except, at that point I seemed to have adopted the fifth grade. Anyway, one quick negotiation, and the school’s DVD player ended up in my classroom, attached to the tele, and they were entertained. (Please note: I am not convinced that the DVD player is staying in my room, so those of you thinking that you might come in to watch films…it might not work that way.)

Wednesday: I will be in early (6:50am) for the England game. If you want to see the whole game, you may come into school early, and come straight to my classroom. I already know that several students will not be in. I will be doing nothing, all day (apart from crying, if the England result goes the wrong way). Miss Claudia and I have no lessons planned. If you are coming in to school, please bring something to do.

Enjoy your day at home, and prepare to beat Argentina on Sunday!!!

Posted in world cup | 3 Comments »

(the final presentation) Monday

Posted by willkay on June 21, 2010

In at seven to check that the multi-activity room was ready. Chairs out, microphone one, laptop connected. Back to the classroom to discover that we were six people short. Eh? Six students absent? How did that happen? Well, it appears that when, on Thursday, I said: Do NOT be late. Be early! Some students took that to mean something totally different. In the end, five people made it in, and we were just one (Alejandro) down. A quick run through the changes necessary, and we were ready.

And nothing went wrong.

That’s the wonder of the audience not knowing what we were doing. Absolutely nothing went wrong! Arrrrrrrrr!

And everyone went home at the end. Well, I say everyone and I mean everyone, except for six boys. Having spent Thursday explaining that if anyone was going to be in school on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday they need to bring something to do, it was a total surprise to discover…that no one had brought anything to do. In case anyone is wondering if they will miss anything if they don’t make it into school, let me assure you, you won’t.

We did the Maths Bee:

1st – Guillermo

2nd – Valerio

3rd – Ivan

And then we watched a bit of Fantastic Mr. Fox. After Spanish, we watched a bit more of Fantastic Mr. Fox. After recess, we watched Spain v Honduras.

Tuesday: If you are planning to come to school (and Sr. Martinez, your son does not have to come into school tomorrow, I promise you, he won’t miss anything), bring something to do. A game to play. A book to read. Something to do. Please do not spend the day asking me: What can I do? I will be in school at 6:50am, watching the Mexico v Uruguay match. If you come early, you can come into school and join me in the classroom. Please note, at 9am the match will finish. You will need something to do. Oh, you can also wear La Verde as well (or La Negra).

And the slideshow is here:

Oh, and if you go to the school’s website, there’s a survey that the school is asking all parents to fill out. Please go, and say nice things about me. Or, if you feel you need to, go and say bad things about me – it will help me improve as a teacher.

Posted in bees, end of year presentation, world cup, youtube | 2 Comments »

(just plain awful) Friday

Posted by willkay on June 20, 2010

It has taken two days before I can actually type anything up about Friday, two days and the pain is still there.

Friday morning saw me in school at the usual time, however there were no students there! (Although there was a reported sighting of Larizza?) The school had to be set up for the fiesta in the evening, and the multi-activity room needed to be prepared for Monday. Working as a team, the teachers managed to get everything done by 10 o’clock. At that point, Miss Lilian thinking she was doing the nice thing, let me go home to watch the England match on television. It was kind of her, but in the long run I think I’d have rather stayed at school, and missed the match.

It was awful, painfully awful. I spent most of the game with my head under a cushion, trying to avoid watching yet-another-kick-to-nowhere. Don’t get me wrong. I love football. I love the World Cup. Every four years, when the World Cup comes round, I am fixed to the television set. This year, the time difference has been a little difficult but, thanks to the internet, I’ve been able to keep up with most matches. And, whisper this quietly, this year I thought England were going to do well. I could see them getting to the semi-finals without too much difficulty. And,once you are in the last four, with two games to go??? You know, in my heart, I thought England had a chance this year, a chance to win the World Cup. But what happened? At this moment, the chance to get through to the next round isn’t just in our hands, it also relies on the failure of others (specifically USA). All of a sudden, a dead-cert has turned into a dead-donkey.

The one joy in all this has been Mexico. I spent an hour on the phone this morning (Sunday), with my mum. She is very excited about Mexico, loved the fact that they beat the French, and has now adopted Mexico as her country! Of curse, there is always the advantage that Mexico could face Argentina, and put them out in the next round. Which, for an Englishman is always good news (after the Hand-of-God goal).

Anyhoo, Monday! Monday will be The Final Presentation at 8am. Tuesday is Mexico v Uruguay at 7am. Wednesday is England v Slovenia at 7am. Thursday is the last day in school (for the sixth grade). Friday is Disney. Busy week ahead.

Posted in end of year presentation, no school, special event, world cup | 7 Comments »

(beating the french) Thursday

Posted by willkay on June 17, 2010

The day started a little earlier than usual. The very thoughtful, generous, and kind Miss Tere B (which is how she calls herself when she comments on here, although I still call her Miss Marcela at work) had offered to lend me the sixth grade a television for the World Cup. She’d mentioned that it was a spare television that wouldn’t fit on her bookshelf. In my mind (in my mind), I had this vision of a small tele, that we would nip round to her house, throw on the back seat of the truck, and take it into school. It turned out to be a monster. HUGE. After maria and I had struggled to put it into the back of the truck (it took up the whole of the back of the truck), it was left to Professor Rene (thank you) and I to haul it into my classroom. The sixth grade were now ready to watch Mexico v France. [On a side note: I am now ready to watch England v Algeria tomorrow! What? You won’t be in school tomorrow? I will!]

Spent a couple of hours painting – but as that is supposed to be a surprise, I won’t say anything else about it..except, I did my best.

There was going to be an early recess, so we had time to go through one more exercise in the spelling workbook. And then it was time for the Social Studies Bee. Not the most successful of starts to a competition, the first eleven questions were answered incorrectly. This meant that a knowledge of Lenin/Stalin ended in first place. It then came down to a fight for second place. Six questions later, and it was all decided:

1st – Ivan

2nd – Shai

3rd – Camila

Congratulations to all three. That now means Ivan has won two out of two, and is still on target for a clean sweep. Will Valerio or Guillermo be able to stop his progress in the maths bee? We have yet to find out.

Recess was cut short, because we all wanted to watch the national anthems. And then it was onto the match: Mexico v France. “The Battle of Puebla II”. If you don’t know the result…then I am not telling you!

No school tomorrow. The Final Presentation on Monday.

Something New: Miss Tere Be said she would lend me a small tele.

Favourite Moment Of The Day (FMOTD): If you do something nice, then you get back something nice.

Would it be daft to suggest that Mexico won because of Carlo Ivan? Professor Israel didn’t have a television. He asked if he could come watch the one in our classroom, with the 2nd grade. I said I would ask the sixth grade. At first, the majority of the class were against the idea, but Carlo Ivan wasn’t. He argued that “it was the right thing” to let the second grade into the classroom. It was wonderful to watch/listen to, as he argued and finally convinced his classmates to let the second grade in.

Posted in mexico, spelling, world cup | 5 Comments »

(prop) Wednesday

Posted by willkay on June 16, 2010

Grrrrr, to Miss Lilian. If it wasn’t bad enough having to explain what THAT goal was all about, she made me reenact it on the pavement outside school this morning. However, that would not normally be enough to make me go “Grrrr“. No, it was the walking back out of school, five minutes later, claiming forgetfulness, and then asking me to explain THAT goal all over again. I say, “Grrrr, madam.

First lesson was spent building props for The Final Presentation. Well, not the whole hour. Some of it was spent asking Miss Tere B daft questions, trying to get the address a decent internet site from Professor Humberto (so I can watch the footy match on Friday [In-ger-land, In-ger-land, In-ger-land]), and back to to Miss Tere B for more help (Hurray! She is providing a television for tomorrow’s Mexico match!).

Then it was time for a quick run through The Final Presentation with props. It went well. The second time it went better but…there comes a point where you can over rehearse. Do something, too many times, and it loses its spontaneity. I think the time to stop rehearsing has arrived. We ran through the whole thing, one more time, in front of the fifth grade. It is still too fast, but you could start to feel everyone ¬†getting a little bored with the whole thing. I think we’ll have one last run through tomorrow, and then nail it on Monday!

Spelling, and we worked through “Easily Confused Words” today. Try explaining the difference between farther and further, especially when the dictionary (or Dave as we like to call him) defines further as farther! In the end, we settled for farther was physical (metres, kilometres), whereas further was more to do with the meta-physical (I will further my knowledge).

The last lesson (for me) was spent trying to organise how to paint trophies – which will be the way I start tomorrow off. Ooops, that’s supposed to be a surprise!

Something New: Zero decibels is NOT complete silence. You can NEVER have complete silence.

maria told me about a radio programme she had listened to. In it, a researcher had tried to find the quietest place on earth. It turned out to be a military bunker, under a mountain, somewhere in the USA. It was so quiet it had a reading of -9 decibels. The first thing to note is that you can have a negative decibel reading! The second thing to note is that this is still not silent. You can still hear your heartbeat. Worse (or better?) it is so quiet that you can hear the blood moving in your veins, and the working of your nerves. In other words, it can never be silent. I know what you are going to ask now, what about if you are dead? Well, still not silent. There is the noise of decomposing (yuck!). So, if you want total silence, I suppose space is the place to go because (are you ready to say this along with me Scarlatte?): In space, no one can hear you scream!

Favourite Moment Of The Day (FMOTD): Oh, I will be there, I’ve just remembered.

Two minutes after telling me that he couldn’t make The Final Presentation, Alejandro remembers that his grandparents are bringing him to school that day. From a really down moment, I am suddenly happy again.

TOMORROW: You can wear La Verde or La Negra.

Posted in end of year presentation, spelling, stuff, world cup | 1 Comment »

(that goal) Monday

Posted by willkay on June 14, 2010

The Social Studies Bee. An hour to get three finalists. On paper screen that sounds like an ideal competition. One that lasted that long because it was difficult to find three finalists. In reality, it lasted that long because no one wanted to answer a question correctly. There are two ways to learn: through understanding or by rote (off by heart). Somethings have to be learnt by heart (the multiplication tables), but after you know them, you can understand them. Many things have to be understood before they can be learnt. At the moment, many sixth graders are caught in the middle. Only half understanding, only half learning. This, combined with a shaky grasp of English,leads to maximum confusion when presented with a Bee. My advice? Improve your English. It will only happen with practise. And, you’ve only got two weeks left to practise. Of course, as I said this morning, there is one thing that everyone can give but no one takes: advice.

The rest of the day was spent on a spelling list.

Something New: We will NOT talk about THAT goal.

And yet, we did. All day. At some point, at some time, someone would mention THAT goal. Twenty-two times to be exact. It was mentioned 22 times.

Favourite Moment Of The Day (FMOTD): If I asked someone to go to Miss Claudia…

I was illustrating a point, about volunteering, and it wasn’t necessarily offering to do something for free because, often, there is no fee involved. It is all about willingness to do something. I was illustrating a point. That said, Carlo Ivan was halfway out of the door.

Attendance: One Absent

Posted in bees, spelling, world cup | 2 Comments »

(famous five) Friday

Posted by willkay on June 13, 2010

I cannot find the exact number of books Enid Blyton wrote. Having searched the internet for several minutes, the closest number I can come to is 800. So, let’s go with that. Enid Blyton wrote 800 books. Of course, many of you, dear readers, will never have read an Enid Bllyton book, nor will you have even heard her name before. However, if you were British, born in the 40s/50s/60s/70s, Enid Blyton would have been the author of the majority of the books on your bookshelf. Your parents would have read you the stories of Noddy. Then moved on to The Folk of The Far Away Tree. Once you could read on your own, you’d have read about The Famous Five and The Secret Seven. Looking through the list of books that Enid Blyton wrote, I probably read over 100 of her stories. Would I recommend them? No. By the time my children were born, I found them very dated. It’s like comparing The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe to Harry Potter. So, why do I mention her at all? Because she was the author The Famous Five. Stories about a group of five (four children and a dog), who had some wonderful adventures, and then went home for tea and cakes at the end of the day.

Today, the sixth grade consisted of five students.

The first thing we did was watch the football match. A very exciting 35 minutes, by which time I was convinced that Mexico should have been 3-0 up, was followed by a nervous 10 minutes, as South Africa got back into the game. Half time. And the rest of the school arrived. It was then that the problems started. The internet connection that we were using went down. This meant that we actually didn’t see the South African goal (which means in our version, Mexico won 1-0). A quick dash round school, found homes for all of us to watch the rest of the game.

After he game, it was back to the classroom, to wait for the Social Studies Bee. The exciting question – would Miss Lilian visit? If she did, it would mean a much better chance of getting to the final. However, in order to not leave those of you reading in suspense…she never came. Social Studies Bee on Monday! Whilst waiting, we watched Fantastic Mr. Fox. Once the Fab Five had got used to the animation (“Did you make this yourself Mr. Kay?”), and settled into the story, it was very enjoyable – and a bit worrying for Larizza, who didn’t want Kristofferson to get hurt (SPOILER: he doesn’t!).

Before recess we looked at Flashmobs, and attempted some weird dance steps, or was it marching?

After recess was music, followed by a game of Apples to Apples. It was great fun, and I think that I was brilliant at the game! However, I feel that there was a certain undercurrent of unfairness, and my brilliance was not recognised properly. How Ana Andrea kept winning was beyond me!

A very enjoyable day – except for the football result. A win would have been good. However, the draw in the other match still leaves Mexico in a good position.

Posted in special event, world cup | 1 Comment »

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