Bring on February

This month has been a challenging one. And I have only been back to school for 3 weeks. But those 3 weeks have kicked my butt. The first week back was OK, the second week back I was sicker than a dog and this last week I felt like I was in a whirlwind. And I hate feeling that way. But we survived the week, got through with no tears (from anyone) and actually did some of our best work yesterday!

In our reading series, we read the story The Sleeping Pig. It hasn't been my favorite story in the last 9 years of using the reading series, but this year, I liked the story. I changed up a bit how we were reading it, too and I felt like we actually learned something. More on that later. Anyway, I had my kids draw a pig yesterday and color it and then they had to write about it. I have to say, this was probably the very best work I have ever received from my kids. I was amazed at what they turned in. Mind you, there was still crap from a couple, but I can't have it all.

We have been talking about animals in science. I have mentioned before that there isn't a ton of time to do it in, so it's been very choppy and appears to not be very well thought out. But, the kids are having some fun learning and are learning some things about animals. Here is a couple charts we made to go with it.

A couple weeks ago we finished talking about penguins and birds, but my computer and my camera weren't speaking, so I never posted pics. Here is a pic of the cute penguins they drew. We are becoming not-so-artistically-challenged now!

Our math unit right now sucks. Plain and simple. They have taken too many important concepts, shoved them into one unit and expect the kids to know them in one tiny lesson. We have been on the unit for a week and have barely covered 3 lessons. Yesterday's lesson - inequality symbols - because all students know what that means. Here's my take:

Next week will be February. A short, crazy month packed full of fun, learning and testing. Can't forget testing! This next week, we will celebrate the 100th day of school on Tuesday. I have lots of fun math activities planned, and hopefully I will remember my camera. The kids' favorite is making the fruit loop necklaces. And it makes the room smell good. I hope my ceiling rats (yeah, I said ceiling rats, ain't I lucky?) don't chew through the tiles to come visit! We're going to do some writing, some math and have some fun. Wee'll read some of these books, too!

Wednesday we will celebrate Groundhog's day. I have always done a big thing in the past, but with the principal breathing down our necks with testing the following week, I don't know if I can justify 2 days of "light" work. We'll see. We do a prediction graph the day (or 2) before about whether he will see his shadow, what that means, etc, we make a cute puppet, they write about what it means, depending on what the grounhod does and more. And we will spend the week reading some groundhog stories!

Monday will be another busy day. I decided, for some unknown reason, to take down some things off my wall that had been there for almost 3 years. I did it yesterday at 3:50, when I had to leave at 4:30. Not too smart. But, I am feeling a bit in a slump and need a change. So, slowly I will make one. I have already rearranged my reading groups so I can focus on those who won't help themselves and give the ones who do what they are supposed to some more "freedom" and some extra fun work. We'll see how it goes!

Happy Saturday! Here's to the last of our sunny days...we may get some rain this week. And then be warm again! Off to soccer!

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