Friday, October 2, 2009

Pond Water, Math Facts, and the Flu

Pond Water
Tuesdays are by far our most crazy days. We leave by 8:00 to get downtown for my Bright Futures class. After class, I take on the tricky maneuver of changing clothes in the car because I do not want to chase 3-year-olds/2nd graders/3rd graders all afternoon in my high heels and dress. Then because there's not quite enough time to go home, we grab lunch somewhere and then head to co-op.

This past Tuesday the lead teacher for two of the three classes in which I assist was out, so I had to teach them. We're studying the ocean, but to illustrate the fact that there are critters in the sea that we can't see, this time we had to grab lunch at a drive-thru and then head to the park to steal some water out of the pond.

It's been awhile since I've done much with a microscope, so I wasn't quite sure what I was looking at when I prepared the slide. I'm pretty sure my first class--the first graders--viewed some microscopic air bubbles. They thought they were totally cool, though. Thankfully, the 2nd and 3rd graders were able to actually view some microscopic critters swimming across the slide. Pretty cool.

On a side note, I mentioned above that I also teach 3-year-olds. You do remember, don't you, my awesome people skills with 3-year-olds? Thankfully, I'm in there with my friend, Mitzi, who found it very amusing that I got stuck in there. I know she won't mind my speaking for her, though, when I say she's not all that comfortable in there either. Tuesday we were with those precious little people by ourselves, minus the lead teacher who, incidentally, appears to be much more comfortable with the little people than the two of us. There were only 5 little 3-year-olds, but that was plenty, especially when one of them would not stop putting things in his mouth, taking off his shoes, climbing on things, and yelling.

It was a tiring day.

Math Facts
Again, let me emphasize the fact that I got my degree in secondary education for a reason. When I think back to my 1-year stint as a teacher of the second grade, two things come to mind. One is the tattling, the endless tattling that is not so prevalent in a high school classroom. "Mrs. Pierce, she's sitting too close to me." "Mrs. Pierce, she is using my pencil and won't give it back when I ask for it."

Another thing I recall are the short attention spans. Let's say we're in the middle of Charlotte's Web, maybe at the point that Charlotte dies and I as a teacher wish to have a deep discussion with my students about life, death. You know, deep stuff. So I pose a question about life and death. A hand goes up, and I think, Wow! We're really going to have a real discussion in here. Then student-with-the-raised-hand says, "Mrs. Pierce, we're going to Wal-Mart after school this afternoon."

Yes, those are the things I most disliked about being a teacher of the second grade. Now, it is a little easier teaching my young children because they are my children. However, I am finding I enjoy this homeschooling thing much, much more as the years go by. My 4th grader can now do her own research and almost all of her work independently. And I can hold deep discussions with her about books, current events, and the world around us.

But with my younger ones, I still have all of those pesky things to teach them: reading, math facts...The good news is that the boys have made great strides in their reading. In fact, this past week, they both got hooked on the Magic Treehouse series, hooked enough to read them for pleasure. Today, though, we've begun tackling the math facts. They haven't gotten them up until now. Alex was the same. But with her, I just told her she had to learn them NOW, and she did. On her own. But the boys. Oh, the boys. Long story short, I've decided to suspend all other math work next week and make it Math Fact Boot Camp around here. They will learn them next week. Yes, they will.

The Flu
Well, I got my flu shot on Wednesday. Apparently, I should have wrestled the kids into the doc's office as well. I had all sorts of wonderful things planned for science this week, including making Cell Cookies and doing some microscope work of our own, but these plans have been pushed to next week. Alex came down with the flu Wednesday and is just today finally beginning to feel a bit better. I suspect the Princess may be the next to succumb to the flu. My suspicions lie in the fact that the ottoman is not ordinarily the place where we tuck her in at night:


Arby said...

Microscopic air

We've had two sick kiddos this week.

You survived for one year as a second grade teacher? I survived for one day as a fourth grade sub and swore I'd never again teach any class lower than the sixth grade.

Courtney said...

ughh! The flu-nooooooo! I'm so sorry.

CrossView said...

I'm so sorry but I'm laughing here. Maybe *at* you but I'm kind of hoping it will be *with* you. Am I the only one who actually likes teaching 2 to 5 years olds? Maybe it's just because I relate?

Hoping all will be well inyour household SOON!

Mitzi said...

I like your take on the 3 yr. old class. It made me laugh!

dclouser said...

Sounds like you've had a busy week! That's great that the boys are enjoying reading (esp. Michael!). The picture of Audrey is so darling - sure hope everyone is better soon. Love you all!

Tisha S said...

Hope everyone gets well soon...but I am truly laughing. The one about Charlotte's Web gets me. That is what I face. My boys know me well enough not to raise their hand for a comment like that (now they do) but I can still often see that far away look in their eyes just as I thought we were on the brink of something...deep.

Oh well, just realize what a blessing it is to have your 4th be so independent. My 5th is still not there.