thoughts about my classroom

It’s rainy season now in South Florida where I’m spending time with my parents and friends. Apparently the rains came a few weeks early this year, and they won’t end any time soon–the season technically lasts for half the year. This is the most intense period: from now through July, it won’t rain all day, […]

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I have a problem writing blog entries after something major happens in my life. Do I try to compose a heart-rending account that encompasses the wide range of emotions I’ve been feeling? Should I give a quick bulleted list to catch you up on all the main points at once? Or try to gather some […]

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Word on the streets is that if you’re assigned to Mrs. Watson’s third grade, you’re gonna get to make a gingerbread house in December. Most of my class has been driving me crazy about anticipating this event since August. Today was The Day. Measuring the perimeter of the houses to determine how many marshmallows are […]

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I am a teacher, and I saved the life of a child who was dying a thousand different deaths. He was drowning in a sea of technicalities and red tape, of bureaucratic limitations and endless uncompleted forms. This small child was tossed about in unrelenting waves of systemic failures that pulled him underwater again and […]

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Gratitude

November 26, 2009

in thoughts about my classroom

Friends, family, God…I am grateful for all these things, too (except maybe the fish, although you gotta admit that was super cute). My husband and I are having a wonderful Thanksgiving at my parent’s house in Florida. Hope each of you are enjoying your time off to relax and reflect. Have some carbs for me.

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Please? ‘Cuz I really am obsessed with her show. My husband and I watch it faithfully (4 pm in both New York and Fort Lauderdale!), and we’re convinced she is the solution to all the world’s problems related to personal responsibility and integrity. The show is of particular interest to me because being a judge […]

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In case you didn’t catch the news on my Facebook page a few weeks back, I WAS offered professional development work in New York! I’ve decided to continue teaching in Florida for the first half of this school year while my husband and I house hunt and take care of the other 3 million transitional […]

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In case you were wondering. Our last day was June 8, and since then, I’ve filled my time with alternating bouts of relaxation and wedding planning. The Big Day is June 27. After that, you’ll be getting a full slideshow of wedding and honeymoon pics, followed by a return to our regular educational programming. (Which […]

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I was cleaning out my desk drawers today and had to laugh at the variety of kid stuff that got tossed in this year. My rule is: If I catch you with a toy, it must immediately go in your backpack. If I see the toy again, it’s mine until a parent writes a note […]

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*How are so many of you on summer break ALREADY? Who the heck lets out before Memorial Day? Stop posting about all the free time you’ve got now. I’ll return the favor for late-enders after next Friday when our countdown is finally over. *Why can’t we use the abbreviation CR for Cumulative Records? Using the […]

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My students haven’t seen a multiple choice question in 6 days. I think we’re all delirious with joy. Yes, state testing is over. I apologize once again for terrifying those who read My Worst Nightmare, but fortunately, the actual administration of the FCAT was relatively painless and full of amusing moments. The kids are so […]

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So it’s finally the big week: we are administering the FCAT. This is the test: the stakes are high for fourth and fifth graders, and our poor third graders can’t get promoted without a passing score. Our funding, our reputation, and to an extent, our very employment are all resting on how well this group […]

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This was the opening panel question at the EduCon 2.1 conference last month, as reported here by Assorted Stuff. And it’s certainly one worth asking. But can we really come up with a definitive answer? Seth Godin has a starter list with suggestions ranging from the tongue-in-cheek (“Teach future citizens how to conform”) to the […]

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What better way to celebrate Valentines Day, right? No, not for the kids, for ME. You really think I’d let my babies eat a whole bunch of sugar on MY watch? No way. My own blood sugar level is skyrocketing because I: 1. Devised a plan to get every child in the class to send […]

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Are your students overloaded with outdated, irrelevant test prep materials that do nothing to prepare them for real life tasks? The solution is simple! Don’t despair and start giving relevant, authentic assignments that involve research and reference on the internet. Instead, just distribute a worksheet with a picture of a computer screen on it! This […]

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My “Not Waiting For a New Year” resolutions:Get passionate about educational reform again.Refuse to be a pawn in a system that doesn’t understand real learning.Stop relying on test prep and start preparing really engaging lessons.Seriously. Put some effort in.Get off the internet and grade some papers.Use those assessments to drive the following day’s instruction.Go to […]

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I don’t listen to myself; how can I possibly expect my students to do so? I had dinner last night with my aforementioned friend, and could not resist posing the million dollar question. The answer involves a gift card with a value in the three digit range, along with numerous gifts from individual students. On […]

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