Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Today, I got to go to grade two! Every Tuesday a "grade team" in our school is given time to plan collaboratively. In order for this collaborative planning to be possible, other teachers, like me, cover classes for the "planning" teaching teams. Today, I covered a grade two math and PE class. I used to teach grade one, but it has been a long time....I had almost forgotten all about those days, but today I got to remember! I got to remember how when you walk into the room after recess everyone, I mean everyone, has a story to tell! Then there are the shoes that need tying, the knots that need removed from laces and the zippers that are stuck. There's the water bottles that are spilling, the kids, the ones who didn't remember to "go" at recess doing the pee dance, theres the kids who've started their silent reading and theres the bossy kids yelling at those who havn't started yet and then there's me, I'm just standing there taking it all in! It is quite a scene and I have missed it! Everyone is excited to have the French Teacher in their room and they all have to show me how high they can count in french or spanish, or whatever gibberish they say that makes them feel like they can contribute to the conversation. I review the "greater than" and "less than" signs with the special cardboard fish their teacher has left for me. The students take turns coming up to the board to trace the fish's mouth in the correct direction of "greater than." I notice every marker in the baskett (they get to choose which color to trace with you know,) has bite marks in the lid, every single one! Ofcorse they do, all kids open smelly markers with their teeth! After we are sure everyone remembers how to make the greater than or less than sign(<) they all go back to their desks for "seatwork." Some kids finish in a nano second, others take until lunch! Some kids copy their neighbours, some do it all themselves, but everyone does the work! Ofcorse no math page gest done without several trips to the pencil sharpener, the bathroom and the drinking fountain. 2 water bottles get spilled, a pencil goes missing and a math sheet gets ripped, somehow though, every child handed in the page just in time for PE! Actually this was DPA, something we have in Alberta schools, Daily Physical Activity. The lesson plans left for me, asked me to take the kids outside or play 7-up inside. I am sick (staying home tomorrow morning) so I didn't feel up to an outside adventure today. There was no way I could imagine playing 7-up with 25 seven year olds for half an hour so I decided to teach them a new game. The game was basically my version of fruit basket upset, where all the kids except one put their chairs in a circle. The one kid without a chair calls out two colors, if you are wearing either of those colors you have to get up and find a new chair while the child in the middle tries to steal one of the vacant chairs. Kids love this game and it gets loud and crazy! I always worn them about wrestling over chairs and tell them that if anyone cries, we stop playing this game! There was wrestling for chairs, sliding across the carpet on tummies, a little pushing, a lot of yelling and endless laughing, but...no crying! Yipeeeee! My hour in grade 2 was a great little reminder of how similar they actually are to the grade eights, except that whining, tattling, chair wrestling, carpet sliding and water bottle spilling are much cuter when done by someone in the form of a 7 year old than someone in the form of a 13 year old!