Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Madness

Any teacher knows, April doesn't cut it. March is the cruelest month. It's typically still cold, dark and dreary, and there are zero vacation days. The kids get, let's say, extremely squirrely. They get tired of rules, tired of tests, tired of sitting, tired of the weather, tired of school lunch, tired of behaving, tired of the rat race, and just - tired.

So do the teachers.

So we all start being crabby, and that's no way to run a classroom.

In order to remedy this situation, I have hit upon a few new strategies. One of them is a sort of mid-year redecoration. I'm having a good time putting up new signs about our rules, changing the bulletin board border, getting new baskets for the library, re-organizing the signs on the baskets (we're getting more sophisticated, instead of "Non-Fiction" now we have "Non-Fiction: Health and the Body" and "Non-Fiction: Earth Science," and the like. I also reorganized my supply closet. Gaze upon its beauty:

Then, because we had a Science Fair project to complete, and because I thought it might be more fun than watching stuff float in salt water, we did this:

That is correct, we made ice cream in class by jumping up and down, basically. Instructions for this little beauty are here:

And, finally, I have decided that while we are working on a non-fiction genre in reading and writing, we need a little levity. So we're reading all of the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle stories. If you don't know them, go look them up at your library. The first grade is in stitches - every single day.

And by these methods, we hope to claw our way through to spring, the sweet spring. Which technically is only another three days away.