Friday, December 21, 2012

Now for the Christmas Spirit

And since my last post was negative, I'm going to do something positive.  Remember how I said I thought about blogging a lot during my blogging vacation?  Christmas was something I planned to talk about, at least a little bit, of course!  We have Christmas traditions that I'll probably share with you, but what I want to write for you first is a Christmas story.

As many of you know, Kyle works full-time as a substitute teacher in the school district where I work.  Lots of people wonder if he gets plenty of work as a substitute and the answer is yes!  Aside from days that he has requested not to work, I think this entire year he's only had three days where he has not been called in to sub for someone.  He works mostly at the high school, somewhat often at the middle schools, and only occasionally at the elementaries, which is the way he prefers it.  One day last week, however, Kyle went in to one of the elementary schools to cover a second grade class.  He of course came home exhausted (I have to hand it to elementary teachers...that's a job that requires a LOT of energy and a LOT of patience.  I couldn't do it!).  The best part of his day when he goes to the elementary schools are the stories of the cute things kids do or say and how he reacts to that in a school setting.  I love hearing these stories!

Anyway, on the day he filled in for second grade, the students were working on narrative writing (funny...we still work on that in high school).  The teacher left the assignment that students had to write their own Christmas story and Kyle put together one really quickly so they could see an example.  Here's the graphic organizer the teacher left that Kyle used to help structure his narrative (you can't read it very well, so I'll decipher it for you):

Prompt:  The room looks like a sea of gift wrap.  There are bows and ribbons tossed all over.  Boxes of different sizes are stacked high.  Everyone smiles with great joy for the gifts they received.  What's that?  Could it be?  There is one last present hidden behind the tree?  Who is it for?  What's inside?
Who is the story about?  Mr. Byard
Where does the story take place?  Mr. Byard's house
Tell what happens in the story.  Use details:  First, Mr. Byard opens the present.  It's a jet pack.  Next, Mr. Byard puts the jet pack on.  It looks so cool!  Then, Mr. Byard jets around the house breaking things.  Lastly, Mr. Byard promises to only use the jet pack outside.

Here's the story that came of all this planning:

It was Christmas day at Mr. Byard's house.  He and Mrs. Byard had opened all their presents--or so they thought.  There was still one very large package behind the tree.  It was for Mr. Byard!  He tore open the wrapping paper and stuck the bow on top of the head of his orange cat, Tiger.  Tiger hates bows.  Inside, the package was the most amazing sight Mr. Byard had ever seen.  It was a jet pack!  Mr. Byard quickly strapped the jet pack on.  It fit perfectly.  He wondered what would happen if he hit the starter button...


The jet pack and Mr. Byard took off like a racket.  Mr. Byard's brown and white cat, Max, ran out of the room.  He's a big scaredy cat.  Mr. Byard jetted back and forth and to and fro, knocking over lamps and piece's of his wife's decor.  He slammed into the china cabinet.  CRASH! went the plates.  He flew past the curtains, burning two big holes in them.  

There was almost nothing he hadn't broken or burned before he finally turned off the jet pack and fell to the floor.  Mr. Byard's black cat, Keebler, sneezed from all the smoke.  Mrs. Byard handed Mr. Byard a broom and told him to start cleaning.  Mr. Byard promised he would never use his jet pack inside ever again.

The kids couldn't believe he drew that!  And of course they found the story exciting and cool.  Little do they know that he'd really like a jet pack for Christmas!  He characterizes us all to well :)

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas Break Come Early?

Hey, everyone!  I know it's been such a long while since I've last my defense, I've thought about blogging a lot...I've just never gotten around to it!  Well, today I have a little time since school's been canceled.  That's right, CANCELED.  On the last day before Christmas break!  This means that I start break just a little bit early!  Am I excited?


Okay, okay.  I am excited for break.  But there are a few reasons why I'm not excited to not be having school today:

  1. Today was supposed to be the end of our semester.  Now we have to extend it a day when we come back. I'm not excited to have my sophomores one more day after break.  I just want them to be on their way and to get a new set right as soon as we get back. And you better believe the day is going to be a wash when we come back!  What am I going to do with 25 sophomores (who are rowdy to begin with) on the first day back from break and the last day of the semester?  Movie! 
  2. I was going to submit grades today.  Thank GOODNESS all my grading is caught up!  But now I have to wait until we have that last day of the semester because kids will continue to turn stuff in at the last minute.
  3. We planned a party for our freshmen in which one of my coworkers spent two and a half hours popping popcorn for over 100 students.  AND we bought pop and had them in ice overnight.  So I'm sure when we return to the pop, they're going to be a big floaty gross mess.  Ew.  Don't want to deal with it!
  4. Of course, with our mild winter last year and my reluctance to believe any hype over the weather, I left all my things at school.  Dumb, I know.  I was just so tired by the beginning of this week of taking my bag home and not getting anything accomplished.  Plus yesterday I really did have other things to carry out and I just didn't bring my teaching bag with me.  It shouldn't be a big deal, but I've lost my swipe card to get into the building and hadn't replaced it yet, so of course I have no idea when I'm going to get in to get my stuff to plan next semester.  
  5. I left a cake in my room.  Don't ask...don't ask.  But I want to get it before any bugs or (heaven forbid) mice do.
Is someone likely to be in the schools today to let me in?  I'm sure there will be.  Will there be someone over the rest of Christmas break?  Yes.  With sports practices and janitors, I'll be able to get in if I need to.  Is it just a super big pain in the butt?  Yes.  And am I just in a bad mood because of all the days to get a cancellation, I can't sleep?  Yes.  

Everything really is going to be okay...I just like to complain a lot.  Enjoy this first blog post back!