On Leaving the Family

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Today was the last day of school.  It was also my last day at my current school/my first full-time teaching position.  We have a saying at my school that we are the Mustang family.  As with any family, there are times I’d like to strangle some of them.

There are also moments like today when a junior girl came in to my cleaned-up, emptied out, desks stacked against the wall room and said, “I wanted to thank you.  I was working on a scholarship last night and I wrote about you because you are the person that got me interested in Spanish.  Before you, I didn’t really like it.  You made me really enjoy it and want to learn.  I’m going to miss you.”  It’s moments like that that make leaving my “family” so difficult.  It’s moments like that that remind me why I entered this crazy profession.

It’s also the freshman boy with a spotty behavior record and a less than stable home that writes a note on his final saying, “I’ll miss you.  You’re a great teacher.  Thank you for believing in me.”

It’s also the superintendent that stands at the end of the buffet line at the annual end-of-year luncheon filling iced tea cups and handing them out.  I don’t know any other supers that do that.

It’s the colleagues that organize a surprise going away party for you the night before school gets out.

It’s laughing with your fellow penthouse (3rd floor of a 100 year old building) residents as we try to stay sane, dress up like ninja turtles and share coffee Fridays after pay day.

It’s realizing that being part of a family, however crazy we may be, is something pretty special.

Thank you to all my family,

Maestra McH.

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“Best Idea Ever” English version

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Embedded Reading

Here is the English version.  Thanks again Tana Krohn for sharing your work and your ideas!  (look for her ideas after the readings!)

English #1:

There is a man. His name is Sir Newton. Sir Newton is under a tree. An apple falls on his head. Sir Newton studies the apple. He studies more apples. He has an idea.

Sir Newton makes pies with the apples. He wants to sell the pies. No one wants the pies. Sir Newton is sad.

There is a bird. The bird poops on Sir Newton. Sir Newton has another idea!

English #2:

In a town there is a man. His name is Sir Newton. Sir Newton is under a tree. He is under a tree when an apple falls on his head. Sir Newton looks at the apple. He looks at the tree. He looks at the apple. He looks at the tree. He…

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Convo Circles: A Student Favorite

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I posted awhile back about doing conversation circles ala Amy Lenord (@alenord).  This week, at the request of the students, we had our 3rd or 4th conversation circle day.  Since starting this, students love them and stay in TL 99% of the time!  When students saw “Convo Circle” on the agenda, they were excited!

This time we talked about graduation, summer, looking  back on this year and what they hope for next year.  I had about 10 students this time which was a nice size.  I gave them about 10 minutes to come up with questions they wanted to ask then we circled up and started talking.  My students love to “fight” with each other and disagree or refute points.   It’s pretty funny and all in good fun.  (Last time we had a 5 minute argument about onions which involved every student in class!)  The next day, one of my track kids who was gone for the circle was mad she missed it!

The more we do, the better students get at extending phrases or getting brave and jumping into the conversation more.  I’ve also seen improvement in their phrasing as their speech becomes more fluid and less halting as they think of what to say.  This has been a really great activity and I’m thankful to Amy for sharing it!

Until Next Time,

Maestra McH