One of the funniest descriptions I ever heard for teaching elementary school was “trying to keep 30 corks under water at the same time.” It usually does not feel like that in room 19, but by the afternoon of the day before Halloween, well, it seemed pretty accurate.
Despite this, we had a fairly productive and even pretty fun day. We started out with the spelling test. This was pretty good; the results are already on the gradebook. We went to the library. This was our second library visit for the week because Mrs. Koneff gave us a spot on Monday to make up for missing last Friday.
We work on some of our theater skills today. We did a few exercises to work on concentration such as “The Conductor” and “Statues”. Then we turned our attention to doing “Machine.” This is the theater game where students create an imaginary machine and become its parts. We were fortunate that the first grade classes were on a field trip which allowed us to use both room 5 as well as our room for practice here. Students were placed in groups of four, and they did reasonably to very well in their first efforts at “Machine”.
After recess, we corrected our math homework and I gave the students a chance to get an early start on their history homework. After lunch, we pulled out the unpitched percussion and once again worked on rhythmic activities. We did a few different things here. As a whole class we worked on Call and Response. We took this one step further and did a bit with Question and Answer. This is not quite the same thing as call and response because the “answer” is always somewhat different from the question rather than an exact echo. Finally, students picked a famous song or rhyme and they worked on it in their groups.
After a few minutes of this, we had to guess what the song or rhyme was. The students were remarkably good both at performing and guessing.
By this time, Halloween fever was starting. We went out to PE, but their hearts clearly were not in the usual activities. And we came back to the room after that and I tried to teach a bit of math. Fortunately, it was all review because the thoughts in their heads were more costumes than quotients.
Homework: (1) Do “The King’s Fountain” study questions. (2) Do the “Subject-Verb Agreement” worksheet. (3) Do the history review questions on page 115 of the California book. Students need only do questions 1-18. (4) Do “Multiplying,” Envision Math, pages 101-102.