August 19, 2012

First Coupla Weeks

It's been a good teaching year so far with just a few minor hiccups.  I have two Specials classes (I know), 3rd and 5th grade this nine weeks.  I'm stealing an idea from my friend James Campbell from Clayton County Schools and using the GA Picture Storybook Nominees as a jumping off point for my lessons.  Here's an example of how awesome he is with this idea from his web page from last year.  I'm not as technically ambitious as he is, but I'm using some of this year's nominees and it's been great so far.

The first week I chose Brian Floca's amazing Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11.  After reading I showed them a bit of the awesome We Choose the Moon site.  And since it was the days after the Mars Curiosity Rover landing, I showed them a fun and mind-blowing clip of that too to not only amp up the excitement but to show the contrast between the 60s white, male NASA and the modern and diverse crew. Plus, it's just plain good for a beginning-of-the-year fire-us-up moment.

Oh!  We also got new old furniture!  If you don't remember, we used to have what looked to me like furniture meant for the entryway of a sketchy funeral home.  Here's a clip of my first look at the library which includes the old dusty furniture.  So I got rid of that stuff but didn't have much money to replace it.  We tried these supposedly "sturdy" beanbag chairs from Scholastic, but like so many of their products, they just didn't last.  The library and I noticed certain pieces of furniture squirreled around the building and decided to act.  These were leather-ish looking pieces seemed like maybe they once decorated the front office many years ago.  We've spent the first couple of weeks cajoling, bribing and batting our eyelashes and now have this:

Oh sure, it's not the most modern and kid-looking furniture on the planet but it does appear more library-ish and will be easier to clean and seems pretty sturdy.  We definitely don't want more cloth furniture in there collecting dust.

So it's been interesting so far.  How is your year going?