After reading that article, I did a little more search and found a blog link up with Queen of the First Grade Journal and Fabulous in First that showcases how we survive these last few weeks. And after the fact that I just had a child come into my classroom to search for her ziploc baggie full of fake nails, and another teacher down the hall just found a... well, I'll just say a "creature".... survival mode is in full force right now.
1. First and foremost, I have to laugh. Crazy things happen in the Spring. I don't know why, but they do.
So in between project based learning, authentic assessments, and interventions, I do little things to make them laugh. They laugh with me, sometimes at me, and then there are times when I'm literally just laughing by myself and I think "this is it. I'm on the other side of the line of crazy."
2. We incorporate as many games as we can into learning during the springtime. Don't know how to introduce Supply and Demand? Set up 24 chairs for your 25 students and play a round of Musical Chairs? That's the perfect example of Low Supply, High Demand. If you're like me, play until there's a winner because, duh, winning is e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. And play songs that you like, so you can dance and get in your steps on your Fit Bit (there may or maynot be a little friendly competition going on between me and some coworkers).
3. When we're not laughing or playing a game, we're doing really rigorous work. I've found over the past 5 years that Spring is the best time to really push out good, quality work. We've been working hard all year and we're getting ready for one of the hardest grades in elementary school. Some of my babies this year came to me without knowing how to write a complete sentence. We've practiced and practiced, so I wanted to come up with a way to showcase their work. During our Persuasive Writing unit, we worked on writing our opinions and supporting them with reasons. We had practiced writing paragraphs in class, but I wanted to stretch them even further by doing 5-paragraph essays. Wow this was a lot of work, but we got it done! Rigor people, rigor! Future third grade teachers, you're welcome!
This thing is my savior. I always tell the kids that we're family. But at this point of the year we treat others like they're the red-headed stepsister (sorry ginger friends). They are starting to get tired of one another and all of the little things get on their nerves. When a kid comes up and says in that whiny tone "Ms. Potterrrrrr..." I give them the look and they know that means "put yo tattle in the box and forget it." Of course they still come to me for emergencies, but this box is a lifesaver.
5. TV Time.
It's the little bit of rest that I get each day. A typical day for me is teaching, after school care, gym, walking the dogs, making dinner, then TV. I look forward to that little bit of sitting time. Plus I've got a hand full of really good shows that keep me on the edge of my sofa each week. If you don't watch Secrets and Lies, you have got to check it out now!
How do you survive the end of the school year at school and at home? Share your ideas in the comments or link up with the awesome bloggers I tagged at the top!