Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Mornings for Teachers........Peace and Tranquility

7:00 am on a Sunday morning.  Coffee hot.  Dogs are lazy.  Birds are chirping.  Sun is  coming up.  Peace and tranquility……

Unless you are a teacher.  I’m up early to grade book projects.  It was the first one in which students had to read a book, pick their favorite character, and interview the character. 

(At 8:00 am, I had a question for the seventh-grade language arts teacher - I texted her - Of course she is up as well!!!!!!!!!)

They have done an amazing job!!!  The best part of our whole reading journey that we 
began on August 4……………

Just look at this picture……it’s the line in my classroom to check out books!!!!!!!  YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!!

Click here to find out more!!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Help! I've Fallen, and I Can't Get Up!!!

If you go on YouTube and search for “Funny Falls,” you will get many thousands of choices.  They even have them categorized by years such as “Funny Falls - 2012, Funny Falls - 2013, etc.!!!  If you click on one or two, you can’t help but chuckle or sometimes downright LAUGH!!!
Thank goodness there will not be another upload tonight of my fall.

I’m walking with a purpose toward the office with Mr. Roberts.  We are briskly strolling the halls of education headed toward the office which requires going through the cafeteria.  The camera shows me turning and pointing to something or someone on my right.  I notice in front of me the YELLOW HAZARDOUS warning sign indicating a middle school spill zone!!!  I continue my vitally important data-based conversation with my colleague as I maneuver to my left to totally avoid the hazardous spill water.  Little did I know, the spill extended about 9 miles to the left of the sign.  The video only shows my right arm flailing helplessly through the air as my school-colored flip-flops fail me.  (Alliteration!!!) 

Mr. Roberts stated that all he knew was that one minute I was there talking…….the next minute I was gone.  Of course, the cafeteria couldn't be empty at that moment..Oh, NO!!!!!  The entire 5th grade student body, one assistant principal, the ISS teacher, the SRO, and a central office supervisor all got to watch as I thudded to the ground.  But that wasn't the best part.

The water decided to take on a life of its own and creep between my foot and my school-colored flip-flop.  My butt was wet.  My legs were wet.  My feet were wet.  My flip-flops were wet.  And there was absolutely no way I was going to get any traction AT ALL.  I couldn't get up.  It was like a really bad comedy trying to get to my feet.  It took two cranes teachers to come to my rescue and help me to dry land.  I assessed the damage and realized……OMG.this old woman didn't break her hip!!!!

It suddenly occurred to me that during the 6 hours and 14 minutes that it took me to completely fall, bounce, flounder, and get up…….the entire 5th grade student body had done nothing.  They didn't laugh.  They didn't snicker.  They didn't clap.  They just looked at me.  Some were in wonder.  Some were sad for me.  Some looked worried.  But all were just…………respectfully concerned?!?!?!?!  I WAS SO PROUD!!!  So I did what was absolutely necessary.  I took a bow. 


So they finally clapped when they realized I was alive and well, that no sink hole was formed in the cafeteria that might affect Friday’s dance, and that life would go on.  What a great group - my fans!!!


I sent an email to the entire faculty suggesting lesson plans on Richter scales for science and similes for language arts  (Please write a 9 page essay explaining this simile:  Mrs. Hensley flopped like a fish out of water when she fell.) 
(Our science teacher indicated the Hawkins County Seismic Monitor did not pick up the Earth vibration at that moment - and similes were not on the pacing guide) 

All is well. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Our Reading Journey

My Classroom Library!

One week down………….ahhhhhhh.  It was uneventful, but then again, it was only 3 ½ days (we were out ½ day on Monday and out Thursday for elections).  My feet are soooooooooo tired. 

Here’s my classroom before the students arrived this week.  It is so bright and clean and beautiful and organized!!!!  Surprisingly, it is still that way after a week of work!!!

Monday was the BIG REVEAL DAY.  I broke it to the students (gently) about the Reading Journey we were going on this year………24 books in a year, 6 per 9 weeks!!!!!!........The moans and groans were not as bad as I anticipated.  I actually had one class period that clapped and acted HAPPY about it!!! I sent a letter home to parents explaining my philosophy about reading.   When I began teaching, I had an even more stringent reading program - I was all about reading, reading, reading.  In recent years, I've backed away from it............But, I'm Baaaaaacccccckkkkkk!!!!

Then Tuesday night..Open House……Here come the parents.  I bit my nails wondering what feedback I would receive about the Journey. 

Guess What?!?!?!?!?!

Parents were THRILLED!!!!!!!!!  They said it was about time we made their child READ!!!!!  I’m so happy, and I’m beyond thrilled when I see the students actually READING!!!  PLUS, I had several students already check out another book after finishing the first. 

So their first “book project” is due next Friday.  I’m excited to work this weekend on the presentation for the next set of projects for novels and then on to NONFICTION!!!

For more information, click here!!!

Happy READING!!!!!!