I made it!
The weather has been insanely hot and we have not been getting our recesses and everyone I talk to who lives anywhere near me feels the same way we all do – which is WE ARE SO OVER THIS ALREADY.
One day after school this week (right before dismissal as this is how it always happens) we had a Flash Flood Warning and our principal had to get on the intercom and calm the students down because the thunder was INCREDIBLE and it sort of looked like we were about to have a tornado (of which I know a lot about since I’m from Oklahoma and it really did look and feel like we were going to have one) . . . thankfully the rain held off until after the students were off of campus and then it poured. POURED! I love a good thunderstorm.
Five minutes later, it stopped.
The sun came out, the temperatures never dipped, and that was the end of that.
I had PLC Training this week because somehow, I ended up on the committee. I always end up on committees without knowing how I actually got there.
Writing sub plans and driving across town to a training calls for a Starbucks in the middle of the week (I usually only treat myself on weekends) and I loved this new fall Starbucks cup and sleeve.
However, it is not fall. And I should probably have gotten an iced coffee or iced tea or something with ice because, besides being hot outside, the air conditioning did not work inside.
And I wore long sleeves because I am always freezing cold at trainings.
But I wasn’t freezing cold.
I was hot.
And sitting next to my principal.
I generally tend to be hot and sweaty around my principal because she is my principal (although she is very friendly and nice, this is just how I react to authority figures, it’s a thing) but this was extra sweaty and hot and not at all attractive.
So I had to eat a cookie.
I mean, I had to.
Every year my school has a Patriot’s Day Assembly on September 11. The entire student body sings a song, our upper grade chorus sings, a student council member reads this poem, we have a moment of silence, and we recognize (by name) any first responders or military who attend.
I had a couple of friends text me yesterday (who used to teach with me) to say how much they miss this assembly and that their current schools do not acknowledge September 11 at all.
I can’t imagine not having this assembly. Does your school acknowledge September 11?
We did our first Directed Drawing from Jennifer’s pack this week! I am a HUGE FAN! My kids were so quiet and so engaged . . . my goal is to try to do one per week now that I know how powerful this is! I think sometimes we’ll write about our drawings and, other times, JUST DRAW. Because it’s important. And there’s nothing wrong with it.
I am honestly so okay with kids drawing . . . and I often get asked, but shouldn’t they be doing something academic?
I do not want to open a can of worms today or create any conflict, but I have found that some kids who struggle in reading or writing or math happen to be amazing artists! Or they excel in soccer! Or they can put together an outfit complete with accessories like nobody’s business.
I just truly believe (in my little opinion which doesn’t really matter, I’m just being brave and saying it) that when I can foster an environment in which a student’s strengths are allowed to shine, it can actually trickle down into other subjects.
Meaning (I don’t think this is coming across very clearly) that if a kid is an amazing artist, but struggles in reading, and I allow that kid to be an amazing artist, and provide opportunities for that kid to hone her art skills, that maybe, just maybe, she will be willing to work hard, take a chance, and begin to improve in reading because I showed her that she is valuable, she has talent, she is capable . . .
Well shoot, if I just didn’t go off on a tangent and get all holier than thou.
I have read and re-read that longer-than-long paragraph and I still don’t know if it’s coming across clearly, but the main point is:
I believe it’s okay for kids to draw.
THIS IS HILARIOUS!
My friend texted a pic of this to me the other night . . . it’s their family “drink station” in their kitchen. She said her neighbor had it first.
It’s to cut down on all of the cups being used in their house each day. You get one cup per day. It goes on your initial spot. All cups stay in the kitchen. That’s it.
She has twin six-year-old boys and a toddler (also a boy).
I don’t know where her husband’s cup is but I LOVE THAT HER CUP IS A GLASS OF WINE.
I cracked up.
And then I said I had to share this picture and she let me.
Hahaha, i love M's cup holder! And yes i really miss the assembly and togetherness and pride it brought to our community. Enjoy the weekend friend!
I want a drink station on my counter! Usually my cups aren't that different than the kids' cups though. I've been known to use a Lego Movie cup. Our weather was ridiculously hot Monday-Wednesday, then it improved greatly. My kids were actually happy to have indoor recess. They didn't want to go out. Have a great week. Hopefully it will be cooler.
Laughter and Consistency
Jenni Taylor says
I loved your comment about the directed draw activities and I totally agree with you. Loved the drink station. We've had the hot weather too and my kiddos struggled to "stay in the game all week" (me too!) Hoping for some cooler weather for all of us next week.
I get nervous around my principal too…. and we're actually friends outside of school – haha I think it's the same as you… just the authority aspect!!! It's been SUPER hot where I am also, but our kids have been going outside. I keep reading all these posts about canceling recess, and it makes me think our school is uncaring :/ ha! Our kids are still going to PE each day and doing adaptive PE outside with their teacher. We're probably all just a little TOO used to it. Hope you enjoy your weekend!
One Step Closer Teaching says
Oh my goodness – I love the cup station – what a great idea! And I am always cold in meetings too! And yes, you definitely needed that cookie – I'm impressed you were able to stop with one! And I absolutely love that your school has a Patriot's Day assembly on September 11th. What a wonderful way to honor and remember. Thanks for sharing!
One Step Closer Teaching
Sherry Wells says
I completely agree with you about the directed drawings. Not only are kids getting to let out their artistic sides, they are building listening skills (which just happens to be a Common Core standard).
I also agree Directed Drawing is great way to build listening skills, as well as do something creative T the same time. I plan on trying this with my kindergarten class this year.
Jennifer White @ First Grade Blue SKies says
LOVE it! =) Thank you for sharing that awesome bus!!
Jennifer Reynolds says
I live alone, except for Rosie, but I am going to make a drink station for myself! It will have a place for milk, water, Pepsi, coffee, and wine. I am also going to do Jennifer's directed drawing of Mudge this week….and that is all. Amy Lemon's shared it on her blog this week, and it is delightful. Just drawing. Because I agree with your eloquent and OH SO RIGHT observation about children's gifts. Keep "speaking for the trees" my friend!
Stories and Songs in Second
Drawing was pretty much my only pleasure in school. I remember getting a first place ribbon in first grade for my rodeo drawing when I was in TX living with my grandparents. I took art classes all throughout high school and I ended up getting a Fine Arts degree (although my emphasis was photography because I couldn't just have a drawing emphasis without painting and let's just say I was better with pencils than with paint.) Thank you for fostering creativity in your students! <3
Jennifer K. says
OT, sort of, but on the Patriot Day assembly thing….I student taught at two different placements within the same district. The first one was a very high SES area close to the harbor where many families had boat docks attached to their homes. They had a Patriot Day assembly that was kind of a big deal and regular Fag Deck assemblies. When I got to my second placement, the school was exactly the opposite. They didn't even do Halloween or Christmas observances because they felt it would be a financial issue for the families. At that school, I worked with a teacher who had formerly worked at my first school, but was transferred at the behest of the district because he opposed the "indoctrination" as he called it of things like Patriot Day and Flag Deck. His feeling was that the district kind of made him disappear into this very poor neighborhood where nobody made a fuss about anything. While I kind of see the vague edges of his point about the assemblies – nobody wants to think children are being trained into certain political persuasions – I don't totally get it when faced with the reality of the situation. They were not that overboard. You say the pledge, sing some songs, sometimes hear a guest speaker who is a veteran or a firefighter or some such important person. Perception is always interesting.
Sorry to unload that on your blog. I just always think of that man when the subject of Patriot Day or any patriotic assemblies comes up.
Kayla Root says
I am not at all ready for it to be fall but that Starbucks cup is beautiful. How have I not seen those yet?? Can't wait to check out those directed drawings you use, my kiddos loved them last year and I am always looking for more!
The Chalkboard Garden
Jen R says
1) i TOTALLY agree with kids needing to JUST draw! we've done a few directed drawings now and i have some UH-MAZING artists!
2) I LOOOOOVE that drink cup station…. mainly because i'm OCD. haha!
Linda Groce says
I totally let the tears fall when I read the poem. Thanks for sharing it! We do an acknowledgement for Patriot Day on our morning announcements. It is good and just enough not to disturb or get our kiddos too upset. My 10 year old granddaughter came home and said that her teacher told them that even though they may not have been born during a time when something so tragic happened, that it was important to read about it and discuss because through those tragic times, they can learn from it and see how our country united together to help those people out who suffered from it. I thought that was pretty powerful and so true.
I just have to tell you that this is my 4th year of teaching, and I discovered your blog about two years ago, and it has helped me ever since!! Mostly it has helped by making me laugh out loud at the similar thoughts and emotions of teaching!! But lots of other great things, including your gold ticket system, (but mine are called green tickets-same idea). I am a huge fan, and just wanted you to know!!!
Angela Furgal says
Girrrrl! Thank you for saying… "if a kid is an amazing artist, but struggles in reading, and I allow that kid to be an amazing artist, and provide opportunities for that kid to hone her art skills, that maybe, just maybe, she will be willing to work hard, take a chance, and begin to improve in reading because I showed her that she is valuable, she has talent, she is capable . . . "
My daughter has a very severe form of Dyslexia. ….like the worst I've seen in 22 years of teaching. (Insert sad sigh). However, that girl can paint, do pottery, and is a seamstress. Like a legit seamstress! She's in her room right now sewing an Amish dress for an upcoming Book report. She is blessed with a teacher that makes accommodations for her disability. Her teacher not only acknowledges Abby's creativity, but celebrates it! Her confidence has sky-rocketed because of it. Yes, reading and writing is a major struggle for her. But knowing that she can "show her work" in other ways is giving her the motivation to do well throughout her school day. So yes, you let your short people draw! Seeds of creativity may be planted that may be "harvested" later in life. THANK YOU!
Kathy Roberts says
Kristin, not only is drawing a legitimate way to recognize the variety of gifts our students bring to school, it is also a wonderful way to build science, math, and social studies concepts. When my students learn to draw spiders, we use words like "cephalothorax" and "pedipalps," when we draw the White House we can talk about our nation's capital and leaders, and when we sketch 3-D shapes we build understanding of their faces, edges, and vertices. Art is a necessary part of being human, and as teachers we can always recognize and support its value in learning.
Christina Hermer says
I so love reading your posts. They are always so entertaining. I totally understand about ending up on committees without really knowing how you get there. I am famous for being part of every committee but it is because I always seem to volunteer. My principal even told people who called about yearbook that she would check with the committee. Funny thing is I was the only yearbook person so I was a committee of 1! Good luck with all those meetings. If you can come check out my 5 for Friday post appropriately titled 5 for Frunday (in honour of being late and your great Fraturday!)
Hanging Around In Primary