Yesterday, some friends from work and I went out for happy hour (milkshakes). We meant to only stay a while, but some of us lasted about 3.5 hours. Wow! Let me just say, that was a much needed milkshake. I love the people I work with! It was nice to relax and know that there was only one more day before the break.
Today, being the last day before Winter Break and being filled with all of the fun out-of-the-ordinary activities, was a day that made me very nervous. My class is difficult to manage and control, and a day like this could be very tiring and frustrating. But I went into it with a positive attitude, determined to allow my kids to have a fun day but also to maintain control of my classroom.
It was a wonderful surprise! Today was amazing! I gave not a single color change, which is, in itself, a miracle. We started the day by doing some organizational chores to get ready for the new year. We also packaged up their gifts for their parents, cute little ornaments or magnets. After specials, we drew visual representations of two digit numbers on our desks and wrote them in expanded form. Check this out! I am so proud of how my kids kick butt in math.
This apparantly deemed me the "coolest teacher EVER." Must have been the fact that they were writing directly on our desks.
After that, we cleaned out our desks and got new school supplies. Man oh man, I wish I had taken a picture of all the trash that came out of some of those desks. You wouldn't believe it. I also found like 30 of my missing pencils, hiding in the deep dark crevaces of first graders' desks.
Then we did a little bit of reading, a mini-recess, and we went to our school holiday sing-a-long. It was so cute! Each grade level performs a song and then we all sing and dance together. It is such a fun time! Then we headed back to our classroom for our class party at the end of the day. I had to organize it myself this year, since I'm not sure my room mom is really into being my room mom, lol. I must say (patting myself on the back) that it was the most organized, well managed class party I have ever seen. I had three stations going: a craft with foam door signs and foam stickers, a holiday bingo game, and of course a snack. Since the kids only spent ten minutes at each station, nobody got bored and started acting up. I was so impressed. I had four moms there helping, at it was just wonderful. Here are some pictures:
So anyway, it was a wonderfully peaceful and fun day! Here's a funny quote from the other day:
Jake: "No, T, Santa is not real. He's just fake. Hanukkah is real."
T: "Well, 'Jake,' if you don't believe in Santa you're just a moron. Don't you know that Santa's the one that INVENTED Christmas?!"
I have always been a firm believe in the saying that "What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger." Well, I have now made it (not officially, because we haven't made it all the way through the third 6 weeks yet) pretty much through half of the year. I have survived half a year of this class. And you know what? I have enjoyed myself almost as much as I have been frustrated and upset. Okay, maybe even more than I have been frustrated and upset. And now I have the tools and the knowledge of how to deal with a class like this. The last half of the year should be much easier than the first. I am looking forward to a nice break to relax and recuperate. When I go back in January, I'll have a refreshed attitude and I'll be ready to get back to work!
...but it's a good thing I have 15 days off. Because if it was any shorter, I might lose my mind.
Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend. And those of you in the school system, enjoy your (much needed also, I'm sure) winter break!
I'll update soon, since I'll have a lot of time on my hands for a while :) :) :)