Monthly Archives: January 2015

Queen for the Year

One of my 7th grade students loaned me a crown shortly after the Christmas break. I’m supposed to wear it for the rest of this school year. You see, I’ve been proclaimed the queen of our class by my students. I’ve promised to be the best teacher I can be and to take their needs and interests to heart. I had to kneel down to take this oath.

Shortly thereafter, my students decided that they would like to wear the crown on their birthdays.Then, one student put forth a motion about what they named “Crown Day” and the rest of the class took turns amending the motion. Several revisions and lots of conversations later, my class drafted and voted on our first class law. This process took place during our social studies class and in between a fire drill.

It was a great experience in parliamentary procedure.
Here’s our class resolution.

Crown Day!
On people’s birthdays they will be allowed to wear the crown during class time. If their 
birthdays are during a holiday, then Mrs. Elisa, our class monarch, must decide whether they
 get to wear the crown on the first day back from break or on the last day of school before
 break. Also, if your birthday takes place during summer, then you may celebrate it with the
 crown during class on a day of your choice, but you only have one day. In addition, if you’re
 sick on your birthday you may have the crown the day you get back. If two people are
 supposed to have the crown on the same day, then those two people must decide who gets the
 crown that day; the other person will get it the next day. Last, if you lose the crown, you must
 repay the owner of the crown five dollars. If you damage it, you must pay for fixing the
 damage.
                 Signed by the student who proposed the motion.

             Approved on Thursday, January 08, 2015

I am really hoping that someone else chooses to put forth a motion, soon.
Democracy in action.
That’s what it’s all about.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers, A Slice of Life

Leave a comment

Filed under crown day, parliamentary procedure, slice of life

Back to School – Five Highlights

Going back to school after a long vacation is always hard. For me the winter break is particularly challenging as it’s one of the few times that all five of us are together. After the holidays are over and my daughters go back to the US, it takes a few days for me to adjust to that empty feeling that invariably engulfs me wherever I turn. However, this year, I’ve been able to manage the shift from being with family 24/7 and no alarm clocks to spending most of my time with students and getting up early by hiding out in my classroom. Before you tisk tisk my decision, let me say that it has helped me transition back into the routine of school life. I have had two good days with my students and we have accomplished important work.

Here’s a list of the top five highlights of these past two days in no particular order:
  1. My 7th graders have started reading their books for our Mock Newberry Award. The teacher librarian at my school and I chose 15 books for my students to read. So far, the response has been great. I can’t wait to listen in on some of the conversations my students will be having over the next few weeks about these books.
  2. My 7th graders are writing about their One Little Word (OLW) to be published on their newly minted blogs next week. This is my second year doing OLW and my first with my students. I will be writing about my own OLW, soon. So far, my students are choosing great words to help them focus their year. My 6th graders will be working on their OLWs tomorrow.
  3. My 6th graders started a mini research project about Ancient Egypt. They started out with a question and then added more related questions using the 5W’s. They are taking notes on index cards, noting sources, and verifying information that they find. I will be writing about this process, soon. I am looking forward to their presentations about what they learned.
  4. I ran into one of my ESL students from last year who wanted to share that he finished Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. I had started reading this book with my ESL students last year but we weren’t able to finish the book. It was a challenging read for my students and it was taking a very long time to read aloud. So, we put the book down and students who were interested were encouraged to read it independently. Of course, this encounter made my day!
  5. I had lunch today with one of my colleagues. It was nice catching up after the break. We went to a nearby sandwich shop, had a delicious lunch, and relaxed.

Not bad for two days of school! 

Leave a comment

Filed under highlights