What? Again?

If one awards ceremony wasn’t enough, the school I was at today had its own awards show.  Knowing that elementary students are far more impatient than older ones, this ceremony was much shorter fortunately.  And I got to sit down…  Actually, the entire thing was one hour, but the presentations were only about 20 minutes.  The rest of the time was raffling off various prizes.  The entire event was based on reading.  The class I subbed for, a fifth grade class, actually came out on top with more than 1600 books read.  At least I think it was the number of books.  But they also mentioned last month, and that is a huge number for just one month, even among 25 students.  If it was for the entire year, then yes, 1600+ books.  Anyway, the kids also received raffle tickets based on the number of “miles” they went.  Come to think of it, it would have to be books, and therefore over the entire year.  Or, if in a month, then I would guess a book carries a certain number of points like in the accelerated reader program found at many schools.  Yes, that could be it.  Anyway, each student in my class had anywhere from 50 to over a hundred of these miles, earning them two to four tickets.  There were a lot of prizes, so that means a lot of chances to win.  Some kids won more than once.  I was holding a ticket for an absent student.  Unfortunately, she didn’t win at all.

After the assembly, the weather which had been rainy with a tornado watch all day had cleared up and the sun came out and dried the blacktop, so there was a 5th grade versus teachers kickball game.  Yes, I got to play…  🙂   After missing an easy catch, I did manage to score a few runs on our turns up to bat.  So, it was a fun end of the day.

What?  You want to know about the rest of the day, before the awards?  Well, it was supposed to be a field day, meaning play time outside with special events.  Remember the weather I mentioned above?  Yeah, no field day.   🙁   So, they did PE and music at the start of the day (yes! breaktime…) followed by some writing, and finally math games in the computer lab.  I got a chance to try a game they loved called Lemonade Stand.  I used to play a game by this name back when I was in school, only that game was for the Apple ][ instead of Java in the web browser.  Oops, did I just date myself?   😀   So, after that came lunch and free pizza.  Not the best, but I doubt the kids cared.   🙂   Yes, I had some too.  This was supposed to be a part of the field day, but unlike field day they couldn’t postpone the pizzas, so when they have their field day next Monday they will have to do their lunches the ordinary way.

Crazy days at the end of the year, I’ll tell ya.  If I manage to find work next week I’m sure I’ll have some more interesting tales.

EDIT:  Why don’t all the smileys/emoticons render?  Oh, well.  Editing once got one of the four to work in any event.

Moving day

Hey, watch out- will ya? Get that house outa’ the middle of the road! Er- house? In the road? It must be Mount Prospect’s Central School. Today was the day they moved the 1896 schoolhouse to its new location by the Mount Prospect Historical Society. This building was saved recently when funds were raised to move it from its old location, where it would have been torn down to make way for progress. Unfortunately, the schoolhouse still has to wait for the new foundation to set. Once it does, they will have to lift it again off it’s temporary spot and plop it down where it will hopefully stay for awhile. Next, they will need to raise some money to renovate it and finally will hopefully open it for tours (just a guess), at a reasonable cost of course. You can find the story by clicking the picture below. Oh, I hope the driver didn’t speed with his 105,000 pound load…

Another story link is:  Mount Prospect Historical Society moves Central School

Assembly may be required

What a snooze… No, not me last night which was anything but- I think I may have gotten about five hours of sleep if I’m lucky.  I’m referring of course to the assemblies that happen sometimes at schools.  Especially those that totally mess up the schedule.  For me, it was pretty much irrelevant too.  Not to the kids or staff, just to me and any other sub that might have been there.  You see, it was an awards ceremony.  For the entire school.  All, or at least many, sports and academic clubs.  As a sub I knew pretty much zero of the names, hence why it was kind of a snooze to me.  It was a snooze to probably nearly all the students as well because it lasted for more. Than.  Two.  Hours…  For nearly all of the awards, they handed out certificates to every student involved, name by name, and then gave awards to high achievers.  I would guess well over 300 names were read over those 2 hours 20 minutes.  There was one sport I couldn’t believe they had, let alone the number of students involved.  Bocce-Ball.  I kid you not.  Nearly a hundred kids involved too by my estimate.  Wow.  Only track compared to that with four teams, 7th and 8th grades, boys and girls.  There were probably 60-80 students involved there.  The only other sport I remember was girls volleyball- I’m guessing there was no boys volleyball team because one of the students was a boy.  The teacher was careful to not refer to that particular team (7th or 8th, I don’t remember) as “the girls.”

The academic teams and clubs consisted of a math team, geography team, and science olympiad.  Probably more- I don’t remember.  Interesting to note the math team was entirely Indian (or similar) or East Asian.  Hmm.  Perhaps our schools really are failing the children in the math field.  Band, orchestra, and drama were part of the other extracurricular activities.  And finally, there were also service clubs.  One club helped the mentally-challenged kids, and another- well club doesn’t really apply here (you’ll see why in a sec)- recognized students who did some sort of community work.  Thankfully they did not recognize these students individually as a good 90% of the students raised their hands when the principal asked who has done some community work or project!  Was this part of a class assignment or were they really this outward-thinking?

Well, after some 25 teams, clubs, and organizations they wrapped up, had a drawing for some Pepsi T-shirts, and then were dismissed.  The scheduled ending time was 9:45.  The actual ending time was 10:35.  Oops.  Reminds me of television networks and sports for some reason…

So, we skipped two of the periods and I went on break.  Finally I could get off my feet.  Oh, did I mention that I had to stand for the entire assembly because there were no chairs provided for the teachers?  Some plopped down with the students, other stood right along beside me.  Now, I have an injured foot so I did a lot of leaning, walking, and a little bit of sitting on the floor in addition to the standing.  So, all good and well now.  Unfortunately I had about twenty minutes and I had to start eating my lunch as the teacher I was in for had no scheduled lunch.  Instead, she had a study hall period.  So, I had a panini during 4th period, an orange and a Mountain Dew 6th during study hall, and the rest of my lunch last period.  Well, an interesting day for sure.

The next big league scandal

Normally I just roll my eyes to yet some other scandal happening in sports.  Athletes are given god-like status by many fans, so why shouldn’t they act like egotistical know-it-alls {sarcasm}?  Today, it seems Little League teams are no longer allowed to use the names of actual major league teams due to trademarks.  Not just the logos- the names too.  That is, unless MLB gets its share of the pie by forcing the Little League to use their “approved” uniform manufacturer.  How cold can their greedy hearts get?  Now, to be fair, the trademark office requires companies to actively enforce compliance or risk losing their trademarks; and the MLB could have been threatened with that from said trademark office, but I really doubt it.  I remember when I was in intermediate league one year and was on the Astros.  A friend of mine was on the Phillies.  Today we would probably be on the Oranges and Greens thanks to this ridiculous enforcement.  What happened to just giving a nod and a wink because you support youth sports?  It sounds like they support $$$ more.  Here’s a link to the story:

Major League Baseball Tells Little Leaguers: We Own Uniform Rights

Well, that’s all she wrote…

…for the 5th graders in children’s ministry that is.  What?  Did you think I meant I was done with this blog?  Today the 5th graders made their exit from children’s ministry.  In a couple of weeks they will officially enter student ministries as junior high students.  Being Memorial Day weekend didn’t help though as there were a few who didn’t make it due to traveling, though fortunately not too many.  The Junior high pastor (I think? I don’t remember the other one leaving) came in with a couple other leaders and spoke with them about the welcome night, things to expect in junior high, etc.  The kids were prayed over and given certificates- a sort of graduation I guess.  Of course, some won’t really be in junior high/middle school if they go to a public school in the area where 6th grade is still elementary, but at the church 6th grade is junior high even for them.

So, kids I have been working with for the last two years are now gone and in two weeks the third grade moves up to take their place.  They should recognize me though, at least Saturday night kids, as I have been in the kid’s drama.  This is supposed to be the time then to heavily advertise camp, but the early bird discount will be over by then as camp is one short month away, and unless things change significantly, yours truly will be joining them for the week.  I have said before that that one week last year was very powerful for me spiritually, and I hope it will be the same for me this year- and for whoever will be in my cabin this time around.

Going back to drama, the headline applies here as well.  It is done for the season, not to start again until next fall with a new theme.  My usual exit line, to tell the audience to be sure to tune in next week, reflected this as well, instead telling them to be sure to trust Jesus since He’s the only one who can make us super human.  I also added a line for the third graders- that they would see me (“someone who looks like me”) in two weeks.  Heh, heh…  So at the end, we added cast bows, and on reflection, I should have walked over to the puppet as well, since the puppeteer couldn’t very well step out and take a bow too.  Oh, well.

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love you, tomorrow…

No, I am not posting about Annie, but rather when FedEx gets over here tomorrow with my new computer. My old one died last year, hard drive failed again making think there is something wrong with the controller as it ended its life in the same way as the one it replaced. Second hard drive worked all the way through. Fortunately I was able to get a final backup of critical data before it stopped working altogether. I have been using someone else’s computer ever since, but it will be good to have my own again. Which reminds me, I will need a wireless router now so I can use the computer anywhere, after all what good is a laptop if I can’t surf the net from the bathroom? 😀 Time to join the new millennium, eh? I’ll probably pick one up on ebay.

Well, second day of second grade. Different school, different class, different experience. I actually got to do some teaching today, though only in math. They seemed to be a few sections behind the other school interestingly enough. Basic multiplication facts. That can kill the joy of math for many… They did get to draw at least rather than just writing numbers. They would draw arrays, like a 4 by 6 array for the problem 4×6=24. Aside from math I went over answers, did some reading aloud about how a movie is made interjecting my own thoughts as well as getting theirs on the process, and, well, that’s about it for the teaching I guess. The rest was more or less babysitting and trying to learn their particular routines. And no specials for this class today by the way. Aside from recess and lunch I was with them constantly, though like the class yesterday they had computer lab time where someone else was at least in charge even if I didn’t get to put my feet up in the lounge.

The lounge- what a tiny room to be crammed so full of teachers. There was just enough room for three long tables pretty close together with just enough room to walk around them. It wouldn’t ordinarily be so bad as teachers tend to go out for lunch, but today they had a cookout with grilled steaks and chicken, and baked potatoes. I’m not sure who all was invited to the cookout, but I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know about it. So instead of going out, they all got their food and came into the lounge crowding around the tables. I felt sort of like this:

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It didn’t help much that half the table space was taken up by three large cakes (someone’s birthday- don’t know what the other two were for) as well as a couple of miscellaneous snacks of which I did partake. 🙂

Well, aside from a 5th grade band concert in the afternoon, it was pretty much a normal day I would say. Good group of kids though a bit talkative and some would move about without permission. And now a long three or four (hoping just three) day weekend. Two districts are off on Tuesday so I may be out of work that day as well as Monday…

By the way, 100th post for me!

From 8th to 8

Going back to elementary was quite a difference from the last several days, in more than one way.  First, going from age 12-14 to age 8.  There is a world of difference between teens and second-graders.  Second, going from the specials to the academics.  The last week has been dominated with Industrial Tech and PE, with a short break in ELS (also quite different from second grade even though some of the material is similar…).  Finally, working with a single group of kids all day instead of over a hundred.

I didn’t actually do much teaching today.  They really have a routine down with language arts centers so all I had to do there was introduce what they would be doing and then help here and there when some didn’t understand something or other.  Math was just an end-of-year assessment (didn’t need to be reminded of this- the lean season known as “summer” is nigh upon me).  They had a handwriting worksheet I only needed to introduce, again, and computer lab in the afternoon where someone else pretty much ran the show while I helped.  I did get to start a book for read aloud, a Mexican Cinderella.  They are on a unit apparently about Mexico, including learning some Spanish.  Across the room were their attempts at making the Mexican flag which I had to duck under every time I crossed the room.  The teacher I subbed for must be much shorter.

Well, it was fun and I did at least get to work with a class I have worked with once before so there were less surprises- I’ll tell you subbing in an elementary classroom requires a lot more work than in a middle school classroom.  Breaking routine can be difficult with younger students, whereas older ones just take in stride and adapt.  Therefore, studying the routine from the plans takes up some time.  Well, enough of this blathering on.  On to bed and then a different second-grade class tomorrow.