Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ah, September!

I love the romance of the first day, first week. A short week, the kids are always eager. Somewhat tired, having not kept regular bedtime hours, they are subdued. Eager to please, the honeymoon is soon over. Soon, daily routines will become simple.

The first day was super.
The kids would line up outside. Parents standing around. I remember telling the parents to smile and back away slowly. We could handle this! They grinned. I escorted the grade five kids into my classroom.

I love the new books, the alliances made, the seating plans. I always had them sit in the same seats for the first two weeks. I needed a seating plan to learn their names.
I loved gr. 7/8 math!
Following that, we would draw playing cards, then put the card facing outward on our foreheads. This eliminated cheating, since your peers knew your card. All of the 2's (♥, ♠, etc.) would sit in a group.
seating plans

My first goal, the first month of school, was to call every family. I knew that Meet the Creature, whether BBQ, social time, or formal lecture outlining my program, only favoured those families who could get time off work. The single moms with shift work had a tough time of it. It was easier talking for a few minutes to each parent. If you phone just 10 minutes before a bell, you can do the 10 minute dash, and get to class on time. Many families who worry, just want you to tell them that their kid is fitting in, and had managed to adapt to the routines and expectations of the day.

We used frame poems

Dalton McGuinty is putting budgets ahead of education

SK art projects - precut means little creativity.
How to avoid day care initiatives, while freezing teacher salaries. How to avoid taxing the rich by taking the bargaining out of Collective Bargaining.

What happened to 'play-based learning?'
He's ending collective bargaining. This is something that is creeping north from the USA. It's no way to improve an economy. Drastic cuts to employment, like cutting back Ontario Parks employees.

He's paying for his initiatives (lower primary classes, full-day kindergarten) by freezing salaries. Full-day kindergarten is simply not as good as quality day care. Kids don't need a full day of PA announcements, student/teacher ratios of 22:1, bells every 40 minutes, 20-minute play periods, crafts that look all the same, pressure to learn and achieve before they are ready.
Free-flowing painting

Sand play

Day care: 8 kids to 1 teacher, family atmosphere, no bells, no principals on the PA system, no noise interruptions. An atmosphere of safety and security. No lockdowns. Free-flowing art, painting for fun, not as an assignment.

First he came for Ontario doctors.
Behavioural Economics Explains Why Ontario Doctors Are So Livid by Steven Lewis
Now its teachers. Next will be police and firefighters, public unions, and who will be left? The MPPs who make $147,000 a year.

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