So the thing with a field trip to Slide Ranch is that once you're scheduled, it's do or die. You need small buses to get there, which ran us $400 a class. The Ranch itself has a modified lottery system, and to get a fall trip your application is due the June prior.
So the rain did not stop us from going. Upon arrival, we did open up the question of completing the trip activities to the parent chaperones. Parents were overwhelmingly in favor of full participation, so we did everything. Eventually it stopped raining, but I was up to my knees in mud by the end of it (largely due to a freak out in the goat shed, which necessitated a carryout, and I couldn't navigate the board walk with a kid).
On the plus side, the buses had to travel so slowly that I only threw up on the way there. Which is nothing.
It was a great trip - very exciting and highly engaging. The rest of the week was something of a wash, though. Thursday was useless: everyone was tired and grumpy and I still hadn't warmed up. Friday was marginally better. Everyone needs a holiday, badly.
We have a week left and it will be quite low key; although report cards now don't go out until 7 January I finished all the assessment. We have one more verse of "Christmas in Hollis" to learn, and while we made egg nog* (and egg nog ice "cream" from the leftovers) we still have to do something with collard greens. We're also having an art sale Thursday. My resident just taught a fairly heavy week of math content, so we'll just continue to review that and introduce nickels: nothing too intense.
Next week is the school dance. As always, I take the kids who are not able to attend this virtuebration and get crafty with them (I cannot handle the 300 children, loud music and flashing lights of the dance: better to have all the bad-tempered behavior challenging children doing arts projects and making fun of the oldschool hip hop and Afropop we favor in my classroom.) I think I have the project selected (translucent tile suncatcher grids), I just need demos and grid ideas.
Although I've hit my year goal on filled Donors Choose projects (30 lifetime filled), I am somewhat bummed out because it hasn't been the banner year we had last year, during which I sometimes got two projects in a day over December. I got backpacks and school supplies for the summer, one for each kid, but not the materials to fill them. Worksheets aren't terribly useful because it's hard to find ones the kids can do and check independently; most of my students have working parents and/or parents who are not able to check work in English. So activities and self-checking games are better. I sent the packs home last year; there was still regression over the summer but it wasn't as intense and some of the kids came back a little more ready in math, apparently (they had a lot of fact practice stuff and got faster). Still, there's time left.
*No egg, no rum extract soy milk powder egg nog, but egg nog nonetheless. We did grate fresh nutmeg over it! And fold in child-whipped cream!