I'm baaaaaaack.

Hoarding All the Glitter Since 2001.

20 December 2011


I went into the important December Give to My Kindergarten Please season with my full allotment of eight Donors Choose requests.

So far so good: six projects completed!  One just funded in two days, yay yay yay.

I still have two projects left, both of which have received donations but both of which are also big (one is nearly one thousand dollars).  But even without those, my class is getting new math games, new art supplies, stuff for the listening center, literacy activities, take home stuff, and supplies with a sensory edge.

Yay yay yay!

In other news, I spent four hours at school Sunday, which was enough time to:
  1. Decide where to put the listening center;
  2. Clean and move furniture for its installation;
  3. Set up the listening center;
  4. Child-proof the listening center (color code buttons, make a key, set up work files/turn in files, etc.);
  5. Make homework and photocopies for the first week back;
  6. Discover that the failure of the heat had killed the isopods (boo), meaning I did not need to either set them up in a permanent terrarium or euthanize them*;
  7. Get rid of any leftover food that could spoil.
However, it was not enough time to clean the room (indeed, the furniture is in a bigger mess than it was before) or get out January supplies and materials.  While I am not remodeling the classroom library until I get book boxes from a Donors Choose grant (yay!), I do have other stuff to do over break.  So I'll probably go in New Year's Day or the 2nd.  Which is to say: I have to go in, I just don't know which day.

Anyway, given that I am going to spend at least eight vacation hours at work, I encourage you to take the latest right-wing media story - the one about teachers being the highest-paid workers based on hourly salary - with a grain of salt.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics only counted contractually-required hours.  Similar to the way teachers are not contractually obligated to grade papers at home, spend an entire weekend setting up their classrooms, stay until 6:00PM to tutor students or show up much before the bell, I am (amazingly enough) not contractually obligated to go in on my vacation.

In further other news, the End of the Year party went well.  Among the things the kids identified learning in Kindergarten:

  1. How to write about a book (no, really!)
  2. How to play with playfoam
  3. How to race isopods
  4. How to use binoculars
  5. How to count to 100
  6. How to read
  7. How to sing "Christmas in Hollis"
  8. How to "do a play"
Also, the lunch - grilled ham and cheese - is one of the least popular cafeteria selections.  Generally this would be a bad thing, but I went against my long-standing "ten minute party" rule and gave them forty-five minutes.  (The longer party is more for parents, really.)  Anyway, they actually ate for twenty minutes before dancing for twenty minutes.  So the bad lunch was a party plus.

The kids took home their wreaths and some photos in frames.  It was a sartorially exciting day because I wore pants twice this week, and the pants I wore Friday had beads and sequins and ribbons on them.  Despite needing to teach an impromptu lesson ("I Don't Care How Exciting My Pants Are, Don't Touch My Bottom") on them, these pants were a huge hit.

...Hopefully they will feel similarly disposed toward the old Thierry Mugler jacket I bought myself yesterday.

*No, they can't be released.  They're not locals.  And while I could probably collect adequate pillbugs for a lesson, given three mornings in the garden, I couldn't collect enough sowbugs.  I don't actually think I had ever seen a sowbug before I got them in a FOSS Kit shipment, and they're obviously different than pillbugs.  (It's not like I just didn't notice.)  I do collect snails rather than having them shipped, release creatures that can be released, and find homes for chickens.  Heck - despite my lifelong disinclination towards chickens above ten days old, I'm keeping chickens this summer so they can live at school.  Also, I no longer do the FOSS module on earthworms with a classroom terrarium since I find it very difficult to keep the worms healthy - we do it at a local garden with their worm bins.  In conclusion, among the things I'm not beating myself up about is freezing isopods.  Which is totally why I just wrote a paragraph justifying myself.

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