Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's A Beautiful Day To Be In School

It's lunch time.
I have 30 minutes, but that's only on paper.
By the time the last kid scoots out of here and down the hall, I'm down to 25 minutes. That's if I am lucky, and no stragglers stayed behind to pack their stuff or chitchat on the way out.

It's also Thursday, but it feels like Friday since tomorrow is a Teacher Planning Day and the kids are off for that.
Essentially, the only stress tomorrow will be making sure that all assignments are graded and on the computer network, before going home.
My room is in dire need of straightening up, but that's pretty low stress compared to a normal kid filled day.

It's Lab day too.
I had a density lab planned for my high school Marine Science kids, but I had not planned for hands on activities all day until I rode in to work on Raptor Red and the day was too glorious to stay inside.
Experienced teachers can change gears and seize the moment, and that is exactly what I did.

It's actually Outside Lab day.
My high school Environmental class has been struggling through an ecology unit and a day like today was made for a BIOTIC vs. ABIOTIC factors campus survey. All we need are clipboards, paper, pencil and our senses. Then we head outside and they start surveying and categorizing everything they see, hear, even smell, as biotic or abiotic.

It's actually Outside Lab Competition day.
Take one BIOTIC vs. ABIOTIC campus survey and turn it in to a contest for the best survey lists, dangle the prospect of a yummy (but healthy!) prize for the best team, and voila! Instant motivation.

It's been a smashing success all day.
The lists have been awesome, the questions good, and everybody has the difference between abiotic factors and biotic factors down better than ever.

It's been a day of discovery too.
The seventh graders found a big fat swallowtail caterpillar that came back to the room on some of his host plant and we are going to see if we can keep him through his metamorphosis. Out by the FFA pasture, the girl who can whinny EXACTLY like a horse called all the cows, the horse, and the donkey over from across the pasture. One student asked, "What about a cloud, Mr. FC, can I put that down? I looked up. There wasn't a cloud to be seen in any direction, only blue.
"Point it out to me."
"Okay, never mind."
One highly competitive 7th grade girl team made up of a future valedictorian and salutatorian (class of 2014) worked diligently and silently so as not to give away their list items to other groups. At one point they pulled me into their inner circle and with cupped hands whispered that they had found a millipede and NO other group had seen it.

It's now 6th period, lunch is over and it's time for me to use my planning period for what the taxpayers pay me for, and I'm pretty sure that's not blogging.

It's time for me to say adieu.

It's a beautiful day to be in school.


threecollie said...

Yeah, but we really like it when you blog.
Great post...all students should have teachers just like you. I'll bet they remember today's lesson, and no doubt many others, forever. I still thank my high school biology teacher for his efforts. When I started college I never cracked the text book the first year and scored a 97. Let's just say he had us well grounded in his subject. I'll bet your students have a similar something extra when they go on to higher learning.

Dani said...

You are the best!

kathy a. said...

sounds like a great day!

robin andrea said...

It does sound like a beautiful day to be in school. Your students really are so lucky, FC.

Anonymous said...

Well, if you look at the BIG picture, your blogging IS education for all of us out here... and the fact that you are putting a really good face on Public Education DOES help the cause... SO, you are ACTUALLY going above and beyond!!! You deserve a commendation (and not just your, likely, 1% raise and/or pitiable "step" increase...), but at least accept my "Atta boy!" :) Chris F., Havana, FL

Sayre said...

I used to love the occasional surprise outside class! As I drove past my old school the other day, I wondered if anyone still did that... Now I know!

Thunder Dave said...

I think I'm going to start having my team meetings outside! Understand that it was 34F this morning, but that would be a good way to keep everyone on topic so we can end the meeting on time, if not ahead of time! ;-)

That should also answer your question (I know you were thinking it!): No I didn't ride the beast in today.

Anonymous said...

Hey I wanna see some of the pictures you took of our place?

Floridacracker said...

I love it when one of my graduates comes home from college and says that they "breezed" through a bio class, or at least "already knew that stuff" due to my class.
Rare to get, but teachers love positive postschool feedback.

Not hardly! Hey, you are gonna love my next post, reptile girl.

It was. Perhaps a mental health day for kids and teach alike.

I tell them they are lucky to be here all the time and to GO OUTSIDE and see the real world.

Thanks pal!
A raise? We're getting a raise?

I loved it too and I try to remember the things I liked as a kid/student... and then use them!

NOT free periods though.

Rode mine this week and to the football game last night!

Maybe tomorrow!