So I started this series a while ago, did one post, and then haven't talked about it since. Go me! ;) Well, it's Teacher Appreciation month and I'm currently feeling consumed by school - so this post is appropriately timed. hahaha
At our staff meeting last Friday, my principal was talking about how this part of the school year (we're in the last 6 weeks) is analogous to the last 3-4 hours of a REALLY long road trip. We're headed home and are tired, hungry and ready to be DONE! Everyone is finding everyone else a little bit irritating and we're almost home.... we can see landmarks that let us know we're almost home.... but we're not close enough to feel the relief of being home yet :)
And all the teachers say, "AMEN!"
I love love love my job and the kids I have the privilege of working with every day, but at this point in the year with the track meets, band competitions, testing, dances, hormones, after school events, etc. I kind of feel like there's no time to actually teach :) Thankfully this isn't my first rodeo and I've structured my classes to "peak" after Spring break and so now I have lots of "flex room" in my planning. This means lots of games and lots of fraction practice... because I'm everyone's favorite teacher. hahaha #theyallhatefractions
Since I like to keep a good sense of humor about the whole "last six weeks situation", here are a few of my favorite end of the year memes...
And since we're on that leg of the trip where everything my fellow passengers does is annoying, there's these...
OMG!!! I laugh sooooooooo hard at the two Captain
Kirk Picard ones. (If my cousin Lindsey is reading here she's rolling her eyes soooooo hard at me mixing up the captains. Sorry, L!)
ALL DAY EVERY DAY! hahaha
Middle schoolers are a unique breed.... a unique breed who is incapable of hearing directions. ;)
If you're a teacher and you're on your A-Game this year and already thinking about exams I thought I'd share one of my most fun teacher tips... how I make exams fun.
Nothing screams fun like being tested on a semester's worth of material and students STRESS to the max so I attempt to lighten the mood a bit by structuring the tests around fun pictures and anecdotes from the year.
I use little inside jokes, clips from videos that they think are funny and I exploit fun little tidbits I've found out about kids... like when they are crushing on animated princesses :)
I make sure to include EVERY student in the test at some point and love seeing big smiles and grins spread across their faces as they flip the pages of the test instead of the normal grimaces that during an Algebra exam.
It definitely takes more time to make tests like these, but it is soooooooo worth it! They leave my exam talking about "that funny question about Will" instead of talking about how they think they performed.
I put embarrassing pictures of myself and, if I have time, like to include a little note to the class at the end. It's the VERY LAST thing that the students will do in my class and I love getting to end it on a fun note.
And last up - this little system has worked FANTASTICALLY for me and so I thought I'd share. When I copy my exams, I number them and put it in the upper left hand corner. I shuffle them and pass them out randomly so that no one knows anyone else's number. I tell the kids to note their numbers and then when I grade the exams I use their exam numbers (instead of their names) to post the results on my door. I avoid being HOUNDED by dozens of diligent students wanting to know their grade, they get the info that they want and everyone's privacy is maintained. WIN! WIN! WIN!
I still can't believe that I'm even thinking about exams!!! But I have a feeling I'm going to blink and it's going to be exam week.
So, to all my teacher friends out there, do you have any "best practices" to share? I love hearing great tips from other teachers.
Happy Tuesday, friends!!