1. A year ago we were just beginning our 13 days of no electricity. It's been the topic of conversation all week, especially among my 6th graders. I suspect that when they are my age, they will be regaling their children/grandchildren with stories of the the 2008 ICE STORM. One of the good things to have come out of that experience has been the deepened appreciation of all the things I used to take for granted: Christmas lights, our washer and dryer, lights at the turn of a switch, to name some of the biggies.
2. This was a relatively calm week at school despite a snow day. Today we had a blast in one of my science classes. The kids finished their work early and we still had just under 1/2 hr left. I really couldn't stand the thought of giving them the paper and pencil assessment I'd planned, because I just couldn't add one more thing to my pile of papers to be graded. They also needed to get up and move. So I "improvised" and adapted a colleague's activity. We've been talking about ecological succession, and I wanted to be sure the kids understood the difference between primary succession, secondary succession, and climax communities. I told them to divide themselves into teams of 2,3, or 4. Each team had to create a song or rap that defined/explained ecah concept and present it to the class. They had 20 minutes to create and practice, and we took the final 10 minutes of class for their performances. They had so much fun! Most of the teams created a rap-type song, and one enterprising duet combined rap and "opera" for their presentation. It was clear from their attempts that they understood the concepts and we all laughed a lot while they performed. I have to keep remembering to address these other learning styles and offer them more opportunities to show what they know in ways other than paper and pencil.
3. I thought I was behind on my reading for this year, but as I was looking back over last year's book lists, I'm just about even with my pace. That surprised me.
4. My plans for this weekend include finishing my out of town shopping, going to the town craft fair, going to church, getting a few Christmas cards done, and relaxing. I wonder what I'll actually accomplish!