I did something yesterday I RARELY do. I left school precisely at 2:42 pm which is the official, contracted end of our teaching day. (It's usually between 4-4:30 that I leave.) I was home by 3 pm! Very weird. We had a good week considering how hyped up the kids were. We ended the week with our annual observance of the winter solstice. We start with a grade level breakfast, followed by the grade-level geography bee. After that is usually about 40 minutes of a science lesson on the seasons and the solstice. This year we tried something new. After an inservice on Flipped Classrooms, our team created a short video explaining the winter solstice. The kids were assigned the task of viewing the video for homework and taking notes on it. After the geo bee, kids were asked to use their notes, and demonstrate their understanding of what they'd learned from the video. We asked the kids to define a couple of vocab words presented in the video and to make a model of the earth and sun showing their respective positions at the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere. My partner and I got a huge chuckle at an almost universal misunderstanding. One of the words we asked kids to define was "ellipse". The definition given in the video was "an elongated circle or curve." The definition was written in the video, but as we know, why would a 6th grader read something when she can listen to it. Almost every student wrote that an ellipse was a "long dated circle." One student wrote - "It's an long, gated curb." Definitely will be a teachable moment after the break!!
On the way home I got to see the progress on our house. For the past couple of weeks, the only time I've passed the house has been in the dark!
As usual, I was up at 4:30 am this morning - a morning I could have slept --and now the holidays can begin!