Friday, March 9, 2012

White Sheep

"Sheep" rhymes with "jeep" which brings me back to the story of Sheep in a Jeep, but I feel it is only fair to report on the very positive experiences of these past few days which totally counteracts the red jeep experience from the last post.

First, I would like to thank the super creative teacher who shared online the sheep project with the "eep" behind the pull-through strip with the letters "d, j, sl, st, sw, w, b". Not being an elementary teacher myself, I never knew how much kids would be fascinated by this phonics activity but my 2nd graders loved this project. They were pulling those strips through, reading those words, (not sure if they know the meaning...) but they sure sound good reading those words. They like their sheep so much they pulled them out again today to read the words.

Second, I would like to thank the creator of cotton balls. The kindergartners love singing "Mary had a little Lamb" and crawling around behind me like little sheep. But, what they love even more is coloring a picture of Mary and gluing cotton balls on for the fleece of the sheep. And, they were singing the song while they worked. An added plus is the kindergarten teacher loved the project. She is a big fan of those really fancy art projects that look really cute and impressive to the parents, but they don't see that the teacher does about 75% of the work to make the parents impressed. I was happy that my project looked cute and all the kids except one did all their own work, and the aid had fun coloring and gluing that "one"...I thought about putting her name at the bottom.

Third, I would like to thank the Scotch company for the original invention of packing tape and their Turkish counterparts for their copy-cat tape for which I could almost find the edge in under 5 minutes. (no tape dispensers here) Anyway, I was able to repair my red jeep and use it for the remaining 3 second grades and the kindergartners. My jeep has been very helpful for teaching many things, but especially for the aforementioned book.

Fourth, I would like to thank a St. Joseph's school student for writing me and asking if "March came in like a lion in Malatya." She'd remembered my journal entry from last year which gave me hope that at least one student in my teaching career has paid attention.

Fifth, I would like to thank the Guiness Book of World Records for their fun facts to help teach superlatives: fastest, longest, fattest, tallest...These facts made for a great "quiz show" format in 5th grade which, in turn, rewarded the students who did their homework because they knew most of the answers which made their team win which gave them an "all expenses paid" trip to the snack bar, which made the boys mad which is only fair because they never do their homework.

Finally, I must thank the Malatya Mountaineering and Hiking Club for opening new doors and friendships. This weekend I will attempt several long bike rides outside the city limits. I am excited to feel the breeze in my face and the wind in my hair. Did I mention that I love biking?! So, what started out as a week of seeing "red" ended as calm as a little lamb or sheep.

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