My birthday is coming on Monday, and I believe in advertising. Lo is the sad person that tells no one and then feels sad day of. I told my students early on, and told them we’d be having a party. I bought mini chocolate cupcakes and mini clementine oranges for a special snack, and we had a fun Fun Friday. I decided to let them play with K’nex on Fridays. There were rules: wash hands before touching any in the container, wash hands before putting them back. It was bumpy, but it was nice to let them PLAY. They loved it, and they played and played and built me structures. “Ms. Fogerty! Look what I built you!!” It was adorable. I figure…they only use the K’nex on Fridays. They can hibernate for 7 days and the likelihood of infection is low.
I was also gifted a lot of art today. One little girl knows how to make origami puppies, and she’s made me one every day for the last week. I thought I’d taken a picture, but I guess not. I put all the art they give me up on the bulletin board under my degrees in my desk corner. It makes me feel super happy to have minion coloring sheets or little paper crafts or drawings of things they like to draw. Oh my, I love kids.
I wore my cupcake dress and my Dolly Sisters flower clips and I was in a pretty good mood all day. That said…Covidlandia teaching is just hard, okay? It’s really hard. But I remind myself it is NOT HARDER THAN REMOTE TEACHING, so I make myself be grateful and shut my face.
I am sneezing constantly. I know it’s from the pollutants in the air, but it’s a little inconvenient in the times of Covidlandia. I sneeze in my mask, but it’s still awkward.
My students are readers and really good spellers. I’m doing ECRI style phonics lessons (Enhanced Core Reading Instruction) that I made up to go with Wonders. ECRI was developed to be used with Journeys. I believe in the phonics instructional methods so much I made up a version for all 30 weeks of 3rd grade Wonders. My students this year are NOT as behind as I expected them to be. Who knows what factors could be at play. Perhaps home with their parents for 20 weeks was good for being relaxed. Perhaps this is a more academically advanced group. Perhaps they like to read. Perhaps they have less special needs (my group this year does). Perhaps they are spelling nerds. Perhaps they’re just ready to go. Whatever the case may be, this group is surprising me. They got to 12 minutes of stamina in Read to Self, so I started letting them choose between Word Work, Read to Self and Work on Writing. They got up to 12 minutes in the combo the last two days as well. I suspect this group and I are going to do some deep thinking this year. I see Socratic Circles and big deep conversations ahead for us.
In my at home life…
My BIPOC Lives Matter sign got stolen from my yard two days ago, then mysteriously returned this morning. I am pledging to paint a giant PRIDE RAINBOW and BLM on the front of my house. Ok, fine, bomb it. I have insurance, and if you kill me, well…it must be my time. I’m done. I’m 100% done forever staying silent and not speaking up. So my house is going to be “that house” that gets attention. I love that it’s across from a school. I love that I live in Billings’s most diverse neighborhood. And I won’t back down. A friend called me out on saying “tribe” for our community online and I was super grateful. THAT IS WHAT WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING. GENTLY CALLING EACH OTHER OUT. I loved it. I was not defensive. And it means a lot to me.
I bought myself a selection of mixed flowers, beer, Ben and Jerry’s, parmesan crisps and pumpkin spice creamer today on the way home. This is the weekend of spoiling myself. I am just going to do what I want to do. I check in with my lovely adult children multiple times a week. Life is basically hard and basically good for all of us.
It’s time to celebrate.
BRING IT ON, FIFTY.