Wednesday, October 29, 2008

5th graders...

Well, I haven't written much about my experience in 5th grade so far, and I'm in my 4th week of the placement! I guess there are several reasons for this, but the primary reason is that 5th graders are not nearly as cute as 2nd graders. The second reason is that I'm not enjoying this experience as much. All elementary interns are required to spend half of the time in a lower grade (K-3rd) and half of the time in an upper grade (4th-6th). Some people love the lower grades, some love the upper grades. One of my friends started the internship thinking she would hate her 6th grade placement, and has ended up loving it. I don't hate being in 5th grade, and I guess I don't even dislike it that much, but I just don't like it as much as 2nd grade. So, perhaps this is the reason why I haven't written much about it. So, let me give you a quick update on my life in the 5th grade. I'm in a science and social studies class, and we have 3 classes each day. For the last week I've been teaching 2nd and 3rd period. Starting next week I'll teach all day long! I'm looking forward to it, and I have several experiments and fun things planned to do with them. It's going pretty well, and I like that 5th graders can do more independent work than the 2nd graders. This allows for more "projects" and even science experiments. It gives more opportunities for them to do things besides worksheets. The main thing that bugs me about the 5th grade is the attitudes. I can't stand it when they huff and puff when they get in trouble, or when they talk back with some grand explanation about why what they were doing really wasn't wrong. Makes me crazy! Back good. (I should probably take a moment to apologize to my parents for having a sassy mouth when I was younger! But, I don't think I got sassy until at least Jr. High!) Anyway, the attitudes just frustrate me. And, I have found that my "mean voice" does not sound very mean. I'm working on that. Not that I want to be a mean, grumpy teacher, but sometimes you have to put on a serious face and let them know you mean business. I think I'm getting better at it, but I've got some work to do! ha ha. So, with all that being said, I just try to approach each day with a positive attitude and hope that it will be a good day. Most days are good, some days I want to pull out my hair! Overall, 5th grade is not terrible, but I definitely prefer my cute, little, precious 2nd graders!! Well, I'm off to Open House night at school in a few minutes, so I better go for now. Have a great day and a Happy Halloween tomorrow!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An encouraging word...

I was teaching history. It was 3rd period, the kids were tired, and we were learning about the French Colonists settling in the "new land" (that would be North America, for those that aren't history buffs). Not the most exciting reading. They leave France, they come to America, they set up a colony, end of story. Same thing that happened in yesterday's lesson with the Spanish. I'm doing my best to make it interesting...after we read the text, I try to retell it like a story, using the map to point things out and trying to sound excited. But I'm looking at their eyes, seeing some of them day dreaming, and thinking to myself "I don't blame them, I would probably be bored too." Time runs out for the class, so we have to stop in the middle of the lesson. Relief sweeps across most of their faces. The dismissal bell is only minutes away, and they hurriedly pack their things to leave. But, as one girl walks out of the classroom, she stops for a second and says, "Mrs. Bell, why do we have to leave just when the story was getting good?" All I can do is smile at her. "Yes!!" I think to myself, "at least one person is interested and paying attention. Maybe I'm not as boring as I thought!" How nice it is when a student is enjoying learning (and being sincere when they tell you)! It made my day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


So one of my 5th graders asked the following question at the lunch table the other day...

"Mrs. Bell, is fish a meat or a vegetable?"

What?!? Was he serious? Yes he was. Pretty sure a 5th grader should know the answer to that! But I just kindly answered that fish is indeed a meat. He said that's what he thought but he didn't know what happened to the meat when you cook fish. Strange.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Matty Came to Visit!

Well, Matt was here for the last week, and just left yesterday. We had so much fun together, and I realized just how much I had missed him when I saw him. He actually surprised me by taking an early flight & showing up at the end of the school day on Friday. I was completely shocked to see him walk in the classroom, especially because it was 5 minutes before school was out, and I was busy telling all my little 2nd graders goodbye (it was my last day in 2nd grade). needless to say, I was VERY excited to see him! I was planning to drive to Birmingham that night to pick him up at 10:00, so it was nice to have him in early & to not have to drive by myself! That evening, he surprised me again by telling me we were going to spend the weekend at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery. A friend of ours works there, and she got us an AMAZING deal on the Executive Suite! It was a great weekend! The room was beautiful, on the corner of the building with a view of the Alabama River. It was a nice way to relax, and get away from the world for a couple of days.
This is a picture of the hotel:

On Friday night, we checked into the hotel, and then met some friends for dinner at the Brew Pub downtown. We were able to walk over from the hotel, and we enjoyed our friends. It was obvious how much Matt had missed everyone because he barely stopped talking long enough to take a breath the whole time we were there!

Matt & Me

Matt, Steven, Allen

Angela, Kayla, Me

We watched some football on Saturday, had pizza at Tomatino's (a local Montgomery favorite), and then went over to the Frisby's that evening so Matt could see Lucy. He missed her too! We ended up at the Frisby's house almost every night so Matt could see her. I was off on Monday (for Fair's not a real holiday, but the State Fair was free for kids that day), but I had to work (well, go to school) the rest of the week. So Matt would do homework during the day, and then we would get to hang out in the evenings. It was a great week, but of course it passed much too quickly. I think spending time together is going to make the next 6 1/2 weeks even harder than the last 8 weeks! Although it's a shorter time until we see each other again, having him back to visit made it so much harder for him to leave again. I know the time will pass quickly, and so I'll just find ways to keep busy and not think about him being gone! I'll see him again at Thanksgiving...along with his new school friends from Kenya, Mexico, Paraguay and maybe Switzerland (they're joining us for Thanksgiving)! Should be fun! It's actually only 8 more weeks of living apart (not counting the week of Thanksgiving) until I graduate and we'll be back together for good! I'm looking forard to that for sure! Have a wonderful day!