Category: Yay cupcakes

Day One Hundred Fifty-Five

My day started off with a cupcake delivery from one of my ninth graders- in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week- which was unexpected and awesome. It totally made my morning.

It’s a B day in the schedule, so I introduced the multi-genre project again in World today. I wanted brainstorming topics to go well, so I appealed to my students’ competitiveness by telling them how many topics my classes yesterday had come up with (30-something). That definitely worked; my Block 2 class, which is my class of reluctant speakers, ended up coming up with 41 topics. 

And my Block 4 class- my most challenging class- came up with 57! 

They rocked and rolled on the research, too, and a bunch of kids wanted to tell me about what they’re planning to write. They’re so excited, and I love it. That’s how it should be.

A few of my Block 4 students and I also ended up having a conversation while they were working that went from very funny to very serious. See, during Teacher Appreciation Week our teacher prep students do all kinds of fun things, including teacher superlatives, and I told my students they should vote for me for “most like to win a rap battle” since I’m a slam poetry champ. They were like, “Yeah, but can you rap, though?” and I busted out a bit of “Guns and Ships” from Hamilton because, y’know, have to be Social Studies about it.

One of the girls told me, “Miss M, your superlative should be ‘most surprising’ because you’re, like, this nerdy teacher lady, but then you do karate, and track, and now you rap?!”

She added that her mom had been glad she was in my room during the lockdown– probably because of the karate- and the conversation shifted to that for a while. Students spoke about how scary it was, and whether or not they cried, and how glad they were that it was a false alarm (little did we know there would be another school shooting today…) I think they probably needed to talk about it because, even though it was months ago, it sticks, you know? 

I had a quick meeting with Mrs. J afterwords, followed by a house meeting. Then I had to go coach a track meet. It’s the last home meet of the season, so we honored our seniors beforehand, which was cool… It rained for a bit (of course), but then the sun came out, a rainbow appeared over the track, my sprinters absolutely crushed the 200m… Aaaaand I was probably too candid while talking to some parents about kids doing travel team/AAU/JO/whatever sports during track season because it’s a thing I have a very strong opinion about, but anyways…. Our team and the teams we were competing against all have traditions of doing the wave to cheer for 4×4 runners, so we were all infield at the end of the meet. 

And then we had a pizza party! Can’t go wrong with pizza, a pretty sunset, and the close of a great day.

Day One Hundred Fifty-Four

My APUSGOV students took their exam this morning. I waved to them as they passed by my room en route to the library, answered a few last minute questions, and then I just had to wait. They all came running upstairs when the exam was over because I’d promised high-fives and cupcakes. I was in the middle of World, but I’d warned my freshmen that we were going to get interrupted, so when the seniors came in they offered their congratulations, too. That was fun. 

And, yeah, high-fives and cupcakes were had by all. We can’t discuss the test because that’s a no-no, but my students were smiling, so that’s a good sign! I’ve said this already, but I’m super proud of them. This is the GIF we’re going with for today, btw:

And there was also World! Specifically, there was Multi-Genre! It’s that time! We brainstormed answers to the following question: what is happening in the world right now that you think is important?

I’ll post the full topics list after my B day classes, but so far it’s really cool- as it always is- and students really dug into the research on their chosen topics. Choice generates enthusiasm and engagement, and Mrs. T and I both gave them a stern talking-to about using class time better than they’d used it during the Central Asia Novel Project, so both those things probably contributed to their diligence.

It’s finally sunny and warm, so practice was glorious. My sprinters did their usual meet prep workout- tomorrow is our last home meet- and we were visited by a graduate who is now an assistant track coach on the collegiate level. It was very cool seeing him.

So, basically, everything about today was good. 

Day Ninety-Six

Almost a foot of snow fell overnight, so we had a two-hour delay this morning. By the time I left my apartment, everything had been plowed and the sun was out. It was actually wicked pretty. 

I had a student come in to make up his midterm during Block 1, and I did some planning while he worked. Then I taught the same lesson in World that I taught yesterday. My Block 2 class did boys versus girls for the group work, which was pretty fun (girls found all the answers about ten seconds before the boys). Only nine of my Block 4 students were present, so they just did the group work as a whole class, and it worked pretty well.

Afterwards, we went over to Mrs. T’s room and joined her class in wishing her an early happy birthday (she was surprised and delighted). One of our aides brought in cupcakes, too, which everyone loved. 

Mrs. T, Ms. N, and I were the only team members around Block 5, but we had our team meeting and discussed some of our students who are struggling. We’re trying to figure out how to help, but it isn’t easy…

Day Sixty-Seven

Most of my APUSGOV students came in tired. It’s the end of a tough week: lots of homework (research papers for me), grueling winter sports practices, and everything that happened Wednesday. I was tired, too. 

Luckily, it was a light class. I wrapped up some info about impeachment (spillover from last class), then lectured on “advice and consent of the senate.” It’s easy enough to grasp. 

Also, we had cupcakes. 

Last year, my brilliant little class decided that when the government shuts down, we should eat cake (because if you can’t have a government, you should at least have a cake). That tradition evolved to include eating almost cake (cupcakes) when the government almost shuts down. Congress managed to kick the budget battle down a few weeks, so. Cupcakes. 

In World/English, Mrs. T and I introduced the second part of The Epic Africa Book Paper and Research Project: choosing a topic the book they just read (ie- apartheid, if the student read Born a Crime or Invictus), researching it further, and putting together a multi-media presentation. 

We let students pick their own seats with the warning that we would assign them again if it got rowdy. I got my stopwatch out for work time, break time; and I specified how much research should be done by the end of the double block (notes and citations for at least two sources). Needing to provide that much structure is an adjustment, but our students are benefitting from it it, so we’re okay with that.

I spent my prep time going over the upcoming classes with Mrs. T, modifying assignments for a particular student, and grading some book papers. Then I went and inflicted my evil interval workout (the one that earned me the nickname “Satan”) on my sprinters. 

After that, I made myself presentable for a holiday dinner party. I find myself talking about teaching a lot at parties, and this one was no exception. People just have lots of questions about the profession- and, since I teach government and politics, there are even more questions! I certainly don’t mind, though. I love what I do, so I’m happy to talk about it.

Day One Hundred Sixty-Two

My APUSGOV class hasn’t eaten cake since the government passed a budget, but we have eaten waffles! Today was “Waffle Wednesday” because, well, we felt like eating waffles. And, yes, they were totally Mickey waffles.

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I did actually teach, too, I swear. I’ve been teaching about state and local government since the exam; that’s why my last two guests were state legislators. I also had students read the NH Constitution, and today I did a lecture-discussion on the basics of our state government. I gave a vocab quiz, as well. 

In World, I introduced the multi-genre project for the second day. My Block 3 class was immediately fired up about it. My Block 4 class was… not. At least, they weren’t initially. They looked at sample projects from past years and said it looked like too much work, and they didn’t wanna, etc, etc… But I explained how much choice they have, and had them look at the daily calendar that breaks down all the work, and then they got excited. They actually brainstormed my biggest list of topics. 

Oh, but I did give out my first detention in ages today because a kid cut class. That was annoying. 

Practice was quick but awesome. I worked with the girls 4×1 team (boys missed qualifying by one spot… like .3 of a second). We checked their marks, then did an “all around,” which is when each sprinter does a full 100m, but accelerates into the hand-off as opposed to sprinting the whole way. It was flawless, and I had a feeling it would be. These four girls work so well together; it’s three seniors and one freshman, which can be a tough dynamic, but not in this case. They did a cheer before the all around, and congratulated each other after they finished, and I just loved it.

We finished practice with couple hollow sprints, ate cupcakes one of our captains brought for her birthday, and went home. I’d say it was a good day.

Day One Hundred Fifty-Three

The students in both of my World classes were writing essays today, which went well in spite of the fact that there were multiple interruptions involving cupcakes.

The first one was unexpected. A girl on one of the other ninth grade teams came in during Block 3 to hand a cupcake to one of my students (yes, she asked my permission first). Then another of my students realized this girl had more cupcakes to give out, and bolted down the hallway. She returned a moment later, looking very proud of herself, with a cupcake in hand. I cracked up at that point.

The disruption to my Block 4 class was my doing, and I’d warned my students it would happen. See, my APUSGOV students took their exam this morning (and my colleagues laughed at how jittery I was during PLC), and I promised them cupcakes after it was over. So they came running up to my classroom en masse, which was fun. We’re not allowed to discuss the test, which is WAY HARDER than I anticipated it being, but they were in good spirits. That’s a good sign. 

I spent Block 5 having a grading party with my cacophonous friends because we wanted to sit and chat about stuff, but we all had work, too. Then I spent practice doing 4×1 passes with the boys. One of our former athletes came by, and he did relay for four years, so he critiqued, too. This one will coach someday, too, I think, so it can’t hurt to practice.

Day Forty-Nine

I think I’m catching a cold, and I’m inordinately angry about that ‘cause who wants to be sick over a three-day weekend? Other than that, though, my day was awesome. 

People other than me did not have awesome days. Like… the SRO did not have an awesome day. It was THAT kind of a day. 

It’s probably good that we have tomorrow off.

Back to my day, though. We started a new unit on Africa in World, so we had a chat about what they already knew and what they want to learn, and then I talked my way through the vocab list for the unit. After that, they had time to work on their homework (labeling a map of Africa), or they could use the time to revise the reflections they’d done last class. Lots of kids took advantage of that, and the average score is super high. Since they did so well, a lot of them ended up with higher quarter grades than they though they would, so they were all pretty happy. 

I like that. 

Bonus: one of the girls in my Block 4 class turned 15, so she had a tiara and a batch of cupcakes, and we took some time to celebrate. 

It can’t be a bad day when there are cupcakes, right?

Maybe I should’ve told her to bring one to the SRO…