November 15, 2012
3:45 am – The low sounds of baby Sage (10 months) drifted up the stairs. No way. I will her back to sleep without getting up.
4:00 am – She is persistent and I don’t want her waking her sister Xian who is just 3 months older. I’m up, out of bed and down a flight of stairs. Wait! She’s quiet but, based on the previous weeks, it shouldn’t be long before she’s at full bore noise making. I continue down the remaining three flights of.stairs to the kitchen to make her bottle. Yikes! I remember that I didn’t cook rice for the girls’ lunch. Load up the rice cooker. Hmmm no sounds from Sage. Did she go back to sleep?
4:30 am – Still no sounds from Sage but Audrey (the pooch) is getting restless for her morning run. 4:30 is our standard time. The early morning is one of my favorites and today I am treated to a surprise. The early sky is overcast and there is no sign of Orion as he hunts in the predawn hours; however, the lanterns that appeared along the river a few weeks ago are lit up. The red glow follows the winding river up and down the adjacent road. The opportunities for exercise have greatly diminished over the last year and I’ve recently begun HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). 10 minute warm-up, 8 repeats of 20 seconds as hard as I can push it + 10 seconds slow jog, 10 minutes of slow hill climb. So far so good.
5 am – Expecting to see the lights on because Sage woke up Krista, I’m surprised to see a dark house. She’s still sleeping! I get the french press loaded up and boil water.
5:30 am – Cook breakfast.
5:45 am – Double trouble! Both girls are awake and standing in their crib. We each grab a girl, head downstairs and feed them their bottles as we gulp coffee and eat banana and honeyed-up oats.
6:00 am – The girls are done and ready to play. Krista and I begin stuffing the monster pile of diapers. I like using cloth diapers – especially when I see the mounds of paper diapers that can accumulate – but the laundry never ends. We stuff and pile and the girls fling our piles around like mounds of leaves on a fall day.
6:30 am – We’re moving towards the car to get the girls to school. They go to Paradise (what a name for a school!), which is about a 25 minute commute. Sage sleeps as Xian sings.
7:00 am – Arrive at Paradise. Xian holds my finger for balance as she walks from the sidewalk into the school. We’re back in the car and off to our school.
7:20 am – Get to school. I first check in with my Student-initiated Google Doc to make sure that no students are scheduled for assessments this morning. One student has posted a question and I respond. It’s time for coffee.
7:45 am – A student comes in for help about the digestive system. We draw models on the board and break stuff to help with the idea of surface area.
8:00 am – The school day officially begins and I have prep the first 90-minute block of the day. Today, I teach one technology class and two life science classes (a group of 6th graders and one of 7th graders). In tech class, we just finished up work on presentations. Student-groups generated a topic and planned a presentation. First stop: Google Presentation (essentially PowerPoint). Once complete and presented, I asked students to repeat the same presentation with Prezi. Same material – different format. We wrapped up by creating feedback surveys using Google Forms. This will be the springboard to the next topic of spreadsheets.
- I use Flubaroo to grade Google Ninja assessments. Several Belt earners!
- Assessments for students coming in at lunch are prepared and printed.
- Service Project: Krista and I are doing a fast one week service project related to National Adoption Month. We’ve run out of children cut-outs and managed to lose the original so I have to recreate and copy more. The hope is to have the students design 475 this week. The number represents the amount of children abandoned in Taiwan in a year.
- I post the schedule for the Tech class on our blog.
9:30 am – It’s break time! I really want another coffee but am battling with printers. I guess the frustration keeps me awake.
9:45 am – Tech class starts. Aah, the fun (or is it craziness) of Spreadsheet newbies. I feel like a chicken running around.
11:15 am – Lunch time! I race to get tables set-up outside for our service project. Krista brings cut-outs, scissors, crayon, markers and about 35 cut-outs that were already handed to her. We are within 140 of our overall goal!
11:25 am – I abandon Krista at her post to get to my room in time for student assessments. I love scheduling these assessments with Google Docs! Assessment questions with student names are printed and ready to go. One student asks for help on a conversation. We blow up some balloons to talk about relationships between temperature and pressure.
11:45 am – A few students are still finishing up as I frantically update the Life Science blog for today’s class.
Noon – Lunch is over (I still haven’t had a chance to eat.) Students come in for Silent Reading time. It’s nice to have a bit of calmness. I catch up on my Reader.
12:20 pm – Students are working on experiments that they designed about plants as we go through the inquiry process. Groups have 15 minutes to prepare for a presentation that provides an overview of their project. Afterwards, students work on data collection and taking care of their plants.
1:50 pm – Starving! I finally have a few minutes to gobble up my lunch. On my way to break, a few of my 6th graders show me their recent find: a dead gecko. They put it out on a window sill to see what will happen. Krista shows up and we have our lunch.
2:00 pm – The bell rings and it’s back to class. The class is the same as the earlier one though I make a key change. After another round of good discussion regarding projects, I switch up groups. One person from each group stays as a procedure reader and the other moves to follow the procedure of a different group.
3:35 pm – The bell dings for the end of school. It’s been a long one and Krista enters my room with a stack of cut-outs. We finish cutting a few and tape them together. We’ll post them up on the wall in the morning to join the long line already there.
Going outside, we update the count. We’re totally within the reach of success!
4:00 With the day done, we finally load up into the car to go pick up our girls. Traffic is not so bad and we get there within 30 minutes to turn around and head back east towards home.
5:00 pm – Finally home! We unload the girls and let Audrey out of the house. The pooch is excited and bounces around trying to lick the girls. Having a few minutes of play time before needing to cook dinner, we head inside and let the girls romp. Xian practices a lot of walking!
5:25 pm – Down the stairs I go to cook dinner as Krista stays with the kids.
5:45 pm – A stir-fry is finished and the girls are chowing down.
6:15 pm – Audrey patiently watched the girls eat and make a huge mess. Eager to vacuum the floor, she hangs out until given the OK. The girls get one of us each for a spotter and begin climbing stairs for their bath. Diaper duty. Blah.
6:45 pm – The bath is finished and wrestling matches to get the girls dressed for bed take place. Finally, teeth are brushed and we head upstairs to read a book.
7:00 pm – Lights out for the girls. I take Audrey out for her evening walk.
7:20 pm – Returning from the walk, I help finish up cleaning the kitchen, packing lunches for the next day and getting bottles ready for the morning.
7:45 pm – I have about 1 hour of time before my body is going to crash. I should either finish my progress reports that are due tomorrow or work on assignments for a PD class, but I’ll likely get nothing done. Whew.