Reblogged from Power Windows
FINALLY finished my first draft of report cards... quite possibly the most meaningless garbage I have ever written (see rant here). In any case, what better way to celebrate than with the NEW RUSH ALBUM??!!!
Clockwork Angels came out
on Tuesday, and did not disappoint!
Being a drummer, I of course tuned my ears primarily onto ze drums, and
was well pleased with Peart's loud, trashy cymbals, feather light brush
work, and general musicianship on the kit.
I'm not even quite sure how to describe this event... I mean, how can you possiblly have thousands of people and their dogs milling about on the streets of Toronto, and not have some sort of a major crisis?! And yet, the dog event of the summer seemed to go off without a hitch.
Water bowls were plentiful, and several volunteers paraded up an down the streets with large water barrels for the 4-legged guests of honour.
Only once did I see some un-cleaned-up-after doggie do.
The boys particularly enjoyed the Purina Pro Plan Dog Stars show (featuring dogs with skills that go beyond the familiar "jump up on the table and steal your jam toast" trick), and even Jasper seemed calmer than usual, amongst "his people" -- even went for a dip in the fountain (granted, it took a little coaxing, and of course, being a beagle, we had to keep him on his leash)! He also got his dew claws clipped, gratis, by a teenage volunteer at the first aid center.
There was something quite special about having the streets around St Lawrence Market closed to cars, and enjoying the neighbourhood while browsing countless booths of vendors, vets and dog-specific community service providers.
Admission to this event was free, and the treats were in abundance... for dogs, that is!
We will definitely check out Winter Woofstock this fall!
I don't often reblog photos and such from other sources, and I generally try to keep my extreme views on things other than teaching out of this space, however, I did enjoy both of these images this weekend, as I was procrastinating over my report cards. Perhaps you will, too.
Reblogged from Coming Out Journal
Allow me to take a break from writing report cards for 20 minutes, and tell you how much I hate writing report cards!!!!
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for communicating with families about how their child is doing at school, and how they can support their child at home in various subject areas. But I am also for effectiveness and efficiency, neither of which qualities the dreaded report card process, now currently taking over homes and families of public school teachers across Ontario, manifests!!!
Case in point: This morning, after 45 minutes working on my Language comments, I realised that somewhere along the way I had scrolled down not – as I had thought while doing it – in the comment box, but rather, down past the student whose comment I had been working on, and into the report card field of another student!!!
With the warm weather apparently here to stay, we took our Science class outside this morning to dig up some dandelions and grass in order to investigate tap roots and fibrous roots. Students made labelled diagrams of their findings, and discovered that dandelions have tap roots.
We also found some worms, which was very exciting, since we had just recently read an article about earth worms!
I enjoyed reading about philanthropist Jean Vanier this morning, on "humanity"...
I cannot believe how many people stumble across my website because they have searched "Learning Skills Ontario", especially in the weeks just preceeding report cards each term!
Well, Teech-as, here's two more little treats for y'all:
A good teacher is organized, and does not leave report card writing until the last minute. My report cards are due next week, so I got started the other night. I opened my marks binder, where I copiously record 3 pieces of evidence (i.e. marks) for each strand, along with relevant anecdotals for as many students as I can in all subject areas.
Imagine my horror when I opened to “Oral Language” and found that I had – wait for it – ONE mark for each student, and anecdotal comments for, well, three of my 21 students!!!
How was I to assign a mark supported by a carefully crafted, authentic comment that accurately reflected students’ ability and understanding of 1.7 and 1.8, which we had been focussing on all term??!! Eeee-Gad!
I’m not a terrible teacher, really, I’m not!
Indeed, we’ve been doing lots of “identifying and explaining the importance of significant ideas and information in oral texts”, and “identifying points of view in different types of oral texts, citing words, phrases, ideas and information from the text to confirm this idenfication” this term, honest!
Why, in science, I played for the little dears a video about plants, and had them complete a lovely graphic organizer to record their understanding of what was going on. Later, we listened to Bill Nye, the Science Guy, talk about forests, and we created wonderful mind maps to document the key points, and we talked about different perspectives on cutting down trees, even holding debates, and participating in EBS activities by pretending we were loggers, Aboriginal Canadians, environmentalists, creatures who lived in the trees, and people who worked in the pulp and paper industry!
But ask me if I assigned marks to any of this fine work!!!
Thankfully my lunch meeting didn’t show up, so I spent my time desperately brainstorming “oral texts” which I could have my Grade 3s listen and respond to that afternoon!
Finally, we listened to Rudyard Kipling’s poem “If”, just to challenge those students ready for a level 4 extension, to see if they could figure out what Kipling was trying to tell the listener.
Students completed the worksheet above, and I got another concrete oral language mark for report cards.
If I were a good teacher, I would have included a female speaker in the roster. (quick, easy, accessible-to-grade-3 ideas anyone???!!!) Overall, though, as a tired teacher who has already spent countless hours writing report cards that few people besides my principal will actually read and understand, I think I did okay this afternoon.
After writing for several teacher and multiple birth publications, including ETFO's Voice Magazine, Multiple Moments, and the Bulletwin, Vera now focuses most of her written attention to prolific blogging, including BiB, "Learn to Fly with Vera!" and, more recently, SMARTbansho and Homeschooling 4. Contact Vera by clicking the photo above.
The views expressed on this blog are the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the perspectives of her family members or the position of her employer on the the issues she blogs about. These posts are intended to share resources, document family life, and encourage critical thought on a variety of subjects. They are not intended to cause harm to any individual or member of any group. By reading this blog and viewing this site, you agree to not hold Vera liable for any harm done by views expressed in this blog.