Friday, October 12, 2012

Missing Snake Mystery

Sorry I haven't been posting lately, I am in a bit of a funk. I think it is mostly because my district has mandated 4 computer lab sessions a week and that is seriously messing with my instruction and mojo. I am so fed up with the decisions the higher-ups are making. You want better test scores? Make my class size less than 30 instead of buying programs where the kids spend their time playing arcade games and changing their avatar more than actually learning math. Apparently I am a game monitor now instead of an educator. See, Negative Nelly in the house. YUCK!

 I did manage to fit in our q-tip skeletons.  After reading Skeleton Hiccups the students wrote advice on how to stop hiccups. They got pretty creative. Hic, hic. hic!
...telling him to eat ice cream.
...standing on your head and spin around, and drink milk.

...making him scream.

I have been making the skeletons for years but the writing response idea was from Cara at The First Grade Parade last year. My writing paper is available here.

On to my snake drama. Two weeks ago my 2 corn snakes escaped. You'd think this would be a cause for concern but to be honest, it has happened before. A few times. If the cage is not secured just right these sneaky guys squeeze their way out during the night. This time I found Mini-Me within a day. Actually, I slammed something onto my bookshelf and he stuck his head out from under it, so I guess he found me. I couldn't locate Striker anywhere. The kids weren't fazed but the moms kept asking if I had found him yet. One refused to come volunteer until he showed up.

Last week we had off. Yep, you heard me, October Break. Weird, huh? It started a few years ago as a furlough week but now my district decided they like it there and extended our school year to not lose any teaching days. I convinced my husband to take a few days off (he has a terrible job where he is never home) and we drove down to Disneyland. It was scorching hot but still fun. Anyhoo, we were notified that our rooms would be fumigated over the break. I left a note.on the door,  "LOOSE SNAKE! Please do not spray this room!!!"

When I got back on Monday there was still no sign of him. I started to worry that he had squeezed under the door (remember our classrooms in CA open to the outside.)

And then yesterday, I opened the cage to let the Star of the Week hold the remaining snake and there were TWO snakes in there!!!! All I can guess is maybe one of the night janitors found him and put him back??? Either that or I am totally losing it. My staff is teasing me that it is the latter.

What else can I catch you up on? This class is completely enthralled by my Sight Word Superstars program. They are so cute, intently practicing their specific list during Daily 5 word work. This is available in my TpT shop if you are interested.

I am hoping to get out of this funk and make some new things soon but until then, here is a freebie I made last year.

Jack o' Lantern Making Words

Hope you are all doing well. I am going to visit some of your blogs right now and try to reconnect and get back some of my inspiration.



  1. Oh we hear ya Jen! A few years back our kids were being pulled out of class for 2 1/2 hours a week for specialists, going out 4 times for computer intervention program, half an hour here and there for Art Masters, assemblies, etc. Whatever happened to good ole fashioned teaching!? We love our kids and actually want to teach them. Our kindergarten was only 3 hours and they had this same schedule-crazy!

    Speaking of crazy...ummm your snake sitch! Eeesh-think it was just missing its home and mate, so slithered its way back to the cage. I would claim it's just well trained!

    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

  2. What computer program are you guys using? Success Maker?
    I would have totally freaked out if there was a snake on the loose. Glad you found them both.

  3. TWO SNAKES?!? You are so amazing!!!! Camille
    An Open Door

  4. Four lab sessions a week!! That's crazy. Can you ignore it? Young kids don't need to be on computers that often.

    Very glad you found both snakes:)

    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers

  5. Snakes?!? Um, no thank you!!!!!! :)
    I hear what you're going through. Hang in there!!!!!
    Love your skeletons!!!!!

  6. boo for the computer game-I agree, make the class sizes smaller instead of buy more stuff!

    Sorry to hear you're in a funk........I had quite a week myself working wayyyy to early till way too late with the same for my husband. NO balance and I was left thinking, this cannot be healthy!

    Lots of thoughts to ya!

    Tales From a Traveling Teacher

  7. Hey Jenn, So glad you are back, but sorry to hear you are in a funk! Personally I think the people who make the decisions should be in the classrooms at least part time so they don't lose the classroom perspective! You know, we are here for you through both good and bad. You shouldn't have to feel that you always have to be ultra positive-- you can lean on us that's what friends are for!


  8. My ONE computer lab session a week has now eaten another day of instruction each week during my Science/Social studies block. I'm trying to now squeeze a unit (the body this week, Fall next week, nutrition, etc.) into 4 thirty minute sessions. Insanity! Add in an afternoon assembly, special event, etc. and I'm down to less than 2 hours for an entire unit. Since when did computer games become more important than Science?!?!