Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday Tried It

Linking up with my gal, Holly over at Fourth Grade Flipper

I know I blogged about summer school while I was in midst of it, but it ended kind of abruptly and I never got a chance to blog about it like I wanted to. 

So this summer, I stepped out f my box and tried teaching summer school. I teach 6th grade and I taught 5th grade summer school. 

My reasons:
1. Money (seriously, not gonna lie)
2. I am a horrible stay at home mom and need structure. I was hoping this would help us not be in our pajamas all day. 
3. I wanted to work with the students I would be teaching and give them a head start 

Pros of summer school: 
2.My own children got to play with their friends daily while I worked, thanks to my friend keeping them for FREE
3. I met some great people working at the elementary level. 
4. I was never bored for the month of June
5. My husband couldn't say I was being lazy during summer vacation 
6. I met a lot of the kids I will teach in August 
7. Small classes I never had more than 12 kids at a time. It was awesome!
8. Four day work week 

Cons of summer school:
1. There are no breaks. We were on duty at 7:30, class started at 7:45, classes went until 12:00, lunch duty until 12:30, and bus duty until 12:45 or 1:00, whenever the buses showed up. 
2. I was exhausted when I picked up my kids
3. I had to plan at home because no conference period 
4. First two weeks were all about retest for the fifth graders
5. One week was for testing 
6. I got behind on blogging fun, like making projects for Monday Made It
7. Getting let go with six days left (major downer!) 
8. Those six days were going to be the "preparing for 6th grade part" 

I feel I did some fun things with the students. 
I did use Math Notebooks. Students had one spiral for their three classes. I used them almost daily. I had them write about Math, they made several foldables, we did problem solving in them. They got a small taste of what they will do in August. 

I did rotations with them and they LOVED it. The other teacher liked it too. When I left, he kept doing it. Heck, it was all done for him, why change it? But he did tell me later, he liked the concept as well. 

We practiced multiplication with side walk chalk one day and it was very eye opening. 
One of the biggest complaints I have is my sixth graders don't know have their math facts memorized. They struggle with simple computation and I don't have time in the day to teach them strategies. They have to come to me knowing this. 
But, these pictures show that they are not ready!!! 

6th graders should not still be circles with tick marks. But, this is my reality. 

Getting let go: 
Due to financial reasons (that's the politically correct reason), I was let go with six days left of summer school. I was not the only one, nor the first. Because I love my job and don't want to lose it, I will leave it at that. It is what it is. 

Would I teach summer school again? 
I won't say never. On this date I can't answer that truthfully. Of course, I will consider it again, but now I will know the questions to ask when it comes around again. 

I certainly don't regret it. Even getting let go early, the money has been extremely helpful, there is no denying that. I am chalking this experience up to a good learning time for me. 

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  1. I did Summer School...once. I will say never again for me. I used to RUN a summer camp for middle schools also while I was teaching...never again. I need breaks...long breaks! :)
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. I also taught summer school one time and haven't gone back since having kids. I feel like I am an awful stay at home mom too so I find tons of things to try to keep us busy. My daughter had swimming lessons on M, W, F and we had the library program T, Th! It was perfect:) Thanks for linking up and sharing your thoughts about summer school! I tell my hubby that my summer job (besides taking care of a 3 and 6 year old!) is working on TPT products:) haha!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  3. Hi Elizabeth!
    You voiced many of my own concerns about summer school. We also had to write (narrative!) report cards--with no pay past "kid time." Grrrrr.
    And I agree with you completely about the math facts problem. Why is that so pervasive?! It slows down everything they are expected to do in sixth grade.
    BTW, I pinned your "rulers" and "area" ideas. LOVE them!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade