Sunday, May 6, 2012

I won't dance don't ask me... I won't dance Monsieur

It's been and will continue to be a quite eventful  month...
As my picture clearly indicates... standardized testing takes a lot of of the kiddos here.  I don't blame this buddy for being knocked out after finishing one of the tests.  This is year one for my kids to take these tests and is also year one of all English instruction.  As a teacher I am not permitted to help them read the answer choices or explain directions/questions on the test.  Quite frustrating even for me.  On the bright side we did do some fun things like making posters about how to take a big test and they got treats every morning before the test and we did a craftivity in the afternoon.  Here's hoping I've learned how to better prepare students for these tests for my kids next year.


 The village hosts kids basketball tournaments as a means of entertainment and recreation for the community.  My principal thought this was a great way to increase student attendance and involvement.  It was quite fun to see my kids work towards the chance to play with kids from other classes.  The teams that one got certificates and school recognition.  I just enjoyed taking some cool shots of the action and discovering my phone had these photo options. :)

Weather and Behavior Changes
It is starting to warm up here.. the closer we get to Summer Vacation the more the mercury rises.  With the heat wave also comes the extended daylight hours.  The more hours there are for light the more hours there are for playing.  The more playing the kids do, the less sleep they get... do you get where I'm going with this?  It's been great having the warm up come, especially since I LOVE the heat of summer.  And it's been great to see the kids playing on whatever they can find, be it unused lumber and an upturned barrel they've turned into a see-saw.  But it's causing some disruptions in my classroom that really are hard to ignore. But school is winding down and fun stuff is on its way to Miss Wilson's classroom.

Cultural Week
This week we've spent doing something completely different than our normal routine.  In fact I spent 80% of my day with K-2 students instead of my normal 3/4 grade class. I  enjoyed the change for the most part.  The students were grouped K-2 and 3-12 in mixed groups and spent the whole day going from room learning new cultural skills, hobbies, and lessons.  The older kids practiced survival skills, sled building, quaspaq making, and beading.  The K-2 kids did soap carving, sewing, mask making, etc.  I had my group listen to an Elder tell about how life was different when he was a child, explain the process of making otter, mink, and other small aquatic mammals.  He talked about the true meaning of subsistence living and how important it is to show respect and love for other people.  I loved hearing another adult teach these values.  When the Elder wasn't present or ran out of things to say my kids made wood boats from popsicle sticks and I read Alaskan folk tale stories.  On Thursday my morning groups helped make akutaq to present to the village at the potlach. 

Mr. Barsy and Miss Wilson Pose for Their First Prom Chaperoning Experience.
It was that time of year for Atmau. recently. Prom!!!! Dresses were short, dancing was held in the gym, and the kids were... kids. :)  Our staff spent 4 hours getting  the gym ready for the dance, which include decorating and food prep on Friday.  The next day was spent doing girls hair, make-up, and pep talks.  Only out here would you find an elementary teacher braiding hair, putting on make-up, and dancing with the high school girls.

 Countdown til the End of the Year
As I write this my last day as a first year Alaskan bush teacher will be 12 days from now.

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