Caving…5th grade style

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Wednesday before Spring Break means one thing in my school…the 5th grade caving trip!  Last week, we took 71 kids and 37 parents caving in Southern Indiana.  The trip takes a ton of planning, but is SO worthwhile!  

Before we go on our trip, we spend about three weeks learning about how caves form, different formations (speleothems) that the kids will see, and different types of cave life that they might witness.   

The cave we visit is four and a half hours away, so the day begins with a report time of 4:40.  Everyone was on time, so we were able to leave a little before 5.  Our bus got lost on the way there, so we ended up getting there half an hour late (around 10).  Then it was time to split into five groups and go exploring!

My group toured the two commercial caves first.  They are absolutely beautiful, and even though it’s my sixth time going, I see something new each time.  We were lucky enough to see several bats this time.  They are still hibernating, so they are super tiny, and just hanging from the rocks.  The kids are always amazed by the formations they see.  We’ve learned about all of the different speleothems, but actually seeing them is an exciting experience.

After the commercial caves, it was time to explore the “wild cave.”  A wild cave is just a cave that is still forming.  This one has a stream running through it that you have to walk through for about 90% of the tour.  You also climb over rocks, crawl through a rather tight passage, and have the opportunity to walk through the “bathtub” (a waist deep area of the stream).  The kids come out of the cave wet and muddy, but they love it!  They even love the process of being hosed down to get rid of the mud!

After a long day at the cave, we loaded up the buses and headed home.  We got home around 9, and everyone was picked up by 9:15!  It is a long and exhausting day, but worth every minute!

March Currently

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This month, I am excited to be linking up with Farley at Oh’ Boy 4thGrade for March Currently. 

Listening: Muse is one of my favorite bands, and lately I can’t get enough.  My current playlist on iTunes is very eclectic, but there’s a lot of Muse.

Loving: My kids ROCKED their persuasive paragraph assignment over the weekend!  On Friday, we read I Wanna Iguana and the kids were asked to write their parents a letter explaining something extravagant that they would like.  The final results were awesome!  They asked for everything from cars to bagpipes to dragons.  I am hoping to post some of their finished paragraphs this week.

Thinking: I am a list maker, but lately, it seems that the lists are getting longer and longer (and harder and harder to accomplish!).  I am hoping to tackle some things today to decrease the stress load.

Wanting: Spring Break cannot come soon enough.  I love teaching and I love coaching, but the combination is exhausting!  I am ready for a week with no requirements!

Needing: This week is the first round of our state testing, and perhaps the only time I am adamantly opposed to school delays and closings.  We just need to get there with nothing out of the ordinary so the kids can do their best on this test!

Spring Break Plans: I have nothing planned for Spring Break except relaxing.  Ok, I’ll probably be tackling some things on the never-ending-list, but I also hope to read and relax a bit, too!

The Sunday Scoop - March 1, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

This week, I’m linking up with The Teaching Trio again for The Sunday Scoop.  

3 things I have to do…
* Grade papers
We did a lot of writing in class this week, so I have a lot of writing to grade today.  With two swim meets this week, I got a little behind on grading the longer assignments.

* Finish Lesson Plans
I have everything planned except my Writing lessons and a Math lesson on Monday.  I have an idea for Monday’s math lesson, but it needs developed.  We’re working on mean, median, mode, and range, and I want to make it fun!  The Writing plans shouldn’t take too long either.  We worked on persuasive paragraph writing on Friday, so I want to extend it into a longer piece this week.  (You can see my post about Friday’s lesson here).

* Clean My House! 
Again, there were two swim meets this week, so…my house chores kind of took a hit.  I did most of my cleaning on Friday after school, but I have a little left for today.  I’ll also be shoveling off and on again today, because it’s been snowing already and isn’t supposed to stop until tonight.

2 things I hope to do…
* Wednesday’s lineup
We only have one swim meet this week, but it’s a tough team.  This lineup is going to take some time!

* Carnival Decorating Design 
My school picks a theme for carnival every year and each grade level is supposed to decorate their hallway to represent part of the theme.  This year’s theme is “Family Game Night” and the fifth grade hall is “Scrabble.”  I’ll be working up my design today so we can get working on the actual decorating this week!

1 thing I’m happy to do
* Read! 
I started The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate this week, and I absolutely LOVE it!  In case you aren’t familiar with the book, it is the story of a silverback gorilla (named Ivan) living in a circus themed mall.  It is told from his perspective and the writing is fantastic!

Now that I am typing about what I have to do today, I am in better shape than I thought!  Looks like I may have more time to read than I thought I would!

What are your Sunday plans?
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