Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Having a minor breakdown

My head hurts.

So here's the problem: I teach the same group of four years olds five forty minute classes from 9:45 until 2:30. We are in a small classroom with a big oval table taking up the entire space of the class. The supplies I have immediate access to are limited. And I'm supplied with (confined to) a schedule which consists of "Theme Activity" and "Language Arts", with a bit of music, storytelling, gym, and computers thrown in very rarely. Those latter periods are lovely but the former are hell.

The theme of this month is "Summer Fun" and happily, Kid's College provides all its franchise school's with a book full of photocopiable sheets that kids can colour. My kids are getting damn sick of colouring and so am I, plus they are learning nothing while they fill in the lines of some dumb cartoon that they then cut out and turn into another useless book. Plus, the book sucks and I've already maxed out Summer Fun. It's not even halfway through August.

Language Arts is a funny concept for kids who are too little to concentrate on something for forty minutes, let alone to write anything or follow a pattern. For the first few weeks I was using worksheets from a book. First we would talk about the letter; its name, sound, and some words that start with it. Then I would give them the sheet and some of them would trace the letter. Some would go so far as to write the letter all by themselves, and most would scribble all over their paper and then proceed to crumple it up. Then I found the flashcards so we currently spend the first twenty minutes practicing the words, then we talk about the letter and do the worksheet. If time permits, each child gets a chance to try writing the letter on the whiteboard. This worked for the first class or two. But I can't depend on flashcards... I have a feeling their novelty wears off pretty fast.

It sucks. They've been uncontrollable this week despite good weeks up until now, and I'm fed up. I need to change my classroom around to create an environment and program that is age appropriate for these little guys. The problem is that I don't know how. I want to get active and ditch the worksheets as much as possible. How can I do that for language arts and theme? Someone tell me please! Mom, I need you.

My head hurts, and my lesson plan for next week is due tomorrow. Ooh hoo hoo.


At August 10, 2005 11:04 p.m. , Blogger Blake said...

Just slop some soju into their juice. They'll fall asleep in an hour. Works like a charm.


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