I've survived the first week with my second grade zombies. I'm think I'm all done making changes to their room set-up, procedures and set-up. (That is unless I find a carpet or rug to put in their room. They have to sit on the floor itself for story time. It's barbaric!)
One of the last changes I did was to institute a ticket giving reward. I keep a pocket-full of tickets and give them out when the mood strikes me. Mostly at times when I announce to everyone to get out a some book or another and only a handful of zombies do it. They get a ticket and everyone else starts to scramble like mad to figure out why. They write their names on the back of the ticket and on Fridays I do a drawing. The winners get to pick from the treasure box. It was a giant hit as you can imagine. These zombies will do just about anything to get a ticket.
But it wasn't all roses this week. I had one of my boys shove around a first grader in the bathroom and make him cry. I had a couple of girls get into a little food fight at lunch. Then I had a completely different girl get accused of screaming, "Everyone get the eff out of here!" in the restroom. (I'm sorry to report she didn't say "eff", but the real word instead.) I told the kids that our goal for next week is to not beat anyone up, throw food or swear in school. We'll see how it goes.
I've had two classroom supply problems with my room as well. First the room doesn't have a Smartboard, but that's not the problem. I'm totally cool with a chalkboard and an overhead projector. But if you have an overhead you need transparencies to show on it. Well, you don't have to, but it sure makes things a hell of a lot easier. On the shelf of the projector cart was five boxes of transparencies, brand new. But I can't use any of them because the jam up the copier; they're the wrong kind. The principal gave me the news the right kind are way too expensive and that the school doesn't have any and they aren't getting any ever.
Fine. Cool. I'll deal with it. (A little more snooping around and I found a half a box of the RIGHT kind the next day in the copy room. Whoo-hoo!)
The other problem I have is that the kids don't have Quick Word books in their desks or in the room or anywhere.
This book is my go to answer when I teach second and third graders. Every second and third grader, in every classroom, in every building in the city has this little book in their desk. Except this one.
It is the best thing for kids who are expected to write but can't spell. That's like all of them. It's just commonly used words in alphabetical order. So when a zombie asks, "How do you spell building?" my answer was always, "Check your Quick Words!". Much, much easier than dragging through a whole dictionary, they find what they are looking for and get on with writing.
I ran to Zombie Teacher #1.
Me: The kids in my room don't have Quick Words!
ZT1: No? That's weird.
Me: Where can I get a bunch of them?
ZT1: You can't. We order them at the beginning of the year. She must not do that.
I fly to Zombie Teacher #2.
Me: There's no Quick Words in the kid's desks!
Me: Do you have any extras?
ZT2: I'll look around, but I don't think so. You could ask Zombie Teacher 3.
I ended up talking to Zombie Teachers one through seven by the end of the week. Dead ends all of them. So now my go to answer for "How do you spell vacation?" is "Sound it out and do the best you can."
The best they can is not that great.