Thursday, April 21, 2011

Adventures in Spring

I really despise standardized testing. It brings out the worst in me and that's just not good for anyone within a 10 ft. radius. Here's a snapshot of life in my classroom today...

-- "I know TAKS review is not fun and that you don't like it because you've told me so 14 times since you walked through the door. Now ZIP it up and put your BUTT in a plastic chair!"

-- "Turn to page 23. No....I said 23. 23!!!!! Would you like me to say it in another language?!"

-- "Sure, I can help you. What is the first step? That's right, you add 2 + 3. DID YOU JUST USE YOUR CALCULATOR TO ADD 2 + 3??"

-- Bonk bonk bonk bonk bonk (banging my head against the whiteboard)

Truly, my students are really bright and I promise they ARE capable of adding 2 + 3 without the aid of technology or even phalanges. There's just something about TAKS that seems to scramble brains and put everyone in a sour mood. That being said, let me tell you that I've never, in all my years, shown a movie in class (there's just too much algebra in the world to waste a precious minute doing nothing in class **geek alert**). I said this to one of my classes today, in response to their desperate pleas to just watch a movie instead of reviewing, and they all simultaneously *gasped*. Apparently this is cruel and unusual. But little do they know that this year I think am planning to break this tradition....after we all survive TAKS week that is. A few months back I wrote a similar figures problem about the Millennium Falcon.....that only 3 out of 100 students could work.....because they didn't know what a Millennium Falcon was!!

photo courtesy of Wookiepedia

Really people? How is it okay for today's youth to know every last detail about Snooki, yet have no earthly idea who Luke Skywalker is? Yeesh. So, after test week, when their brains are smooshy and they've lost their will to fight, I will pop in Episode IV and bless them all with the movie they've been begging for. And then I will make them write a 10 page paper outlining the plot and defending the required thesis statement "Star Wars is totally awesome and Jersey Shore is a pile of poo."

Yep, that's me....a dedicated teacher in hot pursuit of the "Educator of the Year" award.

In other news, I had to help the 8-year old set up his own You Tube channel today. Um, what?! After we got it all set up and watched his first posted video he says, "Sweet! I'm gonna be famous! Let's log back on tomorrow and see how many hits I've gotten!" HOW does he even know about this stuff? I estimate that in the next year he will officially know more about technology than his Mama. Amazing.

But honestly, it's so fun to watch these boys grow and change and come into their own personalities. Jaden is currently enamored with all things skate related, Harry Potter, and aliens. Okay, technically he was enamored with aliens a few months ago, but as I'm running a little behind in Blogland, humor me. On our last couple of trips to snowboard in Ruidoso, he begged to stop in Roswell at the alien museum, but there was never time. So for Spring Break, we loaded up one morning and drove to NM. Whee!

The museum was mostly comprised of newspaper clippings of the Roswell incident some years back, various cartoons/comic strips about aliens, and a lot of amateur alien art. It held the boys' attention for about 13 seconds. Fortunately, the town has capitalized on the alien theme so the main street is full of little shops advertising, literally, "Alien Stuff!"

Grant was not too sure about the foam alien model. This was as close as he would get to it for the picture.

This was the highlight of the day for Matt....for obvious reasons.

We stopped at the park on the way out to expend some energy before the 3 hour ride home.

And this just made me laugh.

After Spring Break, Jaden enrolled at a martial arts academy and is now learning jiu jitsu. Apparently life is all about knowing 425 ways to take your little brother to the ground and submit him. Whatever. As long as everyone stays active... He's really into learning it though and is picking it up alarmingly fast. Pictures soon...

Grant is playing one last year of t-ball. We decided to get brave and go for Little League this year. It's crazy intense but he is SO darn cute! Turns out the boy can play AND he's pretty stinking fast. He plays pitcher, caught a pop fly the other night, and hit a Grand Slam about a week ago.

Measuring up like Daddy taught him...

Playing pitcher...

Most kids would be mortified that Mom not only snapped this next pic but then posted it on the web for all her friends and family to see. But Grant is not most kids. He will think this is hysterical.

Jesus save me.