Today, I'm all of the above. I have something fluish/coldish going on, and frankly, I feel like total shit. Yesterday I called a sub, but today, that was not an option.
You see, I've been working tirelessly (ok, I've been tired sometimes ) for 5 years now to find a way to help my kids be better readers. According to some assessments I've done, at least half are below grade level, and at least half of those are 4 or more grades below grade level. Sheesh. In my teacher ed classes, I was never taught to teach reading. Sure I got the literary criticism stuff, and I can teach the hell out of a novel, short story, poem, essay, what have you, but never anything on what to do with the kid who simply can't READ the novel, short story, poem, essay, etc. I spent a ton of time studying up on comprehension and vocabulary strategies, and for a fraction of my kids, that helped, but only for the ones who were doing ok to start with.
So this year I've been attending a series of classes to get my reading endorsement. Usually it's me, a fellow teacher, and about 100 3rd grade teachers. I've learned a TON, the most important being that if the kid can't decode the word, no amount of comprehension study in the world is going to help him/her comprehend the text. Period.
Long story short, I'm now teaching phonics, decoding, affixes, and multisyllabic fluency. Sounds fun, huh? For fluency (speed+emotion=meaning) to increase, kids have to read the same passage at least 6 times. Then fluency goes up both for that passage and future passages. Enter: (da du du da!!) readers' theater! We've been practicing 4 holiday themed readers' theater(s?) for the last few weeks, and let me tell you, I've seen more improvement with this one activity than any number of expensive, time consuming programs combined. Today they are performing the pieces (The Christmas Orange, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Christmas Orange and The Christmas Truce) for the school AND I (much to the horror of the kids) sent invitations to the parents.
So--I'm here, Theraflu in hand, bag of cheep Christmas cookies under my desk, classroom rearranged into as theater-like a place as I can, hoping that at least a few parents show and that the kids won't cut class.
Today's best thing about being a mom:
When I'm sick, Soph always brings me little things to help me feel better. Yesterday it was a potato chip, a dolly, and a Christmas ornament.
Today's worst t thing about being a mom:
Because of the floor debacle, and me being sick, we were all out of stuff to make her lunch today.