Friday, September 24, 2010

grade 5 is brutal!

grade 5 is SO hard!!! i have worked in primary (k-2) for 4 years. this is my first year working upstairs. i was nervous when i was told that i would be working in grade 4 and 5 because of the math. i didn't know if i would remember any of that stuff. i was told over and over "don't worry about it! it'll be fine. it will come back to you so quickly." you know what? they were right, it did. the math is fine. little did i know that the THEME and the WRITING would be the hard part.

"underline the predicate". the what now? seriously....what the heck is a predicate. (i know NOW but i honestly don't think i had ever heard that word before.) many words have been thrown out there that i need to remind myself of their meaning. when the teacher says "adjective" it takes me maybe 2 seconds to remember what that is and i am back in the game. but other stuff is honestly over my head. today mrs. v. was trying to remember the word for when a word has 2 pronunciations but is spelt the same way (ex: lead. lead as is lead of a pencil. or lead as in he lead the group). she looked over at me and said "what's that word again? it's on the tip of my tongue". i tried my best to give a believable performance of "oh yeah....why can't i remember what that's called". when really i was thinking "there's a WORD for that??" i think she ended up deciding that it was homophone...but i could be wrong. again, there were a lot of words thrown out there lately.

moving on to theme. right now in grade 5 we are doing force and friction and simple machines. ok i can get my mind around force, friction, gravity, load, surface texture....etc etc but simple machines is a WHOLE 'nother story. i need to sit and listen to the books she reads to the class so that i have examples of these simple machines. my brain doesn't just look at a pizza cutter and think "oh how nice, it's a wheel and axle" or when i am driving over a bridge i don't think "what a great inclined plane". sorry but this just is not how i think. this concept is BIG. there is a lot to it and i feel pretty stupid sometimes.

confession time. i was helping one of the students with her quiz. i was just reading out the questions and the word bank words that she could choose from. one of the questions was asking for the word that describes "what keeps our feet on the ground and keeps us from slipping". i immediately though "GRAVITY" and so did this student. when i was marking the test (with the teacher's answer key) i saw that the answer was actually "friction". it makes sense. the slipping part should have given that away, but nope, by brain didn't go there.

when i was in grade 4 we did a similar unit and we all had to make a simple machine (just like the kids will be doing this year). mine was PATHETIC. i obviously did not understand the project or the point of it. i took a desk chair (one of those ones that have wheels) and put 2 shoe boxes on the legs for your feet to sit in and then i attached an umbrella to the back with long plastic hanging down so you wouldn't get wet if it was raining. WHAT THE HECK IS THAT????? i don't know what i was thinking. and what were my parents thinking?? i can't believe they let me hand that in. i remember watching other people present their simple machines and i had that sinking feeling of "OH....NO!! i did this ALL wrong". oh man. it was bad. now here we are again. hopefully i learn it for real this time.


  1. grade five is awesome!
    homophone: you hear a phone, words sound the same
    homograph: you see a graph, words look the same
    homonym: nym = name, the name you give words that are either homographs or homophones

  2. btw, you are awesome Lael. I heard you giving a gr. 5 boy grief the other day in the hallway and you sounded SO experienced and with it. You are a pro!

  3. That is so funny...but so TRUE!!!!! there's a very good reason I will NEVER teach above grade three! and I'm not even joking! I pretend it's the math (which. I'm not going to lie, I can't even do at grade three), but come ON! it's ridic!!!! man, those parents must be so glad their kids are in my class!!!

  4. haha thanks tim! i have had my fair share of discipling. so i feel rather confident when it comes to that....i guess that kind of comes with special ed sometimes eh?

  5. This is hilarious Lael.
    And Tim, I caught myself reading your definitions about 5 times, trying to memorize them. haha. Thanks for those.