Seems like just yesterday that this school year kicked off and we were all wide eyed with excitement and expectations for a full and rewarding year. My how 180 days can change a person.
I still haven’t found the time to change my blog over to a discussion and examination of my journey into being a fat adapted person. This school year is ending. I’m making a huge change next year, going to a private school. There’s a great deal to read up on, so I’m doing that. I’m preparing two CFkids summer programs. All this while doing my best to maintain a level of sanity and balance. If you’re interested, here’s my Keto Journal. I’m going to transfer it to this blog eventually.
One more week with a great group of students. 5 days. 40 hours. I can do this.
This school year has been a tough one. But it’s been a very good indicator for me of my skills, abilities and planning. I have the best class in the world. I’m so proud of each of them and I know they’ll end this year strong.
That being said has anyone seen Spring Break wandering around?
My blogging has been horrible as of late. However, I decided to give you an update of the school year in memes. Please feel free to add your meme as well.
Not just this year, but sadly this is becoming true more and more
We all have this back and forth
A bad case of the Sunday evenings
or a birthday cake!
I mean why can’t they?
Shout out to my teammie
Am I the only one?
You don’t want to see us in February.
Or just Friday
Please don’t be Sunday evening
Sadly this is very true in 2017
Maybe it’s just me
Let me pack your desk
or just Friday
We earn it, trust me.
And don’t forget it.
It gets that bad. It does.
No it’s Tuesday!
Either this is my Summer clock or my patience
If you read last year’s post, you know that we went on a cruise. This year we did it again and I can’t say enough great things.
This Christmas’ cruise was amazing. Let’s look at the specifics first.
7 Day Cruise on Harmony of the Seas (Royal Caribbean)
Drove to Florida, again
This ship was huge. The largest current cruise ship in the world
This is an absolutely beautiful model of the ship. It’s pretty cool.
Now let’s talk about the experience and it was an experience indeed.
- This ship is a sight to see. It’s fantastic from front to back, left to right.
- The amenities were spot on. There were so many fun things to do on the ship that I honestly could have stayed on board and been perfectly fine.
- Some of the things on ship were water slides, dry slides, rock climbing walls, carousels, zip line, mini golf, theaters, ice skating and much more.
- The pools were excellent.
- The shows were well done and outstanding. I’m not a huge show guy, but these were impressive.
- The food was phenomenal. There were some great specialty restaurants as well as the normal main dining.
- There was a full scale Starbucks on board! Talk about a happy cruiser!
- Though I did harp that there were a lot of kids on the ship, there was equally a lot for them to do.
- Our stateroom was much larger than last year. I continue to stress that everyone get a stateroom with seaside balcony. This ship even had balconies that faced inward and some that looked out over the back of the ship.
- The staff was very polite and again, made me feel welcome and appreciated all week.
- The ports of call were outstanding. I’d rank them St. Maarten, San Juan and then Labadee.
- Having two days at sea to start was really cool. I like having the multiple days at sea towards the middle of the cruise, however this was a pleasant change.
- This is not an exhaustive list of good things by any means. But I don’t want to keep you from reading last year’s experience.
- I hate to say it, but I think this ship was too large for my taste. At no time did I ever not feel like there were 6,000+ people on the ship.
- The beverage package changed and it left me lacking my daily free Starbucks hit. I could use my Starbucks card, but I couldn’t use my free rewards.
- Though the ship was huge the lay out of the Grand Promenade felt cramped. (Especially on the sales day, where there was tons of stuff for sale and tons of people walking around.) But don’t get me wrong, the sun there is just as amazing and some of my best pics were of these mountains resting over the beach in the distance.
- One port of call was only a few hours. I suppose that it took longer to park the ship than we were actually out enjoying Old San Juan.
- The gym was nice, but due to its placement on the ship it smelled like cigarettes.
- I am not sure who planned it like this, but on the Harmony the steam room and sauna is a pay to use service. I’ve never heard of that.
- This isn’t a Royal Caribbean problem at all. However, this ship’s size and appeal brought about something every school teacher dreads. There were a lot of kids on the ship. Most of them were very respectful and polite. However, there were quite a few that made my teacher ire rise.
- I am glad I tried other restaurants. I am very thankful for the Windjammer, but it’s not my thing anymore.
- I write this with great sadness, but I kept getting lost on the ship. It’s not anyone’s fault, but mine. I just had a bear of time keeping my bearings. I ended up taking the stairs A LOT.
- I’m over Labadee. Though it’s a specimen of beauty, I’m over the beach and the hustle of the island. The beach is very rocky and really not that fun. The beach is beautiful, but the water and shore was tough to walk on.
- Next time I’d certainly go on a tour or an excursion on Labadee.
- Be careful with the Wi-Fi. Being able to access the net is a great thing and it wasn’t that expensive at all. However, it’s very easy to just get sucked into staring at your phone, iPad or whatever. I had to catch my own self and not get caught just staring at social media.
I am very glad I was able to take my family on this trip. There’s really nothing that I would say I’d honestly change. I go back to school in two days. I’m rested and ready to make this semester our best semester so far.
I’m sure you know that Team Whitaker cruise #3 has already been booked.
I am enjoying this school year. This class is the best that I’ve ever had in my years of teaching. I’ve never had so many students in one class that want to learn. Even the few that are off task aren’t horribly off task. This has been a great school year. To say that I’m thankful or blessed is really an understatement.
My class has finally won the Accelerated Reader Trophy
So in typical Jason fashion I got an idea. I decided to drop all my tables down so my students could sit on the floor rather than chairs. My thought was that it would squash the wiggling and extra moving in class. I am not totally creative. I saw something like it here and thought I’d give it a try. My chiropractor friend agreed that it would be a good idea to try. I have been pleasantly surprised at what I’ve seen so far.
- I let the students pick to either sit on a colored cushion or a carpet square.
- I also let them sit at which ever table they want to. (I never tell them that they have to sit in a certain spot, but I do tell them where they can’t sit.)
- They can sit on their bottoms, sit on their knees or some form of the two. They can’t lay on the floor and they can’t crawl on the floor.
- Taking care of all materials still applies.
- Every month we will revisit, discuss and vote to keep the tables like they are or go back to the old configuration.
So far I honestly have no complaints. The students seem to like it. Only one had a contrary view. We came up with some ways for her to get comfortable and she’s a fan.
What I’ve seen so far.
- My students move A LOT less. They wiggle and fidget, but not really as much up and down out of their chairs movement.
- No leaning back in chairs. #Given
- Students work together more. They have space. For some reason I think sitting in chairs took up to much space in their minds. Now they instantly give each other “elbow room” without being told.
- They’re not nearly as talkative. (I’ve never felt the need to make everyone be quiet all the time. Why? They know when key and certain times they have to be quiet, but as long as the voice level is such “that Mr. Whitaker can hear his music” they’re good to go.
I am also doing a little more with digital classroom stuff. Just to save a little paper and keep my organization neater. I’ve started doing simple “exit tickets” and short quizzes using on line formats. The students submit what they do and we’re all happy. By no means am I a pro at it, but I am getting better. We use a ton of tech on the teachers end, but now I want to get the kiddos to do some as well.
I’ve been talking about changing the homework in my class for a while. I am almost ready to reveal the (hopefully) finished product. My students have been pretty good at reading and building their stamina. I think this is going to be a real boost to their understanding of the reading process, comprehension and overall love for reading. I will be dropping the finished product this week.