a typical school day

The Stages Of The School Day

As told by a 4th grader...

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I have enjoyed my student teaching experience this year so thoroughly I worry it's almost too good to be true. I was terrified of entering a 4th grade classroom, as my prior experience revolved around the world of naps and play-doh in Kindergarten and 1st grade. 4th grade was a wild, untamed beast in my mind yet I've not only survived but thrived, and I'm here to tell the tale.

I have developed a deeper understanding and bond with my 4th graders, learning their interests, what they like, don't like, their favorite subjects, least favorite subject, and classroom habits. I've been pleasantly surprised with how curious 4th graders are and their eagerness to learn is undeniable. It is so fun to teach them and watch them grow. They're like sponges, absorbing all the information I provide and applying it to their lives.

I could go on and on about how interesting the classroom dynamic is in 4th grade and how positively impressionable 9 and 10 year olds are, but I thought it would be interesting to attempt to describe what goes through one of my students' heads throughout the school day.

8am- arrive at school, immediately throw unopened backpack at locker and find friends to talk to.

8:30am-quickly unpack backpack as I'm being told to go to class and run to the Chromebook cart to grab mine (of course stopping on the way back to chat with anyone who will listen).

9am- start thinking about snack even though I've been in class for 30 minutes and I know it's not for another hour and a half. Doodle on whiteboard during math but also raise my hand to answer every question so I can talk.

10am- ask for snack even though I know it's not time.

10:30am- FINALLY SNACK TIME

11am to 12pm- a blur of math I like to call "pre-lunch and recess".

12pm-1pm: LUNCH AND RECESS WOOHOO

1pm-2pm: a blur of Language Arts I like to call "post-lunch and recess/pre-specials" time. Also I get to silent read which is mostly just silently looking at a book and looking around the classroom smiling at my friends.

2:15pm- SPECIALS (if it's not gym then never mind).

3pm- HOME (run out of class, high-fiving teacher on the way out).


Obviously this is an embellished, joking version of how I envision my students' thoughts throughout the school day. However, there are some days that this feels like reality. I've learned that you can't fault the child for being easily distracted because as intense as they pay attention when they're on task, they lose focus just the same. They range from full attentiveness to full inattentiveness in a matter of seconds, and that is simply a trait of young children regardless of intelligence, gender, age, etc. All children have the potential to be great and my job is to show my 4th graders and any other class I have in the future that they are capable of whatever they set their mind to, while it is inevitable that they will battle some obstacles along the way.

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If You Have A Project You Want To Grow, Crowdfunding May Be The Answer

The benefits of the crowdfunding phenomenon.

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The idea of crowdfunding is exciting, isn't it? A small town poet can use a platform like GoFundMe or Patreon to sell their work directly to those who are looking for it. A community organizer can not only raise funds for an upcoming event, but they can also keep the funds coming in to raise money for the monthly expenses of running their group. A magazine editor can keep their readership engaged through multimedia as well as tangible perks in exchange for tiers of subscription costs.

Crowdfunding makes it so people can combine multiple engagement styles directly with target audiences for a common cause.

What really makes crowdfunding satisfying is getting monetary confirmation that what one is passionate about is supported. Money rules a lot of the world, and receiving money for creating or providing something for others is extremely fulfilling. Different than just going to work and earning a paycheck. Jobs employ workers to create or provide something that has already had a template of origination.

Crowdfunding is running one's own business of creation or providing goods without a bunch of the red tape. In fact, one could say that crowdfunding has allowed sites like Etsy to flourish. One can now make a pretty decent profit just making pins, Mickey ears, necklaces — whatever one can imagine — and get it directly in eyes of those interested. There's nothing to lose in crowdfunding, just the hour or so it may or may not take to set up the site.

Crowdfunding can also be used for temporary things like school funds, funeral funds, and recovery efforts. Need $10,000 to get through a semester at college? Have a sudden death in the family and need $5,000 to pay closing costs and unexpected expenses? Major world disaster like a hurricane or tsunami destroy an entire majorly populated area? GoFundMe is your answer. You'll most likely get twice as much funds then the goal you set.

There's now many crowdfunding sites out there. Outside of GoFundMe, the three biggies are Patreon, Indiegogo, and Kickstarter. So take your pick, make your page, and get some money!

And just in case you're wondering, yes I do have crowdfunding efforts out there for my projects! One for my personal writings, and one for my magazine.

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Why You Should Go To The Barre

Keep your head high and your heels even higher!

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After going back and forth trying to decide if I wanted to try a barre class, last month I finally decided to. And let me tell you, it is one of the best decisions I have made for not only myself but my body! I tried my first class at Barre N9ne in Andover, Massachusetts (with multiple location in Woburn, Somerville, and Danvers), and I truly don't think I could have found a better studio. From the moment you walk into the studio there is a great vibe and the instructors are so informative and caring. If you are in the area, I highly recommend Barre N9ne!

It Is A Full Hour To Yourself

My favorite part of barre is it is an hour to myself. No phone, no distractions, just working to improve myself with each set. When I go to the gym whether I am lifting weights or running on the treadmill at some point I am on my phone responding to a text or changing the song I am listening to. During barre, I don't even think about who texted me or what email I have to respond to. It is complete me time.

The BEST Core Workout

During barre, your core is engaged the entire time. Then, at the end of the workout there is 5-7 minutes of actual core workouts. This makes it one of the best core workouts because instead of just focusing on your core for a few minutes, you are engaging it throughout the class and then additionally at the end.

You Will Gain Strength and Definition 

A typical barre class is a full body workout and over time you will gain strength and see definition. It takes about 5 classes to start seeing results. By strengthening each muscle group, you are not only gaining definition you are also strengthening all muscles (even the ones that are often underused and underdeveloped).

You Will Become More Flexible 

After each muscle group worked on, you will stretch. This is something that is often overlooked because people don't want to take the time to stretch during a workout and save it until the end, or even not at all. The amount of stretching done in a barre class will improve your range of motion and help to reduce any risk of injuries.

Mind Body Connection

During class you will often hear your instructor say to "focus on the mind body connection". But, what is it? Well, when you focus your attention on the muscle you are working, you tend to work harder and more effectively. This then gives you faster results. When you then focus on that muscle group and stop focusing on all the background noise of your stressful day, or what you have to do after class, or that big test next week, you are really able to focus in and have the best workout.

Your Muscles Will Shake (In A Good Way)

Barre utilizes micro movements. Meaning, since you preform many reps of the same movement involving specific muscles in barre, you are then working your muscles to exhaustion. When your muscles are exhausted, they start to shake. If you aren't shaking, work harder!

Through every pulse, squeeze, and tuck enjoy your time during barre. I hope you give barre classes a try because I know I don't regret it and I know you won't either.

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