'Twas the day before Christmas...

and I have my "vacation insomnia" again. I guess when I go to work I work harder than at home and then I don't sleep well at night. I woke up at 3:30 this morning and had a hard time going back to sleep. The dog was barking, I was thinking of my to-do list for today and then I started thinking about planning for Janaury. What's wrong with me? It's almost Christmas and I am laying in bed planning or trying to think of what to do when I go back.

Today's thought? Author Studies. Yep, at 3am, I am thinking about author studies. In years past, I used to do them. I didn't go all out, but I did them. We would read books by the same author, do some fun little activities and then write them a letter (if they are still alive, anyway) telling them which book we liked the best. But, as time got smaller and the push for more standards got larger, author studies went away. I just can't seem to get it all in. And I feel horrible about it. Instead, I have resorted to reading my themed books (think snowmen coming up) as my read alouds and then doing a crafty type project at a center during language arts time. That's it!

So at 3:30, I was laying in bed trying to figure out in my mind when to do author studies. And I came to the conclusion that, right now, I can't. I don't know where to make the time during the day without giving something else up. I would love to do in in the morning before we start our reading lesson, but then that would kick out my themed stories. I would like to do it after recess, but it's focus time and I don't have my own kids. After that is writing, which I can't give up and in fact, need to push when we get back. I would love to do it after lunch, right before math, but I have to start math centers when I get back so I can have some time to work with my kids struggling in math. And then when the afternoon comes around, it's time to teach science and social studies (just one at a time). And then, before I know it, it's time to go home. Really, I need about 2 more hours in the school day, but by 3:15, I am beat and ready to go home.

I was thinking back to the beginning of the year when I did do some of my author studies, but then I was missing out on other things. It's all a game of give and take, I guess. I'll give the kids more "fun" stories and timely stories and take my author study books off the shelf for a while. It's OK, really, I still have fun reading to them, no matter what it is! Maybe next year, if there's time!

On that note, time for me to get my to-do list started for the day. I think the first thing on there should be to get excited about Christmas. Sad to say, but I don't get excited about Christmas anymore. I thought it would change with my daughter, but family dynamics have ruined it, so...I will put on my happy face for her today and tomorrow and make it the best for her and then muddle my way through the day! One year it will change and it will all go back to being great!

Merry Christmas to all out there!

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