12.30.2011

Resolutions...or things I want to get done this next year

Wow! I can't believe that 2011 is almost gone.  It was quite a year, really, but I am not terribly sad to see it go.  There were a lot of good things that happened this year, so I can't complain really.  Hubby passed the bar, my daughter started Kindergarten and I finished all my classes forever.  Or until I decide to learn something new!  ;)

Come January, I am always excited for the new year.  I always set lofty expectations for myself that I rarely accomplish.  And then the following December (like now) I tell myself that this is the year I will do it.  I am trying to set some loftier goals, but let's face it...that's not me!  I always say I will lose weight.  Thanks to Weight Watchers, I am on that freaking long ass journey.  Who knew it would take me forever?  I always say I will be more organized.  What I should say is I will buy less crap and not have it in my house or classroom.  Ha!  If I don't buy it, I am printing it off from other fabulous bloggers and adding to my collection of files that I may or may not use in the future!  But, at least I am trying!  :)

This year, I have thought of a couple goals more school related.  I feel like in the last couple years I have slacked off as a teacher.  It's not from laziness, but from the fact that things have been so scripted and we have been told what to teach when, so a lot of the fun has been lost.  I am slowly trying to bring back some things I used to do that my students have liked, plus trying new things.  Sometimes I feel like I really suck at getting my kids excited about learning, but I am also comparing it to the classes that have more fun than learning, yet the kids "magically" are at grade level (but not really!).  I have come to understand that I have a job to do (teach my kids), but that I need to bring some of the joy back to learning.  I think I can do that with a little hard work and thinking a bit outside the box.  Thanks to wonderful bloggers who share their creative abilities with us, I am able to provide my kids with some "fun" while they are still learning. 

Another goal I have is to be more creative.  After taking 3 art classes this summer, I feel I am a little better prepared to teach my kids art.  It's been hard finding the time to fit it in, but we are slowly getting it done.  I am planning to doing some more formal art lessons when we return and get them thinking more artsy...or as artsy as we can be!  I know there are times when I am too rigid and by the book and making sure I follow my plans to a T, but I am going to try to go with the flow a bit more and see what happens.  My husband would die laughing at this thought, but hey, it's the thought at this point that may make something happen! 

Along those lines, I am going to try to be more creative and make more things I use in my class.  I have tons of teacher resource books, but some of them aren't the greatest or they are boring.  I'd rather make what my kids need.  I love everything that Kristin has and I am loving everything that Heather has, too.  I feel I am becoming a bit more creative by using their things.  I don't have the creativeness in me like they do, nor do I have (or make) the time to sit at the computer.  I don't buy clip art to use, nor do I want to.  I am trying to get more, but I buy a couple, use them and then see all the cuter things everyone else has.  But, I am going to try to see what I can do this year and make for me and my kids. 

Sitting here tonight with another week of vacation ahead of me (go ahead, make nasty faces at me!!!!), I am thinking about all the things I want to do in my classroom that I can't get into yet.  I never have liked the set up, so I think I may stay late one day and move it all around.  Yep, craziness talking, but move things to make it better.  Or at least get my desk away from the door.  I hate it there and don't use it.  I need it to be more teacher friendly and kid friendly.  It may take me a month to get it done (our school will probably be closed all week, lucky us), but I want it to be done by February so I can feel more at ease with my room.  I also need to organize things better.  Since I had to move in in a hurry, things are shoved here and there and there isn't a lot of rhyme or reason as to where things are.  That project may take me the rest of the year, but I can manage. 

Well, my pizza is ready.  Time to make a salad, sit down to eat dinner and start watching one of the 4 movies we got this weekend!  Happy almost New Year to you all! 

12.27.2011

11 in 11...a linky party



Kristin at A Teeny Tiny Teacher is hosting a linky party.  I have never done one before, so what the heck!  I can wait a little longer to get dressed for the day!  It's not even noon...yet!

11. Favorite movie you watched

Well, like the rest of the world, my favorite movie was The Help!  I read the book a year ago, and then counted down the days til it came to theaters.  My hubby took me on a date to see it!  He even thought it was a good movie.  I now have it on DVD and have watched it twice!  Love it!


10. Favorite TV series

I am too much of a couch potato to pick just one!  I really need to do more with my life I guess, but after working all day, it's nice to come home and relax at night and stare blankly at the TV!  But, to pick just one, I would have to say that's not possible.  I will give you my top 3!



9. Favorite restaurant

We just discovered Jason's Deli.  It's about 25 minutes away, but well worth it!  It's kid friendly, relatively healthy and not too pricey.  Plus, they have their food on a WW website, so I know how many points it is and I can judge if it's really worth it.  And free ice cream?  Hello!

8. Favorite new thing you tried

I hate to admit it, but I don't try many new things.  I would have to say Weight Watchers, though.  I finally hit the point where I needed to do something and was ready to do it.  It's a slow process, but we are getting there!
 
7. Favorite gift you received

I don't have a favorite gift I received, but I did buy myself an iPad 2.  My grandma had passed away and left the grandkids some money, so I bought it for myself.  I was going to buy one anyway when I finished my classes, so I just bought it sooner! 
6. Favorite thing you pinned

There are lots of things I pinned, but no favorite, really.  I just like to look for ideas on things I may never do and then laugh really hard at the humor part!
 
5. Favorite blog post

I don't have a favorite post.  My Walmart post got pretty heated!  
 
4. Favorite accomplishment

I finally decided this was the year to finish my classes to move all the way over on the pay scale.  I already had 2 master's degree's, but going to school out of state messed my units up a bit.  I needed 15 units to be done forever, so I did all 15 in 4 months!  It was a lot of razy work, but it's done!
 
3. Favorite picture

I don't know if I have a picture that is my favorite.  My daughter's school picture is my fave right now, but I don't have it for all to see!  Sorry!  Some things are better left secret!
 
2. Favorite memory

This is easy!  My hubby passed the bar in May!  We were so nervous the day the results would be posted (6pm on a Friday night!).  He tried to keep himself busy and even went to the neighbors house to keep occupied.  It seems like so long ago now that he passed!  We were jumping up and down, screaming, the whole shebang!  Then his swearing in was pretty memorable, too!  Nothing like being in a historic courthouse and not being in trouble with the law!
 
1. Goal for 2012

I have several goals for 2012.  I will just list a couple!
a. Be more spontaneous at work.  Sometimes we get off on a tangent and we are having such a good discussion, but then we always end up doing what was planned.  Plans can be changed and there will always be another day to do the work!
b. Go back to the days of fun.  We have become so rigid in teaching that the fun is gone.  The kids need the fun.  I am going to try to give that to my kids a little more, but still teach them what they need to know!
c. Give myself some more me time.  I hate that it sounds so selfish, but I don't take time for me.  I go to work, come home take care of my family and dinner and plan, but there is little time for me to enjoy being by myself.  I need to do that more and take care of myself! 
 
There is a nutshell of my 11 for 11!  Enjoy!

12.26.2011

The day after

Well, it's the day after Christmas. I am tired, full and happy. I had a great Christmas with my family. I always build it up in my head to something big and grand and end up disappointed. But not this year. It was very nice and was what I was hoping for. Actually, it was a little better than what I was expecting, so that was extra nice!

Our day started with our family Christmas. My daughter spent an hour opening gifts. She did get a lot, but she took her time opening each gift, looking at it, analyzing it, thanking us for it and then moving on to the next gift. Her big gift was a camera. I had high hopes for the Hello Kitty camera that we got her, but it is cheaply made and the flash isn't working. We may have to take it back and get her a real camera. She loves taking pictures, so this way she can have her own camera. One day, when she is older, I want to get her a real camera. I don't know much about takingictures, other than I push the button and we have 5,000 pictures on memory sticks!

We had Christmas at our house this year. My parents and my in laws and my brother and sister in law came over. We had an Italian Christmas with penne, sausage and meatballs and lasagna. I made a veggie lasagna. I think it was really good. We had enough food for the military! Between the appetizers, dinner and dessert, we ate more than we should have. But it was worth it.

This week is back to reality. I have to get in gear in terms of losing weight. I have been a bad tracker with my food and have eaten whatever I want, not worrying about the consequences, like gaining weight. I have been pretty bummed aboutit this week, but that hasn't stopped me from shoving food down my pie hole. So tonight, I will break out the exercise equipment once again. I have 2 weeks before going back to work, so it's time to once again get serious and drop more wight. I was down 14 pounds, which isn't a lot, but it's better than having those 14 pounds still hanging around. I have a lot to go, so it's time toget serious. We are going to Florida in June, so I have a goal to look better for then. We'll see how it goes!

I still have 2 weeks left of vacation. I am very happy to have the extended break. My daughter goes back next Tuesday, so I have one more week with her. I want to be able to do things with her, but at the same time, I want to be able to stay home and enjoy the time at home without going out all over and spending money we don't have. Plus, it's going to be in the 70's all week long, so it will be nice to work outside, get my planters ready for winter (if it comes) and clean it up from the Enid of summer and fall. We'll see what we get done. Hopefully a trip to the Safari Park and the movies will cap our vacation!

I should go and try to put away all the stuff we bought today. Yeah, I am one of those who goes out the day after Christmas to get stuff for next year. I actually bought some little gifts for my kids next year and for my daughters class next year. 50% off and ahead of time...SOLD! We also got wrapping paper, boxes and assorted crap that we may or may not need. I still need to get more plastic tubs to store my christmas stuff in and get a tub or tubs for my daughters tree and ornaments. But that will be later this week when I take Christmas down. I may do it sooner than later...I feel like i need to start the new year clean and organized, so we will see. Happy Monday and a great continued vacation!

12.23.2011

1 down, 2 to go

Wow! I can't believe that my first week of vacation is over. And I am sad isn't tons of stuff to show for it. My house is cleaner than its been in weeks, my shopping and wrapping is done and there is now some baking to do. But, it has been nice to not be at work. I love mymkids, but this is a much needed break that I am happy to have every year.

Here is a brief recap of my first week of vacation:
Monday - cleaned my "art room". It is actually what should be the dining ro om, but I have no dining table or fancy china or any use for it, so I use it for my arts and crafts and school stuff. It was all piled high. Now it's a cleaner mess!

Tuesday- I took our neighbor to the airport and then my daughter and I went to breakfast, did some shopping and then came home and had lunch. I then proceeded to sleep on the couch on and off for the next 3 hours. I guess I needed it, but boy was I lazy!

Wednesday- kitchen cleaning day. Now, I could have just cleaned the counters and floors and been done, but no, I had to deep clean the whole thing. I even cleaned the inside of the cabinets, just for fun. I have to admit though, I took my time and had fun using my new shark mop. I thought it would be OK, but it's great! No more cleaning the floor on my hands and knees!

Thursday- my daughter and I went and did a little more shopping. We then met my hubby for lunch and then we came home and wrapped the last few gifts. We went out last night to see a friend of my hubby get sworn in as a lawyer, then we went to the Mission Inn to check out their Christmas light display. Many, many people had the same idea as we did. Crazy! We then went to dinner at our favorite deli (Jason's Deli...we have one in CA, I'm glad it's just 20 miles away!!!!). And then came home and got out of the wind. I am done with the wind in CA...too many days of Santa Ana winds and my hands are paying the price.

Friday- finished the cleaning and laundry. May get around to baking later with my daughter or we'll do it tomorrow. I want to get some cookies made and some cupcakes for Christmas day, along with getting the veggies ready for my veggie lasagna. We are doing Christmas with my Grannies tomorrow, since she has decided she isn't leaving her home anymore. So we will go ambush her there! And then I have to get ready for Sunday, as we are having it at ourmhouse! A bit scary since the last time was 5 years ago when my dauhter was 6 months old! But I am excited for it and glad that my daughter can be at home for the big day!

I am signing off til Monday at least. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope that everyone has a great time with family and friends and has a very relaxing break away from school.

12.19.2011

I can get used to this

Day 1 of no school was a good day.  I didn't do anything too exciting, so don't be jealous.  In fact, I cleaned and did laundry.  Not the most exciting thing, but it feels good to get things cleaned and organized that have been left to sit and collect dust.  And glitter.  And paper scraps.  But, it is getting cleaned and organized now.  That's a very good thing about vacation! 

I also played secretary girl for the hubby.  He was gone almost all day with appts, so I got to answer the phone and all that fun stuff.  It cut into the time of cleaning, but it helped him, so that was good.  Tomorrow I get to take our neighbor to the airport, so I think I will do a little shopping after dropping her off.  I will have my daughter with me, so we can have some time together.  Too bad we have to leave at 7:30.  So much for sleeping in! 

I moved my school bag 3 times today.  Once to move the table, once to vaccum the floor and once to put it back where it was to begin with.  I don't even want to look in it til after Jan. 2.  I figure I will enjoy the break now and then get serious about working once the holidays are over.  If I am bored in the next week (hahahahaha) I will look at stuff, but, I don't see that happening.  I have books to read, presents to wrap and sitting on my butt to do!  That all takes precedence over school work!  :) 

Time to get back to something...I think since it's after 7:30, sitting on my butt reading or watching TV or having my daughter read to me will be the thing to do tonight.  I am tired from cleaning today, but at least it's the good tired of I-got-something-done.  Happy Monday!

12.16.2011

Hello vacation!

Vacation is here! I am so tired and so glad that vacation is here. Time to rest, relax and enjoy being with my family! Happy Friday!

12.15.2011

'Twas the day before vacation...

...and the kids were going nutty! Luckily mine have been pretty good, so it's OK. I think we are all ready for a nice break before we get into the meat and bones of our curriculum. We have a lot to do when we get back to get ready for second grade, but before that, we will have some fun.



This week, we have been doing more craftivities than real learning, but we are working on fine motor skills and following directions. Here is a look at what we have done this year for Christmas! Enjoy the walk through the classroom!




Our Christmas trees they did at home! I got the pattern from Kristin at A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  My kids loved doing them at home.  I hope the parents did, too.  I love how they are all different.






Our Christmas light names.  I saw this on Pinterest and had to do it.  2 others in my grade level copied my idea.  Of course one teacher made it seem like it was her own original idea. 



GIngerbread people...after our week of Gingerbread stories. 



Poinsettias...we talked a little about Christmas in Mexico and made these last week.  It's kind of ironic that over half my kids are from Mexico (or their parents are...the kids were all born here) and they had never seen a poinsettia before. 

 Oops...all our gingerbread people!
 We wrote about one gift we wanted for Christmas and then we put it on a "gift" and wrapped it. 

 Our wreaths...they were not loving this project at all.  They whined and complained the whole time.  :(

 My new favorite project...I saw this at Teacher Bits and Bobs.  I did it with my intervention group (I have the highs!) and they loved it.  So easy to make!  And I am so mad at myself for never thinking of the magic oval or magic circle!  What a fabulous way to do it.  Check out their blog for more details!  I will make sure I do this one every year! 


 I saw this somewhere last year and it's my new favorite tree.  It's made of 10 hearts, turned upside down.  Cut out, glue together and decorate.  This was the best looking one.  The rest didn't look like a tree at all.  Kinda pathetic, really!
Tomorrow will be the last day.  We have our assembly in the morning for Student of the Month and then we will be making the giant nutcracker.  We did it last year and when I told the kids about it, they have been so excited!  I got all the pieces cut for it this year (last year I did it as I went along!) so we will start it in the morning and finish by lunch.  After lunch will be a movie and cookies and then they will leave at 1:55!  I can't wait!  I have some work to do after school, but I figure I can still be home by 3:30 and start my vacation! 

Happy almost Friday!

12.13.2011

So few days, yet so much time

OK, there really isn't that much time, but sometimes the day just seems to drag on.  Today was one of those days.  My kids weren't feeling it with the wreath project, which led to a lot of whining and complaining and mess on the floor.  Not good.  I thought they would love the project over a math test.  I guess I was wrong.  I was working on their ornaments during the afternoon which took forever!  We made the applesauce and cinnamon ornaments today.  They were a huge mess.  I forgot my bowl and spoon at home (along with the keys to my classroom!) so I had to use a small bowl and plastic spoon.  Talk about a mess.  But I got them done (and have a sore throat now from all the cinnamon) and they look cute.  My classroom...not so much.  It's a giant mess right now.  I hope the custodian at least vacuum's up a little of the glitter I knocked onto the floor by accident, but then incorporated into my ornaments.  Ugh...Today felt like a Monday!

Tomorrow we will be finishing up a million and one things and starting just one new project.  If we get it all done, it will be a miracle.  Oh and I still have DRA's to finish and progress reports to do.  Yikes!  And to top it off, I have 2 SST's on Thursday in the morning when I have been doing my DRA testing, so that kills that time.  Guess I need to have the kids read at mach 4 tomorrow! 

I have a gazillion things to do between now and Thursday night, so this will be short and sweet.  I guess I should work out really quick, get some of my projects started and then see what comes next.  I love the idea of vacation coming soon, but there is so much to do this week.  I can make it...!

12.11.2011

Freebie for a Sunday

I don't know about you, but I can hardly wait til Friday at 1:56.  That's when the bell will ring for the last time in 2011 and my kids will be on their way to a 3 week vacation!  Don't get me wrong, I love my class this year, but this teacher is on major burnout and running on fumes.  I am tired, fighting a cold and ready to spend some time at home with my family. 

I have 5 days to keep the kids busy.  For my focus group time, which is our intervention time, I have the high group.  Mind you, it's just 3 of the 5 first grade classes that switch for this time (don't ask, it's a long story that still makes me angry) and it's only the English speakers (all the EL's are at ELD at this time), so I have 14 kids for 30 minutes.  9 of them are mine and the other 5 come from the other 2 classes.  I am tired of finding things to do (it's a lot easier for me to work with the lows, but I was burned out from them) that are interesting and exciting and not boring to the kids.  Last week we talked about the moom and they had fun!

This week, we will do some fun with reindeer activities.  I sat down today and made up this mini unit about reindeer.  I took it from the non fiction stand point.  We will read some fiction stories and then compare with the non fiction information we will learn.  I hope you can use it this week or next year, if you'd like!  If you do download, please be kind and comment.  Thanks! 

Have a great week with your kiddos!  Hope it's a great last week!

12.07.2011

Half way through

I am glad today is Wednesday. For us, we have minimum day. The kids leave early and we are able tom do what we want with our time. We can work, go home, whatever. For me, I stay and work. I'd rather have the time to get things ready, though i haven't gotten a lot done in a long time. I guess my motivation and energy aren't there. :(. It will be back come January!

Today was a good day. My kids were very conversational today and we were late getting things done, but it was fun to just talk and listen to their thought processes. I have to say, I love my kids and I have the best class of all. My kids are just great. Of course, there are those who make me bang my head on the wall, but they are still pretty lovable in their own way. I am I. The middle of assessments, so there is a lot of timei am one on one instead of reading with them like I should be. Next week will be all assessing in the morning with them doing busy work and some fun. I hate giving busy work, but sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do.

I came home today with the beginnings of a cold. I think it'll hit hard and fast. I was fine all day til I gotin my car to come home. :(. I took some meds, took a short nap and then hubby woke me up to go to dinner. We went to eat, and then had to run home to wait for our new couches to come! They are finally here after 3 weeks of waiting. And they brought the wrong couch, that they could have brought 3 weeks ago! At least we got the upgraded couch for no money. Hopefully they don't realize their error. But if they do, it comes from their pocket. They delivered it as is, so...Now I just have to wait for my heater to be fixed...2 more days. It's been in the 20's in the morning, so it's pretty frosty in my house. But, I know how to dress in layers and I like sleeping with lots of blankets, anyway!

Thank goodness the week is almost over. Tomorrow night I have to stay at school til 7:30 for art night. I like doing it, just not when I am tired and getting sick. Hopefully we have a good turn out and the kids hae fun. I think I am off to try out how the new couch works for laying down! :) Happy Wednesday!

Luckily Tuesday was better!

Yes, it's true...Tuesday was better, even though I thought it was Wednesday when I woke up yesterday. Reality was a slight bummer. The day was pretty good, and my kid who hasntbdone much in a month or more did all his work. It took a lot of reminding him, moving his seat and reminding him of missing recess, but it got done. So, he got all his recess and his hand stamp. He was in heaven last night playing his video game.

Last night was a crazy night. We are finally getting our new couches today, so we had to take the old one out, clean the floor and then sit and wait. Before that, I had to fold the mountain of laundry that was on the couch and then get all the other crap off the couch. Oh, I had to make dinner, do dishes, get my daughter to bed........you get the idea. School work? Nah, it took a ride home with me and will ride back to school with me today. Maybe today.

It has been miserably cold here for us. Each morning has been well below freezing at my house. The other day it was 24. Today it's a warm 28. And I have morning duty this week. It's a bit warmer at 8:40, but it's still cold. And it's been chilly all week long, though we are supposed to be about 65 today, which is still chilly. I miss the 90 degrees of summer. That's why I live here. I like it being warm. Oh, and did I mention my heater went out at home? Yep. No heat and my house is freezing. I sleep with like 5 blankets (and imsleep well!) but I freeze getting ready, eating breakfast, all the things I do in the morning. Hopefully the heater guy will be here early and the couch guys will be here early and I can enjoy my night in a warm, comfy house!

I guess I should get ready for work. It's Wedensday, which is a short day, but still so much to do. Hopefully I am motivated enough to getnstuff done and not have to bring anything home. Happy Wednesday!

12.05.2011

Sometimes Mondays just suck

Ok, today didn't suck too bad, but it was a Monday. And I am exhausted. I am glad that it's over and tomorrow is a new day. It started off crappy and only went slightly uphill. Luckily the school day ended on a good note with a little fun!

I have a student who is probably ADD. He is very distracted all the time and barely pays attention to anything I say or do. He is too busy flipping his hair around (it's too long forma boy and always in his eyes), too busy rocking around and playing with things on the floor. There hasn't been one day where he has finished work on his own in the time allowed tHis whole year. I've talked to mom, but she wears me out. She behaves like she was a tweaked, but I think she is just very hyper. She makes excuses for her son as to why he doesn't do his work. she says she was the same way, so it's ok for him. She says he doesn't like school, he knows it already (he's one of my lowest) and he's bored. Well, do the work and you can have some fun. Today he missed all recess time and missed social studies since we were having fun and he got to go to the office. I was happy he missed the fun, but I doubt he even cared. sad, really. I feel bad for him, since his house must be chaotic. Mom says that they have no money, so they are all worried about that. It makes me sad that he is so out in left field that he can't and won't concentrate, try or care about his work. He is young, too, which doesn't help, but there are other young ones who are doing ok.

Speaking of young kids, our state is changing the cut off for birthdates for going into kinder. Right now, students have to be 5 by December 2. That's great and all, but we start in August. It's a long time til November or December when they are young. My lowest kids for the most part just turned 6 within the last 6 weeks. They were low in kinder and they are still low. Most are boys, too. Starting next year, the cutoff will be September 2. I wonder if it will make a difference? Anyone have an early cutoff for kinder? Can you see a difference?

Today we started our Christmas around the world. We learned a bit about the Netherlands. The kids loved making the little clog. I am hoping to get their pencils and stickers in them tomorrow morning, but imhave 3 places to be tomorrow before school and one of them isn't my classroom.:(. Maybe after recess!

Just 9 more days...I am counting down the hours! Hope everyone else had a great Monday. I am hoping for a great Tuesday!

12.04.2011

Weekend Update...and a freebie!

Wow!  Where did the weekend go?  I feel like I need another day or 2 off to recover from last week.  It was a good week, but I am tired.  I think the year, the weather and the stress and frustration are catching up to me, and I am not liking it at all.  :(  Kinda bumming today.  But, the bright spot - only 2 more weeks til a nice 3 week vacation!  :)

I am going to start my Christmas Around the World unit.  I bought the unit from Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants and I love it.  I am going to tweak it a bit to make it mine, but I like that a lot of the thinking has been done for me!  It's funny how a lot of the activities are the same as what I have done in the past.  Makes me feel good that I did something right, and glad that there is someone with more time and desire to put it all together.  We are going to talk about the Netherlands, Germany and Mexico this week.  I hope.  That's the plan, anyway.  We'll see how it turns out.  If (and it's a big IF) I remember to take my camera, there will be pics.  No promises, tho! 

My students really enjoyed the Christmas tree problem solving last week.  You can get it from Teachers Pay Teachers for just $1!  What a deal!  I also posted a new unit this week on Gingerbread cookies.  This one has 5 mini lessons for math all using the cute little gingerbread cookies.  Makes me hungry.  You can pick it up at TpT as well.  If you want to see how your kids will like it, here is a freebie page to share with them! 

With having just 10 days left, it's crunch time for my poor kids.  Progress reports go home next week, so testing needs to happen.  I swear we just did report cards yesterday and it's time to assess again.  It's so frustrating.  And to top it off, when we get back, we have about 3 weeks til our next benchmark test and then it will be time to assess for report cards.  Sometimes I just want to teach and not worry about assessing.  I know where they are, I just want to teach and get them higher!  Is that too much to ask for? 
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Speaking of teaching, this has been driving me insane lately.  Our second grade team is a bunch of whiners.  In the 3 years now that I have been there and they have had my kids (and all of 1st grades kids, but mine are in there!), I hear nothing but whining and complaining about where the kids are.  A day doesn't go by when they aren't talking about what the kids can't do.  A week doesn't go by when I don't get asked about one of my kids and why I didn't retain them (um, that's not the answer to everything, ya know?!).  I think all of us in 1st grade work really hard to get our kids to grade level, or as darn close as we can.  I do, anyway.  There are some kids who leave us in May (or June) and are just at grade level and then spend the summer doing nothing.  Well, of course they will regress.  That's where it's the job of the next teacher to work with them and get them moving again.  We have been in school for 16 weeks now, and they are still complaining about where the kids are and how low they are.  Um, here's a solution - work with them more!  Now, before you all jump all over me and say they are doing their best, I will say, OK, maybe they are.  But, humor me for a bit.  Our second graders have an extra hour and a half of intervention for the kids who need it.  That's 90 minutes that the kids are out of the room and in with the intervention teachers.  There are about 95 kids in 2nd grade and about 30 or so go to intervention.  Um, something it wrong.  They send the kids they don't want in the rooms and hope for the best.  That leaves about 18 kids per room after that.  That would be a great time to do small group (but they don't really know what that is, I don't think).  I would give my right arm to have less kids and be able to do small group more than I do, but it isn't happening in 1st grade (we are the forgotten grade who doesn't get a lot of anything - time, resources, etc). 

It makes me sad for the kids to hear the teachers talking crap about them.  It makes me mad when I know the teacher isn't working with the child to give them extra support so they aren't struggling.  It frustrates me when kids in 2nd are being retained into 1st grade now in the year because they are too far behind and they haven't gotten any help in 2nd grade.  And it pisses me off that they are allowed to do it and get away with whatever they want.  I have a very hard time putting my kids into classes at the end of the year.  There are only 4 teachers, so they have to go somewhere.  And only one of them doesn't complain as much as the others.  The other 3 are relentless and have nothing nice to say about any child they have in their class.  My group last year was really good and they were pretty close to grade level, if they weren't there.  But, to listen to the teachers, you'd think we gave them kids who drool all day and are menaces to society.  Anyone else have that where they work?  Please tell me I'm not alone?  I hope I am alone and that all you have great grade levels who truly work with the kids and give them the best they have. 

As for me, I have given myself a new challenge.  I don't have any parent helpers in my class, nor do I have any aide time.  It bothered me before, but now, I have decided to embrace it.  My goal is to make sure my kids do very well without having all the extras that the others have.  One teacher has 4 aides at one point in the day.  4 aides!  I have decided that I am going to push my kids to be better, work harder and take more pride in their work.  While my class is higher overall than the others, it doesn't mean that they are better (in fact, my group this year freaks when they are assessed, so our scores suck!), nor do I let them think they are better - I just make them work harder, which means we might not do as much fun and art and play as the other classes, but what we know and do in class speaks louder than the words from the one who always has to one up all of us. 

Well, this has been a long, rambling post, but I feel a bit better.  I will be so glad when break comes and I can destress for a bit!  Here's to a great, although chilly, windy week ahead.  I miss summer!  Happy Sunday!   

12.01.2011

I don't think we're in Kansas anymore

Holy wind! What a crazy, nutty day! We are in the midst of the worst wind storm in a decade. I think it's about 9 years, but who's counting? Luckily I live where the winds haven't been as bad as some places, but it's still cold, windy and dry. And it makes the kids go berserk. Mine were pretty good today, so I won't complain!

This week has flown by! I am so glad, as I am in need of a long vavction. I love my kids, but I am almost burned out. Burn out is mostly from staff I work with and the crap that we all go through. I am done with one of the teachers and her constant whining about one thing and then her constant one-upping of whatever it is someone says. Anyone else work with someone like that? They have had it happen to them worse, more often, done it better or did it first, no matter what it is. I have this one beat on being married and having a kid, but everything else - ugh. I enjoy the dys when she is gone and we have a quiet lunch. Today was one of those days. Thank you!

I think I have finally come to peace with the fact that my student who is Jehovah's witness just misses out and can color. I m done trying to make it all religion friendly. It's too hard when all the otherclassess are having fun. This week we talked about pine trees and their parts and needs, but then we also talked about how they are Christmas trees. Tomorrow we will do an art project to go with our writing and have. Little fun. We'll also make a cute project I found on line. If I remember to take a picture, you might see it by the weekend! :)

I think tonight will be a total veg night. I am tired, cold and not motivated to do anything. Sorry exercise, you lose tonight. Maybe to tomorrow...or Saturday...or...thank goodness tomorrow is Friday. It's been a good week, but I am ready for the weekend. A little cleaning, a little project and Legoland may be in the weekend plans. I hope sleeping might be in the future, too! Happy Friday eve!

11.27.2011

A wonderful day

Today was a great day!  While my mountain of laundry is still waiting, I got a ton of stuff done for school.  My creative juices were flowing and I was able to make a lot of games for my kids.  There are a couple posted below and some posted on TpT.  I feel inspired today and ready to go conquer the world tomorrow.  OK, maybe not the world, but at least my classroom.  I am excited to go back to work and get working in these next 3 weeks.  I know these next 15 days will fly by.  Yikes!  I hope we have a great 3 weeks with a lot of fun and learning. 

Now that my school work is mostly done, it's time to get my daughter in bed, get some laundry done and hit the hay myself.  Working at the computer all day has me pretty tired! 

I am planning to have a fabulous week at work and wish you all the same!  Happy Sunday!

Counting by 10's Freebie

One of our math lessons this week is on counting by 10's.  My kids have mastered the skill, but I wanted to give them something fun to do once we finish the lesson (since it will be so quick!).  I made this cute little activity for them to order the numbers 10 - 100.  We will do it whole group several times and then they will do it at their seat and glue it on to a strip of paper.  If you would like it, you may download the counting by 10's freebie here!  Enjoy!

Cookie Sort

I made this up quickly tonight for my kids to use at centers.  They are good at sorting when it's cut and dry, so I wanted to see how they do with this activity.  I know some will think it's too easy, but there will be some who wonder what I was thinking! 

It's a freebie for you!  Enjoy!  All images are from Scrappin' Doodles...I love them!  All I ask is for a quick thanks!  Happy Sunday morning!

11.26.2011

Vacation is coming to an end...

I have very much enjoyed my time off of work this last week.  In fact, I barely thought about it at all.  It was nice to be away from the daily grind and do things that I wanted to do.  I didn't get as much done as I had hoped, but I still got some things done and my house is decorated for Christmas.  It's basically just my living room and the outside, but I would need more decorations and a bigger house.  I like my little living room decorated and lit up and then the rest of the house "normal".

I sat down tonight to make up some things for school.  I am trying really hard to make sure I do my daily problem solving in math with my kids.  I made up a quick 4 day problem solving kit to go with Christmas trees/decorating.  I have decided to put it on TpT, but it's only $1!  I noticed an item I had put on my blog last year had over 900 views...and 2 comments.  I am hoping maybe someone will want it and like it and tell me so.  I am a bit needy and like knowing that someone thinks my creations are OK. 

Here is a freebie of the problem solving unit.  This is the problem we will do on Monday.  The students have their math journals and they will draw and write the answer in their notebook.  There is no question for them to glue on (maybe next year?), but they work it out and then come and show me.  If they get it right, they get a star on their paper.  Big deal, huh?  But they love it cause I use the Mr. Sketch markers and they think I am the greatest person in the world!  And, I just ordered another set of markers to make sure I don't run out!  I think 3 sets should get me through til the end of the year! 

I am planning to sit at my computer for a bit tonight and get some things created.  I am feeling a bit creative, which is good, cause it's been missing for awhile!  Here's to hoping the next 3 weeks go quickly and smoothly and we all have a great time with our kids!

11.22.2011

Enjoying vacation

I realized it's been over a week since I posted. Don't know if anyone reads this, but for my own sake,it's been a week. There hasn't been that much to post about. I took pictures last week of whatwe did, but they are still on the camera. And this weeks vacation, so I haven't done anything worthnposting about, unless younwant to read about the Super deep cleaning of my house or the time I have spent doing a lot of nothing.

I brought home a lot of work to do. But, it's going for rides in my car with me. Haven't even bothered to take it out yet. Maybe this weekend. I really do need to do some work, but I also want to enjoy my vacation. Mind you, deep cleaning isn't fun, but it's rewarding tom see all the junk I don't need in the trash and the dust bunnies gone. Of course, I cleaned my floors (I have wood floors in my whole house) and then it rained and my dogs thought it would be fun to roll arund outside and then come inside. The joy of living on 5 acres of dirt! It's a double edged sword...I love my property (and no neighbors!!!!!), but I hate all the dirt and dust and mud that goes with it.

I have really enjoyed my 2 days off so far. Today I went to my daughters school all morning and helped get ready for the feast. I liked being a parent and not a teacher. Luckily she is off tomorrow, so we will sleep in and relax a bit. She is having a friend over, so the middle of the day will be busy with 2 little girls running around like wild banshees!

Tonight I hope to sit on the couch in front of the fire (it's chilly to is!), make a cup of tea and sit and read. I don't have to be up too early, I can stay up late and indulge in my book for a bit. Happy Tuesday!

11.14.2011

A good Monday

Today was a good day. Even better that there are 4 days left before a weeks vacation. I can't wait. 5 days of not having to go to work! I am so excited to be able to get things done and get some good reading done. I just finished Danielle Steel's book Happy Birthday and bought the new one Hotel Vendome last night. If I get my stuff done,I can start tonight!

I got a new student today. Well, new to me this year. I had him in my class last year. He wasn't the top of the class, but hen worked with an extra aide and managed tom get very close to grade level. His guardian didn't want him to repeat, so he went on to second grade. Now, I know nothing happened over summer, he came to 2nd grade behind. For this year, he hasn't been very motivated, gets no help at home, but was getting lots of extra support at school until his attitude got really bad, then the help stopped. Somehow, it came to be that he would go back to first grade. There were 2 openings, and one wouldn't have been good, so he came back to me. I am a little worried, since I already had him and didn't get him to grade level. Hopefully he will be higher at the end and get the gaps filled in that he has. I noticed on his writing today he is still low, which is scary considering he has been in 2nd grade for almost 4 months!

I wonder, silently of course, what goes on once the kids leave us. I know it's not a good thought to have. We are supposed to have trust in the other teachers we work with, but I am losing it quickly. We have had several kids be moved down to first grade this year and it's like the others don't want to work hard. I bust my butt to get my kids as far as they can, but it doesn't seem like others do. There seems to be a lot of "fluff" going on in the grade above me, whereas we are doing work, work, work and a little fluff. I don't know...I guess we shouldn't say much until we are in their shoes, but I know they couldn't do what I do without extra help and some complaining. But, I know I will do my job as best I can and I am just one person. I can only get them as far as I can I one year and I hope for the best.

I guess it's time to play chutes and ladders. my daughter is sitting there questioning my if I am ready. I need to go do that, do dishes and make my plans for Wednesday...can't wait for a nice, fun family day at D-land! Happy Monday!

11.13.2011

Thanksgiving Freebies

I have 3 days this week to teach about Thanksgiving.  Really, I have 3 days to get in all the fun stuff we should be doing, but won't because we are worrying about standards and acountability.  We will get the social studies standards in one way or another and hopefully learn something along the way. 

Tonight I made some pages that we will work on in class.  They are more educational than fun, but I hope my kids think they are fun and that they get something out of them, too!  Don't worry, though.  I am not all work and no play!  My kids will do more than their share of craftivities for Christmastime!  They will be crafted out by then!  ;)

The first page is about Pilgrims.  We have already compared Pilgrims to ourselves and all the ways we are different and all the things that we have now that they didn't.  This one, the kids will fill in after we discuss what the Pilgrims could do, had and were.  It's a take on can/have/are, but since it's the past, I changed it!   

The second page is about Thanksgiving.  It's very similar to the top page, just what we can/have/are at Thanksgiving.  I want my kids to understand what we have Thanksgiving for and that it's more than just turkey! 

The last page is a writing page I will have them do on Thursday, I think, about what they are thankful for.  We will brainstorm ideas of all the things we are thankful for.  I really hope we can get past the xboxes and wii's and crap like that and get to the nitty gritty, like family, food, and free education! 

I am also planning to have the kids made a Thankful turkey.  I have to make the pattern and trace it and all that fun stuff, but that will be for tomorrow.  I will trace the body and then hopefully copy feathers onto different colored construction paper.  On each "feather", they will write one thing they are thankful for and glue it on.  I hope this will pass with my girl who is a jehovah's witness!?!?!  In all my years of teaching, I have never had a student in my class who doesn't celebrate the holidays.  Kinda makes me panic a little! 

Well, this is more or less the extent on my Thanksgiving fun and games.  I wanted to do so much more, but there just isn't time.  I could not teach reading or math this week, but I don't know if that would be my best option.  Happy Sunday! 

11.12.2011

Love/hate relationship

So, I have to confess. I have a love/hate relationship going on right now. And it just started. I am little bit late to the game, but I joined. Pinterest would be the new game I have joined. And dang if it isn't addicting. I spent about 3 hours last night pinning stuff just because I could. Some things are great ideas for school, some are great ideas for my home, some make me laugh til I can't breath while others are just a nice thought. But, after 3 hours on my couch, I got nothing done, except for wasting time and getting a sore neck. Hubby wasn't too thrilled I didn't return a phone call and decided to do dishes at 9:30 last night. I said he could have done them (right ladies????) but then I got the response of, well.....

Today I was a bit more productive. My daughter went to a friends house for a play date, sadly her first, and hubby was out running errands. I finally got my bedroom and bathroom deep cleaned and looking nice. Now to keep it clean and nice for the remainder of the month! I still have laundry going, but that is a never ending process in my house. And dishes will be done in a few! Tomorrow I'll be saved for lesson planning, lesson writing for Wednesday and figuring out still what I am going to do this week thanksgiving-y for school. Nothing like the last minute! And I need to make Wednesday plans so we can play hooky and go to Disneyland! Hubby has a friend/client who works there and we will get in for $0! Score! So, I will play sick for that and have some good family time without the crowds! Yippee!

Well, time to get off my butt and get more done. Happy Saturday!

11.11.2011

Time off

Today was a much needed day off. And I didn't do much at home. Hubby had to take his car in to be fixed (and we will get it tomorrow), we went to visit a couple of his clients and then we did lunch and went to Hobby Lobby. We must got a new Hobby Lobby 2 weeks ago, so the new is still there. Luckily it's a ways down the road, so I don't go there all the time. This was my second visit, and we have given them money each time. I got stuff for Christmas crafts for my home and school as well as some other fun stuff and gifts. We left at 8:30 today and got home at 4:00. Then it was rime to make dinner and then I got sidetracked with the computer. What else is new?

I am trying to figure out what I am doing for thanksgiving craftivities with my kids. There isn't a ton of time for me to do them, and I need to figure out what to do that won't offend my one student whose parent told me theynare Jehovah's witness. I didn't know and she was doing all the halloweeny stufF, tho it wasn't anything major. Isn't that something you should have told me in August? But now, I am trying to figure out what to do that will be fun, educational and PC. And I only have a couple days, really, to get it all in. We are still mandated to do our regular reading and math and I don't want to deviate too much. We have someone at the site who is "spying" on us, so I want to make sure everything I do is clean and in line with the pacing guide. Good thing we are an award winning school and know what we ate doing!

I am planning to spend some time on Sunday getting some ideas together for Christmas stuff for when We come back. I try and do a Christmas around the world thing, but I really need to beef it up. I may scour TPT and break down and buy something. It goes against what I want to do, but I need some help. Christmas will be here and over before I know it. I just put away Halloween...not really ready for Christmas!

Well, time to veg for the night and catch up on the DVR. Good thing someone invented it so we can be coach potatoes! Happy Friday!

11.10.2011

A Much Needed Break

Well, I have made it to November and survived!  The stretch from Labor Day til Veteran's Day is very long.  It's actually the longest continuous time we have with our kids without any interruptions other than the weekends.  Crazy.  Today was the first day without kids.  And I needed it.  And I loved it.  I am sad it is over and that I didn't get my mountain of a to-do list done.  But I did get some things done, and that's all that matters! 

Today was our "Teacher Work Day".  It's the union's fancy way of saying conference day without telling us to do conferences.  We don't get half days or any of that "normal" stuff.  We get one day in the whole year to be at school without children.  We can use it to meet with parents, or we can meet with parents before today and use the time to work in our rooms, which is what I did.  Some teachers don't schedule conferences and hope parents come today, but not me.  I scheduled a bunch, met with 17 of my 22 and told those who didn't bother to send me a paper back any of the times I sent them home that I would be available today.  No one came and I am not sad! 

I had big, lofty plans, but then I got side tracked.  I wanted to put my read aloud books in buckets, but I am not a good visual perception person, so my buckets were too big and my shelf too small.  So, I took all the books out of the buckets, put them back on the shelves and then tackled my student library.  I "leveled" the books there, but there are really only 3 levels instead of the gazillions I should have.  Baby steps.  Now I need to buy some colored stickers or lots of tape to mark so the kids know where to put the books back.  I wasn't prepared to do that project, so I wasn't prepared to finish it.  But, the library isn't a disaster anymore and the kids can stop asking me if it's a test book or not! 

I also cleaned off my board, threw some stuff away that had been there for months and cleaned up some charts.  I made some new anchor charts, go some things organized and then left for the weekend.  I am getting a sort of new kid on Monday, but I didn't prepare for him.  Oops!  I know what I will do on Monday morning, don't I?!  In my defense, the custodian never did bring me the extra desk I had asked for today, so I had nothing to put his stuff in.  He'll survive...he knows me!  I had him last year.  He wasn't the highest in my class, but he was able to hold his own.  Well, I guess he isn't this year, which is a whole other bee in my bonnet.  Let's just say we don't love our 2nd grade team and wonder what they do with the kids we give them. 

But, I have the next 3 days to myself.  Or with my family.  Soccer season is now over, so there are no more early Saturday morning soccer games.  There will be nice, lazy Saturday mornings where I may actually get laundry done.  I might get to work in the my flower beds and make them look nice for winter (I do have to wait for it to not rain on the weekend...last week and this week...really?!?!?!?!).  Or I may just be lazy and do nothing and enjoy being home.  Which is what I think I will do now...the couch is calling my name, along with a blanket.  It's chilly today for us So Cal people! 

Happy Thursday, which is my Friday!

11.06.2011

Scarecrows, corn and some rain

Wow!  Last week was a whirlwind!  Halloween, hot days, some actual real, live teaching and some rain.  Yep.  That was our week. 

We started the week with Pumpkin Day.  We did all sorts of pumpkin activities.  The kids had fin, they weren't too crazy and it was a nice to day to carve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. 

We spent the rest of the week learning a bit about corn.  And when I say a bit, I mean a bit.  Teaching about the "fun stuff" has ended up with teaching just enough that the kids had fun, they learned something and we still got the real important stuff done.  For our poem this week, we read a poem I wrote about a scarecrow.  I read some scarecrow stories after lunch as well and we talked about what scarecrows do for farmers.  On Friday, we did a 2 part, all day project.  It was so much fun and they turned out so darn cute!  Take a peek for yourself! 
 First, we water colored the background with the fields and the sky.  Oh my word.  My kids were silent when they were painting.  All I could hear was the breathing.  I need to paint more often! 
I gave them a choice of some scrapbook paper for the shirts, then we made the pants, the hat and the head and put them all together.  Here is our wall of scarecrows.  No birds are getting into our room!





I love that each one is different and they all have very similar personalities to the kids who made them!

We also learned a bit about corn.  We talked about Indian Corn and how the kernals are different colored.  So, we made our own Indian Corn to hang up for the next 2 weeks. 


I hung them on the window, some facing in and some facing out.  Now that people walk by my room, I feel obligated to have something on the window, even though the fire marshall says no, no!

We have been working all year long on the personal narrative.  Here is the last step in the process.  I made the chart and hope the kids will follow it. 


This last week and this week, we have been enjoying the stories by Karma Wilson.  I absolutely love the Bear books.  I have some at school and some at home that I have taken to school for the weeks.  We are making a mini author study chart to use with the stories.  I hope the kids get something from it, but at least we are having fun with the stories.  I have noted in my yearly plan to use these with Seasonsnext year since they will tie in nicely. 


As I mentioned, we had some rain Friday.  It rained all day at school, which is fine, but the kids were a bit wild from it.  It was 90 earlier in the week, so I don't know why they are nutty when it's only 54.  Hmmm.  Here is a view outside the classroom and in the parking lot to show what it looks like on a CA rainy day!  Enjoy!

 This is looking out my window to the East.  Not the best view, but on a clear day, I can see the top of the mountains out east.  Could be worse!
This is looking toward the east.  The clouds were mean looking, but it had stopped raining by this time.  It was already after 5pm, and the sun was setting.  No more staying late now since it will get darker so much earlier.  The only downfall to Daylight Savings ending is the dark at 4:30 thing.  Yuck!

On tap for this week...not really sure.  We are finishing up some stuff and will venture into Thanksgiving learning I think.  We have a 3 day week this week, then 5 days next week and then we are off for the week.  November is a very busy month, but there are lots of times to rest, as well.  If I get rambunctious and make something blog-worthy, I will post it for anyone reading who would like a freebie.  I am tired of seeing all the cute stuff that costs money.  Time to put my not-so-creative mind to work!  Happy Sunday!

11.03.2011

Amen...it's almost Friday!

I will be glad when its about 3:45 tomorrow afternoon. I will be able to clean my classroom, getnthings ready for next week and come home and collapse. Or at least I hope that's what I get to do. And to top it off, it's supposed to be cold and rainy tomorrow. It was 84 today and 90 the other day. Tomorrows forecast is 56. Brrrrr! Nice and chilly and fall-like.

No ewe so far on my foot. I need to call in a bit (they are open 24/7!) and see if the results are in. Ifi have to, I can run down there tonight and have them take care of my foot. I have managed to make it 6 days with no meds and can still walk. I picked up my meds tonight, but they are steroids to bring down the inflammation in my foot and a med form heartburn that the steroid can cause. Lucky me! I will take them in the morning and start the road to recovery...hopefully.

This weekend is my daughters last soccer game. It has been long 3 months of soccer. I will be glad to have my Saturday's back, but I will miss watching her play. She will
Lay indoor soccer in the winter and also basketball...her choice. I am also hoping to get her into 4-H since she loves animals so much and I think it's better than girl scouts. I want her to do something educational and more fun for her. We'll see how it goes!

Well, time to put sleeping beauty to bed. I have dishes (since no one else does them) to do and some tracing to do for tomorrow. I threw caution to the wind and changed my lesson plans for something fun. I like it and so do my kids. :). Happy almost Friday!

11.02.2011

One step forward, two steps back

Today's post isn't about teaching. I AMA little stressed, bummed and freaking disappointed. Plus I am physically in pain, so it's not a good combination. I would like to sit and cry, but I don't want the hubby to get on my case.

Long story short...last Friday, my right foot hurt. I didn't think much of it, wore my tennis shoes, went to work, taught, did the carnival, all in a little pain. Saturday I wore my trusty flip flops all day, again in pain. Sunday, same story. You get the idea. Monday and Tuesday were horribly busy, so today was the day. My own dr. Closes at noon on Wednesday's, so to urgent care I went. 90 minutes later, still not sure what's wrong with me. Originally, the PA told me it was planter fasiiutus. So I don't know how to spell it, but if that's the case, my flip flop days are over and I may need some xanex to get me through it. But, I took xrays and then he changed his tune. He told me, and I think he made it up, that he thought it was a bone island. Seriously...I couldn't make it up. He said there are extra bones in hands and feet that can cause problems. He wnted an xray of my "good" foot to compare. Guess what...not there! So now, there is fear I have a stress fracture in my foot. WTH???? But their xray screen isn't great, so he has to send it out to someone better and then let me know on Friday. Ugh. He gave me a list of drugs, but I haven't got them filled...waiting to see if I can wait til Friday before I fill them. I guess there is a lot of inflammation in my foot, so they want me to take these super anti inflammatories and a steroid. And no exercise. I'm not the queen of exercise, but I have been starting to enjoy it and am liking the results I am getting, no matter how how small. It has been a week and I am not liking what I am seeing. Then to make matters worse, my husband is being a big jerk about the whole thing, which makes me feel like an idiot.

Worst case, it's a stress fracture and I will be unable to walk on It for a few weeks. That means no exercise til it heals. And I would have to wear the lovely black boot and possibly be on crutches. If not, I just have to go buy dr. Shols things and wear them in my shoes like an old lady. Not happy about that, either. So tonight, I feel like a slug who cant do anything and I am crabby and getting crap from the hubby. Gggrrrrrr! Just when I think I am making good progress, something happens to derail it. Makes me mad, sad and pissed.

Think I will take some Tylenol and hit the hay. Another busy day of hobbling around and trying to do my job. Happy Wednesday!

11.01.2011

We survived...and other random thoughts

Well,we survived another Halloween season. My kids were angels yesterday on Halloween. We did pumpkin day, or a short, abbreviated version of it. I just wasn't feeling it. My kids didn't seem that into it, either. Kinda sad. But, the day came and went and they went home. I told them, er warned them, that they were to bed on their best behavior today and to not eat all their candy for breakfast. They were very good today and we had no problems. One of our better days, really. Kinda scary if you think about it. Tomorrow will hopefully be just as good.

We had an assembly today for red ribbon week. Some DEA officers were there talking to the kids about what red ribbon week is for, how it all started and to remind them tom say no to drugs. The best part of the whole thing...they landed a helicopter on the field. So cool! They unfortunately didn't bring any dogs, but it was good nonetheless. The agents were there all decked out, been with their weapons. The kids were in awe. And so was their teacher. A neat way to end the day!

I started conferences today. I met with 3 parents, and they were all pretty easy. 2 were OK, the other is really low, but he needs testing and I am working on getting him to that point. It makes my Jon a bit harder to have to jump thru hoops, but I am doing it. Fun.

It was interesting talking to a parent. The kid is new tom school and sweet as can be. The parents are super supportive and want to make sure their child is doing well. I love that, and feel bad that I had the wrong impression of the dad. My first impression - Gang member. Sad, but completely possible. Tats all over, dresses like one, etc. I've talked with dad a lot and he is the nicest guy. In fact, he is a good dad...takes care of the one in my class and helps with the baby while the mom is helping her mom. Makes me so happy to see dads take an active role in their child's lives. There are too many who aren't there are who don't care. My hubby makes sure he is involved, and he has helped several times in my daughters class.

I will be doing conferences every afternoon from here til next Wednesday. I may have some next Thursday, but it is a teacher work day and I would rather work than conference. We'll see how that goes...if that goes. I want to clean, organize and wrap my mind around the next trimester. I need to make things nice and neat and more prepared than I am now. Lucky for me, the kids have no idea what they are supposed to be doing!

Well, my daughter decided tom write all over herself with a black sharpie, so it's time to scrub away. Happy Tuesday!

10.30.2011

Report Card time again

Well, it's that time of year - report cards.  We have completed 12 weeks.  12 weeks!  Where did the time go?  Report cards will go homeon Friday.  I have been sitting in front of the computer all afternoon working on them.  And they are almost done.  I have a couple things to fill in, but otherwise they are complete and ready to be printed! 

I don't know about you, but my report cards don't tell the parents anything.  They are really a waste of paper and time.  We would like to make changes, but they tell us it would cost too much money to have the company fix them.  And with the Common Core Standards coming into play soon, they will change them when it's time for those, but no sooner.  So, we do crappy report cards that mean very little and then I write a small novel in the comment section. 

Now that report cards are done, it is conference time.  I am envious of those of you that have time for them during the school day.  We are given next Thursday as a teacher work day to do conferences.  The next day is a holiday, so no one wants to stick around town.  I plan on doing mine over the next few days after school and hopefully will meet with most parents before the teacher work day.  I want to use my work day to work in my room and get my mind wrapped around what I am doing. 

Speaking of wrapping my head around what we are doing...I started my science unit on weather, but it has been a bust.  There are 3 days left in my plans to do weather, and I have about 4 weeks worth of teaching/learning to do.  I am thinking of putting it on hold and revisiting it in January, when we may have weather.  Sounds crazy?  Stupid?  Unplanned? I think I would rather spend the next couple of weeks doing something educationally fun with corn/scarecrows/thanksgiving.  I'm gonna do it...throw caution to the wind and just plan it.  This isn't my best year in my mind, so why not keep it up, give me something to work on and do something fun for a change that the kids might be able to learn from. 

With that in mind, I should start working on it and getting my butt in gear.  Tomorrow is Pumpkin Day and then Tuesday will be November.  We will have exactly 12 days of school between Halloween and Thanksgiving to get it all in and learn something!  Yikes!  Happy Sunday!

10.29.2011

Rewind...a week in review

Woo-hoo!  I am posting on a Saturday night!  That's a whole day early for me.  I just plopped down in front of the computer and thought I would post about the week.  Or Friday, really.  Friday was the day where we did our "fun", so that's all the counts!  :) 

A quick recap from 2 weeks ago...we had read some Huggly books by Tedd Arnold.  I had bought them years ago, read them a couple times, didn't care for them and left them in the bookcase.  I pulled them out this year and read them and loved them.  My kids absolutely loved them and were so excited each day when I would read to them.  Last Friday we did a directed drawing of Huggly.  I am trying my darndest to get more art into my week, but dang it if those weeks don't just fly by!  Here are some of their works of art...Huggly art. 




  There is a wall in the library that these are hanging on.  The librarian has opened it up for others, but no one has given her anything, so I will keep it decorated as well as I can! 

Yesterday, we did Spider Day.  We spent the week leading up to Friday reading the Miss Spider books by David Kirk and also doing some spider problem solving.  I was trying to get some "fun" in and make it educational at the same time.  We learned all about spiders within the 4 hours or so that we had.  We may not have learned it all, but we had fun in the process.  And the kids were so good all day, considering they were slightly crazy on Thursday.
We started by reading Spiders by Gail Gibbons.  I love her books.  I would like to do an author study, but they are so themed that it would be hard.  I just love the illustrations and the fact that they are non fiction.  We then filled in the chart above and then the kids filled in their papers below. 

 The students did this reading comprehension page and drew a spider.  After this, they were drawing spiders on everything they could find! 
 I found the cutest blog all about using toilet paper rolls.  I have to find it again, as I lost it (along with my mind!).  I saw these cute spiders and we had to make them.  Luckily I have been saving tp rolls all summer and beyond and have plenty.  If I have time, we will make a pumpkin on Monday!  Too cute!  I think their spiders turned out so cute, especially with the googly eyes! 
 This one is a Black Widow.  The little girl took a lot of time to get it just right.  Then the eye came off right after I took this and it was "ruined".
We marble painted webs.  They turned out better than mine last year.  This year, I used silver tempra paint on the black paper.  I love the silver and may look into buying the gold one, too! 


We put the spiders on their webs!

We ended the day by making our own paper spiders with the accordian legs.  It would have been easier to just watch a movie or do centers, but no, crazy teacher decided to do one more projects!  What was I thinking?  I was so tired after yesterday, but it was a good tired.  We then had the school carnival/festival/beg for money thing last night.  I made $68, which is good considering I normally make $20 if I am lucky.  I charged 25 cents per game, which was fair for candy (which I got all donated by parents!!!!).  Some crazy teachers were charging 75 cents for dumb games, but the kids were paying it.  I way low-balled my game.  Whoda thunk it? 

I left the carnival at almost 8pm with a migraine.  I came home, collapsed in bed (with my clothes on from the day) and laid there, hoping to not be sick.  Luckily the migraine went away a little bit later and I slept like a baby (thank you, Tylenol PM!).  

Today I had such big plans, but in the end, they didn't happen.  Hubby and I spent the morning at soccer, looking at a travel trailer and then debating on the trailer.  It's used, it's in pretty good shape with some minor repair work and I think it'll be ours tomorrow if the fridge, A/C and water heater work.  Camping here we come!  I did manage to clean my daughter's room, which is a feat in itself!  Her room is a mess almost all the time.  I guess I suck at parenting that way!  Then tonight, we went to Hobby Lobby!  I can say that now!  It opened yesterday down the way from us!  I could have been there for hours, but they were getting ready to close.  :(  I bought some cute owl stuff for my home, a couple things for my daughter and then we came home.  But I will be back.  Maybe next weekend...:)

I should be working on report cards, but that will be for tomorrow.  Once I get working on them I can get the done quickly, but I need to finish grading before I can actually do report cards!  I think I will get my daughter to bed, go to bed myself and sleep for the night.  Tomorrow will be a busy day!  Happy Saturday!

10.27.2011

They have lost their minds!

Oh. My. Word. My kid have lost their ever loving minds. A few days before Halloween and our school carnival and they are nuttier than a squirrels stash. I will be so glad when Monday is over, and even happier come wednesday when the sugar wears off!

I tried to do some fun crafty projects with my kids, but didn't turn out so hot. As a whole, my class forgot how to think today. It was bad. They were nutty, I was grumpy; not a good combination at all. I had such high hopes for today and it was such a disappointment for me.

Tomorrow will be spider day. We will learn as much as we can about siders in one day. Great teaching method? No, but it's what's gonna happen this year. And Monday will be pumpkin day. Same idea, different subject. I haven't quite managed to get into a groove this year and I don't know why. It makes me feel crappy, but I am trying to get over it and make the best of it and do what I can to wrap my ind around things. It seems like everyone has it all together and I am floundering. I am shooting for January to get it all together and have it make sense.

Enough of my pity party. I am gonna lay on the couch, watch The Big Bang Theory and doze off to sleep. A full day of teaching and a carnival tomorrow are in my future. Happy almost Friday!

10.26.2011

Whirlwind days

Like very day this year, the days go by so quickly. No matter how well I have planned the day, there are always things I still needed to do. I don't know why that is this year, but it's how it's going for me. Hum.

Today we had an assembly. We have it every year. It's a good assembly and the kids like it, but it makes them a little nutty after. We had to change recess time today to go earlier, then we had to cancel focus time. We don't do well with change. I liked it, but my kids were off. To top it off, it was one of the kids birthdays, so we had to cram in math to have his "party" since it was minimum day. we get out right before 2 on early days, so there is less, time to think.

I would like to say I stay after and get a lot done, but I don't. I would like to say I come home and get a lot done, but sadly, no. I guess I waste a lot of time on minimum days. I did get my writing graded for report cards, so that was something. And I had a parent conference, so pretty good today. And at home, I got my dishes put away(they were a pile) and got the counters cleaned, so that was progress. I lost all motivation when I had to call parents to cancel soccer practice and then go sit and the field for those who didn't answer their phones. I guess they got the call since no one was there. I was a little pissed that I woke my daughter to go to the field, but we then went to get dinner. Eating dinner and then bathrobe and there goes my night. Bit, I did get my toenails done, so it is safe to wear sandals again! So for those of you having the threat of snow tomorrow, we will be back to sunny and
warm!

Tomorrow will be a busy project day at school. I'd like to say we are doing halloween stuff, but we are not. That will be saved for Friday and Monday. My kids are so lucky, huh? But, we have been busy learning, testing, testing and testing. Good times in my class!

Happy Wednesday! I see the weekend in sight. I hope to stay home and rest and relax and attack the pile of laundry!!!! I hope I am not alone in my lack of laundry motivation!

10.25.2011

Tuesday

I couldn't come up with a better title for today. Nothing exciting, nothing fabulous, it was just a Tuesday. A good day, but Tuesday.

I did get all my testing done for report cards. My kids were pretty good, letting me test instead of teach. It's my leastbfavorite part of teaching. I know it's beneficial and useful, but it's so time consuming and there has got to be more to life than testing, testing and testing. But, it's done. Now comes the fun part of putting it all together and start report cards. They go home next week and then it's conference time. Ugh.

Today was a chilly day. It was cloudy and cool today and yesterday, after being in the 90's over the weekend. We had rain yesterday, which made my kids nutty. Today was just cloudy and cool, and tomorrow will be similar, I think. We were a bit chilly today, with highs in the 60's. It's fall, y'all. At least for a couple more days til we warm up again. Makes the kids go absolutely nutty.

It's red ribbon week this week. The kids get to dress up each day. Today was hawaiian day and yesterday was crazy hair day. I don't dress for the days, as I have nothing or I don't want to look goofy when I go home. Tomorrow is wearing red and we have an assembly, which will make the kids go nuttier than yesterday. Teaching what after? Hahaha aha!

12 weeks are almost behind us. I can't believe the year is a third of the way over. I feel like there is a group of kids who need so much more help to be able to catch up and get to where they need to be. I hope we have time and can make some more meaningful time in the next couple months to get them where they need to be. t leastnthey are hard workers who try hard. I just hope they can make it!

Here is a funny from today. One of my kids was trying to tell me about the people in Japan who had the tsunami damage their land. "mrs. Teacher...in Japan, they had a really bad thing happen. They has a big salami that made a big mess.". I bet they wish it was just a salami. I told her it was a tsunami and she said, "really, a tsunami? I thought that was something you eat!". Smetimes I just love 6 year olds!

Happy Tuesday!