So, today I decided was the day to go to the dr. I was going to take the day off of work, but a little anxiety attack made that a big 'ol no this morning. There was too much to do to take the day off. I figured worse case I could take a half day and be home early. Lucky for me, I was able to get in at 3:30. School ends at 3:15, but I was able to send my kids next door and leave a few minutes early. It's uber stressful leaving right before parent pick up. In fact, a parent almost hit me as she was coming in the parking lot through the EXIT! But, I was safe, made it to the dr. and got drugs!
I have a lovely infection. Not a sinus infection or an ear infection, but an infection throughout my sinus cavities and all that drain to and from my sinuses. Good times in my head! So, I got my meds (big giant horse pills that will cause my stomach to revolt in about 2 days!) and bought some sinus rinse at WalGreens. I am not to the point of a NetiPot yet, or the full blown sinus rinse that you shove up your nose, but baby steps. We'll see how that works. I am super nervous and not sure I will be brave enough to try it. (And for those who say it's a piece of cake, I had to have an NG tube shoved up my nose, while awake and the thought of anything near my nose will cause me to dry heave!).
So, now it's time to go lay on my bed, ponder the thought of finishing report cards, turn on the TV and waste the night away! But really, I have one question - Is it June yet?
Several teachers have posted about the possibility of losing their planning time in elementary school. I am in shock that people have planning time. Where I am in CA, and in many other districts around me, there is no such thing as planning time. We don't have "specials" or anything like that. We have Peaceful Playgrounds once a week and that is the time we use to "collaborate" with the grade level. Otherwise, everything is put on us.
We do not have music, art, computers or PE, unless we plan it ourselves. There are no instruments, no art supplies, there are computers, but in another building, and PE is all on our own with whatever supplies there are. So, for my kids, we don't do music, I do as much art as I can, we haven't used a computer in the 3 years since I have been there and PE,well, they have recess, even though that isn't right by standards. But, we do what we can.
I can't wait for the backlash from people who will say that the children aren't being given a proper education. I don't disagree with you on that, but it sure as hell ain't my fault. We have had our budget cut in half this year for supplies. There goes any extra art stuff. We have been given a minimum day each week, yet we are required to teach added minutes for language arts and math. There goes anything else we could have fit in. We don't have the materials or the supplies needed to teach art, music or even work on computers. Again, we do what we can with the stuff we've got.
As I get ready to send my daughter to kindergarten next year, I know she won't get the "specials" at school. I know she will have limited access to art, music, PE and stuff. But then that is where my job as a parent comes in to play. I give her the experiences that she won't get anywhere else.
I have been working for 13 years teaching first grade. In those 13 years, I have spent countless hours at school working on stuff. I have spent countless hours working at home doing stuff. I do schoolwork watching TV, while making dinner, while watching soccer practice, etc. Do I like it? No, but it's part of the job. It's what we have to do in order to do our job successfully. We don't have the luxury of having prep time. We never have. High school and middle school teachers do, but not us. I have just accepted it as part of the job. My hubby knows I have work to do on the weekends, at night, after school. He doesn't love it, but he knows it's what I need to do for my kids.
I would give my left arm for a prep period, but I know it will never happen. Unless I move to another state. And even then, who knows what it would be like. As for me, I know what I have to do for my kids and to make my teaching the best. If that means giving up my time before and after school and at home, I will. I know my kids don't get the things that it seems like the rest of the kids across the country are getting, but we are doing the best we can with them with what we got. It may not be a lot, but it's more than nothing!
I am glad we are getting back to long weeks. Short weeks seem to be a pain in the butt. I try to cram it all in to 4 days, rather than go an extra day the next week. I am looking forward to the chance to do some fun activities next week. We'll see how the kids behave.
Testing is done, so now it's time to do report cards. I have one week to get them done and I haven't even started. Oops! Guess I have some long nights coming up for myself. I normally have them done by now, but it's just been a weird year. Anyone else feel that way?
Time for me to go cuddle on the couch with my family and wait for the snow! Happy Friday!
Today at collaboration, we were talking about when to stop or modify our intervention time. The EL's still have to go, but it would be so nice to keep our other kids and work on things in our own class. We have to get the OK from the principal, which may prove to be difficult, but I am hopeful. Our scores on our last benchmark tests were the best in the district (somehow...with a little not-being-so-honest by some) so we feel we should get a little break from the run around with intervention.
So, tell me...how does intervention work for you and your school? What do you do? What do the others do? Please give some guidance so we can go to our principal with a solid plan, rather than "I just wanna work with my kids on my own!". Thanks!
Bee Compound Words
Sorry...the last page is blank...I don't know why, but it is and it's bugging me. Just print 2 pages.
Lost! Work packet
I went through and filed all the papers I have had stacked on top since December. Yep. They were in an organized stack, but now they are filed. I am wondering why I even keep the things I keep, since they are trashed at the end of the year. One thing I have is pieces of paper from my DRA testing. I don't copy the entire 6 to 8 pages of stuff they want us to copy. We don't have that much paper. Instead, I use regular paper to mark their errors and then write their retell down. I then keep it til the end of the year, but then I have to do the final DRA on the regular DRA form for their file. How do you do it? There has to be a better way than destroying a whole forest of trees for this test. But, I guess testing is synonymous with destroying the forest. There's got to be a better way to give the kids tests without using an entire ream of paper per test. And my one computer in my classroom ain't gonna cut it!
I also have papers to grade, lesson plans to write and more. I guess I should get back to my couch potato ways and get some work done!
1. I am the only one of my siblings to go to college and graduate college. After college, I went to get my master's and a 2nd emphasis, all before I was 25. Along with that, I was the first to graduate high school since my dad (on his side). My cousins never made it that far in school.
2. I met the hubby on line. Scary thing is, we grew up less than a mile apart from each other. We worked one summer at the mall and our stores were across from each other. And we went to the same high school and never knew each other. Thank you, Yahoo!
3. I teach in the district I went to school in. And I taught at my elementary school til they shut it down.
4. I love to watch Tori and Dean. I will DVR it and watch it when it's on. It's not that she's a genius, but really, she knows her stuff. I just wish I could be half as skinny as she is and have half her money. I'm already a blonde (for real!) so I have that covered!
5. I have one daughter. And only one daughter. It will remain that way forever! I almost died after having her, thank to a medical error. And, after pushing for 2 1/2 hours to have to have a c-section, that's not my cup of tea. An 8 day stay in the hospital for one little baby was more than enough for me. Plus, we can spoil her and give her all our attention, whether she wants it or not!
6. If I didn't teach, I don't know what I would do. I wanted to be a teacher my whole life. There are times I think it would be nice to be a stay at home mom, but then I think of all the work I would have to do daily, and it doesn't sound fun at all. I do miss being with my daughter, but she's growing up now and will be in school next year, so there isn't much for me to do. Yeah, I had huge mommy guilt, but I got over so my family could live and eat. And my daughter is a better person having her daddy with her most of the time!
7. I love reading. But I am very picky. I will read Danielle Steel books all the time. I have a bookcase and a box full of them. I am starting to beanch out to other authors, but not too much. I am selective in my reading. My bookcase has books by exactly 4 authors - Danielle Steel, Elin Hilderbrand, LaVyrle Spencer and Emily Giffin. That's it. I have read books by others, but I don't save them. They don't interest me that much!
I am not that exciting of a person, I guess. But, happy reading! And as for tagging people, join if you want, don't it you don't want to!
I left my room yesterday in a bit of a mess. And I don't care. It'll be there on Tuesday when I get back. I did move their seats right before we left, so I will see what that looks like on Tuesday. I moved them into completely different groups and a completely different arrangement that they have had before. I hope it works! I need the room since I have 2 on an "island" (AKA sitting by themselves).
I really wish I could change my whole room around, but that will have to wait til summer. I should have done it this last summer, but I was chicken. Not this year. I'm going to do it and hope it turns out as good as it does in my head. Where I am at now, my word wall and calendar area are separate. I have never had that before. I used to use my word wall so much more than I do now, since it's on the other side, behind a table and next to the bookcases. Not an ideal spot. So, in my mind, it's going to go where my desk is now and my calendar area will go there and that will be my new whole group area. So, if the school year wouldn't mind going a bit quicker, I would love it. I want to get in, move stuff around, clean and start fresh! I would do it now, but it would take more time that I have at the moment. Unless I can beg the hubby to come in on a Wednesday afternoon and work til really late. Hmmmmm...idea!
A lot of people at work have big plans for the weekend. My friend is going to Vegas, some are going to the desert to go riding. Me? Taking my daughter to story time and the library and coming home and cleaning like a mad woman. Oh, and watching it rain. We're supposed to have rain all weekend. Lovely. Just means I don't have to clean my floors, thanks to having 3 big dogs! I did bring a lot of work home with me, but I figure I can do it at night. Or next weekend. Or on Spring break. Whenever!
Happy Friday to all!
We survived Valentine's day. We didn't party til the afternoon, but they kids were still hyped up. We did our valentine graphing with the chalky heart candies and then we passed out cards after recess and loaded up on sugar. It's the one time of the year I make my kids cupcakes and let them eat inside the room. And, since my room is getting vacuumed every night now (see, bitching does pay off!), I didn't mind the kids eating. I let them watch part of Charlie Brown, but then we had to get ready to go. I was glad when 3:15 rolled around, but then I had a parent conference. Oh well, it's done and over with!
Speaking of conferences, this somehow ended up being my conference week. We only are required to meet once a year, but I meet with those who are struggling. One parent was full of excuses and telling me her daughter is the same at home. Um, if my child was like that, she wouldn't have any toys, TV or freedom until her attitude changed. But, I think she was a surprise baby, and the parents have older children out of the house, so I am sure they are a bit tired of children! But, come on...this is your child...help them learn! My other one today was long, but good. The parents think I am great and the parents are great, too. They work with their child, pay for tutoring and help as much as they can. I just wish their daughter "got it" in everything we do. Sadly, she doesn't. I have more tomorrow, with the translator. It will be another fun-filled afternoon of excuses, but what can you do other than listen and tell them to work harder!?
Hubby is making dinner and I am about to collapse right here. Tomorrow is Wednesday, one day closer to a 4 day weekend!
After running errands, I came home and worked outside. I have weeds growing all over the place and they are getting taller by the day. My flower beds are overrun with weeds and it just doesn't look lovely. So, I got a bit done this afternoon and will do more tomorrow. The weather forecast is calling for rain on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and that's as far as the forecast goes. We need the rain, but the rain just means that my weeds will grow even more once it warms up again. We were in the 80's today, 70's tomorrow and then in the 60's for the rest of the week. But, I can handle 60's...you don't have to shovel sunshine, or rain for that matter!
Tomorrow I will think about some school work, but I am looking forward to the 4 day weekend coming up. It's been a strange month for me, and I am ready for a break. Then we will have 5 weeks til spring break! Aaaaaahhhhhhh!
This week was long. Really long. It was a normal 5 day week, but it sort of dragged on and on. But, it's over and it ended on a great day. But I will never complain when the weekend is here!
Monday and Tuesday were rough days. We had to give the benchmark test. My kids did pretty well on it, but there is a cluster of kids (6 out of 20) who just aren't getting it. I feel like a crappy teacher, but I know deep down I am not. I have these 6 kids who don't get the help at home. They don't have the drive to want to learn and be succesful. It's sad to me, but I don't know what more to do. They get extra time with me in class, at recess and at lunch, I have conferenced with their parents, set goals, the whole shebang. I would expect them to do better, but in the end, it's pretty disappointing. Especially when there were a couple teacher who I know were not as honest with their testing and have outrageously high marks. Mine were on par with the district, so I don't feel too bad, but the competitive part of me wants to be higher! After getting through Monday and Tuesday, I have come to the realization that I need to change things with my lower group and see what we can accomplish with change.
This week, we have been talking a bit about amphibians. I left it at frogs and toads since that is what our reading program has stories about. I had planned to do a directed drawing today, but I chose to do it yesterday (Thursday). My artistically challenged kids are getting it. I had some really cute red-eyed tree frogs. There were a few who were way off, but overall, they were cute. And then they had to write about them. I felt yesterday that my kids were finally getting "it" with what we were doing. Yay, them! I don't have pictures, since I forgot my camera today and yesterday. Oops!
Today, since we did our frog project yesterday, I had time to kill in the morning. We spent the morning drawing giraffes from the story Giraffes Can't Dance. I am not the super artistic person, but I have to say they were cute. They are up and ready to greet us on Monday. We also made frogs from toilet paper rolls. I have been collecting for months now, so I was happy to put them to good use. The kids thought it was hilarious to use a TP roll, but they quickly got to work making their frogs.
Next week, we will leave the world of animals and venture into discussing the dead presidents. We don't have much time, so I need to make the most of what I have. I think we will do a directed drawing next Thursday (the day before a 4 day weekend!!!!) of Lincoln and some other pages and read some books and call it a year with him. Just not enough time to get it all in!
Time to get some dinner and veg on the couch for the night. TGIF!
I went a bit off on the custodians today. Blame it on PMS, the weather, or me just being a bitch. I don't care anymore. I am tired of teaching in filth. My students deserve a clean classroom to learn in and they are going to get it one way or another, if it kills me. I went into today and seeing the crumbs that fell off a project LAST WEEK was the last straw. I sorta yelled at the day custodian who isn't the one who cleans our rooms and told him that I will vacuum my own room. Then he told the night custodian who decided to throw some attitude my way and then I basically went off. Sorry, but don't tell me that you vacuumed last night when it's complete BS. Don't tell me you aren't going to work harder because someone left something for you to do. CLEAN. MY. DAMN. ROOM!
I went to the principal and the union rep, but I don't think it will matter. Same old stuff, again and again. But, if my room gets vacuumed tonight, I will be happy camper. If I walk in tomorrow and there is crap on the floor, then I will know it's retaliation for going to the principal. I'm doing my job, others need to do theirs, too!
Anyway, it was a rough weekend for me. I was sick (or fighting allergies, whatever. I still feel like crud!), had a busy day out Saturday running countless errands and when I really just wanted to stay home yesterday and rest and relax and make my house look presentable, my my hubby persuaded me to go shopping with the neighbor to look for a dress for a wedding I have to go to. That turned into an all day event of trying to find something to wear to the wedding along with now having to buy some nicer clothes to wear to my grandma's funeral. She passed away yesterday at 91 after living with ovarian cancer for the last few months. She had survived colon cancer, melanoma and lymphoma when she was in her 80's, but the dr.s wouldnt' treat her ovarian cancer with surgery and the chemo made her deathly ill. So, she spent the last few months hoping to die quickly and be with my grandpa. She finally got her wish and is no longer in pain, but it makes for a crappy weekend for my mom and the rest of the family.
But, tomorrow is a new day. I guess if I follow her footsteps (cancer-free hopefully), I have quite a few more years ahead of me. Hopefully I can live life like she did. Now I just need to change my attitude, which is happening slowly, but surely and get out there and kick ass!
This next week, we are taking our benchmark tests for this trimester. I am not sure how my kids will do, even though we have reviewed and reviewed like crazy. I'm confident that most will do well, but have some who I know won't have a clue as tgo what's happening. I can only do so much and work with the kids in small groups so much before something has to give - my sanity or theirs! One teacher gave her test on Friday and had to make a point of telling us that her kids all did well. It surprises me when she complains about how a student can't do this or that, yet they get 100% on the test and it's stuff that they can't do. Hmmmm! I walked past her room on Friday on my way back from the library and I could hear her screaming at one of her students. Mind you, I was 2 classrooms away and could hear her. It's insane. She is a very loud person by nature, but when she is screaming at her kids, it is horrible. I would never allow my own child to be in her class, and feel for those who are in her class. But she is allowed to do it for some reason, and even joked about yelling at her kids to make them do their best work. And the principal didn't seem to care. WTH?
Once we are done with the benchmark testing, it will be just a couple of weeks til report cards. Which means more testing for DRA's, sight words, math, etc. It drives me batty that we have so much testing to do, yet we are always supposed to be working in small groups. How do they expect us to do both? Well, actually, I don't think they care how we teach it, as long as we teach it and the scores go up. Yeah. whatever. Give me the time and I can get it done, but throw more crap on us and we won't be able to function!
My classroom is in a portable buidling out on the back part of campus. It's nice since no one wants to take the time to walk out there to see us. But on Friday, it wasn't so nice. Mind you, this week I had the visiting lizard, the ceiling rats the week before. Friday morning, we had a very cold morning for So Cal standards. It was 29 when I left with frost all over. Got to school and it had warmed up to 34, but my classroom was a balmy 48. The heater hadn't "defrosted" yet, so it was blowing in cold air. Not my idea of a fun place to be! I couldn't get my work done and no one cares, since it warms up eventually. It was a bad way to begin my Friday. Oh, and did I mention that my sinus problems from January are back? This is day 5 with no end in sight. Sure, I could go to the doctor, but what would that help - more drugs that I don't want anymore!!!!!
I'm really looking forward to spring break in about 7 weeks. I am in need of some down time. My winter break didn't seem to do it. It did, but getting sick right after gave me a very bad attitude that I am having a hard time changing right now. I'm tired of taking 2 steps back each time I take a step forward. I'm sure a lot of it is my attitude, but a lot of it comes from the place I am in at school, and all the crap there. I miss the "old days" of teaching when I had my kids all day, I was the one working with them all day and they made huge growth. My kids do now, but they are shuffled about the school for a time and I don't feel I am as productive as I can be. Maybe that's my fault, but I haven't figured out a way to change it yet.
Time to get working on stuff for the week. We are going to start tutoring at lunch. Heaven help me! It'll only be 2 days a week, I can do it. And I hope my kids make some serious progress in math with this "free" help they will be getting!
Happy Sunday! Here's to a sunny day, highs in the 80's and not giving a darn about who wins!
This week, we have been reading some books about the groundhog. Nothing non-fiction, all fun fictional stories. I don't think my kids really understood it too much, but they like listening to the stories.
We made a graph yesterday with our predictions for the groundhog.
We wrote about the groundhog not seeing his shadow and that spring will soon be here.
I had a little book that the kids colored and took home as well as a word search I made this morning. I was going to post it, but then I got busy and by now, no one cares!
I also had a puppet that the kids made, too. Cute!
All in all, a fun day!
We started the day with our projects from home. Some are cute, some are well, you know!
We then did some writing about what we would buy with $100 and how we would look when we were 100. For some reason, I didn't take any pictures, but they weren't that good. I had a couple of really good pictures, but most kids can't seem to fathom what 100 years old means. Some think I am 90, so I guess them drawing themselves looking 30 must be spot on (I'm only 34!). We also had some other fun little centers with 100's day, but again, I wasn't thinking and didn't take any pics!
We made our fruit loop necklaces. I have done this for 13 years now, and they all love it. They had to count out their cereal and then put it on the string. It's amazing how quickly some do it and how some take forver.
We did the name "quilts". They had to write their name over and over again in a 10 by 10 grid and then color it in, one color for each letter, repeating. Some didn't quite understand to color them different, so if they had 2 letters the same, they colored them the same color. Oh well. Live and learn.
And just as a final touch, here were 2 funny things that one of my kids had on their chart for the 100th day of school.
This is funny because I always have a soda after lunch and yesterday we had a lizard in the room. I hate lizards or anything that belongs outside. I thought it was cute that he put it on his chart. Hopefully there are no more creepy crawlies in my room this year! In the last week there have been ceiling rats and now a lizard. Ugh! Time to move!
Happy 100th day!
Happy 100th Day!