5.31.2011

So this is what it's like to not work

Today was an interesting day for me.

First, I was running late to get my daughter to preschool.  We have kept her in 2 half days for the summer since she loves school so much.  Last year we took her out and she was miserable.  I kept her as busy as I could, but it was a lot of work keeping her occupied when all she really wanted to do was be at school with her teacher.  So, she is there 2 days, of which we were late to Day 1.  Oh well. 

After getting her to school, I went to breakfast with my friend and our principal.  I have never been asked out to eat with my principal before.  We talked a bit about next year and what needs to happen more to make it a better year.  For one, I believe the Ice Queen needs to goo somewhere else, but that's neither here nor there.  It would be so much more peaceful if she were gone.  I have my work cut out for me with being grade level lead, but it will be worth it in the end!

I went to school today to work in my new classroom.  I wanted to clean the cabinets in and out since they were very dirty.  It was disgusting how dirty things were.  I needed to come home and shower, I felt so gross.  But, the cabinets are cleaned, ready for my things.  I also labeled everything I want OUT of the room and am hoping to get all my stuff IN my room tomorrow.  Yes, I still have over 2 months til school starts, but I hadn't planned on moving, much less being given a weeks notice at that.  I'd rather move in, put things away and worry about the prettying up part later.  I don't like being in limbo, nor do I want to do it a week before school starts. 

After that, I picked up my daughter, headed to Sam's Club and then Goodwill.  No good buys at either store, tho there are some things you can't go without at Sam's - milk, bread, ground turkey.  I then came home, kept the TV OFF for my daughter and I sat and read.  I have since gone outside, worked on some of my rose bushes up front, got attacked by a crazy crow along with my dog (seriously...are they good for anything or can I shoot them?) and then had a sworm of bees fly by.  Which is why I am in the house, on the computer.  It's safer that way! 

Now I will be off to fix dinner, do some laundry and then sit down again for some reading. My book choice right now is


I started it this morning when I woke up at 6 and couldn't go back to sleep.  It's an OK book.  A quick read...I may be able to finish it tonight if I stay off the computer and away from the TV and just read.  But, hubby said he isn't feeling well, so I may be playing nurse maid.  I hope he isn't sick...he has a busy week and needs all his energy.  I'll make him go to bed and I will stay up and read in the quiet!  I did buy the new Danielle Steel today...a treat to myself.  I have a couple other books I want to read first before I jump into hers.  We'll see. 

Happy Tuesday!

5.30.2011

A Monday of nothing

Today was my first official day of vacation.  Maybe it's tomorrow, but I will count starting today.  And today was a nice first day of vacation.  I got up early (7:30), went for a walk, ate breakfast with my daughter, did some laundry (which is an every day thing anyway), played online, went to a few stores, read a bit, napped a bit (heaven!!) and then had a small bbq dinner with my in laws and neighbor.  Not a bad way to start vacation. 

I have brought home most of the stuff I will need for my summer planning, but I not going to get into it just yet.  I need to finish work for my class I am taking plus move my classroom.  The custodian said he would have it moved by Wednesday, but I won't hold my breath.  I am going tomorrow to meet with my principal and discuss next year's plan as grade level lead and then I am going to start to tackle the cabinets.  They are very dirty and dingy inside.  I feel a little sad moving, as the classroom isn't as nice as the one I am in now, but it has a sink and is close to the other 1st grade rooms.  The one I am in now is away from everything and we are forgotten all the time.  She wants us closer together, so we are getting to move.  :(  Tomorrow and Wednesday I will take a bucket, a sponge and some 409 to the inside cabinets and then be ready to move stuff the following week I think. 

Thursday I will be busy with my hubby's swearing in ceremony and all the fun with that.  A nice day with the family and a nice lunch will cap off an exciting day after 5 long years of school!  Then on Friday, I have Kinder orientation for my daughter's kindergarten and then maybe I will go work in my room, if it's open.  I know the schools will be closed on Fridays to save money, so we'll see.  A trip to Vegas may be in the cards for next week, but we aren't sure yet.  It would be fun, but staying home and getting things done would also be nice.  Boring, but nice! 

Well, time to waste some more time on the computer before I go to finish my book and pick out the next one to read.  Happy Monday...and happy vacation!

5.27.2011

Help please!!!

I am not ignoring people who have commented to me, but it appears that way.  When I go to leave a comment, it asks me to sign in every time, but then it comes up as anonymous and then asks me for my login again and again.  Anyone know why it's doing this?  Help me?????

Oh, thank you all for the birthday wishes!  Being on vacation is the best present there could be! 

It's over

Another year is in the books.  It's done.  It's over.  It's time to relax.  Well, I hope to anyway, but I have a classroom move to make.  I am hoping I can get it done next week, get it finished and then enjoy my summer vacation.  But for now, I will get ready to go celebrate my birthday with my hubby and my daughter and have a nice start to the summer vacation!

Happy Friday! 

5.26.2011

Just one more day...

...til I am on summer vacation!  I guess we should call it spring/summer vacation since it's still spring for almost another month.  But I don't care.  You can call it what you want...after 1:57 tomorrow, I will be on vacation!  I can't wait!  It's been a long 175 days.  I thought I wouldn't feel this way with the year being 5 days shorter, but man, I am ready to be done with them.  They have learned, done what they should and need to move on for more learning! 

Today we had field day.  And now I am sunburned, tired and drained.  But the kids had fun and thought it was the best day ever.  We were outside from 9:30 til 1:30, with a break for recess and lunch.  They has relays, races, and learned to play volleyball with a beach ball.  I am glad the day is over and they had fun.  Then we graphed M&M's and did some math with them to end the day.  A movie was shown, too, to kill the last 40 minutes of the day to give me some time to chill before having to do my CUM folders and all that fun! 

Tomorrow will also be a day to celebrate.  It's a big birthday for me...somewhere between 30 and 40.  Right in the middle.  Yep, I can't even type the number!  Don't know why, but this one scares me a little too much.  But, I will celebrate that the year is over and I can start on my to-do list for the summer. 

Last year, I told myself that I would wait til July 1 before I started school work for the new year.  This year, I have so many ideas in my head, I don't think I can wait!  I may take a week off or so, plus I have to do my homework for my online class that has been waiting for a very long time to be done.  I have so many things to make, I need to make a list.  That is next on my agenda...making a list of all the things I want to do over the summer and have ready for school. 

Plus, I have a ton of projects to do at home to clean, organize and revamp.  I want to be crafty, but need more time, space and to clean up my crafty area.  Plus, I need to get my flower beds cleaned, weeded and replanted to fill in some gaps.  And I need to somehow get rid of the gophers that have taken over my yard. 

Happy almost Friday all!  And to those of you who's last day is tomorrow, Happy vacation!

5.25.2011

T-minus 2 and counting

Oh my word!  Just 2 more days to go with my kids.  I am so excited for the end of the year, but a little sad.  My kids have had so much fun this week with our camping unit.  They have been so well behaved in a time of chaos.  I'm a little sad to see them go.  But I will get over it.  There.  Done! 

We sorted our classes yesterday.  I am OK with where the kids are going, but it's always a little scary to send them on their way with others.  I just hope they continue to learn.  It's sad to say, but I have a couple from last year that didn't do so hot in 2nd and it's sad and scary and frustrating to know they left me OK (not great, but OK) and they aren't doing well.  But, what can you do when they aren't yours anymore? 

My report cards are done, CUM's will be done tomorrow and then it's just waiting for the bell to ring on Friday at 1:56.  FREEDOM!  Can you feel it?  I can!!!

Well, I am tired tonight and there is still one more show from last night to watch on my DVR.  I made it through Deadliest Catch, The Biggest Loser (I think I will try out for them next year) and now on tap is Pregnant in Heels.  I love that show and think Rosie is great.  I wish she would come organize my life, sans a new baby! 

Happy Wednesday!

5.24.2011

Camping food graph

I think I will have my kids do this tomorrow.  Give them some more work to do, just when they think they are done!  :)

Camping food graph

And then there were 3...

We have survived our first 2 days of "camping".  I am glad to say that my kids are having fun.  I am glad I decided to do it. 

Yesterday, we talked about what camping is, what we need to use when we are camping and where we can go camping.  We wrote in our "camping journals" and did some group work. 

Today we talked about the animals we would see if we were to go hiking in the forest.  We made our lists in our groups, shared them out and then went for a nature walk through the grass field behind us.  I was amazed at what we saw today.  We saw a big fat toad, little frogs, tadpoles, lots of birds, a caterpillar, pincher bugs, a variety of spiders and bugs.  The kids thought it was the greatest thing in the world.  It made me feel so good that they could do that.  We spent over an hour outside.  It was a blast, and luckily it was warm today.  A nice spring day looking at nature. 

Tomorrow we will talk about food.  I'm not bringing anything in, as my cheacking account doesn't have the $ to support it.  But, I did buy some mini marshmallows.  We'll eat them, graph if we like them or not and then we are going to see who can build the tallest mini marshmallow tower.  Should be fun and exciting to see them freak when they fall!  I also can't wait to see who can do it.  I have a guess of who may do it well, but I may be surprised. 

In other activities, we did the Skittles math.  The kids had fun with it, but they thought I was nuts giving them all the math I did.  But, they did it and they did it right!  I must have taught them something they took with them! 

Tomorrow we will do a Cheerios estimating and project.  They will have to estimate and then count their Cheerios.  Then, they will have to get their creative cap on and make a mosaic out of Cheerios.  We were going to do it today, but we spent too much time outside, if there is such a thing. 

Thursday will be our field day, followed by some M&M math and a video or something soothing.  Friday will be clean up day, game day and party day.  I don't know if we are going to bring anything in or just make them popcorn...I haven't got that far yet. 

Well, I am off to make dinner.  Just 3 more days.  I am jealous of those who are done already and I am not envious of those of you who still have more time.  But, just remember, when you are on vacation in August, I will be meeting my new little kids and getting to work!  Happy Tuesday!

5.22.2011

Skittles Math Unit

Here is a math unit we will do tomorrow (or longer, depending on how long it takes) for some math fun.  I tried to add in things we have been working on this year.  I had some parents send in bags of Skittles as donations, so this is perfect and cost me nothing but my time at the computer! 



Be sure to check out my Camping unit on the post below this one!

Camping Mini Unit

Here is my mini unit for camping.  I will be doing this during our morning time this week, or any time we have some free time.  With it being the last week of school, there isn't too much to do, other than have a little fun.  And, I figure my kids have worked hard this year and deserve a little fun.  My hubby told me I should put it on TPT, but I decided against it.  I hate it when I see cute stuff and then I have to pay for it.  So, my gift to you is a free unit.  My only hope is that you will leave me a comment so I know how many people have downloaded it and may use it in the rooms.  I'd like to know if my hard work is helping others.  It's good for me, but what about you?  Click the picture to go to the camping ut.  Enjoy!

5.21.2011

Back to school night question

I have just gotten word that our back to school night will be on a Friday.  Anyone ever done that before?  If so, how did it go?  I can't imagine being at school on a Friday night til 7, waiting for parents to come in and listen to me talk.  Makes the summer even more appealing!

Success!

With all the things at the end of the year that happen, it just seems like there is so much to do in so little time.  But, things are quickly being checked off my list!  With Open House done, testing is now done and it's time for report cards.  By this time of the year, I have at least started them.  But, no.  That is, until this morning. 

I woke up early, thanks to my walking alarm clock.  Why she can sleep til after 7 when we have to go to school, yet be awake at 6:30 when we don't is beyond me!  This is what my summer will be like!  Ugh!  So, I got up and out of bed at 7:30 or so, then came and busted out my report cards.  They are online, so it's not that hard.  It's more time consuming than anything.  But, I got the "grades" inputted before hubby woke up and just finished the comments.  At this point of the year, it's the same old thing - they worked hard, did well, keep reading over the summer, good luck!  There were a few that weren't so happy, but, what can you do?!

Now, it's time to get up, get dressed and see what the day has to offer - weeds, my ugly looking rose bushes that need some TLC and some sun.  I am looking forward to being in the sun, since has been so cold and crappy for a Cali spring.  Tomorrow is supposed to be cold and drizzly, along with Monday.  I hope we get some summer...I hate the cold (yes, 50's and 60's are cold to us!). 

Hopefully tonight I will get working on my unit for Monday, since it's right around the corner.  5 more days...I can do it!  Happy Saturday!

5.20.2011

TGIF...one more to go

Today was my second to last Friday.  I can hardly wait.  Sorry for those of you who have a few weeks to go.  I guess that is a perk of starting in August!

We had Career Day today.  I think we were in class for about 1 hour throughout the day.  It was fun, but tiring.  We were able to hear from the police, fire department, a respiratory therapist, a geologist, a musician, someone from the Navy and a carpet guy.  There were more people there, but we didn't get to see them all.  We had Army there, an equine surgeon and others.  All in all, it was a good, easy day. 

Since it was easy and next week will be playing it by ear, I was able to come home early.  A nice change!  I do have to start and finish my report cards and plan my mini unit for next week.  If it's cute and I like it, I will post it.  If you see nothing, then you know how it went! 

TGIF everyone!

5.19.2011

It's Over!!!

No, not the school year, but Open House.  It came and went in a flash.  I am glad it's done.  Now the year can start winding down and we can focus on cleaning things up and getting ready to be on vacation!  I had a decent turnout, with 15 of 20 kids and parents showing up.  Not surprising, most of my lowest kids didn't come.  Surprised?  Nope!  But, the parents seemed happy with what we had up, they liked seeing their kids work from the year and all seemed happy.  I tried to talk to them all, but they all came at the same time.  Too hard to talk to everyone!  Oh well, if they wanted to talk to me that badly, they should have made a conference in the last 169 days! 

I did have a couple parents ask me to go to 2nd grade, which was flattering.  But, my heart is in 1st for now.  I wouldn't want to take my whole class with me, but I would take half.  But, I am looking forward to my summer vacation, getting my room ready for the new year (yeah, it's official, I'm moving rooms) and meeting a new bunch of kids to teach. 

Now, I just have to do report cards, keep my kids busy next week so they don't kill each other and enjoy the last few days with my kids having some fun!  For now, I am going to sit on the couch and veg...I am exhausted!  Happy almost Friday!

5.18.2011

The times they are a changing!

I was informed by my principal, whom I really like, that she would like me and my teacher friend in the room next to me to move next year to some other rooms closer to the rest of the campus.  It's bittersweet.  I like the idea of having a sink in my room, being closer to everything and having more storage.  But then, I have to move.  I hate moving.  I would rather go to the dentist! 

I have this big elaborate plan in my head for my classroom next year.  I was ready to start on it on Friday.  Now, that will have to wait.  The room is being used now for a Kinder room.  It will then be used for summer scholl thru the middle of July.  I won't be able to really get in til the end of July and school starts Aug. 10.  Can you say stress inducer?  I wouldn't have to be completely moved out of my room any time soon, but I would want to be.  I guess this is a good time to clean and prepare some things for next year. 

And, I would get the better of the 2 rooms.  I would be away from the other teachers (across the walkway) and my room wouldn't connect.  If I took the other room, I would right next to the loudest teacher on the planet.  And no one wants that!  I told my principal I wouldn't move if I had to go there!  :)  So, we will see how it goes.  I hope I know soon so I can start prepping and getting things in order.  I guess this means I won't have my room ready by June 1, but oh well!

5.17.2011

It's all coming together now!

Open house is just 2 days away.  I will be so glad when it's over.  I have all their stuff done, now it's just a matter of putting it where it belongs and tidying up loose ends.  I am ready for it to be done and for the kids to take it all home.  I am ready to start de-cluttering, throwing away and decrapifying my room.  I want to tear it all down, throw stuff away and start fresh for next year.  We'll see how motivated I am come Friday morning! 

We finally got everything done.  Today we did semi self portraits.  I say semi because they don't look like the kids.  Last year they did, but I don't know why I did differently.  I will be doing the same project with another class tomorrow.  I hope they turn out well since it is for Open House! 

I have 3 more kids to test on DRA and then I am done!  I have to grade the math test, figure out math grades and then start on report cards.  Yes, it's all coming together now.  I haven't really been stressed, but I have just felt like there is a lot on my plate.  But, it's getting smaller and smaller as they days go on. 

And, on a very bright, yet not surprising note, I am the grade level chair for next year.  I have already started my notebook of ideas and have a lot I want to do to help the team be more prepared and ready to kick butt next year.  We'll see how it goes! 

Well, I need to get up and move.  My house is freezing tonight.  It was a toasty 60* here today in not-sunny So Cal.  Not cool, Mother Nature.  Not cool.  I want my 85* weather with sun! 

Happy Tuesday!

5.16.2011

Teacher Unappreciated Day

As I sit on my bed, watching my daughter in the bath, I have been looking at other blogs, rereading from the last couple weeks.  And now I am very jealous and a bit upset.  Last week was the week my district and my school did teacher appreciation week.  I don't feel appreciated at all.  At my site, the PTA provided lunch for the staff on Wednesday.  I was at training, so I got nothing.  But, at least they did something.  The district provided a cake, but again, I was gone.  There was another meeting at the district office and they got a cake, but we got cookies for dessert with lunch.  Big deal.  We got NOTHING from our principal, which is the 1st time in my life that we got nothing.  Nothing!  WTH?  I know it's budget crisis time and there is no money, but still.  We used to get little things from the district, then it went to an apple (a real apple from food service!), then it went to a card printed in printing services and now we are down to an e-mail from the head big-wig.  That's it!  I have never taught at a school where the PTA has made it a big deal.  They don't tell the parents it's teacher appreciattion week, so they don't know they are to appreciate us.  OK, fine, I can deal with that.  But come on.  We got the shaft.  Nothing.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.  Not even my room cleaned a bit more.  It's like it was just another day.  Now, I don't do this to get gifts or be appreciated, but it's nice sometimes to just get a thank you for doing something you like, taking the time to work with kids and try to make a difference in the world.  So, I think I will look back at all the blogs where people showed all the loot they took home and live vicariously through you.  I will make sure next year to give my daughter's teacher a gift so she feels a little appreciated.  Honestly, it sucks when you don't!

It's a Monday...and a test!

Wow!  Today was a Monday.  One of those not-so-great Mondays that seem to kinda suck.  I was in a great mood, so it wasn't that, but it just didn't seem like a good day!  Part of it is the fact that we are getting ready for open house.  I have some kids who are still trying to complete assignments, while others have been done since last week.  I won't miss the slugs who sit there and stare at me all day waiting for them to do something.  I think they think I will do it for them.  But, these are the same kids that I have been begging and pleading with for them to do something all year long, hoping they eventually get it.  It won't happen this year!

I have worked on making my room look nice, but it isn't working.  Anyone else have kids that give them garbage for work?  Their coloring is sloppy, their work in messy.  It's not very open house like.  And I am tired of it.  I am to the point I am going to accept it as is, but reward the kids who are doing a nice job.  It won't make much of a difference, but...

I know part of the problem is I am not prepared this week.  I didn't do lesson plans, I have tons of testing to do with my kids, all one on one and I am honestly done with teaching for the year.  I want to be able to have some fun with the kids, but it's testing first, open house second and fun third.  I did send a request to parents to send in some candies, cookies and juice for next week for some fun math ideas.  If I get what I am asking for, I will be posting some fun, end of the year eating math activities.  We'll see! 

I made this end of the year math test for my kids.  I am missing the adding and subtracting pages, but I am just going to copy some and add them to the back.  Each skill is something that is on the report card and I am only testing the things on the report card at this time.  Not that exciting, but I hope this gives me exactly what they know at this time!  If you can use it, great.  If you do, please leave me a comment so I know you like it! 

End of the year math test 

I hope you are all having a nice, warm spring Monday.  A storm is rolling in tonight and it was a chilly 65 all day.  Tomorrow is supposed to be rainy, which we rarely see in May.  Last time we did, there was an actual tornado about 7 miles away.  Scary!  I am ready for warm, sunny sunshine and summer to come!  Just 9 more days!  Happy Monday all!

5.15.2011

Weekend Fail

Well, Sunday evening is here, the weekend is just about done and I haven't done a darn thing for school.  I have managed to do most of my 18 loads of laundry, but there are still clothes to put away.  I have managed to clean the bathrooms, vacuum up the house and get things organized.  Hubby cleaned the kitchen and threw some things out, so it looks much nicer than it has in years!  Feels good to get something done, but I know there is still more to do for tomorrow.  And it's not looking good! 

I didn't bring a single TE home.  Why?  I have no idea!  When I finally left on Friday, I was in such a hurry to be home with my hubby to get his test results for the BIG test he took in Feb, that I just left school.  I grabbed some things for report cards (haven't started), my pinks and blues (still blank) and a couple things to do for Open House (not done).  Actually, my school bag is still in my car at this time (almost 6pm!) and I haven't thought of getting it out!  Oops!  For those of you hoping for a Frog and Toad unit for Houghton mifflin...sorry...it ain't happening this week!  Too much to do!

As the year is quickly coming to an end, I have less and less motivation to be creative.  My brain is almost on vacation and is already planning for next year.  I have been reluctant to do anything for school for next year til this year is over, but it is hard to want to do anything at all.  I will be a ball of stress next weekend with having to complete everything - report cards, grades, cleaning my room - but it will be nice to say that there is just one week left. 

So, there are 10 days left.  10 days to spend with my kids, who honestly, I am done with.  I have some super kids, but I feel I have taken them as far as they can go.  They have worked hard, come very far and are ready for 2nd.  Then there are those that I feel I haven't done a good job with.  I didn't motivate them enough for them to want to learn all they can.  I still have 4 girls who could care less if they learn their addition and subtraction facts.  They look at me like I am crazy.  I don't know what more I could have done.  Maybe next year!

After my math training last week, I am committed to providing better math instruction.  I need to revamp some things anyway, so this will be a good refresher.  I will end up bringing a lot home, just so I can plan, revise and create new things.  My hubby may not like it, but he'll deal.  He'll be busy with his iwn work then to be too bothered by my piles. 

Well, it looks like dinner is ready.  I guess I will eat a bit, maybe do some work and then head back to bed.  I have to have my energy for the week to make it through open house.  AAAAHHHHHH!  It's all down hill after Thursday!  I can't wait! 

Happy Sunday all!  Here's to a great week! 

5.13.2011

Hello Weekend!

I am so glad it's the weekend.  I am tired, a little stressed and in need of not being at work.  Which is strange considereing I was at work 2 days this week.  But, those 2 days were hard!  Thursday was the worst, as my kids were way OFF!  They must have missed me and decided the best way to show me was to be naughty.  A lot of talking, goofing off and not finishing work.  Today was much better and we actually got a lot done. 

Now, next week we need to complete all the stuff needed for open house, finish testing for report cards and get all the end of the year stuff done.  Oh, and did I mention that I have no idea what I am doing for the afternoon next week?  I didn't plan it yet, nor did I make the time to stay and look at it today! 

I had a little chat with my principal today.  I told her about the Ice Queen and what she said at the training.  It still bothers me that she would talk smack about the teachers she works with.  I try to keep our "dirty laundry" to myself ( or my hubby), but I would never tell teachers from other sites.  Doesn't seem very professional.  The Ice Queen and I both put in for being the grade level chair, so we will see how this plays out.  She was it when we went to the school and it was a DIS.AS.TER.  I think my principal wants me to be it, so we will see how it goes.  Here's to hoping.  I want to be the crazy one who wants the position.  I'm not in charge of anything, but I like to help us all be organized.  Though, my room, my house and my brain are all very unorganized at the moment. 

But, today os a very good day for my family.  My hubby got word that he passed his very big test that he took in February.  It has been 5 years + in the making, so it's very good news!  I will be a bit busier in the summer helping him get started with his business, but it will be worth it.  A new washer and dryer are in my future!!!!  Yep, it's the little things here! 

Tomorrow I will be helping my mom with a yard sale at my Grandma's.  It will be the first time since the funeral I will be there, so I am feeling a bit strange.  But, I can help my mom, get some good Karma points and spend the day out and about. 

Happy Friday all!  It's been a good Friday the 13th.  Nothing bad here!

5.11.2011

Training Day 3

Can I just say that I am glad my training is over with?!?!?!  It was very valuable to me, although it would have been better had they done it 3 years ago when we adopted the program.  But, what can you do when the district doesn't spend their money in the right places?

I asked the teacher who was running it about how to work with people on the grade level who don't want to have any part of it what-so-ever.  She said that she knows it hard to work with the teachers at my site since they have been teaching so long.  I had to throw the Ice Queen under the bus and tell the teacher that the one we have the most problems with has been teaching for the shortest amount of time.  She was surprised to hear that and seemed a little confused.  I am sure the Ice Queen has told her that it's the rest of us and that we don't work together with her.  Sob story, sob story.  Boo hoo! 

I am ready to go back to work and see my kids.  I have a lot of busy work to get to, like testing.  I hate having to do it after being gone, but I have to get it done.  I need it all done by next week, along with being ready for Open House.  I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders right now and I feel like there's nothing I can do about it.  But, tomorrow is the beginning of the end, with just 12 short days left, and really only 7 days to have testing done and grades ready to be inputed. 

It's been a very long day and I am exhausted.  Happy Wednesday!  I'm off to dreamland! 

5.10.2011

Training Day 2 & I can't believe she said that!

I have survived yet another day of training.  I had a very negative attitude going in, but this training has been better than I had expected.  It's not fabulous, but I am learning things I can use in the classroom next year and be able to hopefully be more effective at teaching math. 

We have spent a lot of time going through the standards.  I know the standards, but we looked at what is actually required for the kids to know and it's a lot less than what we teach them.  The Key Standards are the biggies that they are tested on, yet we spend an insane amount of time on the crap that isn't Key, but that our district pushes.  Money is the perfect example.  The standard is basically know the value of the coins and know how to make different combo's to show the amount.  So, 20 cents would be 2 dimes, 4 nickels, 20 pennies, etc.  But, the kids are tested on counting different coins together and finding the amounts.  THAT'S NOT THE STANDARD!!!!!!  But, we drill and kill because that's what's expected, and if we get poor test scores, then we are in deep doo-doo! 

I wish the district admins were there listening to this.  They have had to sit through the trainings, too, but whether they really learned anything?  Who knows.  I know we have another meeting next week to work on the lovely benchmark tests, so hopefully someone will bring it up and can change it! 

I now know that for next year, there are some changes I want to make.  But, I will need to sit down, carefully read through things and make the best plan for teaching my kids.  Math hasn't been my strong suit, so I want to be better.  One of my many goals for next year! 

I have to vent for a bit about something that happened today.  I am at the training with the Ice Queen from my site.  Yesterday I sat by her (which she didn't like).  Today she came a bit later than I.  She sat at the same table, but not by me.  She won't talk to me if she doesn't have to.  Actually, the only time she spoke to me today was to argue over something that I was right about!  Ha!  Anyway, we were in the middle of something or a break and she was talking to the teacher next to me who is at another site.  The Ice Queen was telling this teacher (who didn't know we taught together) that her grade level doesn't get along, no one will work with her and that there are lots of problems, of which all started from before she got there (she's been there for 8 years, I have been there for 3).  She says that she wants to work as a grade level, but no one is willing to do anything with her.  I wanted to scream that she was a lying bitch, but I didn't say a word, just looked at the person next to me and kept listening.  I was so mad that she would say these things.  She is the one who will NOT work with us.  She hasn't shared one single idea in three years and doesn't want to listen to what anyone has to say.  She can't input any ideas or thoughts, unless it benefits her and her only.  I really don't like working with her and wish she would go elsewhere.  But, sadly, no other grade level wants her.  She has burned her bridges in other grade levels and has made enemies everywhere she goes.  And it's everyone else's problem?  Hmmmm!

I have put in to be grade level leader.  She has also put in.  She was it 2 years ago and couldn't be bothered to share anything with us from meetings, couldn't run a grade level meeting and didn't want to have to do it.  She always had the principal run the meetings since she was "still new" and "didn't know what to do".  Our grade level is just finally starting to slowly come together.  If she was lead, I would quit talking.  There is no getting her to see the other side of anything, even if it's the same thing she believes in!  If the teacher who is chair still wanted to do it, I would be happy.  I'll be happy only if the Ice Queen doesn't get it.  And, rumor is, the other grade level chairs don't want her either and the principal is having to cross her t's and dot her i's to make sure this teacher doesn't file a greivance if she isn't selected as chair.  Why must we work with 4 year olds?  Wait, my daughter is more easy going than this teacher!

Well, just one more day of training and then it's back to reality.  I will only have 12 more days of teaching assessing left before the end of the year.  I will be glad when it's done and I can rest, relax, revamp and reorganize!  Yep, that's my summer vacation in a nutshell!

5.09.2011

Training Day 1

I made it through the first day of enVision training.  It wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but there were some times I was ready to doze off and crash into my book face first. 

Today was a long day of doing stuff, but I don't know if I could articulate what it is that we did.  We sort of went through the framework - we tabbed each chapter, read a part of what the state says we must do as teachers and what a program must have.  Then we had to draw - yes draw - a picture to show our topic and then share out.  DUMB!  I didn't get much out of it that I couldn't have gotten from reading the framework.  Then we went through the Overview and Implementation Guide that has been sitting in the box for 3 years and did a scavenger hunt.  We did that for 45 minutes and then shared out what we found.  There was some birdwalking, but not much. 

I would much rather have been at work, teaching my kids, or testing them as the case would have been.  But, we have to do this.  It wasn't horrible and was better than I was thinking it would be.  Could be that I am uber tired (I was at Urgent Care last night til after 10 for myself...grumble, grumble, grumble...wish I was a dude sometimes!) or maybe I have a better attitude about it and want to see if I can learn something.  Good thing is we get to share out with people in there and get some new ideas. 

Tomorrow will be Day 2.  We are going to get to see a unit done from the Money topic which is one of their worst topics.  I think it lacks a lot of meat and we have to supplement like crazy.  I think we took a month to really cover it in depth.  I hope it helped them remember some of what we learned! 

Now, I think I will take the night off from school work and do whatever I feel like.  I am in the middle of a book, so I may curl up in the blanket, read my book and be lazy.  It's pretty dang cold here today in not-so-sunny So Cal - 58 and super windy when I came home at 4:30.  Yippee!  I want my summer heat back from last week! 

Happy Monday all!  I only have 2 more Mondays left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5.08.2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is Mother's Day.  It's always a strange day for me.  Or at least it was growing up.  I don't remember making it a big deal when we were kids.  Nor do I remember doing much with my mom, other than giving her the stuff we made at school.  I hope there was more to it than that, but for the life of me, I can't remember.  And that's scary because I have a very good memory (ask my hubby, it drives him crazy!). 

When I started teaching, I didn't really care for Mother's Day and Father's Day.  Especially making the gift for the parents.  And my attitude about it wasn't (and still isn't) the greatest.  To me, I felt like I have to take the time out of the day to do something for the parents who don't spend the time working with their kids.  I have to make something neat for the kids to give their parents who can't be bothered to spend a few minutes with their child.  Bad attitude, yes.  But sadly, it's the truth where I work.  I feel like beg some parents to work with their children and get a million excuses as to why they can't do it. 

Anyway, enough of that.  Over the years, I have always done a project of some sort.  Normally it's a card with a picture.  That's it.  It's normally pretty lame compared to what I see other teachers do and I have learned it's very lame to what most people do, after exploring the blogging world for almost a year.  It's just not something I have put a lot of thought into. 

7 years ago, my hubby and I were trying to start our own family.  At first, it's all fun and games.  But then, reality hit.  We lost our firstr baby.  Shock!  We didn't expect that at all, but we sorta moved on after that and kept trying.  But, the first Mother's Day (almost a year after we lost the baby) was hard.  I had quite a few friends who had had babies and were all happy and could celebrate Mother's Day.  But not me.  It was really hard, thinking it should have been me.  I know that year my mother's day project SUCKED!  The next year, I was about 8 month pregnant and I have no idea what we did then, but I am sure it was still lame!  Finally the next year it was my turn.  I should have done more for me kids, but I didn't.  I was a bit bitter about the fact that, thanks to an error by the dr, I wouldn't be having more kids.  It was my choice, but one that I have finally embraced and feel comfortable with. 

This year, as I sat and looked at all the ideas in blogland, I found one that I could do and be comfortable with giving to the mom's and still feel like I didn't have to sacrifice my attitude too much.  So, thanks to everyone who put up the idea for Breakfast in a Bag!!!  That is what my kids did this year.  (My camera is at Lowe's right now, so I have no pics!)  It was a fun project, didn't take a lot of time and the kids got a kick out of doing it.  I didn't have to spend too much money, which made the hubby happy and I didn't have to think too much about it.  Yes, I may still have the same crappy attitude, but the parents don't have to know about it!

But, even with all that, I am happier with what I got from my daughter.  She made me a little card with shapes all over it, wrote Mommy and her name and wrote I love you on it.  How can it get any better?  We spent the day yesterday (just the 3 of us - PERFECT) at the Wild Animal Park, lunch at Panera, a quick trip to Legoland, dinner by the beach, watching dolphins and a stop at Home Depot to get some roses for me.  It was the perfect, very long day with my family.  And that is what I wanted.  The chance to be with them all day and nothing else.  And that is what all mother's should want.  Time to be with their children and families doing something they love.  The material things are nice, but if I had to choose, I would want my family there with me and nothing else! 

Happy Mother's Day!  I am going to enjoy the day working on my roses with my daughter, NOT doing school work and having a relaxing afternoon watching a movie with my hubby.  What more could a momma want?

5.05.2011

The end is near...and our brains are MIA

This time of year, the kids forget how to do everything.  Like write their name on the paper.  Like how to add 2 numbers together.  Like how to make a complete sentence.  I don't get it.  Summer vacation isn't here yet, but our minds have checked out. 

As each day passes, some of my kids get lazier less motiovated.  I gave them an easy writing assignment, where all but 3 words were written for them.  I still have kids who aren't done.  Hello?  What were you doing?  I have kids who thought the math was too hard - gluing flowers in order from shortest to tallest and then measuring them with cubes.  Um, we just did that every day this last week! 

It baffles me that things get harder, when in fact, they are easier.  Don't get me wrong, some of my kids are doing awesome.  They do whatever I say, no matter how boring they think it is.  And for those kids, I would give them a million minutes of free time, if we had that much.  I just wish all the kids would put their thinking caps on and USE THEIR BRAINS! 

I worry about a couple of them going on to 2nd.  I know they won't practice over summer, so they are going to go in lower than they already are.  And the 2nd grade teachers aren't gonna like it.  I see kids from last year who sit at the tables every day doing the work they didn't do in class.  Hmmmm...some of mine better pick out a cozy spot.  They aren't motivated by anything and move slower than a slug! 

But, tomorrow is Friday and we have a thousand and one things to do by the time 3 o'clock rolls around.  Plus, I have to prepare them for the sub the next 3 days and make sure they are all little angels.  UGH!  But, on the bright side, I will be away from them for 3 days - long enough to miss them and be so happy when I see them again next Thursday.  It seems so long.  Then we can prepare for Open House, get ready for the end of the year and TEST.  DRA's this time around, but it has to be done. 

Happy almost Friday all!  The weekend is in sight and I can't wait!  For now, I will let my brain go MIA and watch Nick Jr. with my daughter!

5.04.2011

Randomness all the way!

I don't feel I have too much exciting to share, but I feel I should write something.  So here are my random thoughts for the day!

* Yesterday was Teacher Appreciation Day everywhere else in the US, but NOT at my school.  We didn't get anything as we do ours next week.  I thought the district would have done something, but I guess they are too poor to do anything.  When I started teaching (when there was $), we got some pretty nice stuff.  A couple years ago, we got a note from the Super and an apple.  It has since dwindled to a note, which is pretty lame.  Printed 1100 times, sent to the secretaries to distribute.  Yeah, so warm and fuzzy.  I will be interested to see what they do next week when I am not there.  It better not be anything nice! 

* I will be sitting in enVision training next week for 3 days straight, 7 hours a day.  What did I do to deserve this?  2 of the teachers went yesterday and they said it was a long day and they have 2 more to go.  I am not looking forward to this at all.  I have been working on sub plans for the whole week and I am not done.  I am making sure I leave enough so my kids have less of a chance to go crazy!

* The state is threatening to cut another 15 days off the school year next year bringing our grand total to 20 days without school/pay.  We will be voting on whether or not to extend tax rates so we can pay for education.  If not, then massive cuts and layoffs are possible AFTER school starts.  Don't you wish you lived in Cali?  Of course, we don't have snow and it was 95* here today!  :)

* I feel I am trying to cram so much in to my kids and get so much out of them with such little time left.  I have a million things to do for Open House, but I have been so consumed with lesson plans that it has been put onto the back burner.  Not good!  Oops!

* We are doing -or and -ore words this week.  I put this activity out for the kids to do.  They had to write the or/ore words on the popcorn and then cut it out.  Thanks to all those who put this idea up for us to borrow!

* Last week we read the story The Surprise Family.  We compared and contrasted chickens and ducks and then the kids wrote a little bit about each bird.  We then did a directed drawing of each.  Some were better than others, as some of the kids decided they don't need to do their best anymore!


* And for those of you who's gas is less than $4 a gallon and think it's horrible, try this on for size!

 I got gas at Sam's for $4.11 a gallon.  Most places were $4.25 or so.  The cheapest I saw at a regular gas station was $4.17.  This was to fill up my little Saturn VUE.  Not a gas hog, pretty decent gas mileage, but over $50!  The hubby said it took over $30 to fill his Honda Civic HYBRID!  Looks like no summer vacation for us this year! 

* I had an SST today for one of my hard working students who is still struggling.  Luckily my principal took my recommendation of NOT retaining the girl and understanding that there is an issue somewhere somehow with the student.  It's not like I picked a name out of a hat and said let's SST for fun.  Real issues with this one.  And the parents do more than 99.99% of the parents out there.  I hope the child gets some help next year and can catch up, thought thankfully they aren't too far behind!

* Time to go and get some dinner ready.  Hubby is on his way home after stopping at the farm store to see how to get rid of gophers.  They are eating us out of roses and veggies.  I hate gophers with a passion, almost as much as I hate snakes.  Now, if the snakes would eat the gophers, then I may change my opinion (no, not really, snakes freak me out beyond belief).  Or if the gophers would just eat the weeds, then we'd be in business.  But, no, they must eat our corn and peppers and onions and my roses and make my hubby go crazy! 

Happy Wednesday!

5.01.2011

Why do the weekends always go so quickly?

After not feeling well yesterday, I feel I had a lot to do today.  And it isn't done.  And I hate that feeling.  I like it when I am really productive, which lately hasn't seemed like at all. 

I did get to work outside today and tidy up some things.  I needed to tend to some of my roses and flower beds, er, flower bed, as I ran out of time and energy for the others.  But, we still had the stupid wind, so it was a bit harder to work with the dust and stuff blowing all over.  But, at least I got something done and it looks a little better to me, if no one else! 

I haven't touched lesson plans this weekend, and I don't know if I will.  I know what I am doing this week, so I am not too worried about it at all.  No one checks them, so it's not like I will be in trouble.  Heck, there are some teachers who don't write lesson plans at all and they get away with it.  I think I can skip a week and be just fine! 

Laundry.  I hate laundry.  It sits there and taunts me from all over.  I really should be folding laundry right now, but I'm not.  I just finished the groceries (thank goodness for payday!) and all that fun.  What I would love to do is lay in bed and read, but there are too many things to do.  I will have time for that in about 26 more days...that's when it's the last day of school!!!!! 

I can't wait for summer when it's like a weekend for 2 months.  I have so many things I would like to do that I don't have time for now.  Plus, I have to get my baby ready for Kindergarten!  It's gonna be a busy summer of some mommy-daughter time, a lot of practicing her writing and reading, hopefully some good pool time (yeah, I have to get that thing cleaned up!) and some wonderful relaxing time to sit and read and read and read.  I seriously have 50 books stacked up that I want to read,  but don't have time during the school year.  I try to make time, but...

Happy Sunday!  Here's to a great week...just 20 more days to go!