Long Overdue post...and 2 freebies

Alternately Titled: Thank Goodness for a 3-day weekend!

Wow!  Last week did me in!  I was so tired by Thursday morning.  I am amazed I managed to make it to work on Friday.  It was a long, first week back, but I was so glad to be back and see my kids.  I missed them over vacation, but did not miss getting up early.  But we are almost back in full swing with our routine and all the fun that goes into the school day! 

It wasn't until Thursday that all my kids came back!  One girl was sick and then just didn't want to come back to school.  One of my boys said he was sick, but he doesn't like coming to school and Mom is OK with him being home, so he didn't show up til Thursday and he went home early on Friday.  I would love to work 1 1/2 days some weeks!  He is my lowest student and came back even lower, if that is possible.  I have to get mom in to meet with her again (she came once then dropped off the radar) and start putting the bug in her ear about retention.  I don't know if that is the answer for him,  but he can't go on to second grade - he is way too low and has missed way too much school (he's missed 14 days out of 90 so far and has gone home early about 10 - 15 times, too).  It's sad, really, but I can't do much when the school won't back me up on his attendance. 

Anyway, my kids were very happy to be back.  We "worked" a bit on writing some goals for the year.  We talked about setting goals as things we need to practice more or things we want to do better.  Each student (who was at school, anyway) wrote 3 goals and then made their own little party hats and faces to celebrate the new year, just a few days later!  They turned out pretty cute and the kids thought it was the best thing ever, even if it took us 3 days to get them done! 

With my focus group, we spent the week talking about snow.  We read some stories, did some words with the -ow family,  and did a reading comprehension activity.  Then, it just so happened that on Friday morning, I saw this cute activity here from Tales of a Teacherista.  So, we made little snowglobes and wrote about what we would do if we had a snow day.  We haven't had many rain days, so a snow day is very far off the radar (though we did get our first rain in over a month last night!).  The kids in my focus group loved this and thought it was so fun!  I didn't break out the glitter this time, but they got to use silver paint for the snow.  I will definitely do this one again, maybe even with my homeroom this year!

On Friday, I got a wild hair to move my room around a bit.  I never liked the way it was, so I changed it.  During the spelling test.  With the kids watching me thinking I was nuts.  Not my greatest teaching moment, but I felt so much better by the end of the day.  I moved my teacher desk to the other side of the room along with my teacher book shelf and then my classroom library by the door.  My desk was by the door and I didn't like it there.  I don't sit at my desk during the day, but I do like to sit there after school and grade papers.  I am not ready to completely get rid of my teacher desk yet as many have, but I may get there in the future if I can get my room cleaned and uber-organized.  I have a lot of crap in my desk that needs to find a new home.  With moving things around, I have made more work for myself at school, but I will be so happy when it's done.  I have added a new area to display student work (or it will be added once it's all re-done) and I am now closer to the cabinet area that I can utilize for my stuff rather than just collecting junk.  Again, it will be a long process, but I will be much happier being there rather than where it was. 

This week in my focus group (which is our RTI time), we will talk and read and write about snowmen.  We are also going to focus on compound words, too.  I made a couple pages for my kids this week.  The first worksheet is on compound words.   The other page is a writing page we will be using later this week.  We will also be "making" our own snowman later in the week to go with the writing. 

As for the rest of the week with my class, I'm not totally sure what we are doing!  We will continue learning about penguins, which will be the focus of our writing.  Then on Friday we will be making our own little penguins.  We are also moving on to 10's and 1's in math.  I am hoping for a very easy math unit, but you never know!  We have our major benchmark test in 3 weeks.  I am worried about how some will do, but then I shouldn't really care.  It's just another way for the kids to freak out and panic over something that really has no impact on them at this point in their 6 year old lives. 

As for the next couple weeks, we will be busy, busy.  Next Monday, we will celebrate Chinese New Year.  I have never done this before, so I am looking for ideas to share with my kiddos.  The Monday after we will be celebrating the 100th day of school (my favorite!) and then 3 days later will be Groundhog's Day (another favorite!).  Who would have thought February would be here this quick?  Yikes! 

I have enjoyed having the extra day, even though I have done nothing.  I need to get more done, but I am not motivated.  I should be, but I'm not.  I'm in a little slump/funk right now, so once I am out of that, I will be back to normal!  Until then, I will enjoy being lazy and getting my workout in sometime later this evening!   Happy Monday! 


  1. Love the snow globes! Do you still use the Houghton Mifflin reading series? I used a lot of the things you posted last spring with my kids last year and loved it all! :)


  2. I get so angry when kids miss a ton of school because their parents just don't see why school is important. But don't forget it is all OUR fault that that child isn't on grade level *rolls eyes*

    I have to say we are lucky at our school. We are so low income that 99% of our kids are on free lunch and their parents on some kind of assistance. So we have 2 Department of Human Services workers right in our building and if kids are chronically absent/tardy or go home early, they go to their houses and get on their case. It's pretty crazy.