4.30.2012

Freebies for a Monday

Now that today is done, there are 3 more Mondays left in the school year!  Where did the time go?  There are 19 more mornings that I have to wake up with the alarm clock and be ready and presentable for children and other adults.  Yippee!  And 3 1/2 of those days, I don't have to be at work, but still have to be up and at 'em.

Today was a good day at school.  We got everything done and more that we needed to.  My kids were great.  2 kids were gone, but that's nothing new.  I knew one kid had missed a lot of school (today was #23), but the other one shocked me.  Today was days #22 being absent for her.  Dang!  It's not like we are at school every day of the year!  Why is it so hard for you to be at school?  I didn't miss 22 days when I was on maternity leave!  But, one kids will do 1st grade again next year and the other, well, I hope the 2nd grade teacher loves them!

We are working on plants.  I used to love this unit, but I haven't gotten into it this year.  I think the pressure of the end of the year is getting to me.  I feel like I have a million things to do and not enough time to get it all done.  And being sick sure didn't help that at all.  And now my daughter is sick, except she has thrown up 4 times today.  She threw up at dismissal time at school, then slept all afternoon at Daddy;s office, threw up in my truck after I picked her up to bring her home, then threw up a couple times tonight.  Poor baby!  She's pretty good about getting to the toilet and all, but she looks so devastated when  she's done.  After the last time, she went right to bed.  I worry since there is some nasty virus going on around here.  I guess it ends up with a fever for like 5 days that won't break.  Now I won't sleep tonight and I will have to check on her 10 times!  A mama never stops worrying!

Anyway, back to plants.  We are learning about plants, or pretending to learn about plants.  I used to go all out, but this year, I am done.  No sorting seeds or fun little projects.  Just do the work, label your plants and let's be done.  I have even resorted to do science during Focus time since there is no Focus again this week thanks to State Testing.  But, I made a little worksheet for my kids to do tomorrow.  They are all of a sudden into word searches, so this one's for them!  Nothing major, but something fun they will like to do.  We are going to plant on Thursday so the seeds will be sprouted by Open House...I hope!

Last week with our anthology, we read the story The Surprise Family.  The kids had to then fill in a venn diagram with the facts about chicks and ducks.  I was amazed at who could do them and who couldn't.  A big eye opener!  If you can use it, you can get the venn diagram activity here.  I plan to use these more starting at the beginning of the year so there aren't as many questions next time we do it!

I hope you can use the freebies.  I hope to post more as the days go on, but it all depends on how my baby girl is feeling.  She is sad she has to miss school, but she didn't seem to care about it tonight.  Here's to hoping for the bug to be gone for good and for my little love to be feeling better.  Happy Monday!

4.28.2012

Long Week

Wow!  I think this has been one of the longest weeks in a long time.  I am glad it's over, but the weekend is going too fast.  Ugh!

The week went by slower due to the fact that I am sick.  I haven't been sick all year until now.  And it hit me hard.  And I went to work.  Every. Single. Day.  It started on Sunday with a headache.  No biggie, just take meds all day and work through it.  Then on Monday, I woke up with a sore throat.  Worried it was strep, but thankfully it wasn't.  Tuesday had the congested feeling, but still feeling pretty good.  Then it went downhill from there.  Wednesday still felt OK, not great, but not bad,  By Thursday night, I was feeling pretty crappy and yesterday was the worst.  I should have called in sick, but I didn't.  We had a thing going on in the grade level, so I had to be there.  I came home and was in bed by 4pm.  And that's where I stayed til 8am this morning.  I feel a bit better, but now that the day has gone on, I have been out and about and it's getting close to night time, I am tired.  And I didn't do much.  What else is new?

Yesterday we had our first Young Author's Tea.  It was my idea.  We did it years ago at my other school and I remember it fondly.  I did it a few years ago with my D-1 class and remember it going pretty well, too.  I brought it up to the grade level in February or March and it was a go!  The students were challenged to write their own stories, and then they were "published".  All my students made books and all were able to go.  We even had awards!  The librarians chose their "favorites", the principal chose her favorites and then the teachers got to choose their favorites.  We had punch, popcorn, goldfish crackers, pretzels and hershey kisses for the kids/families to eat.  We invited the families to come, but none of the kids mentioned anything, which wasn't a big surprise.  A lot of the parents are working or are busy taking care of the kids at home.  We were underprepared for all that came!  It was amazing!  I had 14 kids who had someone show up for them.  14 out of 22.  The others said they had only 4 or 5, but I think they had to have had more.  We didn't have enough cups for everyone!  I felt bad (and I was sick and I was also very tired of listening to the loud mouth tell parents that we weren't prepared and how bad she felt that the lead teacher didn't think ahead enough...yeah, that would be me, but remember, she is Teacher of the Year!...yeah, still not over that!) that we weren't over prepared, but we know for next year.  Who would have thought that we would have had that many parents come?  Not me!  I am glad that so many came to be with their kids!  It was a great 45 minutes for all involved! And now, I am glad it's over.

We have 4 weeks left.  That's it.  3 more weeks left of teaching and then a week of having some fun and doing some different things that may not be in the standards, but are just as educational and a little off the beaten path.  I can't wait.  And in the next 20 days, I am out for 3 1/2 of them.  Great.  This week I will miss Friday because we are going camping.  Not a great excuse, but I do it every year.  The week after I have a 1/2 day training to learn how to teach reading.  Then the next week, I get to miss Career Day to go to a Benchmark meeting.  Yippee.  Then the next week (and last week!) I am taking the day off for my daughter's Kinder promotion.  You only leave Kinder once, and I'm not missing it!  I think I may take her to Legoland afterwards and enjoy the day.  The next day is my last day of school, and I certainly don't want to miss being with my kiddos then.

Well, I am tired, getting hungry and hear the couch calling my name!  Have a great rest of the weekend!

4.23.2012

Sometimes Mondays suck

Today wasn't that bad, but I woke up not feeling 100%. I had a headache yesterday for most of the day, and today I woke up with a sore throat. I am hoping it is allergies and doesn't turn to strep. Yuck! Today was also COLD! Mind you, it was 100* last Friday and Saturday and today was 60*. Nothing like a 40 degree difference in 2 days. Oh, and to top it off, my favorite shoes BROKE!!! The soles split in half on both pair. I am not a happy camper and have no shoes to keep my feet warm. And there are no stores selling anything other than sandals! Bring on summer! We have 5 weeks left of school...24 days to be exact. And I am starting to stress. I need to get all my DRA testing done, my writing prompts done and my big end of the year math test made and done. All this so we can have some fun. I am wanting to plan ahead, but that would require me to plan...I haven't done my lesson plans for a couple weeks. Oops! Tonight, I have a billion pages to look through. Problem is, I want to read rather than do work. Last month, I read Fifty Shades of Gray ( yeah, the dirty book!), and then I bought the second one, since the first one ended so abruptly. I finally finished it on Saturday and bought the last one. I will be done with them soon and can get back to my real books. I plan on reading a ton in the summer. Well, time to do something! Happy Monday!

4.20.2012

Shoes don't make the teacher

So I have this on my mind tonight and I want to enjoy my weekend without being frustrated. Yesterday, I took my daughter to school. It was forecasted to be warm (it was 96 yesterday), so I wore my capris, a nice shirt and my "nice" flip flops ( they cost more than the ones at Old Navy!). A parent, who has a habit of questioning my clothing choices, said "oh, do you have training today?". I told her I did not. Then she asked if I was on spring break. Again, no. She commented that her sister is a teacher somewhere and she could never getaway with wearing flip flops. She can't believe that teachers are allowed to flip fls to school. I told her that my shoes don't make me a good teacher and that my kids don't care what I wear, as long as i teach them something. I don't dress super professional, but i also don't dress like I'm doing yard work, and yes, we have a couple teachers who dress like they are doing years work. When I student taught, I almost always wore a skirt, a dress or nice dress pants. On days it snowed, I wore jeans, but they were almost a necessity in the snow! When I started teaching, I went out and bought some new nicer clothes. I wore them all the time, while everyone else wore jeans, shorts, etc. Over the years, I have changed my clothes a bit. I try not to wear jeans that often, except for when it rains, on Fridays, and honestly, lately on Thursday's. I still try to look like a teacher and less like a Walmart worker. But, when it comes to spring/summer and warm/hot days, my feet don't want to be in fancy shoes. So flip flops it is. I'm comfortable, I can still do my job and my kids don't care! The principal doesn't care what we wear to school, as long as we are covered. My boobs and ass are completely covered, my clothes are clean and neat, heck, my toenails are even painted! I do think that teachers have gotten lazy with their clothing choices, but it doesn't make them a good teacher or a bad teacher. Good teachers can dress like slobs and bad teachers can dress totally professionally. We should hope teachers are comfortable, especially since we are getting screwed in every other aspect in the job nowadays. I'm gonna keep wearing my flip flops and doing my job as best I can with my kids. It doesn't matter if I'm in flip flops or loafers, boots or tennis shoes - my job is to teach my kids and have a little fun! What do you think?

4.18.2012

Me, myself and I

I feel silly with this as a title, but at the same time, I am proud of what I have accomplished this year with it being me,myself and I in my classroom. My students have had me all hear, with little to no outside help. And they have done damn good!

When I first started teaching, teachers who had 10 English Learners were given a 3 hour aide. I guess the district/union figured we needed the help to teach kids who didn't speak English. If you only had 9 EL's, you were out of luck and maybe got support for an hour a day. I had a 3 hour aide for one year of my 14 year teaching career. Most teachers had a bilingual aide, but not me. My aide was a white girl like me who knew less Spanish than I did. And my kids kicked ass that year! They may not have been above grade level, but they could hold their own. It was a fabulous year, and the only year I had help.

3 years after that, the contract wording changed, and the 3 hour aides were removed from the classroom. We still had help, but it was 30 minutes, maybe an hour if you were lucky. When I taught developmental first grade, I had an aide for 30 minutes to help with the really low kids. It was ok, but not great. Notice I said help with the kids, not do copying or anything. We've never had that. A couple years after that, we had an aide for 30 minutes and had to hope for the best.

Fast forward to 2012. My school does school wide intervention. The kids go to their focus group for 30 minutes. Some go to ELD, some go to speech and the other kids either stay with their homeroom teacher or, if the grade level desires, the kids are leveled Into a high/medium/low group for reading help. The ELD classes have an aide during that time, and then the other teachers are supposed to have one aide for the 30 minutes. Well, I took the high kids for focus. I started with 9 kids in my group. I didn't need an aide. It would have been a waste and the teacher who took the lows ( I normally take the lows, but there were some major behaviors and I didn't want to deal with them, so their homeroom teacher took the low group) said she needed the extra aide since she had so many lows. So, I gave up the aide for the good of the kids. That leaves. Me with no one all day. BTW, the teacher who needed the aide won Teacher of the Year over me. Seriously? You can't do it with the help you have?

During the day, every other teacher at the school has an aide. Not me. My kids who go to ELD have aide help, but a lot of them don't need it. The kids who go to the low or medium focus group get aide help, too, but it's on skills for the focus group, not necessarily on things they truly need. Some are getting extra help, but it's not really on what they need to reach The next level, no matter what it is.

When I look at where my kids came from and where they are now, I am amazed. They have all come so far. Over 2/3 of my kids are at or above grade level, which is awesome. And, the kids who are a bit below grade level are all EL's and they aren't that far below. They are making great growth while still learning how to deal with 2 languages. Awesome! And they are doing it with just me! I feel pretty good knowing I have taught them this year by myself and they have learned. While I know many people have no help and their kids do fabulous, I always liked having someone else to double team my needier kids. I don't have that this year, so I have been a little nervous.

One teacher gets an extra hour of aide time, since she has a combo class.the aide does some of the teaching, but whatever. Another teacher has 2 one on one aides, but uses the aides to work with other kids, even though she swears they don't. Come on, we aren't dumb. I see them working with other kids! Plus, she gets 2 aides during focus, so she has 5 adults in there with 9 kids. And then she complains about the kids being low still. My BTF has an aide during focus, plus the aide stays with her for the next half hour (she's the only one in the school with that...WTH?) and does who knows what. Sometimes she works with the low kids, sometimes she helps with writing, etc. The other teacher has an extra adult or 3 hours a week, not an aide, but still it's help. And others have parents who help all the time. My BTF has 5 parent volunteers...some good, some bad...but still help. Me, I am a parent repellent and can't get help even when I beg. And I'm used to it and know how to do it on my own.

Knowing I had no extra help, I made a goal for myself to get my kids as far as they could go. And they have done well. I would love to have help and get some help for my strugglers, but I had to make it work for me. I set my own little goal that my kids would be higher overall without the help, to prove to myself that it's possible. Deep down I know it is, but I have used the extra help as a crutch in the past. I'm proud of what my kids have done, and proud of myself for not caving in to the "I need help for me kids to learn" thing. My kids learn no matter what and I think I have become a better teacher by having it all fall on me.

Next year I'll get even tougher. We will have more kids, less supplies and less help. I hope I can do the same thing next year as I have this year. I have made some good changes in my teaching, but some things have fallen to the wayside, unintentionally, we. Are getting an updated reading program, so my goal is to really embrace it and try to be happy with the new and not fall into the rut.

I will take the momentum from this year into the summer and work on making the beginning of the year a great start! Until then, I'm gonna have a little fun with my kids, enjoy the rest of the year and then enjoy my summer break!

4.15.2012

6 and counting

Yep...6 weeks until I am on summer vacation!  And I can't wait!  I am ready for some R&R, some me time and time to recharge myself.  My spring break didn't do that for me this year.  With my daughter in school and hubby opening his own office, I didn't have any down time.  And it's been getting busier ever since!  My daughter is in basketball and we just started Girl Scouts on Tuesday.  Yesterday was my first real day with nothing in the afternoon, so I slept.  For like 2 hours, on the couch, by myself with no cares in the world!  It was great (and it was cold outside, so who wanted to be out there!).  But now I am paying the price for it.  I have a lot to do (or a lot I should do, but won't do, let's be honest) and not a lot of time to do it in! 

We have 30 days left of school.  30 days to impart all the wisdom on my kids I can.  30 days to keep them occupied with interesting things.  30 days to have some fun.  30 days to get them ready for second grade!  I can't wait for it to be over, yet I can.  I am not ready to let this group go.  It went by so quickly.  With the cold, rainy weather of the week, it still feels like February.  But, this week will feel like June now, so it's OK.  I will get spring fever now and not want to go to work at all!  But, I have to.  I have 30 days left to enjoy my kids and teach them what they need to know.  When I think about it, I have 27 1/2 days...I am gone for 2 1/2 days in May for various things - an out of town trip (that I take once a year!), a 1/2 day training for "new" language arts program (which is just an upgraded version of what we already have!) and a day off for my daughter's Kinder promotion (which is the day before my last day of school - UGH!).  Now I feel even more stressed!  YIKES!

We are going to start learning about plants this week.  My all time favorite unit.  I have really wanted to update it and spruce it up, but I haven't.  And I'm starting tomorrow.  Uh-oh!  I checked out some great looking units on TpT, but I am too cheap to buy them.  I guess I need to get busy tonight making some things up for my kids to use!  I have 4 weeks to teach this unit (by my own planning, I can go to 5, but then we are done the next week!) and have it all ready for Open House.  Yep...my Open House is 8 days before the last day of school.  Great planning, huh?  And, the fire marshall is making a return visit on May 8th, so all my stuff is piling up for Open House.  Good-bye organized room, hello mass chaos!  I will have a week to get it all ready for Open House and then it will all come dow the day after.  What a mess! 

To go along with planting/plants, I made this little math problem solving mini unit.  I wanted to make it bigger, but my brain was not cooperating today!  I had a brain fart and couldn't think anymore.  As the weeks go on, maybe I will get something else down on paper for ya!  For now, you can use this with your kids if you desire!  Click here for the free download. 

We are finished learning about all the animal groups.  It was a lot of fun, but I am glad it's over.  I need to make a little test for my kids to make sure they remembered all the important stuff!  I need to get on that, too.  One thing I was pleased with myself for was adding more art to this unit.  Each week after we learned about the animal group, we did a writing about what we learned about that group.  Then, we did a painted paper project.  I was insipred by this project, and then just kept creating my own as we went on.  We have done all our projects except for our turtles/tortoises that we will do this week.  Here is a look at all we have done!
 Sponge painted birds and then we added the roof and ledge for the birdhouses with the left over paper.  Love this project!
 Thumb print giraffes!  We put brown thumbprints all over yellow paper, cut it out to make the body and then added some yellow yard for the tails! 
 Marble painted frogs.  A little different, but so much fun to do.  The kids had a blast and I like the way they turned out.  I have a new fascination with wiggly eyes, too!

 Painted symmetrical butterflies!  We folded our paper, put paint on one side, then squished it all over.  I know butterflies don't smile like this, but they are too cute! 


 Sponge painted fish!  This was the project this week.  The kids were able to sponge paint whatever colors they wished, however they wished.  Then they traced the pattern, cut it out and added a little fin for a 3-D effect.  Again, love the wiggly eye!   


This next week we will do our turtles.  I hope to have pics, but my batteries are dead and I didn't get any at Sam's Club today! 

Well, I guess I should go and get prepared for the week.  I found a new way I am going to do my lesson plans from now on.  My principal doesn't check them,  and they are for us anyway, so this I think will be perfect.  I found it on Pinterest, but you can see it here.  I am going to try it this week and see how I like it before I make my lesson plan book for next year !

Have a great week!  Here's to hoping the weather is perfect in every state for the whole week!  Happy Sunday!

4.11.2012

Halfway through

Wow!  We are already half way through the week!  Amen!  I am ready for the weekend and it feels like the week just started!  I am tired as all get out, though.  Maybe early to bed tonight...we'll see what's on TV! 

My kids are doing very well on their stories.  I have a lot that are "done" and are working on illustrations.  I want them done tomorrow so we can get back to some book learning, rather than me hoping they are working when I am helping the other kids with their stories.  Something interesting I have noted - my higher kids are having a hard time writing good stories, while some of my struggling kids are writing some really good, interesting stories.  I find that odd.  What's up with all that?  Ideas?

I had my follow up yesterday with the doctor.  Good news...I am normal!  Well, all except my thyroid is underactive, which is why I can't lose weight.  So, a little pill each day (for the rest of my life) and I should be good to go again!  Now to get serious again about getting in better shape.  Physically anyway...my blood work was awesome!  My numbers are that of a skinny girl, though my jean size not so much!  :)  Give and take I guess!

It was rainy this morning and chilly today.  I love spring, but I want my spring to be 85*!  We need the rain so I will take it so my flowers and veggies can grow!  Time to get back to eating healthy and hopefully NOT having to go to the grocery store each week! 

I am beat, have a ton of laundry waiting for me and am ready to crash.  Happy Wednesday!

4.09.2012

A good day is always nice

Today was a good day! My kids were on! They were perfect for the most part. A great way to start the week. We got a lot done, even though it doesn't look like it.

We started our stories today. I think some of my kids are going to write some awesome books. I have a pretty good group of writers, or as good as first grade can get. We did our pressuring today and some have some good, unique ideas. I can't wait to see what they come up with. Normally,when my kids are working on their sloppy copies, I don't let them ask me a million questions. But for their books, they are able to ask. A couple of my perfectly perfects asked me today what was the better way to write their opening sentences. Love it! It shows me they are thinking about their work and want to do their best. If I remember, I I'll share what we get when they are all done!

It was a bit awkward today with me and the teacher who won Teacher of the Year. She was almost condescending about it, then tried to brush it off like it wasn't a big deal. She told me she told everyone to vote for me, so she doesn't know why she didn't win. It was worse than getting the email on Friday saying she won. Just be happy you won and quit being a bitch about it!

There are 6 more Monday's of school. Scary! We have a lot to do, but I want to have some fun with my kids. I am going to be selective with my reading program for the rest of the year and just do what I want. There are some stories I don't like, so I may just skip them! No one will know or care. I figure the skills being covered aren't first grade standards, so it's OK. Plus, after May 4th, our benchmark testing is done, so teaching isn't as important. Sad, huh? I will still be teaching, so it's OK. Others? Not so much! For the rest of the year, we will be learning about plants and having some fun with that. It's my favorite unit! Then we will do something fun (and to be determined! Suggestions?????) for the last 2 weeks of school.

Well, I should be doing something constructive right now. Time to get laundry done, or read or go to bed early, though I am surprisingly not tired. Sleeping like crap must finally agree with me! Tomorrow will be the day I hear something from my dr, so I am a bit stressed, but trying not to think about it! Happy Monday!

4.08.2012

Thoughts

I don't have much to share with you all.  Sorry, but I haven't spent a lot of time on the computer lately, even though there are things I want to make.  I would rather be spending the time doing others things, so I do!  I wanted to post tonight, so here are some thoughts going through my mind.

* I was nominated for Teacher of the Year at my school.  Yep, just nominated.  It was between me and another teacher.  The loud one from my grade level.  Who won it just 3 years ago.  And won it again this year.  I'm not really bitter (a little, maybe), but it makes me wonder.  People talk bad about her sometimes, get frustrated with her and all, and she wins.  Makes me wonder what they say/feel/think about me.  I was bummed on Friday night when I saw the e-mail, but nothing I could do about it.  My principal e-mailed me a nice e-mail, so that made me feel good. 

* I am having my kids write and illustrate their own stories this week.  We are going to toss the curriculum aside for the week and have some fun.  I am sure it will be pure chaos, but I am ready...I think.  We are having a Young Author's Tea in a couple of weeks for the kids who have written their stories.  I want them to have enough time to write them, illustrate them and then time for me to bind them.  I am excited.  I have had students write stories in the past each year, but I have only done the tea twice - once 10 years ago and the school did it and then about 7 years ago and I did it with my own class.  This time will be just the grade level (minus the Ice Queen, who never responded to my e-mails), so it should be fun.  We will be figuring it all out this week...hopefully! 

* I was thinking about this year and what I have done with my kids.  I am proud of all the art we have done.  We started the year with a lot of directed drawings.  Then, we did a lot of cutting and gluing (my kids are fans of magic circles and ovals!) to make our pictures.  Now, we have been doing painting.  Each week, we have made something where we painted the paper and then went from there.  It all started with our birds, then our giraffes, our frogs and this last week butterflies (I have some pictures somewhere...maybe I will take pics of them all, soo!).  We will be doing fish this week and then our turtles next week.  The kids love it, the pieces turn out pretty good and it's another art medium that I rarely used in the past.  Granted, I have a sink now and didn't before, so that is a big help!  We will have one last big project to do with plants, and I am trying to figure out how to do it.  I want to do a mosaic with different seeds, but I can't figure out what to glue them on to so they are strong enough to stand on their own.  Any ideas?  Also, I would have to go buy glue to make it work (we only have glue sticks and there is $0 to buy supplies).  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. 

* We have 7 short weeks of school left.  I think my kids are as ready as they will ever be.  The ones who try really hard are doing so well.  They have all come a long way.  The others who don't try as hard worry me, but what more can I do?  I tutor 4 kids at lunch twice a week (on my own time...there is no money for 1st grade tutoring...we aren't that important) and I don't know if it's helping.  I guess it can't hurt them.  And they aren't super low, but low enough that the second grade teachers will make a huge stink about them.  Which is another thing that worries me!  Ugh!  No wonder I can't sleep in the spring! 

* I hope to get some answers from my dr. on Tuesday.  This whole there-may-be-something-wrong-with-you has been on my mind.  I am worried, scared, nervous that something is wrong.  I am hopeful that whatever it is has a fix and I can get on the road to being normal.  And, I need to get back to being good about my eating.  This last week I let it all go.  We went out to dinner, ate crap food and I had more candy today that I have in the last 6 months combined.  Now I feel like a gluttonous fool.  But damn, that candy was good! 

Well, it's time for me to hit the hay.  5am comes very early when the alarm goes off to tell me to get up and work out.  Not my idea of what I want to do at that time, but it's an OK way to start the day.  Plus, my workout is done and I can get a lot more done in the afternoon...or not!  Here's to another great week of school...and counting down continues!  Happy Sunday!

4.04.2012

My brain won't stop!

I have had a hard time sleeping at night. There is so much going on and I can't get it all straight. I am in a "crazy mode" right now. I feel like I am going slightly more crazy than the day before. I don't like it at all. Maybe putting it out will help me catch some zzzz's tonight!

* we have our last benchmark test at the end of the month. But, with state testing for the other grades, we are last priority. We haven't been given our practice tests, and the principal even told me she doesn't care what we do since we don't test. Lovely, huh? She wants us to do well, but we aren't getting lots of support.

* we are going to have a Young Authors Tea for our firsties. It was my idea, but I haven't even had my kids start their stories. I am planning on doing them next week, throwing the Lang. Arts program out the window for the week and making it a writing filled week. One of the other teachers, who jumped on this very quickly, has talked about it every freaking day since we brought it up. Really? I am glad you're excited, but come on!

* I am worried about my kids going to second grade. Nothing we do is good enough for them. My kids are so kind and sweet and work so hard. I worry about how they will do next year. It makes me very sad. I am trying to relish my last days with them.

* I am trying to figure out something fun for my kids to do during testing time. the principal gave us the go ahead to do fun, so I want to do something fun. Guess I need to look on TPT to see what's fun and cheap!

* open house is causing me stress. And it isn't for another 6 weeks! I want to put all my animal stuff up, but I also have old stuff to go up and plant stuff. I am very overwhelmed with it all. And to top it off, the fire marshall is coming back again to check since we didn't pass the inspection, thanks to a whole building of teachers. Thanks a lot!

* on a personal note, I have been doing WW for 8 months and I have been stuck for 3 months. I am more than frustrated, feeling bad about myself, filled with doubt, self pity and all things negative. I finally had a breakdown on Sunday (at WW, mind you), and the leader told me if it was her, she would go to the dr. So, I put on my big girl panties and went (I love my dr...I get in right away!). After telling her my woes, she suspects I may have PCOS. Awesome! So, I get to go get bloodwork done in the morning and get a million and one hings checked out. Then, I will find out on Tuesday what the tests show. Then, if I am lucky, I get to go through an ultrasound to check out the goods and see what's going on there. Sounds like a barrel of laughs, huh? But, I hope there is a reason why things seem all out of whack lately. I don't want anything to be wrong, but if it is, iwant there to be a relatively easy fix. So, I have that on my mind along with everything else.

* Hubby and I get a date night on Friday! My daughter is going camping with her grandparents, so we will have a night alone! Bring on dinner and a movie! We are going to go see American Reunion. We've seen all of them, but we saw the second and third together over the years. While it isn't too cerebral, imcan use a good laugh!

* well, I think it's bedtime. I have to be up and out early to go to the lab, so it's early to rise, early tomleave and early to get to work! I do need ro get up and put sleeping beauty to bed who fell asleep on my lap...it's the perfect way to end the night with my baby on my lap!

Happy Wednesday!

4.01.2012

Nothing like a vacation

Wow!  I had the best intentions to post over spring break, but then I took a break from all things school.  It was wonderful.  It was fabulous.  It was too short!  But, thinking now, there are only 40 more days of school.  40 days to impart all the knowledge my kids need to be able to go on to 2nd grade.  40 days to do all the fun stuff I have wanted to do but don't have time to do it in!  YIKES! 

I did not do one school thing on vacation.  I brought home stuff to do (a lot of stuff that's still sitting there in the bag that now has a layer of dust on it) and I didn't do it.  I have lesson plans to write that are now done, but not fabulous.  It's OK - no one sees them but me.  Which I am ever so thankful for!  I need to be making some games for my kids for the week, but I haven't got up the desire.  I figure blogging might help me (or not!). 

I really don't have anything educationally wonderful to talk about today.  My daughter's school had Open House on Thursday (I was off for spring break, she wasn't...bummer).  We went and oohed and aahed at her classroom.  There were a ton of people there.  She's at a charter school and all the parents are there all the time.  I wish my kids' parents were that involved.  Anyway, I was talking with her teacher and she was talking about lesson plans.  They have to have their lesson plans emailed to the principal by Sunday night.  WHAT?  That is crazy!  Mine has never even looked at mine, much less demanded they were done within a certain time.  I have weeks that the plans are blank.  Not great for my teaching, but I have been doing this long enough that I know what I am doing.  Oh, and to top it off, she said that if an admin walks in, they are to be doing what's on the plan.  Um, I try, but there are days when we are having fun learning something and it takes us over!  I will take my half done lesson plans any day! 

We walked to the first grade room to check it out.  Wow!  I was surprised when I walked in there.  EVERYTHING for the most part was from The Inspired Apple.  There were 5 different things I recognized from reading the blog.  I try not to make my whole room from a blog, but this was over the top.  It was like she took Abby's room and tried to import it. 

I spent a lot of time this week relaxing.  I bought my first book on my iPad.  I have tried to stand strong in NOT buying books for my iPad, but I gave in the week.  I bought the book Fifty Shades of Grey.  I hadn't heard much about it, other than it was a pretty popular book.  I bought it Wednesday night at 5pm and was done by Thursday at 1pm.  Good story, but if you blush easily, then it's not for you!  It's not my typical story either, as I am more of a Danielle Steel/Kristin Hannah kind of girl.  But, dang, that story was hardcore.  But, it's a cliffhanger, so I had to buy the next one.  Not as quick of a read, but still good.  I like the story a bit better than the first, but I am not done with it yet.  Life is getting back to reality, so I have things to do now! 

I am looking forward to the end of the year.  I am ready to spend some time at home with my daughter when we are both out of school.  We will be going to Florida for the first time at our time share.  hubby and I have been to Florida for a day and went to Epcot, but this time we will be there for a week and visit 3 parks and get out of Dodge for a bit.  Then it will be back to reality for hubs while my daughter and I have the whole summer to ourselves - Legoland, the beach, the animal park, arts and crafts and of course the summer reading programs for the library.  Good times ahead! 

Well, I need to dig deep and find my motivation for getting work done.  I have a wonderful massage appointment scheduled at 3, so I need to get something done before then.  Happy April and here's to a great week back to work!