10.28.2012

When is vacation?

I don't think I have ever had a year as weird as this year is.  The year isn't really weird, it's more how I have felt this year about things.  I need something to change because I don't like the way I feel.  I keep trying to change how I feel and how I see things, but then it seems like things get worse!  Nooooo! 

This is the last week of the grading period.  Have I finished my testing?  Nope.  Started, but barely.  I have a lot to do, and just 4 "real" days to do it in.  I don't know how much I will get done on Wednesday with is being Halloween.  I will try, but you never know!  I feel very overwhelmed and I don't like this feeling.  I tried to change some plans, make it easier for me, but it ended up being more complicated.  So, back to the original plan.  I will get it done, it will all be OK. 

We haven't done much for Halloween in class.  We've read some pumpkin books, but no Halloween stories.  We've done a couple pumpkin things, but that's it.  I feel bad.  I'm not a big fan of Halloween (in fact, my daughter doesn't go trick or treating unless we are at Legoland) and I don't focus on it very much.  I have 3 days to get it all in, let the kids have some fun and then  it's on to something else come Thursday.  We are doing a scarecrow poem this week and scarecrow stories so we can do our scarecrow project on Friday.  Check out what it can look like here.  It's an all day project, but I really like it.  Did I plan for it to last all day?  Nope, but that's how my year is going!  :)  Oh well, what can you do?

Like everything else, I am overwhelmed.  So, this will be all for today!  For those of you in the path of the monster storm, I wish you well!  For those of you in So Cal, I wish we had fall!  I'm tired of this hot weather - 93* at the end of October is kinda crappy!  Happy Sunday!

10.22.2012

A Good Monday

You know how sometimes Mondays aren't the best?  Well, today wasn't one of those days!  It was a good day when I really think about it.  Yeah, I have duty, but it's after school.  My kids weren't perfect, but close enough.  I didn't get everything done, but that happens.  It was just a good day! 

And to make it better (thank goodness it wasn't worse!)...we are almost to the end of the term.  I am trying like a mad woman to get my testing done without interrupting teaching time.  I don't know if it will work, but dang it, I'm gonna try!  Anyway, I had about 10 minutes this afternoon while my kids were working on a project (note to self - recopy the paper and start again fresh...they bombed it!).  So, I called one of my kids over to do the sight word test.  We do the sight words every day, twice a day.  I just hope something sticks sometimes, ya know?  Well, one of my little guys who works really hard, doesn't get a lot of help at home and is really quiet - he got 77 words out of 100!  That's pretty good considering he knew 12 when we started!  They are supposed to know at least 150 by the end of 1st grade, so he's half way there!  Made me smile!  And the words he knew, he really knew.  He didn't have to sound them out!  Ah, the little things that make me smile! 

That and a good dinner from Panera.  Hubby has been out of town since Saturday, so it's me and my girl on our own.  I had to run to Dollar Tree to pick up some things for Girl Scouts tomorrow night, so we made a night of it.  A tasty dinner and some shopping.  Then home to get ready for tomorrow and wait for hubby to get home!  3 days is too much for this girl! 

Well, time to cuddle on the couch with my baby and wait for daddy to get home.  A little Big Bang Theory on the DVR to end the night.  Here's hoping for a good day again tomorrow! 

10.21.2012

Same old, same old

Well, another 2 weeks have come and gone.  And I haven't posted.  And nothing has really changed.  We are still busy learning and trying to cram it all in before testing for report cards.  There isn't enough time in the day or days in the week and weeks in the month to get it all done.  I need time to slow down for a bit, just so we can catch up! 

I haven't taken my camera to school in weeks.  We've been doing art and work, but no pictures.  Sorry.  We spent the last week and a half reading the bear books by Karma Wilson. 
I absolutely adore these books.  And, as I was googling the image, I saw there is a new book that I don't have.  I know what to be on the lookout for now!  Anyway, we spent the time in the morning reading the books and then discussing what the season was in each book, how we knew, etc.  We then had to summarize the book and we wrote it down on a chart.  And when I say we, I mean me.  My kids told me what to write and I cleaned it up and wrote it.  So we had a nice little chart with all the seasons.  They loved the stories, too.  In fact on Friday, we drew the bear from this story.  My doesn't look totally like him, but it was OK.  The kids did a great job.  I forgot to get them from the library before school got out, so I don't have them cut out and ready to hang up.  That will be my job tomorrow after school.  I can't wait to have them up and show them off! 

We haven't tackled fall/pumpkins/spiders/etc like I wanted to.  In fact, we haven't done much.  We have been reading some pumpkin books, but we haven't learned about pumpkins.  So my goal this week is to get 2 things done with pumpkins.  Not a lot, I know, but I can only do so much.  We were busy preparing for our benchmark test, so I was busy with that instead of having fun!  :)  Or, at least it would look like fun rather than teaching from the text. 

We are still dealing with the issue in the grade level.  We didn't meet this last week nor will we meet this coming week, so nothing will be accomplished.  We will meet on the 30th, and hopefully that will be the last time.  We have too much to do to be busy trying to make someone feel all warm and fuzzy.  Get over it, move on and be a team player darn it!  If not, go somewhere else and leave us be!  OK, that will be the extent of my rambling tonight!  ;)

Well, I need to plan for the week.  I have been in a creative funk, so there isn't anything new coming out of my brain.  And I don't like it.  We haven't had a day off since Labor Day, we don't get half days for conferences and our next day off is Veteran's Day weekend.  Then we work for 4 days and then have the week off for Thanksgiving.  I am working for that!  But, I have better get something done before the motivation leaves!  Happy Sunday!

10.07.2012

Today. Tomorrow. And every day after that.

I'm a little embarrassed that it's been almost a month since I posted.  But, life has been crazy, and something had to give, so it was my blog.  I figure this isn't a necessity in life, and my family and work are.  But, things might settle down a bit, and I am making some time today to finally get some things done that I have been wanting to get done.  Like blogging.  And making math journals.  Fun!!!!

We are moving along bit by bit at school.  We have been in school for 8 weeks now.  Sometimes it seems like we have been there forever and other times it seems like 8 weeks should be 4 weeks.  I am happy with the progress most of my kids are making.  I guess we all want them to do better than they are no matter where they are.  But, we are moving along, doing what we can.

I am having a strange year.  Strange to me, anyway.  I feel very flustered this year.  Very stressed.  Very lost.  I don't like it at all.  I'm making a goal to change that now.  Today.  Tomorrow.  Every day after that.  I don't like the way I feel at school.  There are several reasons why.  Some are me.  Some are my kids.  Some are the people around me.  Sometimes it's almost too much to handle.

Last year, I had a very high group.  They could do a lot (especially at the end of the year) and we didn't have to focus on the little things.  We had time to have some fun, think a little outside the box and do things that may not have necessarily been in our standards, but helped our learning and understanding of things.  So when I planned this year, I was planning for the same thing.  Well, 8 weeks ago, I met my little class and they are different than last years bunch.  They are much lower, with many more issues than my class last year.  So we are having to take things slower and try to hit all those little things.  And we have to do it again.  And again.  And again.  It's not as much fun.  And that's my fault.  But I worry when I think I will do something fun.  I worry that we aren't covering something important.  I worry that we are missing out on learning.  And then invariably, someone spills the paint on their clothes.  And someone cries that it's not fair that they didn't get to do the activity.  And then I wonder why I thought we would do it in the first place.  The fun is going away.  And I don't like that.  I need to change that.  Today.  Tomorrow.  And every day after that.

I bought the book for Daily 5.  I started reading it so I could make an effort this year.  But then I started thinking about my schedule.  I started thinking about what I would have to give up.  How would I get it all in?  How would I explain it to people who have no idea what it is?  So I stopped reading the book.  I had a million ideas in my head in the summer about what I would do and how I would do things.  And then none of them went into place.  And so now I wonder what I am doing and why I am doing the things I do.  I question what I do.  And they are things I have done for 15 years now.  And I am overwhelmed with Common Core and we aren't even there year.  We won't really start until next year or the year after that.  But it's in my head.  I need to wrap my head around something...but nothing is sticking.  And it sucks!  But that will change.  I am going to start looking at things in a different light and see where it goes.  I need to change my thinking about things.  Today.  Tomorrow.  And every day after that.

We have issues in our grade level.  Always have.  But things have come to a head now.  One teacher, who hasn't been happy to join in with us, chose this year to not be part of the grade level collaborations.  It was her choice and the principal allowed that to happen.  She allowed her to not be part of what we are trying to be.  Well, that teacher had had a change of heart and now wants to be part of the team.  Great!  I am all for that.  But she doesn't know how to go about doing this, so she had a meeting with a higher up in the district.  We all had meetings with this person then, to go over all the crap that has happened over the years.  So now, instead of being able to have a PLC with our grade level, we are going through "team building" activities with the district personnel.  Because we can't all play nice, we are having to go through this instead of our normal things we need to do as a grade level.  As the grade level lead, I am in the middle of it all.  People don't want to play nice and tell me they aren't going to do this or that.  Or I have to listen to them talk about how we are all going to be sued for harassment and we are all going to lose our jobs.  That won't happen, I have been reassured, but it still bugs me that I have to listen to this.  I have thought of not being grade level lead, but there isn't anyone else that can really do it.  So, I will do it.  I will continue doing what we need to do, but I have to try to not let others get into my head.  It's stressing me out BIG time, causing me to be very crabby.  I don't like it.  So, I will change that.  Today.  Tomorrow.  And every day after that.

I need to let things go.  I need to stop worrying (that's no east feat for me!  I'm a worrier) about others, stop worrying about how I am doing things and stop worrying about trying to get it all in.  I need to worry about me being happy, stress-free and focused on what matters.  It won't be easy, it won't be all done tomorrow, but I have a new goal, a new mantra.  Today.  Tomorrow.  And every day after that.