Sundays are great when Monday's a work day!

Ahhhhh...a relaxing Sunday, sitting on the couch watching Jimmie Johnson win another NASCAR championship.  What could be better?  Not having kids on Monday!!!!!  Yep, we only have to teach one Monday in November!  Last Monday was a holiday, tomorrow is a teacher work day and next week we are off for Thanksgiving!  November is our barely month for teaching.  I feel like we are barely in school.  I can handle that! 

Tomorrow is our annual teacher work day.  Some teachers use it for conferences, but I like to use it for cleaning my room, planning and prepping for the next month.  I have some piles gathered that need to be put away.  I also have a gazillion things I want to do in my room, but haven't made the time to do it.  I feel like I just fly by the seat of my pants.  Tomorrow will hopefully put a dent in all that!  I did most of my conferences last week.  I stayed after school and did 18 of my 26 conferences, 3 more are this week, 1 said they can't ever come and the rest were given a friendly reminder that I will be at school tomorrow to do conferences on a walk in basis.  I don't always love conference time, but this year it has been an eye opening experience.  I am seeing why the kids are the way they are.  Some are surprising while others aren't that big a surprise.  But, just a few more and I am done! 

I am planning on focusing almost the whole week on Thanksgiving.  I haven't had any time to do it, so we are going all out this week.  Mind you, we don't do a big feat or anything, so it's going to be a lot of learning, comparing and doing some crafty projects.  I hope the kids aren't too crazy (with the full moon, our crazy temperature shifts and vacation coming) and have a little fun while we are busy learning.  I'm sure I'm asking for a lot! 

I'm loving my new schedule of doing math in the morning.  I feel like we are doing more with math, but I'm also not rushing through language arts like I was.  I feel like I have more time to do it all, even if I really don't.  I just hope no one tells me I don't really have more time...that would break my heart!  Plus, our math topic right now is on geometry, so it's a little easier for the kids to understand than the addition or subtraction we have been working on.  We still do it, just not as hard core as the math lessons entail. 

Well, it's time for me to go watch the hockey game and cut out some shapes.  Little shape people are in our future on Tuesday and I want to be able to have one thing prepared for the week.  I'm also hoping to make some time tonight to watch another episode or 2 of Orange is the New Black.  Interesting show.  If you have Netflix, check it out.  It's not for the faint of heart (not violent, just language and adults scenes), but it got me hooked yesterday!  We watched 5 episodes last night...thanks to the grandparents for taking our daughter this weekend! 

Here's to a great, short week before Thanksgiving!  And we already have plans for the weekend!  Go us!  SO spontaneous of us to plan the weekend 10 days before!  We are going to see Garfunkel and Oates in LA.  They are a hilarious comedy duo who have both played in The Big Bang Theory!  Google them...they are funny, but again, not for the faint of heart!  Happy Sunday!   


Endings lead to new beginnings

That's a pretty deep title!  Really, it just means that we are done with the first trimester and moving on to the second trimester tomorrow.  I don't feel ready, but my report cards are DONE and ready to be printed.  I am done with testing for now and can get back to some actual teaching tomorrow!  I'm excited for that. 

I made the big change last week with our schedule and I think I like it.  It feels weird to do math in the morning, but we have the whole rest of the day for language arts.  By the time we get to the afternoon, the kids are pretty squirrely, but I hope they are still with it enough to do reading groups.  I have spent the last 2 weeks assessing during my group time, so it will be so nice to get back to doing reading groups.  And we were actually able to do some fun little social studies things in the afternoon.  Let's hope that continues! 

So, I'm not digging common core.  Am I alone in this feeling?  My kids came in so low this year and we are working hard, but I feel like I keep being force fed common core stuff that my kids can't do independently.  I had a conversation with our TOSA (who has less teaching experience than I do) about Common Core and how my kids aren't doing well without a lot of direct instruction (because as he puts it, they don't need as much DI as they do working it out for themselves) and he said that it's a shift in philosophy.  Um, my philosophy is to teach kids, not let them flounder.  I think my new approach will be to close my door and teach my kids.  They need to learn!  If they don't have good background knowledge, then how are they going to figure it out for themselves?  Someone please help me here!  Am I way off base?  I know I don't totally understand Common Core and in fact, I signed up for a class to help me figure it out.  Either I'm missing something, or Common Core is missing something! 

Speaking of class, I should probably go and look at it again and try to figure some things out.  I have 8 days left in November to teach.  And we have a lot to do in a short time.  Let's say freak out and panic, shall we?!  Happy Monday all!


November Currently

It's been awhile since I have actually posted a currently.  I figured now's as good a time as any!  It's been quite awhile since I blogged and changes are coming down the road for my kiddos! 
Listening: I love listening to the radio when I work on the computer.  I distracts me from all the other stuff going on in my house.  I did have to wait today to come into the office until after the NASCAR race was over.  I had to watch Jimmie win!
Loving: Between all the holidays, I only have to work with kids 13 days this month.  It's a much needed break!  But it's also stressful as there is so much to do between now and the 22nd! 
Thinking: My kids are going to FREAK out tomorrow!  I am totally rearranging the schedule tomorrow.  We need more time for things, so everything is being moved around.  November will be my test month to see how it goes.  We will now do math first thing in the morning instead of last thing in the day.  We will do our rotations at the end of the day.  I need more time for my whole group language arts, so that will be done in the middle of the day.  It will take a lot of getting used to by me, as I am a creature of habit and have had the same basic schedule since I have been teaching...and that's been 16 years!  But, I am going to try to embrace this change and see how it goes.  Wish me luck! 
Wanting: I want fall to be here!  It was over 80* yesterday!  I want it to be nice and cool.  I'll take 60* and be happy.  We are going up to our new mountain home this weekend, so I hope it's nice and fall feeling.  It's supposed to be in the 50's there and I am looking forward to it! 
Needing: Lots of things!  I need to start report cards, but the new changes to the new report cards have not been completed.  And the term ends Friday.  But we can't send them out until after the 18th.  Whatever!  My house is always a mess.  I admit it!  I'd rather spend time with my family than cleaning.  And they aren't a big help, so we opt for time together rather than a squeaky clean house!  And I need to stop stress-eating!  The peanut butter is almost gone and there aren't enough chips in the house right now!  Too bad I didn't like to stress eat on carrots and apples!  Once the next 2 weeks pass, I should be done with all the stress eating! 
Yummy pin: I LOVE this recipe!  I actually have it in the oven as I type.  These are my new go-to potatoes!  So yummy!  And so easy to make.  My whole family loves them! 


Dinner's about ready and my lesson plans are done!  It's a good Sunday night.  But there is still a million and a half things to do before tomorrow morning.  Happy November!