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Summer vacation is in full swing here in my little spot on the map.  I've been out of school for 5 full weeks now and have 4 weeks left until I must be back at work.  Chances are I will start making appearances here and there.  I have a tub of things I've already bought (Thank you, Target Dollar Spot!) and some books that my daughter has passed down to me.  She's too big for some of the books she has now, so I get them!  I don't know what I'll do with her books now when she outgrows them...probably donate them to our school library.  Sigh...my baby isn't a baby anymore!

I basically took June off from thinking about school.  While I love my job, I was done this year!  I had a great class of kids, but they were challenging in terms of their academics.  I was pretty much fried when May came around.  I had a lot of PD days this year, which meant a lot of time out of class which meant a lot of lesson plans and a lot of reteaching. I took a week off for a family trip, so that meant lesson plans,  dealing with all the work when I came back, reteaching, parents, etc.  then I missed another week to help my sister when my newborn niece was sick out of state.  I think I missed 20 or more days this year, which is more than I missed when I had my daughter and when I was hospitalized a couple years ago.  It took a toll on me this year and I felt ineffective at times.  Throw in a math pilot again, and it was a funky year.  My kids this year were not great writers. I am NOT a good teacher of writing, and I know it.  I'm trying, but it's so not my forte.  My kids' writing suffered this year, so I really hope they get good instruction next year.  My goal this next year, among the million other goals I set myself, is to improve my writing instruction and have better writers.

We have a new math program this year.  Actually, we have 3 math programs this year.  After 2 years of piloting, lots of arguing and disagreeing, too many meetings and frustrations, our superintendent decided that teachers can choose their program they want to teach.  Yep, you read that right!  There were 3 programs to choose from and each teacher was able to decide what they wanted.  Scary!  We had the choice of GOMath, Eureka Math and instructional modules that were created by teachers in the district.  I piloted both GoMath and the modules.  I didn't care for the modules, as it wasn't teacher friendly (in my opinion) and it didn't meet the needs of our lower students.  It was created by teachers at our higher SES schools and it didn't address the needs of all the students in the district.  I was then torn between GoMath and Eureka math, but I ended up going with GoMath since the Eureka math is free online and I can print out what I need from there.  And, our district person decided that they were going to pick and choose what they felt was necessary from the Eureka math and they said they wouldn't print some of the things I thought would be beneficial, or at least a little more fun.  Oh well, once the door closes, I'm responsible for the little ones in my class, so I can choose what I feel is important!  😉

Now that we are heading into the second week of July, it's time to get serious about planning.  While each year is basically the same as the year before, I like to change things up a bit to keep is fresh and exciting for me.  I have a lot of new ideas that I am going to try to implement, so we will see how it goes.  A few more weeks of sleeping in, relaxing and being able to spend the days with my daughter before we are back in the rat race of school.  Hopefully I can enjoy vacation while getting things accomplished both for life and school.

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