Monday, September 28, 2009

School update

In class, last week I had the kids start practicing a few reader's theater scripts just for a fun little activity. Today I let them spend about 20 minutes rehearsing and making costumes for their performances. It was so cool to see their creativity at work! Of course I can't post pictures of the students, but there are a few that I think I can get by with:

The best was when Chicken Little tore up some pieces of paper to use as corn to peck on the ground and then went a little overboard with the pecking. That's when I found myself saying: "If you don't stop pecking the ground, your beak is going to fall off." Shortly after that I started wondering what kind of circus act I'm running around there...

Speaking of child creativity, Thursday was presentation day for the kids doing my independent study program that I blogged about here. It was one of those times that (as a teacher) I was so proud that I thought I was about to cry. I didn't tear up when T taught us about famous chemists and then performed two chemical reactions for the class (soliciting a TON of ooooooohs and aaaaaahhhhhs). I didn't tear up when J taught us about pop art, or when H taught us about killer whales. I didn't even get teary eyed when J taught us all about Einstein's childhood or J spoke about how to become a PE teacher. What got me was when M sat down in my rocking chair to read us her children's book (that she wrote) about giraffes. She asked us to close our eyes and pretend were were baby giraffes, and she was going to be our tour guide through our early lives. She then proceded to read her (beautifuly written and illustrated) book in an Australian accent. Precious!

It was truly amazing and I was so proud of my kids.

Have I mentioned that I LOVE teaching third grade?

...Not that 1st was bad....

But I'm happy right where I am!!!!!

And guess what else? I am OFFICIALLY 1/2 way finished with my M.Ed in administration!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

A quick one. Okay maybe not so quick.

Hello, family and friends!

I have been feeling guilty about not updating very often because I've been told recently by people that I don't get to see very often that they check my blog often to see what's going on. I'm going to try and do better!

I guess I'll start with a home update. I got pretty sick last Thursday and left after school with an over 100 degree fever. I stayed home Friday, slept all day, and started feeling better by Saturday. Saturday Kevin and I went to dinner and Speed Zone (putt-putt and go carts) with some friends. Jarrett and Van were visiting from Detroit and it was so awesome to see them and spend time with them! Afterwards they and Allen and Casey came over and played some serious Guitar Hero, lol. I tried the drums on "hard" and it almost killed me! Sunday Kevin and I went to the Ranger's game, out to dinner with the same friends, and then came home to relax and watch the Cowboys. I did some laundry and got to sleep early while Kevin watched the game in bed.

I'm thinking I need to take little Bella to the vet again because she has developed some sort of allergy on her legs. I'm thinking it's from the grass or some sort of weed in our backyard (or maybe a fertilizer or something)? It's weird because we havent changed anything in our yard but this started a couple of months ago. It doesn't matter if she's only out for 2 minutes; when she comes back in she'll have these red blotches all over her feet and legs. She's been licking them so much that she's starting to lose hair around her toes. Yikes. I feel like such a bad dog mommy, but I have been so busy! I've been washing her feet when she comes in and giving her baby benedryl morning and night. I just don't know what else to do but to take her in. Sigh.

Okay, on to school. This morning I got up super early and arrived at school before 6:15! I knew I would have a lot of grading and clean-up to do since I had a sub on Friday. I got it all done before school and was happy to see my kids. One of them said "I can tell you're feeling better because you're smiling today. You weren't smiling on Thursday." After school I had tutoring from 3:00-3:45, and then PACE from 3:45-4:45. Man that was a long "kid day." There are two types of long days when you're a teacher: There are days that are long because you stay late to catch up on things, grade, etc. And then there are long "kid days," days that you can't get anything done because you are running a million miles an hour in front of the kids and involved with them. That was today.

I gave my first math assessment of 3rd grade today. I was terrified about it because it was SUPER HARD. I'm not kidding you guys - ridiculous. Well, Kara was right and my kids really came through for me! The work they were showing, along with the fact that several of them suprised me by making 100% on, made me seriously want to jump for joy! I was so proud of them :)

I have to share this with you because it was so hilarious. The other day we were writing about the worst day we've ever had and his little boy wrote: "The worst day I ever had was when I was playing baseball with my friends and the ball aimed right for my KIWIS." HAHAHA. Hilarious.

I'm still loving being a third grade teacher, in case you couldn't tell.

Annnnnd then there's grad school. I am one week (one assignment, a discussion, and a test) away from being 1/2 way done with my program. Six classes down, six to go! The good news is I've heard that I've already gotten the worst 2 out of the way during the first half of my rotation, so that's a relief. In about 3 months it will be time to take my Texes Principal Competency exam...shudder. I'll also get really busy with PDAS and ILD training...two more things required for certification and graduation from my program.

I'm watching one of my new fave shows now, lol...HOARDERS! I just finished up some laundry and got my crock pot ready for tomorrow's dinner (bloody mary chicken). After the show's over I'm going to sleep. Goodnight!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Update :)

I can't believe I've gone two weeks without posting...again! Actually I can - life has been so busy lately. Between adjusting to a new grade level, working three days a week at the after-school program on my campus, and trying to survive my online M.Ed. program, I barely have time to breathe!

School is going well. I enjoy my older students because I am able to spend almost my entire day teaching rather than reminding them how to behave in school. I can also laugh with them and genuinly enjoy talking with them. Every Tuesday I host "Lunch with Teacher" day for students who choose to purchase it with their tickets. I typically have about 6-8 of them and we just sit in a circle and talk and laugh. I really like it! I am very happy with my class.

It's been a little difficult adjusting to the increase in grading and the (already) increase in stress to prepare them for the tests in the Spring, but for the most part it's been a smooth transition. It's also been stressful figuring out how to differentiate my instruction to benefit ALL of my kids, since half of them are gifted and the other have are struggling. I really have no "in between," which is who the district-provided curriculum is intended for. I think I've just about gotten it figure out, though. When my principal asked me if I would ever go back to 1st, I quickly responded "No!" Not that I didn't love 1st, but I've realized how much MORE I love 3rd :)

Last weekend I spent a relaxing weekend with my family in College Station (my parents, Lindsay, and her boyfriend Ben met me at my grandparents' house) with my family. We spent most of the weekend riding 4 wheelers on my grandparents' land, which was so much fun! We like to blaze our own trail through the brush as we go along in our train of 4-wheelers, the Ranger, and the jeep. One evening we went into town and ate at Mr. Gatti's, and then the 4 teens (my cousin, my sister, and their significant others) played games (ok, maybe I played a few too). All in all, it was just a great weekend.

This weekend it's rainy in FloMo, and we slept in until after noon and watched a movie. Then I took a midterm exam and graded 7 stacks of papers. All that's left to do this weekend is get my nails done and clean the house - maybe not in that order! We're currently debating what to have for dinner and where to go to church tomorrow. Decisions, decisions.

I do have a couple of funny stories to tell you from the week, actually the first is from last week but whatever.

1. I've befriended the man who comes to do maintenance at our school every two weeks, but I was still surprised when he brought me a gift back from his trip to Mexico the weekend before. He walked in near the end of the day while my students were working and handed it to me, and then I thanked him and asked him about his trip. No big deal. It was a cute circular woven box with flowers on the top (perfect size for tortillas). After he left, one of my students and I had this conversation:

Student: What's in that box?
Me: Nothing. This IS the present. The box is actually the present.
Student: I think theyuh should be a wedding wing in theyuh.
Me: Um, well, I actually already have one of those (I show him my ring).
Student (flustered): Oh. Okay then. Maybe anothuh kind of wing then, whatever kind of wing you pwefuh then!

2. During our Tuesday lunch, I high-fived one of my students for some reason. She then said. "Okay. That was really weird. High-fiving your teacher is really weird, but very cool at the same time. I'm glad I have a young teacher to do awesome things with!"

3. Two of my students interviewed the math-science lab teacher for their independent study projects. Both of them happened to be in Tuesday Lunch shortly after. One of them announced that Einstein was kicked out of school for bringing a skunk in his lunch box releasing it in the classroom, and chasing it around "squeezing his sprayers to stink up the place." Immediately after, the other boy says "So kids, who wants to take a big whif of sulfuric acid?" What interesting conversations we have...

I'm sure I'll think of more after I publish this post, but I'll just have to post them later :)