Friday, September 2, 2011

Beginning a New Year

I can't believe that another year is upon us. I am going to have 23 first graders this year- all to myself. It's amazing. Such an enormous responsibility. I love it. I get so excited every year, and every year I think about all the good I can do and the difference I can make in a child's life. It is so amazing. I am a rockstar to many of these children. It's an amazing feeling. I'm not Janet Jackson or Julia Roberts. I'm just me... teaching these little guys to read and write. Instilling a sense of empowerment in these children is such a great feeling. I feel, almost, selfish. I am just a regular person. I'm not Ms. Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey... yet I make a difference. I know I do, and that is enough for me. Their smiles and sense of accomplishment is fulfilling. It is why I drag my tired behind out of bed every morning. I will continue to drag it out of bed - continue to have those "back to school" nightmares... Until I don't have it in me anymore. There will always be those students that baffle me and make me rethink everything I think I know about my ability to teach. But I'm not quitting.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some other projects...

One thing about me that you may or may not know is that I LOVE restoring furniture. My husband calls me a "trash-picker", but I think of it more like a rescuer. I love old pieces that have seen there day, taking them home, fixing them up and painting them for my home. 

This is a little something I am working on. It is a hutch that came out of my great-granfathers condo in the North End.

I was dragging my feet for QUITE a while waiting to
start this project because I new it was going to require quite a few steps. I'm more of an instant gratification type of girl.

I have been visiting many blogs and read about this really great paint for furniture that requires very little prep work (minus this job of course because the hutch was SO caked on with paint that it HAD to come off before I could do ANYTHING to it).
It's called Chalk Paint, but before you go there, NO, it is not chalkboard paint. I ordered some because there are no stores that carry it here, yet.

I am really excited to try it out, but I have got to get the piece ready first. I'll post more pics once I get a bit further!

Before I did anything to it

After stripping most of the MANY layers of paint.

How'm I getting these bad boys off?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Milestone: Loosing your first tooth...

Yep, you guessed it... Miss Julia lost her first tooth. Is it me or does she look YEARS older?? She was so funny. Ever since she felt the first wiggle she was certain her tooth would fall out THAT very day. It was very cute. She'd wiggle and wiggle all day long, carrying napkins and tissues with her every day. Her brothers were so pensive about their teeth falling out. She pulled her own out! Seriously? I was SO excited to pull it out for her, but it wasn't in the cards for me. She did it herself. Did I ever mention that my daughter could TOTALLY have her own apartment right now? Yeah, she could.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The NEW Rug!!!

The kids have SO much more room. I had a bit of rearranging to do, but it was well worth the extra work. Everyone knows where they belong, there haven't been any stepped on fingers in a while, and I actually have a space to put my feet!! YAY, DonorsChoose!
YAY, Rug! 

Doesn't it look nice?! I am just so happy! Can you tell that I am REALLY happy?

Between the new rug and this new behavior chart: My classroom has been working like a fine tuned machine. I found this chart on a website. The name is eluding me right now, but I will post it as soon as I remember. I have a paperwork on it at school. LOVE IT!!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Did you know??

We have learning about animals and habitats for the past two weeks. The kids have been loving it. On Friday, the students created an animal they read about with colored paper. They have been writing "Did you know...?" sentences about the different animals they read about, so I attached the animal to their sentence paper and put it up on the bulletin board. They are going to be so happy to see it on Monday.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

America Unit

We learned more about American Symbols this week. I bought the Unit from Deanna Jump's TPT store. The children really enjoyed it, and I was so impressed by their work. They really got into the drawing of the symbols, as well as the writing.

After reading a book about each symbol, we added facts to our tree map. Then, I would attempt to draw the symbol first, by looking at the different "shapes" I could see in it. I have been trying this a lot lately. I often have students who don't like to draw, or think that they don't draw well, and tend to avoid it as much as possible. When I model drawing, I break the image up into different shapes and use that as my "base picture". Then I add details to the drawing wherever needed (eyes, noses, beaks, what have you). The kids think I'm Picasso. I get all kinds of "ooohs" and "aaahs" as I make my attempt. Every now and again I'll be, heckled, as I like to call it. I have a few hecklers this year. Let me tell you, 6 and 7-year-olds are VERY observant! The second you mess something up, they are all over you. Huh, I wish they were that focused on the lesson!

Yesterday, we made paper eagles by tracing our hands and one foot. They had such a great time making them. They were all helping each other out by tracing hands and feet for each other. There was tons of giggling as feet were traced.

But I have to tell you one of the funniest things that happened...

I had made a model of the eagle earlier in the day and showed them what we were going to be doing after we finished the last page of the symbol book. As I went to sit down (eagle in hand) to explain "HOW" we would go about creating the eagle an antsy friend started babbling loudly, "An EAGLE? How are we supposed to make an EAGLE? I can't make an EAGLE. That's too hard. How can we do that???" Heh, considering it was close to the end of the day, and this was one of that student's umpteenth outburst, I turned to the child (eagle STILL in hand) and said in my most patient teacher voice, "Well, if you would let me sit down and speak, I will tell you all how to make the eagle; however, if you continue to yell out like that I am going to say "Clip Down" which will land you on Teacher's Choice, and my choice will be for you to sit out. Do you understand?" The student looked at me, and nodded yes. As I went to address the whole class, one of my other friends at the rug added, "Yeah, and the eagle's looking at you, too."

I almost lost it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Life Cycle of a Frog

So, we have these little creatures in our classroom. Man, do they stink! The custodians HATE when we have frogs. Our night custodian keeps asking me how long the Frog Unit will last. Poor Guy.  The kids absolutely LOVE the frogs. I love that you get all the stages (minus the eggs) so that the kids can see them all at the same time. They change right in front of them. I have a Frog Observation Sheet that the kids fill out when they observe the frogs. Very cute.

They go from this...

to this...

then this...

Until, TA-DA... this

They are kind of cute, if you like smelly and slimey...

My new purchase!

My new favorite!!! I bought these boots on Etsy. I absolutely LOVE them!!!  YAY!! I wore them to work today and my feet are still feeling good! A+ to DAWN and her store - FeralPonyVintage... CHECK IT OUT!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ten Things I've Learned from Teaching

A BUNCH of the blogs that I follow are posting... The Ten Things I've Learned from Teaching. They call it a LINKY PARTY. I still have no idea what a Linky Party is or if you need an official invite; however, I have apparently decided to invite myself.

The Ten Things I Have Learned from Teaching

10. If a child has a scab from three weeks ago, they will still try to use it as an excuse to go to the nurse's office today.

9. Children eat pencils, erasers, and most of all glue sticks. Please feed your children before sending them in.

8. Be prepared to loose your ENTIRE class the second they see the first snowfall of the season outside.

7. It doesn't matter if you pre-number every other line for sentences. Most of the children will still start at number 1,  and where ever that sentence ends - write number 2, and so on. When they are done they will ask you what all those other numbers were for.

6. 0+0=   is a trick question to most 6-year-olds

5. The statement... "I don't get it."  I still don't get it.

4. Frogs are carnivores and WILL eat their tank mates should the opportunity arise.

3. Every child in your class will call you Mom, Mommy, or Mama at least once, and your heart will melt.

2. A first grader will write during the entire writing workshop if you let them use a felt tip pen.

1. I have the BEST job on the planet.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Project was FUNDED!!

I am so excited!! I posted a project on Donors Choose a while ago, and I found out yesterday that it was compete! I would have posted yesterday, but I fell asleep while putting my 6-year-old to bed. I'm sure that doesn't happen to anyone else.  Now I will just have to figure out how to rearrange my room in order to fit the rug into my meeting area. Right now I have two medium sized areas, that don't really fit everyone comfortably. That should be an interesting undertaking. I can see the custodians hiding from me already... "No, not that way... Can you move my desk over there?  Nope, that didn't work... How about in this corner...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

"Jack Quote" of the Day

Jack (to his father): "Dad, I think I went through puberty last night, and my voice changed."

Alrighty, then...

Today is the Day..

My husband has been wondering where I've been all weekend long. Tucked away in my office trying to figure this all out. I feel bad, but this is such my personality. When I start a project like this, it takes over until I figure it out completely. It's like school and my students. Not only do I spend 5 days a week with them, but now they are showing up in my dreams. Same scenarios... for example, Kramer* is hiding again... Everyone is looking for him. I am walking around the city searching for a child that is NOT even in my class! Seriously, this is a huge part of my neurosis. I'm guessing tonight's dream will have me being chased by a huge HTML sign with sharp teeth!

* names have been changed to protect the "not so innocent"

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Another Day in Blog Land

I am definitely NOT a candidate for Web design. This is hysterical. Seriously, I am awful. This endeavor of mine is going to be all about trial and error.

I've always wanted a blog. I tried a while back. I started out without a focus, a bit of ranting ensued and I gave up.  Not to mention the fact that work, children, life, and blogging were constantly jockeying for position until finally, sleep won over.

I'll figure this it out. It may take me a while, but I've been BLOG-stalking for so long, I am hoping that SOMETHING has rubbed off on me.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hmmm... This is going to be trickier than I thought

Um, yeah... This is SO hard. There are so many bloggers out there. Moms, dads, teachers, crafters... They manage the blog and work and kids and homes and actually BLOG. You know, like write on it. Not only do they write. They share cool things they've done. They say witty things, make people laugh, inspire us loyal "followers". Heck, I'm not even a good follower half the time. I have no right to try this out. I can't even center my title for crying out loud!

Well anyway, here she (and he, and he, and he...) is. I mean, I do have four kids, after all. Can't leave one out or else you get accused of having a "favorite".

'til tomorrow, ha did I say, "tomorrow"? Now THAT'S ambitious.