Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ten Things - Summer

My friend at Mrs. Bartel's School Family posted that she was doing a list of things she wanted to do this summer, and linking up to Mrs. Jump. Sounds like a plan to me. I'm late to the party, but here I go!

1 - Spend some time with College Girl. 

Yea, I'm so glad she's home for the summer. I keep trying to talk her into staying next year, but I don't think I'm getting very far.

2 - Sleep, snooze, rest up. I'm so tired. {Isn't this the lament of every teacher at this time of year??} I am pretty sleep deprived, and it's a little hard to think straight when I'm this tired. 

3 - Ack! This is so scary! 

 Our basement has become a dumping ground for everything we're not using. So starting next Saturday, it is super clean the basement week. One week and we're done! {Whether we're done or not, we're quitting! I'm hoping we get a lot done!}

3 - Painting projects - A couple years ago, College Girl painted her room in sort of a graffiti style.

It's pretty cool, but she's ready to move on. So we're going to paint her room and the living room that hasn't been painted since we moved in - a long time ago!  
4 - Mother's Day present - a Kindle {I have NO idea what this Ham book is - and I'm most certainly not endorsing it - lol!} I've gotten some freebie books, or daily special books and snatched those up - so I've got plenty to read. I'm in the middle of one called Chocolate Beaches that I'm enjoying - but I'll admit, it's pretty easy reading.
5 - Love to spend time outside in my garden, just watering or looking, or tending. 

6 - Math - {again, this is a repeat goal from last year. Hmm, what's up with that?}
Our district is changing curriculum to Engage NY. I don't know how closely we are going to be asked to follow it - it's pretty scripted. My friend, Mrs. Bartel, used it this year and liked it. So, I'm trying to keep an open mind. I want to continue to push my kids to get their math facts - ack, if they can't do those, how do they move on to multiplication facts. I bought this:
Mastering the Basic Math Facts in Addition and Subtraction: Strategies, Activities, and Interventions to Move Students Beyond Memorization
Before I knew about the Engage NY. I'm hoping I can still use it.

7 - We're heading to Vancouver for a family vacation. I'm wanting to do some research to see what are the "have to do's" there. Any suggestions, any one?

8 - Play my piano - I'm working on a little bit harder song - so I need to practice. Yikes, can I believe I've said that? Practice??

9 - Some crafting with my girl - gotta do some of those Pinterest projects LOL

10 -
I think this chair is just calling my name.

Well, that's a start. I'll have to check in August to see how I've done. 
{Apparently I can't even count to 10, as I have two number 3s. I tell ya, I'm TIRED!}

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Happy Last Day of School

This shirt might sum it all up...

And it was a pretty happy last day of school. Our PE teacher so nicely plans Fun Day with a bunch of outdoor activities that we rotate through. {Usually there's a bunch of whiners. Go away, you whiners! I want a Fun Day, too!} But this year the whining was minimal - maybe because the temp never got all that high - I think it was in the upper 80s. And when they were soooo hot that they couldn't stand it another minute - I told them to look right over there, the Popsicle station was next. Haha!

This really has been my best class ever - well, in my 5 long years of teaching {LOL} and this week I've been a little sad that time is just rolling on and then they'll be gone. But no crying. Until I got this:

Dear Mrs. Sanders You have been the most best teacher!!! I hope you have a great summer. {Our} experience in second grade with you was wonderful. I hope I see you again.

Because who couldn't be happy being the "most best teacher!" And I still didn't cry. And then I gave hugs to all my little sweeties who put this together. And I still didn't cry. Until I hugged my last sweetie. And she was almost to cry. And I was like, uhun, nope, not going there. So I blinked quick and survived!

I've been so thankful to God for this wonderful, mostly sweet class I've had this year. I know that's not always the case - which makes me appreciate it all that much more. 

I'm so tired {what teacher isn't at this time of the year}, and I'm going to try to take a couple weeks to really rest and refresh. And then I'm going to try to figure out where in the world our math curriculum is going to take me next year.

If you are still going - be strong, the end is near. If you're like me, and done - enjoy! Happy Saturday!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Giveaway Galore

No, no, not for you teacher-readers. For my kiddos!

I gave away old math workbooks. I gave away posters that I've gotten with Scholastic book orders, I gave away old posters we'd made together. I gave away little rubber duckies from my daughter's graduation last year. 

And today, I gave away new books - every student will leave with a little love present from me - a book for them to read. 

And I hope these little ones I've had this year love it too - at least just a little bit more than they did in August.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Theme Days

Reporting on my last of the year theme days I did last week:

Monday - Stuffed animals - the kids loved bringing their stuffed animals, and carting them around every place they went. My rule was they had to fit in their back pack. I don't know how one boy got a {it had to be!} six foot stuffed snake in his, but he did. And I don't know how another boy got a 2 1/2 foot Rudolph in his, but he did. And I ended up having to make a "stuffed animal jail." 

"But, Mrs. S., the stuffed animal didn't do anything wrong," wailed one little friend. 
"He caused trouble, didn't he?" is my caring reply.

 See what I mean about Rudolph???? And guess who made it to jail - that's right Rudolph and the snake. Imagine my surprise!

Tuesday - Hat day - Fun, fun, fun. And only a few hats ended up in jail!

Wednesday - Outdoor day - wonderful, super, great, I enjoyed. We did math outside - tallying and graphing different outdoor things. We did phonics outside - find long vowel words - hopefully multi-syllable words. We did reading outside - on the slide, on the swing, on the jungle gym. I enjoyed this day so much! 

Thursday - Bubble Day - boo hiss, probably not going to do this again. The bubble gum, while a hit with the kids - they got it all over their face. And one kiddo kept his and had it after lunch - ummm, gross! And the bubbles to blow that I bought for them. Let's try smashing the bottles. Just aggravating. 
{Before I got aggravated - and my hub-bub reminded me, I was probably only aggravated at 2-3 of them.} 

Friday - Write with a pen, sit where you want. Well, writing with a pen, OK, not the best, but OK. Sit where you want. I let them change seats every time we came back in the room, so it was pretty good. But then they started talking too much, and I threatened sad times - and then I followed up with sad times, and those little dorks liked sad times - 

{Sad times is desks all separated out.}

So onward and upward - crazy last week.  More to report later!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Last Full Week

I'm doing a little Happy Dance!

{and I love Calvin and Hobbes!}

Monday starts my last full week of school. 

I was feeling a little sad for my sweeties. We didn't do any field trips this year. It's a sad combination of several things. 

So I decided I wanted this week to be a little bit more
And consequently, I've planned sort of a "theme" day for each day next week. 

Monday is stuffed animal day. I'm truly hoping that I said this enough times on Friday that my little friends remember. I do have about 6 or 7 stuffed animals hanging out in my room, so I can rescue anybody that needs it. LOL

Tuesday is hat day. Ah, why is such a little thing such a big deal? I do have some slight concerns that some of my little friends Will Not Make it even to lunch with their hat still in their possession - ie, not in my possession. But we shall see.

Wednesday - outdoor day. I have a shortened math block on Wednesday, so I thought we'd go outside and do some graphing type stuff. And do a read aloud outside. And do some partner reading outside. And maybe sneak in a snack. Just don't know for sure about that!

Thursday - Bubble day - Target had packs of 3 bubbles for $1. Couldn't pass that up. So now every little friend will have some bubbles of their own. And some bubble gum. Because that's just so naughty at school - haha.

Friday - Sit where you want and write with a pen. I mean really! Write with a pen! Sit where you want! This is going to be great! And eat in the classroom. Which for some reason we haven't done all year, either. 

And this little tidbit made me chuckle. On Friday, when I was explaining they could bring a stuffed animal on Monday, I asked, do you want to know about the rest of the week? Yes, yes, yes, said most. But a few didn't want to know. So I told those few that didn't want to know to head out into the hall for a minute while I told the rest. Haha, all of a sudden it seems like most of them would rather be in the hall for 1 minute than find out what we are doing for the rest of the week.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy May Day

Ok, this is only 10 days slow, but it turned out to be a pretty wonderful thing. 

When I was a girl...
we did a real dance thing around a Maypole. It was so much fun. We'd weave in and out, around people, and if some dork, I mean boy, messed things up, Well! 
And my mom always had us make May baskets and we'd run them over to the neighbors and ring the doorbell and run like crazy. Ah, so much fun!

So I tried to explain all of this to my class. And then they made little tiny May baskets. And got to pick two pieces of candy for it. {And this is the cutest aside, but they had their choice of Starburst and/or raspberry Kisses. Two pieces of candy, any combination. Most of them picked one of each, and everybody that could picked a pink Starburst - because you know, those are the best. Those little givers :)}

Everybody drew a name out of the hat and that's the person they made their May basket for. And some of them were sneaky and their person never knew. {Love my little friend that said he was sneaking in like a ninja!} And some of them just handed their May basket to their person. 

And I love doing these kinds of things. Because it helps them be a giver. And it helps them think about doing something for someone else. And they get a little chance to be creative. And it's fun.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Why I Became A Teacher

I just discovered this week that Crystal, over at Teaching Little Miracles is also a Kansas blogger. 

 Teaching Little Miracles

And she wrote a nice post about why she became a teacher. And at the end, she said she was doing this because of the attacks {especially, it seems, in our state} against teachers. 

Yeah, I want to take the high road, too. 

So here's why I became a teacher. 

When we first moved to this community, I went to an informational meeting about "how to become a teacher." But this community doesn't have a four year university, so hmm, I decided I didn't want to do it. 

Fast forward a couple years, well, several. My one and only little girl starts school. And I spend the whole year super cleaning the house - lol. 

But when my girl got to 2nd grade, I apply for and become a sub. And I really enjoy it. I liked looking at a teacher's plans and making them work. I liked connecting with the kids, even for one day - although there were several classes that I subbed in many times. And, really, I liked seeing what teachers did in their classrooms. So I start thinking again, why don't I do this. By now some universities have outreach programs in my community, and I can do some classes totally online. So I decided to go for it.

I went very, very slowly - I think I took two classes a semester. I already had my Bachelor's {in something else}, so that helped. 

OK, as I read back over this, it seems more like a "how I became a teacher" - not why. I just like kids. Whenever I volunteer at church, it's with the kids. I like trying to find creative ways to interest them and help them learn. I like trying to make some story that we have to read from our reading series come alive. I love when we can get all excited about dinosaurs, or insects, or a story about Julian. I like to watch them paint - when they don't get to do that at home. Or even, give a little back rub that somebody doesn't pull away from.