Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thankful for S

I saw this over the weekend at the Tattoed Teacher's blog - and I've enjoyed thinking about what I'm thankful for {except for yesterday}. Today is:

 S is for the Season. 

I love this holiday season - from the little Lord Jesus to the crazy atmosphere in my room when we try to make Christmas crafts. I love buying presents - and getting presents! I love getting to see my daughter for 4 weeks. I love the excitement and the hope for snow - and snow days! 

May your December be merry and bright!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Thankful for K

I saw this over the weekend at the Tattoed Teacher's blog - Today is:

Well, I kinda blew that - since I wrote about nice kids yesterday. Nope, couldn't save that for today. That would make life too easy.

And so.... kandy spelled weird, or kookies??? 
Or a kiss? Or koalas?? 

I've got nothing. Any ideas of what I can be thankful for that starts with a K??? 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful for N....

I saw this over the weekend at the Tattoed Teacher's blog - Today is:

Those little sweet petes that spend 7 hours a day in my class. From the kid who was supposed to be a behavior problem, who now likes to tell me little jokes; and my friend who asks if I want a hug; and the quiet little guy who gets a little smile when I excitedly tell him, "Yes, you got it!" to my friend who used to annoy me because he wanted to "help" too much - now I just say thanks and let him. 

And then I thought of the diving they do when somebody accidentally spills their pencil box, or the kid that shared a precious bookmark with a disappointed friend - who has trouble making friends. 

And I remembered the way they try to keep each other out of trouble - "Shhh!" or "You're not supposed to!"

Yup, pretty thankful for another bunch of good ones!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankful for A....

I saw this over the weekend at the Tattoed Teacher's blog. Today is:

I'm sitting here listening to the washing machine run, knowing the dryer will be next, and the furnace just kicked on - and what about the dishwasher, the fridge, the vacuum and the steam cleaner I used over the weekend - and etc. etc. etc. Oh wait! How could I forget this computer I'm typing on and my precious iPad {and smartphone!} Sheesh, how forgetful can I be!

Yes, I'm very thankful for all these modern conveniences that make life much easier for me!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thankful for H....

I saw this over the weekend at the Tattoed Teacher's blog - and I'm glad to share what I'm thankful for. Today is:

Where would I be without this sweet guy of mine? As I'm writing this, he has just finished cleaning the bathrooms and he's moved on to the dishes. Thank you!

He's my greatest cheerleader and encourager. He knows just when to say, "Do what you know is best." He came and ate Thanksgiving dinner with my kids whose parents didn't come. He goes grocery shopping and makes meals so I can get "just one more thing done!" He's been holding down the fort while I work on classes for my ESOL endorsement. He's just wonderful - and I'm so thankful for him.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thankful for T.....

I saw this over the weekend at the Tattoed Teacher's blog - and I'm also interested in remembering what I'm thankful for. Today is:

T is for Teacher Friends -
both the ones I've physically met,
and the ones I know over the Internet!
{in case you can't read the teeny-tiny type!}

This has been the year of teacher friends. The newbie teacher and the teacher that moved up from 1st grade have made lunch so fun every day. And we share ideas, and vents, and jokes, and on and on and on. 

And I have a couple blogs that I try to comment on regularly - and they return the favor. I like that, too. 

So yes! I'm thankful for teacher friends! What about you? What are you thankful for that starts with T???

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

You just never know

After conferences a week or so ago, I had one left. The family had gone out of town the week of conferences, so I hadn't had a chance to meet with them. I saw the mom after school and asked her if we could meet after school one day. So last Friday was it. 

It was a good conference, but she said one thing that stuck with me. She was saying that her son repeats the stories I tell in class {oh gosh, does that make me a little nervous - what all have I told them!}, and sometimes I talk about my daughter who's at college. So now, this little 2nd grader has decided that college is what comes after high school. He's been telling his high school brother that he needs to be planning for college. 

To me, this is a hooray, and although it's something unintentional with the stories that I share with them, it is something that I want for my students. I want them to see that there is more than just school, and just 2nd grade, and just the skills I'm trying to teach and share with them now. There is a whole big world of opportunities - and you need some sort of training, education, whatever to make that happen. I guess you just never know how they are going to get that idea!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Book Reviews

A while back, Tammy at Forever in First shared some book recommendations -- for people like me, you know, over the age of say 8 or 9.  So I did a quick little post about some of my recommendations.

But part of that conversation included the idea that part of the reason we read what we read is because somebody recommended it to us. And how do we do that with our students? 

Every month, I do a Scholastic Book order. I always get either some freebie books or have bought some with points. I try to let some kids who didn't order be the special first student to read one of these new books. And then I like to have them write a little about the book on an index card. Then I want them to get up and share a little about the book with their classmates. Well, they do share, but it didn't seem like that was enough.

So I made a Book Review notebook.

So if they want to read what Belen thought about the Fly Guy book she read, they can go check it out. Or if they want to read what Emily said about Ready Set Boo, they can. 

I just tape their book review cards to a piece of colored paper, put it in a three ring binder and put it in our class library. I don't know how much difference this makes to my students and what they read.I do think it makes my students who review feel a little important. And that's nice.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Some good stuff

This is some of the good stuff that's been happening with my class....

These turned out so cool! I had the kids gather some leaves - and I did too for this little friends who just didn't for whatever reason. Then they painted the vein side and carefully pressed them down on white paper. {Here's more about the process.} Some of them just looked amazing. The next day, I had them write on a postcard about them. Some wrote about the process, and some wrote about what they looked like. This turned out so much better than the first time I did it several years ago. Does that mean I'm getting better at giving instructions???? LOL 
When they got done with both pieces, I glued them onto brown paper and hung them in the hall - just in time for Parent/Teacher Conferences - and what's better than having pretties with some writing hanging in the hall for parents to see!!! 
OK, the only thing better is to remember to take pictures -- obviously right after I took them down and just before they went home. Phew!

This fun little project was a pumpkin version of our spiders. We had studied consonant digraphs - so I paired up students and they had to make a list of at least -- I don't remember, maybe 6 or 8 words with their digraph. Some of them even got to look in a dictionary. They had to give me the list so I could check for spelling. Then their digraph went in the middle of the pumpkin, with the words around it. They could decorate it if they wanted. 

We are enjoying our last couple days of Indian summer, before winter's coldness is suppose to bare down on us. I just got my husband to help pick the last of the tomatoes and clean up the garden. Glad that job is done. We're at 72 right now, with highs on Tuesday of 38, and Wednesday and Thursday around 30. Brrrr. So do you have guidelines at your school on how cold before you can't/shouldn't go out to recess? It's up to the teacher at my school, so I was just wondering. 

Happy weekend!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

How's it going?

One of the nicest things about this year, which I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before, is having some friends to eat lunch with.

And in this case, I definitely mean some friends older than 10!  Two of my teammates are ladies, and we all eat together every day, and the male teacher usually comes in for 10 or 15 minutes at the end of lunch and chats.

Sometimes, after a day filled with other teachers telling all their wonderful things, I go home and think: pooh, I'm not sure I'm hitting the mark. But then I try to remember to say to myself, 
one, yes, I am; 
and two, these are relatively new teachers - I don't think it's all happiness and sunshine. I'm just a little more vocal about my failings. 

And then the other day, the newbie teacher after she had talked about something she had done, said: Well, I don't know what I'm doing half the time. And the other gal teacher said: Neither do I.

What's the point? I wish we didn't feel like we had to make it sound like we always have everything together. Because I sure know I don't. I wish we could be a little more honest - that sometimes we hit the mark, and well, sometimes it doesn't go so well.