Sunday, November 6, 2016

3 Happy Things

So... I thought to myself, I want to be more consistent in blogging, because....
this may be the year, the year that I end up bald because I've torn out all my hair. 
This is the year that I told a teammate, "I was not sympathetic enough to you last year."
Because this year, my blogging friends, could be my worst year yet. Ack! 
And I definitely want to record it, so I can remind myself that if I can do this, I can do anything!

I got this for myself -- 

You can see, it's simply named: 3 Happy Things. I realized this morning, I need to get that out and record 3 Happy Things from school every day so I don't feel like things are a total mess. (And I hope I NEVER have to write as 1 of my happy things: 1 day closer to the end of the year LOL!)

So how is your school year going? Are things going well, or do you need to start a "3 Happy Things" book, also? :) 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


So the other day, I wrote about my one little friend. 

Last weekend, I started thinking that maybe my most important job with my class this year is letting them know I care. 

I've got the one little friend. 
I've got a Limited English student, who didn't get picked up until after I left school at least 3 times last week. She was one who gave me a hug on the first day of school. 
I've got a student whose dad told me they thought about holding her back, but they were getting a divorce (last year) and thought she was doing better now. (Not so sure on that, dad.)
I've got another student whose parents are separated, and she's got 7 siblings -- probably lots of half brothers and sisters.
One little girl is so interested in her possessions -- not sure what's going on there.
I'm concerned enough about what one friend wrote in her writing sample, that I'm going to copy it and show the counselor. 
And these are just what I can remember off the top of my head after 2 weeks of school. 
Oh, Lord, I just want a big lot of Love to spread around to all these little children that you've placed in my care this year. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

I have a little friend

So I have a little friend....
Wait, haven't I started another post this way? Why, yes, yes, I have! 

This little friend didn't even give me a honeymoon -- he was up and running on the first day. He talks, talks, talks. And lets me know when he doesn't like my corrections. And I'll admit, I haven't been as consistent as I should be in trying to figure out what will work with this little guy. 

But Thursday, heading out after school, I vented to the wrong teacher. And when I said something about him talk, talk, talking, she said, "I just knew there would be conflicts. I thought you wouldn't be able to handle him." I'm sure what she said was just off the cuff, and didn't really mean exactly what she said, but....

First it made me sorta sad, like "really??" And then a little mad. And finally, I was driving home, saying out loud to myself, "NO! That isn't true!"

And after Friday, I'm sorta glad she said that {well, only in the way that it spurred me on!} - because Friday, I took time to bend down and really listen to this little guy {he really is little}. And even though I didn't believe everything he told me, or at least didn't think it was the whole truth, I think it helped that he knew I was actually "hearing" him. 

It will probably be a long year with this little guy. But I want to try to keep remembering that he's an individual. Well, I don't know... that sounds pretty smalshy.  But I want him to know I care about him. And that I'm going to keep on trying with him.  

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Writing samples

So... woke up early on this beautiful, cool Saturday morning, and decided I'd get the yuck out of the way first --- grading baseline piece of writing. I got through it pretty quickly, and I'm glad I went ahead and did it because I got a few chuckles. 

Right in the middle of this piece: "I did a gasp. Then I said wow!!!"

And this one, "I pinched myself. Owch! Ouch! Nope I am not dreaming.

Another child wrote, "I am going on a hike. I forgot I was going home. I was like all men." Does this mean Amen? because he's so happy he remembered to go home?? Just using that, if that's what it's suppose to say, is certainly interesting word choice. 

One girl started hers with "There was a shooting star..." but it went downhill from there. 

Another student, one of my sweet ESL kiddos, said "we teleported to the fishing place." Wow! Love it!

Another ESL student added dialog! Whoo hoo. {No quotation marks, but I'm so happy about the dialog!!!}

One little friend added "zzzzz" for snoring. Ha, made me laugh!

I had another friend that used lots of colons. Pretty good for a 2nd grader -- except they are in the weirdest places: it jumped up and down and then: someone...

And I realize why some of my friends have a hard time spelling: "In din we wint..."  Translation: And then we went. Probably the way he actually talks, if I listened closely.

I'm overall happy with these -- and I was thinking -- I need to send the first grade teachers a happy note and let them know their work is appreciated!

Hope you feel appreciated today! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

First Day 2016

Well, we are back at it. We started in-services a week ago, and I had kids for a half day on Thursday; all day on Friday. 

One little friend was gone on Thursday, but present on Friday -- what a little talker. That makes such a big difference in the classroom. {It also seemed to encourage two other little friends to be blurters.} 

And so, I had to have a little talk -- with myself on the way home from school. I'm the one who sets the tone of our classroom, I'm the one who sets the environment. And worst of all, I'm the adult - argh! 

So, started this beautiful Saturday by sitting outside on my patio, just enjoy the birds talking, the stray cat visiting, a piece of pie for breakfast. And now I'm doing school work -- with a refreshed mind. Starting with a seating chart, then lesson plans, grouping students for centers, what did I miss in our first two days that I want to make sure I get to. 

And just a little side note -- mainly for myself. First impressions CAN often be wrong. Like the little friend who came to Open House with his dad and was being pretty squirrely -- nice boy, who does a great job following directions. The boy with long braided hair who is almost taller than me and has a stoic look on his face -- polite and respectful and helpful. The ESL student who is willing to give me a hug. So a reminder to myself to keep an open mind, and let those first impressions be counter when I really get to know my students. 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Project Achieve

So, first.... a little summer beauty --

My zinnias are blooming. They remind me of College Girl because we'll see a flower, and she'll say she likes it and then ask what it is. Almost always it's a zinnia!

And then there's this....

I did this for 2 weeks this summer. K-State, for the first time, offered a two week math professional development course here in my southwest corner of Kansas. 

And.... the bad was pretty bad. It was soooo cold at our high school where we did this -- I wore a sweater every day and long pants. And when we'd get done at 2:30 or 3, I'd drive home in complete bliss because my car was like a sauna and I could finally warm up. 

Also, we spent a little over an hour a day on math history. Gotta love the math geeks that were teaching us -- they loved what they were doing. However, my starting point is way down here {ok, just imagine me touch my knees} and their starting point is right here {here I'm touching my shoulders}. Do you see the problem? I never took calculus, so .... frustrating. I love when PD reminds you of what not to do in your own classroom. :) 

But the good --- oh, the good far outweighs the bad. We had a wonderful former professor who was so excited about sharing with us -- yes, yes, give us more! I got to collaborate with teachers from K - 6th grade; and collaborate with 4 other 2nd grade teachers from our district. The 5 of us broke down our math curriculum and looked at what we need to do to help 2nd graders become fluent in math. Oh! and fluent is defined as accurate, efficient, flexibly and appropriately. Not necessarily the tradition algorithm that I learned. And the wonderful former professor -- she's going to come observe my class at least twice. 

All this makes me very excited for August. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

My next year notebook

So I did this ---

Because I like fun little pretty things -- so my planning notebook is all that -- fun and little and pretty. Well, maybe not little. Anyway, I've got pages torn out of magazines, written notes, stuff I copied from the Internet, like from websites, Pinterest, and this one twitter chat I do {yikes - yes, I really do a twitter chat!!!} -- just all sorts of things. 24 pages of things. 

And then one day last week, yes, just one day, I got on my computer to sort through ideas I'd saved on there. That's good, that's good, oh that one is too. 

Are you getting the picture? 

I've got Too Many Ideas! 

Anybody else? I just want to try all these things. Because they all sound -- well, terrific. 

After a couple weeks, I'm going to have to start narrowing some of these down. But for right now, I'll just enjoy my pretty little notebook! :)

And just in case anyone is interested in my continuing saga of difficulties actually posting a post - this was hard, too! Couldn't get Dropbox to let me use my picture. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Class Story on Dojo

So, we went to visit College Girl for the long weekend, and I went on a walk, stepped off a curb, and crashed! I landed sorta sideways, and my ankle swelled into a huge goose egg. (I never really knew how that term came about until now.) And I realized, in a funny sort of way, God was telling me, yes, take a little break here; catch your breath; relax on the couch for a while -- and since you won't do that on your own, I'll help you. 

I'm feeling much better and able to walk without a crutch, but I'm going to take the next couple days easy. It's given me a chance to watch some videos and etc. that I wouldn't have made time for otherwise. 

And, the biggie! This year I've used Class Dojo to connect with parents. The Class Story feature has been wonderful! I've taken pictures of things we are doing, or something the kids have done and shared it with parents. I have about 2/3 of my class connected, and about 10 parents that regularly check. Anyway, the biggie, I just posted a picture of me reading the newspaper -- and within 5 minutes, I had a message back from a parent telling me what their daughter is reading! Win-win!! 

So I hope to keep this up throughout the summer. Maybe it will help a couple students do some reading! Here's hoping!!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Being Called Mom

OK, first I have to say that I am not happy with Yahoo or Google or somebody who is making it very hard for me to get into my blog.  That's all I'm saying about that!

Second, school's out for summer! And I'm alternating between doing a happy dance, and yelling, "No! I'm not ready yet!"

Third, I have this little friend. Or should I say I had this little friend. He was an interesting character. Always yelling out -- and sometimes the most off-topic things. The biggest one that sticks out in my mind is when he yelled, "I pooped my pants!" Umm, thanks for sharing. {And NO, he had not pooped his pants!} 

Throughout the year, he would sometimes call me 'mom' and a couple times, he asked if I couldn't be his mom.  

The last two weeks, the behaviors were going through the roof, and though I'd made it pretty much through the year without getting too upset at him, the Friday before school was out, I had had it! 

I'm slow to catch on, but a weekend away helped me take a minute to reflect, and I was able to go back with a good attitude on Monday. And part of that was because I realized this little friend is going home to a chaotic house, where "mom" is grandma, and mom, who is around, isn't really a mom at all. Our classroom was mostly stable and consistent. And perhaps unconsciously, he was realizing what the end of the school year meant for him. 

One winter break, I read a blog post by some lovely person {whom I can't remember now} who said something like -- enjoy your break, but remember for some of our kiddos, break is tough; it's not relaxing, it's not necessarily fun. 

This really isn't much more than a reflection piece for me, because I really want to remember my little friend. I want to remember that I was {mostly} able to find a way to work with him. And I wish I could do that with all my kids.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Phonics Posters

Oh my goodness! It's been so long since I've wrote a blog post, I had to move heaven and earth to get into my settings -- ok, really, I just had to try to remember my password. That's what makes getting a new hard drive so much fun!

If you can imagine, we only have 17 days of school left. No, I can't believe it either! 

I've got all sorts of things that I want to share with you -- I always think of them when I'm driving somewhere, or trying to go to sleep, or something like that. 

Anyway, we did these posters right before Parent Teacher Conferences. Always gotta have something pretty hanging in the hallway. 

Umm, yeah. The mind reading was not working that day. They could not see my vision - at all! Ok, maybe a few came close. 
My idea was to have groups take one phonics pattern we had recently studied and make a poster for it. I had hoped they would put our key word -- like for "ar" it's artist, and then write some other words that followed the pattern, and draw a couple nice pictures. Well, my AR kids came pretty close. Some of the others did, too. 

This reminds me yet again why it is so important to model, model, model what I am wanting. {Will they never learn? Yes, I mean me!} 

Happy Wednesday. I'm off this afternoon to get a filling. Really, as an adult, I should not be having that sort of problem!

Friday, February 26, 2016


So my desktop computer was running soooo slow. And a coworker said her husband could look at it. And there didn't seem much he could do, so it's back home now. But running even slower. Time for a new one. 

And this week was parent teacher conferences. In our district, each school sets their own schedule, so my school only goes until 9:20 on Friday. That means I'm up in College Town, visiting College Girl. 

But as for conferences.... For several years, I've wanted them to be more of a dialogue then a talk, if you know what I mean. And at the fall ones this year -- I felt like I did ALL the talking. NOT the way I wanted them to go at all. So I started thinking, and I thought if I ask some questions of the parents, maybe we can start a conversation. I had 6 conferences after school on Tuesday. And I asked those parents, how does your child like school? And I got ... Crickets. Blank looks. Deer in the headlight eyes. And then, "oh, fine." This is something I still need to work on obviously. Any help??? 

For the most part, I enjoy conferences, and the chance to interact with parents. I wish they'd be a little more talkative -- I want to hear from them, just as they want to hear from me. 

And also at conferences ... When I was showing parents data from our district mandated assessments, I got asked at least 4 times, "are you going to retain my child?" Ack -- no! Nobody in my class is being retained. What am I saying to make you think this?? 

Anyway, ready for the weekend and some time with my girl! 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day

Did everyone survive your Valentine's Day parties? Oh, my goodness -- what a day! One of my teammates is pregnant and she started having contractions Thursday night -- too early, she just started her 3rd trimester. Thankfully, she's home and doing fine. However, no sub for her Friday -- so we had to split up her class. Yep! I had 8 extra students. Oh what fun. Thankfully, the principal arranged for them to have their own Valentine party, so I didn't have them for that half hour. 

And hasn't Valentine's Day gotten a little crazy? Like, every child but one brought cards, and candy! The little sack lunch bags we decorated for our Valentines wouldn't even hold it all. And I got 5 stuffed animals and 3 big boxes of candy. I know I'm loved -- but really, I don't need that much chocolate. I told my husband, I wish there was some gentle way I could tell families -- if you must give me something, what about a note, or buy your child a book in my name, or..... 
{however, one little friend gave me expo markers and colored pens -- love, love.}

I've got a couple other things to share, but my desktop was running so slowly, a teammates husband is looking at it for me. So right now I'm just on my little iPad. 

Happy Monday tomorrow. Unless you get it off -- then it's you lucky duck! 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Snow Day

Dear Bloggy Friends and Readers - if there are any of you left! I looked at my blog this morning, and it still had my Christmas header on it. {Don't look now! I fixed it, you silly head!} 

My December and January frankly just stunk. With four days left until winter break, my dad got very sick and I went to be with him, missing the last three days of school. My dad sadly passed away. Then when school started back up, I caught one of the worst colds I've ever had {maybe the two are related??} and ended up missing three more days, spread out over two weeks. 

However, today God must have known I needed just a "catch your breath day" and we got a snow day. I have been doing some "have to" stuff on a very uncooperative computer -- everything is taking at least twice as long as it needs to. And if anyone knows how to easily move iPhone pictures to my desktop -- please help. 

So I have worked like crazy all morning, and now I'm going to relax! So thankful for snow days!