Theory Thursday


One of the best things about being a teacher is that you get two new year’s each year.  Two chances to start over; to set goals; to feel refreshed.

In September my goals are usually school related.  Keep my classroom neat, keep up with my lesson plans, be a better teacher.  Sometimes they include eating better, walking more, laying my clothes out the night before.

In January my goals are more personal.  Lose weight, watch less TV, declutter my house, eat better.  I also include school related goals, keep up with the planning, be more creative in the classroom, get stuff done.

I am lucky.  I get to start all over every few months.  It is such a blessing.

I start school today.  Happy New Year!

Theory Thursday

This one I adapted from a friend.

For teachers, summer is like the weekend.

June is like Friday.  You have to work part of it, but when you get home the freetime is stretched out in front you, almost endless.

July is Saturday.  The whole day is yours, all that time to do stuff.  It’s bright and sunny and you have so much to look forward to.  You can sleep late and watch cartoons.  You know things will come to an end, but it seems to far off.

August is Sunday.  Time is starting to catch up with you.  All those projects you planned to do are still waiting and you are running out of time.  You have to start doing your homework, planning for the next year, getting ready for the new batch.  The days grow shorter and the time goes faster.  You have to start going to bed on time.

We are closing in on Sunday night.

More great inventions – school edition

While the pencil with an attached eraser is really nice, I give my kids eraserless pencils and block erasers. And what is up with the name of the inventor? Hymen Lipman? Really?

  1. Dry erase boards I hate how my hands feel after using the chalkboard. White boards are so much fun to use in class. They come in handy for quick lessons or a list of things they have to do in independent work. We can write in all sorts of colors and they come clean without much mess.
  2. Clipboards What a handy thing for moving around the room.  We use these for paper activities on the floor.  Clipboards also let us take our work to other places in the building.
  3. Crayons Not just for coloring.  I let the kids practice their spelling words in rainbow writing with crayons.  We also use crayons to mark nouns and verbs on papers.  Lately I have been using crayons to mark papers so I can see how many times they needed to make corrections.
  4. Digital projectors I used to teach computer lessons by showing them on my computer.  Now I can project it on the wall and they can see it big and from their seats.
  5. Recess Need I say more?

1858Hymen Lipman patents a pencil with an attached eraser.

Friday night fun

I am so glad it is finally Friday. This was a very long week. My class has been kind of off the wall. We’ve had fluctuating attendance and disruptions. We are working our way slowly through the book, focusing on the story, retelling, spelling, and grammar. I am skipping several skills about comprehension, certain organizational skills, and a few other skills. It still takes us foooreeever to get through certain things. I do like this group a great deal, but it is very trying.

Tonight we went to dinner with my parents, my sister, and her “little guy”. –Several years ago she was let go from her nursery school and then brought back as a one-on-one. When he moved on to kindergarten this year, in a special needs class, she was let go again. She does spend a lot of time with him to give his parents respite.– Little guy was very good while we sat at the restaurant. T talked with my parents while I talked to Mooch and Little guy. He is very sweet and did a good job answering my questions. I pulled out some yarn scraps and she used the to spell words. She is very good with him.

It angers me that to be a “highly qualified” para-educator you have to have a certain level of education. I understand that teachers should have the training and education, but for someone to be a para-educator, teacher’s aide, or one-on-one, shouldn’t experience and ability count for something? So my sister didn’t finish 60 hours of college, she is amazing with kids, takes direction well, and works well with other adults. Hang in there Mooch, someone will hire you.

Random fact: When I was in third grade (my favorite school year, ever) there were only 3 kids in my reading group. We learned to sign Sam’s Cookie. It was one of the funnest projects I ever did. I still love that book.

Thursday Things

IMG_7892.JPGThe talk yesterday was that we might have a delayed entry today. The weather wasn’t so bad here first thing. Schools all over our area were closed, but not in the Strathconn Valley. Big huge snow drops were falling, but everything was just wet. The trees still have snow from last week. By the time I got to school there was about an inch of slush on the ground.

When we got to school the talk had turned to early release. We were all talking about moving the performance of the school play from the afternoon to the morning. At 8:45 we had the morning announcements and school started without any good news. By 9:00 the principal got on the loudspeaker to tell us the play would be at 10:00 and lunches would be early, so we could dismiss at … wait for it … 12:30!!

octopus.gifI spent most of the morning bemoaning my period cramps in the library. At 10 I went to the play (very funny, great job kids) and at 11:10 we had 30 minutes of Literacy. With 3 girls out, and a boy who left early, we had a very quiet morning. We worked on our Octopus accordian books. The kids worked quietly and showed me great effort and direction following. After Lit I killed some time and then went to eat lunch (baked ham dinner) with some third graders, and then killed time in the office until I could take off.

On my way home I stopped by the hospital to see my friend (with the no longer yellow baby). She had several of her (right side) kidney stones removed and the doctor told her the ones in her left kidney can probably be treated with meds. Today is her 37th birthday and she has to spend it in the hospital. She has been looking forward to going out with her friends tonight, as the first time she could have a drink since she got pregnant. I gave her two cards (happy birthday and get well) and gossiped about a huge news story in Small Town. Her husband was there holding formerly yellow baby (who needs a better nickname) who I hadn’t gotten to meet yet. I am going to go visit over vacation and I plan to hold her the whole time.

IMG_7909.JPGI have now been home, watching soaps and the snow, for two hours. I haven’t gotten anything else done, not even any real Bloglines reading. That’s not true. I have been reading email. I even voted several times for my friend’s Peep-orama (see previous entry). I have eaten 2 stiff Peeps (yummy).

Tonight Lord and I were going to Marlboro College to see a lecture about software freedom, but it has been cancelled due to snow. I may call him and ask him to bring home BK. Or maybe we will go to our favorite diner. Tonight is a Grey’s clip show, so Mr. Director won’t be coming and we will watch something we recorded earlier in the week (like LOST).

Sick day

flu.jpgI don’t remember the last time I took a sick day. Sometimes I take a half day for a doctor’s appointment, but I am not very often sick enough to miss school.

I wasn’t sure I was going to stay home, but when I woke this morning at 6, I couldn’t move without coughing. I called my boss and told him I couldn’t come in. Today is my “crazy” day when I have 4 tech classes and Literacy. They better get me a good sub.

95.jpgI am working on my lesson plans for Literacy right now. The kids are going to read a story called A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams. It is a great story about a grandmother, a mother, and a little girl. They have lost everything in a house fire. The story is about how they save money to buy a new chair. My major concern about reading this story is that one of my students lost everything in a house fire a few weeks ago. I hope that she will be okay with this story, especially since I am not there. I am also sorry that we have to do this story this week. The spelling pattern in the workbook r-controlled a, which is the spelling pattern we were going to do next, but because it is a short week (because of the snowday, we had Friday on Monday) we aren’t doing spelling. Oh well, another week I suppose.

Now I must finish my lessons and fire them off to school.