Monday, May 31, 2010

12 Hours and counting...

Yep, that is all we have left of the 2009-2010 school year. Just 3 1/2 days! Yes, I still have to work full days (including a full day Friday). I was thinking about it this morning as I watched the rain pour down (and normally I would have dreaded it because rain=inside recess)...and with nothing better to do as I sipped my morning coffee I started to fantasize about the perfect 12 hours a la the show "24!"
What will it look like...chaos of course. So much to do in 12 short hours (did I really type that?)

Tuesday....Class Auction and lunch. I am cooking for my boys---Lasagna and Bread..YUM! Our auction will be a lot of fun. I have been collecting stuff all year (dollar store stuff, etc) for this. The boys will use their SOAR bucks (this is a school wide behavior get them for doing good things) bid on these items.

Wednesday...3rd Grade awards. We will have a grade level assembly in the morning to give out awards for the end of the year, then back in the classroom, I will give out 9 week awards. This is always a fun day because the kids love getting recognition for their hard work all year.

Thursday...Class Party and Multiplication Ice Cream party. The 3rd grade has been working hard to learn their multiplication facts through 12..they will earn their ice cream based on how many facts they have learned....everything from their bowl and spoon, to the right to sit with their friends during the party. Then we will have our class party..more food and goodies. The boys will also be allowed to bring in game systems (DSI, PSP, or Gameboy). Then at noon....adios, little friends and hello summer. Well for the record, I can not welcome summer until 3pm Friday!! But it will be so sweeet!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

To 4th Grade I go.....and All Boys Again!!!

2010-2011 assignments came out yesterday and I can honestly say I am SO PUMPED about my assignment for next year. I am moving back to 4th grade and taking about 1/2 of my current class with me!! Some of the parents of my little friends decided that the Single Gender classroom was not the place for their son, and we (me, my grade level team, AP and Principal) decided that the Single Gender classroom was not the place for some of my little friends. Right now my roster looks awesome!! 19 boys...make that 19 amazing young men ready to leave South Carolina history behind and tackle Social Studies from a more global perspective! And I love the stories we read in 4th grade (I taught 4th for 2 years prior to moving to 3rd last year) and I have some amazing read alouds ready to introduce them to...including Rick Riordan's newest series the Kane Chronicles- The Red Pyramid....based on Egyptian mythology!!

I had another possible assignment in the hopper, and at the time, I thought it would be a sweet deal, but now that I know where I am going next year...and that I will be teaching what I consider to be the dream class (someone remind me that I said this next Spring when they are almost 5th graders and driving me a little crazy!) I am super excited. At least I will not be spending my summer learning a new program/curriculum...instead, I will be lounging by the pool reading a new stack of "boy books" on Amazon for books for my class library...and getting ready to have a fabulous year with a fabulous group of boys!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Fat Lady is getting ready to sing....

The end is near...and NO I have not been watching 2012!

This week coming up we have PASS testing...our version of CYA for No Child Left Behind. My little friends have been reviewed-to-death and most of them are ready! The ones who are not, there is nothing more I can do. I cannot possibly analyze one more poem, do one more math problem involving division, give one more example of a simile (or metaphor, personification, alliteration or hyperbole), recall one more fact about Native Americans, Explorers, the American Revolution, Civil War, World Wars I & II or the Civil Rights Movement from South Carolina's perspective. Their cute little heads will explode if I try and cram one more fact in there. We'll just have to see where the chips fall (and their scores).

This week our school sent home intent letters for single gender, to see if parents wanted their children to continue in the single gender program at our school. I have only gotten about half of the letters back from my boys' parents and for the most part, the ones who are thriving in the program will be back. The ones who have caused a little craziness this year (and feed off of it) won't.

I know I have a job next year, and at my current school, I am just not sure what grade I will be teaching and if I will be looping with my current class (at least the ones who have signed on to continue single gender). Hopefully I will have a better idea in the coming weeks.

I have a lave/hate relationship with the 2 1/2 weeks of school following our PASS testing. I love it because testing is over. We talk about this test from Day One of the school year , and quite frankly I am a little tired of talking about it (and I am certain my little friends are too). I am ready for it to be done with!! BUT...once the testing s complete, we still have 2 1/2 more weeks. We are still required to teach, and IMHO is it just busywork. Why not hold off giving the test until the last week and then just send them home to their parents for 10 weeks? We do have fun things going on--SOARfest (a day where we have giant inflatables on the playground for the kids to climb, jump and slide on)...Awards day, Field Day, Class parties....lots of things...And they are turning on books the week after testing so....what' a teacher to do? I am planning a novel unit on An Indian in the Cupboard (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that book!!)....and we are going to review and test our final Unit in Social Studies (we did not get to the test before PASS review began).

But the end is so close I can smell the suntan lotion and taste the margaritas!!! At noon on June 3rd, I will be doing the Happy Dance and waving farewell to my little friends for the summer. 27 hours later and it will be celebration time!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sunshine Award

What a special surprise! I received this Sunshine Award from my friend, and fellow blogger, Tara over at . Tara is the Mom of two of the most adorable children on this planet (aside from my own sweet boy). She and I met, when I first started teaching and she has been on of the biggest fans of my blog, and a big encouragement. Thank you Tara! You are awesome!!

In accepting this blogging award, I also have to follow the rules and send it on...The Sunshine Award is awarded to bloggers whose positivity and creativity inspire others in the blogging world. course, awards come with rules…

1. Put the logo on your blog and/or within your post.

2. Pass the award on to twelve bloggers.

3. Link to the nominees within your post.

4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and the link to the person from whom you received this award

It's Not All Flowers and Sausages
Ms. Mimi ROCKS! Her blog is according to her tag line is "for teachers who rock." She makes me laugh, and that helps me to laugh at myself. Let's face it, teachers today have a tough job, and her blog is a little slice of heaven when it comes to venting about some of the frustrations we face trying to educate children. She is a little obsessed with picture books, shoes and schools supplies, but heck, we all have out little idiosyncrasies, don't we!

Stories of Life: One Writer-Mom's Odyssey
Kris Meldrum, this blogger, is a dear friend of mine. She likes to credit me for inspiring her to blog, but she has been a writer all her life. Her perspective on things is refreshing--check out her entry on the 40th anniversary of the Kent State shootings here and because I have known her for a while, I can spot her wit, sarcasm and amazing humor from a mile away. She makes me laugh and I enjoy keeping up with her life. We were once neighbors in Virginia, then she left me and moved to Ohio, so in retaliation, I moved to South Carolina...a state she visits every year for vacation, but some how avoids visiting me...just kidding Kris! Check out her blog, your won;t be disappointed!

A Teacher's Life
Another teacher blog I follow...Jen is honest and real! I laugh at her insight on her students, as many of them remind me of mine. She lays bare the issues she is facing in the classroom, which I can truly relate to. And most of all, she shares a love of great books and reading as I do. I get great book and lesson ideas from her.

Just a Bunch of Nothin
I don't remember how I found this blog...but Suzanne the Homeschooling Mom who writes this blog and I have a few things in common: we both scrapbook, we have both lived in Virginia (she still does) and in Alaska (she is returning there soon), are both politically conservative...and since she homeschools her children we are both teachers. She is very funny, an awesome photographer and is frugal. I love reading her posts because one day she is talking about some cool new gadget she wants to get (but is holding off until she a) has enough Swagbucks B) it goes on sale or C) she has a coupon for it, lol! She is the one who turned me onto SwagBucks after posting how she has earned enough to purchase a Wii for her family!

Life with Briana
I started following Lisa's blog a few years ago when my husband and I were planning on adopting a little girl from China. I found this blog right before Lisa and her husband Doug left for China to get their daughter Briana. I followed their trip and have been reading her blog regularly since they brought Briana home. When our family made the difficult decision to discontinue our adoption journey, Lisa was a huge source of comfort to me. She has recently been though some tough personal issues, and I reached out to her in hopes of returning some of the compassion and comfort she had shown me. Her Daughter Briana is adorable, and I love all the great pictures Lisa posts. Lisa is honest about the challenges of parenting a pre-schooler, and of being an adoptive parent.

People say God never gives you more than you can handle...I like to think God gives all the tough stuff most of us can't handle to the truly strong! That is who this family is...truly strong and they are such an inspiration to me and hundreds (maybe thousands) of people who read this blog! They have been through so much--youngest daughter Peyton was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was 2, and last year, Anissa, Peyton's Mom suffered two strokes. Dad has been full-time caregiver of the kids and Anissa since then. Anissa survived, thankfully, but still faces a long road to recovery. Her husband has since taking over Anissa's blog (and is doing a fine job). Even as the family dealt with Peyton's Leukemia and now Anissa's strokes...they have continued to remain positive, while keeping it real. Besides being awesome for what she has survived..Anissa rocks because she has been on Oprah!!!

Mommy Needs A Cocktail
Kristen has, hands-down, one of the funniest blogs I have ever read. If you are a Mom you will love her blog! She is so the mother of 3 boys, trying to run an Internet-based business, also named Mommy Needs a Cocktail, she takes life's everyday moments, like finding her child riding on the riding lawn mower --ALONE...or eating day old pizza, she makes you take a step back and find the humor in the challenges of parenting. Along with her sisters, Kristen also blogs for PBS on a blog called Supersisters.

Stretch Marks
This is another blog, I came across totally by accident. Actually, there are no accidents in blogland, and I think I found this blog from a link on another blog I read. This is another funny Mom who blogs about her life and her kids, and more recently her move back to her hometown. She has a wicked sense of humor, and despite some of the curve balls that have been thrown her way in life, she keeps on going, and tries to find the humor in it all. She has adopted two beautiful children and her husband, who she refers to as the Attorney General. She is as funny as it gets...and reading her blog can get me out the the worst of funks!!

Okay, I could only come up with 8...