Sunday, May 21, 2017

Appreciating Teachers

With summer in sight, the first part of May is dedicated to a week of celebrating teachers.  

As a fifth grade teacher, this week can bring out a bit of jealousy.  Watching the primary teachers (especially kindergarten teachers) be showered with gifts on a daily basis is a bit hard to watch.  See, in lower grades, there appears to be a lot more love and respect for teachers.  The little ones absolutely love their teachers (most of the time).  By fifth grade, school isn't a novelty anymore and the hormone/puberty beast is alive and well.

However, I did get some sweet gifts and cards from my students and their families:

(Not pictured: the delicious homemade lemon bars. They didn't last long enough to get a picture...)

Our PTA is amazing and fed us lunch every day.  Seriously, food is the way to our hearts!  Between Raisin' Canes, a taco truck, and make your own trail mix, we felt loved by our school.

So any parents reading this, please acknowledge your child's teachers.  Even with just a hand written note about how much you've meant to them will mean the world.

On a side note, chocolate is also almost always welcomed, especially at the end of the year as we are running on empty.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

New progress

As a pinterest-loving teacher, the idea of these doodles on the board every morning is inspiring...

...and for me, unrealistic.  I'd do this for maybe a week, then have an emergency meeting, forget to do this, and be sassed by the little ones.  

For those teachers that can manage to not only have a clean board space every morning, but create these elaborate doodles, hats off to you!  I am not this teacher.

Plus, the sheer amount of post-it's we'd go through if I did this weekly makes me cringe.

But, I love this idea.  I think it'd go a long way towards promoting a classroom culture where sharing is encouraged.  It'd be an easy way to get them writing in the morning because I plan to have a special journal just for these warm ups.  At my school, we serve universal breakfast, so this could be their activity while I call tables for food.  After I've gone through the class roster, they would have the opportunity to share their ideas with their tables.  Depending on time, I could also have class volunteers.

Not only would this get them thinking, talking, and sharing first thing in the morning, it would have the second benefit of encouraging on time attendance.  Tardy students would get to hear the conversations, but not participate if their journals aren't done first. 

So some time earlier this week, when I was having trouble sleeping, I decided to start this product.  I'm making a power point with daily prompts.  A ppt, created in advance, eliminates a majority of my time management issue with creating the prompts.  Furthermore, I can display this on my smartboard (which is always clean). 

I'm making this product for my classroom (upper elementary) and based on our school 
calendar (180 days).  Since it's a ppt, it will be completely editable for purchasers.  I'm through the middle of October (it's a labor of love), but here are some sneak peeks:

Stay tuned! I only have 140 days to go...

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Secret Sale!

(No puppies were harmed during the filming of this image.  A puppy treat was most definitely involved!)

Weekend flash sale at {my store}.  20% off all my products, hoppy shopping!


I'm preparing to transition to third grade and getting kind of excited about it.

One of my favorite kiddos has a younger sibling in second grade, so I'll get to work with his awesome family for a second year in a row! (Not that teachers have favorites...but I'm allowed to have favorite parents!)

The classroom I'm moving into probably won't be ready on time.  That teacher is leaving to another school due to personal reasons, and I don't want to further anger this teacher by trying to move in while he is moving out.  It's better to just move everything home (it's not that far of a drive) and move back in August for a clean start.

I've started boxing up materials and separating what will stay in my garage, what gets given away, and what is set aside for third grade.  I'm even labeling the boxes for ease of moving.  Since B is on campus helping coach girls' soccer, he's on campus anyway.  On Mondays, he helps me move home boxes.  I told my students that I'm moving down to third grade and that the classroom books will be the last thing to go so they can enjoy them as long as possible.  Once it was established that the books are off limits until June, they were totally fine with me boxing up the classroom.  Granted, I'm not doing this while they're actually in the room.  There are just piles of boxes slowly being piled up along the sides of the classroom.

In the mean time, I'm also going through materials and seeing what can be scaffolded down to meet third grade needs.  I'm using my "bonus bucks" from Scholastic to stock up on second and third grade classics.  I've got a {donorschoose} project for third grade materials.  Today, between naps, I also drafted my third grade supply list:

We are supposed to supply some blurb that the school district supplies all the necessary materials and the listed supplies are just a suggestion, but we all know that's simply not true.  I get $123 from the state for class supplies, which won't even cover notebooks for my classroom.  Most teachers spend around $1,000 out of pocket on their classrooms each year.  Hopefully my parents will be generous and I won't have to cover too much out of pocket. I was able to stock up on dry erase markers on clearance last year and always try to snag deals at Target.

Fellow teacher friends, am I missing anything for third grade?

Photography Catch Up

Day 11: Three of a Kind

Tying in with national pet day, I used this day to promote pet adoptions by posting glamour shots of my three fur babies.

I also posted their pictures on the adoption agencies (Happy Home Animal Sanctuary and Adopt a Rescue Pet) where we found them to show how loved they are.

I know some of my friends have purchased pets from breeders and that's their choice.  However, with how full animal shelters are, I can't make that choice.

Day 12: On My Left

In the very limited amount of time I spent outside, my sinus infection has returned.  I'm just really, really sick of being sick.

(On the bright side, I scored a light purple mask this time!)

I went back to the doctor, got another round of medication, and have been hibernating for the past few days to try to shake this off.

On my left, my beautiful nurse.

She's very quick to steal my heating pad.  She's great like that.

My Favorite Time of Day (Day 10 of April's Photography Challenge)

On social media, I uploaded a quick video of my very excited puppy when she learned we were going for a walk.  It's definitely her favorite part of the day.

This, however, was not my favorite part:

I'm renewing my teacher license and getting a lot of conflicting information from the school district and the state department of education.  I drove 20 minutes to get finger printed, only to discover that finger prints must be done after I turn in transcripts to the department of education.  However, the state department of education lists bringing the finger prints and transcripts in when turning in paperwork, thus the conundrum.

Finding myself with extra time to kill, I visited Starbucks before a doctor's appointment.  I made the healthy choice to get an egg white sandwich, but it was entirely unsatisfying and I should have just gotten the blueberry muffin.

The rest of the day went fairly smoothly. I found some cute deals at Home Goods and got one of my favorite two year old's his birthday gift (a basket and different types of balls).  I had lunch with his aunt and cousin to plan a 90th birthday party, and then happily enjoyed a nap.

I've tabled the license situation until June.  I refuse to take a sick day to deal with the licensing department and I've got until the end of August.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

In the dark

Day 9 of the photography challenge: "Dark"

I am totally in the dark about how B is going to fix the roof.  We had a massive wind storm last week and our roof took a beating.

Here was the view of our playground at dismissal:

Here were some news reports on the event:

(Image from the {Washington Times})

(More on the storm {here})

Today we went to Home Depot to get supplies to repair the roof.  As always, I love Home Depot!

We also picked up supplies for some smaller home improvement projects.  

When our front security door was installed, they left a layer of white caulking surrounding the door.  With a tan door and a tan wall, it was super obvious when up close.

Tonight, I remedied the situation by painting over the caulk.  It looks much better now!

Later this week I'll be staining the oak cabinets in the garage to match the bathroom ones.  Our next big home improvement project will be to replace the carpet in the master bathroom with some gray and white marble tile.

In a perfect world, our home would have had everything 100% to our liking when we moved in.  However, we don't have an unlimited budget, the house was ten years old, and we have to do things in baby steps.  

In the almost three years we've lived here, we have:

1) Replaced the dishwasher and the water heater
2) Installed a new fridge, washer, dryer, and water softener
3) Added 2 security doors
4) Added new furniture (couches, coffee table, dining room table, chairs, media stand, TV, recliner, bedroom set, mattress)
5) Painted the master from green to calming shades of blue and gray
6) Hung lots of curtains 
7) Stained kitchen cabinets and bathroom cabinets
8) Started a fire pit in the backyard

Up next?

1) Replace carpet with tile
2) Replace carpet in the master
3) Redo the backyard with artificial grass and rock
4) Purchase patio furniture
5) Organize the garage to convert it to a man cave (to be fair, I'm working on that this week)