Monday, February 8, 2016

She hit the dance floor.

This past week was refreshing. I had a surprise Starbucks delivery to my class, the littles and I celebrated 100 days at school, Hailey took her first cavity filling like a champ, and Brian and Hails attended a father/daughter dance. 

As you know, my last blog entry was written with a heavy heart, yet with anticipation for change in my class. I was successful and went with the flow. I was more relaxed.... it helps when Starbucks is delivered unexpectedly. That alone can brighten anyone's day. 

We also celebrated 100 days of school this week. We made funky hats, built a tower with 100 red solo cups, made a fruit loop necklace, created a 100 day trail mix, completed 100 exercises, and counted to 100 all day long. I cannot believe how fast this school year has flown. I am loving every minute of it!

Hailey, being my mini in all areas of her life (poor girl), has something she didn't get from her mama....teeth! I have never had braces or cavities! In fact, I am teeth obsessed and love going to the dentist. Hails, not so fortunate. She had to have her first cavity filled this week, but took it like a champ. Dr. Calhoun and his nurse were amazing. Hailey even asked when he was giving  the shot. Boy did they fool her. She was done and over with in a jiffy.

Friday night Calvin and Brian took Halle and Hailey to a father/daughter dance. Hailey said, "Daddy was nervous at first but then warmed up." Brian agreed as "Hails wanted to hit the dance floor as soon as she heard the music." Yup, she is my daughter! Ha! The guys took the girls for dinner before the dance and ice cream after. Halle and Hails were in heaven. 

Saturday I had a day of pampering and got my hair colored. I went a little darker and I am loving it. 

Sunday was Super Bowl. We went to the Michaud's annual party and it was a gorgeous day. In fact, it was hot. Broncos won, I ate too much food and had great conversations with many. 

No school for Hailey and I today means Starbucks run in our Pjs, cleaning house, and resting. 

Overall, I cannot complain. Life is good! I am blessed.























Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The children are the curriculum!



The teaching profession is not for the weak at heart. I've been teaching 9 years, sounds like a lot, but not really. I am forever changing, growing, and learning in my career. A new set of kids walk through my door, and every year is a different challenge. It's difficult to take my teaching hat off every night. I think about why Student A cried during math, or if Student B was given dinner, and why Student C is not opening up to his peers. I research different ways to communicate to parents effectively, to reach the unmotivated child, to differentiate instruction so each student can understand curriculum, etc. The list could go on. It is a never ending battle. 

During my first years of teaching, my lesson plan book was beautiful. Lessons were written by subject, content standards, objectives, and even had the time I needed to accomplish them by. As years went on, my lesson plan book didn't look so fab. I had scratch marks through the lessons I didn't have time for, circles with arrows where I am trying to relocate the lesson for a different day, and ample amount of notes reminding me of IEPs, assemblies, staff meetings, PTA meetings, district collaboration, assessment schedules and deadlines. I had so much curriculum, and so little time. I felt as if I am force feeding my students the curriculum and giving them no time to "eat" it. "C'mon kids, choke this down, so we can move on. Nope, no time for questions." 

I will not get into the politics of No Child Left Behind, Common Core, blah blah blah. Maybe it's just me. My organizational freak, Type A, personality is taking over and I am needing more balance. I decided to return to a primary grade, after teaching 5th for several years. My thought was this would get me away from all the pressures of assessments and overpowering curriculum. WRONG! Transitional Kinder is a whole other world, filled with same curriculum demands. The only difference? THEY ARE FOUR! I found myself stressing out attempting to meet the demands of a pacing guide to get curriculum "covered." 

Well, guess what.....no more. MY STUDENTS ARE THE CURRICULUM! I tossed my lesson plan book in the trash can and...no, no, no just kidding. However, I have realized my students do come first. There is more to my classroom than curriculum. I want my students to experience learning as a journey, letting them navigate, pushing them to explore, watching them discover, encouraging their questions, allowing them to struggle, and supporting their thinking. In order to accomplish those things, I may just have to put down my lesson plan book!

It is awesome when my passion and career collide. I know I am in the right spot, doing what I am supposed to be doing. No matter what transpires, having time to spend with my students is going to be beneficial both for them and myself. Being a teacher is difficult and stressful, BUT immensely rewarding! Here is to tossing out my lesson plan book and making my STUDENTS THE CURRICULUM!

**DISCLAIMER** Lesson plan book is really not in the trash. ;)




"Beginning of the Month"

This face pretty much sums up my weekend. Within an instant, my Friday night went from decent to terrible. I could barely walk. My discomfort included abdominal cramping and shooting pain near my c section incision. I popped a couple of IB profin pills and attempted to go to bed. I didn't sleep at all. The next morning I was still in pain and after a couple of webMD searches (which I do not recommend because every diagnosis I had was cancer or some rare disease), I decided to go to Urgent Care. I was annoyed. It is the "beginning of the month" and I had no time to be sitting in Urgent Care! "Beginning of the month" meaning changing my classroom theme, decorations, door design, etc. etc. and ETC. 

To save you from all the TMI details, after a couple of ultrasounds, doctors found that I had a cyst on my ovary that ruptured. Mmmhmmm. Doctors gave me some good meds and I was put on bed rest for the rest of the weekend. Psh, don't they know it's the "BEGINNING OF THE MONTH" and I have things to do in Room 4?  I listened, sort of, and Izzy and I cuddled Saturday afternoon. Ha! Welcome, February! 





Monday, February 1, 2016

Celebrate!

The past couple weeks have been a blur with birthdays (Kayla and Grandpa-pa), game nights, meeting cousins, celebrating new jobs, and just hanging out. 

My sister, Michael, and Elijah were able to come for a week and visit. It was the first time Brian and the kiddos were able to meet baby Eli. Hailey and Logan absolutely loved their little cousin. Logan didn't quite understand why Eli couldn't roll on the floor and wrestle, so he settled watching monster girls....oops I meant motocross on TV with papa. 

Oscar got a new job and it was time to celebrate. We went to Native Tongue, a new local place in town. It was an awesome environment and hilarious company.