Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas Vacation

This holiday season has been a strange one. I spent the month of December getting ready for the big push in the class. Preparing all the gifts for the kids, staff members and preparing all the materials for the kids to make for their families. My husband is so wonderful. Each year he gets the tiles for me to take to school for the kids to make their gifts. I have made the same Christmas gift for families for so many years. They are really my favorites. So simple and yet they capture a moment in a child's life that you can never get back. Maybe it is just the sentimental mom in me, but I really love them. My classroom was decorated with the few pieces of holiday spirit I put out and my home was all decked out. It took a couple of weekends, but it was all ready. The big day came and everyone loved their gifts; the party was over and I was finally ready to go home and celebrate with my family.

I love having a week before Christmas to finish my family holiday preparations in a quiet peace, instead of the mad dash right before the big day. I am always worried I have forgotten something, but with a week left to prepare, it always goes well. Now, that the holiday is over, my house is back to normal and my classroom is ready; I have spent the better part of three days getting myself prepared to go back to school. Of course, I still have moutains of things I am working on at home to prepare. I am working dilligently to finish and be ready, but also trying hard to balance my family time. I am writing this blog as I watch "Barbie and the Swan Princess" again with my youngest daughter. The ease with which this is happening is my new keyboard for my ipad. I just received it today, and I am so excited. Of course, I still have a few little glitches to work out, but it is coming easily. This new year has me focused on what is family, my health and the sweet little kiddos I spend my days with.  Each year people create resolutions to keep themselves on track.  I seem to create resolutions every day, not just at the beginning of the year. So I am incredibly convinced I am going ot stick to my plan this new year.  I am a possessed woman.  I do not do anything half way; I always put more of myself into anything I do.  So my goal this new year is to be balanced.  I love and adore all that I do in my life, but balance is so important. I will keep it all in check. 

Happy New Year to all. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Ok, so this is addiction at it's absolute finest. I cannot believe how hard it is to walk away from this site.  I started exploring this website a few weeks ago. I am so consummed with stalking others sites and finding all the amazing things other teachers have pinned too.  I began slowly and now I am up 23 boards and more than 250 pins!!!! I have learned so much from the ideas I have seen on other boards. Thank you so much to all those wonderful teachers I have been learning from.  The visual aspect is incredible and so much more practical for my learning.  I even learned how to put my pin on this blog so you can follow me too!!!
I hope you have as much fun on this site as I do. 
I will tell you to make sure you have alot of extra
time on your hands when you begin.  Because I
am still behind on my work and cannot get to it
 because of Pinterest. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Building a Community

We are several weeks into the school year and my class is beginning to meld into the Second Graders I know they are.  We have had a few bumps along the way these last few weeks.  Summer vacation is still on the minds of many of my little ones.  It is evident because of the summer weather we seem to be continuing to experience in our valley.  It has got to be hard for them to sit and listen to me when all they really want is to be outside and play in the beautiful sunshine.  At times, I must admit I would like to be out enjoying a round of golf or sitting by the lake with my family too.  But it is almost October and those activities are no longer high on the list of priorities for our day.  Instead, we are working on routines, schedules, and expected behaviors.

I began using the Bucket Fillers concept last year with my students and loved the ideas of it.  I had to tweak the process a bit to fit the constraints of my classroom.  I managed to find ways to incorporate the concepts and utilize my GLAD training as well.  The two ideas of individual kindness and teamwork have blended together beautifully.  I love using both concepts.  I am seeing great results with both.  My students are in the beginning stages of realizing their own potential kindnesses and intrinsic feelings.  It is exciting to watch.  Of course, the teamwork is a bit harder.  Especially, with all that heat and sunshine calling them.  However, I found a way to break through their desire to be outside and work on their desire to be inside with me.  We have been focusing on our behavior.  Along with our learning targets, I posted behavior targets in my classroom.  Collaboratively, the students and I came up with the two most important behaviors to work on as a class.  We created simple rubrics they could all understand and began our work.  About every 30 to 45 minutes, we stop ourselves and self-evaluate where they believe they are on the continuum.  I am so impressed with them!!! They are beginning to get it.  I love to watch the excitement in their faces when I know they have had that breakthrough moment. 

Our community is taking shape. The first few weeks of school are exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time.  At times, it is hard to tell who is more tired; me or the kids.  But come June, it will all be worth it.  Especially when I know they are ready for Third Grade!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Getting back to Blogging!!!

It has been almost two full years since I began my blog. The last couple years have been filled with so many professional "committments." What I mean by this, is technology grants, National Boards and multiple committees at school have kept me away from writing. I must admit, I began my blog as a requirement of a technology grant I was involved in three years ago. I saw the value in it from the beginning. However, it was really difficult to keep it up and focus myself to continue writing. I was pretty convinced no one would be interested in reading what I was doing in my classroom. As well as, trying to complete all the extra curricular activities I found myself involved in; just really didn't leave me with much time to write.

I continued to read other teachers blogs and followed their teaching closely. I even shared others blogs in my teaching at Space Camp. I have found a few blogs I love to revisit and peruse frequently. After teaching my last session at Camp this summer, I decided I really needed to get back to this. My sessions are always about Literacy Integration with Space Science. I spend my time teaching other teachers how to best integrate good literacy with their own teaching. It occured to me that maybe I needed to take the next leap. I have no plan or idea for the direction my blogs will go, but I am going to set a goal for myself to write and share something from my teaching every couple of weeks. If I can share one idea that is worthy, than I will feel as though I have accomplished what I should. I must really practice what I preach to other teachers.

So in the next few weeks, I plan to have a new post ready to go. We shall see where this leads. I hope to a good place.