Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I know it's a while until the season starts ...

... but I saw this today and HAD to share it! Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!


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Monday, September 28, 2009


You know how every Monday morning you hear your alarm and think, "I wish I could just sleep in and lounge around today!"? Please tell me I'm not the only one that thinks that. Well, I got to do that today.

Although, I am only lounging on the couch because our wonderful school nurse sent me home after she told me I had a 100.1 temperature before the bell even rang this morning. I think teachers are SO lucky to have a nurse at their workplace. Without her, we would all probably just walk around spreading our germs even more. I woke up and wasn't feeling great but thought it wasn't bad enough to stay home AND I had zero lesson plans, so I had to go in. Well, I rushed around for 90 minutes to get plans made and then walked out the door and came home to retreat to the couch.

I had 5 kids out sick in my room, across the hall in Brenda's room, she was missing 14 (that's 1/2 her class) and her student teacher went home sick right before me, and Mitzi was missing 6. Next door in 3rd grade, one of the student teachers went home in the morning, too. The end of our pod must just be a breeding ground for germs & the flu. Yuck! Word from all the parents is that someone in the family has been diagnosed with H1N1, unofficially, because they don't want sick kids infecting others by coming to the hospital/doctor's office ... and then it just spreads between siblings, neighbors and friends. With 9 & 10-year olds that don't know how to "sneeze into your elbow" and "REALLY wash your hands" the flu is bound to spread and multiply quickly.

Well, my temperature has been going up and down all day (as low as 99.0 and as high as 100.8) and I'm home tomorrow again for sure. If my temperature isn't normal tomorrow, I have to take Wednesday off as well. While that sounds find & dandy that means I'll have to sneak up to school when everyone is gone for the day to make plans. Those of you that are teachers know how painful it is to make sub plans. I'd much rather just be there myself to teach.

Send your healing thoughts my way. My flu shot is on October 13th and I was hoping that I could make it until then. Clearly, that didn't happen ... but I would still like to get better ASAP!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A tour of my "office"

Thanks to Twitter & "meeting" all types of educators on the web, I've seen ideas and classrooms all over the country. Many of these teachers shared pictures of their rooms as they were decorating and preparing the last few weeks of summer. I enjoyed seeing all the different classrooms and even got some new, great ideas for this school year! {Thanks, Kelly for the RR pass idea ... it's working well!}

Sooooo ... I thought I'd take some pictures of my home away from home & share them with all of you, people in my Twitter PLN or the rest of my readers. I spend about 50+ hours a week in this room, so I do the best to make it an enjoyable place to be. It's exactly as I like it to be, minus the VERY messy "teacher corner" and some of the other messes around the room that are unavoidable! I hope you like seeing how things turned out this year!

This is the front of my room. Fancy new SMARTboard that I got last year and what little space we have on the floor for class meetings and story time.

My corner that is ridiculously messy! I just can't manage to keep it clean. Even if I start the day with a tidy desktop, it is buried by noon. How does this happen?

Counter with turn-in folders. Month-long calendar and birthday cupcakes. I bought these bulletin board sets my first year of teaching (when I got hired 3 days before school started) and I still love them. This cabinet is full of supplies so the kids don't have to come ask me for them. In the drawers: notebook & scratch paper, highlighters, grading pens. In the cabinets: rulers, crayons, markers, scissors, pencils, etc.

Here's my helper chart. I have 15 jobs and rotate the kids (cars) under the jobs along the road each week. They'll have 15 weeks of jobs & then have 11 weeks off. It works well for me. Love this chart because I have a VW Bug. :) Cutting board in front is from my class my 1st year. They all signed their names on it. They are 7th graders now.

Our built-in cabinets & counters. The paper dividers on the bottom left are their mailboxes.

Bulletin boards above my Reading Groups table. The one of the left has "Summer Headlines" on it now, but it changes for the holidays & seasons. I have the kids make themed art to decorate the board. The one on the right with the 6-Traits of Writing stays up all year.

My classroom library. I have so many books, the rest of them fill another cabinet and an entire file cabinet. I pull out themed books throughout the year to put around the room.

These are our new cubbies that we got last year. They are INSIDE our classrooms, which I was very leery of at first. The cubbies used to be in the hall, so I was worried about the mess. I'm now more of a stickler about leaving a mess AND I'm loving the extra storage & display room they provide.

Overall view of my classroom. The decorations from the ceiling also change with seasons and holidays. Laterns --> GIANT spider web & spiders --> snowflakes --> conversation hearts --> shamrocks --> wind chimes --> flowers. I love to change my decorations!

The view outside my classroom. This wall used to be on the outside of the building. After our building remodel and addition, it now is a hallway for 3rd & 4th grade classrooms. To the right of that bulletin board is a door that goes to the playground. We love the easy door for recess.

More of my messy corner & my computer desk. See my cute curtains? They are new this year & a FABULOUS colleague surprised me with them the week before school started. They are so girly & fun and SO me :) I got lucky with 2 corner windows that look out onto the playground.

Another close-up view of the disaster area. See that Diet Coke on the floor? One of my lovely parents brought it up to surprise me as a Happy Monday present. I was so excited, I hugged her in the middle of my lesson! You can also see the rolling cabinet I saved from the condo dumpster & recovered this summer.

Classroom door, ABC spelling cards, and an area to show my Jayhawk pride. Rock Chalk!

A new initiative this year: Word of the Week. So far it's going really well. They announce the word on the video broadcast every morning, the Spanish teacher teaches them how to use it in a sentence, there is a quiz over the definition. I think it's a great idea!

Board at the front of the room with all sorts of important information. Daily Schedule, Classroom Norms, Specials' Schedule, NO HOMEWORK incentive poster, etc. My Elmo is also on this front table. I don't love it here since when I'm writing, my back is to my class, but I can't find a better spot for it.

Okay ... are you bored yet? That's all I have. I hope all my teacher friends are off to a great start. We have progress reports due this Friday. How in the world are we already half-way through the first quarter? I feel like I just met my class! :)

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

The first thing I do when I wake up is hit "Snooze"

She does this!

Every morning when we get up, Minnie promptly goes over to the sliding glass door I have in my bedroom. It goes out to a balcony, but she never really scratches at the door to go out. My bedroom is on the 3rd floor of our building, so I don't like for her to be out there alone. She mostly just wants to sit there and watch for any birds, squirrels, kids, cars, leaves, whatever that might move by her line of sight.

Sometimes she just sits here like this. Sometimes she completely lays down behind the curtain, which is strange to me, because that means she can see even less of what is going on outside. Sometimes she hides completely behind the curtain so I can't see her.

I've been meaning to get a picture of her doing this, but I never bring my camera upstairs with me. By the time I would get out of bed to go get my camera, she'd move to follow me downstairs. Last night, I got smart and brought my camera up with me BEFORE bed. So smart!

Just wanted to share a little bit of our mornings.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

So, a dog & his owner walk into a bar.



If only I could teach Minnie to do this ... I'd probably be a very rich lady :)

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