Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trying Times

I have not been very good about blogging lately. I haven't had time or been in the right frame of mind. Things have been difficult. I normally don't share many personal stories here, but need to "talk".

School got out June 18th. I headed to school that Friday to finish paperwork, grade level orders, etc. when my phone started exploding with texts from family. My fourteen year old niece was in intensive care following several strokes. After multiple batteries of tests, she was diagnosed with Moyamoya, a congenital condition where blood vessels fail to form correctly in the brain. She was sent from Orlando to Boston Children's Hospital for evaluation for brain surgery. She will have surgery next week hopefully. The delay was to allow brain swelling to go down, and to give her the best chances of full recovery. 

Since that diagnosis, more bad news came to our family. A brother-in-law had a heart attack and a former b-i-l was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. 

Then the unimaginable happened early this past Friday morning. The older sister of the Moyamoya patient had a house fire. Her five year old daughter did not survive. Our family is distraught. It is never easy to lose someone, but it is always compounded when it is a child. The stress has gotten to my father. He was hospitalized with heart and respiratory problems. 

Sunday was my youngest daughter's graduation party. A celebration with a huge gray cloud overshadowing all. Lots of stress and so much sadness. 

As we prepare to lay our little angel to rest, please pray for my sister, her daughters, and my family in general. We can use it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Another Monday

Wow! Funny how time seems to slip by during the summer, but can crawl at a snail's pace during the school year. I am struggling to stay focused, and to get things accomplished. Here it is another Monday, and I hardly have anything to show for it. Haha!

I do have one thing I made for use in my classroom. I am determined to beef up my Daily 5 Reading/Writing Workshop. I decided to make some writing journals. Students will be able to write during their work on writing time.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Made It - July 7th

I have been on break a couple of weeks. but was hard to get myself motivated to make anything with our break starting so late. I have also been planning my youngest's graduation party. Many of the things I made have been for the party. Some I may share, others probably not.

After seeing so many chalk paint projects, I wanted to try it for myself. I found the supplies I needed at JoAnn's most were on sale. I had a 40% off coupon for one item that wasn't on sale, the chalk paint.

I made a large letter to hang on my door or wall. I kind of like it on the wall. It takes away from the horrible seventies dark paneling that I hate. The letter is one of the cardboard molded letters - it is big at 24". The bow is a faux burlap wired ribbon. I made it and attached it with jute string. It took one spool of ribbon at ten yards.

My next project was to paint two frames with my chalk paint. I painted one layer. Let it dry, then a couple of hours later, added a second coat. After the paint dried, I used wax to add a low sheen. Ignore the empty frames. These will hold photos of my daughter from graduation. I loved the ease of use of the chalk paint. I may try my hand at making some of my own with supplies I have around the house. The frames will sit on a shelf in our living room after the party.

The last project was a redo. Two years ago, I made a bunting to hang in the room. It fit my black and white scheme. I hated that it was dreary. Last year I added pops of color (neon) to the room but not to the bunting. The new bunting is bright! I cannot wait to see what it looks like hanging in the room. My room at the moment is in the hallway with freshly waxed floors keeping me out.



I think it goes nicely with my sharing stool and milk crate benches I made last summer, don't you?

What have you made? Link up with Tara and show us.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Currently July 1st

Wow! What happened to June? I hardly blogged at all with our make up days, packing up the room, finishing paperwork, and finishing my "portfolio" for my evaluation. I have been reading blogs, just haven't had much time to blog myself. I have some ideas in the works.

With summer came a change in schedule. Not quite sure what each day will bring. I do like watching The Chew and food shows for inspiration for easy meals with fresh ingredients. I tend to cook more when I have my days free. 
We had quite a storm early this morning. Areas west of here had tornado warnings during the night. It is cloudy and muggy right now. May need one last shower to squeeze the moisture out of those dark clouds. The farmers and my lawn can use the rain.
The weather man insists the sun is coming out later. If it stays cloudy, I may get creative. IF the sun comes out, the pool gets cleaned. I hope the sun is shining when I finish. I have hardly been outside since my last Currently. 
Hubby and my youngest are working on Friday. I will probably spend the day creating or reading. I have a pile of books I want to read this summer. Most are kids books, but some are professional. I also have a gift card from a student to Barnes and Noble. A trip to B&N may be coming soon. 

Link up with Farley at Oh Boy, 4th Grade to share your Currently.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Making each day count

 I have two full days and two half days left with my kids this year. I have worked hard to meet their diverse needs. I had 44 of the 48 meet their Accelerated Reading Goals. My kids made great gains on our reading and math post tests. We have Passion Project presentations tomorrow. One of our Passion Projects was "completed" last Friday. We held a special hat day. The money was to go to my wheelchair bound student's tricycle project. He is confined to the wheelchair. He has a motorized chair that he has used since he was three.
When students were being placed last year, I insisted I get him in my class. I knew what he would bring to the students. It would require work on my part to modify curriculum, and to get students to rally around him. They love him and beg to partner with him. One student has developed such a love for him, that her Passion Project is about becoming a Special Ed. Teacher. (She wrote the flyer that went home to advertise the hat day.) We raised over $1900 with a partial matching grant from Rotary. We are two-thirds of the way to his tricycle. His goal is to be able to go for a ride with his friends.
Tomorrow, he will "run" his race and participate in his field and fun event with his aide. She is incredible. "Starbucks," as the kids call her, will help him fulfill his last field day in elementary school. He leaves our district for a program that will better meet his individual needs. He will leave us with so much more than he ever took from us. I cry just thinking about saying goodbye on Wednesday.
I have been trying to make each day count, and have forgotten to count the days. Too much fun to fit in the remaining days. Then packing up for the summer. Keep us in mind, as we work our way to the end.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June 1st ~ Currently

Wow! Where has the time gone? If it is the first of the month, then it is time to link up with Farley's Currently. Had to laugh that She forgot it was the first. Nice to know I am not the only one.

While many of you are out of school, I still have 13 days, 11 full and two half days with students. It is warm hot here. In the eighties yesterday, today, tomorrow, etc. We have air conditioning in our office, computer labs, and copy side room of our lounge. The fan is just blowing warm air around!

My hubby had coached girls track for several years but had to give it up with the new job. The school wouldn't let him coach if he couldn't be there every day. His most successful athlete went to States yesterday. She was two time State Champ in long jump and won the 200 meter dash last year. Without her favorite coach, she struggled all season. Hubby gave up his little free time on Tuesday and Friday morning to help get steps straight. More than that, he got her head straight. She easily won the long jump and the 200 meter dash. She also came in second in the 100 meter dash. It was wonderful to see her reach long time goals, and to see her run to my husband first, when she won. It was beyond words!

I am spending today in my hot room purging piles and gathering evidence for my "binder". I am using a password protected website for my collection. I have two thirds of it done. Gotta get moving! 

I am hot, thirsty, and tired. A refreshing large half cut ice tea from McD's sounds so good! I refuse to stop on my way home if this mess in my room isn't finished when I leave!

My youngest graduated from high school Thursday. She has agreed to let me get finished and packed up here before we host a party in July. Hope I can fit in all the parties for her friends before then. Last month, my son showed us the house he is buying. He will have a room waiting for my visit later this summer. I have a growing stack of books I want to read this summer. I love to read front-to-back, so I only really read during the summer.

What's on your Bucket List? Link up with Farley so we can all see!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Five for Fraturday

It has been a busy time here in my world. Can't exactly say it has all been blissful, but some of it was. (Here are the highlights. It must be crazy as I forgot to publish this yesterday. Oops!)

We planted flowers as a service learning project. Our fifth graders have been doing this for more than ten years. The town purchases the dirt and plugs (seedling) and we grow them in our Life Lab, then transplant them after the threat of frost has passed. It was very chilly morning, but no frost since then.

My son and his girl friend came home for a friend's wedding. Although I knew he wasn't planning on moving back to Michigan anytime soon, I was surprised when he share this picture with me. It is the house they are buying. Guess this means he definitely won't be coming home. :( 

I had my final Formal Review on Monday. My lesson was thrown together late Sunday after my son and his girlfriend left. One of my best lessons yet! I used ideas from Genius Hour. I started with this Kid President video. Adore him! The Principal loved the lesson and so did the students. Can't wait to see their final projects.

This was my youngest at age one. Yesterday was her last day of school. She graduates next week. It marks the end of an era. I have had a child in that school system for 23 years. She begins her journey to become a nurse in the fall.

My students have been building simple machines in science. This student's machine is this student's "Dream Machine" as he desperately wants a tricycle to improve his mobility. We are having a hat day to help with the matching funds requirement.

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