Friday, May 25, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

I met with my team yesterday. We have to decide our configuration for next year. W have until June 4th to decide. The p gave us three choices. Choice #1 and 2 would be like what we did last year, four switches. I will teach reading to all fifth graders. We would all teach our own spelling, writing, and be responsible for Accelerated Reading. The difference between the two is the amount of time we would get. We cannot have special service at the same time, so there will be no common planning. Any coordination would be own our own time. Two would have one planning time, and two would have another.

The third choice is one I actually thought of myself, but the p also found it in her collection of schedules. It would have us switch for science and social studies, splitting an 85 minute block, with the extra five minutes for movement. The other two of us would teach math simultaneously. We would all be responsible for the entire language arts block. This is my favorite choice, although it does mean I would have to teach two math classes. One of those classes would likely be inclusion math. My homeroom would be the inclusion room, so I might have inclusion reading, or the students could be pulled out. The best part is I would have my kids all but 85 minutes.

None of the choices are ideal for all of us. The p did say we can choose any of them, or tweak one to make it fit our needs. The p is insisting everyone do a set A.R., spelling, and writing time. I don't like giving a reading grade when I cannot control half of the reading.

Those of you that are departmentalized, do you have some suggestions we might want to consider? I would love to hear them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My Top Ten

My top ten reasons for being neglecting this blog.

10. I fail at multi-tasking lately!

9.  Wi-fi doesn't work in our gymnasium and I am attending too many concerts.

8. A student stole my cell phone and my ability to go mobile.

7. My ears are still ringing a week after the bus ride and field trip.

6. I am buried under a pile of year end tests and reports.

5.  My family has limited my time on the laptop and iPads. Said it was "Tough Love"!

4. I fell asleep waiting for the log in screen during Letterman three nights in a row.

3. I lost track of time while blog stalking and perusing Pinterest.

2. I can't prove a year's growth with this blog.

1. I am waiting for 100 followers and 5000 page views.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Update

My friends took home their coupon books today. They also took home their flowers for their mothers. Here is an example of what they looked like when we were finished. The basic planter's pot is wrapped in plastic. Pretty paper surrounds them. We tied a raffia bow around them. They made little cards with the purple (or pink) Cricut cut flowers that were attached to a stick. They looked very presentable when they were placed in gift bags for mom.

Next week we visit our Memory Care Unit, do some year end testing, and plant flowers downtown. It is the beginning of some hectic times for our fifth graders as we prepare to say good-bye to fifth grade and hello to middle school.

So glad it is the end of the week. It wasn't quite everything I had hoped it would be. More about that some other time.
I'm out of here!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Won!

When I decided to start blogging, I had gathered many ideas on what I wanted for the look of my blog. I started reading more on how to customize the basic templates out there. I still wasn't satisfied with my look. Flash forward to this past Monday morning. I was reading about all the teacher appreciation ideas and fixing a link when I saw Honey Bunch Blog Design's post. It was a cute blog design with a chance to win. I couldn't believe I was first to respond. I seldom win anything, so I was so excited about getting a brand new look.

Erika and the ladies at Honey Bunch Blog Design were wonderful to work with. They even have some premade templates including some with reduced prices for the budget minded bloggers. They are adding new designs all the time. These templates are unique. They do not resell the template, so you won't be seeing your design on other blogs. Check out their blog and maybe you will be inspired to show yourself a little appreciation, too.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Little Appreciation for Teachers

As a relatively new blogger, I have learned a great deal about blogging from some very talented bloggers and teachers. They invited me into their classrooms and their lives. I truly do appreciate all I have learned in a short time. Hats off to all of you dedicated teachers out there.

The beginning of May is the perfect time to show some appreciation for teachers everywhere. As we strive to complete all tests and tasks before the last day, we can use a little encouragement. In a previous post I wrote about the awesome fundraiser our PTO does every spring. The hard work accomplished by a dozen or so parents is amazing. What I find more incredible is the fact that while all this is going on in the foreground, this same group of parents are also planning a week devoted to just teachers and staff. Everyday this week we will be treated to lunch by our supportive parents. Our lunch schedule for the week:
Country Picnic
Mexican Fiesta
Soup and Salad Buffet
Italian Feast
Breakfast for Lunch

No need to think about what I can grab for lunch, as I pack my bags in the morning. I can concentrate on doing what I love, teaching. We will also get a token of appreciation from our administration, and countless thank you's from our students. The P always reminds them on Monday that they should honor us throughout the week. I have one that is making some goodies just for me!

How will you be recognized for your hard work? Link up with Show Me Sunday on 3-6 Free Resources and share your plans.



After months of following along with Farley's Currently Party at  Oh' Boy Fourth Grade , I have decided to join in the fun.
Have you joined the fun?


Friday, May 4, 2012

Mother's Day coupon book

My students brainstormed their list of ideas for their Mother's Day coupon book today. It lead to some lively discussion about whether children their age should do chores, and what pay would be appropriate. Ultimately, they decided that on Mother's Day, none of that matters. All that does matter, is doing something kind for mom. Many heard statistics that what most mothers want is a homemade card. They are using the Cricut and Gypsy (my adult PSP, as they call it) to make one next week.

For the book, students choose which coupons they want to include. They must include at least five. They are free to swap coupons with other students. I print the back and fronts on cardstock. The coupons themselves are on copy paper. We may cut everything out with fancy edged scissors. They are hole-punched and then assembled with pretty ribbon. I am including a copy as a freebie!

You will need 2 pieces of cardstock for every three children.

I have to be very careful when discussing plans for projects this year, because it causes one of my fifth graders great heartache. He lost his beloved stepmother in a very tragic snowmobile accident this winter. I am thinking he should take one of the flowers to the cemetery for her. We'll see if the two of us can discuss it without tears. Doubtful! Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mother's Day flowers

Our school has a life lab attached. It is one of just a couple in the country at an elementary school. I will write more about that another time. What I love about it is that it affords our students so many learning and life experiences. One of those experiences is planting flowers for Mother's Day. Every year we get plant plugs from an area greenhouse. All of the students in K-5 plant the flower in a small pot. The flowers flourish in the life lab/greenhouse. Here is a look at the flowers they planted the end of March. They are ready to be transplanted outside. Here's hoping the last frost date has finally passed! Looking forward to more warm days later this week.

Students planted Marigolds, Zinnias, Impatiens, and other flowers for their mothers. The hanging planters will be sold as a fundraiser. There are enough for over 600 students, the fundraiser and a service learning project.
We also do a coupon book filled with chore coupons the fifth graders "volunteer" to do for their mother. I'll take pictures of those next week. We also have several activities in the coming weeks besides our end of the year tests that have to be finished by May 21st. So much to do and so little time.


Pin It button on image hover