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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Wacky Wednesday

Today was "Wacky Wednesday" in my kindergarten classroom.  We are in the midst of our Dr. Seuss week, and reading Wacky Wednesday is always so fun and the kids always have fun finding all the silly pictures.

For Wacky Wednesday each year, I dress all crazy:  plaids with stripes, my hair in pigtails, and shoes that don't match.  Basically, I look like I just walked out of a thrift shop, but nothing matches!  Every year, I laugh because when I walk the halls every Wacky Wednesday in crazy clothes, I only get a couple of people who actually question my get-up.  Today was no different.  Only the music teacher gave me a "OK???" look when I dropped the kids off for Music.  

This just cracks me up.  People at work must think I'm nuts everyday!  The librarian said to me "Well, you are always stylish, so maybe people think  you are dressing to a new fad."  Tonight, I am laughing at what others really must think of me!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Principal List

My son who is in 6th grade, Riley, made the Principal's List for the 2nd quarter at his middle school.  I am so proud of him, for having a 98% for both 1st and 2nd quarters.

All the kids who made the Principal's List with an overall average higher than a 95% got to skip their 1st period class, and have breakfast with family members in the lunchroom.  The buffet consisted of muffins, juice, bagles and fruit.  It was a nice set-up, as most of the kids ate with their friends and their friends' parents.  My friend's son also made the Principal's List, so the four of us, and a couple other of our sons' friends ate with us.  It's been fun for me to see this group of kids get older, and I felt such a sense of warmth in the room.  There were probably over 50 students there and at least that many parents, but we live in such a close-knit community, that I have known many of these kids since kindergarten.

I have heard rumors that when the kids get older, even next year in 7th grade, the Principal's List Breakfast is known for just the kids to attend, and parents are encouraged by the kids to stay home.  There's a point when my middle-schooler will think it's not so cool for his mom to attend these events.  As I sat there and looked at my son with love and pride and pure admiration for the young man he is becoming, I know that I only have a certain amount of time with him in this way.  I can congratulated him in public, smile at him in public, and acknowledge that I am proud of him with one of my goofy smiles that he reminds me everyday that I give him.

Today I am a proud mom.

Monday, March 3, 2014

My observation is FINISHED!

Last week, I received an email from our "STAFFTRAC" which is our district's on-line teacher evaluation website.  The email stated that starting on Monday (today), my principal would be popping in for an unannounced observation anytime from today-March 13th.  At anytime, he would just pop in and come in.  As I wrote earlier on my blog, I don't mind him coming in at all.  Actually, I like when he does, because I am never nervous when he comes in to watch me teach and I feel like when he comes to visit, he learns things about Kindergarten.  But, when you receive an email about an announced observation, first, it just sounds so formal, and secondly, that's just a lot of nervous energy to have for 10 days, until you  know it's completely over.

So, today was day #1, and I was thinking there was NO way he would come on day 1.  But when he walked into my room at noon, I was actually thanking the heavens and above, since I would just get it over with!

Today was Dr. Seuss's birthday, so during the observation, I read the book The Cat in the Hat,, pausing toward the end of the book, so the  kids could talk with their "Rug Talk buddy," and predict what would happened at the end, and to talk about what was "in their heads."  Afterwards, the kids wrote opinion pieces about how they feel about Thing 1 and Thing 2, and they did such a great job.  I am so grateful tonight for so many reasons.  I am grateful that my principal came in right away, that I was prepared with a good lesson (even though I never in my wildest dreams thought he would be coming today), and that my students rocked it out!  I am grateful that I can put that observation behind me, and just focus on teaching, doing report cards and having fun this week with Dr. Seuss.   Like I said, I like when my principal comes and visits and watches what we do.  But it's so intimidating when he comes in with his head deep in his notebook, trying to write everything I am saying.  There's no interaction on his part, so it just feels different and it's hard NOT to feel nervous.

Whoo Whoo, it's over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday Reading

This morning, I was like a snail getting out of bed.  I  love Sunday mornings!

Around 7:00, I knew it was morning with the morning sunlight streaming in through our curtains.  I opened one eye, realized it was Sunday, and went back to bed.  Then, awhile later, I woke up.  Instead of getting out of bed and starting my day, I read.  I read, and read and read.  It was so relaxing.

When I did venture out of bed, my husband was in the living room reading, my son on the computer doing homework, and my daughter was still in bed, reading.  Everyone was reading and it was so comfy and such a Winter Sunday thing to do.  When I went back upstairs to say good morning to my daughter, and told her how cute she was in bed sleeping, she patted her bed, and invited me to come join her.  My first thought was  I really  need to start doing SOMETHING and not goof off anymore.  Laundry was calling.  Cleaning rooms were awaiting.  But I stopped and thought to myself, "She is nine years old.  In one or two years, she's not going to invite you into her room AT ALL, forget the fact of reading in her bed with her.  So I grabbed my book from my bedroom, and we laid in her bed, cuddling and reading our own books.  She would stop to laugh, and give me a retell of what she was reading.  I am glad I took the time to be with her this morning.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Slice of My Life, Year 2

First entry for the Slice of Life...

Today is the first day of the Slice of Life challenge.  During the  month of March, I am going to try to write everyday on this blog about a "slice of my life."  My kindergarten students are also writing in their composition notebooks, which I  glued possible writing topics for them in their notebooks' jackets, something they can refer to when they are stuck on a slice of their life to write about.  They were so excited to bring home their notebooks and start writing this weekend.

Meanwhile, their teacher sits at the computer, wondering what to write about.  

I am feeling a little stressed out today and it's all work-related.  

Every year, teachers in my school district get observed twice.  My first observation was a scheduled on, and that was in October.  It was a great lesson in Math, and all was good.  Your second observation is an unscheduled one.  Teachers receive an email, stating that their "10-day window" has begun.  So basically this means that in that 10 day window, your principal will be coming to observe you on any day for a lesson, at any time in those 10 days.  Last year, my principal let the "10-day window" expire, and we ended up just scheduling him to visit on what would had been the 12th day.  

So, I got my "10-day window" email last week, and the window starts on Monday, March 3rd, and ends on March 13th.  So anytime during the next 10 days, my principal will surprise me with an observation.

I'm not that nervous for him to actually come and observe me, but it's the waiting around for it.  It's kind of like walking through a haunted house, and waiting to get scared to death, and just getting it out of the way.  Yes, that's how it feels.  Just waiting for him to appear in my classroom, and hoping that it's not during a crazy transition time.

So, I skipped out on skiing with the family, and spent about 4 hours in my classroom today.  I spent an hour on "Smartboard Exchange," another hour with getting my guided reading groups ready, and another hour getting ready for my Dr. Seuss week  next week.  And then I decided to clean my room.  Because you might as well, right?

Today, I was finding that I was very scattered, and I felt so ADHD.  I would do one thing, and then do something entirely different, and then forget what the original task was.  I pretty much did that for the entire 4 hours in my classroom.    When I got home to my quiet house, since everyone was still skiing, I instantly feel asleep on the couch, so I must  had been exhausted.

So the 10-day window spell is upon me...Waiting, waiting, waiting