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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Five for Friday on Saturday

I feel very guilty that I haven't been blogging about my educational life other than Five for Friday. But it is a nice little snippet that keeps me from getting too stale. So here I go again, posting five things from my week, some about school, some not-so-much, and then linking up with Doodlebugs.

Let's get this party started! 

1. I love this little Easter bunny. We have had some super difficult times and on top of therapy and about every service our mental health center offers, we are also exploring diet changes now too. Maybe... hopefully... things will get better soon. For all of us. I want her to feel better~ physically (she's had a headache of varying degrees since March 24), spiritually (she doesn't like church because she feels like a bad person) and emotionally (battling depression and anxiety for over a year). Did you know....? Did you know that a gluten intolerance can cause depression anxiety? We were just getting ready to medicate for depression because we've been battling this anxiety disorder for a long time, almost a year with a therapist, and then I read this. Did you know.... that of the top 10 symptoms, my child has more than half of the biggies? We are going to go gluten free for a minimum of six weeks and see if it helps.  If we still have high levels of anxiety, we will explore the medication route. And if you are saying to yourself.... gosh that is awfully young to be trying medication, I agree with you. But we are all sick of living like this, and nothing breaks my Mom heart more than after a meltdown and my child tells me that she does not like herself. So if you are the praying type, don't hesitate to lift us up. We will appreciate it as we continue to search for solutions. 
Punky wearing the Easter dress her Grandma made for her.
2. First grade guided reading have been reading the stories in this "magazine" this week! On Friday we read The Frog's Party. We took turns reading the different parts. We worked on adding expression. We discussed why the character's should be afraid of Hawk. We talked about the "fly pie" and "bug cake." Then we talked about our favorite kind of cake. My Dad would be proud, two students said their favorite was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting! Whoo-hoo! So we drew a picture of our favorite kind of cake and wrote a sentence. I only "made" them write one word phonetically. I put "I like ___________ cake!" on the board and they had to fill in the blank of course! It was fun way to wrap up our week.

3. We had to purchase supplies from Menard's because.... drum roll please.... we have a graduation coming soon to our house and need a place to host a reception!! Hooray! And... along with this news is that said upcoming-graduate got accepted to the community college she wants to attend! 

Going shopping for supplies to finish some space in the basement for our graduation party! 

Celebration dinner the night we found out "we" got accepted to college!!! 

4.  What?! Are we talking about this wild yak again? You betcha. I, for one, am super proud of it and I am now fairly resourceful when talking about the Wild Yaks of the mountains of Tibet and Nepal. This guy is pretty true to life in size. We finally, finally, finally got to present. To be honest, we had to review some of our facts, hence the paper with written/typed facts! These were all in our book we read, or I took them from their research that they recorded in their journals. Instead of trying to move our yak again, we presented in the hallway after lunch.  The students were so proud and it was so good for them to present what they learned. I hate it that so many times only the highest groups get to do research, I believe that this kind of learning solidifies learning for all learning levels, and so we jumped in to this project whole-heartedly, because some of these kids don't get to do extension projects. I know their classroom teachers agree, and I love how second grade is migrating toward more projects and hands-on learning strategies! Yay!!
My colleague pointed out to me that a female yak CAN be called a cow. However, a female yak is approximately
30% smaller than a male wild yak, so this guy here cannot be called a cow! 

5. Still searching.... 
The job quest is in full swing. Our district has some elementary openings and so far I cannot get an interview. I have talked until I am blue in the face, and so have my colleagues. Our district relies heavily on your score on those gallup polls, which I am aware that I cannot do that well on, but feel powerless to change. I feel like then I am faking stuff so I can fool people. But many times the answers offered are no where near what real life scenarios look like. I have knocked some interviews out of the ballpark this week, but I also got WAY too over excited in an interview. I have to try not to do that, it is not good. But it's progress, because I've told you all my sad stories about freezing in interviews and not being to articulate my teaching abilities, and the fact that I was able to answer questions without completely going blank is a huge step. So hooray.  I have to hold on to the idea that God is going to take care of me and that there is some sort of plan for it all. But when the jobs I really, really want don't come my way, I am crushed, lets just face it. I will probably always be like that. I can't apologize for it, it is also part of the passionate person that makes me a good teacher. The right job is out there and I pray God will bring it to me soon. In the mean time I pray I can stay positive, because no one likes a whiner! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Five Random Things from my week.

It's time for Five for Friday! I have been very forgetful lately in regard to documenting the miracle as it happens. But I did have enough to participate in this favorite linky this week! Whoot! Don't forget to read about everyone else's week! Just go to Doodle Bugs Teaching and read about our five random things from our week or our day. And don't be shy about leaving comments. Everyone loves to be loved in the form of a comment.

Numero Uno. (why am "speaking" in Spanish? No idea. It just sounded fun this morning).

My first grade group read The Amazing Ocean. It was a hard read for them. I decided we needed a connection to reward ourselves! So we wrote a sentence about one creature in the book and illustrated and labeled it.

Numero Dos.

Seriously? Yep, those are tights (aka pantyhose) on her head. 
Punky with her fully contained ecosystem: 4th grade science project.
Science at our house. My daughter's fourth grade class is having a science fair and needed a project. Our first few ideas got shot down. This one was at least as much fun for Mom, maybe more. But the smile says it all, she was proud. Her question is: will everything live. Everything includes: 2 small crickets, 2 sow bugs, 4 small guppies, 2 small aquarium snails, plus water plants, aquarium gravel (on both levels), soil, dead stuff to decay (leaves, and sticks and grass), grass seed to grow in the dirt, and a couple small marigold plants (left from when my previous First grade reading group planted them before Spring break-- handy, huh?).

Numero Tres. 

A second grade student that I work one-on-one with read Make a Boat That Floats. Then we made a boat and put it in water so it could float. We found out that it sails smoothly if you breath hits the water, but if you blow directly at the boat, it swirls around in circles as it moves. It was fun, it was motivational. 

Numero Quatro.

This is the wild yak that my Second grade group made. Last week we read Yaks of the Mountains and found out that one male wild yak can be up to 8 feet tall and 11 feet long! How do drive the monstrosity of this size to your students? So we got bulletin board paper and we make a wild Yak. We (um... mostly someone else, thanks Kelli!!) hung it in the hallway after school. I don't know how many people said, "Look at that COW!" A teacher suggested I put YAK on him really large, but I decided to put, "I am not a cow! Read to find out more" so that students and adults will come close and read about our yak! I had at least as much as the students and we all learned a lot.  One of their favorite facts was the a wild male yak weighs as much as car, or 2000 pounds. I said, "lets put that in terms of students, figuring that an average second grader weighs around 50 pounds, how many second graders would equal one yak?" We wrote our yak facts on the yak with black crayon. We will present our information to the second grade classes next week. This was a time consuming project but very rewarding! 

Numero Cinco. 

Best friend time. Once again I didn't get a photo of my friend and I. But I was given strict instructions by one Punky-girl to take lots of pictures of Stella, my bff's bff. Okay, more like her kiddo. So here is a picture of my friend's "puppy" Stella. I made the hour and half trek to my friend's house and we had lunch, shopped, watched college students blow glass (this is a long process and we actually got too hot and had to leave early), and talked and talked and talked. Good for the soul. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Five for Friday

So last week I couldn't even bring myself to post a Five for Friday. I was fairly certain last week that I would be getting the other call, the one that I don't typically get, a call requesting me to be the newest member of their teaching team. But I didn't. I got the call saying that they offered the position to someone else and that the someone else accepted it. I have had so many lousy interviews where I just fell on my face, and I was a bumbling fool, but not this one. I nailed it. Not meaning to brag people but seriously, I. NAILED. IT. One of the administrators in the interview even commented on how well I interviewed. That was a win, in and of itself. But I was truly disheartened that I didn't get the job. I was saddened. And the cycle begins again. I didn't cry this time. And another job slipped through my fingers since then, and again I didn't cry. So... progress. And THE job is still out there. I'm here, I'm back. It's time to link up for Five for Friday! Five "random" things from my week.

1. Good news! I think my child will actually be graduating from high school in a few short weeks! Bad news! I have not secured a place for a reception. So.... we are going to start working on the basement. I mean, nothing like deciding six weeks before graduation that we should put up a wall, cover said wall, cover the other framed walls, and make a party room. Where did the time go? And how am I going to get ready for this?! Stay tuned. It will be fun to post as it progresses.
This is a before picture. I got the stuff off the floor and onto the shelves. These shelves will soon
be in a storage room. The doors you see in the picture will be on that storage room and the laundry room. 

2. Third graders are working diligently on their Wax Museum presentations. They chose a person in history, they did reports on them, gathered information from the internet, and are making things to enhance their presentations: a commemorative corner, ANAGRAM, and Bio-Cube. They are gathering props, and writing speeches. I "caught" them working today, but they wanted to be caught on film, showing their smiling faces to the world. 
He really was hard at work before he realized I was going to take his picture! 

3. Identifying Character traits. That's what Fourth grade is working on. One day we filled in a Character web as we read.  Today we scoured some descriptive traits that we might use to describe our characters.  Then we wrote a paragraph. Well, they asked if they could write more than a paragraph. I had to cut them off and tell them time was up. We had a discussion about character traits and I put some pointers on the board. I overhead one student as he read to check for errors.... "This is really good!" I am really excited to read what they wrote and grade them. 

4. Personal news.... I will be working at my old stompin' grounds this summer, taking care of 3/4 year olds at Kids Kampus! Hooray! I am so excited to see Ms. Wanda and my friends there this summer! I can't wait! It will be good to reconnect, and because of the nature of my job this year, I will not be paid by my district this summer, so I am very grateful for an income. 

5. I don't have any pictures, but some of my intervention kiddos are moving around and it is exciting. It is exciting because some of them are really taking off! And I will be working with a different student than I have had before this. I have had this student in guided reading, but not in intervention. I am ready for the changes and the challenge! Bring it on! 

So that is my week in a nutshell. Some things that happened in the world of education this week, I didn't get photos of, and they will be much more effective with a photo. One project in particular we will still be working on this next week. So I will make sure to take a few photos, so I can include it in my next Five4Friday. 

Happy Weekend! I think Kansas might get some of her infamous storms this weekend. But I sure hope not. I hope for more of this lovely, windows-open kind of weather! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Currently....

It's going to seem a little redundant. It just does. I guess I will stop typing about some things when they come to pass. Until then....

Read my Currently or read all the Currently's out there. Thanks Farley for hosting every month!

First of all, let's all applaud that this old dog learned a new trick. sort of. I managed to do my Currently in Picasa with relative success. Hooray!

Listening.... I have not drown out my daughter's zen music with television noises yet, as I usually do. But it does sound pretty peaceful and relaxing.

Loving.... that since we are back in Kansas we can have my folks (or my sister's family) over for the evening if we want to. Ah.... home.

Thinking.... I've been on rant lately, maybe even a rampage. Struck with the thought that I am not alone in the world of feeling like a misfit, but that many people struggle with feeling like they are misunderstood and like they don't fit in. It is both overwhelming to realize this and freeing. I am not alone. And yet I am saddened.

Wanting.... "that" phone call. More on this at a later date.

Needing.... a job. (could the want and need be related? perhaps).

Hours and Days: I am scheduled to arrive at my job at 7:45 and I can actually stay until 3:45, but a lot of my colleagues are gone by then. And when I am salaried again, I will likely be at work long past the time to go home. Some sick part of me likes it like that.  Our last day is May 24. I think it is a 12:30 dismissal. And since I am not certified staff this year, my year can be over then. But I will have things to pack up and take home.

That is my Currently for April. Read about so many more over at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade! 

p.s. for the month of March I joined up with Two Writing Teachers for their Slice of Life posts. I loved writing every day. You can read them here. Or read what other writing teachers wrote by going to Two Writing Teachers blog.