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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sunday Letters.... they're back!

I love Sunday letters. I usually have some snarky ones just welling up inside of me, waiting for an appropriate outlet.

Dear Edupreneur,
Yeah, you. You know who you are. I try to let ignorant remarks roll off, but this one really got to me. "A mistake repeated more than once is a decision." I was so upset, I dedicated an entire blog post to it. I think that as an educator of educators, you would have a better grasp on reality than this. This quote that you posted (I realize you didn't write it, but you posted it on social media and supported it) goes against everything I believe about education. I believe that all students can learn but that some take longer to master the same materials and concepts as others. I believe that if your quote were true and we truly had a level playing field, your job would be eliminated. And it sounds to me like you are endorsing the whole "one size fits all" theory that we as teachers balk against so hard in regard to standardized testing. And the truth is, its personal. This is statement that rubs this gal wrong because I often have to repeat the same humiliating mistakes over and over again before I am ready to change and I know I will never be able to change if I continue to berate myself for what a loser I am. I would caution you, and social media users everywhere, think before you post.
Feathers Ruffled and still making mistakes

Dear Michelle,
I love the new button. I like linking up and reading your posts! I enjoyed your slices too. Depending on what grade or grades I teach next year, I really hope to do the classroom slice. Thanks for your inspiration and thanks again for hosting this linky.
Your Fan,

Dear Sammy,
I love that you love me. But I realize that you are getting older and some of your desire to snuggle is really just a need to keep warm. You are getting pushy in your old age. But I am sad that you have to yell at me so I'll pick up because you don't know if your back legs are going to get you up in the chair. I am worried about you and even though I jokingly call you "old man," your age concerns me and I don't want to learn to live without you. I would rather fight you forever for enough space to type and have to constantly push you off my lap because you really will just walk on top the computer and lay down. You are such a good companion. I love you old man.
It is hard to type when you crowd the computer, but I love how you snuggle.... 
Dear students,
I hope you are ready for the end of the year! It is approaching quickly! I know that some of you are going to be in for a surprise next year as you enter or re-enter a world of the traditional classroom with traditional deadlines and group expectations. I can't express to you the panic I feel trying to make sure you are prepared for what is next and the concern I have in regard to making sure you're on target. You are all beautiful souls with bright futures. Never let anyone tell you different.
Ms. Horn

Dear Future Educators of my students,
Please don't judge them too harshly and please keep in mind that many, if not most, of these students had low test scores when I became their teacher. In spite of standardized testing, it should still be about the progress these students made this year, not the gaps that are still there. Please look at the whole picture and instead of judging our program as a failure, look at how far these little learners have come and continue to encourage them to succeed. They will catch up if they are in the right environment and they will close the gap if they feel your love and acceptance.
A concerned mother hen of a teacher

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Five for Friday.... Saturday style

It was an exciting first week back after Spring Break. We did not have school on Friday so I have no excuse for not posting my Five for Friday. But here I am, finally posting!

 1. Should there be zoos? We researched this in regard to the animals we were researching.  Would our animals be better off in a zoo? or in the wild? We read about arguments for zoos and arguments against zoos. We researched it in regard to the habitat needed. We read the book: Should There Be Zoos? written by a Fourth Grade class.

 2. Five minute nap. You ever just decide... why fight it? These kiddos were SOOOOOOO tired on Monday. After read aloud we took a 5 minute nap. It was supposed to be a three minute nap, but I stepped in the hall to talk to my principal and it stretched into about six minutes actually. I try to wake their brains with "wiggle songs," "brain breaks," extra movement opportunities, sometimes exercises, but sometimes I am just like, "okay, 2 minute nap."

 3. We had book buddies this week. Everyone was glad to read together with their buddies.

 4. Easter celebrations.... started with jelly bean math and graphing! Yum! Okay, some of the jelly beans were not so tasty! But it was fun anyway!
sorting before graphing, using this fun freebie that I got HERE

These fourth graders had to roll a dice and multiply and make the groups of jelly beans. 

5. Easter fun! We made this uber cute jello pudding snack treat!

bunny peeps, starburst minis, jellybeans.... 
Here is the sample... 
crushing the oreos for our dirt

What do other teachers do for allergies? We substitute! In this case we substituted jello for pudding! 
The little carrots were made from Starburst minis! Who knew? You just roll them in your warm hand and they form into what you want!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Currently April....

I have to apologize, since the word was handed down that our school is closing I just have not had the heart to blog much. I am starting to come out of my funk just a little. Just enough to acknowledge that Spring has sprung in Kansas and it is a great time to be alive. Read about what everyone is doing.... Currently. Hop over to Farley's blog to learn more!

We all must have needed to sleep in, because it is still very quiet in this house this morning (it's after nine). Just the sound of the clock ticking is what keeps me company. (and a quiet, sleepy cat for a companion).

This past week, the weather has been in the 70's. So lovely. Well, yesterday was "cold" again, down in the 60's. I love it when that is considered "cool" or "cold"! I am bound and determined to have a garden this year and that will require outside help as there is a large mound of dirt over my old garden plot. Which brings me to thinking....

I am thinking about all these plans! My Dad and one of his hired hands went and scavenged Railroad Ties and brought them and set them at my house last night. Now to add some new, usable dirt, and I will be ready to plant my veggies! Hooray! I think I will be able to use the brick we tore up to make a walk way around the side of the house. It is all very exciting!

One of my friends just listed her country house. It is WAY out of my price league, but exactly what I dream of. I am pining for it in a very unreal way! Such as.... I went so far as to buy a powerball yesterday! I never do that! I don't really think the lottery will solve all my problems.

Our school is in the process of closing. The board of education voted to close our building and now a public hearing and final vote has been set. These are more or less formalities. After the shock and disbelief have worn off, I have been updating my resume, filling out applications, and filling out applications and..... *sigh* This is not what I wanted.

Education in Ms. Horn's world. I say it is pretty straight-forward. But there are several things that made me choose it. First of all, it used to be, Kindergarten in Ms. Horn's World because I was (and in my heart still am) a Kindergarten Teacher. I worded the name like I did because it is about teaching from my point of view, it is my world. So welcome to my world.

Here are Farley's rules: