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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Shameless Begging....

Okay, so I told someone yesterday that I am not beyond shameless begging. And that is only partly true. I feel a little bit of guilt. Guilt that I didn't think to put these things on my list when we were getting back to school supplies for our classrooms at the end of last year. Guilt that I would put it out there to you, my friends in bloggy land. Guilt that I don't have enough in my bank account to just go get this stuff.... But alas, I cannot cover these items this year. So I'm asking for your help for the items I still need.

I need magnets to stick to the backs of my business cards so I can hand out refrigerator magnets at open house. I need a total of 25. But they come in packs of 10, so I guess I need 3 packages.
Click the picture to go to
I need bean bag filler. My bean bag is too flat. (oh, sadness). It is no bueno when a student goes to the calm down area, flops in the beanbag and hits their head or their bottom because they sink all the way to the bottom of the beanbag (not very calming after all)!
click the image to go to the order page
I bought some water bottles at the Dollar Tree last Spring. They were 3 for $1. But the 3 for $1 size is really too small. They are constantly needing refilled! I really need the 2 for $1 size. And the Dollar Tree I visited yesterday did not have them (again.... sadness). So I need water bottles. They wouldn't have to be from Dollar Tree. They just need to be BPA-free, and be 16-20 oz. and have a sport top lid (not 8 oz for sure, possibly 12 oz). Here are some ideas:
I actually couldn't find the number of ounces this holds, these may be on the small side. Click to see them at 
Target dollar spot usually has sport top bottles for $1 that are 12 or 16 oz. But I can't find an image of them to post. I would need a total of 24 or 25 of these.

Here are some from Dollar Tree. They can be ordered online in a case of 25. I know that in the Salina store they had them wrapped up 2 together for $1 and they were *big enough* (16 oz. I think). 

click to go to Dollar tree order page
Last but not least.... is it really last? Don't we as teachers ALWAYS find more and more that we "need"? Anyway....
I *need* clear contact paper. I could use clear packing tape, but it makes things gummy and is hard to clean. I am trying to build a better relationship with the custodians this year! A roll of clear contact paper would make so many things easier!
click here to go to to order
So that is all for now. Shameless? I am not sure about that. But begging nonetheless. I could really benefit from this stuff and I didn't have the foresight to order it last year. Or I just realized the importance of it now!

If you order things online, ship them to: Carrie Horn, Faris Elementary School, 301 E. 10th, Hutchinson, KS 67501.

Of course, these are always the right shape, color and size:

Okay family and friends, I know that I should be embarrassed for begging. And part of me is. But there's a part of me that knows my school year will start so much better if I can acquire these items and the almighty dollar is stretched pretty thin around here these days!

Above all what my classroom needs is your good thoughts and prayers. Prayers for students to feel safe and loved. Prayers for me to be centered and balanced. Prayers for our school and our administration to always do what is best for the kids.

Thank you for being part of my life and reading my blog. Thanks for seeing me as a valuable human being long before I saw myself that way. May you feel blessed today! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Reflecting on Writing

So I did not take time to reflect on my month of blogging with BTL in the month of July and I decided that I would rather be late than not post at all.
I'm going on a short side trip, so go with me for just a minute....
I just finished 4 days of professional development called "Adaptive Schools." Very good training. In-depth and practical and relationship building. And if you know me at all, you know I think that relationship building is key to any sort of success in life. One of the things we talked about frequently was the need to process what we are learning or we will lose it. Okay, so that is ultimately why I want to go back and reflect on my month of blogging even though my mind is full steam ahead looking at the upcoming school year.

Blogging in July was....
  • up close and personal. And I was okay with it. But I am also aware that I'm on over-sharer and I hope that is not what I did by sharing some deeply personal things about myself. 
  • fun.... mostly. Some days were difficult, but what I noticed was that the more I blogged the easier it was to do it. Once I missed a couple of days, then it was harder to find my flow again. 
  • inspirational. 
  • motivational. I felt like a writer. I also felt more competent in other areas of my life if I blogged. Blogging competency spilled over into other areas and motivated me to garden, clean, sew, read and connect.
  • reflection = growth.
Sometimes I try to stay away from the deeply personal, but I also think that it is a core part of who I am and why I do the things I do. And my friend Rebecca says that my past is now my strength, so use it. Which means I'm done pushing it down and pretending I am like all the other people in this world.

Blogging was easier the more I did it. I can draw a parallel between this and just about anything educational that I want to. But in particular I am thinking about writing. The more my students practice writing, the more confident they will be, the easier it will become. There are some students who will never write as quickly or as fluidly as some others, but from wherever they start, they will improve and it will become easier. I think daily practice is something I will focus on more this year because of this challenge. I don't think my Kinders will blog this year (ha ha), but we'll start with name writing practice and letter formation. And as we progress throughout the year, we will continue to improve and extend and write more. It will become routine.

Writing can inspire. I want to reflect on inspiration and growth both at the same time. When I took time to reflect on the big things in my life, I was inspired. I realize now that sometimes I "miss" those little things that are actually big things because I don't take time to reflect on my day and what was really important.

When I accomplish something and have a focus, everything is more focused and organized in my life. Summer can be dangerous for me because too little structure leads to feeling lazy and useless but also feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Blogging often gave me a start. Though some days it was how I ended my day.

I loved this challenge and I hope, hope, hope that Michelle will bring back "Letters" on a regular basis because it is one of my favorite forms of writing (no pressure my friend). I learned and grew and I am inspired to-- be a more consistent writer for my own benefit; and to instill a practice of writing in my class.