Letters to Santa

It's recess time, and I couldn't resist copying a letter one of my students wrote in her classroom journal. Here it is, word for word, just as she wrote it:

"Dear Santa Claus,
Please give me a puppy. I would like to play with Sant Claus. would you give me a teddy bear. I would give you a cookies. I would like a crayons. you make me lap [laugh] Santa Claus. I would like a Book. and I would like a apple. Please Santa, I would wait for Santa.

Awwwwww. In the midst of their hyperactivity this week, they still manage to be precious...

Holiday Survival

Well, I'm still slacking. I know this because I'm blogging as my students are working. But it's Monday, December 18th, and I shouldn't even be in school right now. It's so hard to be at work when my parents and my brother are in town; furthermore, Max and Peter are done with school and get to sleep in. Life's not fair is it?

This week is typically a week when nothing gets done... between holiday music program dress rehearsals and the actual program on Wednesday, "Santa's workshop" all day Friday (each class in the DHH program hosts a craft and the kids are split up into groups and rotate), and general craziness and hyperactivity, anything academic that occurs is a coincidental byproduct of our frenzied activities. Being the good teacher that I am, I will of course still try to sneak in some actual teaching and learning this week... but just in case I can't get motivated to do any work, I've scheduled "holiday language activities" such as: watching "The Grinch", and watching "The Polar Express". With any luck, this week will fly by and we won't even have to crack open a book (just kidding. Or was I?)

Here's to surviving until Friday!


Well, I'm officially no longer contagious, so I had to get up and go to school today. Yuck. It turned out to be a wonderful four day weekend, though. I spent all day yesterday (Tuesday) with my mom and dad. First, I went out for breakfast with my mom. We had a wonderful (though somewhat expensive) meal at Haute Cakes. When dad joined us later, we bought a real, live Christmas tree from Target and then went out to Goodwill to get the decorations. We had a fun time decorating it (ever so quietly as Max was writing a paper in the next room...). And I think for a total of 36 dollars spent, we did okay!

(It looks even nicer when the lights are on, but the camera wasn't doing it justice)
Since then, I've been back at school, realizing just how far behind I am after two days off. I would normally just throw myself into the work, but I can't seem to get motivated with Christmas around the corner. I have a lot of baking to do for staff parties next week, and I'm trying to get ahead so things will be prepared on January 9th when I go back, but mentally, I'm already on break. I don't feel like doing any more work (and I think the kids feel the same way too!). I deliberately came home at three today, even though I knew I had work to get done. Tsk, tsk. Here's to slacking off!!

Pink Eye Vacation

As you may have inferred from my oh-so-subtle title, I'm home right now because I have pink eye. I wondered if something was wrong when it took me five minutes to open my eyes this morning in the light. The tip off was the color of course. I put my glasses on and headed off to work anyways, because I am just that conscientious of a teacher. I did start to get a little nervous, however, when the drive to work was little more blurry than normal....
I waited outside the school nurse's office at 8:30 to see if she thought the redness in my eye was serious. I think she did, because she took one look at me and told me to go home immediately. So, with five minutes before the morning bell, I realized that there was no time to call a sub and my aide was taking a personal day. I split my kids in two groups and sent them to spend the day with my dear, understanding, helpful colleagues.

And that was that. I went to the doctor to get some eye-drops, and I've been home ever since. This is the FIRST sick day I've taken in all my years of teaching (one and one half years to be exact), and ironically, I feel just fine. I'm just uber-contagious.

I have big plans for today. Before my parents come over at four, I'm going to read my very interesting new novel, drink some hot tea, and I may even indulge in a bath. You should get pink eye too. It's fun!

Proud Pet-Owner

Well, I've finished all three sessions of the CTEL review (for the tests I take on Saturday). It was a lot of information--fortunately, it was all familiar and common sense to me. I actually enjoyed the sessions; I find myself fascinated by language acquisition and development, as well as cultural issues (I guess that makes sense since I grew up in another culture and I teach language to deaf kids). One student in the class, a science teacher, referred to the review sessions as "bulimic learning"--get it? He's learning all of this information just to regurgitate it on the test and forget about it forever. I thought that was an interesting analogy...

In other news, I went to an all-day conference about how to teach the life cycles of a butterfly to second graders. It was a very good conference, and I came away with lots I can use in my classroom.... as well as three sample caterpillars in jars. Instead of bringing them to my classroom (I'll wait until spring to do that unit because that's when I get the kit from the district), I brought them home to be the pets that I've always wanted. Pets that will only live for a couple of weeks, but pets nonetheless. They're in three separate containers, and I've named them Alvin, Simon and Theodore after my favorite cartoon chipmunks. They'll probably be butterflies by the time everyone gets here (I think). So exciting.

I need a puppy.

Ticking Away

I can hardly keep my eyes open and it's barely 7:30 at night. Ahhh, Monday.
I started out the day by poking myself under my right index finger fingernail with a quite sharp bristle of my roller brush. There was definitely blood, and definitely screaming (muted screaming, as Max was still asleep)--the perfect start to my morning...

No really, today wasn't that bad, it was just hectic and hyper. That is, my schedule was hectic and the kids were hyper. It was like they've been ticking time bombs since September, storing up all of their hyperactivity to unleash today. I couldn't get them to close their mouths or sit still. I'm not sure what all of the excitement was about... If this is Christmas excitement, then I might as well crawl under my desk and wait it out until December 22nd because it's only going to get worse from here on out!

I have quite a busy week this week. I'm taking three three-hour tests on Saturday and I've got study sessions to go to during lunch, as well as a three hour review session on Wednesday evening, and a two hour review session on Thursday evening. I'm also going to be at a science conference all day Thursday, and while I'm looking forward to a break in my weekly routine, it sure is going to be a lot of work getting sub plans ready! I'm sure by Saturday the LAST thing I'll want to do is get up early and sit through nine hours of testing, but on the next day.....

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