time is on my side

You know when you ask your class a question and a bunch of little hands shoot up in the air, all eager to share their answer? You know when you call on one of them, and the kiddo just sits there and ummmms and aahhhhs, and finally says "I forgot" rather sheepishly?

Well that's what happened to my little blog recently. "I forgot."

Actually, it was more of a too-tired-after-field-day, got-sick-over-Memorial-Day, just-started-reading-a-good-book kinda thing.

And I'm checking in only to say that time feels like it's moving like this:

With three days of school left, the work is piled high (that detailed end-of-year checklist!), the kids are driving me CUH-RAZY, and I'm finding it increasingly difficult to focus on anything longer than 2.3 seconds.

But summer break? Thinking about that can hold my attention for slightly longer than 2.3 seconds....

at least i can squirt some kids

Is it just me, or does time move more slowly nearing the last day of school? We've been "busy" with extra long recesses, awards ceremonies, career day, and cleaning out classrooms.

Technically the last day of school is next Thursday, but full-on babysitting mode has already begun! Tomorrow is our campus wide Field Day. Field Day is basically a few hundred kids running around in the sweltering heat while the teachers "supervise" their stations. The upside? We get to carry around squirt guns and spray the kids!!

Here's a picture of me during last year's Field Day. It was 98 degrees out there:

Tomorrow it's *only* supposed to be 95 and sunny. If you don't hear from me this weekend, it's because I've MELTED!

field trip massacre

We took 41 first graders to the nature center on Friday. We spent the morning talking about habitats and food chains and protecting the environment. We did plenty of hands-on activities and got to see some pretty cool creatures.

And then? The field trip massacre.

It was right after lunch, and we were lined up outside to start our thirty minute guided hike. One of my deaf education kiddos, "Sherry" was at the the front of the line with some other girls. I suddenly heard a commotion and I turned around to someone crying "IT'S A BUG!!!"

Without a second's thought, Sherry brought her foot up as high as she could, and with all of her seven-year-old might, she slammed it down on top of the small beetle.

I gasped. Our tour guide gasped. Hadn't we been talking about protecting the environment and the creatures who live here?

"OH NO!" I said to Sherry. I didn't want to make her feel too bad (it's instinct after all, isn't it?), but I did give her a short lecture.

Our tour guide addressed the other 40 first graders and explained how we would be walking around any bugs that came across our path instead of on top of them.

She came back to Sherry and glanced down at the offending bug.

"I guess you should put it out of its' misery and finish him off...."

Friday Confessional

I confess...

That in the last two weeks I've spent more time on the internet than lesson planning during my designated lesson planning time.

I confess...

That I truly felt appreciative of our principal on Bosses' Day! This is a foreign feeling.

I confess...

That I've been taking Max's cooking for granted! I need to cook more. Can't wait until we're done remodeling/redecorating our kitchen!

Sneak Peek: More pictures to follow!

I confess...

That $53.70 is the most I've ever spent on a pair of shoes. I bought a pair online yesterday (but that's a whole 'nother blog post!)

I confess...

That I'm kinda glad we're staying put for most of the summer. Gives me lots of time to craft!

I confess...

That I'm DREADING going in to school today. Taking 21 first graders to a local nature center in the pouring rain is not my idea of fun!

I confess...

That this is the FIRST meme I've ever done in five years of blogging! Click on the button to link up your Friday confessional!


A teacher's perspective, in graph form

For all of you non-teachers out there, I've created a visual representation of the year. Pay particular attention to the month of May if you want to know how things are going these days!

Here's what's going on with the kids:


Here's what's going on with the teachers:


Getting there faster

If you've ever walked a line of young children down the hall towards the doors that lead to a playground, then this post is going to make perfect sense to you.

It starts off well. You've barked at reminded the children to use their hallway manners and your line is looking pretty decent. Hands behind the back. Mouths closed (for the most part). Low speed.

Halfway down the hall and suddenly 24 pairs of arms are at their sides and the pace has quickened. Children are also talking to each other.

As you get nearer and nearer to the doors that lead outside, suddenly the children start hurrying, actually sprinting, towards freedom. The boys take the three steps that lead down to the doors all in one leap. They start whooping and hollering at the top of their lungs just as they come upon the threshold.

They know that the quicker they hurry, the faster they're going to be outside.

Friends. If only Time worked like that too. I would be teaching in speedy-mode, rushing to get to the end of the school year. I would be running to and fro. I would be typing my lesson plans at 100 wpm. I would be talking a mile a minute. 

But there's nothing I can do except to make the most of the 13 days of school we have left!

the classroom discussions i live for

I was with my deaf ed bunch one afternoon, and we were reading a Big Book called "I Swam with a Seal". In the book, a little girl goes to play with various animals and the animals wonder why she doesn't look like them.

Let me try to recreate a particularly interesting page that started an incident that had me laughing all the way home. (Note: blah blah blah = I don't remember the words)

"I bothered a beaver,
who was building a dam,
blah blah blah,
and away he swam.

Where is your strong tail,
you funny beaver?"

I know what you're all thinking: "Uh oh, some kid noticed the "dam" in the sentence and misunderstood!" Nope! Here's what happened:
I finished reading the page, and my second grader stops the class and says "Wait, wait, wait". He is looking pretty confused. Then he asked: "Beaver have tail?"

At least, that's what I thought he said, so I said: "Yes, beavers have tails!" I even pointed at the picture for emphasis.

He looked alarmed, and then said: "What? Justin Bieber have a TAIL?!?"

And then I giggled. A lot. Because "Beiber" and "beaver" sound very similar. So I wrote some things down on the board and drew some stick figures just to make sure that he didn't go home thinking his favorite superstar had a tail!

Teacher Appreciation Week

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week and my school had a theme for it (because we like to go overboard like that): "We're WILD about our teachers!"

Monday we had to wear our zebra prints (and when hardly anyone did because who has zebra prints in their wardrobe, the principal had a good talking to with everyone.)

Tuesday we wore leopard prints. Yes, I had to go out and buy a special shirt for that one!

Wednesday was "bear your feet" day and we all got to wear flip flops (YESSSSS!)

Thursday was "Monkey see- Monkey Do" (twin day)

Friday was "wild mane day" (crazy hair)

I had a bit of fun on Friday, and this is what I looked like.

The kids kept raising their hands to tell me I had pink in my hair!

Anyways, breakfast was provided for us on the first two days and lunch was provided for the next three. The benefits of working in a mostly Hispanic school? When the parents get together to cook for you, it's better than ANYTHING you'll ever eat at a Mexican restaurant!

Teacher Appreciation Week was very yummy, but not so good for my waistline....

I hope all you teachers out there got spoiled, too!!

a mother's day story I wish was fictional

When I announced to my small group of first and second graders that we were going to make chocolate covered pretzels for a Mother's Day gift on Friday, "Thomas" had a strange reaction. His usually smiling face fell into a dark scowl.

"I. Don't. Want to." he declared.

I was almost surprised until I remembered his family situation. Thomas was adopted from a land far away into a very rich couple's home. Yes, they knew he was deaf. But the rumor is, the couple wanted to save their marriage and an adopted kid seemed like just the thing.

A few years went by and the marriage dissolved anyway. Now little Thomas is raised by an aging grandfather and an elderly nanny that mom hired so she can live at her workplace.

From what I've observed, the mother treats him like he should be behaving like a forty year old man: grown up and mature already instead of the seven year old child that he is. It's hard to watch.

His nanny (who's been with him for most of his life) is the one who brings him to school, who drives over his lunch or his homework when he forgets it, and who communicates to his teachers.

So back to Friday. Not even after several encouraging prompts could I get Thomas to make a gift for his mother. It was only once I promised him that he could make two gifts - one for his mother, one for his nanny - that he changed his mind and decided to participate.

It broke my heart right down the middle.

Mom? Thank you SO much for not only doing the job yourself, but for having done such a terrific job to boot! I love you: you're the best!!

family planning according to a 3rd grader

I was chatting with one of my third grade students in the deaf ed program. She asked me: "Do you have a boyfriend?"
"No," I said, "I have a husband! I'm married!"
"Oh. Do you have kids?"
"No," I answered, "No kids yet!"
"Ohhhhh," she said in a knowing way, "wait until you're taller!"

Calendar place value

I meant to share this about a hundred school days ago but better late than never! This is what we do in first grade to count days we've been in school.

I like this method in particular because you can show the separation of the ones, and then create a group of ten with a chain. Very visual!

Of course, I have a different kind of school day tracker on my desk (21 more days to go!!!!!!!!!!)

Birthday Weekend

I turn 29 today!! Or as I like to say: "I'm turning 29 for the first time!" (HA!)

I had a wonderful birthday weekend! Camping fell through, but Plan B was pretty amazing! Max and I enjoyed eating out for breakfast, then we headed to the zoo! Here are some highlights:

This is my favorite shot of the day (if you look closely, it looks like a reptile is on my head!):

After the zoo, we headed to a frozen yogurt bar. I had a big cup of root beer frozen yogurt with white yogurt chips. Birthdays are delicious!
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