Sunday, May 23, 2010

Summer Reading

I have three and half days left with the kids! I'm pumped. It's been an exhausting year. I don't have much planned for the summer. My husband and I will visit family in Kentucky and Michigan. I will get back into regular workouts at the Y. I will sleep. I will watch So You Think You Can Dance. I will read. I bought my fourth Jodi Picoult book today - Harvesting the Heart. I couldn't help but to begin reading it already.

I'm trying to narrow down my Amazon wish list of teaching books...  

Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students By Their Brains
 by LouAnne Johnson

Creating Classrooms Where Teachers Love to Teach And Students Love to Learn
 by Robert Sornson

Teaching With Love and Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom
 by Jim Fay, David Funk

Teach with Your Strengths: How Great Teachers Inspire Their Students 
 by Rosanne Liesveld, Jo Ann Miller, and Jennifer Robison 

Seven Simple Secrets: What the BEST Teachers Know and Do! 

 by Annette L. Breaux and Todd Whitaker

Failure Is Not an Option®: 6 Principles for Making Student Success the ONLY Option 
 by Alan M. Blankstein 

 by Annette Breaux and Elizabeth Breau

The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life 
 by Parker J. Palmer 

Any recommendations? 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Out in the Country

I spent the weekend in Kentucky visiting some of my family.

 This is my nephew Zachary... and my nephew Brett.
They are twins, and they are incredible. I'm so grateful that they now live about 17 hours closer. 

My dad is on the left.

Simple post. I'm so worn out! 
61/2 days...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Funnies for Friday

Today during a reading of a Curious George book, one of my boy's said "That man with the yellow hat really needs to get a name!!" . . . Earlier this year I had laringytis, but I had to work. (I'm not a fan of having a sub.) The same student would not stop telling me to "Just go like this..." as he cleared his throat.

Yesterday on the playground I got a hug from a student I taught last year. I asked her if she was ready for 2nd grade. She looked at me puzzled and said, "When am I going to 2nd grade?!" like she had no idea. She's a silly girl. It reminded me of the first day of school this year when she showed up to my classroom. I thought she was just there to say hi, but she sat down on her old spot on the rug! When I told her that she wasn't in my class anymore, she was so confused. She didn't even know who her new teacher was!

I also enjoy a good laugh when a child takes something that is figurative literally. Last year I got on to one little fellow by telling him to "Cut it out!" and he said "huh?" as he picked up a pair of scissors. One day this year I told the class to "Stop farting around!" The reaction was priceless. Half the kids just lost it with laughter and others looked puzzled and amused at the same time. I imagined them to be picturing someone being launched around the room like a let-go-balloon from passing gas.

One of my coworkers mentioned something about picking something up from the drugstore. Then a child gasped and said, "They have stores for that?!" 

The same coworker told me about a student who she can never turn her back to. One day the teacher stepped into the restroom while her class was busy in centers and when she opened the door, she was greeted by her class right outside the door shouting "Happy Birthday!!" Right there front and center and the loudest, was this little girl.

Yesterday the same teacher had to step out of her room for just a second, and she heard that little girl scream. The teacher threw open the door and saw everyone trying to hide under tables, etc. And who do you think organized this? Her teacher doesn't find it entertaining, but I think it's hilarious. Haha.

These stories may only be funny to teachers or they may be the kind that you just "have to be there" to appreciate, but his sort of thing cracks me up!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2nd Anniversary

My husband and I have been married for two years now (as of Monday)! I still love him to pieces. I made cupcakes from scratch for our wedding, and I have made the same recipe for both of our anniversaries now. I love traditions! <3 Plus, these cupcakes are delicious! Another tradition we have is to write down the big events of the past year in a special journal. I think reflection of the past is very dear. 

Last year Brent gave me tons of art supplies... so much that I'm not out of paint or canvases yet! This is my latest painting, inspired by spring.

Now I can't help but post one of my favorite pictures of us... 

Return from our 2nd Spring Break

We planted marigolds for Mother's Day. My class took the plants home yesterday. I forgot to send them home on Monday, which was our first school day back since the flood the previous weekend. That's right, they were off an entire week! We even had to cancel our Mother's Day program. Sadly, I forgot to water them the Friday before the flood, because it was a crazy field day. The plants didn't look as nice as would have liked, but I'm glad they grew. 

Aren't these paper flowers cute? My class made them for me in art class one day. 

My class this year loves puzzles! These went along with our butterfly theme really well. My class last year did not enjoy puzzles much, which I think is the reason they lost 2 pieces to my caterpillar puzzle. :,-)

This week we've spent a lot of time discussing the flood and doing end-of-year assessments. It's also career week at our school. Yesterday our channel 5 meteorologist came and talked to our kindergarten and first graders. He did a wonderful job discussing his job as well as the weather in general. The kids had a lot of interesting questions about flooding especially. I learned that the 13 1/2 inches of rain we got in just two days would have been about 13 FEET of snow with the right temperature!! 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

We didn't get to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this year, but I have a cute picture from last year. It was good times. Thanks to our music teacher, we had sombreros, ponchos, and Mexican music for a mini fiesta. 

Nashville schools have been closed all week due to the flood. :(  We still have thousands without power, a water shortage, roads closed, flood water, etc. It's estimated to more than a billion dollars of damage!

 I went to school today to water our very thirsty Mother's Day plants. I ended up staying and getting a lot of work done. Tomorrow teachers have to report to school to prepare for the students return. We are expected to have students either Friday or Monday. We're not sure if these days will be forgiven or will have to be made up. I wouldn't be too shocked if they ask teachers to go ahead and bring our sleeping bags to the school.

Monday, May 3, 2010


So Friday I enjoyed a gorgeous day outdoors for our field day. Friday night I went to a cook-out with more great weather. Then Saturday, I woke up to drenching thunderstorms. Nashville has now seen about 13 1/2 inches of rain just this month, causing ridiculous amounts of flooding. I've never seen anything like it...

Source unknown - I-24 with 150 stranded vehicles. 

by Stacey Irvin -  View of downtown Nashville and the Cumberland River from the pedestrian bridge - Suspected to crest tonight reaching something like 50 feet.

Source unknown - I'm in love with this city's spirit.

by Wriker Photo - Beautiful photo, beautiful city. 

by Steve Anderson

by Erik Hollander

I've been home all weekend staying dry. I've been very fortunate to not have any damage to my apartment building or vehicles. The damage is inconceivable, with 6 lost lives in Nashville and 12 state-wide. Thousands have been evacuated, have damage to their homes/cars, and tons of roads are still closed... What a disaster!

Meanwhile, school's been out... I'm still home, trying to figure out how I can help.