Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Thankful Teacher

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it is very difficult to approach this holiday and not consider what I am thankful for within the 4 walls of my classroom.

I am thankful for...

1.  The opportunity to work with administrators that let me experiment, try, and fail in order to find what is best.

2.  The natural curiosity that lives within all students that help to make my job easier and exciting.

3.  The creativity that teaching allows on a daily basis.

4.  The loving support of parents and other teachers.  There is NO WAY that I could do this job without you.

5.  The lightbulb moments that happen every day.

6.  The privilege to help mold young minds into creative thinkers that break out of the box and blow me away.

7.  The small moments that I get to glimpse the future of my students. They may not be able to see the greatness yet, but I get small snapshots every now and then.

8.  The relationships with families that continue years after students leave my room.

9.  The students who have challenged my thinking, questioned my solutions, and pushed me to be better.

10.  The students who have fought me tooth and nail, but in the end have made amazing things happen in their lives and the lives of others.

11.  The opportunity to do what I love every single day.

It's not always easy to be a teacher, and it may not always be fun, but it is truly the best decision I've made in my life.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Back in Time...

This past week was a CRAZY busy week in my classroom.  Monday brought the Mock Election, Tuesday was a day off, and Wednesday was full blown Colonial Day.  Needless to say, by the end of the week, I was flat out EXHAUSTED.

For Colonial Day, we decided as a team that instead of doing it all ourselves, we would hire it out.  Best decision of my life!  If you are in South Carolina, North Carolina, or Georgia, check out Captain Sadler's Living History Camp.  This outfit brings EVERYTHING needed for a successful day.  Teachers get to choose the activities that take place and the group provides all of the materials.

Unfortunately, it rained on our day, so we had to forego the game of Rounders and dipping candles for activities that could be completed inside.

 Students played with traditional Colonial Games - Graces, 9 pins, Hoops and Sticks, Jacob's Ladder, Ball and Cup, Bilbo Catcher, Tops, and Yo-Yos.

 Captain Sadler also provided costumes for the kids to dress up in for photographs.  Most students chose the Native American costumes.

 We made Native American necklaces after we bartered for beads.

And we had Colonial School! Kids thought it was extremely fun to be on the Dunce Stool.  The day was fabulous, but exhausting!  We enjoyed everything about it.

*The opinions expressed in this post are my own.  Captain Sadler's Living History Camp did not ask me to write this.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Get out and vote!

We had our mock election today. Students were so excited to cast their vote at the polls. We spent most of our time discussing the privilege of voting and the importance of it. I think all of my kids understood how important it was. I knew the lesson hit the mark when one kiddo said, "We want you to get out of that bed, put on your clothes, even if you have to put on pajamas and fuzzy slippers, and go to the voting polls and vote." That was my favorite quote of the day.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

November Currently...

     Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade has her November Currently posted.  I look forward to it each month.  I especially enjoy reading everyone else's responses.  I cannot believe that it is November already!  This year is flying by.  We might as well pull out the Christmas decor and get busy shopping.  This month is CRAZY busy for me.  This week we have our school wide election of which I am in charge, Tuesday Election Day (don't forget to vote) so there is no school, Wednesday Colonial Day, Awards Day is in there too.  Then the next week is a field trip, and we slide into Thanksgiving holidays.  Like I said, crazy busy!
     Well, anyway, here is my November Currently....

Listening - I'm a Days of Our Lives girl. Have been since I was in high school.  I don't think I even watch the show completely, but the noise is comforting to me.  I watched it with my great grandmother Addie when I was in college and we would talk all about Bo and Hope.  I feel sure she would be able to catch up quickly if she was alive today.  The show hasn't changed much since then.

Loving - my lesson plans for the week.  This summer I spent a week at Colonial Williamsburg and we have hit that topic in social studies.  I can't wait to teach this week.  We have focused on Jamestown and are moving into colonial America.  This week has Colonial Day (costumes, yes!), indentured servitude simulations, election day, and so much more.  I cannot wait!

Wanting:  I'm always wanting new shoes, but I've been in the market for a new pair of flats for over a year now.  I can't find the right pair.  Boots - finally found a pair of Frye boots that fit my "athletic" calves. (According to the boot guy, I have dancer's calves.  I laughed out loud at that one).  

Needing:  I am so overbooked in every aspect of my life.  I have to find some balance.  My goal for the new year was to leave the school before 5:00 every day.  It has happened twice - and only because I had meetings off campus.  I'm opening the school at 6:30 and closing it down at 7:00.  The past two weeks have been insane with after school meetings.  I don't think I've seen my husband in the day light in the last month.  

Music:  I've bought specific songs on Itunes for my classroom to help kids with transition times this year.  My kiddos are VERY musical!  Their favorite, and mine too, is the theme song from The Muppet Show.  It is exactly one minute long and we use it ALL day!  The other one we have used this week is the Ron Clark Academy's song, "You Can Vote However You Like."  We have learned it, danced it, and performed it all week!

Link up with Farley at Oh Boy 4th Grade and check out everyone's November Currently!

I Don't Have the Answers...

It's taken me all weekend to begin to process what happened in Parkland, Florida.  I put it aside and compartmentalized it until I...