Hello, Colorado River!
Steve and I got away last weekend with our friends (Jason and Stacie) for a teeny tiny mini vacay. Stacie’s sister and brother-in-law came, along with the kids, and it was the same group that went to Mexico for Spring Break a couple of years ago (we also spend every single New Year’s Eve with them). Super fun people, super easy people, super go-with-the-flow people. We spent the day out on the river on Saturday, had a really yummy steak dinner out that night, laughed and laughed and laughed some more on the back patio, slept in a little, and then headed home on Sunday.
You might remember that Jason and Stacie bought a house out there a little over a year ago. Steve and I spent Thanksgiving there last year. Well, Jason and Stacie couldn’t get away on Friday night until late so they told us to go on ahead.
Make yourselves at home! they said.
Open a bottle of wine! they said.
Get in your pjs, go to bed, and don’t wait up! they said.
So we were really looking forward to this. All the way up there on Friday night, I kept picturing myself on their big ole comfy couch in my pjs with a glass of wine, making myself comfortable. I pictured myself dozing off on the couch and then welcoming them into their own home hours later.
BUT THAT WAS NOT TO BE.
And do you know WHY that was not to be?
Well, let me tell you then.
When we arrived at their house at 10:00pm, Steve did NOT have the key.
They gave him a key BUT HE DID NOT BRING IT WITH HIM.
And this is after I said, in our own driveway AT HOME, do you have the key? And he said yes, I have the key, and then he drove out of the driveway and on to Arizona WITHOUT THE KEY.
I SAID — WITHOUT THE KEY.
Did you know that you cannot get into a house WITHOUT A KEY unless someone has left a window open or unless YOU BREAK IN?
And Jason and Stacie did not leave a window open BECAUSE THEY DO NOT LIVE THERE EVERY DAY. IT IS THEIR SECOND HOME.
Of course, they did not leave a window open!
We called them to see how far away they were and they had pretty much JUST LEFT.
And I know Steve didn’t mean to do it, and I know it was an accident, but I’m here to tell you that I was a little bit grumpy ANYWAY. At least for five minutes.
Then I crawled into the backseat, covered myself with a beach towel, and dozed off.
We left our house at 4:30pm on Friday and finally got into their house at 1:30am on Saturday. And we came back home on Sunday.
That’s what you call a MINI vacay.
Reading Groups are in FULL SWING and I AM LOVING IT!
I love love love guided reading. It is probably my most favorite time of the day, next to read alouds, Junie B., singing, centers, plays, etc etc etc . . .
This year, I bought Missing Tooth Grins’ Pop the Balloon pack because I came across it on Instagram or somewhere and I loved the way Alisha explained how she used it.
Depending on the group, or the kid, or the skill, she has a card(s) ready and the kids start at the bottom and work their way up the balloon, saying the letter/sound/word chunk/etc and then when they get to the top, they say POP! My kids slap the top of the card. It sounds so simple, but let me tell you, they LOVE it.
They beg for it!
I try to switch things up and not have us do the exact same thing every day, but as soon as I have something besides Pop the Balloon, they ask me aren’t we going to pop the balloon?
This post from Mash Up Math cracked me up!
I almost never forget, but I can’t be perfect or right 100% of the time, so I DO, on occasion, forget to take attendance. And, if I do forget, it’s because I am teaching an absolutely amazing lesson, obviously.
I would like to point out that, because I am old, forgetting to take attendance, at least for me, is a newer, technological thing. When I first started teaching, our attendance was a list of student names in a folder. And the folder was put in my box every day, and I took it to class, and I took attendance with a PENCIL. And then an upper grade student came by and collected the folder and took it to the office FOR ME.
Which means, if I forgot to take attendance, the upper grade student would stop by to pick up my folder, and that would remind me to take attendance, and then NOT ONE PERSON IN THE OFFICE EVER KNEW THAT I FORGOT. Because I gave the upper grade student candy to KEEP QUIET. DUH.
And guess where I put that folder every morning?
Outside the door ON THE GROUND.
There you go.
I didn’t even have to keep track of it in my classroom.
Open the door, plop.
We all did it. We were told to do it. That way, the upper grade student wouldn’t interrupt your class, unless you forgot to take attendance and then it was more of a reminder situation and not an interruption at all, and made all the candy-giving worth it.
If the wind blew the folder away? Not my problem.
If that one time it rained, and the rain blew sideways, and the folder got soaked? Not my problem.
I miss the good ole days.
I don’t have a picture for this one.
But I’m going to call it REVOLVING DOOR.
I have a revolving door in my class this year AND IT DOES NOT FEEL GOOD.
It is sad and awful, and I hate it, and I need it to stop.
I started day one with 29 kids on my list.
24 showed up.
So I got the next four new students.
Then I lost one.
Then I got another one.
Then I lost two.
Got another one.
And so on.
I’m losing count.
Here’s the deal, though. Here it is in a nutshell.
I prayed every day during the summer that God would give me 28 or less students because I’ve had 30/31/32 for the last umpteen years and this year, we ADDED a second grade so that our high first grade numbers last year would be better for second grade. Which means, if you’re not clear, that while I had 31 FIRST graders (meaning first for everything, first for all day, first for real grades, first for A.R., first for the big playground, first for eating on their own without a teacher, first, first, FIRST!!!) . . . while my teammates and I each had 31 first graders last year, the second grade teachers all have 20 or 21. Because not all of our kids stayed so they even lost some kids over the summer.
So I prayed and prayed and prayed some more that I could have 28 or less.
And I have learned a very hard lesson.
Because God has pretty much told me, practically in ACTUAL WORDS, it is not a feeling or a wondering, that HE KNOWS WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE IN MY CLASS AND THAT THE NUMBER DOES NOT MATTER.
He has said to me STOP TRYING TO CONTROL YOUR CLASS LIST.
God has given me 28 or less. I haven’t had over 28 all year.
So He answered my prayer. But in HIS way.
It’s kind of funny, if you ask me.
So I’ve got 28 or less.
And now I pray for each CHILD in my class.
NOT THE NUMBER.
So I have accidentally started collecting teacher t-shirts from Jane.com. I say accidentally because I’m always surprised when it shows up in the mail. FOR REAL.
If you personalize it with your school name, it takes WEEKS to get. But I’m not mad about it because LOOK HOW CUTE THEY ARE! I blame Erica over at Erica’s Edventures because she posts about this one, or that one, and that they’re FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY and so the next thing I know, I’m texting my team about it, and putting one in my cart, and sweating and panicking that I’ll miss out and my blood pressure goes through the roof every.single.time.
This is my life, people. Stress over t-shirts and numbers.
I know that I am ridiculous. You do not need to point it out.
Some other great things about these T-shirts: they are SO SO SO SOFT. And they are CHEAP!
And they have super duper cute seasonal ones, too.
With all of my school spirit wear, plus these cute shirts, plus some grade level shirts I’ve bought over the years, I think I can wear jeans and a t-shirt every day for the rest of the school year without repeating.
I won’t. I try to “dress up” a couple of times a week.
But I’m a firm believer in being comfortable while I’m teaching because I feel like it makes me a better, happier teacher.
Well, that wraps up my week. We are in San Diego this weekend (I KNOW! I’m on the go!) with my parents! 🙂
P.S. I am praying for all of the victims and everyone affected by the Las Vegas shooting. I couldn’t believe it. I started looking for the heroes right away, the helpers, the good stories, the uplifting stories . . . our world is so broken. I pray for comfort and healing.