I am officially on Thanksgiving Break! It doesn’t feel real, but I’m sure it will click in on Sunday night WHEN I WILL BE AS FREE AS A BIRD! If you still have to work next week (GAH!), I’ll be thinking of you while I drink my lazy cup of coffee. 😉
Last weekend, I went to Arizona with my family for my Grandma‘s memorial service. She passed away on August 4, but many of her friends were traveling during the summer (Snow Birds) and we were asked to delay the service.
My dad worried that no one would come, that no one would get up to speak about her during the share time, that it wouldn’t go as planned.
But people came. And people shared.
My parents asked me to read my blog post about her which made me a little nervous because I was afraid I would cry through the whole thing, but God gave me His strength and I DID IT! 🙂
It was really special to hear my Grandma’s friends tell stories about her, talk about her amazing spirit, her strength, her determination, and the way she inspired all of us.
Seriously, she was just the sweetest thing. I know some people get grumpier and crankier when they get older, but my Grandma just got sweeter and sweeter.
It was a good day. A really good day.
I mentioned in my last post that I gave my kids bubblegum and I found a picture of it!
This is from the Moffatt Girl’s Adjectives pack and WE LOVED IT. I mean, who wouldn’t?
I was torn between buying Hubba Bubba bubblegum or sugar free gum because you know . . . trying to set a good example and all that, but then I found this Starburst gum which is sugar free, but looked super delicious and naughty all at the same time!
My kids were hooting and hollering when I showed them the pack.
HOOTING AND HOLLERING, I said.
It’s the little things.
I used to do this with apples or something equally as healthy, but bubblegum is just way way way better as far as engagement, if you ask me. The pack also has a page where you use adjectives to describe POPCORN! But since I tend to be lazy, the bubblegum just seemed like the easiest thing to do, and in my kids’ eyes, I was THE BEST TEACHER EVER IN ALL THE LAND, and since that’s mostly what I care about the most, there you go.
I made them keep their wrapper and told them they could chew and chew and chew until recess time. Then, we would have to put our gum in our wrappers and throw it away. Womp womp.
During parent conferences, I introduced our Math Fluency Assessments. We use these every year and always wait until conferences to bring them out so that we can explain how the program works IN DETAIL.
It’s not drill and kill. It’s not “timed tests” or “mad minute” which I used to do and which makes me want to go back in time and shake myself silly and say STOP DOING THAT, KRISTIN, YOU’RE TORTURING YOUR STUDENTS, DON’T YOU SEE THAT LITTLE GIRL IS CRYING, AND THAT LITTLE BOY IS PANICKING, AND THAT OTHER LITTLE GIRL IS LOOKING ALL TRIUMPHANT AND BRAGGING THAT SHE BEAT THE CLOCK?! CAN’T YOU SEE?! AND NOW YOU HAVE TO GRADE THEM AND THE BACHELOR IS ON TONIGHT AND YOU HAVE 32 DIFFERENTIATED TESTS TO GRADE, YOU NINCOMPOOP!
Anyways, no offense to any of you who are doing that. Do what works for you is my motto. Er. Well, if I had a motto, that might be my motto.
I finally just said to myself and my teammates THIS IS NOT WORKING, I CANNOT GRADE ONE MORE OF THESE, I HATE THIS TIME OF DAY THAT ONLY LASTS ONE MINUTE, WHY ARE WE DOING THIS, WHAT IS THE POINT?
I decided I needed the kids to be prepared (RIGHT?!) and I needed the kids to be able to work at their own pace, and so I created these math fluency assessments just like the sight word fluency program we have. Students practice AT HOME, bring it in when they’re ready to be tested, and then take the next level home. And it’s ORAL. No pencil/paper.
I don’t run this program, either, because I don’t have time to assess kids one at a time because hello, I’m teaching! So I have upper grade students who come in during their lunch to do it. They also work with kids who do not have support at home. They’ll practice with them, and then test them when they think they’re ready, and move them on that way.
It’s a win/win if you ask me.
This program is also really helpful when you get a family that tells you their child has their multiplication facts memorized and when am I starting division? (True story) And I say, but they can’t tell me what 9+4 is without counting on their fingers or drawing counters so let’s work on that first, shall we? Hmmm?
ANYWHO! Now that parent conferences are over, these have started coming in and I am so happy that my kids are on fire!! 🙂
A second grade teacher just started a life group for teachers at my school! We meet on Thursday mornings and it is really just the neatest way to start the day.
Each of us are taking a turn to share a life verse and then we are praying for that person all week.
Now, I know some of you who read my blog are not believers. And maybe you even skip over these parts when I talk about my faith. But I’d really like to just say that I get it. I know. Some Christians make the majority of us look very radical and judgmental. Critical and condescending. I understand. It’s like with anything, if you think about it. Some teachers make the majority of us look really bad. Some police officers make the majority look bad, etc etc etc.
However, I just want you to know that I want to be like Christ. I strive for that every day. I fail every day because I am human, but I am trying every day. I want to love the Lord and others. That’s it. Jesus Christ loves you, no matter who you are. The end. So I love you, too.
I know I’ve talked about my Listen and Learn Activities, but I just wanted to share some feedback I received about the first Fry Words set.
My teammate, Laurie, uses a Listen and Learn every week in her classroom whole class. I HATE IT. She’s listening to me teach and it makes me feel so uncomfortable, let me tell you!! Our special day teacher (Hi Jessica!) used the Letters and Sounds one and I cringed when she told me!
AWKWARD!! These people know me in real life! And here I am, acting like an idiot on these recordings to keep the kids engaged and actively learning with me the whole time. I have fun when I’m recording, I picture my own students and what makes them laugh and learn, but I’ve got TEACHERS listening in AND I CAN’T STAND IT.
What can I do?
I am going to be working on Teen Numbers next . . . here’s hoping I can squeeze it in amongst all the hibernating and relaxing I have planned!!
Have a great day!