Hello and happy weekend!!! 🙂
We went back to school on Monday after being off for a week and LO AND BEHOLD, all of the trees at school started dropping their leaves.
As in, IT IS FINALLY AND OFFICIALLY FALL IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.
Who cares if it’s already December?
Recess didn’t know what hit it.
Forget playground balls and four square and scramble and pretend play. Forget it, I said.
It’s now all about collecting leaves, making leaf piles, sorting leaves, throwing leaves, tattling that someone threw a leaf RIGHT IN MY EYE ON PURPOSE, I KNOW HE DID, making leaf forts for ants, etc etc etc.
We are also obsessed with acorns.
The acorns are everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
This happens EVERY SINGLE YEAR.
I finally had to make a rule which states, in no uncertain terms that you may collect leaves and acorns during every single recess if you choose to, but you must deposit them into your backpack before entering the classroom.
Because I can’t.
I just can’t take any more acorns lined up in desks so that whenever anyone goes to pull something out, it rains acorns all over the darn place.
And fall leaves are crunchy, people.
And, yes, I had to make the rule by lunch time on Monday, but I’m telling you, I couldn’t take it!
Do leaves and acorns weigh a lot? Should I be concerned about my little first graders’ posture when they’re carrying their backpacks around?
This week in the computer lab, I was ready to throw a parade, hold an awards assembly, get a T-shirt, (SOMETHING!) because we’re four months in, and almost all of my kids can log on to their computer and get to work in less than ten minutes!
TEN MINUTES OR LESS!
Our computer lab time is 45 minutes.
Let me tell you that in the beginning of the year, it’s possible I had a few kids never get logged on at all because I’m only one person, and there are just way too many of them, and our log-in credentials ARE INSANE.
username: 123456 (6 digit student number)
password: Ab2172011 (Capital first name initial, lowercase last name initial, BIRTHDATE)
Um, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
At the beginning of the year, my kids still can’t believe they’re in school all day so when we go to the computer lab AFTER LUNCH, they’re in shock. Second, they don’t know their student number. Nope. NOT YET.
Don’t get me started on the whole what’s my last name? And I don’t know my birthday.
I made log-in cards. OF COURSE I DID. And they’re cute, too.
They can’t log in EVEN WITH THE CARD because either the Caps Lock Key is on, or the Number Lock is NOT on, or they can’t shift correctly, or because they are hunting for a number FOR AN ETERNITY.
And like I said, I’m only one person!!! So I got some 4th graders to help me and they are wonderful BUT STILL.
So we have come a long, long, long way and it’s time for a party or a present or a pat on the back.
When I put this picture on Instagram, it got a lot of attention because the computer shows my kids working on the program i-Ready and everyone wanted to talk about that, rather than the Thanksgiving miracle I was experiencing. So I’ll have to follow up on i-Ready soon!!
A few weeks ago, I talked about these ABC cards from Kindergarten with Susie and how I printed smaller sets (4 to a page) for all of the desk caddies around my room. I also printed some sets for my teacher table and I have given a set away at parent conferences. Let’s not talk about the ink/cardstock/laminating pouches because IT DOESN’T MATTER, I needed all of these sets.
Well . . . I have two little kiddos this year who are struggling with letters and sounds.
And I teach first grade. And now it’s December.
So besides banging my head against the desk and pulling out all my hair (again, these kids are struggling because of circumstances out of their – and my! – control) I am trying to find every way possible in all the world to make learning their letters and sounds FUN and ENGAGING so that they will STICK!!!!
One day this week, on a whim or, as I like to call it, TEACHER GENIUS MOMENT, and NOT, in case you were wondering, out of any type of exasperation at all, we played memory.
I just grabbed two of the books, took the cards off the ring, grabbed five of the letters they needed help with, and we had ourselves a game, people! My two little ones went NUTS for this. NUTS, I tell you! I kind of felt bad for my other kids working at their seats because they kept looking over, all wistful-like, with longing in their eyes, smiling and nodding, and then I stopped feeling bad because get back to work, you little stinkers, show’s over, nothing to see here and, besides, we do fun stuff in your group, too!
Every time they turned a card over, I made them say (or if they didn’t know it, or said they couldn’t remember, or looked at me like they had never ever seen that card or that letter or that picture before) echo me with the letter name, the picture name, and the sound. So “D, dinosaur, /d/”.
Of course, this is all they want to do now.
Can we play that game? You know, that game? That fun thing we did tomorrow? (we need to work on calendar skills, too)
I did my first Instagram Story this week!! GAH! I was a nervous wreck! I am much much much more comfortable writing down my thoughts behind the computer screen. Putting myself out there on video — not so much!!
And, of course, my video was like fifteen minutes long or something because in the same way that I have the longest posts ever, I also tend to talk a lot. As Steve and my brother might say . . . endlessly.
Here’s what I couldn’t stand the most about taking a video of myself:
MY FACE. It moves like there is no tomorrow. I must have 50,382 different facial expressions. AND HOLY EYEBALLS.
It’s really no wonder at all that I have 62,541 wrinkles.
No wonder my kids look at me like I’m crazy half the time. I look like it!
Any who . . .
I talked about how my school has a designated wheelchair for playground injuries and how I am holding the record in first grade for most kids “needing” the wheelchair. And how it’s a MIRACLE when all of them come skipping back into class all healed and happy-like.
Well, look-y there. I took what I talked about in a 15 minute video and summarized it into three sentences.
Maybe there is hope for me!
It was really fun to get everyone’s reactions and comments and messages! Plus, I took a poll and found out that my school is in the minority for this wheelchair thing, and that we really need to toughen up our kids somehow.
Instagram stories only last for 24 hours so thankfully, that video is G-O-N-E.
I have no idea what I’ll talk about next, but maybe I’ll do another story this week. Maybe I’ll try to have a goal to do one a week or something.
Stay tuned . . .
LOOK HOW PRETTY! Steve and I are in Palm Springs this weekend! WOOT! We got here last night and had dinner at an outdoor “lounge”. There was live music (a one man band) and wine. 🙂 Today we are going to a BBQ competition. That’s the main reason we are here, but we decided to make a weekend out of it. Steve is not competing. There are 25 teams – supposedly, the best in the “world” – and it’s all for a children’s charity. The guy that Steve took a class from (back in September) is here competing so Steve is really really really excited about that. He’s been texting one of the team members and I am pretty sure he is having a fan girl (guy) moment. It should be a really fun and yummy day!
We’re spending the night here again and will head home tomorrow.
So there’s my week and weekend! What are you up to? 🙂