On Tuesday, my first grade team got to have a planning day! Our principal is SO good about this! She does this for all of the grade levels and we get about three a year! All we have to do is ask!
So the girls and I borrowed the librarian’s office (we have zero empty classrooms, no pods, no nothing, and even if we use the teacher’s lounge, we are constantly distracted by the comings and goings of everything that’s happening) and spent the day in there planning out Trimester 3.
We had coffee and treats from my teammate, Rose, who always has homemade treats for us, and always takes the time to make them cute (whereas I find the Salted Caramel Mocha creamer she’s been looking for, buy it, and say it’s in my fridge, don’t forget to grab it before you leave for the day!) and, of course, we had teacher’s manuals, and the Common Core State Standards, and paper, and laptops, and Teachers Pay Teachers.
We also went OUT TO LUNCH.
It was a FABULOUS DAY.
And now I know what I’m doing for the next three months so let’s just all hope I can sort of kind of stick to it.
That same day was our Jump Rope for Heart event so I snuck out of my planning meeting and met my sub and the kids on the playground before anyone else got out there. I told my kids about my heart condition (in a very vague, everything is fine, I’m not dying so please don’t have your parents bring me casseroles type of way) and that I couldn’t jump (see below) so they all said they would jump for me. 🙂
So I had to see them jump.
I can’t believe that we are planning for Trimester 3 because it means I only have three months left with them and I feel like we are just now in the sweet spot where I get them and they get me and we’re all just comfortable and happy and everything is always smooth.
Speaking of my heart, I recently decided that I was going to become a runner. I just decided. I started using the Couch to 5K app and I thought I was doing great. I felt strong and capable and determined.
I mean, I had decided this.
Well, a couple of people, mainly Kerry and my mom and my family and Steve and my teammates and anyone else I know, kept saying are you allowed to run? Are you sure you should be doing this? Don’t you think you should talk to your cardiologist?
Which was really annoying.
Because I had decided I was going to be a runner.
In the midst of this, I had to wear a 24 hour holter monitor which is kind of like an EKG type of thing. You have the leads and wires and things hooked up to your chest and stomach and then you have this monitor attached and blah blah blah. It’s total routine for me and my cardiologist makes me do it about once a year so he can monitor my activity over a 24 hour period.
Well, while I was wearing the monitor, I exercised with my Couch to 5K app.
And the next thing I know, I’m being called in for a follow up appointment WITH A STRESS TEST.
To which I told everyone wow! I must be so good at this running thing with my heart that I’m going to be the poster child for people with my condition, and look how I can run and do anything I want, my cardiologist just wants to see this happen in real life and not on a monitor, I’m so amazing, my head is so big I can barely fit through the doorway, but that’s okay, I can run!
And then reality hit me in the face.
And my head shrunk back down to it’s normal pea-sized circumference.
Turns out I’m not allowed to run.
Turns out it’s not good for my heart which has a condition.
Turns out that whole please see your physician before starting a new workout routine is not just a suggestion.
Apparently, when I’m running, I’m going into some kind of tachycardia thing and my heart can’t take it and it’s just better that I walk.
What made you think you can run, Kristin? my cardiologist said to me.
Sputter, um, sputter, well . . .
So there’s that.
I’m walking now. Briskly. At an incline.
But I guess I’m not meant to be a runner.
It’s been decided.
And it’s fine! It’s fine!
I just wanted to run to get my legs in shape. But Kerry told me I can just wear capris for a swimsuit and be fine.
Oh, we laughed. We laughed so hard at that.
I don’t know if anyone else is going to think that’s funny, but Kerry can make me laugh like no other.
I really would like to design a swimsuit line of capris.
Or go back to the olden days where ladies wore bathing costumes and they basically looked like shirts and the longest shorts you’ve ever seen.
We had the 120th day of school this week!
This is new for us.
We have always celebrated the 100th day of school like the rest of the world, but our team just decided that we should bump it up to the 120th day since first graders work with numbers to 120 now. And did you know that if you celebrate the 120th day of school, it’s AFTER Valentine’s Day and it’s AFTER report cards are due and it’s AFTER district assessments?
It makes for a very enjoyable 120th day, let me tell you.
We’ve scaled back a lot because our kinder classes do an entire 100th DAY thing and then when we get them, our kids say we did this in kindergarten which is basically the worst thing you can say to me because YOU ARE HURTING MY FEELINGS, DON’T YOU KNOW I PREPPED ALL OF THESE FRUIT LOOP BAGGIES AND CUT THE STRING AND TIED OFF THE STRING WITH A FRUIT LOOP ANCHOR WHEN ALL I REALLY WANTED TO DO WAS SIT ON THE COUCH AND WATCH A LIFETIME MOVIE MARATHON?
We made crowns and fruit loop necklaces and listened to Kidz Bop on Pandora and it was seriously THE BEST AFTERNOON. I loved looking around at my kids helping each other with necklaces and eating all the broken pieces or the pieces stuck together (I told them they could) and singing along to a Moana song and just being kids. Especially after all of the district assessments we had just taken.
If you need to know what I do with baggies and strings, this is my 100th (or 120th day) tip for you: READ THIS POST.
I have 5 Table Groups. Each table group has 6 desks. Looks good. Orderly. Organized. Right?
Last week, I mentioned something about having 30 kids and the crowds went wild.
30 kids? 30 kids? You’re a saint. You should get a raise. You deserve a medal. 30 kids? I thought it was bad that I have 23.
All of the above was said (and more).
I feel really blessed because our rooms are pretty big (they were obviously bigger when we only had 20 kids) AND BECAUSE I HAVE A JOB.
We lost 20-to-1 six years ago (I think this is the seventh year) and it’s amazing what you can get used to. I’m not saying I like it, but I’m just saying it’s amazing what you can get used to.
The first year I had 32 kids, I thought I was going to die. I mean!! Hello? I felt like a new teacher and it was my 14th year. So new teacher, I was NOT. But everything (I MEAN, EVERYTHING) had to be reconfigured to accommodate 32 kids.
And then each year gets better and now it’s just normal for me which is sad.
This year, all year long, I’ve been holding strong at 30 kids. We can have 32. But I’ve just had my same 30 all year with the exception of someone leaving right at the beginning of the year, and then I got a new little guy right at the end of T2 and he is just the absolute best little kid and fits right in and is super sweet and smart and popular with everyone so we don’t think of him as the new boy at all or ever.
But this week, I got Number 31.
I vowed to have a positive attitude about it.
It will be fine! I said to anyone who would listen. And I started praying for this little girl the night before, that she wouldn’t be scared or nervous, that she would fit right in, that she wouldn’t mess up what I’ve got going on (sometimes I have to pray for myself, too), etc.
I prepped everything for her the night before so that she would feel welcome from the get-go.
And, people, I am happy to report that she is the sweetest little thing and just adorable! I’m her THIRD first grade teacher this year. The poor thing!!! I’m hoping I get to keep her for the rest of the year, but there are things happening in her life that are out of my control so I’m just praying for her and praying I can keep her with me. She’s super smart, too!! When I went to test her on her sight words, she sat down all happy-like and said Oh, I’m a good reader! And sure enough, she read all 220 words like it was nothing. Her writing? Above grade level. Math? Above grade level.
So as much movement as she’s done, she’s got it going on.
Now, with all of that being said, there is just one problem.
AND IT KILLS ME.
One of my table groups has 7 desks now. It’s odd.
It is LITERALLY odd.
In every way.
In every sense.
THIS JUST KILLS ME.
And I can hear it now.
Do flexible seating!!
Okay, I will.
When I have 20 kids again.
I’m always reading something (it’s really the only way I can go to bed) and I’m here to tell you about these three books.
The Woman in Cabin 10 FREAKED ME OUT. I’m telling you, it reads like a movie. It’s sort of like Gone Girl or The Girl on the Train. I can’t say which I liked best. I’m just telling you, it FREAKED ME OUT.
When I finished reading it on my kindle, Ruth Ware’s other novel in a dark, dark wood popped up and the next thing I knew, I was reading it.
In two days.
AND IT FREAKED ME OUT! I swear, Steve worked late one night, and I was reading it on the couch (which is underneath a window) and I started being afraid that there was a window behind me!!! And not a solid wall! And I couldn’t sleep because I kept wondering what was going to happen — I can’t explain the hold this book had on me, but I was FREAKING OUT. I walk (WALK only) on the treadmill early every morning and I usually watch a show but I FINISHED THIS BOOK WHILE ON THE TREADMILL.
So if you like suspenseful scary books, there’s two recommendations for you.
Now I’m reading Glory Over Everything and it is AMAZING! Not scary at all, it’s a completely different genre, but it you ever read The Kitchen House, you need to read this. I LOVED LOVED LOVED The Kitchen House and told everyone I know to read it, and I think everyone also loved it with the exception of one person who thought it was too sad.
Now this book is keeping me awake but for completely different reasons.
And there you have it.
How was yours?
Christina Peterson says
I’m sorry you can’t run! You should think about weight lifting! I have been doing it for six months and it has made a huge difference in toning my body! I followed this book: Thinner, Leaner, Stronger. Just an idea! 🙂 You look great without extra exercise!
Oh, thank you for the advice!! I will look that book up! Thank you!
Can you tell us about your student materials “containers” on their desks – storing pencils and quick resources? and…? Where did you find them?!
Hi Joyce! They’re called Prop and Park and they’re from Really Good Stuff! I love them! I’ve had my set for about six years or so. They were pricey but well worth it.
I just love to read your blog entrie. I placed holds on all the above book recommendations! Thank you for all that you share.
Thank you! I hope you like the books!
Miss Coffey says
Yay! I love when you recommend books! I can’t wait to download these for March Break. Good luck with your new student, she’s lucky to have you! The desks look good… But I totally know that would drive me crazy. Do you have any students who need to sit “on an island”? In my school every classroom has one or two kiddos who just do better sitting on their own… It would solve your odd number problem! ? Have a great week!
I hope you like the books! I have a super super sweet class and no one needs to be an island. 🙂
I still can’t wrap my mind around having up to 32 kids in a primary classroom. In my small rural town school, if we get upward towards 18-20, it is “bar the door, Sally!” Kudos to you for doing it with such finesse and style! I AM, however, jealous of your planning days with your grade level. That would NEVER happen here as they wouldn’t want to pay for the subs needed to allow it to happen. 🙁 So we all have our negatives and positives, I guess.
Yes, we all have negatives and positives! 🙂
Aileen Hopple says
I like this. It is so cute and inspiring! Also, thank you for recommendation I will definitely take a look at them! Thank you for sharing, I appreciate it)