Thursday, September 29, 2011

Stress and Injury

Grandma's Accident in Local Papers

The above article is from a newspaper a few towns over that is about my grandma's accident with a semi this morning. She was taken to a larger hospital in Peoria a couple of hours away. Last I heard she was in surgery with a broken pelvis, shattered hip, several broken ribs. When the semi rear-ended her grain truck, the force caused her to be thrown beneath the steering wheel. Then the truck proceeded to flip into the nearby bean field. It's a miracle she made it.

Further bad news.... My aunt was also taken to the hospital this morning after passing out. They have checked her in, but have yet to diagnose a problem.

On a teaching note, I took pictures of my classroom and of my students yesterday. I will post them when I have more time. We have been really busy at school with September common assessments. Today we had our awards assembly for student of the month. Next week I have a field trip, our school's grand opening assembly, and next Friday our students will be able to climb a rock wall that was provided through a $30,000 donation from Kraft (locally based). Needless to say there is a lot of stressed involved. Not only because we have a lot of exciting things going on at school, but all of these events also cut down on my class time which is stressful when I start looking at curriculum timelines and such.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Long Time for this Versatile Blogger

 My cat Squiggles playing with his catnip mouse.
 No - you may not do your homework now. Lol
 It has been years since I have been here!
Nate <3

So, I have yet to put up pictures of my classroom this year.  It is on my to do list - trust me.  I plan on taking my camera to school on Wednesday for the dance.

Wow, has this year been crazy.  For the past couple of years, my school has been working on applying to be an IB school through the Primary Years Programme.  Check out the link for more info on that.
Anyway, while we were considering this process our district backed us 100% and also funded us to become a magnet school.  Over the summer we were accepted into the IB programme.  So to sum up what all that means:

1.  Completely, brand new, jaw-droppingly beautiful building
2.  Completely new classrooms - bittersweet. Bad=moving everything home over the summer and not getting to move back in until the week before school.  Good=new stuff, Smart Board, new stuff!! Lol
3.  Required foreign language for students - We chose Mandarin Chinese because of its popularity in the business sector.  Chinese is the 4th special with art, music, and PE.
4.  IB training to begin in October - rewriting curriculum, inquiry based instruction, etc.  (Big workload coming)
5.  Many, many new staff members

On top of all of that, we have awesome literacy staff that made up these assessment binders for common reading assessments.  These binders are complete with forms, calendars, etc.  The only downside is that between you and me, I feel so swamped with assessments that I feel like I'm not teaching.  I think that is the main reason I haven't been updating.  Between entering data for common assessments, learning how to incorporate the Smart board into my teaching, these new lesson plan formats, grading, I just rarely have time at home.

Speaking of lesson plans - there used to be a time (last year), when I could write in my little box the objective, activity, and assessment and that would be a -ok.  Now I have to type the objective, the "hook", the activity, the assessment and it has to be all typed up.  No hard copies.  Ugh.  It takes three times as long!

I was at school for 3 hours today and there were at least 10 other cars in the parking lot throughout the span that I was there.  Wow!

I think a lot of my stress is just related to the fact that I have a year of teaching under my belt, and I know better methods of teaching now.  I think I am holding myself and my collaboration team more accountable now which might correlate to the "heavier work load."  When in actuality, I probably just skipped right over it last year.

One minor celebration goes to my enlightening experience with how to fit my differentiated Words Their Way into my 20 minute reading groups.  I was having a lot of issues for the first few weeks differentiating WTW and still give two spelling sorts all week.

Another celebration goes to me and to Patti from A Series of 3rd Grade Events.  Thank you so much Patti for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award!!  I must admit - I am only as inspired as the other wonderful teachers I follow everyday!  I feel so loved, but more importantly check out her amazing blog here!

Following are the Award Rules:

*Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
*Share 7 things about yourself.
*Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs.

As part of the award I must list 7 things about myself so here it goes:
1.  I love animals.  My favorite animal is an elephant.  I collect them and actually own over 263 stuffed, crystal, glass, porcelain, and beanie elephants.
2.  I have a 4 month old kitten named Squiggles who loves to sit on my chest every night!
3.  I have been dating Nathan 6 years on October 17th - we met in college at Bradley.
4.  My classroom is decorated in cupcakes.
5.  My two favorite times of year are school supply shopping and sweatshirt, football weather!
6.  I am obsessed, obsessed with teaching bags.  31, VB, you name it, I want it or already have it.
7.  I'm a closet artist.  Not many people know that I love to draw. 15

The Teacher Wife

Caffeinated Conclusions - I couldn't get your button to be on here!

Blog button

A Teeny Tiny Teacher

3rd Grade's a Hoot

First Grade Glitter and Giggles

Congratulations to all of the winners!  Go check them out!

Have a good night everyone!