March 28, 2011

Blogging Hiatus

Just a quick's been a crazy few weeks!
Let's see, since the last time I posted I've...
  • Subbed for 2 days and worked through the "let's test the teacher intern" phase
  • Began my official lead teaching period- taking over a 3rd grade classroom for a month
  • Planned and/or designed and launched 3 big units- Realistic Fiction, Fractions, and Electricity
  • Joined a book club for Lent
  • Helped pass the torch from a dance/sports medicine conference I began last year to local medical professionals and art educators to continue
  • Began my teacher portfolio and resume...ish- any advice is WELL APPRECIATED!
  • Attempted to catch up on the piled up grad school work (reflections and random papers)
  •  Had a major anniversary in my life
  • Walked through some hard crosses my friends were bearing
  • Had a week of intense spiritual warfare
  • Staffed an international high school youth retreat...definitely more on this soon
  • Collaborated with the art teacher at my school to create amazing arts and writing paintings with the kiddos- yay art!
  •  Began my last week until Spring Break- PTL!
Whew- are you tired reading that? I am, but I'm also so thankful for these many gifts and opportunities in my life and the energy and physical ability to do them. It is definitely not my strength! Big week ahead, internship seminar, mock-job interviews with local superintendents, and lots of pressure at work to get things finished up before the break.  I see the light! So excited for a break to catch up, breathe, and begin the next phase in this journey!

So in case you don't hear from me for know why :-)
Hope all is well in your world. Teacher Blog Friends, any advice for me?

Peace and Love,

March 14, 2011

Roses and Thorns

Summer camp anyone? As a camp counselor for a few years one of my favorite bedtime activities was to play roses and thorns with the kids (works elementary through high school +). Each person shares one rose, or high, exciting, good, stellar, praise point etc. etc. part of their day, and one thorn, the hard, negative, low, challenge. etc of the day's events.

I love it because it's a time for them to safely vent, problem solve where needed, and check in with what's bothering/challenging your kiddos that you were unaware of,  but at the same time celebrate the positive. It was also a good time of the day to give a "way to go" for each child in how they either handled their thorn or related to their rose. (Praising publicly like that is said to be magnified by 10- and we all want to praise our kids more than we correct them! Plus it encourages a culture of honoring one another where it's due!)

One of my favorite campers ever- Miss S!
So on that note,

My thorn for the day is that I am VERY annoyed by politics/dynamics in the work place (that includes schools/universities) that make people act and respond in awful ways to each other!!!

My rose for the day is that I am in love with teaching!!! It is so wonderful to get those little hugs, see those light bulbs flash, and be a part of a child's growth, development, and discovery!

I encourage you to try this with your family or friends- I guarantee you'll learn something more about them!
Roses and Thorns,

March 9, 2011

WILW- Teacherly Edition

Happy Wednesday everyone! Happy beginning of Lent to those who celebrate the 40 days as well.

I'm actually posting early for once because I decided to use the "schedule post" feature on blogger. It's the little things in life...that or I'm procrastinating writing another unit plan right now.

Things I'm loving...
Writing letters back to my students about their reading journals. I love that some of my 2000s kiddos are reading books like Pippi Longstocking and Pollyanna.One drew me an adorable picture stick-out braids, monkey on the shoulder and all! (I also learned today that my Asian kiddos have seen Pippi in Korean- who knew that was a fad there?!?)

I'm cracking up that a few of my boys are getting dates confused. One asked me if I lost my husband at D-Day. Hahaha. Well munchkin, 1, Ms. W is not married hence the Ms. and 2, If D-Day was in the 1940s and it's now 2011 do I really look like I'm 85+?!?!? (I'm 24)

On that same note, in Guided Reading groups some of my higher readers just finished Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan and we made the text-text connection to Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. When I told them I loved that book at their age one of my more cynical ones said "Man, Lois Lowry must be over 100 if you read her when you were young...." Ahem, what are you implying child?

I'm loving that this musical was broadcast on PBS this weekend. And oh yes I belted out half the songs from my couch! Can't wait until the Nat'l Tour comes to my city this Spring. Some grads of my university are performing and I am so there!

I'm getting excited about my Arts and Writing Realistic Fiction unit that I'm launching this week. I'm using this program for a few of my lessons- check out these amazing books you can produce- from crayons and watercolor!I can't wait to dive in to planning, writing, and publishing w/ the kiddos.

I'm loving that I will be paid to teach next week for a few days while my CT is out of town. (I'll be the official sub). Bonus! I get paid to do what I love. Lots of classroom library shopping in my future.

I'm loving my diet coke as usual- and my new weirdly delish (but awful for me) caffeine fix- half sugar free french vanilla cappuccino/half hot chocolate from the automatic machines. I'm burning the candle at both ends this week so don't judge.
Okay so maybe you can judge. Late nights + insane amount of papers/planning/work may equal leads to  some webcam distraction :-)

Have a good week,

March 7, 2011

What Faith Can Do

Everybody falls sometimes
Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache
You think it’s more than you can take
But you are stronger, stronger than you know 
 Don’t you give up now
The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds
To find the silver lining
I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

It doesn’t matter what you’ve heard
Impossible is not a word
It’s just a reason for someone not to try
Everybody’s scared to death
When they decide to take that step
Out on the water
It’ll be alright
Life is so much more
Than what your eyes are seeing
You will find your way
If you keep believing

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

Overcome the odds
You don't have a chance
(That’s what faith can do)
When the world says you can’t
It’ll tell you that you can!

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end
Even when the sky is falling
And I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do
That's what faith can do!
Even if you fall sometimes
You will have the strength to rise
Praying for strength and healing for some very special people in my life tonight. And I have seen miracles happen- join me in asking for some now :-)

March 2, 2011

WILW- sick edition :-(

Day 3 of being home w/ the stomach flu. Not fun, and I feel super guilty missing student teaching. 

On the bright side, it's still What I'm Loving Wednesday and 2 days til the weekend!

I'm loving that I can see glimpses of blue skies out my window- February grey is over!
I'm loving that I had some wonderful ladies over on Sunday for an Oscars party.

I'm loving my subscription to:
I've currently been watching past seasons of Grey's Anatomy.
A couple of the actors came straight from Broadway...including Sara Ramirez who plays Callie Torres. (Like literally straight from Broadway, after ABC saw her Tony-winning performance in Spamalot they called her up and said pick any show and we'll write you in. I have lots of friends in showbiz and that.doesn't.happen. She's amazing! Plus she plays an orthopedic surgeon on the show...maybe I'm a little biased ;-)
Here are a couple of videos of her performing that I've been watching this week :-)

I'm loving that it's March and my local Great Harvest Bread Co. makes the most amazing Irish Soda Bread!  I used to have my mom mail it to my dorm when I was at boarding school it's that good :-)
Goes perfectly with my diet of Sprite and bread this week.

Well off to take yet another nap, praying that I'll be good to go in the morning.
Happy Wednesday y'all, I hope you stay healthy!