Wednesday, April 15, 2015

My Hero

So many heroes.

For various reasons.

My hero today is 6 years old.

Lately I have been feeling pretty discouraged with education. I LOVE my class and teaching first grade sooooooo much, but the other stuff is just getting me down.

Today I decided to have a good day. I made a plan for some challenging kids. I was consistent. I allowed for some fun.

And by recess time we were ready to let out some energy. 

Love the farm yard, the picking grass and feeding it to our calves. And also the chickens.

That's when the kids noticed an egg on the ground in the chicken run. And since we were wearing our chore boots (thanks to some recent rain, and me not wanting to get THAT much sand in our classroom), I unlocked the run and sent in an eager first grader to retrieve that egg.

Not to be outdone, other friends looked into the hen house and convinced me to let them in there. Again, easy decision--they had on chore boots. 

Two girls went in. One came out with 2 eggs. 

I stood on the outside. Looking in.

Making sure no hens escaped. Because that's what I do.

The other girl was working with a stubborn hen. She was in her box, and just didn't want to move.

The girl prodded. Made noise. And then got brave. She shoved her hand under the hen, but quickly brought it out again. (This is why I do not like gathering eggs--protective hens that do not give up their eggs without a good pecking.)

She looked at me. I was no help. Gave no advise. Was ready to give up, go away and let that hen have her egg.

But that brave girl gently reached in, picked up that hen (like she's done that before) and carefully placed her on the floor. Went back and got two eggs.

I looked at her with awe. Admiration. Pride.

And now I know who I'm calling to help me with weekend chores for the next 6 or more years!

My Hero.
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Wednesday, March 25, 2015


A glimpse of morning chores at my school...

And it has nothing to do with sharpen your pencil, read a book, use the restroom.

I'm talking about...

Feeding and watering the calves.

Feeding and changing the water for the chickens and the ducks.

And checking on the pigs (make sure they have water, their ears are up, count how many there are, and that the gate is locked--pigs are smart and escape you know).

Kids came running back to me--there are NO pigs! What? Did they escape? I went with them to check it out.

[I knew they had left the night before to go to the Heavenly Harvest Home, but I felt like messing with my kids.]

When we got to the pen, I said, "what do you mean there are no pigs? I see three laying in there. Wait, one is getting up." Kids in disbelief are saying "NO!" I continued, "Sure, there is one, and now another is getting up." Now I had a friend join me. He said, "oh, I see it." He was not fooling, so I was wondering what he saw. Any way, this continued a bit, then I went back to the calves.

Later a sweet friend came to me and said--"the gate is open! That is how they got out! Come and see."

Even later--kids were looking for signs. They found "footprints" and looking into the hedgerow, they thought they smelled something--dead pigs. 

I guess tomorrow I should set the record straight. Or maybe not...

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Potatoes and Potato Heads

Have I mentioned our school garden lately?

Mrs. Jones is getting our first graders out there. Yesterday they planted potatoes.

We have a great set up...

1. Mrs. Jones gets dirt under her fingernails, teaches the kids the correct way to plant potatoes, and how to measure the space between mounds and depth of each.

2. I rotate the kids to her, while watching the rest play on the playground.

Who's job is easier? I'm going with mine. :)

To go along with planting potatoes, and reading Jamie O'Rourke, we made "Potato Heads" yesterday. So next up today was "write about it." That's a nice thing about art and writing, they tie so nicely together.

And with the writing instruction for the past two months, these kids can write a "paragraph," (don't tell that to the kids). A beginning sentence, three supporting sentences and a closing statement. Sometimes with transition words. Sometimes with appropriate capital letters and punctuation.

Beautiful, right?

As I was helping the kids put the art and writing together I swelled right up.

Happy, working buzz was all OVER the room. Kids working, sharing, laughing. Teacher grinning, loving, beaming.

I may have even said--"you kids are awesome! Look at this art, look at this writing!"

And a sweet friend said in return, "We are the best class in the school and we are awesome!"

YES, they have been listening. :)

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Feeling It (The Love)

So many wonderful examples of love today. 

1. Hugs and smiles after a week off. 
2. Groups of children in chore boots excited to take care of our animals this morning. 
3. My Donor's Choose Project going live in the middle of the night and getting my first donation from my sister-in-law. 
4. A friend brainstorming with me how to get more alternative seating into my classroom. 

Not to mention great lessons. 

1. Jamie O'Rourke made a quick appearance. He helped us practice making and confirming predictions. 
2. I whipped out a pirate patch so that we could read words with 'ar'. 
3. They got a chance to examine some words and sort them. I didn't tell them how, but eventually it was short and long vowels. 
4. And they rocked reading picture graphs. 

I'm really excited about the rest of the week. So many opportunities to share love and knowledge.

Let's. Do. This!!!

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

I'm On Fire!

That is what I told my family as we were getting home from church today. I'm On FIRE!

I could not concentrate at church, because my mind was spinning. Last night I couldn't sleep, because my head was concocting plans.


Thank you Ron Clark and your book The End of Molasses Classes!!!

My husband says that we are not moving to Atlanta, Georgia. So my dream of teaching at RCA is not gonna happen (and I'm pretty sure that I am not distinguished enough to be hired by Mr. Clark).

But that won't stop me from beginning my transformation into an RCA worthy teacher, So I come to my teacher-blogger-friends and ask a simple question...

How do you respond to parents who ask you "How can I help my child at home with reading/math/writing/behaviors?"

Wouldn't it be awesome to have a list of amazing suggestions to offer? A list of tried and true ideas on the tip of my tongue? 

You are such an amazing group of teachers, and if you are willing to share your tip/suggestion/idea, I would be so grateful!!!

I am giddy in anticipation. The fire is growing. Watch out...

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Sunday, February 1, 2015

Party Time!

Not a Super Bowl Party.

A Currently Party!

February 2015--What I am currently thinking and doing...

Listening: I am so far behind in Parenthood. I'm in season 2, and my friends keep posting on FB about how sad they are... Maybe I can get caught up during Spring Break. 

Loving: Perhaps I can get some photos of all of our space, then I will show you... 

Thinking: What room/closet will be next for a purge episode?

Wanting: Mrs. Jones and I are planning a trip to Vegas in July. To meet teachers and experts at the "I Teach 1st" conference. We are giddy with excitement. Keeping our fingers crossed.

Needing: We have some leads for paying for the trip to Vegas, now to present our proposal and then make reservations!!!

Pageant title: I can be intense. Sometimes.

Thank you Farley @ Oh Boy 4th Grade for hosting this February party.

What are YOU loving today? Leave a comment and let me know!!

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Friday, January 30, 2015

Let's Play a Game

Because we are all about the games in First Grade.

I'm calling this game--Five Awesome Happenings from the Week Ending on January 30, 2015.

Later I will link up with Kacey @ Doodle Bugs Teaching.

1. My student teacher (Miss Scheuerman) started fulltime on Monday. She is turning out to be a fantastic addition to our room. She is helpful. Thoughtful. Full of joy and enthusiasm. Eager to learn. Eager to teach.

I think I will keep her for the rest of the year, and if I can--I want her back again next year (not because she would not be ready, but because she is wonderful).

2. Wednesday was National "Have Fun at Work Day." I took it to heart! I wore some new shoes and made many people smile with my witty comments and playful attitude.

3. Thursday was "No shoes necessary in our classroom" and "Eat lunch in the classroom" day. 

4. Thursday was also "Kansas Day." We frosted "sunflower" cupcakes while sitting in a circle. As I was taking a video of the circle, the kids spontaneously started to sing. They sang a song learned in Music class--maybe you know it... Home on the Range. Melted my heart and filled it up all in 52 seconds. I sent the video to the Music teacher, she loved it also.

I'm pretending that this sing-along happened because we were on the floor, in a circle, being a community of 22. We've been a class for a long time. But now, we are more than that. I LOVE it. Every single day.

5. My husband knows a person, who works for a place that has nail aprons. Nothing fancy, but sure is handy for holding all of my important supplies during the day (phone, pens, beads [for giving for following directions and doing the right thing], sticky notes, confiscated toys, keys, school id--you get the picture). Well, I needed one for Miss Scheuerman. She wore hers today. 

So happy that it is Friday. That I have already eaten, and that I can soon take my evening nap, because, tomorrow I will be back to planning and preparing for ANOTHER great week.

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