Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Secret Santa According to Me

You know how Secret Santa goes.

Here's my version...

I get a name. Try to figure out some small gifts to give that are meaningful or fun or something that my person will like and give throughout the week. And then there is the last present. 

And this year, there was no specified $$ limit.

Meanwhile I begin to receive presents. That are AWESOME. Perfect for me. And everyday.

So there is a constant battle in my head--am I spending too much (never really a question, I'm a cheap gift giver), will my person that I am gifting think I am a cheapskate? 

Does it matter?


Moving forward...

Today we all gathered in the cafeteria to give our last present and let our person know who has been giving gifts. As I was heading that way with my gift, I saw my person leave the building... Guess I'll give it tomorrow.

Sitting together. Waiting. Wondering. Nothing. No present. Did I get forgotten? Can I hold my tears in? 

That was silly--I got MANY presents, of course I had a person. But who?

Then my buddy headed my way. Smiling HUGE.

Tears again.

She handed me a bag and a card. The card was awesome (and mentioned that I maybe could talk about it on my blog!!) and meaningful and personal and let me know that she "gets" me. And a gift card for some fancy nails.

Tears again and some hugs. Seriously wonderful. To feel loved. Cared for. Accepted for who I am. Encouraged to be the best person I can be and then be even better.

That was the best part of Secret Santa.

Now I know.

I know a lot of "things." Other "things" I can see demonstrated and then can do.

Next year (or maybe in January--Secret Snowman anyone??) I will be that Santa that encourages, loves, accepts and brightens someone's day.
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Letters

Tis the Season (or day) for letter writing!!

Dear Coffee Friend,
I had such a great time with you yesterday. It is so good to talk for 2 1/2 hours and be understood. About families, parenting, school, jobs, and everything else! When are we meeting next?
A Grateful Heart

Dear Daily Schedule,
Get ready. I'm in the mood to change. Again. But do not worry--the time frames will be the same, however, in order to meet the needs of this class, we must be flexible and allow for us to play and learn. I'm thinking--shorter periods of direct instruction and a bit more time for practicing and applying the new learning. We will need to be creative so that the standards are taught (and learned) and remember that the students are 6 and 7 years old and can "listen" for 7-10 minutes at a time. I know that You (the schedule) are important. And I know that You know that we are doing this (educating) for the students. So, let's get together, brainstorm and figure this out! Thanks for understanding.
A Reflective Teacher

Do you have a letter to write? You can join Michelle @ Big Time Literacy and add your letter, or read other Sunday Letters. 

Have a great day!
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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December Currently 2014

The days last forever, but the months fly by.


Because, November's days were long, but now, here I am in December...

And another Currently from Farley @ Oh' Boy 4th Grade. This is one of my favorite linkys. I notice that there isn't much change between the months and my responses...

So, my shoutout:

Julie DiBenedetto from First Grade Critter Cafe. She is many levels of rigor and relevance. Her classroom is engaging, beautiful and inspires me to be a better teacher. I had the pleasure of meeting her several years ago, and we communicate by email often. She offers suggestions and advise and is so kind, generous and caring. If you do not know her, go check out her blog. 

Reagan Tunstall from Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits. She has so many ideas, her blog and classroom are kid-friendly and she offers wonderful products in her TpT shop. I have never met her, but refer to her as "Reagan" with Mrs. Jones... Collaboration conversations with Mrs. Jones often start with "Well, when I was reading Reagan's blog this weekend I saw (insert any idea or product) and loved it. How could we incorporate that in our day?" 

Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Off to post some comments...

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Saturday, November 1, 2014

November Currently

Helloooooo November! I have been waiting all day to post my Currently, and here it is. :)

I am so pleased that Farley @ Oh' Boy 4th Grade continues this monthly tradition. My explanations follow...

Listening: ABC Family is making my night with a fun movie.

Loving: Yep, lesson plans on paper. They are boring and a whole bunch of talk, talk, talking. So, now to make them pop with hand-on first grade goodness. Pinterest, don't let me down...

Thinking: This is my fourth year in a general ed classroom, third year in first grade and I finally think I have a handle on most some of this stuff. So much to learn and make better, but this feels so much better than 2012. Yahoo!

Wanting: Time to finish my homework that was assigned last weekend. It is due on November 8, but why wait? Let's get it done!!

Needing: Time. Enough said, right? With my family, with my students, with my own professional development, with a hobby, to get healthy.

Reading: I learned of this book last weekend. So many great ideas in this book.

I love the currentlys, they are a fun way to reflect or anticipate. So, what are you doing Currently?

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Five for Friday (Halloween, 2014)

Party Day Tired has hit me hard.

Halloween 2014 recap. 

1. All school parade down the four blocks to say "hi" to the community and fill our bags with candy. No pictures, cuz I was parading (and freezing) and couldn't take my hands out of my pockets.

2. Runway in the class where we got to show off our costumes while I provided the best color commentary ever. No pictures, again, I was commentating.

But the cool thing was that a handful of parents were able to be there and cheer and have fun with us.

(The runway idea came from Sprinkle Teaching Magic and it was a HIT.)

3. Party time. For the first time ever I planned a party. Yep, with four activities. Thank you pinterest and blog buddies!!

The activites were: Bingo using candy corn; Pumpkin ChuckingHandprint spiders--we made brown recluse, because I did not have black paint; and a writing activity. 

It was so much fun! Parents ran every activity and I got to see everyone having fun! Win-win.

4. After the party we ate. It was a mini-feast with crackers, cheese, and fruit.

Another idea I read about--after the eating, ask parents to clean up while I take the kids for a recess. Brilliant!

5. And now--catching up on Marvel's Agents of Shield with my boys and eating homemade pizza. No pictures, I'm too lazy to get one...

Happy weekend friends! If you need more Halloweeny/harvest/fall recaps, then head to Doodle Bugs Teaching and read all night long.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sunday Morning Letters (October 26, 2014)

Gratitude Makes the World Go Around

Dear Becki and Jan,
What an inspiring two weekends we spent together. Thank you for teaching me about how to differentiate (but not really) by incorporating the "Big 6" into my core teaching. I am excited to see how this makes the classroom fun, but rigorous and relevant. 
A Learning Junkie

Dear Students,
You make my heart sing. Thank you for being kind and helpful. For trusting me to guide you. And for encouraging me to be a better teacher every day.
Your First Grade Teacher

Dear Volunteer Grandpa,
You may (or may not) know how much your presence in our classroom means to all 23 of us. It is huge. Everyone wants to sit with you. You are a great addition to our afternoon. Thank you for coming in every day and working on sight words (or whatever else I may have for you).
A Blessed Teacher

Dear Blogland Friends,
Thanks for offering me a mini lesson each time I read your posts. You inspire me. You encourage me. Someday there has to be a HUGE meet up that lasts all summer long. So that I can glean from you. Plan with you. And enjoy your company.
Much love,

Have your own letters? Link up with Michelle at Big Time Literacy.

No letters? Tell me what you are grateful for today...

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Old is Relative

Thank you Mr. Classmate.

I finished up the class today. Except for the unit plan and lesson plan homework that is due in two weeks. I'll get to that later... 

But I had a moment today that just made me smile.

This class was BIG on using the strategies that we were being taught to teach us. 

It was good. It will help me differentiate. And I can leave my ponies and pudding and knives at home.

While we were working on a group project I mentioned my son and Mr. Classmate said, "You have a son in high school? You do not look old enough to have a son that old."

He was kind of quiet about it, but I'm just sure that is what I heard.

I'm not sure why this makes me so happy. But it does.

So, old is relative, and I guess my relative is young.

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