Sunday, November 25, 2012

A whole lotta nothin' but my thoughts

I was blog hopping and reading everyone's great ideas. It was interesting to read about Christmas. I have 2 students who celebrate Eid and the rest celebrate Christmas. YES I PUT UP A CHRISTMAS TREE in my classroom! YES I DO! It's 6 foot, nothing fancy...adorned with ornaments that don't quite make my home tree and any ornaments the students make me. I'm so disappointed that everything has to be so "PC" around the USA. Even though I put up a tree, I still acknowledge Eid, Hanukkah, and any other holiday the kids want to briefly discuss. I find it fascinating to learn about other cultures and religions...even if I don't agree. I don't preach anything and don't even bring up God or Jesus in class...unless it's an open discussion that involves all students.  SO YES! I WILL PUT UP MY TREE!

So, we had P/T Conferences last week. Monday and Tuesday. I had EIGHT students/parents go on vacation. Now, I'm all for family time and family vacations and thankful they didn't take time out of class time to take vacations...but that's OVER TWO MORE HOURS of conferences I'll have to "make up". Granted...they will be phone conferences...but that's MY time and I don't have enough time as it is! AND this is WAY TOO LATE to have the first conference. I was handing out 2nd quarter midterms at conferences! Insane.

Secret...we're not "supposed to" give food treats of any sorts in class. But how can I not? Let me briefly explain...So Hostess shut down (I'm sure you all heard-it was all over the news) and Hubby worked there...He brought home lots of stuff when he went to clean out his locker... I have those cute Hostess cupcakes to hand out to all my students! And guess what? I'm having them eat them in class. YES IN CLASS. I have no nut allergies this we shall eat the last of the Hostess Cupcakes...the ones with the little white swirly curly design! That's right...I'm such a rebel. First a Christmas tree and now an unhealthy fun treat!

Hi Big Kid! I know you are stalking your mom and reading this!

Little Kid has made me giggle this past week... I woke her up before I went to bed to make her go potty... she finished... then climbed into the bath tub to go back to sleep. So cute, I snapped a pic. THEN my kids slept over at grandma and grandpa's house so hubby and I could Black Friday shop... Little Kid woke up and went to go potty...well my mom shut the bedroom door which has a full length mirror on the back of it....and Little Kid saw her reflection and thought it was Mid Kid! So she kept trying to dodge "Mid Kid"...BUT IT WAS HERSELF! OMG. So funny. I don't know how she finally figured out it was her and not her sister and made it to the potty.

Enjoy your week! I will have something of interest soon..


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Currently, Pencils, Gifts, Veteran's Day...

Currently...(late to the party this month)
Thanks to Farley over at Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her monthly currently!
My poor dog scratches and scratches and scratches. We've been to vet after vet, foods after foods, shampoos after shampoos. The only thing that helps him is the steroid prednisone...and you can only have them on that for so long. Kids and their bickering! Grrr. 

Love my new necklace! So glad he bought it for me. I don't ask for many things...way appreciative of the necklace!

Wanting more time...yes, I am aware we have an extra day off in honor of our Veterans! 
Time...I just feel like I can't get caught up! I even TOOK OFF A DAY OF WORK as a mental health GET CAUGHT UP ON GRADING AND ENTERING GRADES! Yes, I had to take a day off to get caught was for my sanity and the sanity for those who encounter me! I had a FABULOUS sub who didn't leave ME any work to get caught up on upon my return.

TMI? We need toilet paper...we are currently using tissue boxes in each bathroom... (it's on the list for today).

Music...Have I told you I LOVE music? Although I'm not good at singing, I sing constantly in class...songs go with everything I do. The kids make fun of pay attention to me.

I just placed my order with for personalized pencils for each student as a gift for the holidays. I also order each student a book from Scholastic (with bonus points)...wrap it all up with a no-homework pass, red pen and candy cane! It's a little something that does not cost me a fortune.

Family Gifts
Ok, since I brought up the holidays, I might as well share what we make in class for parents. Last year (thanks to Pinterest), my teaching buddy and I made a set of coasters for each family with our students. It was FAB-U-LOUS! 

These are from last year. Sorry, had to blur out faces.

Each student made a set of four coasters. I had the students bring in TWO photos from home and I made photo copies on our photo copier at work--sent the originals back home. I went to HOBO (a discount home improvement store) and purchased enough plain white bathroom/kitchen tiles for my class and friend's class. I cut out each family's last initial on black construction paper from the Ellison in our teacher's workroom. I purchased black and white designed scrapbook paper and cut those 4x4 inches. We used Modge Podge Gloss as our sealer, glue & finish. 

I called 4 students at a time to the back table--covered in a plastic table cloth. The students used a paintbrush to apply the Modge Podge (MP) to the tile, add the scrapbook paper, layer MP, then the black initial..more MP on one tile....Then they applied MP to another tile photo, more on. We placed all the tiles on a covered table to dry/set. I applied 4x4 (slightly smaller though) of black felt to the bottoms of ALL the tiles with MP, so they don't scratch any tables.  The following day after students left for the day, I sprayed the tiles with a spray can of Clear Acrylic Paint...(Have someone else do this if you are pregnant and leave the room)...Make sure your windows are open and it's well ventiliated. The spray paint, as you can imagine, leaves a cloud in the air for some time...I didn't want to bring all the tiles home to do this in my garage, so I did this on a Friday afternoon before leaving for the weekend.

We wrapped them in tissue paper and placed them in inexpensive brown craft bags that were pre-decorated from the store.

My teaching buddy and I collected $2.00 from each student. We sent a letter home telling parents we were creating a gift and students were to earn the $2.00 from completing various chores around the house, so the gift was truly from them. This gift was perfect for all students with various religious backgrounds. 

4 tiles per student
Cut out initial for each student
Black and white scrapbook paper of various designs (I kept it non-holiday)
Modge Podge (about 2 16 oz containers for class)
Paint Brushes
1 can Clear Acrylic Spray Paint (1 for whole class)
2 Photos from home (copy them on B&W copy machine)
1 photo of student from class printed to B&W copier
1 Brown craft bag per student
Tissue paper 
4 4x4 Black felt squares per student
2 Plastic table cloths

We will DEFINITELY do this project again this year! We received lots of compliments from staff and parents.  I hope I didn't leave anything out...If you have any questions, feel free to email me or comment below!

Veteran's Day
Our school had its annual Veteran's Day assembly. It's my favorite assembly. Students have family members attend the assembly and we honor them. There were so many this year! Our Librarian and Counselor had various students read pages from the book H is for Honor:  A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian.

It was moving. Various grade levels sang patriotic songs led by our Music teacher. Each Veteran's name was read aloud. The whole assembly was absolutely moving! I was moved to tears. The students with their guests went to the cafeteria for cookies and juice provided by our PTO. One Vietnam Vet said it was the first time he has felt recognized and honored since the war. I am so blessed to be part of a school who honors Veterans!
My brother in law will leave for his 3rd tour soon. 
Thank you to all Veterans and the time served or currently serving.

Enjoy the week ahead!