Monday, May 24, 2010

Disgusted

I find it ATROCIOUS that as I am struggling to teach my students about healthy eating (part of our curriculum mind you), the cafeteria provides them with a Kellogg's "box breakfast" that contains bright pink apple jacks and a Pop-Tart.

A POP-TART! The Apple Jacks are bad enough, but seriously?! A FROSTING COVERED PASTRY FILLED WITH SUGARY "JAM." Oh, there were sprinkles on it. I didn't let my kids eat them.

Hey Kellogg's? Would it kill you to put your healthier products in the boxes? Smart Start? Raisin Bran? COME ON. Oh, and hey county? Would it kill you not to buy crappy products for our children? Kellogg's wouldn't sell it if you didn't buy it.

Ugh, disgusted.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Testing Funnies

Me: "What sound does r make?"
Kid: "rrrrrrrr"
Me: "What's a word that starts with r?"

long pause....

Kid: "ARRRRRR like a pirate."

Wish I could give points for humor!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reflection

The first of many reflections after testing...

Dear Next Year Self,

Please work harder to help your students understand that j and g have different beginning sounds, and the beginning sound of u is not /ya/.

Love,
Me.

Choo-Choo

At home, my son is obsessed with choo-choos. He has some plastic trains in his bath - choo choo! He has a puzzle with a train - choo choo! He has a book with a train on it - choo choo! And, his toothpaste has Thomas the Tank Engine emblazoned on the front - choo choo! (Thanks Orajel). He finds a way to locate all of his choo choos in a matter of moments so all I hear in my head is his little adorable voice saying "choo choos, choo choos." Which, incidentally is close to the same sound for his shoes. That can make for miscommunication in the morning.

But, back to the point.

After a choo choo filled morning, I come to school and I still feel like a choo choo, I mean a train. Chugging up the May Testing Hill. I think we can, I think we can... some days are better than others, and yesterday we had a glorious triumphant day when a kiddo, who all of a sudden seem to lose the ability to identify his sight words, nailed the test after two weeks of daily intervention. I KNOW we can, I KNOW we can...

Tomorrow I will be able to complete one of our year-end assessments and add up all the scores. Hopefully that train will go into the station solidly successful. Then I'll hop on the next one.

Chugga chugga choo choo.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I will stand up in defiance!

It's 52 degrees outside. Feel free to take a stab at what my A/C is doing...

I can hear someone cackling BWAHAHAHAHAHA in the distance. You sick twisted person.

You will not break me! YOU WILL NOT BREAK ME!

(But you might get me sick).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How quickly I digress.

Remember this?

Well whatever. I cleaned up poop today, and it wasn't my 16 month old son's.

I need a shower.

They're trying to break me...

Setting: 5 brutally hot days, no A/C. Sweating teachers, whining kids, brought in giant fan from home for slight relief.

Apologetic email from office staff about how our system is totally messed up. They're working on it.

Fast forward to this week.

Setting: unseasonably cold Monday and Tuesday. A/C is pumping. Shivering teachers, whining kids, decided it's better to be cold than hot.

Visit from maintenance staff who also said the system is a mess but now it's working. "Thank you sir! I do appreciate that our A/C is pumping out on this 59 degree day... hahaha... no really, thanks for fixing it."

Fast forward to today, you know, the day after yesterday's visit.

Setting: Hot day, no A/C.

(Insert my special bug-eyed-hands-up-and-shaking pose* here.)

*I reserve this pose when I'm talking about something that is MAKING ME CRAZY.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Rookie Mistake

It was if I was in my student teaching today. What a disaster. Let's start at the beginning...

We've been studying coins, and frankly I am bored. The kids need to learn how to identify a penny, nickel, dime and quarter; they need to identify the value of each; and, they need to be able to make 10 cents using pennies and nickels. We've done a game, we've made a kick butt chart, we've learned a great poem, but we're only halfway through.

We worked on identification for awhile and have just started value. I'm having a hard time getting jazzed up about it so I googled for lesson ideas. Once teacher suggested that you give each coin "antennas" and attaching the smaller coins to each. So for instance, a quarter would have two dimes and a nickel. Since this was above where my kids are (and need to be) and modified the idea to this:

A large penny, nickel and dime glued to construction paper. Over the penny, the kids glue a pipe cleaner and one small penny. Over the nickel, the kids glue 5 pipe cleaners and 5 small pennies, and over the dime, 10 pipe cleaners and 10 small pennies.

A-w-f-u-l. HELLO TEACHER. Pipe cleaners don't stick to paper with glue unless you use a lot, I mean A LOT. Asking kids to cut out 16 little pennies equals torture to most, and guess what? One sheet of construction paper doesn't really fit the 3 coins and their antennas very well.

The hallway outside of my room looks like a bomb hit a pipe cleaner, glue and paper money store.

Reflection? I still like the idea. I like the kids making visuals of how much each coin is worth. I hated the execution. I have another year to brainstorm a better one... and a year to peel all this glue off my fingers.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Food for Thought and/or Reality Check

A few of us were recently presented with the possibility that access to our blogs from school might be blocked. Turns out, most other schools in our county are. We are the lucky ones (intentional or unintentional, no one is sure). What this brief panic attack, then reality check provided me with was forced reflection on my reflections. Are you following me here?

I've always been honest about the purpose of this blog. It's my therapy. It's my forum to spill my guts about the good, the bad, and the ugly for others to read and say, "yeah, me too lady, me too."

Along the way, some really wonderful things have also happened. I've asked for and received fabulous ideas for lessons. I've shared class projects and received amazing feedback. I've shared feelings about problems or struggles and cyber-colleagues have responded with support and understanding. I've been able to go back and read previous posts and reflect on an issue. Has it improved? Has my perception of it changed? Should it change?

Upon reflection of my reflecting I have concluded that yes, my blog is a good thing. But, with anything in life, there is room for improvement. I'm not interested in changing the purpose of my blog... I need this outlet, I DESPERATELY NEED IT, but I plan to refine it. Will I still share the good, the bad, and the ugly? Heck yeah, but I will also strive to find more purpose in those posts. Some will hopefully be funny, some might be sad, but I want to eliminate those complaining-without-a-purpose posts. Like this one or this one.

I want to do more of posts like this one, this one, and this one. Posts with purpose. And don't think I won't share the bad... a sad woe-is-me post still has a purpose. If I am feeling blue and decide to post about it, I am clearly looking for someone else to empathize, sympathize, relate, or just say "it'll be okay."

And yes... (eye-roll) there will still be "toilet posts." This is kindergarten after all.

So... onward.

I'd like us to raise a glass (preferably filled with a favorite beverage) and toast to blogging! May our blogging freedom continue!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The dark cloud that is May...

UGH UGH UGH UGH UGH! It's May, also known as Testing Month. I just started our literacy test and so far, the results are grim. All I have tested is rhyming (I have many more tasks to complete) but my kids are BOMBING IT. What happened?!?! We have a Rhyming Forest (tree trunk is a word, the top is the rhyme), we have rhyming centers that kids say they love and I know they do well in, we pick out rhyming words in shared reading every week. Kids come up to me DAILY with a words that rhyme. Yet, for some reason, they think log rhymes with bee. They think coat sounds like snake. I break the rules and ask them again, "are you sure?" or "do you hear the same sound in king and hand?" Yep, they're sure.

At this point it's anecdotal. I've tested less than half, but wow, what a terrible way to start the day.

On a brighter note, it's Teacher Appreciation Week. Today the students were asked to bring in a flower for their teacher. Some brought whole store bought bouquets, some brought single flowers, some brought something picked from home, and two kids showed up to class 10 minutes late because they had snuck out of the school to pick flowers for me. It's all so very sweet... I wish I could enjoy it the way I should. Instead, I am looking at this enormous lovely bouquet thinking, "ugh, I don't deserve this." I know I'm being dramatic, self-centered, and well pathetic, but still... I am disheartened and need to whine.