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Sunday, September 1, 2013

thank goodness for Labor Day

Well, hello, little bloggity blog, long time no see!

Are we glad it's Labor Day?!  I know I am.  I absolutely, positively had nothing left in me by the end of the day on Friday.  I'm not going to stretch the truth-this group of kiddos I have this year is giving us (my co-teacher and I) a run for our money.  I keep reminding myself that it starts off rough every year and I contemplate other career options and buying massive amounts of lottery tickets in hopes of striking it rich for a while but then sooner or later we get into a rhythm and we adapt to the new normal.  Aside from my class being...um...a challenging conglomeration of personalities (haha) we are a little off-kilter right now because we have a new math curriculum (yay? Even though we just started using the state's frameworks last year but okay...) and a new phonics program (still in boxes in my classroom) and oh, by the way, all of this random technology magically appeared in our classrooms last week (I got a cart-and a laptop-and an i-Pad) which is great but WHOO the learning curve is a little bit steeper than I can handle right now.  Especially since I am headed into week 3 of the semester at grad school and our professor expects us to, you know, do homework and stuff.

The sermon this morning at church was basically "we can do hard things" (if you are not familiar with Momastery's mantra, please run over there and spend a few hours reading all of Glennon's posts, especially this one and this one).  I am pretty sure that was one of those neon arrows sent from heaven to help me along on my way and NOT a coincidence.

To "unwind" (hahahahaha) I have been making fun things for my classroom that I've then been dropping into my TpT store.  I spent the better part of my week procrastinating from doing homework creating things for our data unit.  It's basically ALL of the graphs I do with my class here at the beginning of the year to introduce graphing (especially those pesky tally charts) and I threw in a pre and post assessment as well.



Then today for some reason I got a wild hair about the SS standard we're doing next week about some patriotic songs (America/My Country 'Tis of Thee & America The Beautiful) and created some stuff to go with THAT standard.  We share lesson plans as a grade level and one of my co-workers found some neat stuff out on the Interwebz but it wasn't exxxacctttlly what I wanted so...3 hours playing around on my laptop and here's what I came up with:
I made two cute little student booklets for students to put together while we're studying the songs (um, probably in a literacy station, because even though the district WANTS us to now teach science and social studies in their own neat little block of time we don't actually have time for that-oh yeah, and it's a best practice to integrate content areas with literacy instruction!) as well as some pocket chard cards and student versions of the songs.  Next week's social studies activities, check check!  

Speaking of Social Studies...I do have some exciting news to report.  A month or so ago I created a DonorsChoose proposal for some SS mentor texts about the specific American historical figures the kiddos are supposed to learn about in 1st grade: Ben Franklin, Harriet Tubman, Lewis & Clark, Sacagawea, Theodore Roosevelt, George Washington Carver, Thomas Jefferson...(yes, it's the most random group of people EVER).  I created the proposal after doing an annotated bibliography of content area literacy resources...why not, I figured, since I already had a list of books?  My project didn't expire until October, but guess what...it's been funded ALREADY.  Some of the donations were from my fabulous family and friends, but a lot of them were from complete STRANGERS.  Isn't that awesome?  The books arrived this week...I gotta make some cute labels for them and then they are headed to the classroom library PRONTO!  Whoop whoop!

I think that's about it...I hope everyone has a fabulous Labor Day!  We are doing absolutely nothing, which sounds perfect to me!

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