Saturday, October 25, 2014

Five for Friday . . . Fraturday

Let me just start that I began blogging this post last night, fell asleep, and then spent the day taking my mother - in - law to the airport and running errands with my husband and E. It is now 9:00, and we have been ready for bed since 7:30.

So after taking the last 7 weeks off to focus all of my attention on to being a mommy, I am finally ready to return to my little space in the blogging community. What better way to rejoin than with Doodle Bugs weekly Five for Friday now Fraturday . . .

This week I returned to work. While I love being a mom, I also love being a teacher. I wish I could just strap E to me and bring him along. It was a slightly crazy week with the end of the quarter with grades due today by noon. Monday was a district work day, and Wednesday my school provided subs for all of the kindergarten teachers to have a planning day. Enjoy my five highlights from the week.

I've really been trying to figure out how to explain what went on in my classroom while I was away. In January, my district decided to contract all subs through a third party. Because of this, my administration and I did not get to select who would be my long term sub. Let's just say I've had a lot of nice, thoughtful, brilliant, intelligent colorful language. Look closely at this photo and see if you can figure out how many things are wrong. My husband and I spent 2 hours Monday night sorting through and organizing all of the centers I had left for her. It looked like she threw 8 weeks of reading and math centers into three bags. I could dedicate an entire post to just the mistakes she made. Let's just say it was BAD!!

 My friends should have learned about matter while I was gone, but that would have required a sub who read plans and actually wanted to teach my friends. Obviously that didn't happen so we did one of my favorite experiments for matter. This experiment requires, a snack size bag, ice cubes, and an Alka-Seltzer tablet. We start by placing ice in a snack size Ziplock bag. Partners then had the challenge of changing the ice from a solid to a liquid (it does help that it is still 85 degrees here in Florida). Then we added one Alka-Seltzer tablet  to the baggie and watched  a gas form as the bag expands. My friends understand solids and liquids, but gases are harder for them to understand, but with this experiment they are able to see a gas right in front of their face.

I took some time redoing the words for my word wall and creating two charts for our first and second quarter High Frequency Words. I noticed that our HFWs were getting lost with the letters. It was just very busy and hard to determine what the words were because they had a heavy border around them.  So I created all new word cards. It is turning out much better than I thought. I also took the first and second quarter words and made a chart for each quarter. Then I added name badges for each chart. As my friends master the set of words, their badge will move up to the next chart. I normally do something similar at the end of the year, but I am hoping will encourage my friends to learn their HFWs now. I still have the third and fourth quarter words to write. Once they have all 127 words they will move their name badge to a chart that says, "I'm ready for First Grade!". I love healthy competition and encouragement, and this provides just that.  

This week it was nice to be back in my classroom with my friends working together. There's something I love in helping my friends learn to work together, have fun, and achieve a task or goal. I can definitely tell the few who ran circles around the sub, but I know they have missed me and are ecstatic I am back.

It wouldn't be right unless I included the highlight to my week: coming home to Edison. He has grown so fast. About two weeks ago he finally started wearing 3 month clothe and in about 3 weeks he will be completely out of them. I'm trying to have him wear as many as he possibly can. E has some adorable outfits, but the weather is still too warm for many of them. 

That's about it. This coming week is Read Ribbon Week among every child's favorite free candy holiday. We'll be working on some creative character projects this week. I hope they turn out. Check back to read all about it. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Returning from my Hiatus

If it seems like I feel off the face of the earth, I did thanks to this little guy!

Yep! Remember way back when I was thinking about everything that needed to get done in the next 8 days and needing prayers. Meet Edison Samuel! We learned on August 29th that a birth mother had chosen us and was scheduled to give birth September 10th (you can read about it here). There were way too many emotions and things to accomplish such a short time and nothing is ever certain in the world of adoption until paperwork is signed. We weren't quite ready to share with everyone. Then I've spent the last few weeks just enjoying every moment of being a mom. Thankfully my husband works for a great company that is giving him 20 days of paternity leave allowing us to stay at home with him for the first 9 weeks all paid.

I go back to work on Monday. While I am sad, I am also ready to see my friends. My long term sub was . . . well . . . we'll leave it with that. That has made going back much easier. Had I known they were in good hands and getting everything they needed going back would be much harder. My friends are ready for me to come back

So, you can expect to read a lot more about what is happening in my classroom this year. I hope you are ready for more to come!