Saturday, November 29, 2014

Five for Friday... Cooking, Cleaning and Catching Up!

I am wrestling with the hands on the clock. I wish time would just SLOW DOWN. I have truly enjoyed all of my "minutes" during this break. I am one of the lucky ones who get a whole week away from school for Thanksgiving. It has been pure bliss.

Since I am always late for all-things-technological, it seems only fitting that I should be late for Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday. I know I am not the only Five for Fraturday gal around, so I don't feel too bad. In fact, I have blogged twice in three days. That's practically a record!

So here are some of the JOYS that have been a part of the week...

We participate in two Thanksgiving meals each year. First, we join in a "Family Gathering" with "extended" family and great food (because I rarely have to cook anything)! My friend, the hostess, is a gourmet cook... Translate that as: "YUM!" Then we have a just-the-two-of-us Thanksgiving dinner at home. Here's a picture of the turkey. Love the giant thermometer? A consequence of growing old... and I still can't read it without my glasses!

I did have some concerns that there wouldn't be any place to eat the Thanksgiving dinner. I have taken over every room in the house with piles and piles of school stuff. Wherever you look, there is a pile of books, a pile of papers and/or forty-seven assorted pens. The dining room table has served as my desk since September. Hmmmm. At least I have now have pictorial proof that the table was (once) cleared!

While I was flying through my cleaning frenzy, I decided to move some boxes into the garage. Of course, I had to have matching boxes. And the boxes had to have labels. And then I decided there should be clip art. I guess no one really wonders why it takes me so long to get anything done...

I love these clear bins. They have them at Office Depot (They have colored ones, too, which I use for curriculum). These bins hold enough to be efficient, but not so much that I cannot pick them up when they are full). I open them all year long to replenish supplies, and having everything in one--labeled!--place makes that task go much more smoothly. 

Even after thirty years, I still love planning and creating lessons. With computers and clip art, I may love it even more at this point! I have to teach the water cycle in science this week. However, the water cycle lessons require (in my mind) some background knowledge about phases of matter. So I planned those lessons. And those matter lessons require (in my mind) some background knowledge about atoms, molecules and elements. So I planned those lessons too. At this point, I am reminding myself that sometimes you have to go backwards to feel successful going forward. And I am rejoicing in the fact that I have science planned for the week! Besides, I think any flip chart or slide show is better (or at least more fun for me to look at!) when a little Melonheadz clip art is added in. I love all of Nikki's kidlettes!

I still have a lengthy To Do list and LOTS of papers to grade. Thus my plea for time to slow down. Even if it is only to have a few more hours to "get stuff done," I still enjoy doing things at my own pace. And, happily, there are just three short weeks until the next vacation.

So, with a contented sigh, I wish you a happy Sunday!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello Bloggy Friends!
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, I hope you are enjoying the day!

Although there will be turkey and accompaniments later, my plans for the morning include organizing some items in the garage and sorting through the papers currently cluttering the dining room table. After all, it will be hard to eat if there is nowhere to put the plates--or the food!

I'm embarrassed to admit: On most days, my dining room tables doubles as my expansive desk!

Like Scarlet O'Hara, I'll think about THIS in a little while!

I am thankful for so many things...
    - I am happy and healthy and have, truly, everything I need
    - I live in a beautiful place with lovely weather (Today's forecast is 87 degrees!)
    - My faith sustains me and keeps everything in perspective
    - My friends manage to stick with me and celebrate or console me depending on the
    - My family comes together for each holiday to kindle the spirit
    - After many, many years, I still love being a teacher
    - I am part of a wonderful blogging community, filled with teacher friends who constantly make
      my life easier--even when they don't know it!
    - My life is filled with blessings, big and small...

With that, I will send you good wishes for a wonderful day, filled with good food and good friends... and all the happiness your heart can hold!

Monday, November 10, 2014

There's a (Really Good) Giveaway Going On...

One of my favorite things about blogging is the chance to meet wonderful people like Laura from Love to Teach. She is incredibly sweet and always leaves the nicest feedback on other people's blogs!

She's having an amazing giveaway, featuring some great products AND TWO $75 gift cards! Even the button is adorable! Click on the image below and go enter. I would love it if someone visiting my blog could win a prize!

I've spent most of my weekend working on report cards. Yuck! Report cards give me an anxiety attack. It doesn't seem to matter how much evidence I have, I can talk myself into or out of almost any grade for any student. It's that whole "body of evidence" thing. We're not supposed to use "percents," but, instead, consider all of the evidence together. Things seems more "cut and dried" for math, but for reading...    All of the intricacies of reading summarized into one font-of-six number. (and I keep forgetting if 1 is "high" or 1 is "low" because we have changed systems so often!) Almost impossible, if you ask me! (Of course, they didn't, so I am stuck with their system!)

So, forget about my report card worries and go enter Laura's giveaway. Something good will definitely come out of that effort!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Currently... It's November!

There are many (MANY) things I love about Farley's Currently. But one of the things I love most is the fact that so often it is a Currently post that brings me back to blogging. Doesn't seem to matter how long I have been away, Farley's Currently is like an invitation to come back home.

So here I am. I feel like I should I have some sort of confession statement: "I'm Kim and I'm a blogging slacker." That is, however, more than obvious... considering my last post is dated August! It seems to happen that way with me every year. Each August, I get excited about posting the adventures of a new school year. And each November, I look back and wonder: "Why didn't blogging happen this time?"

Enough looking back. Let's move forward. It's November! The month of football and turkey dinners (and lunches!) and report cards and parent conferences... and days away from school! I panic each year when I realize there are no holidays (without school) in October. So November always seems like an extra blessing!

I am spending this weekend checking in homework, grading papers and planning some quick assessments. We have a new report card this year and it's not ready yet. We saw a prototype, but we can't enter grades yet. I always procrastinate when it comes to report cards, so I have NO room to complain. In all honesty, the program will likely be ready before I am! But I am guessing there ARE people at my school whose grades are actually ready...

Conferences are around the corner. Initially, we thought there would be interpreters to attend our conferences to explain the new grading system to the parents. So, I submitted my request: I needed interpreters in Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Vietnamese and Chinese. Alas, there isn't any money for interpreters after all, so we will need to get creative. Thankfully, our secretary sets up a schedule for a few conference sessions in Spanish. And our principal jumps in too. I guess we will need to operate on the bring-a-friend system for the other languages. Sometimes the students present their part of the conference in their home language. It is always so impressive to watch!

All of this talk about report cards and conferences is making me want cheesecake. It's my "feel-better" food. I went to the Cheesecake Factory with a group of friends a couple of weekends ago... Oh the deliciousness! This was my pick for the day... Kahlua Cocoa Coffee Cheesecake!

Let's stop thinking about cheesecake... Unless they will deliver?

Have you read Number Talks by Sherry Parrish? It's a wonderful book and I am learning so much about number strings and math conversations. I can't wait to teach kids who have learned math in this way starting in kindergarten. It is so fun to listen to kids think! (Click the picture to check out the book on Amazon.

I hope that this November finds you well and happy. I am looking forward to seeing what is Currently going on in everyone else's lives. In the meantime, why not hop by to Farley's and make a friend or two at this month's link-up. I'll see you there!