Thursday, October 16, 2008

What A Day


That's about all I can say.

I feel fortunate that I still have my same job, in my same school, in my same room, with my same kids. I feel a bit sad that I feel fortunate about that. Many of my colleagues can not say the same thing. Why should we be tousled about this way?

It's been an extremely draining day. The school day began at 7:30am and didn't end until 8:00pm. I think I experienced twenty different emotions within this one day. Our school lost many wonderful teachers today. We had 4 teachers take the voluntary release, our principal took the voluntary release, 3 teachers were RIF'd (laid off), 5 teachers were transferred to different schools, and 900 students will suffer. This doesn't include the many teachers that will stay at our school but be placed in different positions.

I'm bracing myself for a strange and difficult next few weeks.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Yes! Success!

This has been quite an interesting year for me, as for all others teaching in the Dallas I.S.D. We have had a budget shortfall and teacher layoffs hanging over our heads.

It has been dreadfully stressful and next to impossible to maintain stability in the classroom with so much else going on around me. Thankfully, I have been able to focus on my students and enjoy the simple things that happen day to day.

Today one of my students told me she likes to read because I showed her how. She said she tries so hard because she can tell I want her to learn. Wow! Thanks for noticing!

1 down... 18 to go. :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Procrastination At It's Finest

Today was a very busy day for me. I am, admittedly, a procrastinator.

Today was the day the science fair projects were due. As a first grade teacher, we are to do a project as a class and turn in a project board. The board was due by our planning/specials period. I, in true form, did not even start the project until 8:30 this morning. My planning period is at 9:55. Our project was to see if plain ice, ice with rock salt added, or ice with table salt added froze homemade ice cream better. We made three batches of "bag" ice cream, wrote out our project, and put the board together in 1 hour. It actually turned out pretty good. Oh, in case you were wondering, rock salt and ice froze the ice cream better.

Moving on...

We have had a junior achievement volunteer who comes once a week and does great lessons with our class. Tomorrow is her last lesson and I wanted to have the kids write some things they enjoyed about her visits. We were working on that and got a book completed for her today. That took about an hour as well.

Still moving on...

Sunday is Mother's Day. I took pictures of all of the kids and had them decorate a frame to put the pictures in. That also took about an hour.

Amazingly, everything got done! I don't know how, but it did. And it all turned out great!

Procrastinators ... Unite!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Just Keep Swimming

In the immortal words of Dory, this week I feel like I'm just swimming and trying to keep my head above water. I have many deadlines coming up and lots of little brains to continue to fill with important and useful information.

The little bodies that incompase the little brains are out of control lately. What's going on? Has anyone else noticed this? They are acting like it's the last week of school. The next few weeks should be interesting!!

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Too Much Togetherness

Today was a TAKS testing day, as it was in all other Texas schools as well. Because I teach in a grade that does not take the test, we were not allowed in the building other than to move in and out for specials and getting lunch (to go back to class and eat).

I have several groups of kids that are pulled out of class throughout the day. I am fortunate to have a very academically and behaviorally challenging group this year. I will admit, the fact that they are pulled out for counseling, math tutoring, reading tutoring, dyslexia classes, and speech does help. It keeps the numbers low in my room and I can actually teach. I know! A teacher that can actually teach, not just maintain order and control all day long.

Well... today I had ALL of my students ALL day long and it was exhausting!!!! They were whining, arguing with each other, and talking nonstop all day. I love my students but it was a bit too much today.

More of the same tomorrow! Woo-Hoo!!

On a more positive note...
One of my students did an adaptation of a book we have been reading in his journal today and it was AMAZING!! I predict wonderful things for this kid. Hopefully he can get his act together behaviorally and accomplish greatness in his lifetime.

** Good luck again tomorrow Texas teachers!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Just want to send a big hug and hello to all of the Texas teachers out there doing TAKS this week.

You've done all you can... my fingers are crossed for you and your students!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Tag... You're It

Mr. Teacher tagged me for this a while back. I have not been blogging or reading them lately so I just now noticed. Lots of stuff going on lately. It looks interesting though. I'm not going to tag anyone but would love for some others to post it if they would like.

1. Pick up the nearest book
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence
4. Post the next three sentences
5. Tag five people and acknowledge who tagged you.

The closest book to me is a book I am currently reading to my daughter. We read a few pages a night. It's, The New Kid on the Block, poems by Jack Prelutsky. Not too interesting but here goes.

It's hard to fault the Zoosher's taste
(a mushroom belt adorns its waist),
and gaily wrapped about its head
are radishes-some white, some red.
Just why the beast behaves this way
is rather difficult to say,
as here beneath a bush it lies,
with mashed potatoes on its eyes.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Today was a VERY rainy day for us. The power was out in the school this morning which caused the kids to be a little rambunctious. My students know what behavior I expect from them and normally comply. Others, however, do not. As we were walking down the sidewalk today towards our portable, two children were running full speed past us. I told them to slow down. They did not. I stuck my arm out and said louder for them to slow down. As soon as they passed me they continued their sprint into the building. Just as my class and I made it to our portable we heard the two students screaming and running back down the sidewalk. As they rounded the corner, one of them slipped and fell into a HUGE puddle of water that collects where the sidewalks meet. Can I just say how funny that was! I know it's mean. It's almost like when a car is cutting you off and speeding and you hope to see them pulled over by a police car on the side of the road ahead. I looked at my kids and said, "That is why we don't run on sidewalks children." The boy that fell jumped up, soaking wet, and went back into his classroom. I talked to his teacher after school today and she said he told her the other boy pushed him in. The nerve! :) To lie about sweet justice! No running boys and girls! Lesson learned? Probably not. He will still run everywhere he goes. But for me, a great lesson on cause and effect! And... a great lesson as to why we have rules and that they actually do make sense.

Have a great week everyone . . . and slow down! ;-)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Nerve!

Another teacher on my grade level always says, "the nerve" when a student does something they shouldn't. I think it's an appropriate title for my wonderings today.

As I mentioned before, one of our classes was "dissolved" and that teacher now does reading groups with our low students. Instead of pulling them out she does the groups in our class. She was out Monday and Tuesday so has only done this two days now. Yesterday she sat in a corner of the room, did the two groups, and then left. It seemed to work just fine. Today, however, she sat where I usually have the kids go to share journals. Because we don't have much space, I was unable to do journal sharing and the kids went to centers while I did my reading groups and she did hers. As I'm doing my group, I hear her getting onto my kids in centers for being to loud. She is sitting in "the library" area and that is their center. They are reading. Why did she think she could tell them to be quiet? She is just a visitor in our room, not the teacher. Ugh! Then, about five minutes later, I hear her yelling at the kids in the group for not "trying" hard enough to read. She then tells one of the kids to go move their clip on my behavior chart. This just happens to be a very quiet, academically low child. Hence the need for extra reading tutoring. Why would she think she can discipline my students with our classroom behvior chart? Shouldn't she have her own "system" for getting them to participate. Maybe by not scaring the crap out of them and yelling at them. Just a thought! Anyway...

The nerve!

Monday, February 18, 2008


Well, today was a looonnngg day. I still feel very under the weather. I haven't been able to eat so I'm extremely tired. The new kids I got last week from the "dissolved" class are still adjusting to a new teacher and new procedures. One funny thing did happen at recess today. A sweet little girl in my class came up to tell me that another one of our students was crying. I asked her if she new why. She said that some other girls "broke" her feelings. Broke her feelings... how cute is that. Not that her feelings got broken, of course, but the language she used. Fortunately all was worked out and she was able to continue to play, broken feelings and all.

Have a good one!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I'm Back!

Hey guys! I have been crazy busy lately and unable to find any time to write. I've certainly missed it. It's been so long, I'm surprised I remembered my password! I'm just getting over a stomach virus. Yuck! As always, it hit me Friday night and I am now, Sunday night, feeling a little better. No weekend for me!

This coming week should be an interesting one. We have "dissolved" one of our classes and now have that teacher as a reading tutor that will be in our rooms tutoring for an hour a day. I'm all about extra help but I think I could make more of an impact with fewer students all day. Why take a teacher out of a classroom and give other teachers more students? Especially in February.

We also will be doing "learning walks" next week. These seem a bit pointless and stressful to me. Oh well, not my call. :)

Glad to be back! Hopefully I'll be able to find the time to write more regualarly again.