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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Excuses

Let me start by saying I am soooo sorry I haven't finished Teacher Week (hosted by Babbling Abby). Last week was CRAZY. Teacher work week was the 10th-13th and school started this past week, Tuesday to be exact. I am exhausted. There was a mad dash of things to do to get my room ready for 20 second graders and I took my camera to work everyday to take pictures of my room for Teacher Week. I was so caught up on preparing for the kiddos that I didn't remember to take pictures! I will try to take some this week and put them up for those of you that are interested in seeing what my classroom looks like! =)
Now on to other updates... I'm still running but this week I really slacked off! I only ran twice! Once on Saturday and once Thursday night! Since school has started I have been so exhausted and it is dark when I get up at 5:30 every morning. We also had 2nd grade orientation this week so I worked late on Wednesday for that and all I want to do when I get home is eat and sleep! I know that sounds like I'm making excuses but kids are exhausting. I'm going to have to find a better way to fit running into my life now that I am back to work!
My race is next month! It's in Virginia Beach and I just booked an oceanfront room for us! =) I am soooooooo excited for my first race and for the opportunity to steal away to the beach with hubs. It will be a much needed weekend away after completing the first month of school!
I'll try to do a better job keeping up with my blog as soon as I get myself back into a routine with running and working! I've kept up with your blogs though! =)
Blessings,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Teacher Week - Day 3!

Today is day three of Teacher Week (hosted by Babbling Abby, go check out her blog!). The topic for today is creative ideas. I can't take credit for this idea (and if I knew who to give credit to I would!) it is an idea that one of the teachers at my school got from a teacher in another school division. Anyway.... As I said yesterday, I love to foster a love for reading in my classroom so when a co-worker suggested that our grade level do pumpkin projects I quickly jumped on board! The idea behind the project is that the student gets a pumpkin and decorates that pumpkin (with their parents/guardians help) to match a character from their favorite book. They are then supposed to bring their pumpkin to school (along with their book) and share why they chose that book/character. They are soooooo cute and most grades can do this project! Here are a few pictures from my class last year:



Isn't Chicken Little adorable?
These projects were so cute that we put them on the stage in the cafeteria for the whole school to see! Again, I would love to take credit but it wasn't my idea! I will definitely keep doing this project though!
Another cute idea... one of my co-workers (my mentor from last year, all 1st year teachers get a mentor at the school) has what she calls a "role model" each day. The role model gets to wear a hat... she has really neat hats... like cowboy hats, floppy sun hats, and even a sombrero... that person is supposed to be the positive example for the day. Wearing the hat makes the student want to try really hard to be a good role model (especially the kids who sometimes have behavior issues). The kids loved being picked to wear the hat (I think she drew a name every day) and people would often stop and ask them why they were wearing the hat. They loved explaining that they were being a positive role model for other students!
Tomorrow's our elementary school's open house! Wish me luck!=)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teacher Week Catch Up!

I've decided (a little late!) to participate in teacher week (See Babbling Abby's blog for more details!). Today is day two but I'll start with day one and catch up!

10 things about me as a teacher:
1. I teach second grade and I love it! No two days are the same when you are a teacher.
2. This will be my second year teaching. I student taught in first grade and loved it! I taught second grade last year and will be teaching 2nd grade again this year. I hope to teach Kindergarten or Pre-K one day. =) Some people say that I am crazy for hoping to move down in grade levels... most want to move up!
3. Reason for #2: I love teaching the beginning stages of things... letter names and sounds, early number sense, etc. How much fun is it to see a child learn to read and sound out words!?
4. I hope to get my Early Childhood Special Education endorsement soon! Our county is working on starting a cohort so that teachers can take classes to obtain the ECSE endorsement and I'm anxious to get started.
5. I love to play music in my classroom. At the end of the last school year I started putting on music like the Cha Cha Slide and had my kids up and dancing to end the day. We all left in a good mood. The kids loved it when I did the Cha Cha Slide with them. =)
6. I love picture books and chapter books so I pick up books where ever I can (thrift stores, yard sales, library discard/giveaways).
7. I love keeping copies of the kids' writing samples from the beginning of the year and returning them at the end of the year. The kids are amazed at how much they've grown! They can't believe they "used to write like that". =)
8. I STRONGLY DISLIKE grading writing. It is sooooooo subjective. I love reading their writing. Most of their stories are adorable and creative but I absolutely dislike putting a grade on it.
9. Second graders are so funny and still so innocent! One of my students said that she swallowed an orange seed and asked me (with wide eyes and terror on her face) if an orange would grow in her belly. Cute! =)
10. I love to do read alouds of my favorite books and books that go along with our units. Fostering a love for reading is extremely important in my classroom!

Day 2: Things I must have...
1. Coffee. Lots of coffee.
2. Velcro circles. I use them a lot!
3. An endless supply of pencils.
4. An endless supply of erasers. Second graders erase. A lot.
5. Magic erasers. Our school is extremely old and in my current classroom the white board is shower board, which means it doesn't erase well at all..... oh budget cuts....
6. Peppermints. I eat them like crazy when I'm at school... definitely after coffee and after lunch!
7. My easel. Since I was a new teacher last year my principals ordered me an easel that is magnetic, has three writing surfaces (one with lines), and four colorful drawers for storage. I love love love it!

Well I think that catches me up! Today was day one of our teacher work week! The kids come a week from today!
Blessings,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Personal Record

I've been stuck in a rut between miles 2 and 3. I haven't quite been able to push myself to run more than two miles without stopping to walk. I was getting a little down on myself so I decided to take everyone's advice and go to a running store to get fitted for new shoes. I went to Ragged Mountain Running Shop in Charlottesville and got fitted for new shoes (it was a neat experience... I actually felt like a runner!). I also bought another iTunes card so that I could put some new music on my iPod. I hoped that the shoes and music would motivate me while I was running. Tuesday night I set out on the road with my new shoes and tunes and I ran for close to two miles before I slowed to walk. I was a little disappointed in myself. Granted, I don't walk for long, maybe a quarter of a mile and then I pick back up and run again but I had to walk none the less. Only.... I didn't have to walk. I convinced myself I had to. Today I set out again to run the same 3.1 mile course that I had mapped out and I felt myself becoming more and more determined as I ran. Everytime I would tell myself to stop and walk I would make my body push through and continue to run. Before I knew it I was back at home and had run the entire route! Today I broke a personal record. I ran 3.1 miles without stopping to walk! I have never done that before! Running is definitely more mental than physical. It's very easy to talk yourself into slowing down and walking when things start to get a little bit hard. It gets hard around 2 miles but once I pushed through and made it past 2.5 miles the rest was easy.... okay... not easy, but not as hard as I had made it out to be. My 5K at the beach is next month so I have to keep up my training and keep pushing myself until then! I also realized something else this week... I may be getting close to being in the best shape of my life. What a great feeling!
Have a blessed Thursday!