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Thursday, April 21, 2016

I'm Alive... with News!

As my title indicates, I am alive... and yes, I have news!  No, I'm not getting married (I'll start buying cats soon) and no, I'm not preggers.  I am, however, leaving the state of North Carolina.  North Carolina gave me my first job when I was looking during a time of hiring freezes, but it just isn't worth being away from family any longer.  I had a nephew born last August and my dad was diagnosed with cancer last October.  I'm living in NC with no family and my only friends are the people with whom I work.  Many of us are all going different directions, professionally, so the time is right.

So, I am pleased to announce that I am moving back to my home state of South Carolina, and I have accepted a 5th grade position in the Upstate!  I hate change... this is scary... but I know it's the right decision!

I'm coming home...
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Monday, June 23, 2014

A Lesson For Us All

Yes, I'm alive.  Yes, I went a whole school year without posting.  Yes, it was a difficult year.  I'll update soon.

While perusing Facebook tonight, I saw a personal eulogy for a man who had passed.  I recognized the name as the former 5th grade teacher of my oldest brother.  My brother will be 40 this year.  I sent my bro a message letting him know.  The following was our conversation:

Me: Didn't you have Mr. W?  He died...
Bro: Yes. F*$k!
Bro: He was the best English teacher I ever had.  He even paddled me once... LOL.
Me: You probably deserved it!
Bro: I probably did!  He introduced me to Edgar Allan Poe, and Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear...  Good man.
Bro:  Ugh... Sucks... I always wanted to touch base with him... Let him know I wasn't a F*$k up.
Me: Well one thing it tells me... Kids never forget!
Bro: No... NEVER.  He had a positive impact on me... He made reading fun.
Me: And that is VERY hard to do.
Bro: He could do it...  He would change his voice with every character while reading a chapter...  Then leave us with the next 5 or 6...  Those voices would be in our heads...  To be honest, I still use them while reading today.
Me: That's awesome!
Bro: Yeah.  I've never been emotional about a passing teacher.  He was great.
Me: Some of them are THAT great.

Lesson: Strive to be the best you can be every day.  Kids will remember us at our best or our worst.  We DO make a difference.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Music Video Stars

What is better than watching your teachers sing, dance, and act silly in a music video?  I would have loved it when I was a kid.  We definitely do this for the kids!  We didn't have ANY fun recording and filming.  None....  That's such a lie!  :)  This year, we are doing a Math-a-thon to encourage students to learn their math facts.  One of our amazingly gifted 1st grade assistants wrote the lyrics to the song, Blurred Lines.  It turned out pretty good.  We practiced/recorded the vocals yesterday after school.  We probably had to repeat the process 50 times.  Between messing up, changing things, and laughing until we nearly peed our pants, it took quite a while.  The filming took forever, but we had a lot of fun.  The best part??  The first time students see the video, it will be at our Math Parent Night.... in front of PARENTS!  Yay!  Haha!  It's all good... they'll see our awesome dancing skills and think we're cool, right?


Check out our video from last year...
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Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Greatest Invention {Currently October}

Shortly before the school year started, I was introduced to something called nameplate pockets.  I thought they were cool, but didn't think too much about them because... well, I despise nameplates.  Last year, at the Carson-Dellosa warehouse sale (a perk to living in the NC Triad), I bought a pack of large nameplates for $1.00 just incase I ever decided to use them.  A month into the school year, I realized that my students needed the nameplates, not only for the cursive writing, but also for the multiplication chart.  (Math facts are a weakness.)  I wasn't about to put the nameplates down without anything covering them, and there was no way I was going to put packing tape on my desks.  That would be a NIGHTMARE at the end of the year to clean.  I found Ashley Clear Nameplate Pockets on Amazon and ordered them. (They're also available through Staples.)  They are WONDERFUL.  They haven't peeled up or torn; however, I did warn my students not to mess with them.  They're so simple to use!  I highly recommend them! :)

Also, I wanted to share the school shirts I had made with Vistaprint!  Are they absolutely beautiful?? :)    The design was completely my own.  I made it using PowerPoint and saved it as a png.  This allowed me to have a "clear" background.  1921 was the year the school was established.  It took a lot of research to determine the date.  Tell me how awesome it is!! :)

Listening: I absolutely love JEOPARDY!  I watch it every night!
Loving: Friday's are always a welcomed sight! :)
Thinking: My first observation will be next week.  Nervous?  No, but I want everything to go smoothly.
Wanting: I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I love mint chocolate chip ice cream!
Needing: My teacher friends and I have decided we need "sanity savers" to make it through October.  Tomorrow we'll be in the Mt. Airy area for a winery, dinner, and dance.  We're going to watch one of our young male teachers play in an "old-time" band.
Trick:  Set up a daily SMARTboard notebook that will guide you through your day.  I never look at my plans, because all the slides and information I need are on my daily SMART!

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Sanity Savers

Sometimes, to keep your sanity, you just have to stop and be silly.  Luckily, my school is packed with people who know how to relax and enjoy life.  I'm thankful to have people like this in my life! :)

For your amusement:  We decided to use the stability balls completely inappropriately, and Ms. P ended up on the floor!  The kids probably would not get away with something like this! :)

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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Guided Reading: Jan Richardson

The guided reading guru, Jan Richardson (author of The Next Step in Guided Reading), will be back at our school tomorrow.  Normally she is here for several days, but this time, it's just going to be one day.  From what I understand, we are going to be observing model lessons.  I'm not sure if it will be a guided reading lesson or a whole group lesson.  It should be informative.  It always feels like a whirlwind takes over our school when she's visiting, but we always learn a lot.

Anywho, I rarely reach my breaking point, but yesterday pushed me there.  After school, we had a meeting about the new NC grading program that has so many kinks it's ridiculous (but thankfully the date of interim reports was pushed back), had to get our grade-level planning done, had OPEN HOUSE, we had to show a video at open house and my computer went stupid 10 minutes before it started, I didn't get a break to have dinner, and then I had one parent show up on time (4 showed up the whole night).  I was just done.  This week is packed with TOO MUCH!!  So to make myself feel better, I ate fatty food.  I can't even afford McDonald's this month, but I collected enough pennies in my car to pay.

Here's to hoping the week gets better...
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Monday, September 16, 2013

Forces and Motion Song

It's been a while!  I've been super busy since school started!  I just wanted to post a video I uploaded to YouTube last night.  It's a Forces and Motion song...  I didn't write the lyrics (someone else in the county wrote them) but I created the music/lyrics video to make it easier for the kids to sing.  Feel free to use it if you like it! :)

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