Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ollie, Ollie, Oxen Free...

Or something like that. Not that I have delusions of being missed, however if anyone is seeking, I am hiding under all of these papers. I hope I can dig my way out soon. Anyone seen a Saint Bernard with a little barrel of whiskey around his neck? If so, I could use him. Well, not him as much as the whiskey. :-)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Accelerated Readers...

Below you will find a picture of a pretty happy bunch of students. Our class was the first class at our school to earn our Accelerated Reader shirts (provided by PTO-THANKS).

The students have to read grade-level appropriate books and then take a multiple choice comprehension test on the computer in order to earn points.

In my classroom, it is a team effort. Once a student has earned the 20 points necessary to earn a shirt. They adopt a less proficient reader and read books with them, during independent reading. They pick books to read that they haven't read (or taken a test on) themselves, so they are not having to "mark time" while helping out their buddies.

In order to better illustrate my point with my students, I share with them that when a platoon of Marines are completing an obstacle course, they work together in order to successfully finish the obstacles.

For example, if they are climbing over an extremely tall wall and not everyone in the platoon is strong at the skill of climbing, the most proficient climbers will climb first. Then, they will secure a rope and toss it down to help his peers. They remain there to help their platoon until all have safely and successfully conquered the obstacle.

I like to think that these situations are analogous. This year, our universal theme is relationships. Relationships between one another, in nature, and in history. I like to provide as many opportunities as I can for my students to build those relationships.

I'll admit, it puts joy in my heart to see these students "tossing a rope down" to support their peers.

Here they are, looking happy as clams:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

So tired.....

However, I have been tagged by Darcey and I will do my duty and answer and then (LOOK OUT!) tag others.....

So here goes...

1. Name your 2 favorite scrapbooking topics: my four beautiful babies and everyday life.
2. What are the 2 best places you've been to? St. Maarten and some hidden spots in Mississippi
3. Name 2 things you do every day: have coffee and play with my kids (not always in that order, but I can't be held liable if that order isn't followed!)
4. Tell us 2 things that pretty much everyone knows about you. I am an open book and I kid because I love.
5. 2 places you wish to visit: Prague and New York City
6. 2 things you may not know about me are: I am petrified of wild rabbits and I need everyone to like me.
7. 2 nicknames you've had at some time in your life: Shay-Shay and Cotton-Top
8. Name 2 of your favorite drinks: Gin Martini (extra dirty) and Gin & Tonic
9. What are 2 interesting (in a good or bad way) jobs you have had in your life? I worked in the games department at an amusement park in Memphis (Libertyland). When I first began teaching, I delivered the LA times for extra money during the summer.
10. What are your top two fun things to do after work? Mine would be to scrapbook/go to crops and the other is shopping! This one is tough because I have NO time after work. It would have to be much later after dinner and the kids' bedtime routines. It would be to surf the net and check in with my scrafty friends and to read for pleasure.
11. Here is my addition: What are your two favorite times of the day? Dinnertime-bedtime, when my house is beyond chaotic and the time just after it when it is so quiet that the silence is deafening.
Notice a theme? :-) All of the questions have 2 in them. Answer the questions, add one question of your own (this tag started with 4 questions) and then tag 2 people. Simple enough?
I am going to tag Christy and Melissa.

Have fun!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Funny of the day...

Rene caught this little diddy early yesterday morning and we have been quoting it ever since:


Sunday, January 6, 2008

For whom the bell tolls????

It tolls for me..... and my husband and our kids, as well. Tomorrow, we all return to our normally scheduled life.

No more impromptu trips to the beach.

Only classrooms, books, and teachers' dirty looks. Oops, wait that last part isn't true. :-)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Makes me so sad...

Of all of the decorations that I put out during the holidays, taking down the cards makes me the saddest.

While taking them down today, I took a little extra time to reread each one. It is so nice to get a little note from friends and family, that is so much more personal than email and so different than a phone call, obviously. It is really just too bad it only happens once a year. Maybe I'll start a campaign to send cards more than once a year. It would be a grass-roots campaign. I send a card to two friends and then they send to two friends. And so on. And so on. You know this is really making me tired just thinking about it. So, nevermind.... Maybe next year. :-)

Friday, January 4, 2008

What happens????

What happens after my girls get a bath and go to bed? The reason I ask is because after bathtime each night, I spend an inordinate amount of time combing through the girls' hair getting all of the tangles out. Did I mention that they despise this? I didn't? Well, they despise this. However, I always feel a little sense of accomplishment when tangles are combed out and they are squeaky clean for bedtime.
However, when they awake: tangles. Those girls must thrash about at night in the craziest manner in order to achieve the rats' nests that I see greeting me every morning.

For no particular reason, I decided to prove that I wasn't going crazy by documenting this phenomena...
Gabriela BEFORE

Gabriela AFTER

Cristina BEFORE

Cristina AFTER

I don't really expect answers, however if you have suggestions to save me from this madness, they would be appreciated. Oh well, HAIR today, KNOT tomorrow. :D

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year: 2008!

A day late and a dollar short.

Well, here we are in a brand new year. 2008. Wowza. I have been reflecting a lot these last few weeks about the resolutions that I made for 2007. I am not sure whether it is a good idea to measure the success of one's resolutions, however, I tried to do just that. First let's have a look at my resolutions layout from last year. As we peek, let me explain that I wanted to create resolutions that weren't too specific and would fit nicely together in order to contribute to a better me. (Once again, it's all about me!) :-)

Ok, ok. Let's start with the picture. I hate it. I was trying to do one of those artsy-fartsy pics in the bathroom mirror. I am not normally spatially challenged, but I could NOT for the life of me figure out where to look an in my frustration finally settled in a picture with brow furrowed in frustration trying to portray whimsy. Sad, I know.
I resolved to:
1. Care for my body.
2. Feed my mind.
3. Nurture my spirit.
4. Open my heart.

1. is a no go. Before and after the hysterectomy, my body has been through a bit of a battle. I am not saying that I have abused it, however, I certainly didn't care for it as I had planned.

2. is a go. Entering graduate school to earn another master's degree and becoming a candidate for National Board Certification, not to mention, my passion for reading has made this one an easy resolution.

3. is a toss-up. I have certainly tried to do those things. However, sometimes life is serious and it requires gravity. Two precious people (Grandma Thomas and Grandma Hazel) passed this year along with the best dog one could possibly have (Edgar) and a former Del Rio student (Peter). All of these things in close proximity to one another and all hard to take. Rest in peace, all of you.

On to 4. I think this one is a go. These are the easy things in my life. They are natural and don't require much thought or effort. They are my life. To my four children and fantabulous husband, thank you so much for making my life a perfect one.

So, after the assessment, I am requesting a do-over. What, what? A do-over for the year? No. A do-over for my resolutions. I am going to give myself another chance for fidelity of implementation. Let's give her a go!