Saturday, October 24, 2015

Celebrate This Week 10/24

Things to celebrate this week:

Curiosity I got to go to the Madison Central Library with my 2-year-old niece. The building was completely renovated and the library Children's room is awesome! It was so fun to follow my niece around as she explored the space. Since the library is a block from my Mom's condo, she had already been there a few times and knew just what toys she wanted to play with. We also used the iPad that is set up for kids. She did an awesome job using the app Endless Alphabet and did these loud (sort of embarrassing) child cackles as she saw the app celebrating her correct answers. It was so fun!

Learning My classroom continues to be a place that makes me smile every day. I love the fact that this group of kids is so respectful of each other. We have fun with GoNoodle every day and the students are loving many of our learning activities. This week I showed them the fact that our desks are dry-erase surfaces. They LOVED being able to draw on their desks. I also introduced my logic games from ThinkFun and they enjoyed being able to problem solve with these puzzle games.

Doctors I was able to get to urgent care and not have to wait for very long on Thursday night. I am glad to have the antibiotics that will kick my sinus infection to the curb.

Family Out of our awful experience of losing my Stepfather, comes the opportunity to see and spend time with my sister and my nieces each weekend. I am heading to Madison again today to be there with my family and help out with babysitting for my sister to get some of her work done. We get to see them one more weekend before they head off to Savannah to start their life there. I am also looking forward to hosting the family for Halloween trick-or-treat in my neighborhood (and I will have the kitchen finished and ready by then if everything stays on schedule this week).

What are you celebrating this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Celebrate This Week 10/17

It's Saturday and that means it is time to reflect on the week and celebrate things both big and small. Join our community and celebrate this week by linking up or just stopping by the host Ruth Ayres' blog to read others' celebrations.

 This week was tough. Two weeks ago my stepfather found out that the reason he was feeling so sick for the last six months or so was because he had very advanced Cancer (either stomach or colon cancer). He was working to heal himself through his faith of Christian Science, which is why he had not had screenings or had not seen a doctor yet. We all reeled at the news and were thinking that we would have to cherish the last months with him. He had fluid removed and was eating and feeling a little better so my mom and stepbrother got their hopes up that they would have some more good times with him. Then, last Tuesday, he got really sick. They went to the ER and found out that it was a bowl perforation. There was nothing to be done. He passed in the middle of the day Wednesday. It was so quick and it was overwhelming. So, I started my week this week with a funeral on Monday.  I celebrate the life of my stepfather and the many friends and family who loved him and love us and are supporting my mom and stepbrother in their time of need. I also celebrate the excellent care of the nurses at the hospital. The vigil at the deathbed of a loved one is so very hard. The nurses worked not only to take care of my stepfather in his last hours, but also to take care of us. It was very nice. I also celebrate the good work that funeral homes do. I can't imagine having that as a career, but it is such a tough time for grieving families and they do such a good job of helping to take care of details. The funeral director that worked with us was so good at helping my mom and stepbrother through the process of decision making.

The rest of my celebrations seem so small in the face of this big event, but they have helped carry me through a tough week.
  • My sister and her family came to town to be here with the family. They are in the midst of their move to Savannah, so it was easier for her to stay here with the girls until their furniture and things arrive at their new house. She is going to be here until the end of this month and I am so happy about the chance to spend more time with her and my nieces. 
  • The little tickle monster
  • My kitchen cabinets are installed. Counters come soon. We are seeing the light at the end of the remodeling tunnel and the kitchen is going to be so pretty! 
Just a peek

  • My students got right back into the swing of things after one pretty rough day. They had a sub for four days and we all know that means mayhem when you return. It only took one day to get them back on our routines. 
  • I only have a cough left over from the pretty nasty head cold I had all last weekend through Wednesday. I am glad it didn't develop into bronchitis or sinus infection or something worse (knock on wood).
  • The assistant who works with me also happens to be the mother of one of my students. She told me the other day her son told her that teachers are like electricians. He said that since the neurons in your brain fire like electricity, teachers help that happen so we are electricians. What a great analogy! And I am glad that my lessons are inspiring this deep thought about how his brain works. 
What do you have to celebrate? I would love to hear from you in the comments! 

Monday, October 5, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/5

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? --From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme started by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take. Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

Books I Finished Recently:

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain was much more fascinating of a read than I thought it would be. It was really interesting to read about the inner workings of restaurant kitchens and the sort of unsavory characters that might be lurking in the finest restaurants. I think it would be interesting to hear what another professional cook or chef has to say about the book. 

You just have to read Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan if you haven't already read it. I loved the way music was a theme throughout the book. It is a magical and wonderful story and you will love it. 

What happens when a magic mirror whisks you away to a fairy tale? That is what the two main characters in Whatever After find out. It is a fun read and I know that some of my fourth graders are going to love this series. 

Books I am Currently Reading:

I am enjoying Hollow City more than I thought I would. I didn't love the first book as much as some people so I was interested in reading the second book but not dying to read it. So far, I am very intrigued with the story and liking the plot better. I am almost done with this one and will probably finish today.

What's Next? 
I am not sure what will be next. I know I want to read The Martian so that will probably come off the shelf. I also have a lot of 4th grade books that I want to read so I will probably grab a couple of those. Life is happening at a very fast pace so I am unsure about how much reading time I will have.

What are you reading this week? Have any recommendations for me? I would love to hear from you in the comments!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Celebrate 10/3

It's Saturday and that means it is time to reflect on the week and celebrate things both big and small. Join our community and celebrate this week by linking up or just stopping by the host Ruth Ayres' blog to read others' celebrations.

This is one of those weeks in which I had to dig deep and really look for the things to celebrate. In the middle of the week my family got some news that devastated us and will be a dark cloud over us for a while. I can't share it yet since it isn't my news to share, but I'll just say Cancer sucks!

Things I am celebrating this week:

  • I mentioned to a friend that I was craving pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting and didn't know where to find them to buy them. She went home and baked me some pumpkin bars that night. I am celebrating good friends who do randomly nice things for you. 
  • We worked hard all week on transitions and by the end of the week things were much smoother. I have a lot of students that are really working hard to do the right thing and use their self-control. 
  • Writing time is awesome. I love hearing the groans when I say that our time is up. They are loving the chance to share their stories and I am so excited about what we will be able to do this year. 
  • Reading went well this week too. I think the timing for my literacy block will work out and I am proud of my students for really increasing their stamina for independent work. 
  • The Scholastic book box came with the easier books that I ordered. I have some students who are significantly below grade level and I was happy to be able to give them better options for books to read and enjoy. 
  • The student who has finished two books in the last two weeks and didn't finish any books last year. 
  • The student who told me one morning that her mom had to take her book away the night before because she didn't stop reading and she had to do chores. 
  • Having an administrator who understands that sometimes life happens and doesn't make me feel bad about needing to be absent. 
  • My sister is moving to Savannah, GA. Her husband found a great job that he is excited about. They have been living out in LA for six years. Although Savannah is not super close to Wisconsin, it is still a lot closer. We can even drive there if we decide to take a road trip. I am excited to have them a little bit closer and to probably see them much more often. 
  • The kitchen remodel starts Monday!!!!

What do you have to celebrate this week? I would love to hear from you in the comments!