Thursday, October 25, 2012

Inservice In Snowy Stebbins!!

Building with blocks

Inservice is going well so far.  I’ve heard about CHAMPS officially.  What is it? I don’t know what it stands for offhand.  I do know it’s an acronym and each part stands for a different aspect of classroom management.  Since my children are so little, I will be able to use MAC as my acronym.  MAC: Movement, Activity, Conversation will be on a poster in my room with pictures stating what kind of movement, and conversation we should have during each activity throughout the day.  I think I will also have a puppet in my room named Mac and he will be the one to ask talk to the children about what the MAC poster means. 

'Rainbow Writing' of the letter Aa

I’m updating the individual incentives in my room.  I have to get better with using them but making the students accountable for them should make that a bit easier. I have created little caterpillars, a head and 10 circles for the body.  Each of the circles represents a spot for a stickers.  When a child is caught being good (not every time, just random ones, or I’d be out of stickers,) or doing something above and beyond they will get a sticker.  When they get a sticker, they will put it on a spot on the caterpillar.  When the whole thing is full, they will be able to choose something from the treasure box (see previous post to see the photo.) 

Painting with apples :)
As a whole class management idea, I’m implementing the gumball machine!  I will be making an empty gumball machine and each day we go without anyone going to the ‘take a break’ chair, we will add a gumball to the machine.  When we get 10 gumballs, we will have 10 extra minutes of Learning Lab time.  Having the extra time during this activity will provide an exciting incentive for the students and cost me nothing.  I’m excited to implement these ideas but I think it will be easier to do when we’re in our new classroom. Should I start to implement them now, or wait?  Comment and let me know please. 

We observed the apple seeds!
I have more inservice tomorrow but it should be okay.  Hopefully I will get as much accomplished tomorrow as I did today.  I completed my GOLD checkpoints and got a few other things done that I needed to; I just wish I had construction paper, scissors, glue, etc to work on mini projects that I need to do.  I also wish I had my classroom.  You know which one I mean, the new one, the pretty one.  The finish date has been changed to November 15th.  That’s a Thursday; didn’t you know that off hand?  I plan on devoting my entire weekend to my classroom.  Don’t expect an update that weekend because I will be thinking, breathing, and sleeping that classroom!  I know, I doubt I will go the whole weekend without taking a break, but still.  You get the point right? 

BAT HATS!!!...Halloween is coming :)
I really appreciate knowing that people are reading this.  I have gotten a few comments on here as well as in person thanking me for updating as often as I can and telling me that they love the style. I find it easier to write this way.  Writing in research paper form is far too boring.  At least for me, Sheldon on the other hand, he’d disagree to a high extent.  Mom, did you just tell R that I referenced Big Bang?  Yes, you were right, I like that show.  I’d like to thank Amy though, sorry, not you.  I have you to thank for many more things, I’m sure you’ll be okay giving a TV show away for grabs. 

Let’s see, the kiddos are doing great, I’ve put pictures of them randomly throughout this post because I love being able to attach pictures, but I don’t have any of inservice, thank goodness.  Eventually, I will add pictures of the new things I’m implementing but not until after they have been created.  Have a great day everyone, peace out!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting Chilly?

“This time, this place...” It’s great how songs can get you thinking about so many things, isn’t it? Places, people, things, topics taking over the brains of many. 

The weather here is getting chilly and the snow is starting to stick.  I’ve heard that it’s not going to be gone until after I am, for summer that is.  I think It’s easier to walk on frozen over sand than squishy sand.  In addition to that, I like the sound of the crunching snow below my boots.  What’s the best part of snow?  Watching the kids play in it, no question. 

School is going well.  The building I’m supposed to be in is still being worked on. Originally, I was supposed to be able to teach in there staring October 15th.  No, that didn’t happen.  Was I upset about it, a little.  But hey, the longer it takes, the better the building will be, right?  I sure hope you think so, because I may be saying that but I’m working on believing it still. 

I started drawing up classroom layouts.  I’m so thrilled to start organizing the room.  I’ve got small containers coming for the supplies and I can picture the ‘cuteness’ flowing through the air.  I know, I know, cuteness isn’t the most important part.  I am also considering functionality and accessibility.    I’m just so excited to get started, I think, scratch that, I know that I will be in my classroom the whole weekend when I get to move in.  When you close your eyes, eckeemm, close your eyes.  Wait, keep reading, then close your eyes and try this:  Close your eyes, what do you see?  Do you see your friends, your family, a place, you?  Do you see something you have been thinking about for a while, some kind of change?  I see myself in my classroom, putting up the whiteboard in my classroom.  Your turn, what do you see? 

Sally O’Mally (O’Meowie) is great!  She enjoys chasing the laser, and chewing on my computer corner, but only while I’m using it, yes she’s doing it right now too, so at least I can monitor the chewing.   She also likes to play with the stuffed monkey I have (thanks Shayla for Sally’s toy.)  Something I’ve noticed about her is that she likes to stretch on me, especially after I shower.  I think she enjoys the smell of the pomegranate body wash.  In addition to stretching she loves giving kisses. It doesn’t matter if she’s getting in the way of what I’m doing, she will proceed to give as many kisses as she wants to.  Oh, she also enjoys walking right in front of my face while laying in bed; why do I love when she does this?  Because she walks so nicely then stops just when her butt is in my face.  It’s quite pleasant; at least she hasn’t farted on me yet.  Yes, that’s the plus side to this one.  I love having my little bugger around!

What’s the highlight in Shishmaref?  Going to the dump! I’ve been here how long and I’ve been missing out on this experience?  Well, not anymore.  I’ve officially had the experience of a lifetime. Go me!  Want to hear the story?  Of course you do.  I will start from the beginning.  Why do people say that?  Why can’t one start the story 7/16 of the way through?  It would be a confusing story, but a story nonetheless. 

I woke up Saturday morning and fed Sally.  Too far before the beginning – okay, fast-forward a bit.  We’re supposed to get water from the washeteria because nobody wants the school to run out of water, so that was the plan for Saturday morning.  Well, in order to get water from the washeteria the truck is needed.  Yes, it’s the same truck I learned how to drive stick-shift on.  Anyway, the key was missing so we went for the Honda key.  Was that there?  No. I ended up getting water from the school.  No, me getting water from the school one time isn’t going to turn Shishmaref into the land of a drought.  So, I learned how to get water from the school.  Yes, this is much nicer than getting it from the washeteria.  Here’s why:

Washeteria:  1. Get the pump from Amy’s house. 2.  Find keys for the truck. 3. Lift the heavy 125 gallon tank into the back of the truck.  4. Drive to the washeteria. 5. Set up the hose so that the water goes in the tank and not on the ground. 6. Place 8 quarters into the machine to start water flow. 7. Turn off water flow just before the tank overflows.  8. Place cover on the tank.  9. Drive back to where the tank is located that water will be transferred.  10.  Hook up pump to the hose and put the other end in the water tank.  11. Place the pump in the full water tank then plug in the cord.  12.  Wait for the water to transfer tanks.  12.  Unplug the cord and carefully disassemble the cords and pumps.  Repeat steps 4-12 as many times as necessary to fill the water tank.  4 times for my house

School:  1.  Get the key and the extra hose from Amy’s house.  2.  Connect the hose from Amy’s to the hose from school and the hose to my house, to create a long enough hose to reach from the school to my house.  3.  Place one end of the hose into the tank and the other end to the spicket at the school.  4.  Turn the key to allow water to flow.  5. Wait for the water to fill the tank.  Make sure to check occasionally to make sure the water doesn’t overflow

Doesn’t the school one seem much easier?  I agree.  Anyway, I got the water then we found the truck keys.  We waited for them to be returned so we could make run to the dump.  Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for! So, we filled the back of the truck with garbage and were about to head out when Bob noticed the truck had a flat tire.  Alright, so we got the truck, filled it up, and now there’ s a flat.  You’ve got to be kidding me, right?  Nope, not even close.  Eventually, we took the Honda key.  Guess who got to drive? No, not Santa Clause.  I did!  After we got the Honda, I drove us to the trailer and Amy attached it.  Then I said, “Which way to the dump?”  Amy’s response. “It’s that way but we need to go this way to get the stuff to take to the dump.”  Yep, that’s right, I was so excited to go to the dump that I was going to take an empty trailer down there.

So, we transferred everything from the back of the truck to the trailer of the Honda and headed off.  It was rather chilly but it was worth it because I was on the 3rd gear of the Honda, which I had never done.  So, we were going to the dump and must have it one too many bumps because the trailer detached from the Honda.  Amy attached it again and we proceeded on.  We got about 50 feet ahead and it detached again!  This time, Amy jumped on the metal pole that connects to be sure it was connected.  We got going again and made it a bit further.  I could see the dump!  What happened?  Take a guess.  Yep, the trailer fell off again!!  We attached it and proceeded to the dump.  Guess what?!!? We made it!!!! 

We took everything from the trailer and put it on the ground in a pile.  Then, I got to play with something I’ve never played with before. This special thing was called a blow torch.  Oh my gosh, I feel like Junie B. Jones.  The B stands for Beatrice but she just likes B and that’s all.  Anyway, Amy showed me how to use the blow torch and I got to put stuff on fire.  I mean, real stuff, not just marshmallows and candles.  I burnt boxes, and a bike tire, and I burnt a frozen pizza to a crisp!  I know what you’re thinking.  There’s no way you did that, Lauren.  You’re afraid of fire.  And you’re right, I am.  And even after playing with the blow torch, I still am afraid of fire.  There’s something about it that will scare me forever I think. 

Well, after we made sure the fire would burn everything up we headed back to town in the Honda and attempted to bring the trailer with us.  Yes, I did say attempted.  The trailer detached 3 times on the way back!  Two of these times, it almost went down the hill into the ditch.  The trailer is HEAVY, it would have been a difficult job to get it back up the hill, no matter how small. 

Eventually, we made it back and I worked really hard to back up the Honda and put the trailer in it’s appropriate spot.  I did the best I could but I can see it rolling slightly down a hill.  Relax, it’s not a big hill.  Relax, nothing will be damaged if it had rolled.  Maybe I’ll look into the trailer tomorrow; at least that way I’d know if it rolled or not. 

I’m headed to Stebbins on Wednesday after school for in-service.   I will be there until Saturday.  I’m not sure exactly what the schedule is for while we are there, but does any of it pertain to ECE?  Nope.  My hope is that I will catch something that I can incorporate into my classroom, if not already doing so. 

If you have a question, feel free to ask, Maybe I’ll do a post of all Q&A’s.  Please note that I did say ‘Maybe’.  I guess we shall see.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

P.S. Book Orders Came!!!

Being a teacher keeps me busy. Holy cow.  So busy.  I've heard that when a teacher is sick, it's easier to be at school than not due to sub plans being such a pain.  I never really understood until now.  I planned my 5 days for when I'm not going to be there and created detailed, step-by-step lessons for the course of each day. After creating the plans for each day, I made sure all of the supplies were ready for each day and sorted each day's materials into the appropriate boxes.  What boxes?  I have clear boxes that I labeled for each day of the week as well as an extra materials box.  So, I sorted each of the materials and put all of the extra supplies as well as the supplies I will need when I get back in the 'Extra Materials' box.

One of the materials I got to make for while I will be gone is a collection of magnetic fish!  I started out by printing out an outline of a fish (22 times) then coloring each of the fish.  Okay, so I didn't color them completely; I just outlined them, but not because i'm lazy, because I didn't want to use all of the ink in my markers.  I love markers too much to lose the ink so quickly.  After outlining each of the fish, I wrote the numerals on the fish:  1 numeral per fish.  Then I started to cut out the fish.  T he only scissors available were the gigantic ones.  You know the ones I mean:  the size that could be considered a sword for a 4 year old.  Yes, those.  Anyway, I started to cut out the fish and gave up right away, it was going to take too long.  So, I went onto plan B (which I came up with right on the spot, but didn't know why it wasn't plan A.)  I got out the cricut (which is a super cool machine that cuts out miscellaneous shapes) and cut out fish in multiple colors.  I added the numerals to the fish and laminated them to keep them safe.  After the lamination process, I had the pleasure of cutting out the fish.  Isn't that what I avoided the first time?  Yes.  This time however, the lamination could be cut out in a rounded fashion, instead of directly on lines.  Eventually I got to add the magnets to the back of the fish.  "Oh that's cool, so you can put them on the fridge, right?" Nope.  I wanted the kids to be able to use magnetic fishing poles to pick up the fish.  They're going to put the fish in numerical order in the end.

OH MY GOSH, I SAW THE NORTHERN LIGHTS!!!  They were amazing!! I was actually woken up at 12:30am to see them.  Oh my, how good bed sounds right now.  Anyway, so I got out of bed and put on my boots and ran outside.  It was very chilly but it was definitely worth it!  The sky had a long twist of green in it.  I stood outside for a half hour.  Yes, in the cold, Yes, it was still worth it in the end.  Did I mention that I had a cold before I went outside?  Well, I did.  Did it go away afterwards?  Yes! - Okay, so it didn't really go away, that was only a wish.

So, here's the deal.  I know I haven't updated in quite some time.  Why is that?  I was home!!! I went to Menomonie, Altoona, and West Bend! :) I had such a wonderful time and didn't want to come back to Shish.  It's not that I don't like Shish, because I do!  I just really like Menomonie. It's been my home for the last 5 years so can't it be more comfortable to be there?  Maybe if I lived in Shish for 5 years I would feel that way about it too.  I guess we'll have to wait and see what I decide to do.

While I was home, I got my kitty!!!!  She's so adorable, loves to cuddle, she's adventurous, and so far, she's a great traveler.  We've been in transit for 15 hours and he's held up well.  There have been no accidents but I'd rather have that than a kitty with a bladder infection so I guess I'll just have to hope for the best at this point.  Sally O'Mally is also a handful.  She's tried to escape already!  I think the idea of the carrier is not her most exciting thought.  She wants to walk all around the airport but I won't let her. I tried to explain that she will be able to do that in Nome, but not in Anchorage.

I will be boarding the plane to Nome shortly, then will be spending the entire day there.  What am I going to do?  I don't have the slightest idea.  I will have a kitty with me and a small airport with no WI-FI.  Any ideas?  How am I supposed to eat?  Can I bring my kitty to Airport Pizza?  Can't you hear them saying it?  "Yes!  We've got cans of tuna set aside for this exact purpose."  Wouldn't that be nice to hear.  Somehow, I don't think that is how the day is going to go.  Maybe I'll have to have a super expensive lunch delivered to the airport.

Okay, I ordered chinese and had it delivered to the airport.  Chicken fried rice is good in the airport when you're watching Grey's Anatomy too.  Now I've just got to find time to finish the season as well as the new to DVD season of Big Bang.  When am I going to find time for all of this?  I don't have the littlest speck of an idea.