Thursday, October 18, 2012


Hello!!  I am still here!!  I can't get over how much time has passed since my last post.  I was actually having post-related anxiety because I have not logged on for so long!  I guess this is the rant to break through the angst.  I feel like all I have done since school began is a.s.s.e.s.s.  My brain is reeling from SLO's (student learning objectives), SWAT (whatever that means), and mid-tri's (which go out Oct 25th)... along with piloting a math series and some new professional obligations...  Yikes!
     Today we had a professional development day.  I guess I can say I feel better.  My student learning objectives are all loaded onto the state website, waiting for my principal's approval.  That is a huge burden off my shoulders.  Thank Goodness!  Tomorrow I hope to finish my mid trimester grades so I can upload them this weekend and then, just maybe, I can begin to TEACH again!  I am hoping to post some "stuff" this weekend.  I have some cute things my kiddos have done over the past couple months that I would love to share.      
     That being said, things have not really rolled out the way I had anticipated this year.  We have had so much time off due to holidays, the election, and professional development that it has been hard to get into a routine.  (We have only had one full week since school started in August!)  With all that, combined with the new testing schedule we have, I have been STRESSED.  While I need to pull it together, it is probably not a good time to add more pressure.  I. am. doing. the. best. I. can.  (and, after all, November will be a crazy month, too).  After 20 years of teaching, you would think that things would get easier.  Apparently not! rant is over.  Time to move on....

 Looking on the bright side...tomorrow is Friday :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Ahhh...summer is "officially" over.  Tomorrow is "meet and greet" day (aka kumbaya day) for teachers, followed by Tuesday's professional development, then Wednesday is our first full day with kids.  This past Friday was k orientation.  What a bunch of cuties I have this year!  The teacher in me is looking forward to getting back into the classroom.

Here is one little area of my room ( thought I had more pictures to share, apparently not!)  This is a view from the window side of my room.  There is a mini math station in the corner, a job chart, behavior chart, word wall and my "desk".  Featured above the door to my closet are birthday "cupcakes" that I found here.  I didn't do them exactly the way it was suggested, but I think they are cute.  They will look even better when I can finally add the kids' names to them.
My daughter calls them birthday "muffins".
Tomorrow, I will try to get more pictures of my room... always so much to do :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I was finally able to get back to my classroom (my daughter's volleyball schedule is brutal!)  I only had about an hour and a half before I had to be a taxi again come back home, so I'm glad I left my room well organized.  I was able to fly in and get right to work.  In a VERY short period of time I was able to put some things up on the walls, -I am eternally grateful to Cara from The First Grade Parade for her post about using hot glue to put things up on cinder block walls.  How did I ever survive 20+ years of teaching without this knowledge??- I got my car emptied out, things put away, and was a laminating fool.  So... I am ready to go back again tomorrow and hopefully "finish up".  Below are things that have kept me busy the last couple days...
"Apple Bags"  -  So simple, yet SO important!

Apple Bags are gallon-sized zip lock bags that have my kiddos' names on them.  These bags go back and forth between school and home on a daily basis.  They hold everything from milk money to art work and are invaluable to me.  Things don't get lost, parents know what they send in is received, and it keeps my kids organized.  Such a simple thing that makes my teaching life so much easier! 
What you see laying on top is the welcome packet that parents receive at Kindergarten Orientation.  Included with the packet is ...
...a student information card.  This card keeps information close at hand and readily accessible.  The binder is actually a small one that holds 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 paper.  The "paper" is a large index card that is hole punched.  As parents return them (in the Apple Bags!), I simply file them alphabetically so I can refer to them when needed.

It is slowly coming together.  Hope to have pictures of a finished classroom tomorrow!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back 2 School Linky

I am playing along with the linky party hosted by Jeannie from Kindergarten Lifestyle ... You know it's back to school when...  What a fun idea!  
I love linking up and seeing what other teachers have to say!


I don't know about everybody else but, YOWZER, my "office" looks like a storage facility right about now.  I have binders, projects, bins, baskets, sharpies, crayolas, etc. spread out all over the place.  I admit, I did go a *little* crazy this summer with the whole idea of getting organized.  My hope is that this will all be worth it in the long run and that I will have reached that ever elusive feeling of Zen-like peace when school begins on Friday.  Assuming I actually complete some of the things I have started, I hope to post pictures of my achievements!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

It's time - Really?

Today was the first day that I  was able to bribe my way get into school.  I hate my district's policy of not letting teachers in to their classrooms until five days before school begins!  School officially begins for teachers on August 27th, but kindergarten orientation is on the 24th (Next Friday?? How can that be??)  The custodians took pity on me when I explained that I just wanted to "drop some things off".  After spending about two and half hours there, I feel like I am over that initial back-to-school shock.  My furniture is set up (I hope!), my rugs are in place, and I have the paper/borders on my bulletin boards.  I did finally unload my car, but forgot the screwdriver I needed for my new storage shelves (bummer - but there is always tomorrow).  Tonight is a night of work.  I have labels, crayon cans, and Apple Bags to make; my September files need to be organized into my new "binder system"; and I would also love to get the next chapter of Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations read.
Ugh - and so it begins!

View from hallway door...
Getting there!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pulling it together?

It's amazing how time just gets away from me.  I had all intentions of posting Tuesday, but I didn't.  I wanted to post yesterday, still no post.  So much for good intentions!  Tuesday I was BUSY - manic, flat out, how am I ever going to get all this done?? busy.  I made "stuff" for my room, did laundry, ran the kids around to various places, cleaned a little, attended two meetings, ran errands, visited my parents, went to dinner, came home and just said "Phew, that was alot!"  I have decided that I am no longer allowed to go to the Dollar Tree and AC Moore.  It's just too tempting!  Here are just a few of the *necessary* things I picked up...
Needs a cute label - Right?

These are the new pointers for my Read/Write Around the Room center.  The bucket was a Dollar Tree purchase, along with some BIG eyeglasses and some magnifying glasses that have long handles (could also be used for "bug hunting", but that is just the manufacturer's recommendation).

Love these!!

I found these cuties at AC Moore.  My initial plan was to hand paint wooden pieces and glue them to dowels.  While I was looking for an easier solution considering all my options, I stumbled across these pieces that were already done.  YAY!  They  each cost under a dollar and were easily hot glued onto the dowels.  My kiddos are going to love them!

I also bought:  baskets (small ones, medium ones, large ones - just because I could!), chip and dip trays (to be used as paint trays), felt (which has been cut into squares for when the kids work with white boards), and poster board for my new Daily 5 posters.

"Paint Trays" and  felt square "Erasers"

Yesterday, I played hooky...from life.  Packed the kids up and joined two of my closest friends at the beach.  It was nice.  It was restful.  It was a much needed break from "vacation".
Back to the real world - We'll see what today brings!

Monday, August 6, 2012


I am joining up with the linky party (fingers crossed!) hosted by Farley from Oh' Boy 4th Grade.  This is the first time I have ever tried this but I have read so many blogs who participate that i just had to join in.  The template part was fairly easy (thanks to Jen at The Teachers' Cauldron!)  The next part is going to be trial and error.  Not so sure about the linky here goes nothin"!

1.  One of the advantages of being home in the summer is being home with my kids.  One of the disadvantages is...being home with my kids (saying that with love, of course).  It has been so hot, who can blame them for not wanting to be outside...but, ugh, the xbox is ready to burst into flame it has been used so much!
2.  I have been a slug today.  There are no big claims to fame.  It is what it is.
3.  I HAVE been doing lots of schoolwork, but there is SO much more to get done before it starts again.  Oh well, maybe tomorrow.
4.  See numbers 2 and 3.  Mission accomplished :)
5.  Still working on this.  Laundry is a possibility.
6.  The internet has been my friend this summer.  There are SO MANY ideas out there.  I am going to move to a binder system for storing all my "stuff".  Things get sucked into a void in my filing cabinet and I can never find what I want until it is too late.  I have been inspired by blogs, pinterest, and "the sisters".  The Daily Five and CAFE have sparked my interest in a new way of doing things.  Always looking for ways to cram more into a two hour and 45 minute program!

Here's where the party's at...Hope I have done this right!!
Oh' boy fourth grade

Monday, July 30, 2012

Home Again, Home Again...

Looking out the hotel window
It's nice to be home again.  I know I was only gone for five days, but I am glad to be back in my own space.  This was the second time I had the opportunity to go to an AFT convention and I have to say: going rejuvenates me.  I don't talk much about my roll in my district's union.  I don't enjoy the inevitable political comments, judgements, and debates that usually come once people learn that I play an active roll in unionism.  Don't get me wrong, it's a roll I love to hate, that's why I do it but the last few years have been tough with the political and economic climate.  That being said, it was great to be part of a celebration of solidarity, in a place where unionism is valued, applauded, and a cornerstone of daily life.  Detroit lives unionism - out loud - with pride.  It was inspiring to be in a convention hall with thousands of people who are excited about education, who are passionate about the work that we do, and who believe in the power of having a voice.  Refreshed and re-energized, it's good to be home :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ahhhh....Summer "Vacation"

So far I have spent the summer "stalking" other blogs and wrapping my head around so many new ideas (Common Core, Daily 5, CAFE, new evaluation process, my portfolio, blogging, posting, etc.)  This whole blogging thing AMAZES me.  I am awed, inspired and overwhelmed by the talent people have in getting their ideas out there, linking up with others, and making virtual experiences "interactive".  Obviously, if I am going to continue to network through this page, I need to get my act together and figure out some of the ins and outs of blogging.  Sometimes I truly feel like the "old dog" who is struggling to learn "new tricks"!  Yikes...moving on... I just took my first small/brave step toward connecting with others on the internet...
I signed up to be part of an alphabet project hosted by Chrissy of First Grade Found Me.  I hope I get to participate...I love reaching out to other educators and my kiddos LOVE getting mail.  Years ago, I was lucky enough to do a similar project that featured the 50 states and it was such a worthwhile experience.  So, fingers crossed!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Just Keep Running

Well, this is the last night of spring vacation and boy do I have "poo to do".  All those good intentions that I had when vacation loomed ahead of me have obviously not come to fruition.  So, now it is time to pay the piper.  Before I stop procrastinating, I want to get some thoughts down.

As I contemplate what I want to blog about, I think, in my head anyway, I want my posts to be about challenges.  I want to be more organized, more on the ball, and less stressed.  I need a way to get my act together that will help me, help myself.  I've been thinking about goals (what they are, how they should be set, and where, ultimately, I would like to be).  The tabs I set up (personal, professional, and playful) represent areas of my life that need work.  I am tired of just getting by and being a hamster on a wheel.  There is always "stuff" to be done, how I handle that stuff is where the mixed bag of crazy comes in!    Hmmm...more thinking to do.  Tomorrow, there may be a plan.  Until then...I'm climbing back on the wheel!

* Took out the tabs - way too much to do.  I'll be lucky if I can post on one topic, never mind maintain 3!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Here Goes Nothin'!

This is my first post EVER.  Not quite sure where this will go or what it will develop into.  I have been surfing the web for a very long time; bookmarking my favorite bloggers and returning to their sites often for inspiration, ideas, and motivation. 

As far as the title of this blog is concerned... I think it sums me up perfectly.  Though I love my life, it makes me crazy.  I am a teacher, a mom, a wife, a crafter, and an overachiever.  I want what I want and SOMETIMES spread myself too thin.  So, if you are reading this, bear with me.  This may be the beginning of a long term project or it may just be a passing fancy.  We'll see!  For now though, Happy Reading!