Monday, March 27, 2017

Six Word Story (SOL17 #26)

Working, can't catch up. Stressed

The week before spring break is always painful. The students think that they are the only ones wishing for a break. It's not true. I desperately need the break as well. Normally, I would be able to power through the week, but this week is different. Jam packed. 

Working on Report Cards
Parent Teacher Conferences
Goal Updates 
Formal Observation
Walks with my needy dog
Meal Prep/Planning **Just so we don't eat out each night** 
Numerous meetings
2-3 Accelerated Club
4-5 Accelerated Club 

You name it, I've got it this week. I guess I need get to work and check some of those things off the list. 
As a lovable blue fish once said, "Just keep swimming!" 

The end is in sight! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Corned Beef and Cabbage Palooza (SOL #25)

So I'm feeling incredibly guilty about not blogging yesterday. I'm bummed that I'm not going to be able to make it each day for a whole month. However, i did have a good reason. 

Yesterday we invited our family to come over to celebrate St. Patrick's Day at our house. I spent the whole day getting ready, cooking, and entertaining. By the end of the night, I was just so incredibly exhausted.

Numerous times throughout the day I thought about taking a break and getting my blog post done, but I made the choice to be present and spend my time with my family. Life is too incredibly short not to be 100% present. Thus, no blog post. Instead, I have a day full of beautiful memories. 

Well, there's always next year. This year... I will have 30 posts. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Blogging While Distracted (SOL17 #24)

Blogging outside when it's 70 degrees in March in the Chicagoland area  sounds like an amazing idea. My co-teacher and I discussed the plan this morning and got the kiddos all excited about writing outside. I thought I could get inspiration from getting some fresh air, but as I'm sitting near one of my students we realized that it may not be the case. It's actually kind of distracting. 

Train horns 
Police sirens
Wind blowing my hair in my face
Lawn mowers 
Car horns
The glare of the sun on my iPad 

I didn't realize that I needed an environment so free of distractions to produce a piece. Oh well. I guess I will just enjoy the breeze and get lost in the moment.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

OUCH (SOL17 #23)

I am so not a morning person... I try to be. I set my alarm early with the high hopes of enjoying a cup of coffee AND eating a nutritious breakfast. But usually that doesn't happen. The alarm goes off, and the snooze button is pressed. It's not pressed just once. Nope. That would be responsible. It's pressed multiple times. I also usually wind up setting at least 4 different alarms on my phone in the hopes that just one of the different tones will spark a fire under me that will get me out of my nice warm bed and ready to start my day.

Today was no different. However, since I showered last night and went to bed with wet hair, I didn't have that luxury of sleeping in longer because my the state of my hair this morning was not suitable for public viewing. So I grudgingly turned off my plethora of alarms, whined a little to the dog, and went downstairs to try and get a flat iron through the bird's nest that appeared on my head. 

With each pass of the flat iron the hair started to fall into place and resemble hair rather than the atrocity it was before. It took longer than usual, but finally the hair conformed. I unplugged the flat iron. (This is important, but I usually can't remember if I do that.) After unplugging it I started to clean up the area around me. I cleaned out my brush and put it away, and then did the dumbest thing I have done in a long time. 

I picked up the flat iron. Now that doesn't sound dumb, but when you pick it up from the hot side, it SURELY is not the smartest thing to do. Before I could even feel the searing pain, I heard my skin sizzle. Immediately I dropped the hair straightener, but it was too late.

The burn mark on my hand reminds me of how I am SO not a morning person. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Using Mindful Moments to Appreciate my Students (SOL17 #22)

This month we are doing a PBIS Focus on mindfulness. Our students have been practicing the ABC's of mindfulness (awareness, balance, and compassion). This morning we had our students brainstorm a list of at least five things that they like about themselves in order to show some compassion to themselves. It was harder than they thought. As they were brainstorming their list, a slice was born! I decided to challenge myself to come up with something that I appreciate about each student in my class. Here goes... 

E.A.D- You say something every day that makes me smile. I appreciate your willingness to participate and take risks in our classroom. 

D.B- You are a leader. Like it or not, people look to you and want to emulate you. Be sure to always use those leadership skills for good. 

O.C.- Your excitement about learning is contagious! I love that you are willing to share when you've learned something new. 

O.D.- Your carefree attitude is something that I wish I had. You never take yourself too seriously and aren't afraid to have fun. 

A.E.- You are hands down when of the happiest people I have ever met. Your constant cheerful attitude makes others happy to be around you. 

N.F.- Your leadership in our classroom has blossomed this year. You make others around you want to work harder and be the best version of themselves. 

Je.G.- You are such a good storyteller. I look forward to our morning chats where you tell me a story about your night or about a new acquisition to your coin collection.

S.G.- I love that you ask me each day if it's time to start math. You have grown so much this year as a mathematician. Your growth mindset has helped you to stick with concepts, even when they are hard. 

Ja.G.- You are so helpful and kind. Whether it be other students in the classroom or teachers, you are a go-to guy. Thanks for always being willing to lend a helping hand. 

C.M.- You notice EVERYTHING. I love it! Your ability to notice and remember things will help you through school and in life. I also like that you notice when your classmates need help and jump at the chance to support them. 

M.O.- You always put forth outstanding effort in everything you do. I never have to tell you to put your all into anything, because you do that without being asked! This amazing quality to have.  

A.O.- Your smile can brighten a whole room. You can make someone's day by just smiling at them. 

Z.P.- Your natural drive to learn makes you so fun to teach. Your determination will take you so incredibly far in life. 

A.P- There aren't many students that can make me break my poker face, but you are definitely one of them. Your sense of humor makes teaching you an adventure. 

X.R.- Your optimism inspires me. Even when life is hard you maintain a positive attitude. Keep smiling and trying your best. 

K.R.- You are such a happy girl! I have never seen you in a bad mood, and your positivity spreads on to all around you. 

T.S.- I love that you don't take yourself too seriously. You also aren't afraid to stick up for yourself and your friends. You teach more more about how to be a good teacher every day. 

K.T.- You are such an incredible writer. I love to see your personality and wit come through in your writing! 

A.T.- Your quiet leadership does not go unnoticed in this class. You are always ready to take on a challenge and not afraid to go above and beyond. 

L.V.S.- You never give up! Your resilience and hard work make you a fun student to teach. I also love your positive attitude! 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Blessing in Disguise (SOL17 #21)

A few years we awoke after a night full of storms to the electricity out. I didn't think anything of it, the power goes out all the time after storms like that. What I didn't know, as a new homeowner, was that when the power goes off that the sump pump also doesn't work. That meant about six inches of water in our finished basement. Needless to say it was a total nightmare. We had to remove everything. Drywall, carpet, floors, EVERYTHING. One could look at this as a nightmare, or decide to change our mindset and look at it as an opportunity. That's what we chose to do. 

Luckily my husband comes from a family that is full of handy people. His grandfather owned a hardware store and taught Phil's father, along with the rest of their family a smattering of useful skills when it comes to re-doing your basement. By all working together, slowly but surely, we created a finished basement of our dreams. We learned a ton, and took such pride in the work that we had completed because it was all our own. 

Just before Thanksgiving of 2016 we finished up the last phase of the remodel, the bathroom. (I told you, slowly, but surely). Phil took on much of the bathroom remodel on his own, and did the work on the bathroom after finishing a full day at his real job. I couldn't be prouder of his perseverance and the results. 

While at the time the flood seemed like it was the worst thing that could possibly happen, really it helped us to grow and conquer a problem together as new homeowners. It was definitely a blessing in disguise. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Favorite Five Party (SOL17 #20)

Yep. It's one of those days when I've got nothing... While I was looking through all of the amazing posts on Day 20 I came across Leigh Ann's Favorite Five Party.  Thank you Leigh Anne! I'd love to attend your party! 

Here are my five favorites that I will share: 

1. Cups/Water Bottles that keep a drink cold all day: As an avid iced coffee drinker I require that I have a container that will prevent the dilution of my coffee by all the melted ice cubes. I also like to have my water ice cold, and with the inconsistent temperatures in my classroom, I need a water bottle that is up to the challenge. My pick for iced coffee is the RTIC Stainless Steel Tumbler. For my water it's hands down my Hyrdoflask Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle. Though expensive... they have been life changing. 

2. Pair of cozy sweatpants: There is nothing better than coming home after a long day at work and changing out of your work clothes and into a pair of cozy sweatpants. Bonus if the sweatpants have your favorite sports team. 

3. My Dog Maiden: Well, look at her. She's the life of any party and loves to meet new people. 

4. Popcorn: There is nothing better than a good bowl of buttery, salty popcorn! 

5. Mandala Coloring Books- Coloring these pictures helps me to relax while creating something beautiful. 

Once again, thank you to Leigh Anne for saving my SOL #20!