Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bad Blogger

I'm really missing my summer days of endless blogging and leaving comments. Although I have been on here this week, it's been more about reading everyone elses great, updated blogs. My first week of school flew by. My new group of kids is awesome! The sweetness and politeness they showed me at Meet the Teacher has continued and I'm loving it! Keeping my fingers crossed it last all year. :) We are not quite into a routine yet so tomorrow I really need to sit and plan our days out. It's hard to get in a good chunk of teaching time with them leaving to Spanish class, Art, Music and PE for 30-45 minutes every day so I'm really going to have to get creative with the scheduling.

Since Robert is in charge of attendance at his high school, he's had a ridiculously busy first week. One day they were registering kids until 6:30! It's been hard to keep our dinner and workout schedule at home too. We were used to having dinner no later than 7 and that did not happen at all this week. After dinner we are so exhausted we watch a little TV and then head straight to bed.

Fortunately we managed to run a couple days this week. I was a little worried that this was going to affect my 14 miler this morning but I was so happy it didn't. Although it was hard to get out of bed when my alarm went off at 4:30, the gratification of knowing I had just run a little more than a half-marathon was AWESOME! Robert and Charlie showed up this morning to congratulate me and the others after our run. :) Very sweet! As a reward to myself I enjoyed a pedicure. It wasn't very relaxing because my feet were still hurting from the run but I sooooo needed one. I think part of the reason I waited so long was that I was afraid of the rumors I've heard about black toenails and how they can fall off. Well, guess what? The rumors are true! As the nice lady at the shop took off the polish from my second toe I peered down to see a black toenail!!!!!! Not completely black but about halfway there! Oh well, if it goes, it goes and like my aunt said "in no time, you'll have a pretty new one."

Hopefully tomorrow I can get out some. Need to get my weekly Target fix and do some grocery shopping. All very exciting I know!

Monday, August 24, 2009

It Finally Arrived

I feel like I haven't blogged in a while. Probably because the last week was filled with countless hours of teacher trainings and trying to set up my classroom. It's been a little tough to get back into the work routine. We haven't had much time to go out and find ourselves wanting to stay home on Friday and Saturday nights. Thank goodness for high school football, that should give us some excitement for the next few months. The highlight of my week was running with my Team in Training group and setting a new mileage record of 12 miles!!!! Very exciting and to think it will go continue to increase!

So the first day of school finally arrived. Everyone was dressed in their Sunday best and it was hard to tell who was more nervous - the students or the teachers! I was eager to see my students again after meeting them on Thursday. It's funny because they are always so polite and respectful at Meet the Teacher. There is a lot of "Excuse me, May I and Please" talk. As they walked in this morning it was awesome to see they were exactly the same kids who came in on Thursday! We spent most of our morning getting all our supplies labeled and organized. We had fun getting to know each other and even managed to get some spelling and math done. Although it wasn't a very heavy teaching day I am EXHAUSTED. I almost fell asleep while watching TV earlier --- like 8:30 earlier! One day down, 186 to go!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One More Day

Well I have officially been back to work since Monday and already I'm missing my times of lounging around, working out at random times throughout the day, facebooking way too much, and catching up on blogs. I'm so glad I spent all summer doing productive things like that because soemthing tells me it's going to be hard to fit those things in come next Monday. We've spent the last two days sitting for hours in our library listening to the importance of teamwork and trying to align our curriculum. Pure fun I tell you, pure fun! Thankfully tomorrow is our last day of that and we have Thursday and Friday to actually work in our classrooms. Thursday is Meet the Teacher and I'm curious to see who will be walking through my door. At my campus we never see our class lists until minutes before Meet the Teacher which is always somewhat nerve racking. A couple of my friends have asked me if I'm ready for the first day. Same answer to all of them, ready or not come Monday my room will be filled with 27 new, hormonal 5th graders!!!!!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lady Luck

So excited about winning these

and this

Thanks to Inner Workings of a Barbie Doll and Shannon from!!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

BTS Teacher Swap #2

First off I have to wish Jen from Following the Footsteps a very Happy Birthday!

Today is the 2nd installment of her Back to School Teacher Swap and I wanted to share something that one of my coworkers shared with me a few years back. I refer to them as my Teacher Savers. They are note templates for parents to keep at home and have handy whenever they need to let you know about something or write an excuse for their child. I know that in the 8 years I've been teaching I have recieved notes from home on just about anything parents could find to write on and some of them have not been so easy to decipher! I run these off on colored paper and pass them out at the beginning of the year during Curriculum Night. I usually make about three copies for each family. Since I started using them I have found that not only have they helped me keep track of notes but are much easier to understand! Here they are:

Sorry about the quality of the pictures, had to use my phone. If you would like me to email you a copy of these let me know in a comment and I'll get them out to you ASAP. Thanks and hope these help!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Say it Ain't So

I seem to be having a really hard time coming to terms with the fact that Monday is my official first day back at school. Is summer really coming to an end???? Somebody please say it ain't so!

Monday was spent at school reviewing and writing new curriculum, yesterday it was back to school for some grade level planning and as much as I wanted to make it back up there today to get some work done I just didn't have it in me.It's a good thing I hung around yesterday for a couple of hours and at least started to set up my room. My goal is to have most things in place before Monday. Although our students' first day is not until the 24th we all know next week will be filled with meetings, inservices and a lot of running around.

I've really been on a rollercoaster of emotions since late last week which I know has something to do with my laziness recently. Went for an interview, did well and then found out the district was cutting back on administrative positions and that it probably wasn't going to happen this time around. :( I know timing is everything and there's a plan for each of us but man sometimes that's hard to see. Like Robert told me over dinner "it's not the end of the world, you have a job to be thankful for and this is a great opportunity to grow some tough skin." Not too sure about the last part but well said.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Looking for Some of This ASAP

“Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace amid the storm”

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

“Right thoughts produce right actions and right actions produce work which will be a material reflection for others to see of the serenity at the center of it all”

Friday, August 7, 2009

Back to School Teacher Swap

A favorite blogger of mine and fellow teacher Jen from Following the Footsteps is hosting a Back to School Teacher Swap. It's a great way for teachers to share ideas that they have used in their classroom and offer tips for a great school year. Today I'm going to share two ideas I've used in the past to get to know one another in the classroom.

Vision Boards

Last year during one of our teacher inservice days we worked on creating our very own vision board. A vision board is a poster that you collage with various images and text that portray who you want to become, what you would like to achieve, and your desires. We learned so much from one another while working on that activity that I decided it would be so powerful for my 5th graders to try this too. At meet the teacher I had my vision board on display for them to see. I then sent them home with the instructions for creating their own. Here is what a lesson might look like:

1. DISCUSS the difference between a wish and a goal. It's important to not discourage their dreams and get them to understand that it's ok to set goals even though we may not know how they will manifest. Here are some tips I found online:

Goal Setting Tips
•Be specific
•Do not limit your goals because you are unsure how they will manifest
•Always write the goal in the present tense
•Write goals for you - not others
•Revisit the vision board

2. BRAINSTORM - Each student should brainstorm a list of their personal goals. They should be able to do so using only a few words. For example: "My goal is all A's. " It may helpful here to provide them with some headings like friends, family, school and sports.

3. After they have created their list of goals, students should search through magazines to find images and text that represent their goals. I did give my students the option of drawing their own images, writing their own text, or creating something on the computer. As they are working keep reminding them that their pictures don't have to be in any particular order. It's ok to overlap them and that this is THEIR board and should represent them, not their friends.

4. Once all vision boards were completed, I had some moms come in and mount them on black construction paper and then laminate them. They looked AWESOME and the kids were so proud of them. We spread them out throughout our classroom and then had our own gallery walk. It was exciting to hear them say "Wow, I have that on mine too!" or "I didn't know you were such a good artist." Our vision boards stayed up all year and during the last week of school I passed them back out to them. We talked about how many of the goals we had set at the beginning of the year we had accomplished and how far we had come. I know a lot of those boards are now hanging up in their bedrooms.

Brown Bag It

Another activity that I have used in the past to get to know one another is Brown Bag It. At Meet the Teacher each student is given a brown bag (lunch bag size) to take home and fill with 7 things that represent who they are. On the first day of school they each show up with their brown bags and share with the class. I bring my own too and usually start the sharing session. This activity is a great way to learn about interests and hobbies.

Enjoy! Can't wait to read all the other great ideas!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gearing Up

To help with fundraising I'm taking part in a Team in Training group garage sale this Saturday and started gearing up for it earlier this week. I love garage sales but always have to remind myself that the goal is to get rid of things and not stop by others tables and buy stuff. I started going through my closet a couple of days ago and finally made my way to our dressers today. It's amazing how much stuff I forgot I had and how many T-shirts one can accumulate! It turned out to be somewhat of a mini fashion show because every so often I'd try something on, make my way to the living room and then wait for a response from Robert. Some things were saved and others were not so lucky. It was also nice to reorganize the closet and drawers. Hopefully they will stay nice and neat for a while! So far I have 5 bags full of clothes and shoes. It hurts me to price some items at $2 because I know I paid a lot more than that for them but like I said the goal is to get rid of things. Plus all the money raised will go straight to my fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Tomorrow I'm planning on making another run through the closets and drawers just to make sure everything that needs to go does. Keep your fingers crossed for a good turnout!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tag, You're It!

I was tagged on facebook to try this and thought it'd be fun to try it on here. It's a little lengthy so hope I don't bore you too much. Would love to see anyone who's interested try it on their blog!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:30
2. How do you like your steak? Medium
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? The Hangover

4. What is your favorite TV show? Grey's, anything reality
5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? by the beach
6. What did you have for breakfast? Coffee

7. What is your favorite cuisine? Italian

8. What foods do you dislike? unfortunately not many
9. Favorite Place to Eat? Palms Cafe
10. Favorite dressing? Ranch
11.What kind of vehicle do you drive? BMW
12. What are your favorite clothes? dresses

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? Spain

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 full

15. Where would you want to retire? Beach
16. Favorite time of day? afternoon

17. Where were you born? Edinburg, Texas

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Football

19. Who do you think will not tag you back? No idea

20. Person you expect to tag you back first? Just excited to see other bloggers try it
21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? Everyone

22. Bird watcher? Sometimes
23. Are you a morning person or a night person? Night
24. Do you have any pets? Yup, Charlie boy
25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share? Not that I know of
26. What did you want to be when you were little? be a nurse
27. What is your best childhood memory? spending time with grandparents
28. Are you a cat or dog person? dog
29. Do you like to read? Yes
30. Always wear your seat belt? Yes
31. Been in a car accident? Yes

32. Any pet peeves? not really
33. Favorite Pizza Toppings? Pepperoni
34. Favorite Flower? daisy
35. Favorite ice cream? Chocolate
36. Favorite fast food restaurant? Chick-Fil-A

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? 0
38. From whom did you get your last email? Team in Training

39. At which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Nordstroms
40. Do anything spontaneous lately? Nope
41. Like your job? sometimes
42. Like broccoli? Yes
43. What was your favorite vacation? Cruise
44. Last person you went out to eat with? Robert

45. What are you listening to right now? TV
46. What is your favorite color? Purple

47. How many tattoos do you have? 0
48. How many are you tagging for this quiz? don't know yet
49. What time did you finish this quiz? 11:38

50. Coffee Drinker? Yes

You're turn!

Monday, August 3, 2009

@ the Beginning Again

It is just crazy how fast summer flies by! I can't believe we are at the beginning of another week already and Monday is already gone! Today I ran around getting some errands done. Some Team in Training members and I participated in a bucket brigade fundraiser at a local Wal-Mart yesterday afternoon so I headed to the bank and post office this morning to get the donations posted to my fundraising account ASAP. My recommitment date is next Wednesday and I need to be at 25% by then so I'm going at it full force until then. After that I met up with Aurora for some sushi which was yummy! Then it was off to the grocery store. Robert and I decided last night that we needed to do a lot more cooking around here. We have really slacked off this summer and need to get back into some routine. Part of our plan was to create a menu for the week every Sunday so that we know exactly what to get when we go grocery shopping. Tonight it was chicken tacos.
The rest of the week includes fideo, a Tex-Mex skillet, pasta and some chicken breasts with veggies. I know we can do this, just have to stick to it! After dinner, I joined Stacy and Esteban for a 5 miler. Thank goodness the sun had already set because it was a tough one to get through! I have a training tomorrow and Wednesday---fun, fun, fun!!! It is definitely back to school time!

Check these Out

Just came across two great giveaways that I wanted to share with you all"

In honor of Erica's new *jewelry without jewels* website, she is hosting her first giveaway! The winner will get the chance to pick the necklace of their choice, either from my Etsy shop or custom made. Stop by and get yourself entered!

inkOBSESSION designs will be celebrating her 1st Year Blogiversary soon anf is hosting a giveaway! The prize is a $25 gift certificate to Ink Obsession Designs! You could do some real damage with that! Stop by and visit her site.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Going the Distance

This morning was a regular Team in Training Practice: stretching in the dark, mission moment in the dark, a prayer and we were off and running in the dark. It was all pretty routine except for the fact that we weren't running 6, 8 or 9 miles.
Instead we were going for 10 MILES!!!!

I had been pretty nervous all week about today because the longest I had ever gone before was 8 miles. The whole way to the trail I kept reminding myself "If you can do 8, you CAN do 10!"

I had run on this trail in the past but had never followed it all the way to the end. We started off using a 6:1 interval from the start and were fortunate that for more than half the run we were accompanied by a nice, refreshing breeze. The scenery was beautiful and I discovered a lot of hidden gems out there.

Throughout the run there were three things that were complete lifesavers for me:

1. My new hydration belt.
2. My running crew -- Becky, Christina & Lulu
3. Strawberry Banana Gu

Seriously, had any of these things been missing, I don't think things would have gone as smooth as they did. I was so proud of all of us for finishing and now know that we can definitely go the distance.

Tonight we have a birthday party for our niece and a house warming party for my aunt. I'm looking forward to relaxing with family and celebrating my new distance with some frosty beverages! I hear some of them are excellent sources of carbs!