Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A new ankle, a new car, a new year...

No Coffee No Work mugJust like many of you, the new school year is quickly approaching. I have mixed feelings about it. You see, I haven't worked in 5 months... Sounds nice, and seriously, I can't even count the number of times I have thought that IF I just had more time, I could create some AMAZING lesson plans... this wasn't exactly what I meant in having time off, and no AMAZING lesson plans have ever come during this time off.

You know how they say, "Be careful what you ask for!" well, I should have listened because one of the last things I remember saying at lunch to my co-workers was, "I think it's time for 'Johnny' to have a different teacher." See, he was VERY difficult and although I adored him, he drove me nuts. (You know the type, right?) I MEANT that maybe HE should switch classrooms and be in class for the last trimester with one of my fellow 1st grade team members, both of which were willing to take him... WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED WAS, I was in a MAJOR car accident on April 7th driving home from work after picking up my two girls. Here is a link where I blogged about the accident on my scrapbooking blog that I had started. So, HE did get a different teacher, he got a long-term sub to finish out the year while I was in the hospital and later home... in a wheelchair.

I ended up with a broken vertebrae, stitches and staples in my left knee which was open to the kneecap, and 2 plates and 7 screws in my right ankle. I had to be in a wheelchair for 3 months and started walking about 3 weeks ago. I still have daily swelling and pain, which is why I'm so nervous about returning to work. I go to the doctor next week and may end up with some limitations to my job, but mainly just no recess duty so I can ice during recess (which might actually be a good thing since  I HATE strongly dislike recess duty anyways).

But to put a positive spin on it, because I don't want to be "Debbie Downer", or better yet, Cynical Cyndy (it kinda works), I am REALLY excited about the new school year. Yesterday, I bought a brand-spankin' new Toyota Sienna SE which I am COMPLETELY in LOVE with. I drove around scoping out B2S prices today only because I wanted to drive my new car. My physical therapy today measured that I have regained full mobility in my flexing of my right foot, and am still working and improving on the pointing, but my NEW ankle is getting better each day. AND I truly am excited to get back to work (not just for a FULL paycheck, although I will love that) but for the distraction and the fresh start to getting life back to "normal". My oldest daughter will be starting Kindergarten at my school this year and I will be the English component of the Dual-Immersion program for 1st grade. We also just hired a new Superintendent. We have some changes ahead and I can't wait to get back to life as I remember it being.

And finally, a HUGE thank you to all you blogging teachers, because over the past 5 months, I would often read and visit blogs to help distract my mind from the pain and the boredom of having to be immobile. So please forgive me for not sharing A BUNCH yet, but I promise I will once I back in school mode. I'm ALMOST there! Just really started working on things this week. I'm beginning to feel "normal" again with motivation to return to my life before my accident, minus running (can't do that for a year, at least). Here's to a new school year!!! With coffee!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Teacher Always Says...

I'm joining in on a linky party over at Mrs. Bainbridge's Class. She has sent up a linky party to share things that you are always finding yourself repeating in the classroom... you know, the lines that even your own students repeat... yikes!

1. "Does this require me to call 911?" Okay, I LOVE sarcasm! I am VERY sarcastic!!! But I have the rule that there are NO INTERUPTIONS during my reading groups unless it is an emergency, so when a student comes over to ask something or tattle, usually the later, I will ask the above question. Somtimes I just do it to entertain myself!

2. "Is this your very best work?" Sometimes when I see my firsties slacking off in their neatness and effort, I will step over to the turn in papers basket and then stand there and collect their papers asking this very question. It's amazing how sometimes they turn around to go "make some changes." Love it!

3. "That is inapproriate behavior!" I just LOVE when I hear my firsties repeat it! It just sounds so grown up when they use such big words! Ha! I swear, I keep myself entertained!

Join the party by following this link! I'd love to see and read what others are ALWAYS saying! Please, make me laugh while I enjoy my coffee and realize I'm not alone in this crazy teaching world! LOL! And thank you for visiting!And THANK YOU to my new followers! How exciting!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Birthday Chart

Just a quick share with you all today! I made this monthly birthday chart to track the birthdays of my students. I just post it near the calendar. I'm thinking about Vista Printing it (yep, I make all words verbs, when I feel like it) to make it larger but at the same time, I LOVE my wall space and find it precious. Also, with less and less THINGS we are allowed to do with birthdays anymore, I kinda like to keep it quick and to the point. I'm just so indecisive sometimes... Here's mine if you want a quick easy one with jungle baby animals! Birthday Calendar
Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Long Range Planning

Do you do Long Range Planning for the year? How detailed do you get? I tend to just plan out themes and which month they will be taught. I have found that I may spend HOURS and HOURS planning out a more detailed year, just to later realize that there was no possible way I was ever going to meet that expectation so I've simplified it for myself and just stuck to a thematic/science/social studies planning. I created this 2-page print out in Excel for me to use for my Long Range Planning and if you know me, it has to match and be cute! LOL! So using the clip art set that I purchased for my classroom jungle theme from Scrappin' Doodles, I created this guy to use for my long range planning so it's not only cute and matches my theme, but also useful! Grab it for yourself if you are interested!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Favorite Read Alouds for Fall

I'm jumping into another linky party over at Learning With Mrs. Parker. She is hosting a party where you can share your favorite Read Aloud books for the fall. Scrolling through the lists there were so many of my favorites already linked up, but THIS book is my ALL TIME FAVORITE!!!
PhotobucketIf you haven't read it before, you MUST get it, especially if you teach 1st grade and phonemic awareness. This book is a fun story about a "Hungry Thing" that has a sign that says "Feed Me". When people ask him what he wants he says things like "shmancakes" and then there is a boy in the story who says, "Shmancakes, sounds like fancakes, sounds like PANCAKES to me!" And the class gets really into the story and they love to yell out the correct food item. I will be adding some activities to go with this book probably next week, but I couldn't resist sharing it now for the linky party. What do you love to read aloud? Join the party and get sharing! I'm always in need of new ideas!!

Now where's my coffee???

In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle...

This past year I decided to go with a Jungle Theme (more zebra and bright green than anything else) in my classroom. I loved it and added more and more as the year went on. I think themes are fun in a room, but I also believe (okay, well it's the Type A in me) that you don't want to clutter up with your theme. Here are some pictures from my room at the beginning of last year. I will keep the same theme but make some slight changes this year. I have lots of zebra items that I have created and will be sharing them here if you are interested, check back and steal them for yourselves! Here is a link to my classroom pics!

Grade Level Blog Linky Party

Pop on over to The Teacher's Lane and link your blog up! She has them sorted by grade-level and it is such a fabulous idea to put all the amazing resources in one place!!! So go, if you haven't already, and add your BLOG there NOW!!!!

Now where is my coffee???

1st post

Thanks for visiting my blog! I am just getting started here but hope to be sharing lots of ideas and activities with my fellow teachers. I absolutely LOVE (who doesn't??) BLOG hopping around many fabulous teacher's blogs. And I LOVE it even more when they are sharing things for FREE! I hope to be doing that with you all very soon! So please, grab my button and add it to your page, follow my blog and let's have some fun sharing teaching ideas! Now where's my coffee???

Saturday, July 9, 2011