Sunday, November 20, 2011

Preparing for a trip around the World!!!!

WOW... I see the light!! I cannot believe it is already time for Thanksgiving break! Monday and Tuesday are our district required Parent Teacher Conference days. We are required to be on the clock from 8am until 9pm Monday (full day with students of course...) then Tuesday the students have 1/2 day and we have conference time until 7:30!! YIKES!! I am SO GRATEFUL to my sister Ronda for handling the home front for me during these crazy hours! Daddy B. has a crazy work schedule and won't be home until who knows when!!!
I am looking forward to the break but also getting SO EXCITED for our Christmas Around the World unit! This year will be the 3rd year I have co-taught this extravaganza (read... exercise in INSANITY) with my good friend Julie. She is the special Education teacher and a gift to education! The last 2 years we taught an inclusion class. It was "fun" and busy with her 8 kiddos and my 22 the first year. Last year was downright nuts and nearly required some adult eggnog to get us through. (WE DIDN'T THOUGH SO DON'T JUDGE!!) Imagine 23 firsties (a few with some SERIOUS social and emotional issues) and 18 Special Ed students with a variety of learning and social issues. I am wondering how this will work this year with my 27 angels (they truly are!!) and her at least 10 or so little peeps! Luckily she comes with and AH-MAZ-ING parapro and I am blessed with Grandma and a rocking Para myself this year. I just wish we could remove a section of concrete wall to make it physically more comfortable... I don't think the admins would go for that!
The unit is super cool with foods, music, crafts and history from Mexico, USA, Germany, England, Sweden, France, and Italy. We get a little slap happy about the 3rd country and have even been known to bust into those laughs where you can't breathe, your voice raises an octave, and you have tears running down your cheeks!! It is then where we resort to the theme from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and the kids fend for themselves!! Either way it is a fun learning experience for the classes with lots of writing, math, crafts, and memory making!
Do any of my teacher friends out there do a similar unit? Any fun ideas or crafty items you would like to share? Any parents or friends who have ideas for us before we embark on the Christmas of Crazy 2011?? Drop me a line or a comment and let me know! I will surely be posting as we go along!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Veteran's Day was a hit!!

What an emotional week this was! We studied Veterans this week and talked/learned a lot about the whole idea of Veteran's day. It was clear after the first conversation I had my work cut out for me when most of the kids were talking about VeteranARIANS! lol The kids did an amazing job over the week and learned a lot about our heroes! We did word webs, crafts, read books, and of course we wrote!!!

The writing was amazing to read and this little one in particular really caught my heart!! "Their helmets are their thinking caps" REALLY?? How cute is that!??

We celebrated Veteran's Day as a whole school on Friday!! The team responsible for planning the event (I was not a part of it... but they SURE deserve the credit!!) sent notes asking for names and addresses of any Veterans they knew with every student in the school. Over 60 invites went out and we had a lot come!

The classes learned songs, poems, and of course we sang the National Anthem! I could barely make it through the song I was so choked up! Call me a softy!!

One member of our staff is a serious blog stalker (me!!! I admit it!!) and LOVES all things posted in Cara Carroll's The First Grade Parade! We borrowed the idea of the hallway parade for the vets and it was a huge hit with the kids and the heroes!!

The Veterans were then treated to some snacks, coffee, and casual conversation.... I wish I had better pics of the room decorations! Those girls and their students did an amazing job!

Finally....The most touching pic of the day for me was this little guy and his grandpa walking down the hall to enjoy refreshments! Just shows what these men and women fought for!

I have always loved and celebrated Veteran's day in my class and we have almost always done a cool thing for these heroes in our small town but I love the fact that I can share the cool stuff our little staff does in my blog! Thanks again to Cara Carroll at The First Grade Parade for some ideas in my room and I can not wait until next year!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

This week in Room 18

Holy smokes! It is already day #45 and we all survived Halloween Monday! There was quite a political scuffle in my little hometown about the re-routing of the Annual Costume parade. Now let me make it clear... Halloween in my town is a BIG.DEAL. We close down a couple blocks and everyone comes to watch from ages 1 to 91 (and older!!) As a native of this little city I was disappointed but as a teacher I totally get it. All we did was move it from the block in front of the school to the track right next door. Big Deal. The kids really loved walking on that track and people were still able to come watch. I thought it was nice. The only thing that bothered me was that the elderly couldn't get to the track to watch the kiddos... something to fix next hear.... ANYWAY... it has been surreal all week because of the whole party on a Monday thing. The kids have been pretty calm (I think they are exhausted!) but I just could not wrap my head around anything really profound! I was just plain pooped myself!
Next week I am excited to focus on Veteran's day. Our building invites veterans from the community and family members of students and staff to come speak, read, eat, and we sing them a few little songs. I think it is a great way to include the community, families, and to teach the kids about our important heros!! I am hoping to figure out how to upload some pics so I can show the awesome things we do for and with our local heroes!!