Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I've created a new daily blog specifically dedicated to classroom organization and management. Please visit me there at: The Clutter-Free Classroom

Did you hear that?

Listen closer.

OK...Did you hear it?

I didn't think so. That was me trying to talk.

Except I have no voice.

None. Nada. Zilch.

A slight whisper comes out. But nothing more.

I'm about to start day 3 in the classroom sans vocals. It's actually kind of nice. There is a calm in the room. The kids are working together to make our days successful and it's been doable. I figure: I feel fine with the exception of not being able to speak and they will get more out of my lessons on mute than they would from having a sub so in I go.

Yesterday I had some students lead lessons. It was A-MAZ-ING. They directed whole group and small group pairings. They worked with partners. I circulated, listened in and beamed with pride at how the room was running itself. Cooperative learning at its finest.

My goal s always to manage my classroom so that ultimately I can step away and have it be self-sufficient. However, I've never really been forced to let it happen before.

Perhaps I could spend a week in the Caribbean and nobody would notice. :)

What kind of happy surprise have you had in the classroom?

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Way back when I taught first grade.

I loved teaching first grade!

I made a class book titled, "What is Love?"

It was so stinking cute. I even displayed it at my wedding.

Those innocent, sweet little first graders wrote things like, "Love is getting licked by a puppy."

They also wrote, "Love is my mommy making my favorite cookies."

I haven't done the project in awhile. But, since I am now teaching writing to all the 3rd graders I thought it would be fun.

I forgot how "worldly" kids can become between first and third.

The wrote paragraphs instead of one sentence.

The content was different too.

Let's just say my editing sessions focused more on the phrase, "Let's reword this so that it is 'school appropriate," and less on punctuation and capitalization. They weren't THAT bad, but they did fall into the "hey can of worms...let me open you" category.

I had a few that had me laughing real hard though. I was going to wait until Valentine's Day to share them, but thought maybe you might like to do the project with your class so I'm mentioning it today. I also marked my Valentine's Unit on sale at TpT...check it out.

And now onto some of my favs:

From my appearantly over-confident boy (points to him for incorporating our work on inferencing skills):
"Love is having a crush on someone. I hope nobody in this class has a crush on me. Do you think anyone in this class has a crush on me? I wouldn't be surprised if they did. I mean I look like Justin Beiber and the girls love Justin Beiber so I can infer that at least the people who love Justin Beiber have a crush on me. What should I do?

From Little-Miss-Sunshine:
Love is hearts and flowers. It is feeling warm and fuzzy. Love is wonderful. You can not see love. You can only feel love and it feels so magical. XOXOXOXO

From the kid you need to know to appreciate:
Love is disgusting and makes me want to puke. Since I don't think you want me to write about puking this is all I have to say about the subject.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day...Literally!

D.J. #1: Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today.
D.J. #2: It's coooold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?
D.J. #1: Not hardly. And you know, you can expect hazardous travel later today with that, you know, that, uh, that
blizzard thing.
D.J. #2: [mockingly] That blizzard - thing. That blizzard - thing. Oh, well, here's the report! The National Weather Service is calling for a "big blizzard thing!"
D.J. #1: Yessss, they are. But you know, there's another reason why today is especially exciting.
D.J. #2: Especially cold!
D.J. #1: Especially cold, okay, but the big question on everybody's lips...
D.J. #2: - On their chapped lips...
D.J. #1: - On their chapped lips, right: Do ya think Phil is gonna come out and see his shadow?
D.J. #2: Punxsutawney Phil!
D.J. #1: That's right, woodchuck-chuckers - it's...
D.J. #1, D.J. #2: [in unison] GROUNDHOG DAY!

It's ironic that today is Groundhog Day because, like the movie, I sort of feel like I've lived this day before.

School Canceled - Snow Storm - Stay if PJs - fire up the crockpot - bake cookies - shovel the stairs - try to squeeze in grad school work between grading 3rd grade work between playing with the littles...

Oh wait.

I have lived this day before.

Last week.

And the week before that.

And the week before that.

AND the week. before. THAT!

We are on our 5th

make that FIFTH

actually...make the #$!@ FIFTH SNOW DAY since we returned from Winter Break on January 2nd. This puts our current last day of school at June 28th. UGH!

We actually had school yesterday as 9-12" inches fluttered down outside...and nobody paid attention to it.

A plow came barreling by within 6 feet of the classroom window - 5 times - and nobody even looked up.

It's becoming the norm. You can tell it's getting old when your class of third graders begs you to send home all of Wednesday's work on Tuesday because they want to do it at home if there is a snowday and not make the day up in June.

I wish it worked like that.

How's the weather in your neck of the woods?