Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Happy Early Birthday... to ME!

Thanks to my in-laws, I got an early birthday present! I picked up this pretty while on holiday in Australia.

Opals are Australia's thing! Luckily, Missy knew the perfect place to get a fun opal ring!

Day 7- Unlovable

Was my day Unlovable? Not really. Read on to find out what was! 

Today, we made a project! I spontaneously had the idea for it and was actually able to pull it off. We were learning about expectation #2, ‘We will not laugh at or make fun of a person’s mistakes nor use sarcasms or putdowns.” This follows one of the 8 expectations of Great Expectations. So we read Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino. It is a super cute story. Here is the summary, thanks to
“When Alfred, a supposedly unlovable pug (or so the cat tells him) meets a new neighbor dog through the solid fence, he can't help himself: "My name is Alfred," he says."I'm a golden retriever." As long as he can keep the fence between himself and Rex, Alfred is relaxed enough to get to know his new buddy. They share many likes (sleeping in the sun, dog food, and scratching) and dislikes (baths and the vet), and spend hours chatting. But then one day Rex decides to dig a hole under the fence so he can come over to Alfred's side. It's the moment of truth--will Rex find Alfred unlovable when he sees him face to face?”

After reading the story, we talked about how Alfred felt to be putdown and then I showed the kids how to make their unlovable dog.
My Unlovable Alfred

Here are some of the finished products…

7 days into school and I have already fallen behind. However, we are slowly getting into a routine. Little by little my friends are getting the hang of it... except I keep adding new things to their plate. The beginning of the year is always hard, no matter what grade you teach. In June, I left my big kids. The ones that I finally had 'trained'. Now, in August, I have babies again. No matter how we the cookie crumbles the babies find their way to the beginning of the year!

I also encountered a first today. Today was the first time I have ever had one of my boys pee behind the tree at recess! There really isn't much more to explain. My principal told the his mom to "blame dad." I laughed when he told me that he said those words to the mom. He followed up with, "It's true. How many times do you think they have told him, 'just go behind that tree,' while playing outside?" Point taken.

I've been to the land down under....

Our summer holiday led us to the land down under! Our travel partners were Courtney and Chris. They were excellent planners! I would definitely travel with them again! {hint, hint, C2} We went to see my BFF, Missy, who has moved there for a year for work, but spent lots of time sightseeing while she was working. The trip was amazing. We traveled to 3 of 6 Australian states in 10 days!

Here are some in no particular order, which is really rare for me!

Snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef
We all tried scuba diving. We had a quick lesson and then went out to be put to the test. Let's just say that Missy and I make great shopping partners! Good job to the others who were able to do. Maybe I will try again next time.

That's my Boo Bear diving down to take a picture of a sea turtle. A professional took this cool picture!

Boone even had a snorkeling adventure

We got to pet this cutie at Featherdal Wildlife Park! He almost seemed fake! Hubby actually thought he was.

What a cool bridge and amazing scenery!

With the 3 Sisters at the Blue Mountains

It's Kanga and Roo!

Don't mind me petting this kangaroo! Yes, it is eating out of an ice cream cone.

Our Friday adventure around Sydney is just getting started

A typical, dorky hat picture with Missy

Street Art in Melbourne

Boone visiting Missy's office

My first (and probably last) Australian Census. We were asked to fill this out on the night of August 9th. They want to know how many people were in their country on that exact night.

We were so sad to leave our friend! BUT, we had an amazing time!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Only 170 days to go...

Day 2 of school and still no Australia post. Sorry folks. In due time it will come. :)

I had 2 criers today. When I say they cried, I MEAN, they CRIED! Cried so much that my principal came to check on me. I saw his head peeking in the window giving me thumbs up (as a question). After peeling one off of mom, she was fine 10 minutes later {just as she was yesterday too}. When this child saw mom at the end of the day, she kind of looked at her like, 'is it really time to go home?' I told her to remember that in the morning when I am peeling her away again.

"__ is really good on the pole!" WHAT?! You guessed it! Right out of the mouth of babes. This child was referring to a pole on the playground. It's one of those that has another pole winding down it. I guess it is called a coil climber. It looks like this.

Today in class, we talked about the Magic Triad, which consists of a smile, kind words and a soft touch. We only covered smile and kind words. We showed smiley faces to each other and talked about how even a smile can change how something sounds. Later, we talked about how kind words make us feel. We worked on making our own triad out of popsicle sticks and pieces to go on our classroom triad on the wall. While we were doing this a little girl came up and said, "you know how we were talking about kind words?" I answered 'yes' wondering where this was going, when she said, "You look so pretty today!"

I also had to call a mom. Yes, on the second day of school. I did inform her that 'I know it is the second day, but I want to nip this problem and attitude in the bud. Right now.' The little friend did not seem too phased about having to call, as she started the conversation asking, "where are our swimsuits?" This was after I said --loud enough for mom to hear through the phone--,  "take the shoe out of your mouth so you can talk to mom on the phone."

Tomorrow is a new day.

In other, more exciting news: We got a webcam on Saturday! I have Skype'd my niece twice! We also have a date to do it again on Saturday! It is so fun and I am irritated with myself that we didn't do this sooner. She is funny because she doesn't want Uncle Preston to be in on our fun but he is the one that bought us the camera (after Claire 'typed' to him asking if he would, AFTER I suggested she ask him instead of me). Of course he said yes and we were off to Wal-Mart within in the hour. I said, "You have to go now. You told Claire you would get it tonight and you don't want to let her down."

this is from our 2nd call together :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Where does the time go?!

While I still have not completed my Australian holiday post, I must post about the first day of school. It is hard to think that yet another school year is upon me. Today, I had the first day of school for the sixth time in my career! How am I that old?
It will be a whole new year. It is refreshing to start fresh. New principal and new students. Quick highlights of my day…
• 23 students
• Having my principal spend roughly 30 minutes in my classroom with a crier
• Crazy lunch hour, yet pretty smooth
• Surprisingly calm “brain break” [which did not consist of worry of “pooping or peeing in my paaaantieeees”]
• Quick afternoon due to specials and a short all school assembly to just get the hang of going in there
• Talking to 3 parents after school about self control
• Feeling drained at 4:20

Did I ever mention that school lasts until 4:00? Well, it does, which makes the afterhours at school seem to fly by. Oh, that’s right they do! We are in school until 4:00!
Today I felt very overwhelmed. I had done the first day of kindergarten before and under more forced tenses but this year seemed even more stressing than last year. Maybe I went in too confident since I had done it. Maybe I went in with too much of a ‘plan’. Maybe I had a huge case of the First Day Jitters. Whatever it was, I could do without it tomorrow.
Some things on the agenda for tomorrow include practicing our line order, sitting down, pushing our chairs in, lining up, sitting down, lining up, sitting on the rug, lining up walking in the hall, sitting down, pushing our chairs in… do you get the idea for tomorrow?
I even received a special delivery! Too bad I didn’t get to see the delivery boy! I hear he was quite the hunk!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I'm back!

I have returned, physically, from vacation. Mentally, I am still gone. Time change really does a doozy on a person's schedule.

Here is a snippet from my Australian adventure: