Sunday, December 16, 2012

Silence for Sandy Hook Elementary

If you are looking for some guidance as far as how to teach and guide your student's tomorrow morning not knowing which eyes have been watching the news over the weekend, look here.

Whether you live nearby or far away from Sandy Hook, children can sense when adults are upset or saddened-whether or not they have heard about the tragedy.

I'll leave you with this sweet glimpse of hope:

Twas' 11 days before Christmas, around 9:38,
When 20 beautiful children stormed through heaven's gate.
Their smiles were contagious, their laughter filled the air.
They could hardly believe all the beauty they saw there.
They were filled with such joy, they didn't know what to say.
They remembered nothing of what had happened earlier that day.
"Where are we?" asked a little girl, as quiet as a mouse.
"This is heaven." declared a small boy. "We're spending Christmas at God's house."
When what to their wondering eyes did appear,
But Jesus, their savior, the children gathered near.
He looked at them and smiled, and they smiled just the same.
Then He opened His arms and He called them by name,
And in that moment was joy, that only heaven can bring.
Those children all flew into the arms of their King,
And as they lingered in the warmth of His embrace,
One small girl turned and looked at Jesus' face.
And as if He could read all the questions she had,
He gently whispered to her, "I'll take care of Mom and Dad."
Then He looked down on earth, the world far below,
He saw all of the hurt, the sorrow, and woe.
Then He closed His eyes and He outstretched His hand,
"Let My power and presence re-enter this land!"
"May this country be delivered from the hands of fools."
"I'm taking back my nation. I'm taking back my schools!"
Then He and the children stood up without a sound.
"Come now my children, let me show you around."
Excitement filled the space, some skipped and some ran.
All displaying enthusiasm that only a small child can.
And I heard Him proclaim as He walked out of sight,
"In the midst of this darkness, I AM STILL THE LIGHT."

Written by Cameo Smith, Mt. Wolf, PA

Monday, December 10, 2012

12 in 12 Linky

I'm linking up with Miss Kindergarten and A Teeny Tiny Teacher for the 12 in '12 linky party!

I am not as interesting or entertaining as these two ladies, but I thought it would be fun to join! 

12. Favorite movie you watched: 
 The Hunger Games.  Hands down.  End of story.

11. Favorite TV series: 
The New Girl….who's that girl?  It's Jess.  
This is actually my only TV show.  I love the fact that she is a teacher who I can totally relate to.  I wear glasses, a cardigan and sing songs to myself ALL DAY Long!  Instead of viewing myself as a nerd, I'd like to think I'm as cute and funny as Zoe Deschanel.

10. Favorite restaurant: 
I don't have a favorite restaurant at the moment, but authentic Mexican food is climbing the ladder. (Shhhhh. Don't tell Mr. Husband.  He thinks I can't stand it.) 

9. Favorite new thing you tried: 
Conscious Discipline.
It has saved my teaching career and sanity!  Everyday is a better day because of it.  I am constantly being a "Star" in the classroom. (Smile. Take a deep breath. And Relax)

Check it out here and here

8. Favorite gift you got: I would love to say my new-to-me car…however it was less of a gift and more of a lot of money paid by yours truly.
I guess my backup answer would be:
2 IPod Touches from donors  Post a project.  You will be surprised at how easy it can be!

7. Favorite thing you pinned: Finding Rachel F's teaching website and Whole Brain Videos.  What an amazing teacher! 

 Check her out here.

6. Favorite blog post: 
Definitely this one.  It captures the essence of my passion for teaching.  I am terrified of making mistakes, yet so excited when things get started.  I absolutely LOVE Writer's Workshop and this post tells why.  
"It is better to have tried and failed, than to not have tried at all." 

5. Best accomplishment: 
I would have to say taking on this school year as a whole.  If you would have told me a year ago all the things that would have happened over these past 4 months, I would have said 
1. You are crazy. 
2. You can't be serious. 
3. What are you smoking?
4. Is this April Fool's Day?

Starting at a BRAND NEW school with 12 students and ending this semester with 22 is a big change that I was not expecting. 

4. Favorite picture: 

This girl is my inspiration for all things teaching and blogging.  I don't know what I would have done without her these past 2 years as a teacher. This picture was taken at Barnes and Nobles where we spend the afternoon at a Writer's Workshop Institute looking through Children's Literature.  It was also her last day at our Region Service Center.
 She has challenged my thinking as a teacher of writing and as a writer myself.  Because of Leach Teach I am beyond excited to be a teacher!

3. Favorite memory: 
My favorite memory would probably be going to London.  Not school related at all but I think it deserves a shout out.  I went with my oldest sister and we surprisingly made it back alive.  We both are a bit directionally challenged.  Who's ideas was it again to go to Paris on a whim where they speak French WITHOUT our smart phones?  That day ended with us trying to ride the Metro, getting lost underground, and taking photos of the names of our subway route in order to find our way back.  Oh, and almost getting robbed.  CrAzY!
But London was, to say the least, lovely.
My 1st time out of the country and my 2nd time flying by myself.  So.Much.Fun.

2. Goal for 2013: Become more efficient as a teacher.  A mentor teacher and friend who used to be across the hall from me last year is the most efficient teacher I know.  I want to become more like her so that I can spend time with my family-outside of the classroom-doing the things that make me a more interesting teacher.

1. One Little Word: relax.  
My personality is Type A, up-tight, panties-in-a-wod.  I am learning how to relax and take things one step at a time.  Turning off my brain after school is a necessity for next year.

Don't forget to link up and read all of the other blogs!  

Happy Blogging! 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hubba Wha?

I never like it when I read a blog and the first thing the teacher says is "I haven't blogged in forever.  I've been so busy."  

But here I go…..

My teaching life just got Crazy..with a capital C.

Update:  I had a restful Thanksgiving break.  I went to the windy city AND went to the beach down south.  Cold and warm all in one vacation.  It was delightful.  I got to wear my swimsuit as well as my favorite scarf (not at the same time, silly.) Big city meets book on the beach. It was too good to be true. *sigh*

When I came back from the too-good-to-be-true break, my class size doubled.  

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I now have 22 students instead of 12. 
(I know what you are thinking. It's not quite double, but in my book that's a lot of extra bodies in a classroom)

I don't know how the normal public school teachers do it with 22, 24, and 29 in a classroom? That's absurd!  

To make a long story short, my head is barely above water, and I'm in survival mode until Christmas break.  I am trying my hardest to give these students exactly what they need.  It is so much easier to feel like a good teacher (kind, caring, compassionate, and actually TEACHING) with a small class size.  It truly does make a difference!

My life saver this past week and a half has been Conscious Discipline.  It has seriously saved my life….and a few student's as well.  I am so glad I stubbled upon it this summer.  The funny thing is, I have only read through chapter 3.  It's ridiculous how much of an impact reading the book has made on my teaching career.  I cannot wait to read more and my students cannot either.  

Does anyone have a word of advice for my classroom?  I'd love to hear your thoughts or ideas!

-The Frizz