Monday, May 25, 2015

The Fun Has Arrived!

Well guys, my school year is officially over a few days early! Caffrey decided to surprise us and arrived at 2:24 Sunday morning. He is so precious, and we are eating up every minute with our new little guy!


And of course, Keagan is thrilled to be a big brother! I will try and share a few more photos later.


Happy Memorial Day!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Five for Friday: Memorial Day Weekend

I can't believe we are almost into June! Today marks my last Friday of the school year because next Friday begins my maternity leave. I may have been bragging to my co-workers about that (our school isn't out until June 12) once or twice today...


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We have been in full testing mode here since last week, which means I have been a "little" bored. Good news is that I have been able to sit and relax a lot, though!

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Another nice thing about testing is that it gives me a chance to read. I only test small group or individuals usually, so I've been reading the newest Veronica Mars book, Mr. Kiss and Tell. I loved it! Now I need to see if and when the next one will be out. This is the second, and I've really enjoyed them both!


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This year is the first year that Virginia is allowing retests for elementary and middle school students who score close enough to passing. Only our 5th grade students have taken it yet (the others take it my first week out), so I will be working with a remedial group on Tuesday (assuming I'm here) to prep them. I'm thinking of having snacks and games at some point to make it more positive and upbeat. Then we'll of course focus on the strands that they seemed to struggle with the most. Have any of you done remediation for testing like this? We have one day of remediation, and then they retest on Wednesday.

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By the way, I just realized this is probably the most boring post ever with all this testing talk. Here's one completely unrelated: we built a deck in our backyard last week, and I'm in love with it! I know, we're trying to sell our house, so it seems weird that we did it. But it was actually only $200 to build, and we're hoping it will draw more attention to our house. Besides, we have to take it off the market this weekend so we can actually adjust to having this baby, so we'll be able to enjoy the deck for most of the summer!


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Can I just say that I'm SO excited for a three day weekend? And then to realize that I only have three more work days after that makes me even happier! This preggo is starting to get a little impatient. I'm ready to hold this baby on the outside and not feel like I have a bowling ball on my stomach anymore.


Good news is that I'm still not swollen and have managed to keep my weight under control this time. All things considering, I'm feeling pretty awesome for being just shy of 38 weeks. But every time I walk into school, someone comes up to me and says, "You're still here?!" Yes...three more days...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Five for Fraturday

It's crazy to think, but this was my LAST week of teaching for the year! We start our state tests on Monday, so I will probably have nothing teaching-related to say. Then my last day is May 28, and hopefully I will be sharing some cute baby pictures very soon afterward!


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Over the weekend, we took advantage of the beautiful weather and decided to make a quick day trip to VA Beach. We weren't getting in the water (well, they got pretty close), but it was the perfect day to get a little salt air in our lungs!


A certain little boy takes after his daddy and would stay at the beach forever if we let him! He and Steven kept running toward the water to get their feet wet, and then they would run back to me. Keagan cried a little when it was time to go. I have to admit that if we had the chance to move to the beach, I would probably go with very little hesitation!

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Monday and Tuesday were Field Day at school. The weather, at least in the morning, was perfect then, too! We were supposed to have field day at the end of last week, but it was rained out. We always wrap things up by lunch and go back inside, and both mornings were mild temps with a little breeze.

I had quite a few people fuss at me for being out there, especially for both days, but I loved it! I brought out my lawn chair and lathered up with sunscreen. On Tuesday, I even managed to squeeze into a New Kent t-shirt to show my school spirit!

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On Wednesday, our PTO served the staff with a potato bar. It was delicious! They also had us put our names in a bucket for flower arrangements. I won the lilies, and then I had a sweet student also bring in the adorable Gerbera daisies (which happen to be my favorite). My husband laughed when I came out with all of these flowers!


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Since I'm drawing near to the end, baby gifts are starting to flood in! I had two lovely co-workers bring in hand-made blankets earlier in the week, and then the school threw a baby "sprinkle" for me yesterday morning. Funny thing was that I was running a little late, so I had a few friends a little panicked that I had gone into labor (especially since I'm not usually late). Oops!

But I've been really blessed by all of these amazing gifts! We already have a lot of things from Keagan that we saved, but I'm pretty well stocked on diapers and wipes, and Caffrey even got a few cute outfits and books of his own!

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Finally, to round up Teacher Appreciation Week, we are having a laminator giveaway over at Adventures in Literacy Land. Be sure to enter!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Feeling Appreciated Yet?

I'm so excited for this week for three reasons. First, we have field day today and tomorrow. Second, this is my last "teaching" week for the year. And finally, it's Teacher Appreciation Week! It's so fun to get a little pampered at school (and around town, although I don't know of any specifics yet).


I wanted to share two deals going on that you should check out. As you've probably already heard, Teachers Pay Teachers is having their big sale tomorrow and Wednesday to celebrate teachers. Most stores are set at 20% off, and then you can earn an extra 10% off with the code "ThankYou" at checkout. Load up those carts!

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The second deal is a giveaway hosted by American Greetings. They are giving away three amazing prizes, and I'm so excited about them! The first prize is a $500 gift card to Staples along with a $30 Starbucks card. But the other two prizes are almost as great: $100 gift cards to Teachers Pay Teachers! I can't even imagine what I would buy with that. I could finally catch up on my wishlist!

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Enjoy all these special treats this week! You deserve them!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Five for Friday

It's May, and I'm so proud to actually be posting on time (and posting anything in general). I've been so exhausted lately, and we're getting to the uncomfortable phase of this pregnancy, so I won't have much to say here for a little while.


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We started off the week with a sick little boy. Fortunately Steven was able to stay home with him on Monday (and again Wednesday after he relapsed). Then I stayed home with him yesterday. Poor thing had a rough week. He also scored his first black eye. Who knew you could get a black eye from those plastic kiddie tables? I guess anything works if you fall hard enough...


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Wednesday was Title I Fun Night, and I'll just say that I'm glad it's over. Being 8 months pregnant and having 23 kids to keep up with and only 2 parent helpers was not enough. Especially with some of the personalities. It was a little chaotic. BUT no one was lost or injured in the process, and I haven't had any complaints yet. That's good!


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We were supposed to have Field Day on Thursday and Friday, but they ended up moving it to next week due to rain. That made me happier because the weather is supposed to be really nice then. This preggo is in charge of the inflatables, so I plan on bringing my beach chair and taking it easy!

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Since we didn't have field day today, I had to plan something quickly for my classes. I decided to use some Pixar short films to review plot with my 4th grade kids. They really enjoyed it! I reminded them that they could practice reading strategies while watching movies at home since we know they all love watching movies. I wonder if they will!


Anyway, this was our favorite. I love Agnes and the minions! We just watched a few videos and then came up with a SWBST (Somebody Wanted But So Then) for each short. We were able to easily get through two in less than 30 minutes. If the videos had all worked like they were supposed to, I was planning on doing three.

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Since next week is Teacher Appreciation Week, the ladies at Adventures in Literacy Land have planned something special. Be sure to follow us so you don't miss anything!


Currently May!

It's May!! I was beginning to feel like April would never end. The first part of the month passed quickly, but these last two weeks have really dragged. I think part of that may have to do with the fact that I've gotten so big recently that everything is more difficult and I'm just ready to be done. I would be okay with having this baby tomorrow (if I had enough sick leave for that).

Anyway, let's move on to my favorite linky: Farley's currently!!


Listening: We had a sick little boy this week and have gone through so much laundry it's ridiculous. Keagan is finally back to normal and in the clear, so hopefully we are back to a more reasonable amount of laundry. You know, until Caffrey gets here and we start crazy loads of baby everything...

Loving: We start our state tests in two weeks, so this is my last week to teach. I'll actually miss the last two weeks of school on top of that since our school's last day is June 12. Right now I'm scheduled to deliver on June 3, so my last day is May 28!

Thinking: I haven't been able to go in about three weeks and was hoping to make it back to class today, but Steven ended up needing to help a friend this morning. Oh well, I'll try to go and just do my own thing this week. Plus we may go walk around at the beach today. I need some salty air!

Wanting: I'm 35 weeks tomorrow, and this baby is already almost 5 1/2 pounds. Comfort is almost impossible...

Needing: Keagan has some newer summer clothes in his drawer, but I need to get the rest of his warm weather clothes out of the attic. Plus I haven't taken ANY of our baby stuff out. I need to start preparing!

Summer: This baby WILL be here in almost exactly one month! It's kind of taking over all of my thoughts right now (sorry!). Our house has been on the market since February, and I'd love for us to have a contract, close, and move by the end of July or earlier if possible. And the dream is closer to reality this time than my last pregnancy, but I'd LOVE to be at least back in most of my clothes by the time school starts back in September. I do have a lot of flowy dresses and tops, so that will help. I know to be realistic. My biggest thing is to be better off than I was last time.

What are you currently up to this month? And when do you get out of school?


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Surviving Until Summer


Does anybody else just feel like this cat right now? Maybe it's because I'm 33 weeks pregnant and relate to his Garfield-like stature. Or maybe it's because I'm scared it's how some of my students feel. They're jumping for the moon, but the stars aren't even close enough for them. Or maybe I just died laughing and had to find some way to include it. Yeah, that's the best reason!

But seriously, summer seems SO far away, and I just can't quite get there. So I need a little motivation to make it through. That's when I saw Katie's post and had to join in!


OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM:


  • I would love to be decorating Caffrey's room (he'll be here in 6 weeks!), but our house is on the market, and I'm hoping that we will be moving soon after he arrives, so I don't see much point in decorating. We have the bed, though, and some of our sweet friends from church bought his sheets (aren't they cute?).  So I guess I can still say getting ready for Caffrey's arrival! Right now, I'm counting down to each doctor's appointment. Plus I don't have to wait quite as long until school is over because I'll miss the last two weeks!


  • Reading. I've got one children's book and one book for me that I'm working through right now, and so far I really like both! The children's book is Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein. It's on our Virginia Reader's Choice list for next year, and I will be sharing it on Book Talk Thursday once I'm done. For me, I'm reading the second Veronica Mars book, Mr. Kiss and Tell. If you haven't ever seen the show, start there (it's my favorite ever and I kind of idolize Kristen Bell because of it) and then watch the movie that came out last year. You won't regret it!
          

  • Spending time outside. The weather has been gorgeous, and I'm so excited that it's finally here! Plus it means that I can wear dresses, which are the best right now this far into my pregnancy. I hope to spend even more time outside in the next few weeks.
  • Going to the gym. Yes, I'm still going! It makes me feel more accomplished and better about myself! My goal through the entire pregnancy has been to at least get in 400 minutes of exercise each month to meet the minimum for our school district's wellness incentive. Each month, they draw names to choose a winner at every school, and I've won the past three months in a row! I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it to any more BodyPump classes because the one this weekend is cancelled and I'm not sure about my May weekend schedules, but I hope to at least get in and do something when I can find the time!



IN THE CLASSROOM:
  • I got smart before Spring Break and made my plans for three weeks after. Of course, we are halfway through week two of those plans, but I only have one more set to make before we start testing. Once testing starts, I help with that and no longer pull kids. So basically I just sit and watch them take tests. Boring, but kind of perfect for right before I go out on maternity leave! It helps to know that I don't have much planning left to do at all!

  • Stations and games. I feel like the students start to get overloaded with "test prep" during this time of year, so I try to provide a variety when they come into my room. We've been doing a lot more board games to review skills, and I've pulled out some of my literacy centers for them to use, also. If you're looking for great Reading Comprehension games, I highly recommend these from Edupress! I probably have ten different games in my room alone!
Learning Well® Best Sellers Game Set #1, Red Level (RL 2.0–3.5) (LRN7280)

  • Brain breaks! I do them all year, but they are even more special at this point. The kids are crazy, and they really need a way to release some of that energy. I know a lot of people use GoNoodle, but I love my Pinterest board that I've created for it. When you click to follow me on Pinterest above, it's my very first board! I do have to go through and delete some every once in a while because the video disappears on me, but I try to update them with fun songs that don't drive me crazy and are still appropriate and fun for the kids. My fifth graders are currently obsessed with In the Summertime, and I'm loving it!



What are you doing to stay sane these last few weeks before school is out? And how many weeks/days do you have left?