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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Teacher Thursday

Do any other teachers out there think that we should all get professional development hours for all of the time we spend on Pinterest?  In my district, we have to get something like 100 every few years, but I'm sure I easily spend that just looking up ideas on my own time.  

I'd like to start blogging a little bit more about my teaching experience/ideas, but for today, here are some ideas that I've gotten directly from Pinterest -- and more importantly, have actually been successfully implemented in my classroom!

Labeling Student Mailboxes

In my room, I do everything in alphabetical order.  It's how we line up, it's how I organize their papers, and it's also how their mailboxes are set up for the year.  Instead of writing their names on each individual mailbox and then having to put stickers or white-out over top for all subsequent years, I use binder clips.  They are so easy to rearrange (if new students come, or if someone moves away) and I can easily clip them off at the end of the year and start fresh.

You can see my mailboxes over to the left.

Therabands for ADHD Students

This year we have a hodgepodge of special needs throughout the entire 4th grade.  The occupational therapist recommended these to us, which totally reinforced what I had pinned.  Now, we have them on the bottom of the kids' chairs in order to help them when they are feeling fidgety.  They can put pressure on the band which helps them to relax.

Learning Objectives Bulletin Board

I have always loved these whiteboard objectives, but I don't have any actual space on my board.  Instead, I made a bulletin board and created little mini erasable sections for each subject.  I still like the original better, but hey, what can you do.

All pins can be found here.

Teachers out there -- do you ever find good ideas on Pinterest?  Leave your username so that I can check it out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

All By Myself

There's one thing that I always kind of regretted when I think back to the way my life panned out after college, and that was the fact that I never lived alone.  I went straight from my parents' house to Wheaton, where their #1 mantra was COMMUNITY.  I shared some pretty small living quarters with as many as four people during the years that I was there, and it was great.  But once I graduated, I headed right back home to my parents', where I lived until the night before my wedding day.  And the rest is history.

Though looking back, I wouldn't do anything differently (come on, I lived with my parents for FREE and it was awesome!) I think it may have been beneficial for me to learn how to balance my life as a single lady in a little apartment before getting married.  Most of my friends have had that experience for at least one year of their lives, so part of me is jealous of that aspect of their stories.

Anyway, this past weekend, Walker was in Virginia, so I was home free for three nights.  The first evening, I was pathetically lonely, feeling scared to be home alone and even getting a little weepy as I said goodnight to him on the phone.  But by Sunday morning, I got his text at 10 AM saying that he was on his way and my internal response was, "already?!"  

Don't get me wrong, I missed my husband and I was so excited when he walked in the door.  That being said, though, I found two things that I loved during my time alone.  Can you guess what they were?

The first thing was that the apartment stayed the way I left it.  On Thursday afternoon, I scrubbed the heck out of every little nook and cranny and guess what?  The sink stayed clean!  The bathroom sink remained spotless!  Crumbs were swept off the floor!  There were no mysterious blobs of various liquids and gels on the counter!  SO great!

And the second thing falls under the category of doing whatever I wanted to do.  Like when I woke up on Friday, for example.  My alarm goes off at 6 AM, and Walker usually snoozes in bed until 6:50 or so while I get ready around him.  Well, without him in bed, I turned on all the lights and blasted music as I did my hair and makeup.  It was awesome!**

What I ultimately realized was that though those two aspects were wonderful, they kind of aren't possible when you live with someone else, and I'd much rather have my husband than be alone.  I was talking to some of the freshman girls from youth group on Saturday night and they asked me if being married was kind of like having a sleepover every single night with your best friend.  I told them it's even better than that.  In the grand scheme of life, all of those minor instances fade away.  I'll gladly wipe up strange blobs of jelly and ice cream off of the counter on a regular basis if that means spending the rest of my life with Walker.

Did you ever live alone?
What's it like when your husband/significant other goes away for a few days?

**Walker claims that he wouldn't mind me playing music if that's what I wanted to do, but I just feel bad disturbing him!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Flying Solo

For whatever reason, I totally felt like this past weekend was a long one.  Not because I had more time than usual...but probably due to the fact that Walker left on Thursday morning, which I guess put me in "oh it's the weekend" mode.  Who knows.  Regardless, the last four days have felt like a weekend, except I worked on Thursday and Friday.  I'm weird.  But anyway, the real weekend came on Friday afternoon, and I was thrilled.  

My sister Kelley came home from college and asked me to sleep over at my parents' house.  I figured that since Walker was gone anyway, I might as well!  I went over Friday evening and had a delicious homemade dinner, followed up by a handful of old home movies.

I forgot to pack any real clothes for the following day, so I just threw on some jeans and a sweatshirt and tossed my hair up in a messy bun (sans makeup!) for a few errands.  Well wouldn't you know...I can go to Target a hundred times looking cute and the ONE TIME I arrive looking less-than-excellent I see no less than three people from school.  Oh heyyyy coworkers and students!

That evening, we had a youth group bonfire for the freshman girls and guys.  Walker and I are leaders for that age group, along with a couple others, and we got them all together for dinner, board games, and of course, a fire that the freshman boys were a little too excited about.

And on Sunday, I made some delicious pumpkin muffins for Walker who was coming home and skyped with a lovely former roommate for mine, before heading off to an evening of ballet rehearsal.

And now I'm off to have the last normal week of school until January.  The kids are going to get SO riled up about Halloween next week, and then at that's utter chaos until Christmastime is over!