Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Last OLW Reflection of 2012

I think I wrote this post at least 10 times in my head...I tend to write virtually throughout my day. There were so many ideas. First, I was going to do a round up of all 12 month reflections but then I decided against that.  Next I considered blogging about my family and how without the support of my husband, son, and daughter I would not be where I am today. But I realized this is something I wanted to do privately, so I expressed my gratitude on Christmas Day. Then I thought about thanking all my "cheerleaders" those friends and family who know me better than I know myself. I need to thank my constant cheerleaders for 49 years: thanks mom and dad.  The colleagues at work that can read my face before I even know what I am going to say. My friends in our hometown that always seem to call me at just the right time to check on me. To my twitter friends who support me with great tweets and amazing links.  I hope I say thank you enough although can we every say "thanks" enough really? So thank you to all my Dublin, NCFL, twitter, and Ostrander friends.  Again without you, I know 2012 would not have been the same.  Finally I have decided that my last post of the year will be in photos. Thanks for an amazing 2012 and check back in 2013.

Starting 2012 in Louisville, KY - Celebrating Wonder!
Celebrating in San Diego with my favorite: Starbucks!

Anna graduates from BGSU, 


Finally a favorite video, Harshitha and her first grade sister celebrating an original poem on Poetry Friday. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

It Just Takes Time

For me, the experiences of last Friday in Connecticut have hung over me like a black cloud.  There were so many times when I tried to forget and something would trigger the memory of the day again.  Teaching this week, I tried to help my students feel safe and keep our routine.  I had very few questions and only a few emails from parents, so I didn't have many difficult explanations to make. 

As I prepared for our final day yesterday putting out candy canes and their homework pass it felt like a typical last day before the holiday break.  We were blessed to have a staff breakfast sponsored by our PTO to thank us.  I thought I was doing better, but I guess I wasn't.  As a group of 3rd graders entered the breakfast to sing "Oh Come Oh Come Emmanuel" I listened to their beautiful voices and tears started again. I then walked up to my classroom and really observed my students entering our classroom with Santa hats on, their huge smiles, their decorated holiday clothes, and several of them saying Good Morning!  How lucky I am to be a teacher!  To spend the day having fun in school! We measured reindeer, we built a bar graph using data from Santa's sleigh.  Next we finished our pen pal letters to our new friends in St. Charles, MO.  We enjoyed holiday Oreos as we wrote to give us a little more energy.  Our special was library with Mr. Prosser @Literate Lives and they played "Dudes & Chicks" their favorite game in the world.  After lunch, the students watched Santa Paws, a favorite Disney movie, and finally ended the day with our holiday party and a secret book exchange. Each student was asked to bring in a gently used favorite book wrapped for the party.  So all my students had one extra book to read over the next two weeks.  For at least 4 hours, my heart was not sad. As I arrived home and got hugs from my family, I know it will just take some time.  I am thankful for the next week to have our children home and time to continue and create more family memories.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Golf Courses in Math

We just completed our Geometry Unit, and I am constantly searching for activities that enrich and that are not just paper/pencil. It is my goal for each math unit this year to find an activity that extends as well as allows students to apply the new math concepts.  I was at a total loss until #5thchat a few weeks ago about math.  I read a tweet about building a miniature golf course.  I wish I could give credit because I totally borrowed this idea.  Thanks to all my #5thchat friends!!

Sharing their golf courses
 For our last week of the unit, every student was assigned to build their own mini golf course on Monday.  I did not make any other homework that entire week. Sending the message that this assignment was important.  On Friday, each student presented their golf course and shared the criteria that was in the handout.  When I asked the class, if I should use the same assignment next year, 100% said YES!

Look above, see the note pocket. She made cards for every hole to show students which angles were used!