I feel like I won an award!

There is this organization called the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Committee that does an annual book award (hence the name!).  They select 30 new young adult novels and kids around the state read and vote for their favorites.  We have been doing that in the library and voting was just this week.  This is their 60th year and the committee had an art contest asking students in grades 4-8 (the grades that can participate in the book voting) to design a poster celebrating reading and 60 years of this Dorothy Canfield Fisher book award.  Guess what?!  One of my students won!  She did all the work, I just promoted the contest and submitted her entry, but I kinda feel like I won a little too!  :)  She gets two signed copies of the winning book (still being voted on) and she gets an award and recognition at the award ceremony!  I was hoping to take a few students there, but now I’m totally going to do it!!  I’m just waiting for them to announce the date!  I’m so excited for her.  :)

Enrichment

I run an enrichment group at school where twice a week I work with a small group of kids who can afford to miss some class time.  The sessions run for 3-6 weeks, depending on the topic, and teachers chose which students to send.  For my upcoming enrichment group Eve’s teacher chose Eve to go.  I was talking to Eve about it the other day and said I was thinking about doing either electricity or book reviews.  She wasn’t thrilled with those options.  :)  She is pretty set on doing a research project about the topic of your choice and presenting it in the way of your choice (prezi, glogster, poster, Google presentation, etc.)

Tonight while I was laying with her I told her I just didn’t feel prepared for an enrichment group about research.  She said, “That’s ok mom, we can do it together this weekend! We’ll start with a rubric.”  The conversation went from there.  When I left her we agreed to work together this weekend on it.  When I went to check on her just now I found this:

Eve’s rubric

I love that girl!  We’ve got education in our blood!

An awesome day of professional development!

* I’ll bet you don’t hear that title sentence very often!
** I haven’t blogged in so long that WordPress forgot who I was and made me log in again. :/
*** Happy November!! It’s a good month (says the almost old lady!)

I spent today at Vermont Fest 2016, an education conference with a technology focus. According to their website they are the “premier fall education conference,” so it’s pretty cool that I go to go. I started at a BORING session about grants and quickly excused myself and headed to the Innovation Space for some hands on learning! I saw some cool new STEM toys and got to make my first ever paper circuit card!! I am in love! I’m going back tomorrow to make some more. I’m also going to buy some supplies and make holiday cards with my enrichment groups. I’m excited already!

No denying this lady is turning 40! The woman who taught me how to do this wanted to post a picture on Twitter. I’d like to say it’s because I’m so cool, but I’m pretty sure she took pictures of everyone who did a project. :)

Inside the card you can see the copper tape and LEDs.

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I posted a little more info and a few more photos on the library blog. Check it out if you’re interested.

The one down side to my professional development day is that I had to leave right at the end and didn’t have time to stick around for the door prizes — and they had VERY COOL door prizes!! I had to leave to get back in time for Lex’s parent/teacher conference and truth be told, I considered being late just so I could stay for the chance at winning a prize! They were supposed to start at 3:45 and I had to leave by 4pm, but they hadn’t even started by 4pm so I didn’t stick around. I hope they have more awesome door prizes tomorrow and I hope I win one!! :) I did come home with a rather large collection of vendor pens, a full belly, and a head full of ideas, so I guess that’s pretty good too.

Library blog

Hey all, in case this blog isn’t fascinating enough, check out my new school library blog. (You know you want to, Mom!) It’s filled with exciting things like library schedules and book awards! Of course I got a picture of Eve up there already! (Truthfully, I’m not sure yet on the media release situation, so I thought it best to stick to pictures of kids I know for now.) Enjoy!

Also, did you see I just did three blog posts in one evening? That’s my quota for the week! See ya next week! :)

Open House

This post is a few days delayed, but better late than never.  Thursday was open house at school.  Each grade does a 10-15 minute presentation of their curriculum, but I wasn’t sure if I could get out of the library that long, so Eve and I went for a sneak peek at her classroom.  She showed me around, we did the scavenger hunt, and got full access to the teachers (ha!) until 6pm when Open House officially started and I scooted back to the library.  I wasn’t sure what to expect for library attendance, but I was pleased that it was packed for the entire time!  Kids stopped by to introduce me to their parents (while I desperately tried to recall the kid’s name in my head!) and parents that I’m friends with stopped by and it was very nice all around.  The hour flew by!

I love seeing Eve’s work.  Her poetry is amazing to me, and not just because it’s often about how much she loves me. :)  Lately she has been sitting in her bed at night writing poetry.  She has a great one about the holidays, and the “mom” poem she wrote me a few weeks ago.  At Open House she showed me her, “I am from” poem that they did in class.  I love it!

Eve is an excellent writer… you just have to decode her spelling! :)

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Week one done

We made it through the first week of school and now we are celebrating the long weekend with a “no-plans” weekend.  :)  Other families are off on exciting Labor Day vacations, and we are cozying down in PJs with the weekend comics and a big mug of tea.  That’s the way we roll.

I had a fairly easy transition into my teaching, with just one class the first day, no classes the second day (but lots of learning about the tech at school), and four classes each the last two days of the week.  I was exhausted Wednesday night (my no class day!) and feeling nervous about the next day with four classes.  I put the kids to bed early and myself to be immediately after them.  Thursday rolled around and the day was great!!  Four great classes!  Friday was the same.  I’m sure they won’t always be great, but I’m super happy about how the first week went.  :)

Eve is enjoying her new mixed class with all of the kids in one room.  It’s a big group of students and teachers, but so far she’s happy.  She also got an award for showing Caring, Safe, and Responsible behavior all week long.  It’s a new program they started this year and Eve was thrilled to be one of the first students to get it.

Lex made it to school happily each day.  He has homework now that is often online, so we need to come up with a way to keep track of that.  In the past homework was on a piece of paper that could sit on the table until it was done, but now he’s a big kid and things are changing.  He had a field trip to the lake where they did team building activities and tie-dyed t-shirts.  He had fun.

Everyone is happy to go back next week… after a three day weekend!

First day of a new school year!

Today began a new chapter in this house. Lex headed off to 6th grade at the middle school, Eve started 4th grade, I had my first day at the Media Specialist in the school library, and Arlo got to spend seven hours in his crate! No big changes for Alan though, sorry. Alan brought Lex in and said drop-off went well. Eve and I walked to school. I start later than she does, so I was able to walk her (and Arlo) to school in the morning, then come home, shower, and get myself ready. It’s a plan that kind of works, but needs some refinement. It worked well today though!

Back to school.

Miss Eve heading off to 4th grade.

My middle schooler!

Flowers for the teachers.

This girl is too much!

I only had one class to teach today, but I also had lunch duty, meetings, and an assembly. Tomorrow it’s just recess duty and meetings, then Thursday and Friday I get classes back to back to back! I’ll be ready for the long weekend!

Flowers for the librarian! Thanks family!!!

At the end of the day Eve came to meet me in the library and she was clearly excited about something. She said she wasn’t working on a project and I COULDNT NOT PEEK! She then asked me when my birthday is (precisely) and then decide maybe not to wait that long to share her project. After awhile she asked if she could take my picture and she set up the scene she wanted.

The new school librarian standing by the “NEW” books shelf!

Then she asked to borrow my computer.  The final output was an awesome poem called, “My Mom Poem.”  She said she started working on it in study hall at the end of the day, not as an assignment or anything, but just because she wanted to.  Sadly, she asked me not to share it because it was special for us. I’ll respect those wishes, though maybe I’m breaking them a wee bit by mentioning it here!  I can’t help it though.   She is amazing and I’m so proud to be her momma AND her librarian!

Lex took the bus to me after school and got off with a smile.  There are a handful of middle schoolers that have parents in my building, so he wasn’t the only big kid getting off at the elementary school.  He said the day went well and when I asked if he was planning to go back tomorrow he said, “I guess so.”  Raves reviews from the boy!  I haven’t heard much else from him.

I had a good day.  I’m so happy to be part of a school community that I love.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Arlo did not like his day and was VERY eager to get outside when we got home.  He has been all teeth and claws ever since.  He doubled one of the holes in the yard, scratched up Eve’s arm, and is chewing everything he can find.  Apparently one 3-mile walk in the morning does not sufficiently counter seven hours in the crate!  That’s a problem I’m definitely going to have to work on.  Maybe Alan should take him to work each day!  :)
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My Library

I had in-service week last week and on Friday when I was chatting with other teachers they kept saying the were pretty ready for school to start and the more people who said that the more panicked I got that I was not feeling at all ready for school to start!!

Last weekend Alan helped clean up the robotics lab a bit and this weekend we went back for another marathon work session. It was great! I left this evening feeling a thousand times more ready for Tuesday. There’s still work to do, of course, and always will be, but I feel like I can do this!

Let me show you my library…

My new school. Not really new exactly, because the kids have been going here for years and I subbed here and did my student teaching here, but now it’s officially MY school too! 😄

New books are always exciting! (Those are not all the new books, just the ones that were on the shelf when I took the picture! There are lots more!!)

My first library bulletin board.

The Vermont corner. The three maps of the area came from Grandpa’s house. 💜

This year’s Dorothy Canfield Fisher nominated books.

The reading corner needs to be a little cozier. Maybe I can find a nice cozy carpet or bean bag chairs or something.

Group activity area. Elizabeth made the green cushion and the rocking chair was Grandpa’s. He was a library kind of guy!

The computer/robotics lab has been underutilized the past few years since all the classrooms have laptops now. Alan got it all tidied and organized and I hope to put it to better use this year!

Arlo is a great library dog!! Next year I’m going to get him certified to come to school with me each day. The counseling team has a dog in school and I think the library needs one too!

Back to work

It hit me today that I’m rapidly running out of vacation.  I’ve had the luxury of being home and “not working” since Christmas, but starting Monday I’ll be back on the job.  I’m excited, of course, and I’m sure it will be great, but I do mourn a bit for the days when everyone goes away and I get “me time.”  :)   So how am I celebrating my last day of summer vacation (not counting the weekend)?  By working!  :/  Hmmm….  We had a very busy day yesterday and the kids really wanted a “no plans day” today, which means they are doing their own thing and I’m getting work done on the computer.  I updated the library interface, updated my Scope and Sequence document, sent some coordination emails, and did a required 2hr “Mandatory Reporter” training.  Nothing like child abuse photos to help celebrate the end of vacation!  Sheesh!

I need to turn this thing off now!  Maybe I can talk Eve into running some errands with me… fabric store and pet store… both school errands!  Welcome to teaching!

Back to work

Have I mentioned lately that I got a job?! Yay! I’m pretty excited about it!

Today while Lex was at camp, Eve and I spent the day in the library! I met with the out-going librarian for awhile, spent some time rearranging the furniture, met with a finance guy to talk about retirement savings, and spent a lot of time discussing the fish with Eve.

My grungy new fish tank

It seems I have inherited a fish tank with six South American Cichlids. I tried to pawn them off on other teachers last week, but no one wanted them. Eve and I did some research today and learned that this breed (is that even the word for fish??) is “toothy and agressive” and doesn’t play well with others. In fact, it tends to eat other fish unfortunate enough to be placed in the same tank. We spent some time yesterday at the pet store and I mostly walked away with a confirmed feeling that fish are creepy. Eve is pretty excited about the fish tank though, so I guess we will learn.

Eve put all of the extra plants and “accessories” she could find into the tank. It’s pretty full now!

It is such a big and amazing space, and I have no grand vision for it, so I think I’m going to have to just spend time there over the next few weeks and see how it feels. We did some rearranging, created a separate drawing center and reading center (which were combined last year) and Eve was full of advice about what to do. At one point I asked, “Do the tables go here?” to which she replied, “It’s your library mom, they go wherever you want them to!” She’s awesome!