School Projects – Eve

The kids have had lots of school projects lately.  Lots of homework in general!  Two weeks ago it was all about making 3D models of the Earth.  They each had grand ideas in mind, but ended up having to scale down for a variety of reasons.

Eve’s plan was a Jell-O/brownie Earth.  She planned ot use brownies as the core, different colored Jell-O as the layers, and fondant as the crust, with fondant continents as well.  It was a grand idea, for sure!  Implementation was a little trickier.  At first she wanted a full globe, but I talked her out of that.  There’s no way Jell-O can support itself in a full sphere!  She settled on a half-sphere.  The next question was how to make perfect half-spheres in an layer-able way.  We came up with this.  Not exactly perfect, or even close to perfect, but she tried!

Layers of Jell-O in containers.

Then she baked some brownies for the inner core.  The challenge came when we had to get the Jell-O out!  There are some preventative measures we could have taken, but we didn’t, so it was all pretty stuck!

The core inner core and outer core. Working on getting the mantle out next.

Things got a little messy with the final layer of Jell-O!

Jell-O EVERYWHERE!

We discussed some salvage efforts, but she decided to just eat the Jell-O and make a paper project instead.

Quick and dirty chart of the Earth’s layers.

The assignment was for a 3D model, so she made a few life-up flaps.

She decided to also make a slide show with these photos, so her teacher knows that she had bigger plans and the paper wasn’t her only idea.  Eve used all the pictures I took along the way and added her own captions to the slide show.  The teachers got a good laugh!

We were eating Jell-O for days and days.

Drum lessons are over now so I’m just going to post this here and write another one (soon?) with Lex’s science project.  Maybe I’ll get around to writing about their ELA projects from this week too.  All are pretty cool.

Lunch?

Eve was packing her lunch yesterday, as she does every day, and I happened to see this: I was laughing so hard.  Obviously she wasn’t trying to take the whole box, she just set it there while getting a smaller container from the drawer, but it looked so funny I had to take a picture.

Later that same day I had lunch duty and I saw a girl with this for lunch:
Again, so funny! I showed her the picture of Eve’s lunch and asked if I could take a picture of her lunch too.  She said these were cookies that teachers had ordered, not really her lunch.  Still, funny!

Growing Up

I’m exhausted from this working nonsense.  I worked a whole day today, plus karate!  Luckily there were no drum lessons this week.  LOL!  Before bed I wanted to write a quick post about some growing-up observations I had with Lex this afternoon.

In the car on the way to karate I asked if he had any homework today.  He said, “Well, kind of.”  Apparently his ELA teacher gave them an assignment, due Monday, to write three things they want to accomplish this year.  “Basically goals, without calling them goals,” he tells me.  Goal setting is one of his least favorite things.  Right up there with vaccinations and trying new foods. All have left him on the floor, under chairs, in tears.  As I mentally prepared myself for a weekend of goal setting with Lex, he said, “I’m just going to write three down and then forget them.”  Um… ok.  Not really the intended goal, but certainly a suggestion I’ve made in the past in an effort to get him off the floor.  He then went on to tell me the goals he decided to set!  The first one is to get all of his grades up to an A, the second one he couldn’t remember, and the third was to keep his assigned 40-book challenge sheet up to date.  All good goals, I assume.  Then he tells me that he had a B+ in science, but when he checked it today his teacher had a put in a few more grades and he was up to an A again.  Check that goal off the list!  He also told me that he’s sure he’s read at least 40 books already (they are allowed to count books they read over the summer, so yeah, he’s read at least 40!), so he’s going to just write down a bunch of books he knows he’s read and be done with the challenge.  LOL!  Check that goal off the list!  Now he just needs to remember what Goal #2 was.

I realize this is not the intent of goal setting, and I will also confess that I am TERRIBLE at goal setting, but I did notice several points of growth in this conversation, and I shared them with him.  First, he didn’t cry over this assignment!  It didn’t even stop him in his tracks.  Instead of getting hung up on whether or not he could do the goals, he just wrote something down.  He’s a very honest person and in the past the idea of committing to something he didn’t know if he could accomplish really got him stuck.  Today he was able to write them down and move on!  Second, I remember (not so fondly) the days of elementary school when he was assigned to read for 20 minutes a day.  After reading for hours he would then fall apart because he didn’t “do his homework” because he didn’t time himself reading for exactly 20 minutes.  When I tried to tell him that he just read for an hour, he struggled to fill out the stupid form with a start and stop time because it wasn’t, in his mind, an “official” reading for 20 minutes.  Today he has the flexibility to say, “yeah, I read those books in the past, that counts!” and move on!  Awesome!!  Again, maybe not entirely the intent of the assignment, but boy these are big milestones for him!

The icing on the cake came at karate today.  As he’s walking into the dojo he notices that most of the other kids have these red sparring gloves on.  He turns to me and says, “Oh, I forgot, we are going to start doing sparring on Wednesday and I think I need gloves today.”  Umm… ok?!  But guess what, he went in anyway, without the gloves and all was fine.  They offer sparring classes on Friday and Lex hasn’t had any interest at all, though he told me later tonight that he’s kind of interested in sparring, but just doesn’t want to go to karate on Fridays.  :)  So anyway, I was watching the class today and they are wearing these big gloves and mouth guards and I’m thinking this might be the end of karate for Lex.  After class I asked him if he wanted to stop at the office and see about buying the gear.  He said yes!! YES!  He wants to wear those gloves AND is willing to wear a mouth guard.  A MOUTH GUARD!?  Can you believe it?  (He hasn’t actually put it in yet, so we’ll see how that goes.)  He’s even willing to wear the rest of the sparring gear when the class gets to that point.

Of course that means we have to buy all that extra gear, but hey, if he’s willing (and excited!) to wear it, I’ll buy it!

It’s amazing to think back to how stuck he used to get over seemingly the smallest things and how far he has come.  It really gives me faith in his future!  He is a pretty amazing guy!

TGIF

Happy Friday! It’s been a busy week, with a busier one coming up!

This has been about 110% of my focus lately:

I had a teacher preview event this afternoon with goodies, a raffle, and a chance for teachers to shop and add items to their wish list. It was a hit! I had about twice the number of teachers come this year over last year and many more decided to use the wish list. I’m happy about that. :)

We got home, crashed in front of the TV for awhile (I may have had a small nap), and we’ve been doing about nothing for the rest of the evening. We have a winter weather advisory for the weekend, with wet, heavy snow predicted. Good thing we don’t have plans this weekend!! :)

I thought I had more things to say, but my mind is suddenly blank. I guess it’s time for bed! :)

Mystery Skype

I’m super proud of the Mystery Skype I arranged with my 5th graders.  We Skyped with a 6th grade class in MA, and both classes had to ask yes/no questions to figure out where the other class was located.  It was so fun.  The kids enjoyed it and the classroom teachers both thought it was a great activity and are interested in doing it again.  Yay!

If you’d like to know more, I posted about it on my library blog.

Back to school!

Hey all! First day of school. It went super well! Yay! The kids woke up early and happy. They got themselves ready and out the door early! They both smiled for photos. Yay! :)

Eve deployed masterful delay tactics last night, asking for braids, extra cuddles, lots of love. :)

6th — first year in middle school!

8th — last year in middle school!

All the photos were silly. I had a hard time choosing just one. LOL!

Alan took them to school, even though he was working from home today.  Flooring installers came again, but that story is for another day!  The kids were both happy (or at least willing!) to smile for him in front of the school.

They’re good to their photo lovin’ momma! 

My day started with a weezy run and moved on to a super sweaty library. I spent the morning running around (in a lovely dress and high heels! silly me!) doing tech support, getting the new Spanish teacher up and running, and trying to get the library in order.  I had one class at the very end of the day.  First grade.  We were all hot and tired!  LOL!  Luckily they knew the routine!

My kiddos took the bus to DBS after school and I was happy to see them both happy!  Whew!  Eve had art and got to have lunch with her buddy Jonah.  Lex will be doing some advanced math and hoping, hoping, hoping to be in jazz band.  Both were happy and we were all eager to get home to our air conditioned house!

Only 174 more days to go!

5th grade graduation

Eve had her elementary school graduation today and now it’s official — we have two middle schoolers in the house!

Shaking hands with the principal.

Shaking hands with her classroom teacher.

Looking at Facebook just now and seeing all the pictures parents took of their kids, and their kids friends, and all the flowers and smiles, I’m feeling a little lame about our graduation efforts.  However, Eve isn’t making it easy. She has been surly and grumpy and pulling away from people for awhile now, and it just occurred to me while I watched her at graduation, that I think she has a lot more feelings about leaving DBS then she’s letting on.  I think maybe it’s a little bit of denial at work.  Also, she hasn’t been feeling well all week.  She has been super tired, she’s dealing with poison ivy on her feet and a sunburn on her face, and she has the sniffles.  I think she’s ready for a break.  Maybe I’ll get a smiling picture when she starts middle school. For now, I got this.

Go away, mom!

I hope Eve finds herself again this summer so she can start middle school with a more positive attitude.

I got a little teary-eyed during the ceremony today.  I’m going to miss this class.  They aren’t perfect, but they sure are awesome!  I’ve known so many of them since kindergarten (even some from preschool!).  We have been around for birthday parties and playdates and sleepovers.  They are a small, tight-knit group, and I think it’s going to be hard for them to be so separated next year.  It’s going to be hard for me too… but this post isn’t about me.  It was wonderful that for so many of them I was able to say “see ya later” instead of “good-bye” because I know I’ll see them around.

A little celebratory dancing.

For now, while others are having parties, we are celebrating with books and blogs and Minecraft.  Lame, maybe, but it works for us.  :)

Middle School “Meet the Teachers” Night

Middle School “Meet the Teachers” night was tonight.  This year they sent letters ahead of time to parents telling them what teams the child has been assigned to, so when we got to the school tonight it wasn’t the big reveal that there was two years ago when Lex started.  I like this way better.  Eve found out two days ago that she’ll be on team Nova and that her buddies will not.  She’s had some time to process and was able to enjoy the introductions tonight.  All the kids got Nova t-shirts and time to hang out with each other and ask questions.  She has several friends with her, just not her besties.

Parent paparazzi!  I missed the “smile” picture, but got there for the “goofy face” picture. :)

HMMS Musical

Lex just wrapped up another season with the middle school musical.  This year was The Music Man and I got exactly zero pictures. (except this one that I just took right now)

He was part of the stage crew and got to move walls and furniture.  Last year there were a lot of crew and he didn’t get to do much, but this year they had a stricter process that required applications and teacher references, so there were fewer people, which resulted in lots more to do.  He was happy.  :)

The show was great.  I helped with ticket sales.  Eve saw it with her class and again with the family.  I love seeing all those kids up there signing and dancing.

Next year I might have both kids involved with the musical!  Crazy!

 

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher appreciation week is a funny thing when you’re a teacher, a parent, and VP on the PTO.  There are lots of hats to wear and lines to consider.

Each year the PTO organizes a week of lunches and treats for the teachers.  As VP I did a lot of the logistics and organizing for this.  I mentally refused to bake or supply food though.  :)  I did set up a “thank you note” station in the library and had all of the classes write thank you notes for teachers and staff.  Fortunately another parent was kind enough to bundle them together and I arranged for the Standing O winners deliver them to teachers.   I was a little stressed going into the week, but parents stepped up nicely and there was a great spread for lunch each day.    I was thrilled to walk into school on Thursday morning and find this:

Chalk love

It was thoughtful and sweet and (most importantly) not organized by me!  I still have no idea who did it.  There were hearts and flowers drawn all over the walkway.  It definitely made me smile.

Friday I allowed myself to relax and consider it a week well done.

Tea and cookies.

I love seeing my messy craft table where the kids have been working for two weeks turned into sweet little bundles and delivered by smiling children.

Some of the love.

Next year I will be just a teacher, no longer a DBS parent (*sniff*) and no longer on the PTO.  I bet the week will look and feel a little different for me.