Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When you're not managing the kids...manage the adults (and the schedules!)

A question to blog land... how do you manage adults and schedules?

Last year I had a class of 18, while I did have kids in RTI, I did not have any children that qualified for services. So it was all 18 of us, 5 days a week together...no pull out, no picks up, no schedules to combine, no para...me and the kids.


This year the pendulum has swung. Without getting into too much detail, I have 18 kids this year and have the following adults in and out of my room on a daily/weekly/hourly basis...
Special Ed teacher
Speech/Language teacher
OT/PT teacher
ELL teacher
Remedial Reading teacher

And....my student teacher (and me too!) At one point today there were 5 adults in my room. A total of 23 people, it was starting to feel crowded!

Obviously children need their services. Obviously we all work hard to cut down on overlaps in the schedule. But how do you manage the adults?

I know that by the 100th the door has opened this week, my student will stop turning around to see who it is. We did make a chart of who is who in our room and why they are here because it really is a steady stream of adults in and out.

However, call me crazy, I feel like I need to have some adult rules. Like if you're going to discuss schedule conflicts about another room- go outside. If you can't find a piece of equipment, can you whisper when you come in to find it?

I suppose as the year goes on the kids will get to know who's leaving when and just go with it, but it still feels like we are jump starting the mower some days.

So my question to you is--how do you manage the adults/schedules that come through your classroom everyday?

(Side note: I have dealt with the schedule circus 7 years ago during my student teaching. I had 27 5th grade student. 5 of them special ed. with 2 full time paras plus other services. That seemed easier to deal with than the parade now. Also, I'm SUPER happy I have so much help in my room. SO THANKFUL....just looking for a better and more efficient way get from 9:00 to 3:25 from my students and myself)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


What is cuter than an old men, a talking dog, a crazy bird and a boy scout?
Answer: Nothing! And that's why Up is the best movie ever!
I think I have a special connection with the movie Up, because of Carl's loss. I lost my Mom in 2006 after a very courageous battle with breast cancer. My Mom was my best friend. The theme in Up, that Carl and Ellie had a great life together...now go have an adventure of your own is the true essence of life. We will all have heart aches but we will move forward, remembering those people as we have new adventures and create new important friendships and bonds. I feel that way especially this time of year as my Mom's birthday is this week, she would have been 51. It makes me want to have adventures that she won't be able to have.
However, Dug the talking dog is probably the cutest thing ever...reminds me of someone one I know...
If Halle could talk, I'm 1000% sure she'd sound like Dug. "Oh Mommy, I love you feed me more biscuits!" (And Lord look at all that SNOW....remember that mess!!!)
So while I was in Disney this summer I managed to find a talking Dug stuffed animal for my classroom and some Up pins.
I also ordered some craft sticks from Amazon (dogs and cats, luckily my teaching neighbor Gail said she'd buy the cats off of me because I'm not using them). So now we all have Dug name sticks. I plan on letting the kiddos decorate these during the first couple days of school with Cayola markers (I may regret that idea).
My amazing sisters help me tweak my Up bulletin board idea. I made the banner in Swift Publisher (Mac Publisher) and I Google imaged the house and blew it up with the copier..that took a bit of work. I made balloon tracers, cut out the balloons and Viola! what a cute bulletin board if I do say so myself!
I also downloaded the Up Soundtrack from iTunes and will play it during writers workshop and silent reading time. I also have steel drum music that I play during these times too.
One of our class jobs this year will be to take home our stuffed animal Dug. I used to use a bear, but one of my teacher friend's daughters suggested sending him home! So Take Home Dug is my newest Job.
Finally I list my students alphabetically by first name, and next to each persons name I put a balloon, to continue with our balloon theme.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A blog to check out...

To my faithful followers.... please head on over to Giggles and Squeals to check out my buddy Ammie's teacher blog.

Ammie has been blogging for a while, but this blog is dedicated to teachers and the trade. She is a great teacher and has lots of great ideas! Go check her out, become a follower, grab her button... you know the drill!

Enjoy your Labor Day!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Give Away Winner!

So for my first give away--- 10 groovy Flair style pens... the winner is...
Is Ammie over at Today in K! Wooo hooo for her... I know Ammie will enjoy marking up papers with these awesome new markers! I am planning another give away soon, so keep your eyes pealed in the mean time keep blog stalking and keep leaving comments... Thanks for the support! You guys are great!

42 and the start of school!

Does that rhyme?

We've made it to more than 40 followers... was hoping for more by the time school started but that monkey wrench Irene, messed up my plans. But we are back at it now....

So a couple things I have coming up, the big one being...

1.)TUESDAY is school day! (Reminder that we've had no prep, no pre-year meetings about kids, nothing....really deep end of the pool feet first...I'm sure that post will be hysterical.

2.) Student teacher... she starts Tuesday too! I've never had a student teacher so....let the learning curve begin (I did mentor a 1st year teacher last year....)

3.) and settling up my give away on Flair pens, more on that whole shenanigan in a minute!

4.) A blog post on my Must Read Teacher Books!

Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend, and ready for back to school if you're a late kid like me! Thanks for sticking it out with my guys, it's been a loooooonnng week. Certainly not how I wanted to end my summer vacation, but trying to relax it out now before the onslaught!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy News!

7 days, 168 hours after our power went out (let me tell you it felt like a million) our power came on today at 12:30. There was one tree on the line, that took all of 15 minutes to cut down, Lord knows why it couldn't have been cut down earlier...but needless to say we have power, hot water, cable, telephone and internet :)

I now feel 1000x more ready for the beginning of the school year!

Hope everyone is enjoying their Labor day weekend and soaking up the fun and sun this weekend!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hurricane Irene :( Down but not out

Dear Blog Followers and Friends,

What a crazy few days it has been....

Hurricane Irene hit our small town on Sunday...the devastation was emense. I will be doing my flair pen give away, once things settle down a bit. I am running on day 5 of no electricity. I am currently at my Dad's house using their hot water, internet and cable. To this point I've been checking things via iPhone, sorry if I missed a comment, post etc.

Our town is now at 75% of homes without power, at 8800 homes. The towns next to our are at 50% on one side and 90-100% on the other. The projection is to have the majority of homes back online by Saturday at 11:30.

Irene was so bad that they postponed school. We were to begin on Monday with kids starting today. Now we will all start on Tuesday....together, with no prep, no IEP meetings no 504 meetings, no meet the teachers before school open house thing...nothing deep end of the pool, feet first on Tuesday...with a student teacher :) can you tell I'm excited.

I went to school yesterday and set up in the dark. With no running water. Our school is the only school on a well... so no bathroom using at school. I guess I'm as ready as I'm going to be.

I live about 7 doors away from one of our schools and as I had mentioned we still don't have power...there are still roads in our town that are impassable. I have posted some pictures below...when Irene hit it was just on the verge of a category one/tropical storm thank God it wasn't any stronger!

My house is very close to the low lands, we did have some water in the yard, but no damage and school is good too other than not having power as well. Of the 7 schools in our district only our high school has power at the moment....

We just got a phone call that we may not even start school on Tuesday.... my stress level is somewhere on a 10+ right now. Supposedly they will have a better idea about school opening Tuesday tomorrow.

Please send good thoughts and love our way...at the least send positive electricity thoughts!

These are pictures from some of my Facebook friends...

Breakwall at a local beach club, to the right there were cabanas, which were all swept out to sea.

Limbs down across the road.

Trees down on lines...a lot of this all over town. Big problems!

Town Dock, all the pavement pulled up.

This used to be a foot bridge to a yacht club, completely gone.