Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Testing Lessons Learned

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I decided that giving state test is a little like teaching driver's ed.  There are moments of great work and concentration with huge amounts of time of mind dulling boredom.

Some testing observations:

  • If there is a new object on a table kids can't keep their hands off of it.  We got new dictionaries...I know completely thrilling!  The kids had to touch them constantly.  I think tomorrow I will count the times I witness this to make it a true scientific experiment and to occupy me until I get bored again. 
  • It is bizarre that students notice when I get new flip flops but don't notice when the kid next to them, across from them or right in front of them is picking their nose.  Nor do they say anything.  I wonder at what age this changes.  
  • Testing is stressful and sometimes to only thing that helps is a little self soothing.  For some that means bringing a favorite book, a snack that is comforting can help you relax...or you can bring out the big guns...make that gun and go with a little self stimming. For those not familiar with all my professional lingo...it was enough to make me blush, and the admin team when I tried to explain it.  On a normal day I tell him to knock it off move on and it wouldn't be a big deal.  On testing day...we have a strict script.  There was nothing in the stinking book for this. I madly checked, several times.  It was reported and well worked itself out.  Yewwwww.  
  • I notice that after hours of actively observing students I can't stand them.  My annoyance threshold is low.  I love my students but I need a little time...alone with grown folks that aren't stimming. 
Can't wait for the next two days of joyful silence...and testing.   

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Reach...just a little more

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46 days and counting 'till the school year is done.  We have to reach a little bit further...a little bit and we are there. This is the best and worse part of every year.  We are all a little bit cranky...and the kids are a little extra special.  It makes for an awesome combination...almost cataclysmic. But it is the time I get the most reflective of the coming year and all the promise and things I want to do to improve and make learning better for them.

I've been writing again.  Not sure why but I tend to write better when I post on twitter that I am going in for an hour.  It is the idea that I only have a limited time and that there are "real" writers reading my declaration.  It holds my feet to the fire for a power hour.  Helps me stretch a little bit more.

Speaking of stretching...threw my back out last week. I thought I was all strong and sassy.  I picked up 130 pounds of heavy teen and completely regretted it within seconds of putting him down.  Back started to spasm and hasn't stopped.  I have been good.  I stretch, a lot. I keep moving, it doesn't feel great to do that but it helps. I am pretty sure that by this time next week I should be healed. I hope.

All last week, every night, I was dreaming of babies.  Thought it meant something.  Nope.  Maybe it is one of my friends. Or maybe it is metaphoric.  I'm not a fan of metaphors... especially when it comes to babies.  I am probably too old.  I have stories instead.  They are like children.

I think I need a little Twitter check in and a little time writing.  It will help me stretch.  I need to be limber. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bye bye...Spring Break! Hello final stretch!

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Spring Break is gone.  I am not sure I remember how to get up at a normal hour...and teach.

I had a huge list for this week...damn you Pinterest!!  I did get some blogging in...and tweeting, and well...that is about it.

It was wonderful. Pure bliss. I am so ready for summer vacation now.  9 weeks to go!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dance Out Loud Thursday

I made today up.  I had to.  This song deserves its own day.  How can you not dance to this?  Have a great Thursday folks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hands Up ladies, Not Your Dresses

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I love pictures of adventurous older ladies taking a bite out of life.  They remind me of my grandmother. Can't say I can remember the last time I was on a roller coaster.  Nor the last time I wore a dress...with a hat and pearls.  I love the Great Generation. I love that face of wild laughter and joy.  

Go do something fun today. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Breaks of yester-year

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Trains and the old west...makes me think back to all of those family vacations.  The stories of Lake Woebegone droned in the background.  The air conditioner blowing at full blast in that tiny minivan over  Grandma trying to talk everyone into eating more fruit before we reached the border of California.  No matter where we went it always had to be west and somehow had to route through Las Vegas. Grampa liked his games.  We never flew.  Never.

Grandma made sure we stopped at every tourist stop and had a chance to pick up a key chain, or junky little trinket. Usually it would be a battle with Grandpa because we had some kind of time schedule to keep. That was unless there was some kind of historical marker.  Those are everywhere out west...it was never hard to find one.  

I love the flow of conversations in a long road trip.  In the beginning we would be a gush with gossip, and catching up on all the comings and goings of our life.  After day one...conversations would be reflective looking back to past trips childhood adventures.  By day three it would be random philosophical what ifs, and world events.  Day four and until the end of the trip...my sister and I would be begging for Grandpa to let us play real music on the radio..you know the stuff you can sing to.  About half way through the day we would win...but only for an hour then were back to Lake Woebegone.  It would be okay with us because we would be spent from the excitement of the sing-a-thon and would usually nap.  

The rhythm of life on vacation is like no other. The car breathes a foul stench as the week progresses and the dirty clothes out number the clean. Every morning pack up yourself, then the mini van, take off while munching on fruit...always fruit.  Some lunches were sandwiches, some spam, we always finished off with fruit.  There was the morning stop for coffee, and the afternoon stop for coffee.  The driving day ended at sunset.  Some hotels were super plush.  In some hotels you kept your shoes on...all night.

I love those days.  There were no distractions...just us locked in a vehicle for hours days. We were learning about each other, and enjoying our adventures one mile at a time.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Break...what will you do?

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Spring break is this week, our little preview for summer vacation. Think I am almost ready for it.

Last summer was so stinking  hot it didn't feel like much of a break. It felt like you couldn't move or you would melt. Pretty sure I got sunburned walking next to the windows.  Not this week.  We are scheduled for highs in the low 70s and sunshine.  Not much you can't do with weather like this.  Think I will dig my way into the closet and try to make order out of chaos.  Only I would want to send a beautiful sunny day in a dark mess of a closet.  We all have our own ideas of fun.

I have vowed to myself to get back into my WIP.  It has sat neglected for the last few months.  It will never be finished if I don't...well...finish it. Once I get on the computer other obsessions call to me.  It is a fight to maintain discipline.  DAMN YOU Pinterest and Tumblr!!!  I will do it this week.  I think I can.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Up, up and away...

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Pretty sure my house would never survive flight.  In tornado ally, these are things you sometimes consider.  When the wind starts blowing and you can feel the house exhale, one wonders if this will be the fate.

I am pretty sure I will be saved from anything close to Dorothy's adventure.  The roof would go first, and some of those exterior walls are a bit sketchy...if anything took flight it would be band new dish washer. Lightweight and made of steel it would be blown to Oz for sure.  I think the witch would be safe...well except if I could figure out a way to get my big self in there.  Then she is a goner.

The weather man showed this very lovely graphic the other day explaining why this Spring would be extra dangerous.  Think I better start doing some stretches if I'm going to have to figure out how to organize my long self into that steel box for safety.

Friday, March 2, 2012

You know it is Saturday because

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You can tell it is Saturday because...
  • There is an old movie on the television.
  • My laptop is nestled against my legs..pretty sure it is frying my ovaries or giving me some kind of cancer. 
  • There are over ten tabs pulled up in my google chrome browser and I am flipping back and forth between them like someone with ADD and am pretending I am multi-tasking.
  • I have a word document up and in between the social network noise I pound out a few words in that. 
  • There is a luke warm cup of coffee sitting next to me. 
  • There are three big smelly dogs draped around my feet and trying to shove my laptop from its perch. 
  • Every now and then I jab at the dogs with my toe trying to prod them away because they have farted and I can't breath any more. 
This is my heaven.