Saturday, June 29, 2013

My first Currently Linky!

Although one of my favorite linky parties to read about is the Currently Linky hosted by Farley over at Oh' Boy Fourth Grade, I have never participated.  I am so happy to be joining the crew.  All of you veteran Currently bloggers, let me know what you think!  I'm excited to join you.

So I'm listening to Pandora in my new car whenever I can!  I got a CR-V this week and it syncs up with the Pandora on my phone and that is just the coolest feature I think a car could ever come up with. I am loving many other aspects of my new car, but Pandora gets an extra smile from me!

I'm absolutely, without a doubt, 100%, completely loving this summer vacation.  This year was much harder than other years have been and I grew a lot as a professional this year, but it also makes me really appreciate some time for myself.  I have spent time with family, caught up with friends, planned lots of fun activities, cleaned through my condo to make some donations, cooked interesting food, snuggled with my pup, and rested!  I am trying to stay balanced and get a little work done, but I am so much enjoying this time for me.  There is a lot to love right now.

I am thinking about all of the wonderful, relaxing things yet to come this summer (a trip to the Bahamas!!) and also keeping one foot firmly planted in my summer school students and their needs and my eyes looking toward next year and how I can prepare.  I'm trying not to overdo anything this summer so I've been keeping lists ( way!) to make sure that when summer ends, I am happy and well rested and well prepared for next year.

Because I have a tendency to focus on doing the necessary things now and relaxing later, I am wanting to make sure I make time for those wonderful activities that make me balanced and happy.  Spending time with friends, eating good food, doing new activities, resting, quilting, baking, all of those things that bring me to my zen place need to find their place in my to-do list for next year!

Are you seeing a theme here?  I need to make sure I stick to my promises to myself about relaxing!!

So my tips for getting that done?  A little bit of work and a little bit of fun every day!  It may be a little less adventurous when I plan out my fun time into a to-do list, but it makes sure that I am giving myself what I need and giving my future students what they need.  3 weeks in and I think it's been working really well so far.

What are you currently up to my fellow bloggers?


Thursday, June 13, 2013

An honor!

In this world of teaching where so much of what you do goes unseen by the world around you any appreciation and complements mean the world.  It's why I love reading the cards my students and their parents write at the end of the year - I get a glimpse into how they really feel about me even if it was primarily unspoken.  So imagine my surprise to be asked to be a "focus teacher" for Impatient Optimists - Bill and Melinda Gates' blog!

I was recommended by someone still unknown by me for my work in the classroom with my diverse students.  I don't have much more to say but that I am humbled beyond words and hopeful that reading this article makes others feel more comfortable approaching the CCSS with their diverse kiddos.  Happy Reading!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Next Year Linky

What?  Next year?  Already?  Yup!!!  I'm linking up with Kim at Finding JOY in 6th Grade to set some goals for next year (that I hope you'll all hold me to)!  We are done with school on Friday so it seems more than appropriate timing for me.  When are you done?

The wonderful paraprofessionals that I work with take lots of data and collect work samples to supplement the time that I spend with students.  This is invaluable because I have four rooms and I bounce between them and inevitably, something exciting happens when I'm not there.  The data helps drive instruction and track progress toward IEP goals, but when I get in the room the first thing I want to do is spend time with the kids.  I need to get better at checking the data binder first!  I just get so excited about seeing where my little ones are and marveling at the progress they are making!!

At my K-8 school, we have some wonderful opportunities for big kids and little kids to connect and build relationships.  We have had a couple of kindergarten students who need help on the play yard - finding things to keep them busy, figuring out how to interact with their peers, solving little scuffles, etc.  We recruited some "big buddies" to hang out with groups of kindergarten students and help with those challenges, but having a more formal program next year would be fabulous!  The upper grade students (6-8th) have the same lunch time as the little ones (K-1st) so it works out well.  It makes lunch time so wonderful for kids who would struggle otherwise, so I want to make sure we have a great program next year!

Great things happen every day and I want to share them with you but I keep coming to the problem that there are no pictures to show you.  My cell phone is permanently attached to me so I just need to get better at taking those pictures to show you!

And then I'll be able to blog more examples of how I teach students with a variety of disabilities with my many diverse students who don't have disabilities.  I appreciate the supportive comments you've all given me, and it just makes me want to show you more!

What are you going to do next year??