Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Objective Wall

Today was my first day of the 2013-2014 school year. It was wonderful, as usual. My voice is very tired and my feet are very sore and I keep looking at the clock to see if it's acceptable to go to bed yet. But, I wouldn't trade these inconveniences for the world! I love my job wholeheartedly!

Over the summer I decided to create an objective wall to keep me accountable in creating meaningful lessons for my students and to keep track of how my students are progressing through the material. You can get a copy of it here in my TpT store.

I laminated them and hung them on my wall in the front of my classroom. The funny thing is, the 4th grade sister of one of my students suggested to me on Orientation Night that these were crooked. They are...slightly. But remember, I'm a lazy perfectionist...and this definitely falls into that category. :) My plan is to have the objectives up the night before...we'll see how it goes. So far I'm two for two!

I introduced this wall to my class today as we went through each subject. They did an excellent job with them. It was a great way for me to assess what they learned as we went along. The students seemed genuinely interested in what the plan was for the day. I have some students who struggle with motivation, so I'm hoping this helps them see the purpose in what I'm teaching them. We shall see.

Monday, September 2, 2013

September Currently


So I've been a little MIA lately. Last week was In-Service week, and it was brutal. I always get really stressed out when we go over rules and procedures because I'm an incurable rules-follower. I even had a great post ready about my classroom and what it looks like, but I freaked out about posting it because I was afraid I would get in trouble by the cops who are helping our school become safer in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy. See? I'm an incurable rules-follower/worst case scenario imaginer. Then we had to take out another loan to buy a new car because my husband's mode of transportation shucked out on him last minute. Ugh! It was a rough week. But, tomorrow starts a new school year...and I'm pumped!

Back to the September Currently...

1. My husband found out recently that the seminary he is attending in hopes of one day becoming a pastor is closing down after this school year. He has about two years of coursework left before he graduates with his Master's of Divinity (sounds weird and spooky, I know). But, with the school closing in a year, they are working with him/piling on the work so he can graduate in May. This is huge for us because it means we can move back to the Midwest to be near family a year sooner. However, he has to eat, breathe, sleep school for the next 9 months. Ahhhhh! Hence, he's translating ancient Greek on Labor Day. I actually find it kind of fascinating because I love languages and linguistics. He always tries to point out interesting translations to me, which I love!

2. I've been wanting a new school bag for a while now. I saw on another teaching blog how you can take the 31 Gifts utility tote and combine it with a file box to make the perfect teaching bag. I don't have any friends nearby who sell 31, and I didn't want to pay $50 for a teaching bag. So, I decided to concoct my own. I scoured several stores for something that would work, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, and then I made it to Target. I found a nice leatherlike bag and a file pocket with a handle that fits perfectly. The best part of this bag is it has a section that perfectly fits my laptop, and a section that fits the file pocket. The two sections are separated by a GIANT zippered pocket where I can store all my other necessary supplies. It actually ended up costing $45 with tax, but I think I like it even better than the 31 bag!

3. Last night I left the grocery store so proud that I was all ready for school now that I had my meals planned and groceries purchased...and then I remembered I forgot toilet paper...and we were on our last roll...enough said. Sigh. Perfection is not within my grasp, I'm afraid.

4. I'm so excited for the first day of school, which is tomorrow. I.CAN'T.WAIT. This is the most prepared I've ever felt. Ahhhhh...(that's the contented sigh kind of "ahhh")

5. Well, I wrote this one before I came up with my brilliant idea of a pasta salad for this picnic. I always have the ingredients on hand for it. It's going to be fantastic. Here's the link to the recipe.

Love to Myself:

1. I really want to spend more of my free time reading quality books. I gravitate towards TV when I'm tired because reading requires effort on my part. I do love to read and want to inspire my students to read more. My "Mrs. Rhine is Currently Reading..." sign should help keep me accountable.

2. I really need to stop stress eating. I did a lot of this last week because it was an awful week. My husband does this too. We were doing really well on our diets, but need to get back on the wagon this week.

3. I tend to neglect the dishes when I'm tired and busy. I don't have a dishwasher, so I have to do them every day...but I don't always...gross I know. I started getting in better habits towards the end of last school year in this area, and have done an awesome job keeping up with the dishes this summer. I've already done two batches today. Yay me! I get really stressed when my house is messy, so if I keep it clean, I will be much happier!

Happy Labor Day!

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