Sunday, September 28, 2008

Color Sunday

Today was "Color Sunday" on the Grand Mesa.  They run the ski lifts at Powderhorn ski resort so people can ride up and enjoy the turning of the aspen leaves.  A couple of friends and I drove up there to see the colors, but didn't go to Powderhorn.  We went up to Mesa Lakes where we had had a picnic this summer.  It was absolutely beautiful.  We just drove around and stopped here and there to take pictures.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Busy Weeks

I have been working a lot the last couple of weeks, which puts a serious damper on blogging. It pretty much puts a damper on anything worth blogging about, too.

Things are going fairly well at school. It's been a rough couple of weeks with my students and there has been quite a bit of lost recess, but we'll make it through. My student teacher is with me two full days a week and I have an instructional assistant in the mornings, which makes a big difference. Sometimes I wonder how I used to do it all on my own.

We had some excitement yesterday during our lunch hour. The Blue Angels are in town for our local airshow this weekend and were practicing over our school. It was pretty fun to watch. I was glad they only flew over a few times though, because their continued practice would have put a serious damper on any learning.

On the home front, Bono is adjusting well to his new home and becoming more friendly. In fact, he's running around on the couch next to me as I type. The dogs are fascinated by him and just can't seem to figure out what he is.

I'm trusting that I'll be able to spend the weekend catching up on some TV shows that I've recorded and doing some things around the house. We might find a place in town to watch the airshow as well.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Something to Brighten Your Day

It's been a long and busy week filled with crazy students (the weather has been changing and getting stormy, which we could have predicted just by the behavior at school).  Two things brightened my day so I thought I would share them.  

The first is this cute picture of hedgie- who has now officially been named Bono.  He was peaking out of his yogurt-container-home this morning as I was getting ready to leave for work.  He usually faces in, thinking that we won't be able to see him that way.  His furrowed brow is because he was not liking having the camera in his face.

The other thing that brightened my day was something that my partner teacher shared with me after school (and may only be funny to us).  Yesterday she had a group of students making dioramas of Grand Junction with paper, boxes, and other recycled materials.  She gave them some strips of paper to make signs for their buildings.  Some of them knew how to spell the names of the places they were representing, and others simply made their best guess as we teach them to do (although I'm not so sure some of these were a best guess).  Here were some of the gems of the latter group of signs.  See if you can figure them out.  :)

Mick donlses                                = McDonald's
Ice sating ringk                            = Ice Skating Rink
Move thater                                 = Movie theater
Joini coios                                    = Johnny Carinos
Siri Marquet                                = City Market
chaquichis                                    = Chuck E Cheese
famis Daves                                 = Famous Dave's
Banca Gran Fargo                      = Banco Wells Fargo
Almurgesa                                   = Hamburguesa (hamburger)

She also said that one student correctly wrote "Mall" on his team's sign.  His teammates, however, were not buying it that "Mall" was the correct spelling of the word.  He was trying to convince them that he had indeed seen it written that way on a sign.  They finally had to ask her and she was able to confirm that he was correct, much to his delight.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Peach Season Is Finally Upon Us...

... and I've been busy!  I got home last night and our neighbor came out to give me some peaches from his parents' orchard.  We now have two boxes of sweet, juicy, fragrant, all natural Palisade peaches.  As soon as I got up this morning, I made a pie crust, cut up some fruit, and made a batch of freezer jam.  Yum!

I've been enjoying making galettes lately because they're so much faster than making a pie.  Maybe not as pretty, but just as tasty.

Here's hedgie sleeping next to a peach.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Better Than Ever?

I'm sorry that my posts have been so few and far between lately.  The beginning of the school year is always such a crazy time and this year the added responsibilities of mentoring two new teachers and having a student teacher have not helped.  I'm so thankful that this is my fifth year of teaching and not my first, but sometimes I think I'm putting in just as much time.  I'm not in survival mode like I was back then, but now with experience comes the need to improve upon what I've done in the past and to share what I've learned with others.  

I was thinking yesterday how nice it would have been for my past students to have had me as their teacher knowing what I know now.  Obviously we all have to start out somewhere with some group of students, and they all made it through second grade with me as their teacher, but I would definitely say that I am a better teacher now than I have ever been and wish that they could have benefited from that.  In a few years, I will probably think back to year five and realize how little I knew.  Although it's often daunting and exhausting, I'm thankful to work at a school where the learning is never over and where we are constantly reflecting upon and striving to improve our practice.  I have been forced to learn, grow, and get better.

When I was in college taking education classes and student teaching, my friends and I would often share our experiences in different schools and tell about days that made us know we should be teachers and others when we wondered what in the world we were doing.  I have certainly had a few days in the last three weeks when I have wondered why I became a teacher and others when I knew I could and should do it.  

When I first started out, I thought for sure that I would want to teach kindergarten.  Now that I've been working in second grade, I can't imagine anything else.  Our poor kindergarten teacher has had kids screaming and crying in the halls in the morning (which was me a little over twenty years ago) and I think, "Oh, I'm glad I'm not the one dealing with that!"  They are so tiny!  One great kindergarten moment came this week as I was on duty at the parent pick-up area.  A little boy was sitting there and said, "Hey, do you remember my name?"  I don't think I had ever even seen him before, so I asked him if he could remind me.  He told me that his name was Patrick, spelled P-A-T-R-I-C-K and that I should write it down on a piece of paper so that I would remember it.  The next day I saw him coming out of the cafeteria as I was taking my class to lunch.  I said, "Hi, Patrick!  See, I remembered your name!"  His reply:  "That's because you wrote it down!"  I can be a teacher for moments like that.


Our little hedgie has yet to be officially named, but here are a couple more pictures that I wasn't able to upload the other night.  

He likes to curl up and sleep.  Usually his head is completely hidden.  When he hears a noise, he tenses up and makes his quills stick up.  It's pretty funny to watch.  Currently, we can hold him in a towel and he will walk around.  His little nose bounces up and down as he explores.  It's so cute!  Kirk said that once he gets used to us, be will become almost like a dog and want to be with us and see what we're doing.  His quills will also lay all the way down and you can pet him comfortably.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Meet the new inhabitant of our guest room!

Kirk got home from a week and a half in Denver, and this little friend came home with him.  I don't know many details about him yet, but since we are known for having atypical pets, it seems quite fitting.  I'm sure that he will supply many more cute pictures for you to enjoy.