Thursday, 3 December 2015

Our Year Has Finished!

It's over!

In Australia, our school year ends in December.

My class are no longer mine.

New kids to learn all about coming in 6 weeks.

What... am I meant to do now?

Lots of things to work through.

Relief. I had a hard group of kids this year.
Sad. I'm gonna miss those monkeys.
Excited. I packed my room up for cleaning today. I want to organise it already!
Flat. I want to make new resources to use with my new class... but I am having zero inspiration. I have half a dozen projects I haven't finished yet and I'm not entirely motivated to finish them (someone actually had the same idea and got their product finished before I did.. and I haven't decided how to rework it yet).

I did get some really generous gifts from my kiddos this year.  Including a massage voucher that I will definitely be redeeming very soon.  I also got a gorgeous photo frame, some gorgeous lillies (favourites!) a pair of crystal vases (Oh my WOW!?) hardly any chocolate (THANK GOODNESS!- I am trying to slim down a bit) and some cute hair pins to go with my new haircut. Also the kazillion gorgeous tree decorations and handcreams that inevitably come when you don't get chocolate :) I seriously think that my tree has more ornaments from past students than my own children have made.  It's so much fun pulling them out every year and remembering who gave them to me.

I also got some lovely gifts from my team, including an amazing Nepalese cashmere wrappy-scarfy thingy, a crystal nail file (I'm CONSTANTLY getting my nails caught and snagged on stuff at school), and a few other lovely things. I was actually showered this week. On our last day of school my team also decided to have a birthday party for me, which included both classes of kids singing happy birthday while we were about to have our class celebration. And there were flowers, and cake, and more gifts, including a card that exploded love heart shaped sequins.

It wasn't my birthday.
I don't celebrate my birthday, so I haven't shared it with anyone... so they make one up for me. It is truly a surprise every year.
Last year they managed to spread it over an entire week. Awkward. But sweet.

Our class party was great. Being the beginning of summer, we have a wet play morning followed by food.  As we had a little monkey who was allergic to latex, my normal water-bombing escapades were put on hold til next year. We did however, take our revenge on the kids with water squirters and a hose. The kids weren't allowed to have the squirters. They had sponges in buckets they could throw at each other. Until they figured they could turn on the teachers. The other prep teacher went wild and used three squirters at a time! She then turned the hose on me.  I wasn't planning on getting wet! Wearing denim shorts and all. We all ended up completely soaked.  I get the idea some of the kids didn't like me as much as they let on. They were relentless!

I'm very appreciative of the love that's been sent my way this week, and was very excited to give out my gifts to everyone as well.

But what do I do now!!!?
I'm sure over the coming weeks you'll find out all about the hidden hobbies I've forgot I enjoy.
And every other random thought that went through my head.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Five For Friday.. Count Your Blessings!


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Linking up with Kacey over at doodlebugs again this week :)

I've been a negative nelly this week so I'm thinking of things that have been blessings this week.

That moment when....
that kiddo you've been trying to get assistance for all year finally enters the process for getting help. I have a little boy who has some real difficulties in just surviving the day. He requires a full time aide, has naps each day, and has had an ambulance called because he choked on a rock. Our school did have a few professionals try to do some assessments with him, but he was incapable of understanding the instructions even for a non-verbal test designed for toddlers.  This week, his parents have finally come to the understanding that this sweet possum actually needs some outside help and have started getting all those routine tests done. I am so happy that this boy can start getting the help he needs.



Weekends
Oh, how I am glad for the weekend. I have had a rough few weeks, yesterday being particularly difficult. Not Butt-lice check Friday bad (and no, I still haven't fully recovered from that!), but it was pretty hardcore crazy. It kinda feels like I had 3 weeks full of Fridays the night before Christmas.  Just INSANE energy and NO self control. Plus an outbreak of conjunctivitis. But we're still smiling.



Surprise gifts
The women in our school have a heart sister thingy we do every year. It's like secret santa, but it lasts all year long. It's really great after a hard day to find a chocolate or a card left somewhere to encourage you. It's also super fun to sneak the gifts around to your secret person. Last term I actually was really mean  super creative and created a treasure hunt for my heart sister. She had to follow the clues to go to different people in the school to find her gifts. Only problem was that the clues were in the dancing man font from the Sherlock Holmes story. She had a great time. One morning this week, whoever has been blessing me all year left a random gift on my desk. A cute box of tissues and a super sweet chalkboard (like the old fold out menu chalboards at outdoor cafes, only mini-sized). I did have to go talk to my teaching partner to find out what 'chalkee' meant though. Not quite old enough to have caught that reference. Felt a bit sheepish there.



Warranties
My phone was a bit of a lemon. It was replaced under warranty (honestly, it was a simple problem to fix. The charging socket cover didn't stay closed and therefore, wasn't waterproof). I've had the replacement for about a year. Turns out it's a lemon too. My battery can die, without any use, open apps, wifi, data, Bluetooth etc. by lunch time on most days. It's at 100% when I leave home in the morning, and at lunch time it's either dead or about to die. Today it was at 70% by the time I actually got to work. Discovered today that it's still actually under warranty as it's a 2 year warranty! Hooray! Taking it in tomorrow to be fixed or replaced... but I will be without a phone for a week or two.



The most amazing kids ever
Not even bragging. My boys are the BEST.
This week between the two of them they've been making my coffee every morning. Sometimes breakfast. Most days packing my lunch. Making me a coffee when I get to school. Sometimes after school too. And dinner.
They are 8 and 9.
Yes, I do really have the most amazing kids on the planet :)

Mr 9 and Mr 8. Total Awesomeness.

What a way to look after mum, just because they can.
 I can overlook Mr 8's strange style of 'clean' in his bedroom for that.


Mr 9's room
Mr 8's room




Unfortunately, that wasn't like a week of play. That happened in 2 hours. TWO. HOURS.
Looking forward to hearing all about your week in the comments below!

Sunday, 8 November 2015

New spelling Choices Bundle!

My little guys have been working hard the past few weeks on their long vowel sounds, but there is a lot of variation in their abilities!

My higher flying friends are working on our silent e syllables and somewhat surprisingly, can accurately use the term 'split digraph' when talking about this. I don't know why it surprises me. They do it every year, and every year I'm stunned. Don't underestimate what they can do! Someone once told me that if they can identify and pronounce Tyrannosaurus Rex, they can do it with anything.

My middle guys are trying.. but they are still getting baffled between the ai and ay spelling choices and frequently use them in the wrong places.. so we are backstepping a little bit and refocussing on the spelling choices without the silent e factor.

And then my hardworking strugglers are still battling with hearing and identifying sounds, so there is no way they are up to this!

So what to do?

I have made a few sets of picture sorts and write the room activities to go along with these guys current ability levels. You can check them out here!




We really are working quickly and it feels like we are all over the place... Christmas coming, all the arts and craft that go along with that, assessment, addition and subtraction, and some pretty intense phonics for Prep!

I do love this part of the year though. We have such high expectations that they actually exceed the curriculum. When it comes time for report cards, we actually find our guys do REALLY well, which is nice after a week or so of panicking!

If you don't aim higher, they wont work higher :)

Friday, 30 October 2015

Five for Friday.. and possibly the worst day ever

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Happy Friday!

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Clouds



I actually made my giant cloud and sun with my class as part of our weather unit way back in March... But it still makes me happy.  Reality is that it is just too big to get rid of until the end of year clean up when the school has a skip bin handy! But everyone who comes in to visit LOVES it!

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Appreciating the world we live in






I did something really unusual and actually went through the photo album on my phone. There are so many beautiful places around where I live.  Feeling very blessed to be here.


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right brained people

I myself, am mostly an analytic list making lefty, with some aspects of the righty thrown in. Things like big picture and holistic thinking. NOT the creativity. I really appreciate the creative people around my life and the way they can bring to light so many other possibilities than my if...then.. programming can deliver.

They make life more colourful and interesting :)


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Good friends

A friend of mine is going through a rough time right now. I hadn't been very great at keeping in contact this year and we've not spoken in several months just because of the business of life.
It's always good to know your friends are still there when you need them.
It's even better when time passing doesn't change things.


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THE WEEKEND IS HERE!!!

Sorry, I had to.

My class are a particularly interesting brand of difficult this year.
Today, I not only head to do a headlice check (Why are you checking my hair Miss? Oh you don't have to do that. I have Tonnes of them! I can feel them running around up  there! SUPER GROSS!),
 but we also had to do a buttcheck. Yep. I made that word up.

There was a smell. An Awful smell. Worse than the Bog of Eternal Stench (anyone whose seen The Labrynth knows what I'm sayin!). The kids noticed. Every now and then the aircon caught hold of it and it would literally smack you in the face. A few times I had to stop teaching mid sentence just to recover from it. No one wanted to own up to it.  I had not only one, but TWO messy bottoms!

Oh, but that's not all!
During this process we also discovered someone had wet themself. It went in my socks and cooled my feet down Mrs T! I didn't know it could do that! Yep. He was wet and loving every minute of it.

It couldn't possibly get worse you say?  oh but it does.

Enter kid vomiting in the bin. Exit stage left.
Enter kid with fist sized hole in his uniform over the belly button area. Look Miss! I can put my hand straight through! I made it bigger with scissors!
Enter kid crying because he got in trouble for hitting someone. I thought it was someone else (the vomiting kid) I said sorry when I saw it wasn't him! Why is it ok to hit him? He doesn't know he can hit me back! Everyone else whacks me!


And to think I had 5 kids away today.

Still. It wasn't as bad as the time I sat in kids wee and had to sit through a staff meeting in a wet skirt.
Or the time my entire class watched me vomiting in a garden on our way to the pick up area.
Coulda been worse.




Cheer me up! Tell me about your worst day!


Friday, 23 October 2015

Five for Friday Linky Party

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1. My first linky :)
Not gonna lie. Kinda excited. Maybe a lot.

2. Best kid quote of the week?
Me: Ooh what's that smell?
Kid: Victory. *sniffs air* Yep. That's the smell of victory.
It turned out to actually be deodorant, but hey. It's better than the usual smell of armpits that follows the lunch break!

3. Fruit muesli yoghurt.
Our tuckshop has the BEST fruit muesli yoghurt. I may be a little biased because my sister-in-law makes them... but they are seriously amazing. It makes Friday oh so much better!

4.  Biggest face palm moment?
When the kid who has been acting out all week is 'punished' with a fishing trip and an 'early' bedtime of 9.30pm. 

5. That Friday after school moment when you realise that you can sleep in tomorrow and enjoy your own kids for a change, and then you discover a colleague has left a little happy gift on your desk for you!

No, it wasn't chocolate (although who doesn't love that!?), it was actually a cute little elf with a really long nose. She used a permanent marker and wrote JOY ELF on it, and made sure to leave a happy little note to let me know who it was from.

I must admit, the note is actually a necessity in our school. We have a year-long secret santa type activity the women run, so gifts can be easily mistaken as being from our secret heart sister! Wish I took a picture. I left him on my desk to brighten my day on Monday morning. Some mornings coffee just doesn't cut it to bring that joyful smile to start your week out the right way!

How do you start your Monday's off?

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Almost There... the end of another year


Hi to the exactly 0 people reading this, because I haven’t been able to use google to find myself.


I’ve found myself in a really busy time, full of testing and interviews and other massive events going on.


There just isn’t enough time in the day!


This year, my class has been very interesting. They were a very young group of munchkins and are really only just starting to mature, which means some of the conversations and experiences I have had this year were brand new territory. Did you know that it is actually not only possible, but sometimes necessary to tell the same little munchkin three weeks running that it is NOT okay to lick the teacher? Or that people actually don’t enjoy it when you stick your tongue in their ear?

Definitely unchartered territory for me.

In Australia, we are finishing up term 3, and our school year finishes in November, so I won’t have these little munchkins much longer. At our interviews next week we will be discussing progress so far, and also flagging anyone we have any concerns for. Our main focus with this age is their overall maturity and literacy/numeracy skills.  We don’t get much time to spend with these parents, and for some kids, this is the ONLY time I get to see their parents.

It’s really tricky to tell someone all about everything their child can do, where they could improve, as well as really appreciate WHO the child is. As a mum, I am much more concerned about whether my child is a decent human being than anything else, and I don’t just want to hear about their academic stuff. I want to feel that their teachers KNOW who they are and what they are all about.  My boys have great teachers this year who do keep in pretty regular contact- definitely no complaints there. They would probably have some great stories to share. I’m glad they don’t :).

It’s a bit scary to think that very soon, I’ll be on school holidays (possibly on jury duty for the entire time! There should definitely be a rule about that…) and then I only have about 9 more weeks with these munchkins before I have to pass them on to grade one and start

ALL OVER AGAIN

I think that’s probably the hardest part of teaching Prep. You finally get the class right where you want them… and then your back to the very beginning with some new munchkins…. this is how we wash our hands. Don’t eat the garden.

IT’S NOT OKAY TO LICK THE TEACHER!

Okay, I hope I don’t have to do that one next year!

Tomorrow is a brand new day :)
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