1. We have two glorious weeks of testing coming up – can we give 3 cheers for standardized assessments? Yeah, I thought not. I can’t help but laugh sarcastically when I hear the local news reporting about these *new* tests and how hard the local city school is preparing. So, we suburban and rural schools just don’t worry about it?!? Then there are the reports about how the teacher’s union is bringing up issues regarding the testing and new standards. I mean, really?!? Where were they the last couple years when this was all ramping up? Oh, that’s right, engaging in feeble discussions with politician’s the union backs financially. That sounds productive. In my view, the union should have been much more vocal on how inappropriate these expectations are for young students. Rather than being proactive, we now shout about it with the administration of a new test we have been aware of for over a year beginning tomorrow. Okay – done with my soapbox!
2. I finally went to a Thirty-One Party! I may have found a slight new obsession! I was all about Lia Sophia for a few years, but then found I could buy very similar items (of similar quality) for 10% of the price. Anyway, they were having a sale, so I bought a new school bag. I bought the Cindy Tote (it was 50% off and that is the ONLY way I would consider buying it!) I also got an organizer bag and file box to go in it. I am really liking the tote. At first I thought it was too big and too floppy, buy have really grown to like the size and how comfortable it is to carry. I haven’t done much with the organizer tote and file box, but I thought they would be great when I do consultant gigs.
3. Well, it looks like I am indeed changing grades and moving my classroom AGAIN next year. UGH is all I an say. I think I will be in a grade I have never taught in the classroom and will be with a whole new team. On the upside, I will not be in a testing grade and second graders are such sweethearts. I have really mixed feelings, but there are so many different thoughts running through my brain.
4. I am working on cleaning out my classroom library! I have been working on streamlining my remodeled closet at home and, especially in light of moving my classroom yet again, I am thinking that streamlining my classroom library may be good as well. It is to the point that I just don’t know what I have anymore and can never find what I need. So, here are my rules (a la The Clutter Free Classroom idea):
- throw away damaged books – I can’t be the only one who keeps tattered and barely glued books around
- donate any books that are way too young or way too old (those ones I had for when I taught kindergarten)
- evaluate multiple copies – do I really need them?
- sell guided reading sets (ebay?) – I literally have dozens of sets of great books I have never actually used and I bought them with my own money when they were cheap in the book order flyers.. The Whipping Boy, Skylark, The Family Under the Bridge, Judy Blume Sets, Beverly Cleary Sets. I have been storing them and moving them around since the last time I taught 3rd and 4th and still didn’t use them this year. We have a great book room and I am just tired of packing and moving them.
- donate books I have never read/used.
5. Just in time for testing – we received our plant AND butterfly kits. Great timing for activities that much be done in a certain time frame! I so love raising butterflies! I can’t wait to watch the kid release them.
Oh, and given that I am switching positions, I think I need to change the name of this little ole blog. I’m not feeling super creative and I dread fixing all of my TPT stuff, so I think I am going to go with something more general. Here are my ideas:
- Leaping into Teaching
- The Primary Pond
- The Primary Pad
Any other ideas? I’m sure someone out there has a more creative name than I have been able to come up with.