Thursday, February 25, 2010

A desk of my very own

I'm 2 weeks into my second student teaching placement and having a great time so far! Fifth grade is certainly different from first grade, but I've been spending the last 8 days getting to know the student and the routine of the classroom and I'm feeling a bit more comfortable now. One HUGE difference I'm noticing between 1st and 5th grade- I'm actually going to have to teach MYSELF some of the curriculum first before I can attempt to teach it to the students! 1st grade stuff was much easier to just look at and teaching, being a little more basic. :) Next week I'm teaching a science unit on magnetism and I'll be brushing up on that this weekend...

My cooperating teacher is amazing and I'm already learning so much from watching her teach and interact with the students. The big test will be next week when I begin teaching a few lessons and start fazing-in for my five weeks of solo teaching in late March and into April. I've decided on a work sample subject, a health unit on nutrition, something I'm actually interested in and looking forward to teaching- unlike the Balls and Ramps Science Unit I just completed for my other placement.

I'll be preparing (mostly alone, but sometimes along side my cooperating teacher) all of the lessons during my solo time, but the work sample is what I'll actually fully develop and be graded on in order to obtain my degree and teaching certification. I still can't believe how close it is... When I came to my parents 11 years ago and told them I wanted to quit going to school for a while (after getting my AA) and try being a flight attendant, I don't think any of us thought I would go back and actually finish- especially me! My sister Robyn will always hold the honor of being first in our family to obtain a Bachelor's degree, I was about 5 months behind her, but am still in shock that I will also have a Master's degree in just over 3 month. Crazy.

Anyways, I've been sharing a little bit about myself with the class each morning, things like working for Southwest, completing a marathon last year and training for another, and a little about my family, so today I brought in pictures...

... the pictures found a great little home...

... on the side of my new desk!

It seems like a small thing, to have a desk of my own, but I really appreciate having my own space to leave things behind in the classroom and sit at to do planning. The classroom I'm in is fairly small and there are 33- yes 33- desks and students in the room already, so we weren't sure if there was room for a desk for me. My cooperating teacher was great about moving things around and making it happen, which really made me feel welcome and at home in the room. I really appreciate the effort she has made towards helping me feel like a part of the class.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how the next few months unfold and how much I grow as a person and future teacher as a result of this experience. Hopefully I'll find time between all the craziness to post a little more about my journey along the way!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Squish face

This is the adorable squish face I found last night when doing a final tuck-in/blanket covering...
and she was snoring up a storm, too.

Love it!!

Monday, February 15, 2010


Riley has been learning write her name at preschool and lately Sarah has been working on it with her at home, too. Outside of having her help me write her name on all the birthday Thank You cards, I have done nothing to work with her except buy her a couple of books to work on writing letters. So, Rick and I were pretty excited on Saturday morning when she was making a Valentine's card for her newest friend, baby Ella, and she wrote her own name on the card! I don't think I had any idea how close she was to doing it on her own- sad, I know (but that is a whole other blog post).

The original Valentine's card went home with Ella on Saturday, so these are ones she wrote on Saturday night to show grandma and grandpa. We are so proud of her!
Notice the "Y" in front of the "R"- she does that sometimes when she thinks there isn't enough room for it at the end. :)

For months now, we've been working on the phonetic alphabet with the kids, too. They love the Leap Frog videos with Tad, especially Letter Factory which has a cute little song to learn the letters phonetically. We sing the song often and I love it when the kids ask us what letter a certain word starts with. We're able to give them the beginning sound and they can figure it out! It's a great way to pass time while we're in the car.

On a different note, Tyson reached a pretty HUGE milestone this past week, too- he's almost 100% daytime potty trained!! Again, we can't take all the credit on this one considering Rick and I aren't with him during the day, 5 days a week- so a huge thank you to Sarah who has been great about working with him during the week. We aren't without the occasional accident, especially while out running errands all day, but he's even gotten better about that this weekend. Unfortunately I don't have a cute picture of Tyson in his Cars underwear to post, but it's quite a sight!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Test run

We took advantage of the warm(er) weather last Sunday, letting the kids strap on their new bike helmets and pads (thanks grandma and grandpa!) and ride around the garage a little bit. We/I learned a few things:

1- The kids look really cute in safety gear.

2- Tyson isn't quite ready to ride his big cars bike, maybe by summer after more garage practicing! He was much happier running around or riding their old Radio Flyer tricycle.

3- Rick has much more patience than I do when it comes to pretty much everything. Now we can add "teaching the kids to ride bikes" to the list.

Riley is definitely ready for some practice at the park, with more space to ride and no truck needed to block off the steep driveway!

With the mild winter weather we've had and the forecast of dry, nearly 60 degree weather possible by Friday, I am SO ready for spring! (Even if my body and wardrobe are not.)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Happy 3rd birthday, Tyson!

Our big guy is 3 years old today! Sometimes it's hard to believe that Riley and Tyson aren't twins, they have pretty much grown up together and are learning at nearly the same rate! Tyson is thisclose to being fully potty trained, which is a minor miracle in and of itself! It's a good thing this guy is such a charmer, otherwise his fits and screaming might really get to us! :)

Happy birthday, Tyson!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Birthdays- Dora and Diego style!

The curse of Riley and Tyson having birthdays two days apart- joint party! :)

They both love watching Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!, making a party theme easy to coordinate.

Riley's Dora balloons

Tyson's Diego balloons

Decorations and food

The cake and cupcakes!

"Happy birthday to you..."

"...happy birthday to you."
(Tyson does that little awkward smile when he's nervous!)

Dig in!

Some of their guests:

Rebecca and baby Ella

Cousin/niece Cassidy

Riley with "new best friend", Destiny

Hayden, enjoying his cupcake!

Tyson, with grandpa

My aunt Terri, second cousin Jordyn, and my mom (grandma)

Second cousin, Jordyn, looking adorable in her little coat!

Cooper was quite the ladies man:
With Halzie
and with Ella

All the cousins

Ready for presents!

Riley got lots of new Barbies, clothes, books and other fun toys!

Tyson opened some great animal presents, trucks, a Diego Rescue Pack and Jeep and clothes.

And from mom and dad, Tyson got a train table (that we got for free!!) and a new train set to go with it!

Riley got a new kitchen set to play with (red and white to match the bonus/playroom decor') and tea set!

It was a wonderful day!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Happy 4th birthday, Riley!

I still can't believe that 4 years ago today this beautiful little lady made us parents for the first time! We are so blessed to have such a thoughtful, bright and sweet girl to call our daughter!

Happy Birthday, Riley!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

T is for Tyson

"Look, I made a "T" for Tyson!!"

This kid is one smart cookie!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Happy 5th birthday, Cassidy!

This was Cassidy 5 years ago today, within an hour of being born.

She has become such a beautiful, smart young lady!

We are looking forward to celebrating with her this weekend when they come to visit.

Happy birthday, Cassidy!
We love you!