Monday, November 30, 2009

The Podcast

Thanks to good friend JW, the third grade peeps have a new podcast. It's about Where the Wild Things Are in a small way. Mostly it's about banning books and choosing books. We would like some comments of course. Let's set the bar low: Ten Comments!!!! Click here and listen to this great podcast. And thanks, JW, for going above and beyond!
Update: I can't figure out how to comment on the google site. SO ANGRY! WHY IS THIS HAPPENING?
Another update: I'm trying to put a comment box, using sophisticated html code, onto my new school google site. Until that happens, you can listen (and perhaps comment) on this old edublog site right here.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Road Trip

Today we had a long road trip to Cincinnati to take Teendaughter to the airport. On the way there we chatted happily. The way back was a bit glum, with the pouring rain and the dilapidated homes on either side of State Road 50 and the missing of Teendaughter. On the good side, I saw a number of hawks. And two deer. And we nailed the NYT crossword. And Teendaughter's coming back in 16 days, after she finishes some papers and some finals. Maybe these 16 days will zip by as quickly as our lovely Thanksgiving weekend did. I certainly have enough to do to keep me busy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Songs

Last night at the canopy of lights, we sang some holiday songs but we also had to sing Do a Deer from Sound of Music because it's being performed in town soon and the soprano from the show came by to pimp the musical. I wasn't too crazy about that, but I did know every word and I did sing with gusto.
Today with Harvey Phillips and the awesome Tuba Santas, we sang Chestnuts Roasting, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, O Little Town, and the classic Santa Wants a Tuba for Christmas. Bring the songs on, I say.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Pie

The Thanksgiving dinner was ridiculously good. The college kids are home. Teendaughter's taking pie orders. We're finishing up the hand turkeys. This year's theme was "The Turkeys' Black and White Ball." The turkeys are suited up and looking fine as can be. Mine is kind of a Lindsay Lohan turkey.
We're watching a crazy movie called Brothers Bloom.
We're feeling thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving, Peeps.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Begging

Day 3 of the pizza shop basically turned into a play doh fest. Every k was working and it was pretty hard to interject pretending scenarios into the screaming fray. Little Crazy K, order book out, screamed at me repeatedly, "YOU'RE FIRED! GET OUT OF THIS PIZZA SHOP!"
I ignored him for awhile, but he got more and more insistent. I tried to reason with him, but he basically repeated the firing refrain at the top of his lungs, again and again. I sat near him and tried to tell him that I was friendly and that I should work at the pizza shop. I didn't bring up the minor fact that I had basically fronted the whole operation. He pulled out his order book, and wrote YES and NO on it. He crossed out YES and circled NO and held it up in my face. "NO! Get OUT! GET OUT OF HERE NOW," he yelled maniacally.
I looked the kid straight in the eye and whispered, "I really need this job. I have no money. I have kids. I don't know how I'll buy food for them if I get fired. I have nothing. Please let me keep this job. It's all I have."
He stared me down for awhile, but then picked up his marker and wrote YES and NO once more. This time he circled YES and crossed out NO. He held it up and screamed, "YOU HAVE YOUR JOB BACK! YOU CAN STAY!"
"Thanks a lot. I really appreciate this," I whispered back. I think we're on good terms now.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Doh

I added play doh to the pretend pizza shop today. The K's reacted like manna from heaven had dropped down upon them in the desert. When it was time to put the playdoh away, there were tears, and a few fistfights. One k said with a desperate tone, "You'll be back tomorrow?"
"Yeah, of course I will," I said, wishing I had never started the pizza shop in the first place.
"I want you here QUICK!" he yelled up at me.
I headed to Target after school to get more playdoh.
But the good news is that I got an inspiration for the hand turkeys while I was there.
One more day.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Box

Awesome K Teacher (AKT) has been bummed out about the k's pretend violence during pretending time. Empty pizza box at our house gave me the idea to go in and set up a pretend pizza shop during free choice time. AKT gave the idea a big thumbs up so I showed up at 2:30 with the box, construction paper, and some little notebooks for order taking. As I set up, I felt a wave of nervousness. AKT asked me if she should make an announcement about the Pizza Shop. "Good God, No," I answered, hoping I could get by with as little commotion as possible. Within minutes pretty much every K (except for the sleeping K in the middle of the floor) was over with me, filling out orders, answering the phone, creating paper pizzas, and making deliveries. There was a wild exuberance in the room that gave me an edgy sensation of fear. After a bit, I pulled over a chair and ordered a large diet coke with extra ice. When AKT sang the cleaning up song, the place was a mess. One K said she could not help clean until she made a "Pizza Shop Is Closed" sign. Despite the disastrous mess, I thought her plan was fairly reasonable. AKT came over while I was under a table gathering up glue stick caps and said, "You have such a calming effect here."
I felt sorry for the AKT when she said that.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Airport

We're going to begin boarding in about 5 minutes. If you listened to the voice thread below, you know that I'm in a little blogging contest with this gal here. Writing every day, commenting every day, all the way to 2010. The challenge here is thinking of interesting things to write about. Nothing that interesting is happening at this moment. Typical airport stuff. People are being driven by on the cart. They look like they could walk. Woman with big glasses and odd hat just walked by. And here's a man with a fedora. I never wear hats.
You can see that it's going to be a great month ahead for all of you, reading these interesting posts. Gotta board now. I'm in zone 4.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Movie

Today has sucked somewhat. Getting in at 3 am just trashed my whole outlook and energy level. I feel mad at myself because I should have been able to push through it all. But instead I just noodled about, played a bunch of word twist and then played more word twist. I did see a movie with #1 son, which was the big highlight. The movie was 2012. It's about the world ending, but these people make these huge metal arks to keep some people and animals safe. Kind of a modern Noah's Ark kind of thing. Pretty good effects. Now I'm heading to bed and hoping I can be super productive tomorrow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Trip

I heard 4 talks yesterday. 3 were quite good. 1 was pretty bad and I felt the speaker was doing some teacher bashing. At the break I ranted just a very wee bit about the condescending speaker and one of my colleagues said, "Lee gets all worked up sometimes. When she does it with me, I just leave."
I said, "I don't get worked up so be quiet."
A bit terse, but obviously I needed to set the record straight.
We ate dinner at Loteria a great Mexican restaurant. Loteria is a card game that's played a little like bingo. Replicas of the cool loteria cards were all over the restaurant. I had cactus as a side dish. All very good.

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Trip

I worked with every teacher in the school today to develop some common assessments and curriculum alignment maps. I was a little sharp tongued a few times during this work, but I think every one still appreciates me for my excellence as a literacy partner.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Child

I'm looking over info from one kiddo's sketch book. It makes me miss those little peeps. This week I'm going to L.A. for a conference on RTI. I feel like I haven't been at school for forever. But after November everything will be back to normal.

Friday, November 06, 2009

The Talk

Tomorrow would be a good day to finish up that 20 minute ncte talk. I have a lot of doubts about that happening. Lacking a bit of confidence.

The Deer

I feel sorry for the owner of this car, the driver of this car, and the deer who ran full speed into this car. After impact, I heard a dragging sound and was told that the deer was probably being dragged under the car. I told my companion that I couldn't get out of the car because I couldn't handle having a deer dying underneath the car. She convinced me I should get out by saying, "Get out." When I got out, I found out that the deer wasn't under the car at all. She was way back on the highway somewhere and the tow truck driver was making plans to go collect the body for venison sometime after he dropped off the car. The whole thing was a little bit sad, but could have been much worse.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Sojourn

This week I'm going to a conference in Missouri. It's a conference on professional learning communities in schools. I'm not super jazzed to be going to this conference but the trip's been arranged and I will be attending. It's funny that this job comes with a few trips, trips I'd rather not go on. I'm just not sure I agree with all the focus on response to intervention, growth model reporting systems and curriculum alignment and assessment. But that's the world I live in right now. And it's not horrible, just kind of lame. On the good side, I took a walk on this beautiful day and saw a few bluebirds and I'm making some headway on the ncte talk.
By "headway," I mean I have just sat down to start working on it.