Saturday, August 22, 2009

I've managed to do it again...

I've somehow managed to let my blog go too long without any entries. I promise (this time I mean it) that I will stay more on top of it! This last year has been a whirlwind for me. I can't believe I'm coming to the end of the road. I will FINALLY be student teaching in about 2 weeks. I find out my assignment on Monday. I am so excited - I am ready to be in the classroom. There are so many things that I wish I had done already, but some things I'm glad I waited on. For one - I am super glad that I have not taken my TeXES exams for my certification. My last few classes happened to be math classes. I think both of them helped give me a refresher for the test. I still haven't officially sat down to study the material, but now that I am completely done with all classes - I plan to make it a daily ritual. I think I'm going to sign up to take them at the end of September. I know that is kind of cutting it close, but I think this will give me time to review and prepare for them. I might even wait until October. Another big change since I last posted is I've decided to get my masters in Education Technology. I am so passionate about bringing technology in the classroom. I am very excited!! I am almost done with my application and will be applying to the University I currently attend. I'm not sure what I want to do once I am finished with school. I do know that I want and need to be in the classroom, but at the same time I would love to teach at the college level and hold workshops for teachers on how to incorporate technology in the classroom. We shall see! Finally a tip for any other upcoming student teachers. Start building up your wardrobe. My closet lately has only consisted of jeans, sweats and t-shirts. Of course none of these will help with student teaching. Go and stock up on the wardrobe staples, black slacks and khakis, then you can get several tops to mix and match. Also get comfortable shoes and try them on before your first day of class. I got a pair of super cute mary janes. I decided to wear them the other day and they gave me some nasty blisters - I would never had made it through a whole day in the classroom wearing them! Glad I tried them out first. Until next time.....

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I feel so cheated...

I found out about a garage sale of a retiring teacher of 25 years. Don't you know my heart skipped a beat. I could only imagine what treasures I would find there. So I set my alarm for 7am, yes 7am on a Saturday morning. I'm so excited I could hardly contain myself. I run to the atm and head toward the mother ship. Of course I was early! I tried to wait patiently as the couple pulled out box by box, but I couldn't wait anymore. Teachers were starting to line up. There were at least a dozen who showed up right after me and a few before me. It was one of those - every man for himself. I started digging, and digging, and digging. I found cool things, but the prices were staggering. Honestly, when you have a garage sale, isn't it to get rid of stuff? She wanted 2$ a book, like a scholastic book! My heart sank a little, but I kept digging. I don't know what grade I will be teaching yet, so it's hard to pick and choose what I'll need. I found a cool math set for the overhead - it had clocks, pattern block shapes, money, etc. The set was 10$ (a little high I thought). I also found another set that was 15$. I went up to the lady and was about to ask if she would take 20$ for both. Before I could open my mouth, she ripped the first set out of my hand and said she already sold that. I quickly put the other set back because she made me mad. I know silly, I thought I was getting some kind of revenge or something. I'm sure she could care less. So I couldn't leave, I had waited all week for this! I decided to pop back into the garage. Another teacher found unifix cubes and was trying to talk me into splitting the box with her. I told her I'd pass, but what I really wanted was base 10 blocks. They seem to be a necessity while teaching. Her ears perk up and she says "Yea I want those too! I ask the retiring teacher, who has already sent me one blow, if she has any. She responds with something that I couldn't make out to be a yes or a no. Her husband chimes in and says, yes I just put some out over there. I race over there. I searched the boxes he pointed to. No luck! I tell the man and he sends me back to ask his wife. Again I ask her, she tells me she thinks she does, and then gets distracted and begins doing something else. I then hear the lady who wanted to split the u cubes with me say, How much for the base 10 blocks. I couldn't believe it! I went over to see if there was any extra, but she was pawing the entire box, so I knew I didn't stand a chance. I said Oh I guess she found them. The man laughs and the "retiring teacher" says oh you can have them all for 5$. WHAT!! Did I hear you right?!?! First I come to your garage sale and you're asking for my right leg. Then you rip my treasure from me and claim to have already sold it. Then you give a lady, who stole my base 10 blocks, an amazing deal!!! What the???!? Ok, I'm sure I sound childish about now. But it's not fair. So I stomped off to my car, pouting. What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm still alive!

This has been a very busy semester for me. I intended to document it with this blog, but I just haven't had the time. I am in my 4th week of school and it seems to be flying by me. I'm loving it, but oh how I live for my weekends.

I was assigned to a third grade class and an amazing cooperating teacher. I have to admit, I wasn't too excited that I didn't get my first choice of 2nd grade. I was really worried that the entire semester we would just be focused "on the test". But I am happy to say, it isn't anything like I imagined it to be. I am so happy with my class. I think I may have changed my mind about what grade I want to teach. I love this age group. They are able to do so many hands on activities. My coop teacher is also amazing. I have learned so much from her in a short time. But what I love most is she has made me an equal in the classroom.

I'm working on my first lesson that I will teach. It's a read aloud with the kids having to do some sort of response. I had planned on using the book, The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups. It's a super cute story about rules and it gives alternative reasons for why we have the rule. However after much thought, I decided that it was a tougher book to use for this assignment because it wasn't a traditional story book. I have changed my mind to use The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs. It's a story of the three little pigs, but from the wolf's perspective. I'm going to have the students respond by re-writing another fairytale from another character's perspective.

I've also signed up to be a sub. I know I will have plenty to write about that :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Let the chaos begin

I haven't blogged in exactly 23 days - and let me tell you, so many things have happened in those 23 days.

For starters I got to visit Washington D.C. for the first time. WOW What an experience. I went for a conference as part of my Rockefeller fellowship. I truly mean it when I say it was life changing! I got to meet so many amazing aspiring teachers and so many others who are dedicated to education. I was fortunate to visit an amazing elementary (charter) school - CentroNia. What an amazing school with amazing teachers!! And of course I got to visit and tour D.C., and it's many amazing sites. I was there for 5 short days!! I was able to present my summer project I had conducted at the public library. I taught 8-16 year old computer skills while designing and writing their own comic books. Everyone seemed to love my idea and it was chosen to be represented on the RBF website. I have met lifelong friends and received an invaluable amount of resources as I make my way into the classroom. I am forever indebted to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, this was an experience of a lifetime that tops the charts!!!

Once I got back from my trip, there was no time to catch up on sleep. I had to get ready for school and my classes. This semester I will begin my field based block of classes. This means that 2 days a week I will be in a classroom and helping teach. YEAH!! I am so super excited about this. I got to visit the school that I will be working with and it is AMAZING!! You can see how involved and caring the teachers are by just walking the hallways, you can see the amazing support of the administration by spending a few minutes in the office and you can see how happy the children are as you peak in their classrooms. I know I am going to absolutely love teaching here. Last week we got to put our down our choices for which grade level we would like to teach. My choices in order were 2nd, 3rd and then 1st. I have always wanted to teach 2nd grade. My 2nd grade teacher is who truly inspired me to become a teacher (thank you mrs. braddock). I will keep you posted on what grade I actually get.

My professors this semester are also AMAZING!! I love them all. I really lucked out this semester. Along with my field block, I am super excited about my general science course. We get to do science experiments just like we did when I was a kid. I am so super excited about this. I am so excited (as you can see) about this semester. As fun as these classes will be, there will be a lot of work (which I'm totally up for), so I will try to blog as much as I can in between to let you in on all my fun!! Have a great semester!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Is that on sale? Check it twice!

I have been back to school shopping like crazy. It's right around the corner and my kids and I needs supplies, new clothes, backpacks and all that good stuff. There are some amazing deals out there....but make sure you are getting the deal! Over the past few days, I've visited and purchased from at least 8 different stores. Of those 8, 6 of them overcharged me! Total it was probably 60$. No joke!! Some of the problems I've run into.
  • Discounts not being applied
  • Coupons not applied correctly
  • Price don't reflect the advertised price.
  • Items being charged twice
I normally don't watch the prices being added nor do I check my receipts. But since I have a lot of shopping to do, I'm trying to budget myself. I was blown away at how much I was being overcharged. I caught all of them because I was at register watching all of the prices. On a lot of my purchases, prices were listed as sale prices with signs but the register didn't match the discount. One sales associate said that all of the stores are trying to do big pushes with bts sales that sometimes the registers aren't getting updated properly with the correct prices. My advice watch your prices. Make mental notes of what the sale price should be. If you see something not being calculated correctly, speak up. Even if it's only 1$ (you can buy a lot for a dollar)! Also double check your receipts. At one store they charged me for an item twice. Everyone makes mistakes, but 6 out of the 8 stores is CRAZY!! What scares me is how many times I've been overcharged and didn't even notice it!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mmmmm The Smell of Crayons

What is your favorite childhood memory of back to school? Mine was picking out my school supplies! I didn't really care about the new clothes or shoes, but I had to have the coolest pens, the awesome folders, and all of the other fun supplies they come out with. I absolutely love the smell of a fresh box of crayons. One sniff sends me back in time! To this day, I still get excited over Hello Kitty and Lisa Frank - how can you not, they are so much fun!!!

So as the season is upon us, as stressful as times may seem, don't forget to take in the excitement of back to school. The new clothes, new class, new teacher and a fresh box of crayons!!! Good luck and I hope you have a wonderful school year ~ and don't forget to take time to smell the crayons :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Thing #23 A new beginning

Whew!! I did it. I completed the Library2Play Learn 23 Things challenge. It was set up to be completed in 9 weeks, but I busted my buns and finished in less than a week (I found out about it late) It was such a wonderful adventure. I learned so many new things that I will take to my future classroom. I encourage any teachers to also take the challenge!!!

What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?
  • All of the great tools I can use in my classroom. I really excited to bring all of this technology into my future classroom!
How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?
  • I was planning to go for my masters in education technology, this challenged reaffirmed my love for technology and my excitement to bring it into the classroom.
Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
  • As silly as it sounds, I am so impressed with myself for creating a podcast. I did so many cool things!! If I'm this excited, imagine how excited my kids will be.
What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?
  • I wish I had known about it sooner. I had to really hustle to get through it all. I thought everything else was great though! What a fun challenge!
If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?
  • Of course - sign me up!!!
How would you describe your learning experience in ONE WORD or in ONE SENTENCE, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities?
  • Amazing, Incredible, Rewarding, Fantastic!!