Category Archives: Uncategorized

This Deal is Getting Worse All the Time

So, last month my principal begged for a teacher to sign up for the Next Generation Science Standards district committee.  She needed two teachers to volunteer and no one had.  Finally, she said she’d add $40 dollars to our supply budget if we went.  So, because of that and because she’s new and I want her to think well of me, I said yes.

I should have read the fine print, man.

First, we had to write a science lesson that was linked to a piece of children’s literature.  Luckily, I didn’t have to do much.  I found the book, found the lesson, but the actual writing was done by my partner teacher.  All I did was add the literacy link part, which was easy.

Now I find out if our lesson is chosen, we’ll be presenting/teaching the lesson to teachers from all around the area at the Makers Fair.  And, we have to supply the materials for an indeterminate amount of teachers.  We won’t have to pay for it, but our district doesn’t do reimbursements.  So… they’ll just figure out later how we’ll get the money for these supplies.  And, of course, our lessons is really supply heavy because that’s the way I roll.

I should have asked more questions about what I was signing up for.  Fingers crossed that my lesson doesn’t get picked.

Tomorrow was supposed to be my crazy day.  In the morning, my class was going to be taking a nation-wide computer test.  In the afternoon, the school counselor was coming in to teach an anti-bullying lesson.  Then, in the late afternoon, it’s Fun Friday.  I’m not good with craziness, but I’ve had a week to get used to the insane schedule and was mentally prepared.

And now it’s all coming apart.  My class roster hasn’t been uploaded or processed to the computer.  The counselor has been absent all week.  Fun Friday is still on, so that’s good.  But now, instead of a fast, easy day of not having to teach much, I’m going to have to scramble about to make sure I have enough to do.  I know that the number one rule of teaching is you have to be flexible, but I’m not very good at that.  I mean, I’m flexible, but it throws me for a loop.  But I know I’ve got plenty of stuff to do.  I’ll be fine.



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The Laminator

Yesterday, I got my laminator from Amazon. I got a Scotch 2 Roller System (TL901C-T) and 100 Thermal laminating pouches.

I had to use it immediately, of course, just had to play with it.  Earlier this week, I had a math training where we discussed Number Talks and how to have kids talk during them.  After, I went to Teachers Pay Teachers to see if they had anything premade that would help my students structure their conversations.  I found these Discourse Sentence Frame Signs by Melissa Kunert.  They were cute and said what I wanted, so I bought them, printed them out, and they’ve been sitting on my printer, patiently waiting for my laminator to arrive.  Now, they are laminated, cut, magnetized, and ready to be used on Monday morning.

But the real fun was today.

So, first off, I’m a total slob.  My  place is livable, but there’s stuff everywhere.  Especially on my desk and dining room table.  It’s just covered with papers and objects and junk I don’t need.  It had to change.  So, the first task was to clean everything.  That included the 102 million boxes I’d accumulated over the past few years from Amazon and other purchases.  I hate taking boxes out to the dumpster, partly because I’m convinced I can use the box somehow and partly because I’m lazy.  However, today, I got over it and hauled everything out. (Except the box the laminator came in, because maybe I can use it.)


So, it’s not perfect, but it’s so much better than it was.  And I have a place for the laminator.  Which meant I was finally able to purchase labels for my Sterilite drawers in my classroom.  I got them from Pocketful of Primary, because she’s my teaching inspiration (seriously, watch her YouTube vlogs, she will make you want to be a better teacher).


And now, it’s all set up:


I’m having trouble making the labels stick.  Are they supposed to go on the outside?  The ones I have now (which are made from sentence strips because they were cheap and easy [I’m tired of my room looking cheap and easy]) are on the inside.  I’m using double sided Scotch tape. What am I doing wrong?  Maybe I’ll use the sticky putty I got from Michael’s last week.

So, my adventures in laminating are over for right now (unless I find some math games to print out and laminate; I’m always on the lookout for math games).  I’m glad I got it because I can see how useful it will be.  My principal wants us to post the learning objective and success criteria (which, to me, seems to be the same thing), so I’ve been making up those to post.  If I laminate them, they’ll keep for next year and I can reuse them.  See, I’m catching on.


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State of Me

It’s been a long time since I’ve been here.  I was doing so well with reviewing books, and then I just lost my steam.  I’m still reading, but I find myself with not as much to say about them.  So, I took a break.  And I’m still taking a break, because I’m not here to review a book (although I did recently finish The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, and it was very good.  I laughed, I cried… I cried some more, and was happy at the end.  I highly recommend it).

Anyway, I am still teaching second grade and, for the second year in a row, I seem to have a good class.  We’re five weeks into the year, and I’ve only had one major behavior incident (and that happened yesterday.  One darling punched another on the playground.  Le sigh.)  But they’re respectful and fairly quiet and do their work, so it’s all going smoothly.

Today I introduced Class Dojo as a new management system.  Up until now, I’ve just been giving out Eagle Dollars, the school incentive system, to encourage good behavior, but I wanted something more specific.  I used to use BUGS as my incentive program.  If kids were on task, I gave them a card with a bug on it.  If they got five, they could turn it in for a reward.  If they weren’t being good, they lost their bugs.  It was simple.  However, last year, I found it really hard to do.  The class was good and didn’t need as many rewards, so I slacked on giving them out.  And then I did it really unevenly, so some kids got a lot and others, not so much.  I couldn’t keep track of who I’d given them too, either.

So, Class Dojo this year. I can see who has points and how many, it’s a tap of a button, and I can give different rewards for different levels.  Right now,  I have a lot of kids who are determined to get 25 points so they an get Stinky Feet (where they can take their shoes off in class).

Plus, with Class Dojo, parents can track their kids at home.  I’m in the process of getting everything printed out and translated to send home next week.  I actually had one parent find my account and ask to join weeks ago, when I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to use it.  I’m glad she planted the seed in my head.

Other than that, I’m working, swimming three times a week (most week *shifty eyes*), volunteering at the SPCA, and reading.  I wish I could say I was writing, too, but that’s just not happening.  Ah well.

So, what about you?  Any teachers?  How’s your class?  Any advice on Class Dojo?  I’m a novice and would love to hear your experiences.

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WWW Wednesday

www wednesday

Currently Reading:


I am currently reading Beauty by Robin McKinley.  This is an old favorite that I reread about once a year.  Last night, I pulled it out and got about halfway through.  It’s a comfort read and I love, love, love Beauty and the Beast retellings.  I’m always on the lookout for new ones, and I’m always going back to old favorites.

backwards to oregon

Recently Finished: I just finished Backwards to Oregon by Jae.  It’s about Luke Hamilton, a woman who has been living as a man since she was twelve, and her marriage of convenience to Nora Macauley, a former prostitute looking for a better life for herself and her daughter.  They meet, marry, and begin the rough journey to Oregon while Nora remains ignorant of Luke’s secret.  It was really good.  I love stories where women disguised themselves as men, and I like it even more when it’s less of a disguise and more of their identity.  The romance was sweet and natural and the ending very satisfying.

Reading Next: I’ll probably read Hidden Truths by Jae next.  It’s the sequel to Backwards to Oregon.  However, I’ve fallen behind on my book reading goal for this year and am only one book behind.  I may read something short first just to catch up.  We’ll see.

Two Quotes

I haven’t done quotes for awhile, so here are two.  I haven’t quote checked them, but I know the second one is accurate because I said them in the play version.

One lives in the hope of becoming a memory. -Antonio Porchia

We don’t exist until we leave record of ourselves on the lives of others. -John Steinbeck/Octavio Solis, Pastures of Heaven



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What did I just finish?

under the never sky

I just finished reading Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi.  As I said in my post yesterday, I never reviewed it because I don’t have much to say.  Full disclosure: I’m also having a hard time summarizing it.  There’s just so much to explain, that by the time I get through it, I’ve run out of words.  And that never happens to me.

But, just to try:

This book takes place on the future of our world, where solar flares caused something called Aether to corrupt the atmosphere.  Some of the population, like Aria, have retreated into Pods where they live out their lives in virtual worlds called the Realm.  Others, like Perry, live on the outside in tribes and struggle to food and shelter themselves from the storms caused by the Aether.  When a tragic accident forces Aria to the outside, she and Perry must work together to get Aria to her mother and help reunite Perry with his missing nephew.

And, now that I’ve said all that, I can tell you the book is fine.  It’s not brilliant, it’s not terrible.  It’s pretty typical of YA where the boy and girl work together and eventually fall for each other.  I like the characters (I like Aria more than Perry) and it was interesting enough for me to decide to read the next one.  Which leads me to…

What are you currently reading?

ever night

I am reading Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi.  In order to ensure the safety of Perry’s nephew, Talon, Aria must search for the fabled “still blue,” a place where there is no Aether.  Along the way, she is reunited with Perry, who is now the leader of his tribe.

And finally…

What do you think you’ll read next?

into still blue

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi.  The final book in the trilogy.  After that, I have no idea.  I am always looking for suggestions.  I might read an adult mystery.  Or maybe I’ll reread Rainbow Boys, since I haven’t read it in years.

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Quote of the Week

This week’s quote comes from Ellen Burstyn and it’s really lovely.  All of these are my favorites, but I think this is a favorite of my favorites.



What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.


(I tried taking a picture of my doodle this time instead of scanning it; it didn’t work very well.  Also, once again, I wrote the quote wrong, at least according to Brainy Quotes.  Ah well.)

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Quotation of the Week

I love quotes.  I’ve been collecting them since I was in high school, and I decided this year, I would share some of my favorites.  So, once a week, I’ll post one of my favorite quotes.

ImaginationImagination is the highest kite one can fly.   – Lauren Bacall

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Book Review – The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

5th wave


Aliens are invading Earth in waves that are wiping out humans. Cassie is a survivor with one purpose: to save her brother. She wanders the countryside alone, hiding from the Others who are hunting her and any human they come across. She believes the only way to survive is to stay on her own, until she meets the mysterious Evan Walker, a boy who says he wants to help her, but whose story doesn’t quite add up.

I really enjoyed this book. Despite its length, it was a fast read and kept a good pace. It’s a split narrative where some is told from Cassie’s point of view and the other from the POV of Zombie, a teenage boy who is recruited to fight the aliens by the army… or so he thinks. His section of the book was a lot more brutal than I was expecting. All in all, it’s a book about survival and loyalty and was an exciting read.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

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WWW Wednesday

www wednesday

What I’m reading I am currently reading The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancy.  It is about an alien invasion that devastates the world and one girl’s fight to survive.  Well, so far it’s just one girl.  I’m only on page 101; I’m assuming other characters will show up.  I’m really enjoying it so far, even though some of it popped up unpleasantly in my dreams last night.


What I just finished Terms of Use by Scott Allan Morrison.  There’s a conspiracy and action and a lot of unpleasant people.  It was all right.  I got it as a free book though Amazon Prime.


What I’m reading next I have no idea.  I’m having trouble thinking ahead on books or even being motivated to find them.  Any suggestions?

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Book Review – Winter


Princess Winter, the stepdaughter of the evil Lunar queen, Levana, is beautiful, kind, and gentle.  She’s also insane due to her refusal to use her “Lunar gift”, which gives her the ability to manipulate others’ biochemistry into believing whatever she wants.  However, despite her insanity, Winter is determined to help her long lost friend, Princess Selene, better known as Cinder, the rogue cyborg from Earth, regain her throne and defeat Levana for good.

Winter, by Marissa Meyer, is the last book in the Lunar Chronicles.  It wraps up what began in Cinder and continued in Scarlet and Cress.  The story of four very different women, Winter does a good job of furthering their characters and wrapping up the plot in a satisfying way.  It’s a huge book, coming in just over 800 pages. n


I liked how terrifying the Lunar society is.  It was also satisfyingly difficult for Cinder and her friends to accomplish their task and each woman was pushed to their limits.  While each romance was satisfactorily concluded, I do wish that Cress and Thorne could have had more time devoted to them.  I found myself not as interested in Winter herself, and while it was necessary to spend time on her in the story, I got to the end wishing their had been more of Cress and sort of resenting Winter for it.  Poor Winter.


I really love this series and highly recommend it to others.  It’s an exciting reimagining of four beloved fairy tails and the characters are strong, well developed women who were a pleasure to know.


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