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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Holy Field Trip!

Phew! What a day! Today, my class and I visited the wonderful California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco and we had a blast. Although we had no blood, no casts, and no one lost, our morning was a little rocky. Here's how it went:

First off, many of my students receive free/reduced lunches and when we go on a field trip, they have the option to order a sack lunch to take with us. Well, I turned in my class order along with 2 other classes' orders last week (21 kiddos total) and figured everything was honky-dory. Well, this morning, my colleague went to pick up our ordered lunches ten minutes before school started and they didn't have any of them. Not a one. Really? Now what? She said they didn't receive our list. I had no idea what to do. We didn't have enough money to pay for lunch for 21 kids. Luckily, I had my mom (thank God!) and another volunteer already in my room offer to go to the cafeteria to help the lunch lady put together lunches as fast as possible. They were amazing! They finished just before we needed to get on the bus, so it was perfect. Fire number one: extinguished.

Speaking of busses... so, we get up to the front of the school, and we are expecting two 84-seaters. We had four third grade classes of 29 kiddos with 10 adults per class. That's 156 people. That's a lot of people, but not enough to fill two 84-seaters, so I thought we were good. But, they sent us one 84-seater and one 66-seater. That's only 150 seats. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that 156 people cannot fit in 150 seats. Again? Hadn't we already had enough stress for the day? And it's not like we were going down the street. We were driving from San Jose to San Francisco (about 45 miles each way). Once again, an amazing parent saved the day and offered to drive up 6 adults (and pay for parking!). Fire number two: extinguished.

The entire bus ride there, I was a ball of nerves. I just knew something else was going to go wrong. Did I mention that I was in charge of orchestrating this field trip? I felt like nothing was going to go right. When we got there, I hopped off of the bus, and after 15 minutes of check-in, we were on our way in. I was smart enough to not give myself a group of students to take care of, so a few other teachers, my mom, and I went straight to the cafe to grab a much needed cup of coffee. I was finally able to unwind a little after the mornings' events.

The rest of the day went off without a hitch and we had no blood, no casts, no puke, and each of my 29 students returned safely to school. Needless to say, I was exhausted and packed up and took off as soon as possible. What a day! Glad that one's over...

Claude the albino alligator.

Jackson's chameleon

A chambered nautilus

Panther chameleon

Many lessons were learned today!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I'm so excited!

I can't even tell you how excited I am to have a DIY project over at Classroom DIY! You can find out how my kiddos and I made abaci together here.

Classroom DIY


Sunday, May 20, 2012

T-Minus 25 Days...

I've been waiting a while to let the cat completely out of the bag, but there are going to be some HUGE changes 'round these parts. As many of you know, my hubby and I relocated from Southern California to the Bay Area so that I could take my teaching job at a fabulous school in San Jose. It has been an amazing first year in the classroom. I have learned so much about teaching, my students, myself, and my amazingly supportive husband. Our time here has been bittersweet. On one hand, I have had the most amazing experience at my school. My colleagues are great, the kids are hilarious, and I believe I have really made a difference in the lives of my students and their families. Because my school is so small, I have also been given leadership opportunities that I most likely would not have had at any other school. On the other hand, we miss Southern California. We miss our family and friends, the beaches, and the calm and comfort that comes from knowing your surroundings. We also miss date night. The cost of living in the Bay Area, especially where we are, is insane and we have had to give up a lot just to stay afloat. All of that said, after much thought and consideration, we have decided to move back to Southern California to be closer to family and the comforts of "home."

So in 25 days, we will be moving from here:

to here:

Can you really blame us?

Not only will my surroundings be changing, but my classroom situation will be totally different. The whole thing really fell into place quite easily. Right when hubby and I made the decision to head back, I began job hunting through edjoin and craigslist. I know from experience that most public schools in Southern California do not hire until right before school begins in late August/September. I wasn't willing to wait that long, so I searched and found a wonderful position at a private school right down the street from where we are moving to. I will be teaching upper elementary math and I couldn't be more excited! Even better, I begin curriculum training (PAID!!) in July. The school I will be working at has developed their own math curriculum based on Singapore math with a strong emphasis on problem solving and conceptual understanding. This is exactly what I studied during my credential program and how I teach my math in my current class, so I am really looking forward to jumping in with both feet. Did I mention that I will be getting paid to study and learn their methods? Woohoo! 

Needless to say, we are really excited to be headed HOME! There are a lot of wonderful things ahead...

25 days and counting.