Saturday, January 31, 2009

Report Card Day January 30, 2009

Third grade is the first time students in our school get grades on their report cards. This was the end of our second marking period so grades are starting to mean something to student now. The first marking period we were allowed to give a plus and minus after a letter. For example, if a child got a 90, I could put an A-. Now, unfortunately,there are no more minuses or pluses so parents won't know how close their child was to another grade. I feel this is just to please parents. So, this marking period I had to give a child a C rather than a B-.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

January 29, 2009

It seems that every vacation (or two minutes of free time) I start a new project. This needlepoint was done about ten years ago, by me, and the most amazing thing about it is..I finished it! I also do counted cross stitch but like needlepoint because I don't have to "think" that much about it. Right now I am working on a huge Princeton one. Jeff's birthday isn't until June and I might finish it...for one of his five years, but the point is that I am working on it, and that's a good thing.

January 28, 2009

The Federal Government has announced that they are looking to reduce the days of delivery of mail from six days to five, either eliminating Tuesday or Saturday. I can see the wisdom of this as the amount of mail has decreased with the onset of the Internet and on line billing. I, myself, only pick up my mail on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It will be strange, though, to know that a tradition that has been going on for so long in the United States will be changed.

January 27, 2009

I'm posting this as I'm about to take down our Eagles/Phillies history border in the classroom. It's time. As the SuperBowl starts without us, and as spring training starts again,last year's teams are a thing of the past.

Throughout the year they inspired, caused anger, taught the meaning of the word persistence, defeat, and victory. Each year I start on the right and each Monday post a page from the Philadelphia Inquirer. If the teams make it to the playoffs, the pages reach the flag, if they fall short, well...

This year the Phillies added to the length, a World Series pennant adding more in the middle. The Eagles made the playoffs, but fell short of the "big" prize. Now, it's time to move on. The room will seem empty, but will soon be filled with third grade victories as we move into the final two marking periods.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January 26, 2009

A MOBILE LAB... finally the third graders can use the ten lap tops that are part of the mobile lab. I have waited for two years to be able to use the lap tops that fifth grade always gets to use.

Each day I sign out the ten laptops. No one else in the building seems to want to use them,but not me. My students use them for math reinforcement, writing,'s amazing. And the fact that there are ten mean that I can do a lesson while the other ten are on the computers. Oh, of course there is the usual calling out, "My screen is upside down," or
"I can't find my document."
"Did you save?"
"To your H drive?"
"You mean I have to do that here,too?"
but still the pros so outweigh the cons. I know some day someone is going to discover the laptops are here, but for now, they are mine...all mine.

January 25, 2009

My summer in Australia was the best. I was an exchange teacher for the three weeks in Alstonsville, the furthest most point in Australia and lived with Ross and Julie Woolfe and their wonderful four children. When I first arrived in Sydney, before going to my teaching destination, I, of course, went shopping. There I found this wonderful stuffed kangaroo. I named her Sydney and the little one in her pouch, Joey. It was a great find, but..
Little did I know I would be taking Sydney not only to Alstonsville but to Alice Springs, Port Douglass, Cairns,Darwin, Melbourne, and back to my favorite city. And she didn't pack that well. After a while people in the airport starting recognizing her. I remember once in Darwin one little boy called out, "There's Sydney!" The stuffed animal was one of the few things I bought in Australia, and she is still with me to this day.

January 24, 2009

I am the drama director at my elementary school. This year we are putting on Beauty and the Beast with the fourth and fifth graders. They are amazing. But what is more amazing to me is my use of my IPOD. I remember long ago,in the dark ages, when I first directed Free to Be You and Me, and Annie Get Your Gun that I had to hire a pianist to play along with all our rehearsals. When we did Sound of Music I had the person make tapes of the songs and thought that was just fabulous. My last play at the middle school was Annie and Linda, my musical director was thrilled to move to CDs. One CD for each song.
But now I've moved on. All I need is a pair of speakers and my IPOD and I can practice songs, teach dances, and fit it all into my pocketbook. Isn't technology great?

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's a Sunshiney Day January 23, 2009

Finally, the sun. The temperatures this week have been below 20 degrees which, for some people in the country would be considered a heat wave, but cold enough for school kids to freeze at the bus stop, not be able to have outdoor recess, and to then, in turn, drive teachers a bit nuts. But, today, was an outdoor bus duty, outdoor recess, get rid of the third and fourth layer type of day. Third and fourth graders bounded out of the classrooms in search for fun as their teachers basked in the warmth of the afternoon sun and the camaraderie of each other. After going through a day of grief with one fourth grade class, this release was absolutely needed. And the fact that it came on a Friday...what a bonus. Hello, about staying around a while.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rambling Thoughts January 22, 2009

This is the flag at our school.The flag is the first thing I see when I drive into school. It sets the tone for my day, whether I consciously know that or not. Each day that I drive into the parking lot, I look up at it and give thanks to all those who have given their lives, time, and honor to protect and serve.

I also look to it with a heavy heart when it is at half mast as this symbolizes someone we know, or a soldier from NJ, who has died. Tonight one of the parents of our students died. A young man who had children, one who is in fourth grade. I can't imagine that poor family and what they are going through tonight and for the coming weeks. It seems that each year we have a parent die...and we are a young school.

The flag also makes me think that this is the first work day for our new president.He is on his way making changes and finding out that there is so much to be done. My hope is that he tries his best and believes in himself, really believes in himself that he can be strong.

The makes me realize so many things. What does it make you think about?

January 21, 2009

When I moved into my house, I was lucky enough to have a friend of my parents who made furniture to make this lovely corner cabinet. I have grown up with corner cabinets in my parents' home and always wanted one of my own. It holds some very special things like gifts from my best friend, my WINE GLASSES, and things that bring some very special memories to mind. It is one of my favorite pieces in my home.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day in History...January 20, 2009

Dylan D would tell you this IS a day in history...his birthday, yes, Dylan, you are right. The day you were born is a very important day and one that you will remember the day the first African-American was sworn in as President of the United States. I hope you remember the oath of office you learned, the White House you drew, and the portrait of President Obama you created. And, I hope, one day, maybe 32 years from now, I will see YOU taking the oath of office as President of the United States, just like Barack Obama.

Monday, January 19, 2009

January 19, 2009

My "uncle" Artie is the oldest male on my mom's side. He is the one who gets everyone together for reunions, parties, keeps in touch with everyone! He is a really great guy. We went to visit with him, his wife, Muriel, and my aunt Kath's boys, Peter (from Allendale, PA) and David (from Texas).They were there to take care of Kath, who is in a nursing home. After lunch at the Murphys, we went to see Aunt Kath.We brought lots of picture and, while I know she wasn't feeling great, I think we brought a smile to her a few times this afternoon. The hour drive both ways in the rain and snow was absolutely worth it.

January 18, 2009

After not having any snow at all, we got a bit of it on Sunday and Monday. FINALLY, my car needed to be cleared. My mom and dad helped me do this after the football game, which we lost.

January 17, 2009

Sunny is our family dog. I got her the day before she was going to be put into a shelter. She's actually my DAD'S dog, although we all claim her. She lives with my parents and has just been the most perfect dog of all. Dog spelled in reverse is GOD and this dog was truly sent to us for my dad.

Friday, January 16, 2009

January 16, 2009

I am one of the directors of the play, Beauty and the Beast this year. I'm in charge of music, dance, and generally the "lead" director. Today we posted the cast list for grades 4 and 5. There were smiles and there were tears. I'm sure there were also lots of mothers of daughters who would like to have my head on a platter this weekend,which is why we wait until the weekend to post it. But, all in all, the kids and I will have a blast the next 2 1/2 months before we "take it to the stage."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

January 15, 2009

PEP RALLY DAY at TF and it bought more than spirit, three Philadelphia EAGLES who are headed to Arizona for the playoffs against the Cardinals but also ACTION NEWS reporter Matt O'Donnell who interviewed our TF mascot, TFTIGER. The kids had a wonderful time yelling and singing and winning free hats and jerseys from Foreman Mills. Hopefully, we haven't jinxed the EAGLES and they win and go all the way to the SuperBowl.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 14 , 2009

Our custodian is amazing. She is everything to everyone and we love her. Besides dressing up at our school mascot, she is mom to the world. Miss Mary is the best and we honor her on her birthday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

January 13, 2009

Try-outs are fun, but after-wards you always have to wait for a ride...and these two were no different. Mom didn't come too late, but still...waiting seems like forever for a ten-year-old.

January 12, 2009

Coming back to school after a week of being out is tough, especially when you think you still have your holiday bulletin board up, complete with elves. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw my bulletin board completely redone (except for the palm tree...that stays up all year) with penguins! My substitute (my ex-student teacher) decided to welcome me back...and boy did she. Thanks, Nancy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

TRI-Photo Day January 11

Today I have to upload three pictures as they show what was happening between 1 and 3:00. The Eagles were playing a football game against the Giants. If they won, that meant that they advanced to the NFC Championships. During this game, like other important events this year including the Olympics, the Presidential Debates, the election, and the holidays, this was spent communicating with my friends on Plurk. Some were not there due to illness, but the die-hards and some new plurkers showed.

During the Eagles' football games, it has become a tradition that if my dad and I are not watching the game together, we watch it "by phone". Each time the Eagles score a touch down, one of us calls the other.

And finally, here it is. The results of the game. Now we have another GREEN week at school and another game to look forward to. MORE news stories, more pep rallies, more Philadelphia fun.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Looking Ahead January 10

My tennis club had a meeting today to find a new pro for the summer. Everyone had their own agenda and no one was willing to compromise. I know that a good pro is hard to find, but a decision will have to be made before the trees start to bloom again.

Scary HeadlineJanuary 9

Each day I hear of another friend or acquaintance who has lost their job. I'm afraid I will hear of even more before the year is over. It is a very scary time in the United States right now. I am glad I am a teacher, and happy I have tenure, but feel for those who are living day to day.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Flowers a Month

Each month I try to buy myself flowers or get someone to buy them for me (hint,hint).These were sent to me a few days before Christmas from 1-800-proflowers. I thought they'd be fuller, but they've certainly lasted a long time. When I buy flowers for myself, I tend to spend about 20.00. Some people believe flowers are a waste of money, and during the spring and summer, I do as well, but during the winter, I just need them as a remind of what is to come.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Malibu Pilates Chair

Okay, I admit it, I fell for the infomercial about this. I like pilates but feel I can't do it at a gym because I don't want to compete against others. Plus, I'm so inflexible it hurts! Then I saw this on tv and thought it looked good. I like the size it..small, and I like the exercises. It arrived yesterday..I bought it from e-bay at half the info price...and slowly put it together. It wasn't difficult at all to set up. Last night I watched the beginners DVD and it didn't look too bad. I tried it today after I though the med had worn off. I really liked it. The 20 minutes FLEW by. There is a longer more difficult workouts, but for now I need to stick with this one. SO, here is my activity that I will be done 20 minutes a day all this month. Hopefully I will vanish, not it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Modern Science

It's been days now, but thanks to modern drugs, I am getting better. This past week I have had pneumonia, bronchitis laryngitis, an ear infection, and winter asthma. I was also diagnosed with a deficiency of vitamin D and my thyroid medicine wasn't right. So, now I am home for another week and will be getting better so that I can hit the ground running next week. Luckily, Nancy, my student teacher from semester 1 is substituting for me so I'm not killing myself over lesson plans. Not happy about being here, but I am learning that I have to balance my life. Good health is one of those things that is getting balanced now.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Swap Meat

Today,in my attempt to eat a healthy meal, I swapped turkey bacon for regular bacon this morning and ground chicken for ground meat this evening. I made this delicious Sloppy Joe from the Big Loser's cookbook, with the recipe highlighted in the magazine as shown. If you want the recipe, I'd be happy to post it.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

January 4, 2009

The Eagles surprised everyone by getting into the playoffs this year as a wild card. Right now they are playing the Vikings in a very close game. Many believe that the problems of the team have to do with the coach. And, as we end the game, many believe Andy Reid is the one who got the team here. It looks like the Eagles are on their way to Giant Stadium next weekend with a win over the Vikings today. Boy,who would have thought?

One of the players, punter and field goal kicker,David Akers,is a parent of a first grader in my school. Mr. Akers is a great guy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

January 3, 2009

Today there are two photos. The first is a favorite gift for the holidays, one I can leave up all winter long. The second is part of my New Years Resolution to change this for that.

Friday, January 2, 2009

January 2, 2009

This is a challenge I am giving myself:take at least one picture a day and upload it to this blog throughout the year. By doing this, I will stop, think, and see things in the world I may not have seen before.

My first one today is:

I chose this because I love the saying on it: Winter... a white calming renewal
Hopefully winter will be that for me this year...calm and a renewing of all the things I love so dearly.