Tuesday, February 12, 2013


In honor of Valentine's Day (which my little people reminded me several times is coming in two days), I am writing about lovely things! In this case, I am writing about lovely teammates.

I recently had a really, really horrible day. I received some terrible news that made it quite difficult to get through the afternoon, and that afternoon just happened to culminate in a child wandering off and finding himself temporarily misplaced at dismissal time--all on my brand new volunteer's first day with our class. (Welcome to first grade...I'm promise it's not like this every day!)

Well, it was one of those days when chocolate was an absolute necessity--and also unavailable. Gah! I meandered into my teammates' room looking for some, and their stash was unfortunately empty. So I went back to my own classroom and just sat and stared for a while. (I admit it...not all of my prep time is spent grading things and making anchor charts and cutting out game pieces. Shhhhh don't tell!)

Anyway, the next day, I was sitting in my room when my two fantastic teammates walked in with this beautiful card and plate of double chocolate cookies, baked the night before especially for me because they knew how crappy my day had been.

(There were a lot more cookies before I took this picture. They were delicious.)

Best. Teammates. Ever. 

Monday, February 11, 2013


One of the things that is super great about teaching is that it's mostly female, so people totally understand the necessity of chocolate as part of daily work and life.

The other day I was observed. I'm not a huge fan of being observed, particularly because the kids get really distracted by the crowd of unknown adults walking into the room in the middle of class, but it went fine. The great thing about it though, is the feedback. I do appreciate getting feedback, both positive feedback and impovement areas, because it reminds me of things I sometimes forget. There is a lot to remember in teaching, and sometimes I know to do something but it doesn't occur to me at that moment, and I appreciate the reminder.

My favorite thing, however, about my observation, was that my feedback form had a piece of chocolate attached to it. Not just any piece of chocolate, either. Ghirardelli white mint and dark chocolate. Hea. Ven. Ly.

Made my whole day.

Sometimes, it's just the little things...


This is one of those posts I very occasionally write that has nothing to do with teaching at all. It happens. (WHAT?! There is life outside of teaching? Tell me more!) I know, right? Shocking.

The other day I was craving Chinese food. Does that ever happen to you? You just absolutely have to have something really specific at that moment? Anything else, and I wouldn't have been happy. I really really wanted Chinese food. But not just any Chinese food, mind you. It had to be Chinese buffet food. (Random, anyone? Yep. That's me. Random. It happens.)

I texted a friend who had already eaten, so she invited me to the Timberwolves game. Do they have egg rolls there? I think not. So I had to turn her down. 

I texted another friend who was busy. What? Busy? That's ridiculous. What could possibly be more important than Chinese food?

I was starting to think I'd have to settle for homemade pasta (sigh...) when I got a last-minute text back from a friend (new bff?) that made my day. His response to my randomness: "If you're craving something, you might as well indulge yourself. Let's go." 

That's friendship right there, man. People who indulge your cravings with gusto.

Guess who got her fill of sesame chicken and wontons? Yep, that's me. Even my fortune cookie was awesome. 

Sometimes indulgence is just the best thing ever. (That and cheese wontons.)


Since it's been so cold lately, we have had to find fun ways to get the kids active even though they haven't been able to go outside. Some days we have normal inside recess where they get to make cool things out of legos and manipulatives, but I wanted to give them a chance to use their large motor skills too (in ways that aren't against the rules...).

We've been doing Adventure to Fitness, which the kids LOVE (and so do I!). You can find out about it here. 

We went on the castle adventure and now we're in the middle of the dinosaur one. Our recess isn't quite long enough to do the whole thing, so it's been kind of nice to just do it in little pieces, even as just a warmup in the morning when they come to school sleepy. 

Anyway, during sharing time one morning, I told the kids that I frequently go to Zumba class. The kids found this very amusing and one of them said that he goes to Zumba with his mom at church. I was chatting with my Zumba instructor after class and she actually volunteered to come and teach my kids for half an hour. You wouldn't believe (or maybe you would) how ridiculously cute it was to watch 24 kids try to dance to Starships by Nicki Minaj. 

My favorite part, though, was when she asked them to freestyle in the middle of the circle. The kids really wanted to hear "Opa Gagnam Style", so she played it and every kid (and one mom!) spent the next five minutes bouncing up and down, Gagnam style. Naturally, I caught it on video. It was incredibly cute! 

I wish I could post it here, but since I can't, here's a cute video of some babies doing it too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


So it's been a very cold January, and the kids and I have spent quite a bit of time indoors during recess time. And so, every day at 12:15, we have the exact same conversation. "Aww, Ms. M, por que no vamos afuera?"  Bueno, amiguitos, porque hace mucho frio y se van a convertir en cubos de hielo. Yo quiero ninos en mi clase, no cubos de hielo. "Oh."

("But WHY can't we go outside Ms. M?" Well, friends, because it's cold and you'll turn into ice cubes. And I want a class of children, not ice cubes. "Oh.") 

And then finally, after all this time, the weather decided to give us a break and the bring the temperature above zero for a day. (Shocker!) When I told the kids we were going outside, they erupted in cheers and one of them ran over and hugged me. Not one of those kids who is normally hanging on my arm, but one who is usually off in another galaxy, so it was pretty out of the ordinary for him. I guess he was really excited. 

Also, there is a headless, body-less snowman outside. I guess he's just a giant snowball. And yet, he's still endlessly entertaining. Yay snow!