Sunday, May 25, 2014

Top Ten Things I Want To Do This Summer

Mrs. Jump's Class
        This is a milestone day for me -- I just noticed that I have had 50,000 hits on my blog!  That is so funny!  And incredible --

        Deanna Jump, my blogger role model, had a great idea -- of course, all her ideas are great. That's why she has a gazillion followers. But this time she suggested that we make actual plans for the summer, unlike my usual "whatever" summer.  And since I spent last summer having a little battle with cancer -- I WON, thank you, God  -- I think I will make a to-do list of thing that don't involve medical tests and lying on the couch!

       1. Before I can  really get to the "relaxing " part of the summer, I HAVE to get my classroom de-cluttered and reorganized.  This will probably be my last year teaching -- I plan to retire at the end of next year -- so I need to give away, throw away, and otherwise get rid of years of accumulated teaching materials that I don't use anymore. We have 2 planning days after school is out, and I hope that will be enough to clear out all the excess.  Only 13 more days of school for us this year!

       2. Celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary on June 22.  We still haven't decided exactly how to mark this momentous occasion -- but it will not be a fishing trip or Army reunion, two of my darling husband's ideas. I love the man dearly, but, really?


       3. I also need to clean out my closet.  I either need to move down a size or give up, but I know there are things I cannot wear and it is time to face the facts. In fact, I plan to clean out all the closets. My son graduated from college this month, so I am sure there are some treasures in his closet --  but it might be a little scary.

        4. On the other hand, I intend to keep up the walking I have been doing -- and try to hit my goal of 10,000 steps/ 5 miles a day.  If I do this, maybe I will be able to wear those clothes...
        5. I will also get rid of nearly 45 years of teaching materials that I have kept at home -- I have hoarded in case I need them someday.  I will also try to be realistic about which books I will actually read again. It is so hard for me to turn loose of  books, but I am going to try. My file cabinets need work, too.

         6. I need to spend time catching up on my volunteer job as church librarian. And I want to read lots of books that I have purchased for the library, too -- no time for fiction during the school year.

         7. Pull weeds out of my flower garden! Then I can sit on the front porch in my new rocking chair and not feel guilty.

         8. Go to West Virginia to see my brothers and other relatives.  While I am there I will eat hot dogs from the Dairy Queen and biscuits from Tudor's --any pounds I gain will be worth it.

         9. Learn all the new music we are getting in my Sweet Adelines chorus. I will listen to learning tapes while I am walking laps.

        10. Take my daughter to New York for a girls only trip to celebrate her birthday. Take lots of pictures and make lots of memories! School will start right after we get back, so this will be the last time I will have to relax before the craziness starts again!

       There, I feel better about summer now!!  I have a plan!!


Friday, May 16, 2014


     As you can see from the picture, we are in the final countdown. We have 18 days left -- and each child gets to do all the classroom jobs one more time. Every day one child gets to do it all -- line leader, erase the board, do the calendar, office messenger -- and when everyone has had a turn, it will be graduation day. The year has gone by quickly, but I will admit that I am about ready for a break.  But I sure will miss the hugs, the laughter, and the daily adventure of kindergarten. I always thought I would retire this year, but I am just not ready to give it up yet, so I will be back best fall. Ready to do it all again.
       I have been busy assessing literacy for the past two weeks.  I have hardly taught any this week. My assistant has done most of the teaching this week while I have been pulling children out, one at a time, to read and answer questions.  I am overjoyed -- dancing around the room HAPPY--to be finished. I still have math, writing, and spelling to assess, but the worst is over.  And best of all, everyone made good progress and every one of them can READ! 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Tweetsie Railroad on Letterland Day 2014

      A field trip to Tweetsie on Letterland Day is always the highlight of the year.  But I hope I look at the calendar before we plan next year's trip. This week also included Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, and my own son's graduation from college, as well as progress reports and assessments! Whew!

       We are very lucky to have a park like Tweetsie so near our school.  When they transform it to Letterland, it is a perfect reward for all the hard work of kindergarten. The kids were met at the gate by Firefighter Fred and his fire truck --  and lots of parent and grandparent volunteers. Every child had a hand to hold, and that is the best kind of field trip.  Since my springtime allergies were reignited by all the pollen, I was grateful I only had to hold my tissues to catch sneezes all day while other adults took responsibility for my class.

        There were lots of Letterland characters roaming around and signing autographs.

     I even got my picture taken with Mr. O!

The buildings and shows were all changed to reflect the theme.  

Even the train became the Letterland Express. It was fun to watch Red Robot try to steal all the "r" sounds, but the Vowel Men made him give everything back.

        I had an exciting ride in one of the little cars with one of my students -- had to grab the wheel a few times -- but we made it back without wrecking!

        My favorite place was the Fudge shop -- the only air conditioned and pollen-free spot in the park.  But you can only stay in the candy store for so long before you have to buy something, so I knew I needed to get out of there!


         We had a blast!!