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Pro: a thank you card appeared on my desk today from a family who chooses to remain anonymous.
Con: I have 34 kids in my class.
Pro: About 25 of them totally got my writing lesson today.
Con: About 10 did not get it.
Pro: I had a kid score nearly perfect on the 4th grade diagnostic test in math this year.
Con: I had a kid score 3 out of 30.
Pro: I am challenged beyond belief this year.
Con: I am challenged beyond belief this year.

I think “I will survive” will be my theme song this year.

I am constantly looking for ways to include arts into my classroom. Two great resources for me are blogs that I keep in my Google Reader and visit daily. I can’t recommend them enough.

The Crafty Crow

The Crafty Crow is a blog compendium of art projects that are on other blogs. She saves us the trouble of searching all those other blogs of mothers, teachers, homeschoolers, etc. Some projects are best for younger kids and some will work as is or translate up to older kids.

Art Projects for Kids
Art Projects for Kids is put together by an art teacher. She features projects, with a sample picture, and complete directions. Furthermore, she tags each project for the appropriate grade level, subject matter, and materials. So you can search her archives for watercolor or for 4th grade appropriate projects.

I know you’ll find something wonderful and useful at these blogs. Have fun exploring!

When you are a new teacher, going through an induction program, you are told quite a bit that what you are experiencing is normal, typical, even and that information is both comforting and irritating, so I shouldn’t be surprised that I am both comfortably and irritatingly finding this year to be the one in which I am reaching my stride . . . finishing my induction year, heading for tenure, achieving better work/life balance, and actually able to raise my head and take a look around me as I’m getting it all done.

Read other thoughts on this year at Kevin’s Meandering Mind.

This time of year is overwhelming.  I am technically a 2nd year teacher although I have two more years under my belt as an intern teacher and a year before that subbing almost daily.  One would think I’d have my schedule a bit better under control.

But, I don’t.  I really, really don’t. (And the fact that the rest of my 4th grade team, both experienced teachers, are in a similar state is little comfort at this point.)

I feel as if I’m running on a treadmill that is set just a bit faster than I can comfortably run.  Constant catch-up.  The very minute I feel like I’ve got things under control, I forget something or am late with something or something new gets tossed my way.

Or worst of all, I run out of time on a staff meeting morning and don’t get my coffee.  And, I spend the rest of the day being the grumpiest teacher on the planet while simultaneously beating myself up for being so grumpy.

The little joys of teaching are without number.

Mantra:  I love my job.  I love my jog.  I love my job.

Our first week was a survived quite nicely, thank you.  As I mentioned, my students are very sweet and very eager to please.  They are particularly concerned about making sure I’m happy and that they are doing their jobs.  We accomplished a lot this week.  Academic highlights included:

  • teaching a lot of procedures
  • starting our read-a-loud book, The Sisters Grimm
  • reading The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant as a way to get the kids starting writing about a trip they have taken.  We create a timeline and then convert the timeline to an outline and then we start writing.
  • completed a multiple intelligences survey
  • completed our diagnostic math placement test
  • did some team building and getting to know each other activities

I’m feeling very optimistic about this year.  There are worries, of course.  But I think we’re going to have a fun year.

On a personal note, I’m very pleased about the way that I’m managing to keep a real balance between home and school so far this year.  It was a goal last year and I was somewhat successful at it last year.   I’m going to keep working on it this year.  Having a family helps me keep that goal clealy in mind.  But, it’s not easy.

I do, however, have my pretty toenails to keep me on track!

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