Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Oh, wait, I just realized that Thursday is April 1st. Is that damn weather guy trying to play an April's Fool prank on me? Ugh! I'm going to try not to think about it today. It's bad enough that today's temperature is supposed to reach the mid-to-high 70s. (grumble, grumble, grumble....)
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
My point is, it was just a perfect day yesterday. Then, this morning, I got up to let Dorky Dog out, and THIS is what I woke up to: (don't worry, they're only a couple of seconds each)
In the time it took me to turn on my computer and upload the videos to my desktop, it started snowing even harder!
Believe it or not, in the few minutes it's taken me to put this short post together, it's increased again, but I'm too lazy to take more video. Plus, I realize that most of you don't really care!!! ;-)
I know I've shared this saying 100 times before, but if you don't like the weather in Chicago, just wait 5 minutes! Oh, did I mention that today is the FIRST DAY OF SPRING?! tee hee hee! The high today is expected to by around 34. But, don't worry, by next Tuesday, they're predicting 60s again. Woo hoo!
If you missed the last post, be sure to scroll down to see Stud Muffin's big, beautiful, BALD head!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
There wasn't time for him to get his head shaved before school (too many boys, not enough shavers) so he had to come back during his lunch. My poor baby. He only has a 1/2 period for lunch, and he spent the whole time waiting in line to get shaved.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Friday, March 5, 2010
Click here to donate!
There are only 16 days until St. Baldrick's Day. I gotta say, I'm really disappointed with Stud's tally so far. Last year, he was able to raise $250 in the first two days, which prompted us to raise his goal from $500 to $1,000. This year, we're more than two weeks into the pledge "season" and he's only at $275. Huh? Now, I realize that times are tough, and people just don't have a lot to give. Believe me, I get it. But, if everyone just gives a little, together we can make a difference.
So, I've come up with a challenge for all of you. This is all you have to do:
- Mention the St. Baldrick's organization and this event on your blog.
- Put a link on your blog to Stud's page (copy it from here).
- Leave me a comment, letting me know you posted the info and the link.
That's it! For every Bloggy Buddy who does this, I will personally contribute $5 toward Stud's goal of $2,000 (above and beyond my regular pledge) Naturally, if you also make your own contribution, that's even better!
I will leave this challenge open until the day of the event, which is March 17, 2010. I can't wait to see how many of you accept this very simple challenge. (I don't have a ton of followers, but if just each of the 46 I have accept this challenge, that'll be a donation of $230!) Thank you all, in advance, for your help and generosity.
--Let me just make something clear. I know I've mentioned before that Stud was the top fundraiser at his school last year, and that we're hoping to top his total this year. However, I want you all to know that there is NO prize, or anything else, linked to being the top fundraiser. His accomplishment wasn't even acknowledged by anyone at the school, outside of his English teacher, who runs this event every year. I would hate for any of you to think that I'm simply trying to "win" something for my son. This is just a cause that we both feel very strongly about, and we want to do all we can to help wipe cancer off the planet.
Yesterday morning, during small group instruction time, I decided to pull my darling TN and another little boy off by themselves to work on their sight words with me. TN has really been working hard on these lately. Who knows, maybe someone at home has finally stepped it up and started helping him. I know Ms. H. has been spending a lot of time with him, too. Anyway, he's finally starting to learn our words, and knows more than the other little boy, Pumpkin, does. I was going back and forth between the two boys, showing them flashcards with the words. If they knew it, I gave them the card. Well, there are 22 words all together, and after the first "round," TN had about 15, Pumpkin had 4. Second round, TN had about 16, Pumpkin had 5. The game kept kinda going like that, and the boys were making me laugh so hard, I almost couldn't catch my breath. I was wishing so hard that I had a video camera running. I actually almost got up and went to get my camera out of my purse, but I was afraid of losing the moment. Pumpkin was really making me laugh. When I would show him a word, he would say, "Think, think, think!" while tapping on his head. It was hysterical!! When I showed him a particularly "hard" word (I think it was where) he kinda guffawed, then with a sweeping hand motion, says, "TN!" like, 'here, you take it, I don't know it!' I was almost on the floor!! I suppose this is probably one of those things that you just had to be there for, since I realize it doesn't sound so funny to an outsider. But, trust me, by the time we went to lunch, my stomach hurt from laughing. The boys were cracking up at me, too, because whenever they read a new word, or read a word quickly, I would jump and/or make a really surprised face, which put them in hysterics. The more they laughed, the more I laughed, and it was just a wonderfully vicious circle of giggles!
Let me give you a little background on how Pumpkin got his nickname. He and another little boy in my class have very similar names. They only differ by one letter (the last one) so needless to say, I ALWAYS call them the wrong name. A-L-W-A-Y-S. I bugs the crap out of me, but they don't seem to care one way or another. However, they know how frustrated I get with myself, and the other day, after saying the wrong name for the 20th time in one morning, I jokingly said to them, "You know what, I'm going to make up new names for you that I can remember!!" My little friend pipes up with, "I know! You can call me Pumpkin! I like when you call me that!" (Pumpkin is just one of my little pet names for my babies, along with Honey Bunny, Angel, Sweet Pea, and many more.) It was the sweetest thing. Even funnier, the other boy later told me I could call him Squash! Bwah hahaha!
Oh, wait, let's go back to my little session with TN and Pumpkin. At one point, both boys were staring blankly at a word, neither one of them able to read it to me. It was about 2 minutes before we needed to start cleaning up for lunch, so I was a bit distracted when TN said something that sounded like "..eee...uk.." Immediately, Pumpkin says, "I don't suck!" which, of course, caught my attention. So I said, "TN, that's not a nice word, or a nice thing to say." He looked at both of us like we were nuts, and says, "I SAID 'we're stuck!'" Well, that was it, I couldn't take anymore. By the time we stopped laughing, it was time to go to lunch!
I jotted down a couple of DIBELS funnies last week. Actually, one was from Pumpkin. I was giving them the test where they have to tell me sounds in a word. After several words, I said to him, "Tell me the sounds in 'smile.'" He looks at me, and just busts out into the biggest smile I've ever seen. I almost spit in his face, I was laughing so hard. This kid is awesome!
That same day, when it was AM's turn to take her test, she gave me this little beauty. I said, "Tell me the sounds in 'kiss.'" and she proceeds to pucker up and blow me a kiss! Oh, so cute!
I've had an email sitting in my inbox for what will be a YEAR tomorrow. It's some funnies from last year's babies, and I kept leaving in my inbox so I could remember to share them. Well, hell, I sent it to myself March 6, 2009!! Here goes...
Overheard during centers - "...then, when you get to be 100, you die!"
When doing a Star Word (sight word) test -- word shown=for, word said="THREE!" (Hey, at least the kid knew it was a number word!) word shown=a, word said="one" (HUH? Well, it IS the first letter....)
OK, there are a couple more, but I'll save them for another day. I wouldn't want to spoil you! ;-)
One more little funny from this week. Tuesday night, as I was lying in bed watching TV, there was a 'tease' for the 10:00 newscast, and the anchorman says, "We may be putting those winter coats away. 40s are headed our way this week. Get the full forecast here at 10." I almost willed myself out of bed to post this immediately, because it was so damn funny! ONLY in Chicago would you hear that, right? And you guys thought I was the only one!! We actually have had a wonderful week. It's supposed to hit 55 by Sunday, so I guarantee there'll be people out in shorts and/or flip-flops. There may even be a few nutballs out trying to get a tan. Oh, no, I am NOT kidding!! Fellow Chicagoans, back me up here!! I haven't worn a coat all week, but I know you all think I'm nuts anyway.
Don't forget to accept my St. Baldrick's Challenge!! (See above) and if you can, click here to make a donation. Thanks!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Later in the week, when I was doing my lesson plans for this week, I realized that Dr. Seuss' birthday was coming, and it occurred to me that maybe if New Principal really wanted to treat the babies, she could do it for that day instead. When I spoke to her about it, she got VERY excited, and immediately agreed. She then went on to say that ALL the primary classes should be involved, and next thing I know, I was assigned to facilitate a meeting with all the primary teachers.
New Principal took it one step further, and purchased a really cute Cat in the Hat costume, which our librarian actually agreed to wear for the celebration. She then came to school today armed with several sheet cakes and gallon buckets of ice cream. A schedule was set up for each of the primary classes to come down to the lunchroom and enjoy cake and ice cream at Dr. Seuss' birthday party! Woo hoo! It was a TON of fun!
Monday, March 1, 2010
This is a mini-version of the ABC Book I made and use every day with them. I can't take credit for the adorable pages, they came from a workshop I attended almost 10 years ago. We start using this book on the very first day of school every year. My "big" version has 8 1/2 x 11 pages, and I have both the capital and lowercase letter for each picture, plus the word for the picture. We start from the beginning, and at first we do it "I'll say it first, then you say it." Then I say, "A, aaaaa, apple. (They repeat) B, b, butterfly. (They repeat) C, c, caterpillar. (They repeat)" and so on. We spend a LOT of time with this book in the beginning of the year, and we go ever so slowly. I have them watch my mouth, and I give them little tricks and tips to ensure they say each sound properly. "Your tongue should be touching the top of your mouth." "Don't say 'buh,' it's just b. Remember, it's not a buh-utterfly, it's a butterfly." "Don't say 'puh,' it's just a p, with a puff of air." You get the idea. After a week or two, depending on the group is progressing, I start adding the corresponding ASL sign, which they always LOVE!
At this point in the year, we go through the book in random order, and they just say the sounds for me, I don't say it first. We mostly go through the alphabet once, for practice, each morning. There are a few kids, though, who still need to use the book in the same way we did back in August, as they are really struggling to learn those sounds. They don't have a lot of problem repeating what they hear, but they can not make the association between the sound and the letter.
Anyway, I told the kids a loonngg time ago that we were going to make our own ABC Books for them to take home and practice with. The fact that ALL the babies love this book made it very easy to not single out the handful who don't really get it yet. They were so excited when I finally got the copies made, and they spent almost two full mornings coloring the pages ever so carefully. I asked them to color their pictures as colorfully as possible.
Now, in the past, I've made these books with other classes, and I've let them cut their own pages apart. Sometimes we just use the pages as flashcards, instead of making them into a book. Sometimes I send the pages home so the parents can make the books/flashcards, however, most of the time, the pages never get touched. That's the sad reality with most of my babies' parents. OK, once again, NOT going off on a tangent.
This year, I decided we would make these at school (partly because I needed something for them to work on while I DIBELed, and I knew this would hold their interest long enough for me to get some testing done) and then I would cut them apart and make them into books. Doesn't sound like a big deal, right? Hmmm, have I mentioned I can be a little anal-retentive at times? No? Oh, well, yeah...this would be one of those times.
I wanted them cut a very specific way, which meant I couldn't even ask Ms. H., my parent volunteer, to help. Truth be told, it would have been too embarrassing for me to explain to her the anal-retentive way I wanted them cut.
So, that meant I had to bring the packets home with me this weekend. (I was only able to make one at school.) The first couple took an unbelievable amount of time, thanks to my 'issues,' but once I got into a rhythm, it seemed to go a little quicker. And, by quicker, I mean 20 minutes per book. Yeah, are you doin' the math already? There are 26 pages per book for each of my 23 babies. That's 20 minutes x 24 books (I had to make a sample book, of course) which comes to 8 hours. EIGHT HOURS, people!!! I actually spent 8 hours this weekend making ABC Books!
As I was cutting, I kept going back and forth between thinking, "Oh, it's totally worth it, the babies are going LOVE these, and they're going to use them every day, and they're going to learn their sounds perfectly, and they'll be reading like little demons...." and thinking, "Why the FUCK am I killing myself doing this?! They're gonna take these damn things home and lose them the first fuckin' night. Or, they're baby brother is going to rip it up, or their cat's gonna piss on it. And, even if they don't lose it, their lazy parents aren't going to practice with them, so what's the fuckin' point?!" (Yeah, so the throbbing in my wrist made me a little cranky. Deal with it!)
Here are the pages they colored
and here's the finished product!
The Wisdom To Know The Difference
(I’m with my wife at a well known fast food place, and they employ a young man with special needs who we both know and are very friendly with. An angry customer accosts him at the register.)
Customer: “S***, they’re taking so f***ing long with my food!”
Employee: “Just a sec, sir…”
Customer: “You’d better!”
(Not three minutes later, the employee comes with the customer’s food.)
Employee: “Here you go, sir.”
Customer: “Where’s the f***ing ranch?”
Employee: “Right away, sir!”
Customer: “No, forget it! You’ll probably slobber all over it!”
Wife: “Excuse me, sir, but this young man is doing his job. He’s not doing anything to hurt you, so how about you shut the f*** up!”
Customer: “F*** you, fat a**!”
Employee: “She’s a nice lady! There’s a baby inside her, and she’s not fat!”
Customer: “F*** you!” *storms out, upsetting some chairs*
Wife, to the employee: “People are so mean to you, honey. I’m so sorry, I can’t believe he said that to you, that a**hole!”
Employee: *grinning* “Don’t worry about it, Jesus and my mama still love me!” *walks away, the happiest man on earth*