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A Month Later…

Well crap.

I blinked.

Longest blink ever.

As in one month and six days.

Sheesh.

It’s hard to believe that the first grading period will be over in eleven days.

Even though this is my seventh year teaching, I feel as busy as I did my first two years.  Having an extra prep is wayyyyy more work than most people realize.

Every Monday finds me like this…

We’ve been incredibly busy.  My Intensive Reading classes are doing their thing.  We spent the first two weeks on my Brain Gardening unit.  This is where they study the science of positive affirmations on the brain.  I added in a Brainology article, assessment, and worksheet that my friend, Cinda, pointed me to.  The kids loved the lesson, as did I.

Kahoot made an appearance when I used it to review Text Features with my Intensive Reading students.  They loved it, as I knew they would.

My Honors classes are doing some seriously hard work.  They’re writing a huge essay about suicide prevention.  The ultimate purpose is to evaluate what our school is doing in this regard.  I brought in a few speakers, and my kids interviewed them.

I was very surprised when I read the following entry in one of my girl’s reading responses…

This made getting those speakers so worth the effort!!

My students just finished typing their rough drafts.  I’m taking the kids through the entire writing process.  They didn’t exactly enjoy the planning part, but one of my girls actually went above and beyond by typing her outline…

They typed their papers in Google Drive.  A friend, Ryan, who is also a tech employee with my district, came in and trained my kids on it and Canvas, an online classroom setting that we use.  I had my kids link their Google Drive essays with Canvas, and then they peer reviewed a computer-generated partner’s work.

It was some good stuff!  Yes, I am a teacher nerd.  🙂

Their papers are due on Friday.  I cannot wait to read their final drafts!!!

The second week of school found our routine interrupted when Hurricane Hermine came to the Panhandle.  We had two extra days off of school.  I’m not going to lie.  They were wonderful and provided a much-needed rest that allowed me to catch my breath.  The first few weeks are extremely tiring when you’re a teacher.

Notice my alarms…turned off?

I was able to work out…in daylight…on those mornings.

With extra classes comes extra grading.  I’m forever behind, although I did make serious headway last week.

I really take my time reading responses to my students’ books and providing feedback of their essays.  I want each student to feel like I care about them individually.

I’m also trying to evolve in my teaching practices by working on the use of progression scales.  These are measuring tools by which students assess their learning.  I used Plickers to have students answer the following question.  It was our first time using the cards.  There was a small learning curve, but eventually, I think it will be a quick way to get feedback from them.

I also adopted a new football player since the one I’d had for the past three years graduated in May.  These were some of the goodies I purchased to add to his bags over the next few weeks…

As a way to keep up with the latest hot reads, I’ve been listening to The Nerdy Bookcast podcast.  It.  Is.  Fabulous.  I think I’ve cried during every episode.  The impact that books have children is impressive.

Check out the book I ordered after listening to a book talk about it during one episode.  I already have a waiting list for it after doing my own book talk in my classroom!

Another book I heard on the podcast was The Twinkie Bin.  I ordered it immediately, book-talked it, and read the first three chapters to my Honors classes.  It was snatched up by a young lady.  Another student wrote down the title so her mom could order it for her.  It’s riveting.

Speaking of books…one of my favorite things about teaching is watching as my students develop a love for literature.  One young lady is reading Beautiful Creatures.  She looked up the lyrics for “Sixteen Moons,” the song that keeps playing over and over in the book.

I used my teacher lead money to purchase twenty five new books.  The first batch arrived early last week.

Here’s the second batch that came in…

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to maintain the boundaries between home and work.  So, I work super hard Monday through Thursday…into the evenings…and give myself the weekends to be me…no schoolwork allowed.

My life continues to revolve around my workouts.  I really like the 22 Minute Hard Corps program.  Tony Horton often refers to it as “functional fitness.”  It’s not so much lifting weights as it is building core strength and endurance, which you need for living.

I am not going to lie.  This program is deceptively hard.  I thought it was going to be easier.  I needed easier after Hammer and Chisel.

Boy, was I fooled.  I burn anywhere between 175-250 calories with each workout.

I found some worksheets online, and I love them!  They help me see which exercises are coming up, and I like seeing the blanks fill up during the week.

I did have a mishap one day when door I had the bands hanging over popped open.  The bands flew back and hit me in the head and hands.

My right hand got the worst of it, though.  My knuckle still hasn’t healed completely.

Yes, I am a klutz.

I’ve been mixing workouts with yard work.  I like to keep my heart rate monitor on while I’m outside out of simple curiosity.  Apparently, mowing, edging, and sweeping debris burns a crap-ton of calories.

The Hard Corps program is eight weeks long.  I just started Week 7.  The workouts have gotten progressively difficult.  There’s one workout every other day and two workouts every other day.  Although there are only a total of seven workouts, not counting the bonus ones, the combos vary according to the week and day.

There are still days when I dread getting out of bed…knowing what’s ahead of me in my workout…but I do get up, and I do push through.

As the weeks have gone by, I’ve started doing the workouts without the videos.  My friend, Rebecca, wrote an honest review of the program.  Her post explains how fast the videos go, and this was something I had a problem with too.  After I found the worksheets and got comfortable doing the exercises, I stopped watching the videos.  I was having to pause them frequently, because I was determined to do all of the reps.  Doing them at my own pace has allowed me to focus on my form.

I have needed a distraction while working out, though, so on Saturdays, I watch the ESPN College Gameday program.  I love the human interest stories and the picks of the commentators.

During one story, which left me in tears, I sketched out lesson plans that I hope to use some time this year.

I just couldn’t help myself.  I get ideas from so many places.

I’m seeing the fruits of my workouts…not just in my body but my endurance.  I completed the Hogwarts Running Club’s Platform 9 3/4k with, what my friend, LeAnne, said was a good time.  I was just happy to get through it!  I did walk/jog intervals.

With all of the exercising and calorie burning, I’ve been more motivated to cook.  I bought two cookbooks from Oh She Glows, a vegan cook.

I also recently downloaded her app…well worth the $4.99!

I have liked every single recipe I’ve made so far.

The 6 Vegetable and “Cheese” Soup was pretty good.  Next time I make it, I’ll leave out the cayenne pepper.

Peanut Better Balls (no typo)…so very delicious and super duper easy!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothy Bowl…oh word!!  This recipe is in the app.

Healthy Potato Soup for the Soul (in the app)…the BEST potato soup I’ve ever had!  I couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers each day at school!!!

This past weekend, I made the Spiced Red Lentil Tomato and Kale Soup.  I didn’t take pictures…shocker, I know…but this soup is seriously flavorful.  The broth is to die for!

Another thing that’s kept me busy is a new hobby…calligraphy!  I recently started following Scarlet and Gold on Instagram because this shop is based out of Auburn.  I saw that they would be offering a free online class and signed up.  I ordered my supplies and eagerly awaited.

What a wonderful job they did with the video!  It was easy to follow and very polished.  I learned a lot and had so much fun!

Not bad for a first attempt, eh?

I enjoyed it so much that I ordered more resources.

Although that’s not everything that I’ve been up to, it’s quite a lot of it.  As always, I continue to crave more writing time but find it almost impossible to carve out.

I’ll keep trying, though, and hopefully will get back on the train more frequently.

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2 Responses

  1. Your caligraphy looks great. I want to buy some books or watch more videos that help with lettering.
    I love your book stash. I see a few I’ve read already in there.
    Good for you doing the moves on your own. You ROCK!!

  2. Oh that organ donation segment on Gameday turned me into a total blubbering mess.

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