Monday, September 01, 2014

School Lunches

Here is the plan I am trying this year.  One week in, and it's ok...I don't love it, but it's working.  After I grocery shop on Sunday I fill out the form, put it in the dry erase sleeve and hang it on the refrigerator for the week.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Festivals and Events

Festival season is upon us.  Here's a list of the ones we are going to try to go to:

September 7 - Blackstone Canal Fest - Worcester

September 8 - Revolutionary War in Worcester

September 14 - Boston Local Food Festival

September 21 - stART on the Street

September 26/27 - WCS's First Homecoming

September 12-28 - The Big E

Sam and the usual family team of Plumbs will be competing in the Greenway Challenge on September 27.

Amelia starts soccer twice a week next week, and Toby starts hockey in two weeks.  Amelia's games will be on Saturdays.  Toby's games will be on Sundays.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Today is a great day, much needed relaxation.  Sam took our van for inspection this morning and it passed!!!!  Second year in a row of hassle free inspections.  What a relief.  It has 206,000 miles and it's still doing well.

The rest of us woke up various time throughout the morning, had some breakfast, and then headed back to bed to read or sleep.  We finally used some  of the ice brewed Keurig cups I received as a gift.  I'm making peach crisp and zucchini bread, using peaches and zucchini from a friend's garden/orchard.  A load of laundry is in, I'm about to make the meal plan for the week.

I'm feeling better this morning.  I felt awful last night, but today is definitely better.

All in all, this day is just what we needed.

P.S.  Sam's day probably wasn't quite as good...he's working today and the bunny bit through his headphones last night...try not to mention it to him. ;)

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Stamp Act

We are doing a lengthy unit on the American Revolution and I wanted to start it off in a way that would grab the students' attention, so I left the room for a second and came back in with a sheet of stickers, an empty jar, and told them I was the POTUS.  I said the school doesn't have enough money and that from now on the students were going to be required to buy a sticker for 5 cents to put on all papers that they turned in.  I said they would also need to buy a sticker to go to the bathroom, get a drink, go outside to recess, etc.  They also had to use their own money because their parents were paying enough to the school already.  At this point they are looking at each other, not sure what to believe.  They began talking to each other about it.  One student shouted out, "This is NOT fair!"  I gave a silent cheer inside my head.  Perfect student response.  We talked about how it would all work a bit more.  One student was getting more and more angry.  Finally he looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "If this is real, then I am not going to this school anymore!  I have been saving MY money for a long time for something special!"

At that point, I stopped the scenario and said, "Exactly.  This is how the colonists felt when King George III decided that the 13 colonies should start paying taxes on paper goods.  I went on to explain the Stamp Act and other taxes that were demanded...

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Last night my throat started hurting.  Today at school two children in my class were diagnosed with strep.  One child was out sick, I don't know if she has strep.  Toby was complaining of a sore throat this afternoon.

Elizabeth told me about the Minute Clinic.  Normally I go to the after hours clinic with Reliant, but this was my late night in Whitinsville so I headed to the Uxbridge CVS.  Website said they closed at 7:00.  It was 6:15.  I got there.  I was the only one there.  Everything went well, until she found out that I just got off antibiotics for an ear infection 10 days ago, so she said a rapid strep would be negative.  She did the one you send away and I should have results in a day or two.  I also have a slight fever.

Regardless of whether it is strep or not, I am feeling pretty awful.  Heading to work at my dad's now and then home.  Thankful tomorrow is Friday.

Articles and More

Here are some interesting articles I've read lately:

The Learning Myth by Sal Khan

Massachusetts Drivers' Licenses Not Up to Snuff

Which Digital Teacher Are You?

Serial Stowaway Arrested

Bullets and Burgers  - Without getting into any gun control debates, I can't even believe there is a place like Bullets and Burgers, AND that they let 9 year old children shoot machine guns.

Dan Beerens tweeted this article from The Banner, The Case for Christian Schools. I thought it was quite good, especially the part below.  I think WCS does a great job engaging the culture and providing direction, which is just one of the many reasons I love the school and the Christian Reformed views of the world belonging to God.

  Some parents believe that sending their kids to a Christian school will protect them from these competing stories. But it will not. A Christian school that does not engage the culture in which students live does its children and parents a disservice. Rather, Christian schools are to equip students with the tools to identify and respond to the idols of our time.

I've also just finished reading Divergent and Insurgent.  I started the series after watching the movie.  Divergent was remarkably like the movie and I enjoyed it although it wasn't great because I already knew the plot.  Insurgent was boring at first, but got better as I continued.  Now I'm waiting for the third book to come in from the library.  While I'm waiting, I'm starting The Invention of Wings.  I've heard it is fabulous, but I didn't love The Secret Life of Bees, so we'll see.

Sam and I started watching the movie "Her" the other night but shut it off because it was awful on every level.

Lucy and I went to see The Giver on Sunday.  It was excellent, and the ending didn't leave you hanging like the book does.

And I'm currently enjoying listening to 5 Seconds of Summer's "She Looks So Perfect".  I know, I know...

And if you are looking for something to do, take thirty-three 3 oz. Dixie cups and see how tall of a tower you can build.  The highest in my class was 68cm.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Eric Metaxas just retweeted one of my tweets.  Yes, it was about one of his interviews, but it is very exciting to me!  And I wrote it in January...

Stimulating interview with plenty of laughs. Gladwell: David and Goliath @Gladwell#davidandgoliath #metaxas

My Classroom

 This year I added a few new jobs - Technology Assistant, this person plugs in all of the computers and ipads each day.  Timeline Creator.  We are going to be reading The Story of the World, Volume 1 this year to learn about Ancient History.  This person will be filling out a map and writing a summary of the day's chapter.  Story Painter is another new job, this person draws a picture of our current read aloud while I am reading it.

One of our new Creative Design centers is going to be sewing.  We've had parents provide fabric, needles and thread.  We also have everything needed to make sock puppets.

We are concentrating on World Geography this year, specifically the countries of the world.  This is our new bulletin board and we will fill in the countries as we learn them.

These are individual blank maps that the students can use as they learn the countries.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Two days in and I'm exhausted.  I just want to come home and go to bed every day.  The thought of dinner, lunches, breakfast, baths, clothes ready, etc. is enough to do me in.

But my class had a good first full day today.  Lucy still loves Middle School.  Toby is doing well, and Amelia is busy doing "homework".

Sam's training this week is going well, with lots of food available, which always makes it a good training for him.

I bought a DD coffee on Sunday and saved the cup.  I've used that cup Monday and Tuesday with my Keurig coffee and it's been pretty good.  Turns out I'm all about the cup...

Tomorrow Toby and I have dentist appointments after school and Lucy has a party at the library.  Sounds exhausting already.

I just hovered over something on my email and it says I can send and request money through my email.  Bizarre.

First Day of School 2014


 Fourth Grade

 Sixth Grade

 Outside his classroom

Outside her locker

Amelia wouldn't let me take any pictures at school.

They all had a good day.  Lucy loves her new young teachers and enjoys moving from class to class.  Toby  liked his class and spending time with all of the 4th graders.  He's looking forward to the AR point Subway Club.  Amelia loved her class and said she only learned one thing today, where to play during recess. :)

Today was a half day, which is nice because that is about all I can handle on the first day.  The worst part of the day was getting home at 2 and having to make lunch for the kids.  I'd rather they have a full day and make lunches the night before!

My first day went very well.  It's always so quick and it's hard to prioritize which routines are the most important for them to learn.  We went through a full Morning Meeting this morning, went over jobs, organized all of our supplies, and spent some time getting to know each other.  12 of my students are looping with me, 6 students are new, so it's going to be an interesting dynamic.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Night Before School Starts

Today is the first day of school.  I'll have pictures on tomorrow.

We didn't spend Sunday at the beach or doing any of those last minute fun things that some families like to do.  We spent it cleaning the house, the cars, ironing work clothes, making sure all the laundry was done, grocery shopping, organizing files, baking bread and doing everything possible to be as ready as possible for a successful start to the school year.

The kids were in bed by 7, not that they fell asleep that early.  Sam and I were watching a movie by 8, and the alarm was set for 6:00.  Sam starts work today also, although he gets a week of Professional Development before he is back in the classroom.

I feel like we are ready...the beginning of the year holds such optimism.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bunny Proofing

I never baby-proofed, but I have now bunny-proofed, and everyone is much happier.


I left the school at 1am on Wednesday, but first made sure that I took some pictures of my classroom.  I'll put them on over a few posts.

Most of my room is the same as last year, but there are a few changes/improvements.

Today is our Faculty Day.  School starts on Monday.  Sam starts back to teaching on Monday also.

On Thursday we attended Kindergarten Roundup at Fairwoods where Amelia had a wonderful time playing and swimming with her friends.

I have the same door sign as last year, but I still love it and think it sums up my class very well.  Here's a link to some of the words:  When You Enter This Classroom

 I always have one of these on my door so that students know exactly what to do in the morning.

 This is my new hall bulletin board I bought it on Teachers Pay Teachers and printed it out.  Lucy colored all of the words.  I laminated it.  Lucy cut out all of the words.  I hung it up.  I'm calling it Lucy's bulletin board.

 This year I added an afternoon routine sign also because again each day there are a few students who are confused about all that needs to be done.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


This past week I watched three movies.

1.  Noah - Not my typical movie, but I thought it was a good movie to watch while you are doing schoolwork on the computer.

2.  Divergent - I liked this movie a lot and now have all the books on hold at the library.  Theo James might have had a little to do with that.  :)  I had never heard of him before.

3.  The 100 Foot Journey - When I was reading over the synopsis of the movie, it sounded very familiar.  Turns out I had read the book.  The movie was great, lots of cooking, lots of family love, very sweet and sentimental.

I also read two books.

The Rosie Project - This was a novel about a scientist with Asperger's who sets out to find a wife, using a 16 page survey.   It was cute and I thought it was well-written.

Romance is my Day Job - This is a memoir of a woman who is an editor for Harlequin Romances and her own unfilled love life.  She ends up finding love when she is older than she expected.  This was pretty good, not the best, not the worst.  A quick read, good for the summer.

Right now I'm reading Thirty Girls, a novel about girls who were abducted by the LRA in Uganda.  I don't love the writing style, so we'll see how it goes.

Monday, August 18, 2014


Here are some pictures my father took of their week:

 Heading off with their counselors

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Arizona - Day 7

Today was our final day here.  We leave at 3am for the airport.

Sam rented a mountain bike this morning and went biking for 5 hours along the trails here.  He loved it.  I got a pedicure and a manicure.  I also went to the movies for the first time alone.  I went to see The 100 Foot Journey.  I had read the book and enjoyed it and I thought the movie was great also.  It was me and a lot of retired women in the theater.

We went out for Chinese/Sushi tonight and just finished doing laundry and packing things up.  Sam thinks he'll go to sleep for a bit.  I'm planning on just staying up.

Me at the movies

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Arizona - Day 6

Today Sam went out hiking this morning at Cathedral Rock.  I made new chore charts for the school year and a checklist for school lunches. :)

We headed to Walnut Canyon National Monument in the afternoon.  This is a place where you can hike down the canyon and actually go in the cliff dwellings.  It was really neat.

From there we went to Chick-Fil-A for the first time and enjoyed a chicken sandwich.  They also had a Dunkin Donuts next door, my first coffee of the week.

Then we went to Staples to pick up a few things and then to Home Depot where we purchased some tools and things for my class to use.  This year we are going to have a construction center in Creative Design.  Sam and I enjoyed shopping together without having to hurry.  We also forgot that we had to bring all of this on an airplane, good thing we didn't buy the 5 gallon bucket I wanted.

On the way home from Flagstaff it was the perfect timing to view the sunset from Airport Mesa, along with many other people!

Now we're watching a movie.  Tomorrow Sam is renting a mountain bike and I'm going to the movies and getting a pedicure.

Can you see the cliff dwellings?

 Fire rings

 Everyone watching the sunset