Sunday Scoop!



It's that time of the week again!  It seems like Sunday Scoops are all I have time for lately!  I am happy to be linking up with Teaching Trio again.  


I feel like I am finally coming up for air after being underwater for weeks!  School is starting to settle down and I am finally starting to feel better after being sick for weeks!  

It comes just in time too!  My brother and his wife are out of town this weekend so we are watching their lovely kids while they're gone.  So, instead of two, we have five!

We went apple picking, made our own pizzas, hiked in a creek, and painted pumpkins.  Today we are going to a birthday party at a different apple farm.  

AND...  I completed my first new product in a few weeks while we were driving!  You can find it in my TpT store.


We don't get too many of these nice weather weekends in Upstate New York this late in the year.  I hope to soak it all in!

I need to find some time to finish writing an IEP for an annual review on Monday.  Ugh!  I think paperwork is the worst thing about teaching.  Alas, it needs to be done.

Here is one of my favorite pictures of the day while we were hiking yesterday.  I just wish my son was in it along with the girls.  


I hope you enjoy your Sunday!

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Oh My Sickness!

So, back to school usually means more germs being spread around.  I am always very careful to wash my hands several times a day and I always wipe my tables down a few times.  It doesn't always work...

Last Wednesday, I woke up with a terrible cough and a missing voice.  Like gone.  Aside from a bit of squeaking, there was nothing!  

Thank goodness I am in an inclusion classroom with another teacher and four teaching assistants to be my voice!  

I pushed through with my week with an arsenal of medicine and hot tea.  I was exhausted but I thought it was the normal "back to school" exhaustion.  The coughing kept getting worse and starting impact my sleep and my focus during the day.


Finally, 9 days later I decided to go do the doctor.  It was supposed to be a quick morning appointment so I could get a stronger cough medicine before heading to work.  Instead, I got this:


Coxsackie?!?  Really?!?  That one threw me for a loop!

So, I went to work and got sub plans organized before giving in to the fact that I was really, truly, actually sick.  Once I got home, I crashed.  Almost 5 hours later, I woke up to get the kids from the babysitter and bring them to gymnastics.  

I took Friday off as well and it really helped me with my recovery.  I think the medicine is kicking in!

This morning, I went apple picking and took a relaxing stroll in a creek with my family.  It was exactly what I needed to fully recover! 


Enjoy the rest of your weekend and be healthy!

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Sunday Scoop!




I am happy to be linking up with Teaching Trio's Sunday Scoop again.  What a fun way to end/begin my week! 


Sundays in Fall are my favorite!  Today, I have a crock pot of homemade sausage, bean, and escarole soup simmering.  It smells delicious.  My husband is outside working hard to finish our pool deck before the snow flies (which can be any minute around here). 

I have had a terrible cough and raspy voice since Wednesday.  My muscles ache from coughing so hard.  I am totally ready for it to be over.  Thankfully, it seems like the kids might have missed this one!  

I have so much to squeeze into nap time today!  Hopefully I'll be able to get it all done.  

Oh, and don't let the lack of laundry on my list fool you.  My washer and dryer have been busy all day!  If only there was a machine to fold and put away too!  

Have a great week!  

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Communicating on the Fly


It's Wednesday afternoon and your team has all gone home for the night.  You have a pile of papers on your desk to be filed.  There is another pile of student work to be posted on the bulletin board.  Homework still needs to be graded.  You opened 3 parent emails during lunch and need to adjust some things for tomorrow's homework.  There are two tests tomorrow and you need to make some more copies of graph paper.  One of your TAs had a few questions about a test that you didn't have time to answer.  Oh, and there have been some changes to the related service schedule.  And it's picture day tomorrow.  

Sound familiar?  Um, this was my Wednesday!  It wouldn't be so bad but it seems like every day is just as crazy.  Every. Single. Day. 

I love-love-LOVE my 5th grade team of other teachers and teaching assistants but sometimes relaying messages to everybody and delegating responsibilities becomes a giant undertaking!  I mean, including me, there are 8 of us!  

Throughout the day, thoughts and questions come up that cannot be addressed right away.  My four TAs and I travel with our inclusion class between four classrooms.  Questions and ideas tend to get forgotten.  

To remedy this problem, we created a space to put all of our ideas and questions.  We use the inside of one of the closet doors in my classroom.  This allows us to keep the information somewhat confidential.  

This system is especially helpful for me when I am at work after my teaching assistants have left for the day and I have things to discuss the next morning.  It's great for my entire team so that everybody is heard!


Sunday Scoop


Now that I am back at work and the days of the week actually matter, I am in love with Sundays.  Sundays are even sweeter this time of year because it means lazy football Sundays with my family and big crock pots filled with yummy goodness. 

I am thrilled to link up with Teaching Trio's Sunday Scoop!  



Oh my goodness!  One of the things I dread is cutting Thomas's hair.  He is 16 months of pure energy and it is difficult to keep him still!  I would bring him someplace, but I think that would be even more disastrous.  Wish me luck because I have been avoiding his haircut for a few weeks and he is overdue!

The one thing that I am super happy to be doing today is attending the baptisms of two of my itty bitty baby cousins, Matthew and Owen.  After the baptism my great big huge (and loud) family is all piling into my cousin's house for lunch.  I love these family gatherings!

I wish you all a relaxing Sunday and a successful week ahead.  

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First Full Week of School - Check!


Oh boy, am I tired!  I made it through my first full week (and a half from the week before) of school in 18 months.  I am glad to be back in the classroom with my kiddos and I really missed my teacher friends.  I almost forgot what it was like to have a conversation with another adult besides my husband!

It was a crazy two weeks!  Not only did I return to work, but Lily started preschool and gymnastics.  My husband has been on evening shifts so we have been taking turns with the kids.  We have had 4 different child care arrangements going on since our regular sitter is out of town for most of September.  Oh, and I got a flat tire in my school's parking lot!  Thankfully, one of my teacher friends was able to help me change the tire so I could get home. 


Since we couldn't get into our classrooms this summer, I feel like I am still playing catch up.  I still have so many things that are unorganized or not set up yet.  My husband is back on day shifts this week so hopefully, I can stay late some nights and get things caught up.  

One of the best things about being gone for a year in a half is that I am able to work with the same kiddos as 5th graders that I had as 3rd graders.  I already have established relationships with them and their families which is wonderful.  But the most rewarding part is that I can recognize so much growth since I left!  I have had to take a step back to just watch and be amazed so many times this week.  I am like a proud mama!


One of my S.L.A.N.T. partners made some mason jar cut-outs for me last month.  I fell in love with them!  There were enough jars for each letter of my last name so one of my TAs made letters for me at home.  I love the way it turned out and have had compliments from everybody that has popped into my classroom!  

I am looking forward to working with my wonderful team and my endearing students this year.  I think it is going to be a great one!

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Got Paraprofessionals?



So, a couple weeks ago a friend of mine called me to ask some advice about handling some issues with a TA working in her classroom.  At the time, there was only a few days left of summer school but she would be working with the same TA in the fall.  

She really wanted to get the new school year off to a great start but was concerned that some of the past issues would continue.  I also am working with some new TAs in my classroom this year and really wanted to set high expectations from the start. 

I spent a few weeks working on a project to help me get the year off to a great start.  I am in love with it!  

I used pieces of it this week when I first met with my team of four Teaching Assistants.  It was the most organized I have felt when I went in for that first TA meeting!  


The biggest focuses of our conversation were confidentiality and keeping a positive outlook.  Positive thoughts breed positive thoughts and if we all keep a positive attitude, our days will be better.  Our motto this year will be "everything is great!" when anybody asks.  During our weekly meetings, we can discuss difficulties and what we need to change.  (Of course if an urgent matter pops up, we can discuss that in a professional way the same day.)

Here is a little peek at my paraprofessional pack I created and used in my meeting.  




You can find this awesome pack in my TpT store!

Do you have paraprofessionals in your classroom?  How do you get ready for the school year with them?

Speaking of great TAs, my wonderful group of ladies helped me put together one of my favorite bulletin boards this year.  They spent a lot of time cutting, gluing, cutting again, and stapling.  Isn't it so pretty?


Our students came today for "meet the teacher" but they come for the first day of school tomorrow.  I can't wait!  

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August S.L.A.N.T.


So today was my first day back to work.  I cried so much yesterday thinking about leaving my kiddos.  This morning, I enjoyed the quiet and even got to school almost an hour early to set some things up.  It was a long, busy day and I have so much left to do before the students come on Thursday.  I was exhausted but looking forward to coming home to my kiddos...who were still napping when I walked in.  Bummer.  

But...

Then I saw this:


S.L.A.N.T. - Sending Love Across the Nation to Teachers.  It is the most amazing brainchild of Jameson of Lessons With Coffee.  I mean, who doesn't love to get mail.  This is my second month participating and both months have been amazing!

I have met awesome teacher-bloggers that I may not have ever gotten to know.  Plus, like I said before:  Who does not just LOVE getting mail?!?  

So, I was super duper excited to open my package!  Bree from Kinder Kids did an amaaaaazing job putting this SLANT box together.  Here are a few of the highlights!




This month's theme was Hometown Pride so Bree included some Delaware stickers!


I LOVE polkadots and Bree used a lot of them in my box!  I love the headband and the orange scarf will be a perfect addition to my Syracuse Orange gear!  



How adorable are these cardstock mason jars?  They also have itty bitty polka dots.  LOVE!  I think I might spell out my last name since there are enough jars then hang the whole thing on my desk at work.

 Tieks.  Need I say more?  Bree got me a gift certificate towards a new pair of tieks.  Oooo la la!

Guess what?  There was even more!  There was a bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans that were quickly claimed by my daughter.   Bree also made vinyl cut-outs of my kids names for their bedrooms.  How sweet is that?  

Needless to say, I was spoiled this month!  Bree made my day when I got home from a long day at work.  I love my entire box!

I also met another wonderful teacher-blogger this month.  Suzanne from Create Educate Inspire is an adorable teacher from Ohio and I had fun putting together a S.L.A.N.T. box for her.  

Do you S.L.A.N.T.?  Do you want to?  You can sign up for next month's exchange at Lessons With Coffee.  You will not regret it!


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September Currently

Oh,  September.  We have a love/hate relationship.  I love fall.  I love the smells, the colors, the food, apple picking, the lazy football Sundays.  But, September also means back to reality and less time with my kids.  I love teaching and I love the excitement of back to school but I LOVE being home with my kiddos.  Who doesn't?

I am thrilled to be linking up with Farley again for the one and only CURRENTLY!  I have enjoyed getting to know new teacher-bloggers the last few months by participating in this great linky!

Here goes...



Back to work tomorrow.  The kids come on Thursday.  Did I mention that I was only in my classroom once?  Our building was still being renovated late into the eleventh hour but our principal sneaked us in a few at a time to drop some stuff off and spend a teensy-tiny bit of time in our rooms.  After being gone for 18 months, I am soooooo far behind!  

I have so much to do today before I go back, but I am enjoying some quiet time.  My Lily stayed an extra night with her cousins at the lake and Thomas is now quietly playing in his water table.  Man, he loves that thing.  Especially when he is not fighting his big sister for room to play!

I was able to spend a great weekend with my family.  The weather was GREAT on Saturday and the kids swam all day.  We were able to go on the boats.  My dad set up an outdoor movie for the kiddos both nights.  The kids LOVE that!  We also celebrated my grandma's 81st and dad's 55th birthdays.  

Of course, we always have a few mishaps when all 50+ of us are at the lake.  This time, they were both of my kids!  Thomas got stung by a bee on Saturday afternoon.  Thank goodness he didn't have a reaction.  Lily jammed a popcorn kernel up her nose on Saturday night.  Yes, she did!  I am pretty sure it fell out at some point but we were both pretty traumatized looking for it!  Good thing we have a doctor and a few nurses in the family!

The only thing missing from my great weekend was my husband who was stuck working all weekend.  I guess somebody has to make sure the airplanes get in and out safely.  

Another summer in the memory books.  It was a great one! 



Now, it's time to write a new chapter.  I know that it will be tough leaving my babies behind each day, but I also know that I will look forward to spending my evenings and weekends with them.  I just wish time didn't have to go by so quickly.  

If you're also starting back to school this weekend, I wish you the very best!


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