Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Classroom Blog & a Bit About my Life

Tonight I'd like to share with you my classroom blog.  I actually have had it a couple of years longer than I've had this one.  I have mainly used it as a resource for my students when we go to the computer lab and I encourage them to use it at home as well.  Last year I only posted on it a couple of times, but this year I am hoping to post more frequently and use it as another means of communication with my parents.  I know that several other teachers at my site use it with their students at the lab as well.  My links are all listed on the left and I have recently restructured them.  Most of the links go to one of my Sqworl groups such as 'math sites', 'read & be read to', & 'children's author's sites'.  My students usually have certain links that they can go to during our lab time.  The last two weeks they have gone to Spelling City & Vocabulary sites that are matched to our reading series. (this week it was lesson 5 for spelling & vocabulary)  I plan to continue to update and add sites that I think will be good for them.
click on the image to go to my classroom blog
Feel free to drop by, have your children, and/or your students explore the links!  Let me know what you think! Thanks
Things are finally feeling more routine and settled in my class.  Tomorrow will be the end of our fifth week.  The first two weeks were a challenge because of our family life.  My 16 year old son has had many different challenges.  He is VERY bright and talented, but has always had a tough time with the school setting.  He is currently failing all of his classes except guitar and that has been the case for the last few years.  He is currently in the special ed testing process to see if he has any disabilities that are effecting him.  We went through it when he was in 1st grade as well.  At that time he had major issues with implusivity and focus, but because he was reading at a 4th grade level with comprehension, no accomadations were made.
He had a rough start...he is my stepson and during the pregnancy his mom was doing things she shouldn't have. He has a congenital heart defect and had 3 open heart surgeries by the age of three.  It's hard to know what went on in those first several years of his life.  I became his mom when he was 6.  (my son, from my 1st marriage, was 3 and our daughter was born a week before our 1st anniversary)
We have had him 100% of the time for most of the ten years we have been a family and they have been challenging in many ways.  I do love him, but the relationship has tested me in many ways.
Well we had an MAJOR issue the first Tuesday night of school.  I literally had NO sleep.  I made it thorough Wednesday, but overslept Thursday, was running late & was a complete mess.  They called in a sub...the 4th day of school! :(  Not the way I like to start my year.
That Friday night he stole his best friend's mom's car and drove without a license. :(
The following Monday I watched as his school bus arrived and saw him NOT get on the bus.  I got a call a little later that he had given his girlfriend a note the day before about running away together.  I found bags packed in his room, so I put them in mine, locked my door, headed to school & called to report him as a runaway.  The sheriff arrived at school about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes into the day and my class had to be split while my husband & I met with him.  He agreed to go out to our property & check on him.  About a half hour later we got the call that my son had out my husband's Harley & all of the things I had taken. (he had kicked in our bedroom door)  Praise God he hadn't taken off yet, as my husband does not believe he could have handled the motorcycle.  I ended up having to leave school.  Two subs in the first 6 days of school.  Rough!!! 
This week we went to court & his mother now has custody...he needs lots of prayer and so do we.  It is a relief but a concern too.  He had run away a week and a half ago and been there (with biological mom) ever since.  We had to protect ourselves since the way things had been we would have been 100% responsible for any choices he made...while visiting her in the spring she LET him drive without a permit or license!
Things are much calmer in my home, but I would greatly appreciate prayers for him.  We have in the paperwork that we would continue to take care of his medical and orthodontia as well as transport him to those appointments.  He has a major heart appointment on October 8th including a treadmill stress test.  The last two visits his cardiologist has talked about the possibility of having a pacemaker put in. 
If you pray, please do pray for our family.  Thank you!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Nibbling My Way Back Into Blogging!

Although I have tons of thoughts zooming through my head about what I would like to share with you, I think it is wisest to try to do a bunch of shorter posts rather than doing my usual of taking on more than I can handle! 

The two things I'll share with you today are my 'Flat Stanley' class pictures & about my Sqworl Sidebar & Blog Buttons.

Here I am along with my my 'Flat Stanley' class from our Back to School Night;

Flat Stanley Mrs. Wilson from a few years ago
and Flat Stanley from a few years before that!

The second subject for this post my lack of updating my sidebar Sqworl & Blog Buttons at the bottom of the window.  It has been a couple of centuries...okay a year and a half since I added or changed anything in either.  I will not try to research every blog listed, I will simply make a request to you.  If I do not have you in the appropriate sidebar Sqworl folder or do not have your blog there at all, please leave me a comment and I will make yours right.  The same goes for the blog buttons.  I know a lot of bloggers have updated their blogs & blog buttons and I probably still have the old one there.  If you let me know I will add or update yours.  "A Step at a Time"'s has been a motto for my life...I just need to work on baby steps! :)  Hope to post again tomorrow!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I AM Still Alive & Teaching! :)

     Yesterday I had a GREAT day of learning!  I drove about two hours to go to a Whole Brain Teaching conference.  It was completely FREE, but worth a million!  Okay, maybe I wouldn't have paid a million, but the two Whole Brain Teaching days that I have attended are two of THE BEST learning days I've had in 25 years of teaching!  Going even inspired me to finally post again!
      If you ever have a chance to attend a Whole Brain Teaching training, I HIGHLY recommend that you do.  You can find resources on their website, plenty of posts out here in teacher bloggyland, and signs in both Teachers Pay Teachers and Teacher's Notebook.

     Chris Biffle and his amazing team choose to spend their time sharing with any teachers who are willing to learn...they are doing this WITHOUT being paid for their time and talents!!  A few years ago I went to a WBT conference and it transformed my classroom!  If you've ever been to a training that was 'do as I say, not as I do' and been bored to tears; you do not need to worry that this will happen at WBT!!!  The WHOLE time you are actively engaged, just as you are learning to have your students actively engaged!
    If any of you are reading this, I apologize for my super long absence.  I have a bad habit of biting off WAY more than I can's my 'tagxedo' representing that: 
It's supposed to be a mouth..since I have bitten off so much!  After I discovered the wonderful world of teacher blogs I kept adding more and more and more blogs to my Google Reader...everyday there seemed to be new ones popping up...and those blogs were introducing me to so many new things...couponing, money saving sites, anchor charts, Teachers Pay Teachers & Teachers Notebook (from which I downloaded about every free item appropriate for 3rd grade!), great graphics sites, online clouds, and of course the highly addictive Pinterest!  Well, I just couldn't keep up!  I took a breather from even reading posts from teachers for a bit, I just felt so overwhelmed!  I don't know if any of you can relate to that.  I am so appreciative for all of the terrific bloggers out there and it has been nice to begin reading some of my favorite blogs again...Kristen's Ladybug's Teacher Files (she's really responsible for my library makeover...another HUGE project), Kristen from A Teeny Tiny Teacher (she always makes me smile), Krissy from Venspired (she always inspires me and I love all of her posters!!), and speaking of posters Shannon at Technology Rocks. Seriously. (she even did a poster for me!!  it was a quote that really struck me and is in my house's the link to it's the first one!)
     Okay, time for  bed...and hopefully it won't be 9 months before I post again!!! (I'm shooting for tomorrow, but we will see what tomorrow holds!)
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