Thursday, June 6, 2013


Today is day 3 of summer vacation and it's the first time I've had a chance to be at home in the morning. But it's been a great start to a summer. Tuesday I got up to go walk with a friend and then we got to work on our summer reading project. She's a fourth grade teacher at my school and we're both on the board of our local library. She came up with a great idea of taking books out into the community and to the weekly rentals we have in our town. Several of the motels in town have been turned into week by week rentals. There are a lot of kids that live in these places and they are considered homeless. So through the library, we've been working on a summer program to bring books to these kids and read with them once a week for about 5 weeks in the summer. I'm really excited about it. I think it's going to be great for our community and a great opportunity for us to give back. Tonight we have our first training for the volunteers. So this is a big chunk of how I'll be spending this summer.
The next big chunk of how I'm spending my summer is keeping my niece one day a week. It is so much fun. She's 2 and a half and a riot. Yesterday I got up earlier than I normally do for school to go keep her. We had a blast going to the park, getting ice cream, target, and just playing. It amazes me how much she has learned and how much she retains. She loves Pete the Cat and Don't let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. (I'm pretty sure that I have something to do with that.) We watched the ad video on Youtube for Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons like 15 times yesterday. She could recite it before the day was over.
This was right when she was telling me not to take my picture.
The next way to spend my summer break is to do some professional reading. This always seems to be my plan and I don't always get to it. I was reading some old posts from last summer and I had several books on my list that I never got to. So maybe this summer will be the summer.
Here's the stack. I'm not sure where to even start. I'm thinking either the Math for All or In Pictures and In Words. Those were on my lists last year and they didn't get read. Chris and I are headed to a Comic Book Convention this weekend and then to our youth retreat. Then we're home for a few days and then we go on our vacation. Busy Busy. But in a good way. I'm trying to keep myself organized. I've been wanting an Erin Condran planner for a while but I just can't seem to spend the money on one. I saw this pin on pinterest the other day that had a filofax planner and some great color coding. The filofax planner was just as expensive but this pin gave me an idea. So yesterday while wandering around target I found a planner I liked. It is made by Mead and has a page for each day and then a month calendar. I also got some flair pens to do some color coding.
That's the month of June all color coded and filled out. I have purple for personal stuff, red for school related stuff, green for library/reading outreach stuff, blue for scouts and church and then orange for all blog and creating stuff.  It's all well and good for now. I hope that I'll be able to stay organized and color coded. I'm such a nerd when it comes to school supplies and pretty pens.
I haven't figured out what projects I want to work on for school yet. I know that I want to work on materials for our new reading series. Our system has adopted Journeys and I'm pretty excited about it I think. It is at least going to give us the rigor that is expected in common core. But with any new adoption comes a learning curve. We don't have our teacher's editions yet but I was able to access some things online and get started on a document with themes, words, and letters. I hope to get some sight word items together and some flipcharts made this summer. I also know that I want to implement a sensory table for next year. I have a sand table for my classroom that I have never used. Something about sand just grosses me out. But thanks to some of my friends in kinder, I've been swayed to use the table as more of a sensory table. I've been pinning like crazy some ideas. But that's more like a July project. I need to be able to get in my classroom and get the sand table cleaned out. We are getting new floors in our rooms so I had to pack everything up more so than usual. On Monday during our half day, my room was emptied of all furniture and stuff. It was so weird. I had everything labeled but it still makes me nervous about it all coming back to my room. I think it was making me nervous because I'm going back to kindergarten and I switch out materials and furniture with the teacher next door. Hopefully they will get things back where they belong.
Well, I guess I should get off this computer and get busy on getting my house in order and things packed for our trip. I would love to hear about how you're spending your summer and what's on your list for summer reading.


  1. I didn't use sand, but I did use colored rice and pasta. My kids LOVED using it!

  2. Kerri,

    We MUST do coffee and blogging chat together this summer! I will be moving classrooms and I know exactly what you are talking about when you say it makes you nervous to have everything boxed...even when it is labeled. I do not like feeling unorganized. I do, however, like fresh starts and it makes me excited to think about arranging my room. I am also excited/nervous about departmentalizing. I really believe it will be best for the kids. We have to have way to better reach both the kids who are bored and the ones who don't get it but are afraid to look like they don't get it. Before I go...let me say that I am excited to be working with you and Cassie on the library project!

    5th Grade Tomfoolery

  3. The idea of taking books out into the community is a wonderful idea. Our library specialist and ESE teacher do a similar project in our area. You can read about it here:

    Teachin' First