Sunday, December 30, 2012

Close to reaching 2 HUGE milestones.....

Today has been one of those days where I had great intentions but did not get much accomplished. I decided that instead of dragging our Christmas decorations up an down 2 flights of stairs (we have 3 full flights above ground) every year, that I would clean out our closet under the stairs and store them there. Great idea huh? Well 5 hours later, the house is a complete wreck.....

"Where is she going with this?" you ask.....well the closet is empty now, all the Christmas is STILL up, and my house is a disaster area. So I decided to get on my blog and check out the traffic from the last few posts. I also decided to check out my Twitter feed.  Well, I have gained a few followers on my blog and on Twitter so I am close to 200 followers on my blog and also close to 100 followers on Twitter.  Yay me!!

So here is what I am going to do....when I read 400 combined followers (that is 100 more followers between Twitter and my blog)  I am going to have a giveaway.   100 more between the two...that shouldn't be too hard, eh?

In the mean time...I want my blog followers (and I'll post a link on Twitter too) to tell me what I should giveaway when I hit on this link and let me know what I should give away.

If you are not currently following me on Twitter, head on over there now and start....TalesFrmTeacher is my Twitter handle.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013 Resolution Solution Linky Party

Teaching Maddeness

Today I am linking up with fellow "Carolina Girl" blogger Amanda over at her blog Teaching Maddeness for her 2013 Resolution Solution linky party. Who doesn't love a good linky party? Right? But first I am going to give a shout out to one of my new followers Jess at I "Heart" Recess. If you are not currently following Jess (or Amanda) head on over to their wonderful blogs and start following them!!

So Amanda is hosting a link for New Years Resolution Solutions. Check out her post here.

So here are my solutions to my resolutions....

1. Use technology everyday with my students. Now I use a fair amount of technology in my lessons (Promethean board flip charts, our class laptops, the class iPad. etc) but I want to use it more. In fact I want my lessons to be so chocked full of technology we short circuit the electrical system in my building (well not really, but you get my drift, right?) With not Common Core implementation for my state/grade level looming, I am really worried that my kids will be as prepared for the technology and project components as I want them to be. They are very capable and we blog together weekly, and they love using the laptops and the iPad but I am still scared....gotta ramp it up big time.

2. As an off-shoot of #1 I would love to be an integral part of the preparation for the technology/project component for Common Core. We have a 2nd computer lab in out school that is being under-utilized. I want that to become our (my 2 classes) second home, but I want to also encourage the other teachers in our building to use it too. I know the kids would love having more time in the computer lab each week (right row they get one 40 minute session per week...and they are required to use a compute program called Compass Odyssey rather than let the students explore and create).

1. As cliche as this sounds, I am making losing weight my resolution (again). I have been a serial dieter all my adult life but as I get closer to 50 (yikes, did I just write that number...and BTW I still have 2.5 years till I hit that number).  I have decided to join Weight Watchers and am also considering joining a gym. I just don;t want to set myself up for failure either. My goal is to lose 40 pounds this year although I probably need to lose at least 75. Baby steps....
2. I want to run a half-marathon. I have run/walked several 5k races int he past few years, but I would really like to train and run a 1/2.  I need some accountability well a someone who might want to train with me (even if we are on opposite sides of the US)...Any takers??

1. I am going to "attempt" to blog at least 4 times week. I started my blog last summer when I had all the free time in the world and we all know how that goes once school starts. Even if I have to do all my writing on the weekend an schedule my blogs. I am going to try.....

2. I want to increase my followers to 300 by the end of next year. Right now I am at 191.

3. I know this is not really blog related but I would like to try my hand at opening a TpT store. I am not really creative, but I think I have a lot of ideas to offer. I just have to start brainstorming what I think it will be...maybe tying in technology?!?!?!

Well, there you have it. I have committed it to paper (okay to my blog)..and when I click "post" it will be out there for all of bloggyland to see. Now who is going to hold me accountable??

I am also linking up with Diane over at "Teaching with Moxie". Thanks again Jess for participating and posting on your blog so I could join in this fun!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

"Seriously! You're working during your break?"

This was the question my husband asked me this morning as I opened up my laptop and started working on January lesson plans.  This year we had 13 days off for Winter Break and this is the first time since we moved to South Carolina that he had the entire break off with me. We were giddy like schoolchildren when we discovered by him taking leave for 5 days over the break we would have the entire time to hang out as a family and enjoy the holidays with our 12 year old son. The first few weeks of break we rushed around shopping and getting ready for Christmas. Then Christmas Eve and Christmas Day flew by and yesterday we decided not to even get out of our pajamas.

This morning, however, after I enjoyed a cup of coffee with him and the Today show, I felt that itch to get some work done. I brought home my laptop and my teacher bag was full of papers to grade. I couldn't waste another minute. So I got up from the couch, grabbed my laptop and returned to the couch an started searching for ideas on how to teach author's craft.

Apparently, I was not the only one thinking this way, because as I opened my school email, I found a note from of the other teachers on my grade level, stating how much it sucked that here we were 7 days into our break and she was working on school stuff. A few replies from others on our team echoed the same sentiment. I chimed in with a comment I am sure is representative of how many of us very few other  professions, do you have to work on our vacation to prepare for your  return to work.

I feel the same way about taking a sick day (which I usually only do if my son is sick and my husband is working).  It is so much work to prepare to be out, that it is almost not worth it.

Now this might sound like whining, and maybe it is, but I just wondered what the spouses/partners of other teachers out there think when they see them having to work on their break to prepare for the return to school.