Lesson Plans

Oct. 17th, 2017 06:41 pm
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[personal profile] serafina20
Ever wonder why you lesson plan? Weeks like this, I do. I generally start lesson planning the Wednesday before. That way, but Friday, I’m done and I don’t have to worry about them over the weekend. This week, I had the bonus of doing sub plans for Thursday and Friday. I got everything done and copied by last Friday and was riding high.

Then, this week happened.

First, my math plans flew out the window. I’d planned to review and test the chapter on Monday and Tuesday, but the review and test weren’t ready. That was fine; there were two lessons in the chapter that weren’t tested, but could be taught. So I taught one. Then, the review and test were ready. That was better, because I could do the review today, test tomorrow, and the sub could do the easy lesson on repeated addition instead of the hard lesson on compensation that I had planned. Perfect. I revamped my plans, went to the sub plans, easy peasy.

Now, tomorrow morning instead of ELA, I’m doing the CPAA test (yeah, not). So that means my ELA plans are pushed back a day. Once again, I’ll have to dive to my sub plans and make adjustments. Only these adjustments will ripple into next week and testing and all that jazz. *sigh* If I just hadn’t done lesson plans, it would have been so much less work. But my district has us turn the lesson plans into the office every Monday, so I have to. I suppose I could have put off the sub planning until this week, but I wanted to make things easier for myself this week. Oh, the irony.

Also, I have noticed that on Tuesdays after our staff meetings I feel crummy and defeated. My solution is that we stop having staff meetings. Think administration will go for it?
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[personal profile] serafina20
RTI will start Monday, we were told. Here are the lists of where the students will go. Do you want to do a “dry run” on Thursday last week? No? Okay, then, be ready to start Monday.

Guess what didn’t start Monday? *sigh* I was ready. I was excited. I dreamed about my RTI group all night. I planned yesterday. I even wrote it into my sub plans for Thursday and made the copies I needed. And then, no. We were told that it wasn’t starting because the aides haven’t had their training and weren’t ready. And we, the second grade teachers, are frustrated because now that we have the plan, we are ready to start. My group is a group of 5 students who need reviews in vowels, vowel sounds, and CVC words. This is not something that is going away; they need it now. We’re 10 weeks into the school year of second grade, and my group doesn’t have kindergarten skills. They need RTI.

But, no, not this week. Maybe next week.

In good news, we had a really fun assembly today. It was about having a positive impact on your school and not being a bully. The presenters were dynamic and entertaining and the kids loved it. It was noisy and loud and there was lots of music and shouting… what wasn’t there to love?

(no subject)

Oct. 16th, 2017 08:18 am
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[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Ashley linked to a fundraiser set up by a California credit union, Redwood Credit Union, to help communities impacted by the California wildfires. You can read more and give at their donation page.

[personal profile] kuwdora is a long-time fandom vidder who recently enrolled in a career coaching program with tv/film editor Zack Arnold, and she is now working to pay off the last installment of the program and transition from a vidding hobby to a professional editing career in Hollywood. You can read more here, give to her gofundme here, and buy art from her etsy here.

[tumblr.com profile] catlinyemaker linked to a fundraiser for [twitter.com profile] neolithicsheep, a disabled Navy vet and sustainable agriculture educator who is raising funds to get a border collie to help them with their Sovay sheep. You can read more about the fundraiser and retweet in a twitter thread here, and purchase various shirts and other branded goods at their Teespring here.

[personal profile] xturtle linked to their friend Marcia, who is raising funds to help cover vet bills for her sick bunny; she is running out of unemployment benefits and looking for work; in the meantime Caspian needs testing to determine what the lump in his stomach is and get his teeth fixed. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to a fundriaser for [tumblr.com profile] ohcrakerjacks, a victim of black toxic mold. She and her parents are raising funds to replace walls, insulation, flooring, and furniture. You can read more and check out commissions here and give to her ko-fi here, which will support supply purchases for the cross-stitch embroidery she sells.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] suriel's husband is about to have two surgeries, each costing several thousand dollars, and they are raising money to cover expenses. They have sales in all their online shops: Fandom buttons and more, caramels and toffees, and their band shop. You can read and reblog here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] vaspider, who is running a sale on their Etsy shop ($10% off $30 or more) to help with living expenses and home repairs after a job loss and other unexpected life events this year. You can check out the Etsy shop here; it includes a lot of nerdy/geeky Judaica as well as secular clothes, accessories, and cosplay.

News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to a writeup that [personal profile] kaberett posted about desensitizing themselves to board games; Board Game Desensitization Process is a template for people who may have a difficult relationship to card/board games but want to participate in the increasingly popular social events focused around them.


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
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[personal profile] serafina20
WordPress entry

This is the scene in my living room on Sunday afternoon. I’ve got both my work and personal computer out, plus my iPad (which is not pictured). In the old days, the work computer would be the Teacher’s Guide for the reading anthology, but that is now available online so I don’t have to lug the whole thing home. Honestly, it’d be easier to just have the anthology with me, but I’m always afraid that I’ll get sick or something and then the sub won’t have the anthology the next day. So, I use the computer instead.

Last year, I went through all 30 lessons in the reading anthology and made vocabulary lessons for the words in each lesson. I did it based on the ELLA training I received years ago and can therefore no longer remember what the acronym stands for. It took about 15 minutes for each lesson, maybe more, which doesn’t seem a lot, but times 30 lessons adds up. Plus, it took longer in the beginning when I didn’t have my groove yet. But I kept telling myself that it was okay because next year, the work would be over and I could relax.

And then this year hit. And I realized that I had to change up the way I did high frequency word phonics, and grammar. So, now, on Sunday, I make Power Points. I make a slide for all 10 HFW words and add a picture for each word as a guideline. Then I duplicate those slides a couple time and mix them up for more practice. For phonics, I make slides for blending words. This way, instead of having to sit in front of the class, write the word, and hope the kids are blending them, I can walk around while clicking through the slides and listen to them. Last, I make my grammar slides. This is where having the anthology would help, because it’s two or three days of lessons and it takes so long to get there on the computerized book.

I think the Power Points are helping. I’m seeing some improvement in test scores and they can definitely answer my questions better than they were before. The problem with the tests is they are not straightforward. Take last week. We learned proper nouns. You’d think the test would give them a sentence and ask them to identify the proper noun. Instead, the students are given a sentence like:

My sister ate otter pops on Friday.

They are then asked, “what do you need to do to correct that sentence?

a. change sister to Sister

b. change otter pops to Otter Pops

c. change Friday to friday

So, not only do they have to identify the proper noun, they have to realize sister isn’t a proper noun and doesn’t need to be capitalized and that Friday is a proper noun and does need to be capitalized. Plus, they need to figure out that Otter Pops is the name of a product, and therefore needs to be capitalized. It’s all very complicated.

This week we are doing action verbs, which can be fun. To get the idea that an action is something you do, I sing the song, “I Like to Move It, Move It” with various verbs substituted for “Move it” and the kids act out the verbs. It’s a lot of fun for me and the kids.

Hope you have a great week!
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[personal profile] copperbadge
Because I am me, I systematized my home search as much as I could – I have a spreadsheet in google that has not just my list of Best, Acceptable, and Totally Unacceptable buildings in it but also my mortgage calculator from the bank and various other financial stuff. I also went into the top few real estate websites (primarily Zillow and Estately) and set several different searches to be sent to my non-fandom inbox, where they were then filtered into a Housing folder (different from my other Housing folder, which has all my documents/communications with my realtor). 

Now I’m looking at my Housing folder which constantly has new emails in it and wishing there was just an “I BOUGHT A HOME, YOUR SERVICES ARE NOW IN VAIN” button I could press to notify all of those sites that no, really, I seriously do not anymore need your Real Estate Tips And Tricks newsletter anymore. 

Fortunately changing my address everywhere won’t be the nightmare my mum always complains it is, because I also have a spreadsheet of every website I’ve ever built a login for, and I just go through the spreadsheet (also it’s an excellent opportunity to delete my account from sites I never use). 

I’ve rarely lived anywhere for more than five years, and my phone number was deeply unstable for a while for similar reasons, but it’s a small wonder our generation prefers email to most other forms of communication – after all, my gmail addresses have been stable now for more than ten years. 

I believe I have now been Copperbadge On Social Media for longer than I have ever lived in any single residence. 

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Tripping Across the Finish Line

Oct. 13th, 2017 05:44 pm
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[personal profile] serafina20
WordPress entry with a picture of me as Captain America

Last night was Literacy Night at our school. That’s where we invite parents to come in the evening and we teach them strategies they can use at home to work with their children. To drum up attendance, the principal promised every child that attended a Principal Eagle Dollar worth $25 dollars. I also did my part and sent a message through Class Dojo to remind students of the occasion. About six or seven of my kids came, which is more than usual for me. Second grade did held a joint presentation in the multi-purpose room, so it was crowded and buzzing during the “make and take” portion of the half hours (we did two half hour sessions). The principal was really happy with our presentation, the parents thanked us, and, overall, it was a good night. The best thing is, I don’t have to do that again until January, when it’s math night.

Today was Superhero Day at school. To show that we were against bullying, everyone was supposed to dress up like a superhero, because superheroes are against bullying.

I had two kids dress up. One girl came as Wonder Woman and one boy came as a ninja. The ninja quickly took his costume off, however. Some other kids wore superhero tops to show their spirit. I took my shield with me, intending to take pictures of the kids with it, but the day got too busy and I never got around to it.

My class also had their big Rock Painting day. The counselor came in to teach a lesson about what bullying is, how to recognize it, and how not to be a bully, and then the kids got to paint rocks with anti-bullying messages. I think two kids wrote actual messages; the rest just painted. A good time was had by all.

And we almost made it to the end of the week without another incident, but then my little darling punched another student in the stomach at recess yesterday. I wrote up the referral, but the principal was so swamped with her disasters that she didn’t see it. She did congratulate the boy on having a good day, because overall, today his day was fine. It was yesterday, only no one knew because the kid who got hit didn’t report it. *sigh*

But, it’s the weekend now. Monday will interesting. My class was originally supposed to take a test called the Children’s Progress Academic Assessment, but there’s a big anti-bullying assembly during our testing time, so we’re going to that instead. (This is the second time we’ve been rescheduled, which, actually, is fine with me. I’m not eager to take the test). Then, we’re restarting RTI, now with a much better model, but still during the last half hour of the day. On top of that, it’s one of my student’s birthdays. If they bring cupcakes, I don’t know when I can have the kids eat them except before lunch. So, we’ll see. It might be a “Happy Birthday” here’s your cupcake, now leave sort of deal.

In the meantime, it’s the weekend and I plan to relax. Hope you all have a great weekend, too!

It's a Juggling Act
Patience You Must Have
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[personal profile] copperbadge
The owners of the condo I offered on have accepted my offer at $180K, with the only condition that they will do no repairs or remodels before I take possession. 

*head between knees*

GONNA BE A HOMEOWNER.

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I used to be confused, as a child, about why you would buy a new calendar in September – a calendar that would contain September-December and then the entire next year. Because surely you had a calendar that went through the end of the year, no calendar ever ENDS in August. 

But as an adult now I get it, because I keep a private calendar in google docs and I just had to move the October, November, and December tabs into the 2018 calendar since I’m already bookin’ shit out for January and February. At this point, starting in November I’m traveling at least once a month, every month, from November to June, except in May. 

Clearly I better book a trip in May. :D  

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Well, that was Anti-Climatic

Oct. 9th, 2017 04:53 pm
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[personal profile] serafina20
Look, it’s not like I wanted to have a bunch of people in my room observing me teach math. It’s not like I enjoy district walk-throughs and the pressure of wanting to be worth remembering and thought of as doing a great job. In fact, I was dreading certain members of the administration walking in because they make me incredibly nervous and they always seem to walk into my room and I automatically tense up.

But. I changed my schedule. I prepared my kids. I even changed my schedule within the schedule, because we usually start math with timed tests (which, I know are controversial, but we have to give a grade on students ability to add fluently within 20, and timed tests are how the district decided to do it) and I thought that wouldn’t be interesting to observe. I decided to start with a number talk on making ten to add three addends. It had the additional benefit of being what our actual lesson was about and we’d done one on the same concept on Friday, so the kids knew the routine. The admins were supposed to come in right at 8:30 so, at 8:30 there were were, gathered on the carpet (I moved a table last week so I could have carpet space for number talks), talking about math.

No one came in.

I extended the talk. We talked about number bonds. We used math vocabulary. We discussed strategy.

Nothing.

So, we go back to our desks and take out the book. The first page was just adding numbers to warm up, so they did it quickly. The next page was the lesson, which they were prepped for because of the number talk. We did the first two together. I had them do the next one on their own. The room was silent.

In walks an admin. He stays for two minutes, during which time I say one thing, the kids say nothing, and silent, independent work is done. Then, the admin left. That was it.

And it’s not like I was doing anything wrong, but I wasn’t doing anything interesting or spectacular either. I wanted to impress someone, and I didn’t get to. So now I’m sad. *sniff*

In lighter news, it cracks me up how easy it is to absolutely shock little kids. They think anything is a swear word. Last year, thought I was going to get in trouble because one of my kids said that I had said the “sh’ word. She told someone at her table, and I freaked because I honestly couldn’t remember what I might have said to make her think that. I was 99% sure I hadn’t said it, but there was that 1% of doubt. Until I remembered what I had said, which was “shoot.” And, I’m sorry, maybe some parents don’t want their kids saying it, but it’s not a swear word. It’s a euphemism and I can use it.

That brings us to today. I was reading ‘The One and Only Ivan” and one of the human characters said something like, “What the heck is that?”

You would have thought I’d dropped the f-bomb. They gasped, the blushed, they covered their mouths in shock. I wouldn’t have been surprised if someone had fainted. They were so aghast that anyone –let alone the teachers–could say that word.

Just wait until I read a book that uses the word stupid. I bet I’ll have some fainters then.

(no subject)

Oct. 9th, 2017 08:24 am
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[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon linked to a fundraiser for his great-aunt, who can't afford to pay back-taxes on the house which accrued while her mother was dying. She is elderly and disabled, and raising funds to cover $6K in back taxes she was unaware of when she got the house. You can read more and give at her gofundme.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] geckohq, an autistic disabled trans man whose mother recently passed away and who is now on his own to pay off her bills and cover his own expenses. You can read and reblog here where there is a paypal donation link, and you can check out the amigurumi geckos, dragons, and plushies for sale at his etsy here, including geckos that come in various Pride flag colors.

[personal profile] lizcommotion linked to a fundraiser for Beth, who is trying to pay down medical debt while navigating the labyrinth of applying for disability benefits for her chronic medical conditions. You can read more and give at their YouCaring.

[tumblr.com profile] i-will-not-be-caged linked to a fandom fundraiser organized by [tumblr.com profile] hansbekhart, benefitting ConPRmetios, an organization raising money for long-term relief for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. You can read more and sign up at [community profile] fandomlovespuertorico, or read more and reblog at their tumblr post here.

[personal profile] naamah_darling is raising funds to pay for medical care for a special-needs cat, Smooch, who has just been diagnosed with stage 3 kidney disease. You can read more here, read and reblog here, or give directly at their youcaring.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[personal profile] in_the_bottle is having a moving sale! Right now they have a sofa bed available but the post also has a list of other items which will be available in November (the location is listed as SW6 which I believe is a London-area location). You can check out the post here and she says feel free to PM on DW/LJ/Tumblr or the site link if you're interested or want photos.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

Topsy Turvy day

Oct. 8th, 2017 04:17 pm
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[personal profile] serafina20
WordPress with pictures of books and me.

Tomorrow, the district administration is doing a walk-through of our school. They might be doing all the schools and starting with ours; I’m not sure. They are coming through to observe us teaching math from 8:05-10:00. The problem? Most of us don’t teach math until after first recess. I don’t get to it until 10:30.

“No problem!” administration says. “Just flip flop your schedule and teach math in the morning.”

And I love change so much. *sigh* I just hope I remember. I keep reminding myself, I’ve already changed my schedule cards so math is first, but I have this horrible feeling that I’ll get into the morning routine and then just naturally follow my schedule and forget about math. Maybe I’ll write a note on my hand or something.

Barnes and Noble is having Educator Appreciation this week, so I went yesterday. First, I went to Renaissance Faire and had a good time. Then, I changed out of my costume in the parking lot and drove Barnes and Noble. Like I said before, I live a half hour away from the nearest Barnes and Noble; since I was already up in the area, I figured it’d be silly not to go, even though I was covered in faire dirt and exhausted.

I was underwhelmed by the options for the most part. There were a few free posters (which I forgot to get) and a raffle (that I hope I win), but otherwise… meh. I did get a few books for the class. I’m excited that the Cars book and Sleepy Dog are below first grade reading level, because I have quite a few students reading at those levels and only a few books. This will add to that collection.

I didn’t buy more for the class because I have Scholastic Book Orders due on Friday, and will be buying from them. Scholastic is cheaper and usually gives free books for every so much you spend. Better to buy from them, even with my educator discount from B&N.

I did also get the the first Magnus Chase book by Rick Riordan. Well, the first and the third. B&N was having a special where if you bought the third book, you got any other Rick Riordan book 1/2 off. I’ve been meaning to read Magnus Chase for awhile, so this seemed like the opportunity to start.

I am exhausted today. This is why I go to Ren Faire on Saturday. I need a day to recover. And then back to the grind tomorrow.

Elysium by Jennifer Marie Brissett

Oct. 8th, 2017 06:30 pm
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[personal profile] lightreads
Elysium

3/5. How to describe this? A string of vignettes setting personal concerns – illness, disputes, romance -- against glimpses of an alien invasion of Earth and its aftermath. Except each vignette reshuffles the constellation of main characters, changing genders and interrelationships and sociological settings. The main two are sometimes men, sometimes women, sometimes lovers, sometimes siblings, sometimes something else.

This is strange and slippery and very accomplished, on a technical level. The shape of an actual novel doesn’t emerge until the last quarter or so; before that it’s all in the art of the iterative vignettes that circle the same stories from different angles. There’s a lot to unpack here, and a lot of it remains inexplicable to me (WTF with the owl, I ask you?). The parts I do get are playing interesting rhetorical games with science fictional tropes and gender, which I dig.

So I found this rewarding. But it’s also just that little bit not my thing, and I suspect someone whose more interested in metafiction would get more out of this.
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