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May 3, 2021

Virtual Mother's Day - 3 Free Ideas

Mother's Day is right around the corner! It's next Sunday, the day after my birthday.  I get the whole weekend to celebrate.  I'm just a tad excited.  :) It's probably because I'm a mom that I always like to make sure to do something for the parents in my class.  Or at least give the opportunity if kids want to create something.  

Last year when we were totally virtual and using Zoom, my class brainstormed ideas of things they could do around the house to help out.  They shared full class, gave us all ideas, and then they made a card or wrote a letter to their parents to say thank you.  I didn't have the option to secretly upload files into a virtual classroom for them to download.

This week while in class the kids are completing their math state tests.  That means that anything other than testing has to happen at home during their asynchronous times.  I wanted to share some resources that I've used in past years. This year I uploaded these files into our TEAMS account for kids to download if they need ideas for Mother's Day. They can print if they want, or just use them as inspiration. It's optional, but I do give them a spiel about how parents love to be loved.  Even by their 5th graders... or by their high schoolers... :) 

The Perfect Para has created this free Mother's Day resource.  It gives idea for kids to do with their mom and for their moms.  It's a challenge, and kids love challenges.  

Sarah Tighe has this Mother's Day freebie poem as well.  I always give the class a spiel about how as a mom I love this kind of stuff that shows what my kids are thinking.  Her sentence starters are absolutely great!

Amy Carver has this free Mother's Day Questionnaire. Questionnaires are just fun, yet they do bring tears to my eyes.  

I hope this helps. Hopefully next year we can go back to some art projects as well.  What are you doing for Mother's Day?

May 1, 2021

Deep Down Dog Tired

This time of year is not for the weak of heart. I’m exhausted, and just need to talk to people who totally get it. 

State testing vibes...

I know we are in the final stretch of this absolutely crazy year. I could barely drag myself out the door to school yesterday. I am just so done. 

I’m tired of pulling teeth. I’m tired of the apathy. I'm tired of having to be positive all the time. I’m tired with being on duty 24-7. I’m tired with all the paperwork. I’m tired of state testing. I’m tired of nagging. I’m tired of the Swiss cheese looking gradebook- full of holes.

It has never been this hard before.

It’s hard enough in a normal year to get kids to understand the importance of doing their best effort. Right now, virtually and with hybrid, it feels impossible.  I’ve gone from most turning in their work on time to now half my class. What changed? Spring break... they came back just done.

They are tired. Families are tired. I think everyone is over it.

We are 2/3 through state testing.

But we aren’t done yet. 20 more school days. 10 more days of grades then time to fill in the report cards. 5 more days until textbook check in starts. 4 more days of math state testing, then 4 days of Fast bridge testing. Then finally the last 2 weeks when we can have a little fun to wrap up the year.  

I ask them to finish strong. I put their grades in their private channels and remind them of their missing work. I hold afternoon question sessions to help with intervention, and no one shows up. I give opportunities to retake past district tests to show mastery. I email and Class Dojo. I don’t know if anyone reads what I write anymore. I’m so tired. 

20 more days. 20 more days to make a difference and shine a light with this group. To hold these kids accountable. Then they are in middle school. 

Every Thursday is Thankful Thursday. Every Thursday so many kids tell me that they are thankful for me. That makes me feel good. I’m thankful for them too. But I’m just so done. 

How can I finish strong?

I write that and verses pop in my head, things that I’ve read and memorized. I need to rest. I need to close the laptop and recharge. The Lord gives strength. 

Isaiah 40: 29-31 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Isaiah 41:10b "I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Where does my joy come from? It comes from the Lord, Maker of Heaven and Earth. Automatic response, but am I really living like it? Or am I trying to do every thing on my own strength? 

Thanks for letting me just talk and for being real.  I needed that today.  I'll get back to sharing the positives next time. There are positives right now too. Even when all hard things seem to be overwhelming.  

How are you doing?

I hope you have the most restful weekend.