Friday, September 10, 2004

My Little Energizer Bunnies

All I can say is yikes.

The morning went absolutely fantastic -- which should have been my first sign.

But somewhere between lunch and...well, recess after lunch, my calm 11 students (even S. had stopped hitting himself by that point) all went berzerk. The best way I can describe it is that they were like little energizer bunnies on fast forward.

I'm so exhausted I can't sleep. Seriously. I'm absolutely exhausted, and even though I'm trying to drift off, I can't. :-(

Here's to boring TV.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Second Day

Good grief, I'm going to crash and burn on Friday. More later.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Erm? (Puzzled Noise)

Okay, so what looked like a browser hiccup wasn't.

Then, what looked like a blogger hiccup wasn't.

You will find my post about the first day below my posts saying I couldn't post about the first day.



I'm so tired, I don't even care... ;-)


Either blogger or firefox ate my post.

I will recreate it later. Right now, I am zoning...I don't think I'll get much work done tonight -- but that's okay, I guess, 'cause most of the work I needed to modify is still in the kids' work folders at school. :-(

First Day

Oh, no.

(That was in a Phoebe voice, by the way.)

Blogger ate my post.

I will recreate it later. I'm right now trying to talk myself into doing work, but I think I'll celebrate a day finished and vegetate, then work all night tomorrow (well, not all night...).

First Day


I would say it was a crazy day, but I think I just got spoiled by the progress I'd seen in my class last year. When I remember the first day of last year, with I. throwing everything she could get her hands on, G. hiding in the bottom shelf of a bookcase, and the aides looking at me like I was speaking Greek when I wanted the kid to work.

Today, all the kids -- not just mine from last year, but J., R., and the kids from the primary class (which didn't really do all that much academic work last year) were at their desks working for the first hour or so of the day...then they started needing breaks at different times, and it got kind of...hectic.

I can see right away that I've got my work cut out for me -- it's very much a different group of kids this year...different vibes, different challenges -- but I think we'll be okay. We start DARE and science next week, so I'll have some kids in and out for mainstreaming, and I plan to set up a "student exchange program" during silent reading times....

I think the hardest part will be that because of budget cuts, they are changing some aide hours, and I swear I spent 3 hours of today hearing M.E. stress that because they took away 1 hour of M's time, they would "take it" from her and give it to M. Oy.

But I think the best kid-related thing that happened today was one of the following two things:
  1. E. not wanting to do math until I found these plastic stretchy lizard toys, and had the lizard count the coins. All of a sudden, she could count to 13 -- almost 15, but she got a little hazy around there. So I bought a few more packs at WalMart tonight...maybe she'll do more math for frogs. ;-)
  2. S. didn't come on the bus today. He's the one that hits his head until his head and/or knuckles are bloody. Anyway, they didn't have his bus "harness," a special seatbelt contraption, so they said they'd bring him. Well, 9:30 came around -- no S. 10:00 came around -- no S. So I called his group home...and the response I got was "oh, I saw him downstairs...I was wondering what he was doing here!" Very confidence-inspiring. Then the lady told me he'd been hitting his head, so they let him stay home. Now, this kid hits himself all the time...whether he likes stuff or not...and I'm thinking, Now, there's a great thing to teach the kid -- I hit myself and can stay home. But C.-the-Magic-Behavior-Intervention-Specialist, who had asked me to call her if S. didn't come in, scoffed and said, "I'll call 'em." S. was there 20 minutes later. The cool thing? He did 2 pages of work and didn't hit himself all day! :-)
So, I think we need a couple of days to get everything worked out. We shall see.

Oh -- and to top off the day, A.'s aunt wasn't there when the bus dropped her off, and her mom didn't get there to pick her up for an hour and a half. :-(

Monday, September 06, 2004


A few days ago, I thought I had most everything ready. Tonight, after making the classroom rules ("We help each other," "work first, then take a break," and "we respect each other") and homework folders, and realizing half the class needs more work modified, I've come to the conclusion that I could have started getting ready during summer school and still wouldn't be.

Oh well.

We'll survive. Can't be worse than last year, when I tried to (gasp) read a poem to the class, then assigned a math assessment (to see where everyone was), and had the aides looking at me like I was speaking Greek.

Google Trick

I used to spend lots of time browsing, a very large lyrics database. Got me through loads of nights of MathLab tutoring, until someone sued for copyright infringement (this was before napster, which I think took the focus off of lyrics and onto the songs themselves).

In any event, it got pulled offline, and though there are lots of sites out there that you can find with google, you can almost always find the lyrics to a song by typing this string into a google search:

lyrics "name of song" artist

Be sure to put the name of the song in quotes so it looks for that particular string. If the artist's name is 2 words (Jann Arden vs. Evanescence) put the whole name in quotes as well. The word "lyrics" seals the deal.

For instance, to look up the lyrics to, say, "Hurt," as sung by Johnny Cash, you'd type:

lyrics "Hurt" "Johnny Cash"

And to search for the lyrics to "My Immortal" by Evanescence (a great song to Farscape's "The Chosen," for any Farscape fans -- particulary John/Aeryn, though that should be obvious by the episode), you would lose the quotes around the name and type:

lyrics "My Immortal" Evanescence

Finally, if you ever know a bit of the words but not the artist, often you can find that by typing:

lyrics "phrase from lyrics" ("name of song" optional)

For instance, at the school, we have a flag ceremony every Thursday morning and often sing "God Bless the USA." (Only the fact that it's Simi Valley, a relatively conservative area, has saved them from someone commenting on this choice, I think.) I searched the lyrics once to send home for the kids to practice but didn't know the artist, so I searched:

lyrics "tomorrow all the things were gone"

Have fun. :-)

Sunday, September 05, 2004


I have the worst craving for toast, but have no butter. :-(

Took forever, but all the copies I made today are sorted, stapled, and have kids' initials on 'em ('cause not all kids get all work), ready for preparation and modification, where needed, manana.

Don't forget to check out photos of my classroom. The link is below.

Nighty night.