Friday, January 31, 2014

Classroom Data...but not the kind you think :)

If you haven't read this article, please do. Especially if you are a teacher.

I don't like to write too much about my school and classroom. It makes me feel like I am violating the privacy of my students. HOWEVER, I can't not share about this. I am going to be cryptic, but I will share what I can.

Yesterday I adapted a few things from the above article for my own classroom. I was able to get so much data about my classroom. And not the data we are all used to hearing about. While I agree that we need to have data to teach our kids well, often times we forget about relational data that is just as important.

Because of this small that took me no more than three minutes to do with each class and about five minutes to read upon finishing... I was given worthwhile data. It wasn't data about who was mastering what concept or who wasn't passing a test. It was data on how my kiddos are relating and connecting with each other. Some data was positive, some was negative. Some data wasn't surprising. Some was.

While I did a variety of things with this information, it was some of the positive data that prompted me to contact two different sets of parents. Both contacted me back gushing with appreciation claiming I had NO IDEA how much my email (containing the above data) meant to them and would mean to their students. These emails had me in tears. Happy Tears.

As a teacher in today's society, it is easy to get caught up in the common core, the high-stakes testing, and the routines of learning content. I am just as guilty as the next person. However, we have to remember we are working with kiddos. We are shaping today's youth for the success of tomorrow. And that success isn't simply wrapped up in an MCA test score or a letter grade on a report card.

Late Night Workouts

On most nights, you can find me running and/or working out right after the kiddos go to bed. I am lucky that our third bedroom upstairs houses our work spaces but also my treadmill. Grayson has a hard time going to bed when Griffin does because he still naps at day care. As a result, he prolongs getting into his bed for AS LONG as possible. Often times he will come into the spare room to say, "Have a nice run!" Lately, though, he catches me while doing situps or push-ups because I have started to work more than just my legs and lungs recently. It is VERY difficult to get upset or tell him to get back to bed when he joins in as shown in the above photos. He clearly knows how to play me :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

And my survey is LIVE!

After a year and a half of researching, writing, revising, computer survey programming, and praying, the Internal Review Board FINALLY gave me the go ahead to conduct my research survey for my dissertation. This process has been long and difficult, but the END is near my friends.

If you would be so inclined, I would love your prayers. In order for my research to be considered valid, I need a fairly good response rate. The CEO's I sent my survey to will get a total of three invites (only one if they take it the first time) to take the survey, but I know that there will be many who simply delete the invite and never read WHY I am asking them to take the survey. This first invite yielded a 15% return rate. If I can get similar responses for my next two invites, I will be ONE HAPPY LADY! I would love you to pray for receptive hearts upon receiving my request!

As of right now, the goal is still to try and graduate in May. My survey closes at the end of February, so that does not give me much time to analyze and write about my results, but I plan to at least try. I will know by the end of March if graduation this spring is possible. Like I told Brandon just a few days ago, I am ready to wear my soft (felt) graduation hat!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


We lost five school days during the month of January. We were closed FIVE times because of extremely cold weather and wind chills. After getting past the shock of no school, the boys and I rejoiced as we realized how much time we would get to spend together. This is my BUSY time right now. Not only is Brandon busy with tax season and never home, but I am also in the middle of teaching my 8 week class for St. Scholastica. As a result, January and February often feel rushed, and I am often longing to spend a bit more time with my own kiddos. To say I was giddy at the thought of five extra days with my cuties is the understatement of the century. I loved every extra minute. Because of the extra time we did lots of snuggling, crafts, reading, baths, science experiments, dance parties, and plain old giggling. I am blessed to be their mommy.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Harry Potter #2

We finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on Monday. My favorite discussion was around the following quote, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. " 

After we finished the book, we of course watched the movie. They were clearly entertained!!!

Griffin is REALLY into the series. It is basically all he talks about, and he won't stop. However, the books start to get a bit darker after the second one. The basilisk in #2 has already given Griffin a nightmare, so we are taking a bit of a break. I think we will start again this summer :)

BLESSED by these cuties :)

Friday, January 17, 2014


The boys asked if they could have a sleepover, and I happily obliged. We took out the blow-up mattress and had a sleepover in the computer room. Giggles occurred for about a half hour, and then we all fell asleep. What a simple way to bring joy to my kiddos :)

Cleaning out the kitchen...

Right after New Year's we decided that we needed to clean out our kitchen. Have you ever noticed how much food just continues to sit in your fridge, pantry, or freezer? Brandon and I made the decision to only go to the grocery store for a few things for a two week period. We ate soups that had been sitting in our pantry for a while, microwave meals that had been stored in our freezer for far too long, the bottoms of cereal boxes, and odds and ends that kept getting passed over. In fact, on at least two different occasions I had oatmeal and a turkey dog with no bun for a meal. We saved quite a bit of money during that two week period, AND it gave me the opportunity to scrub out our fridge. I am happy to say we survived without too many grumbles, but I was sure glad to go regular grocery shopping last week :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Caribou School

Because tax season is underway, I needed to take Griffin with us to Caribou Preschool. The best part, having him there helped Grayson stay focused longer. Grayson worked on identifying and writing numbers while Griffin wanted me to write out addition and subtraction problems to solve. Success was had by all :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Girl's Night

 Holly couldn't be happier that I actually had a drink for once!
I am lucky to work with an amazing group of people!!! I wish I had taken more pictures.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Love that giggle!

Grayson has a hard time falling asleep at night when he takes a nap at day care (he doesn't take one with us). As a result, I get extra snuggles and giggles with him on a daily basis during the work week. I snapped these pictures as I was tickling him with my freshly washed hair. I could listen to that sound all day!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Too Cold for School

But it was the perfect temperature for Hot Chocolate and a game of Left, Center, Right!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Book #1 Complete

We finished Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone on New Year's Day. As a family, we then watched the movie. I am in love with how much Griffin (and Grayson) is enjoying this series. He is CONSTANTLY asking questions and wanting to discuss the events of the book. Not long after we finished, I found Griffin contemplating something at the kitchen table. When I asked him what was bothering him, he asked, "Do you think Harry could have beaten Professor Quirrell at the end of the book had he not lied?" I bet you can imagine where this went..."So then you are telling me there are times when it's okay to lie?" Needless to say this was an interesting conversation :)