Monday, November 28, 2016

DitLife Post #Returning from a Break

It's 3:53 am and I am wide awake. I shouldn't be, since I had trouble falling asleep. Let's call this return from the break nerves. Will I remember all that I need to do in the morning to make the return to school a smooth one? I don't know.... but I'm not going to get any more sleep in before school starts because I am too worried about it. So I start making a list of the things I forgot about over the Thanksgiving break. The main thing: SNACK. I must prepare snack for the kiddos that depend on me for it.

The kids come off the bus at 7 am and are offered breakfast. Some eat it, some don't. But we don't eat lunch until 12:45 so, they are mighty hungry by 10 am so we allow the students to have snack in our classrooms. Not all can bring it in, so I keep a stash behind my desk for a few students who need it but can't bring it in. And crap, I forgot to go to the store and pick up some items, so off to my pantry I go..... what can I pull together last minute? Ritz crackers, cheez-its, and fig newtons it is.

OH! and then there's Infinity, the Elf on the Shelf!!! OH MY!! How could I forget that he MUST make his return to the classroom today. Crap. Must get up and go find him. STAT. But.... where is he?? and the questions of the day he will provide for the students???

Found him. Thankfully, with the laminated question of the day cards. He will move around the room and provide a question for the students to solve each day. Students that solve the question correctly will be entered into to a drawing at the end of each week (one student per class period) for a prize. Today, he will make his grand entrance by hanging upside down on my SMART board projector.... This should get the kids attention.

Next on my worry list, is the copies to make. I should make a list of the things I need to make a copy of:

  1. Homework (and don't forget about the specialized homework for target group on integers)
  2. Quizzes for Thursday
  3. Solving proportions foldable
  4. Sugar packet task recording sheet
  5. Sugar packet task extension sheet (just a few copies)
  6. Target group pre-test (adding unlike denominators)
  7. Volume foldable.
  8. Volume Questions for pocket on Interactive notebook
  9. Volume review sheet for Interactive notebook
  10. Sub plans for tomorrow
  11. Student work for tomorrow. 
Next, worry about being out on Tuesday. Ugh. I hate going to the doctors, and I hate being away from my students. Combine the two... I want to cry. 

5:30, How did it become 5:30 already? I guess I better get dressed. 

5:45, Make a quick protein shake, grab the stuff I packed last night, and head out the door. 

6:09. I'm the first one here, besides Micheal, our awesome morning Building Service Worker. Good thing I know where my classroom keys are, since I know he probably hasn't gotten to my room. 

6:12. I'm unpacked and headed to the copier. Three copies in, and the copier jams. Really? 

6:45. Copies made. Saaweeett... Time to put up Infinity, the Elf, then sort the copies, unpack for the day, start the SMART board, put the chairs back in order (they always get moved when they clean), put the trash cans back where they belong and pull out the class work folders to see who I need to see during homeroom. 

7:05 the kids come off the bus and the day begins. As they come in, they see Infinity and the excitement builds. I can't help but feel giddy inside. Hahaha... you're doing math... you're doing math... is being repeating in my head. 

Homeroom lasts from 7:20 to 7:37 and it's a hustle and bustle time of the day. In addition to the 33 students in my room, 7 more from other class periods come in a see me about make up work and missing assignments. Morning announcements go on and we pause to listen and say the Pledge of Allegiance. One student starts the CNN Student News as soon as the school morning announcements are over, and a teacher comes in to make an announcement about her field trip today. 

7:37 the bell rings and first period begins. We go over the work we didn't get to finish before break and begin the items I had planned for today. Before I know it, the 8:22 bell is dismissing them to specials. 

8:22 - It's my planning period. I enter in attendance, check my email and write absent slips for the 7 kids that are missing from my first period class. I sit down at my desk and get working on the sub plans for tomorrow. Ugh. I dread this. 

9:13 - Planning is over. I managed to get quite a bit done, but the students are returning. It's time to teach more volume. 

10:00 - Classes change, and I switch gears. It's time for my on grade level classes to start. Today we are working on proportions so after our warm-ups we will do a foldable about solving proportions. Then we will solve a three-act task on the amount of sugar in soda and take it a step further to investigate other food and drink items. We work right through the bell between the classes of the double blocks. 

11:37 - One class leaves and another comes in. Repeat. This time, it's a broken class. Not broken... split would be a better word. I have to watch the time with this class a little more carefully, because I want to break when the bell rings at a natural instructional place. 

12:22 - Bell rings. Good thing I was watching the clock, because it's recess. When that bell rings, I've all but lost them. They know it's time to be free and play outside in the bus loops. We don't have a "playground" but we do let them run and socialize for 15 minutes with kickballs, soccer balls, frisbees, footballs, and jump ropes. 

12:41 - Time to line up and go in to lunch. This is hearding cats at it's best. We ask that students line up with their teachers that brought them out to recess, but in reality, we are happy if they are lined up and go into the building in some sort of fashion that resembles a peaceful movement. Its now time for our lunch. Several students want to come work in my classroom, and I open my door for them to do so. This gives students a place to be away from the crowded cafeteria noise as well as a place to work on items that they can't do at home. They let me work on my sub plans, and even help me staple a few things together. 

1:15 - Oh no! The bell is going to ring. I better use the restroom. 

1:18 - Time to get started again. Successfully finish the day with the Sugar Packet Task and was even able to extend the task a bit. 

2:05 - Time for students to go home. Bus dismissal. 

2:10 - They're gone. Time to get stuff done. Check in with my PLC (Professional Learning Community), finish up my sub plans, up date my classroom website, load the videos taken from the SMART board for student reference on to the website, get MathCounts things ready, plan interventions for fractions to start on Wednesday, make the copies I discovered that I didn't make this morning, and straighten up my classroom. 

5:00 - leave the school. It's time to go home..... 

5:20- arrive home. It's time to prep dinner, throw in a load of laundry and fold the laundry from yesterday and clean up from the guests from the holiday weekend (we had 12 people in our house this weekend!!!).  Check in with my son on his homework and his make-up work (he had surgery to repair his ACL a week prior to Thanksgiving and missed 5 days of school, today was his first day back).  Then it's off to walk the dog and clean up from dinner. 

8:30 pm - I'm exhausted. I gather the items I need for my doctor's appointment and check my email one last time before turning off my computer. 

9:00 pm - I'm officially done. It's time for bed. Today took a lot out of me. It's hard to return from a break for so many reasons. But to prep for a sub the very next day, I think makes it that much worse.


  1. Your use of the elf is fun, nice that you got a picture too! (That's a huge projector mount.) This "CNN student news" sounds neat; at my school, there's a broadcasting class who read announcements, though of course that's high school. The fact that your one class is split by time amazes me, I hadn't heard of that before. In fact you have a lot of things on the go here - not only at school but with your son and your appointment. This is such a crazy job, well done recording it and making it to 9pm before the collapse!

    FYI, I’ve linked/summarized this particular post in my DITLife roundup; let me know if that’s a problem. (

    1. Gregory, I actually have two classes that are split - one goes to their specials (art/music/etc) and comes back and the other with lunch in the middle. You make work what you've got. That's one thing being a military spouse has taught me. No matter where we relocate, I never know school will be like until I get in and get going. But, we've finally settled down, and are in one place, which is bring new fun things like watching my students grow in to adults.

      You are correct, this is a crazy job, and so rewarding!! Happy to have you link to my blog.