Monday, May 28, 2007

Ice Cream Recipes

Does anyone have any ice cream recipes that they would like to share? Do you have any "light" recipes? Do you know if I can substitute Splenda instead of sugar or a low fat cream in the recipes and have it turn out halfway decent?

Coming to an End

The school year is coming to an end.

Sabi has 3 days left as a third grader. This means that I will have a soon to be fourth grader round the house. She is growing up so fast! I have talked about doing a California Mission Tour with my mom and Sabina to help better understand what she will be learning in fourth grade. As of yet, we have not visited one. I need to map out those missions and get on it! Any ideas???

I still have 24 days left but it will be over before I know it. We have Open House in a week, an Art Show, a Science Fair, Field Day, an awards assembly and more to pack in to that short time.

Summer is here!

Friday, May 25, 2007

SOOOOOOOOO Ready for the Weekend

Today was rotten.

The kids were fidgety all morning long. It was like watching a pot boil knowing that sometime soon, the lid would come off and madness would flow all over.

After lunch, the kids got a bad case of "potty-itis." EVERYONE needed to go to the bathroom. I started out by telling them no but then they started in with the potty-dance and I sent them one by one just in case. (I didn't want any accidents in the room!) The last two boys I sent within 5 minuted of each other. I staggered their departure from the room thinking that this way they wouldn't overlap and play in the bathroom. WRONG!

When they didn't return 10 minutes later, I gathered up my class and went on a trip to find these little guys. Guess where they were? They were whooping it up in the bathroom flushing and re-flushing the toilets to make them overflow. Let me tell you, I was MAD!

I marched them up to the office but the principals weren't there. I then sent my boys to a 6th grade teacher for counseling. When they returned, they had to call their parents in front of me and tell them what happened. After school, I walked them over to meet our custodian who had to clean up after them.

I covered all of the bases but I am still enraged. Why? After all I did with these boys, they had not one word or look of remorse. They were sorry that they were caught but I am sure that they will try it again. No respect.

It is such a good thing that I have a 3 day weekend becauseI need a break.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Field Trip I Can Enjoy!

Normally, when I hear the words "field trip" I cringe. I hate the responsibility, the money collection, the prep and the anxiety. I also hate the big, yellow, bumpy, uncomfortable school bus.

So why am I so happy? Tomorrow I am accompanying Sabi's class on a field trip to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. I am taking a personal day away from my classroom and going as a parent volunteer. Whoopee!!! I will have a total of 4 kids to watch over and explore this cool museum with. To make life sweeter, I am not going to ride along in the bus...I am driving in my new, comfy, XM radio equipped car! Life is grand.


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day!!!

My aunt sent me a great e-mail today. I copied it and pasted it below in honor of Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day to all and let there be peace on earth!


In honor of Mothers' Day, here is Julia Ward Howe's proclamation. Julia was a suffragist, abolitionist, Unitarian, pacifist, advocate for prison reform and children's welfare, and writer of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. She pushed for a Mother's Day for Peace, now more the domain of Hallmark cards. Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful women friends and peacemakers.

--Aunt Margie

Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870

Julia Ward Howe

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the voice of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice."
Blood does not wipe our dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -
In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

A "Peace"-ful Mother's Day

Tomorrow we will celebrate Mother's Day in Monterey. My grandmother, mother, daughter and two brothers will be there so we will have a total of 3 mothers present in our group, a great grandmother, a grandmother and a mother. We don't have any set plans as to how we will spend the day with the exception of our 12:00 plans. We will join thousands of women (and their loved ones) in the International Peace Event organized by Standing Women. We are not sure yet where we will stand tomorrow, it will either be at Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey or close by in Pacific Grove. If you are interested in joining this event, visit the website and find the event closest to you. So far there are there are 3038 events listed in 73 nations!!!

What are your Mother's Day plans???

Friday, May 11, 2007

Testing Question

In my last post regarding testing, Julissa asked my opinion on what should be done about students that are below grade level or that are English Learners with regard to testing.

What are your thoughts on this subject? What do you think about testing in general? If you were in charge, how would you change out testing system?

The Day is Coming...

We start testing on Tuesday. I am just dreading every minute of it. This test will not show the amazing growth the my students have made this year.

Here are a few examples of won't the test won't show:

Student 1 has traumatic brain injury. When he came to me in August he was pretty much a wild child. He ran through class, yelled and pushed others. Academically, he had nothing. Since August has transformed into quite the gentleman. When I greet him in the morning I say "Good morning, how are you?" He responds with "I'm fine thank you and you?" He also raises his hanhe thanks me for giving him work to do and tells me "You are the goodest teacher I ever haded." (the best teacher I ever had) Academically, he now knows almost all of his alphabet letter names and sounds, can decode a level 2 book (no comprehension yet), can identify numbers correctly to 30 and can add and subtract single digit numbers. This student has made an incredible journey in second grade but will just show up as a failure on the test.

Student 2 came from Oaxaca mid year. She has been in several different homes since both of her parents have died. While in Oaxaca, she didn't go to school due to the teacher strike. When she began, she had no English and didn't even have the basic skills in literacy or math in Spanish down. In the past few months this child can respond and act to most of my directions in English, can speak with friends on the playground in limited English and attempts to ask my questions in English. (ie: May I jreenk el agua-ter.... May I drink water?) Academically, she now knows her alphabet and can add and subtract single and double digit numbers without regrouping. That being said, this one will also show up as a failure.

Student 3 started below grade level due to her limited knowledge of English at the beginning of the year. She is really motivated though so she has worked VERY hard this year. In math, she is at the top of the class. In language arts, everything just recently started to come together for her. She decided that she loved A.R. and wanted to challenge herself in A.R. when she saw her computer printou that said she failed a test. She now reads about 10 books a week and then takes the correspoding test on the computer and passes them all, at a beginning of second grade level. This little girl will most likely score in the basic range in reading which is equivalent of a "C" but due to the way California scores these tests, she too will be considered as a failure.

I have many more of these stories but they all come down to about the same thing. My students have so much to celebrate with regard to their growth this year. Sadly this test won't show that. When we are done with testing, I will have to figure out something to do to showcase the talents that they do have so they can truly understand what gains they have made and how proud I am of them.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lost and found

My other baby
This morning as the three of us were rushing around trying to get out of the door I stopped suddenly and asked "Where is Sagwa?" We usually are greeted by our cat as soon as soon as we wake up. He jumps at us and nips at our ankles to go downstairs and open up the back door so he can go out and roam for a bit before we leave for the day. Today, there was no Sagwa to be found. Sabi and I did a quick sweep of the house but then had to leave as we were running late.

When we came home, the three of us went from room to room looking for Sagwa again. Sagwa is an indoor cat with the exception of the early morning and late evening jaunts outdoors. We couldn't figure out where he could have gone. We then searched the neighborhood going house to house to see if Sagwa visited the neighbors. No luck. I then came home and placed a "lost" ad on the animal control's website. Right before Sabi went to bed, we went out in the back yard to talk about the day and hang out for a few minutes. As we were talking, I heard a "meow." Sagwa!!! He was at the neighbor's house. I quickly slipped on my shoes and took off to get my cat. I was a little embarrassed to knock at their house at 8:30 but when I did, the door opened immediately and I was rushed to their back porch. They were waiting for me!!! Apparently Sagwa had been there all day but wouldn't let them get close to him. I was so happy to see Sagwa but he was quite frightened and wouldn't let me catch him. He was very scared. He ran away from me and went over the fence. Luckily, the fence he went over was ours. He realized that he was home and went right back inside of our house.

When I came returned to the house he was still a bit scared and needed some space. After about 10 minutes though he found me and jumped into my lap. He wanted to be held, scratched and loved. It was quite clear that he was a bit stressed out because his heart was racing and his claws were digging into my arms! He couldn't relax. Later on he chilled out and wanted to rub his nose/face against my neck as if to say "I am glad to be back home where I belong!"

Sagwa has not let me out of his sight since he has been back. (Right now, he is sitting on my lap as I type!)

Welcome back home Sagwita. We missed you!


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Why do we all have guns?

Last week there was a shooting across the street from our kinder classrooms about 30 minutes after school. Last night there was a gang related shooting in front of our school close to midnight.

It is just plain madness. When will it all stop?