Monthly Archives: August 2011

where do they get this?

I love my sons.  They are hilarious.  The things they come up with amaze and entertain me.  Today was one of those days they were full of it.

When we got home Bubba decided to make sling shots. Not sure where he came up with this but I am going to assume he learned it on the bus.  He got one of my rubber band headbands and an old patch off of Hubs’s old uniforms.  Using wadded up pieces of paper, he began shooting at Dude.  They cracked up giggling.  Bubba then made a set for his brother and war ensued.  I am sure I will find paper balls around the house for days.

Bubba also informed me that he ate breakfast at school today.  When I asked why he ate at school when he had already eaten at home he responded that he wanted chocolate milk and we had forgotten to give him chocolate milk at home.  When I reminded him that he gets a chocolate milk everyday with his snack at school he looked at me like I had caught him with his hand in the cookie jar.  He had no idea that I paid $50 at open house for him to have chocolate milk everyday this year.  He thought I didn’t know about the milk at all.  For all practical purposes he was sneaking this everyday.  (this is the start of my payback for sure!)  I also told Bubba that breakfast at school is not free and that he can’t just get breakfast because he wants something to drink. He panicked and was super remorseful because he is a money saver.

Conversation between Dude and Hubs tonight:
(dude roaming around the room eating his snack)
Hubs: sit down
Dude: I’m going to wrestle you down and sit on you.
H: Come back in 15 years when you are bigger than me.
D: In 15 yrs I will be old and married and have my own house. if you want to wrestle then you will have to come to me.
He then rolled his eyes at Hubs, shrugged his shoulders and walked away.

By the way… we put the boys to bed 45 mins. ago.  Bubba fell asleep before we were out of the room (I love kindergarten).  Dude has come out of his room for each of the following reasons:
1. He found a dirty sock on the floor and didn’t know who it belonged to.  (it is Bubba’s)
2. Doggyhead (his stuffed animal) has a hole in it.
3. There is fuzz now coming out of the hole in doggyhead.
4. He needs to go to the bathroom.
5. He needs a drink.
6. Just one more kiss and a hug.
Dude is not asleep yet so I am sure the list will get longer.

I am pretty sure I do know where they get this stuff.  I am pretty sure it my fault because I am a smart ass and have unintentionally taught them my smart ass ways.  Ultimately, though I will put the blame on my father.  I learned it by watching him.  What do you think?

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Get in the pool

A conversation with Dude today.
Dude: mom can you get in the pool with me?
Me: I don’t have my swimming suit on.
D: so?
M: so I can’t get in.
D: just take your clothes off and get in.
M: I can’t.
D: why?
M: because then I would be naked.
D: so?
M: so it would be weird to be naked in the back yard.
D: why?
M: the neighbors wouldn’t like it.
D: daddy would like it if you were naked.
M: Um…

How would you respond?

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i hate math

Tonight I had my first open house as an 8th grade teacher.  This was my 9th open house!!  You would think this would be easy but I was still nervous.  I am moving from teaching high school last year back to middle school this year.  I taught 6th grade when we lived in St. Louis and it ended miserably.  (You can read one of my really low points here to see why almost left teaching)  Last year was pretty awesome and renewed my passion for teaching.  (you can read a high moment here)

Most of my advisory students showed up tonight which is fantastic.  I didn’t keep track of the other classes because I didn’t have paper work to give them but I don’t think I met all of those kids.  Over all I have a great vibe about my kids this year.

One thing that concerns me every year is some thing that parents and kids say to me way too often.  “My child not very good at math” or “Math is my worst subject”  or my personal favorite “I hate math!”

It kills me that before school even starts there is an expectation and acceptance of failure. These statements are a cop-out.  Here is my thought: You aren’t good at math because you don’t do math.  Math is hard because you have to think.  You have to try something that doesn’t come naturally.  You have to pay attention, you have to work hard, you have to be willing to make a mistake.  Too many people aren’t willing to do those things.  So many kids give up and so many parents allow them to because they themselves gave up so long ago. (now before you starting yelling at me I do recognize that there are things that make math more difficult for others such as learning disabilities, bad teachers, etc.)

The truth is… I am not good at math either.  The difference is I work hard at it.  I like to joke that I am an under achieving gifted kid.  I took the accelerated math classes.  I did enough to get by most of the time (honestly though, sometimes I didn’t do enough to even pass).  In math I was lazy.  I didn’t want to work hard to be successful.  Instead I put on my “I-hate-math-this-is-too-hard-I-don’t-understand-and-my-teacher-doesn’t-explain-it-to-me” blinders.  I accepted mediocre.  I was okay with failure.  I am not sure what changed or what caused me to even want to be a math teacher but I do know that I want my students to do better than me.

I have many goals as a math teacher.
1. I want to teach mathematical concepts (duh!)
2. I want to each perseverance in problem solving.  I am amazed at how often kids give up instantly.  They don’t want to think.  They don’t want to ask questions or search for answers.  Every year I get better at letting students sweat it out and every year I see how much more valuable the learning is when they work through the problem from start to finish.
3. I want my students to recognize their potential as mathematicians.  Everyone can do math.  Everyone can be successful in a math class.  I want to encourage that success in all of my students.  I want them so see it in themselves when I am not there.
4. I want my students to enter my room everyday knowing that my class is relevant.  I want them leave every class knowing they can apply mathematical concepts everyday.

Every year I promise my kids that they will pass my class with a C or better if they do the following things: Pay attention everyday in class, do every assignment on time (really do it- not just slop something on the paper to be done), ask questions, and keep their stuff organized.  My philosophy in that  if they do those 4 things they will earn that grade on their own.  If they are willing to work, I will take all the time in the world to explain, reteach, go through examples, etc.  My kids will be successful as long as they aren’t lazy.

So, do you hate math?  Tell me why and what would have made a difference?

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summer

We ventured out to the Nevada Aquatic Center for free swim Sunday today.  It is the first time all summer that we have been to the “water park.”  It is also the last day of summer.  Tomorrow is the first day of teacher’s meetings and Thursday is the first day of a new school year.  I am looking forward to the changes this new year brings.

Tonight, though, I am reflecting on a pretty good summer.  It seems like it was super long (and actually, compared to most of my friends it was 3 weeks longer) but it also flew by in a blink.

We started the summer with a trip to Florida celebrating 10 yrs of marital bliss between the Hubs and in I.  We left Bubba and Dude with my family (my mom, sister, brother and future sister-in-law are amazing to have helped out so Hubs and I could get away).  In Florida, we were super tourists- we did as much as we could in an extremely short amount of time and were exhausted when we got back to St. Louis.

We spent a few days being tourists in St. Louis with the boys before returning to Nevada, MO.  It was so much fun taking the boys to the bounce house place, visiting the zoo, Aquaport, and going to the movies.  They are at the age where everything we do is a blast.

I watched a ton of trash television (Housewives, Millionaire Matchmaker, Bridezillas, ect.).  One show that captured my heart this summer was Hoarders.  As a result I purged.  A lot.  The thing is I did this 2 summers ago when we found out we were moving to Nevada, a little more when we went into storage 6 months later, and again last summer when we moved in.  We just seem to have a  ton of stuff and it multiplies in the closets.

Usually I teach summer school but because of our Florida vacation I didn’t this summer.  Instead I got a job working for the school district painting.  I had a great time painting lines on parking lots, a barn, bathrooms, and classrooms.  I also got a job working at the shoe store.  For those of you wondering- it is much better and I have already taken advantage of my discount.

A couple more highlights include an amazing 4th of July weekend with my family at the lake.  We had such a great time with the lake house olympics, floating in the middle of the lake because it was so hot, a fantastic fireworks display, and, as always, way too much good food.

I went to Chicago for 4 days in July for the Pampered Chef National Conference.  Such a good time with old friends and lots of inspiring training to improve my business. As a result I have 5 shows this month!!

The New Kids on the Block- Backstreet Boys concert was also pretty awesome.  I had so much fun with my girlfriends drooling over my boyfriends.  I am still drooling over Donny’s abs.  Thanks Stacey, Patty and Elizabeth for a much-needed “girls night!”

I attended a couple of professional development courses this summer to remind myself how much I want to pursue a degree in educational technology.  I also took an exercise class that didn’t kill me.  You can read about that here.

As I reread, edit(remember I am a math teacher not an English teacher so don’t expect much in the editing dept.) and add to this post I realize that this has been more than just a pretty good summer.  This has been one of the best summers I can remember.  I guess we are where we’re supposed to be.  Things are good and this year is going to be even better!

How was your summer?

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Power surge

I need to start with my problems are minor compared to so many others so I dont have a right to complain but I’m going to anyway.
We have had very little rain this summer and its a good thing because our lawn mower barely works. And our weed wacker just broke.
We live in a farming community so I now have a better understanding of the value of rain. That being said it has rained every day for the last 8 days. Good right? Sort of.
It started with a really bad storm last Wednesday. After all the tornadoes I am a lot freaked by storms these days. This bad storm involved a lot of lightening and apparently it struck way too close to home. Literally. I think we were struck by lightening.
As a result we have no phone line. The bigger problem with no phone line is no DSL (our only internet option besides our phones).  This is really stressing me out.
Also broken as a result of the lightening strike is our oven.  We have gas so this shouldn’t be an issue, right? Wrong. Apparently there is a computer in the oven that tells it what to do. By the way it costs $150 to replace. Oh and if this would have happened in June it may have been covered under the warranty but we are out of warranty by a few weeks.
The good news… our tv was on a surge protector and the dish is still works so we can continue to watch Phineas and Ferb non stop. Wait… maybe that’s not so good.
I am ready for school to start next week. How was your summer?

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bubba is going to kindergarten

My baby boy is growing up.  No, I am not going to be that mom crying because my child is starting school.  I am really excited for Bubba to start kindergarten (and not just because daycare expenses will be cut in half).  He is extremely smart and creative and I can’t keep up.

We had his screening back in May.  He scored in the 95th percentile.  He wanted to know why he didn’t get a 100.  He is either going to be the teacher’s pet or the teacher’s worst nightmare.  He continually insists that since I am a teacher I should be teaching him to read right now.  When I explain that I am math teacher and can teach him how to solve equations but have no clue about reading, he insists I make up math problems and quiz him.

Yesterday we went to the doctor for his annual physical  Bubba will be 6 next month and already weighs 57 lbs. and is 46 inches tall.  Dude will be 4 next month and weighed in at 44 lbs and is 41 inches tall.  They are huge… both above the 90th percentile.

Today I left Dude at daycare while I took Bubba to the eye doctor and to get his vaccinations for kindergarten.  Bubba was super brave and took them like a champ.  Plus he passed his eye exam.  He was concerned that they would have to pop his eyes out to look inside but we have a pretty good eye doctor that didn’t have to do that.

Dude melted down.  He is going to have a hard time being without his big brother.  After I picked him up today, Dude couldn’t stop telling Bubba how much he was going to miss him when school started.  It was sort of heart breaking.  Then they started punching each other so all went back to normal.

In other news… I am a horrible wife.  It got up to 111 degrees (that’s almost 44  celsius and I like that better) today.  I figure anything over 100 doesn’t really matter it is just freaking hot.  It has been over 100 for weeks.  We have had only 1 significant rain in over a month.  The grass is not growing.  Except it is in 2 spots in our yard… where the AC drains and where we dump the boy’s pool.  And it was almost knee-high today.  The bugs are bad and we have a nazi that does code enforcement specializing in tall grass.  I was afraid we were going to get a violation so I made Hubs mow.  Yes I am mean.  But I brought him Gatorade.  Then I had a cool beverage (the adult kind) ready when he came in.  So that makes it okay, right?

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