And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Best 9 Weeks

So for the past nine weeks I have had the opportunity to work in a classroom with 37 of the most fantastic 4th and 5th graders, under the supervision of the greatest Cooperating Teacher (CT), Kelly Granato.  She was so gracious to lend me her classroom for 9 weeks so I could learn from both her and her students on my quest to become a better teacher.  While the 9 weeks did present a lot of challenges, as well as early, early mornings, I learned more about myself and about teaching than I ever thought possible.

During the nine weeks I worked with the students on a Colonial America Integrated Unit, I introduced geometry (triangles, area, surface area, and volume), and we did a lot of fun one day lessons (pinch pots, puff mobiles, all about me couplet poetry, superimposing photography, and so much more).  One of the highlights of the nine weeks was the opportunity to go to JA Biztown.  This is a curriculum where the students learn all about economy, communities, markets, budgeting, writing checks, balancing checkbooks, and so forth.  The curriculum ended up culminating into a one day field trip where the students worked in various jobs within a community, they also received paychecks and then could go and spend their money at the various businesses.  It was a relevant and engaging curriculum that offered the students with an incredibly relevant learning experience.  It was so much fun to see the kids get so excited about learning.

My last day in the classroom was so special.  Kelly got the students to sign a book for me that was what her classroom motto is based off of.  She also got pizza for us for lunch, and a cake for the kids and I to share.  After cake, the kids and I played a game where they passed around a ball and said what qualities I had that made me a great teacher.  The kids said things like, I was smart, funny, understanding, nice, kind, always smiling, and even fashionable (not sure why being fashionable makes someone a great teacher, but hey...I will take it!!!).  At the very end I told the kids thank you for all they did and I told them that I probably learned more from them than they learned from me.  At that point one of the students Maddy (she is a cute little 4th grade girl), looked at me very seriously and said, "I don't know Mrs. really taught me a lot about Colonial America."  It was so funny!!!!! As the students left at the end of the day I was able to hug each one of them and say goodbye.  It was such a great day!  Definitely the best day to be my last day!

So the next 6 weeks will be the beginning of the end.  I will have the opportunity to work in a 2nd-4th grade classroom at Clackamas Web Academy.  I have met with my new CT, Tracy Grant and I am very excited to work through a unit on Force and Motion.  I see a lot of fun activities for me and my students in the future!!!  And the best part of all this, is that at the end of the six weeks I will have my Masters and be done with school (well, school with me as the student at least) FOREVER!!!  YAHOO!!!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Our Wonderful Easter Weekend

When I say Easter weekend, I literally mean the whole weekend!  Dominik had three Easter egg hunts and now has enough candy to last him for the next five or so years.  Needless to say, we have seen more tantrums in the last two days from him than we have throughout his entire two years of existence.  All over how much candy he thinks he can handle vs. how much we know he can.

The weekend started off early Saturday afternoon with a wonderful Easter lunch put on by our good friends the Williams.  All (except the Finlinson's) the families in our little Aspen Summit family were there and we had a blast.  As soon as we got there the kids began their great egg race to get as many eggs as they possibly could.  Luckily our kid is a bit slow so he didn't find too many eggs that were filled with candy that would later result in a tantrum.  We feel so spoiled to have such great families live so close, and hope and pray everyday that we will have the same luck in Maryland (although we do realize that the chances are rather slim).

After the neighborhood party we headed home to put Lil D down for his much needed nap.  We rested a bit (by rested I mean worked on homework) and got ready for party number two.  This party was a birthday party for Dominik's good buddy Bobby from our ward.  It was a great party with a ton of kids that were Dominiks age.  The kids were able to participate in a huge Easter egg hunt and score some pretty great candy!  Jackie sprang for the expensive stuff; no more Winco special Palmer's candy!  We ate some delicious pizza and snacks and had a great time celebrating sweet little Bobby's 2nd birthday. 

We ended up leaving the party a bit early because Grandpa and Grandma were in town visiting.  We headed out to Gresham and spent the rest of the evening hanging out on their almost finished deck.  It looks absolutely fabulous and I can't wait to see the finished product!!!

Sunday was a special reason for so many reasons!  Not only did we have the opportunity to really think about the Savior and all he did for us, but my entire family was coming to our ward to hear me speak on that very topic.  Overall I think the talk went well and I am just glad that it is over with.  We sure are going to miss our ward when we move!

After church we headed to Grandpa and Grandma Papenfuss' house to enjoy a delicious Easter  feast!  The dinner was loaded with all the favorites; ham, au gratin potatoes, corn, rolls, salad, jell-o salad, and LOTS of dessert!  My mom is the best cook ever.  She sure throws down one mean Easter dinner!  After dinner we hid some more Easter eggs in the backyard since it was an amazingly beautiful day.  The kids had a great time finding them and actually were able to fill their baskets.  Grandma and Grandpa spoil the grandbabies with too much candy and toys; lucky for them, when they are coming down from their sugar high they get to just send them home.  It's going to be a fun night!

All in all Easter was great.  We were able to spend some quality time as a family, and really reflect on the ultimate sacrifice that was made on our behalf.  I hope and pray that as we go on this year we might do so with our Savior in mind.  That we can always remember him and model our life after his.