Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Shake Break!

We are right in the middle of our state testing this week! Poor babies have to sit so long! I thought I'd share some of our favorite brain breaks that we're doing to get the wiggles out! 
This is our hands down favorite! My monolingual Spanish speakers love this one because they learn the verbs "shake" and "jump" so quickly!
This Cha Cha Slide has visuals for each move! Perfect for ELL kids, and ones that still have trouble with right and left!
Sooooo cute!! 
This is called "Cosmic Yoga." It's the best kids yoga I've seen! Each episode is about 15 minutes. Each tells an imaginative story, and the yoga moves fit the story perfectly! Check out all the different episodes Here.

This is one of many from Harry Kindergarten. All the videos are fabulous! My kids sing this one all day long! It is a definite favorite! 
And I threw in this cute chicken video to celebrate our classroom chick hatching that we just started!
If you hatch chicks too, this is a must see!!

What are some of your favorite brain breaks? I'd love to discover some new ones!!

Enjoy getting all the wiggles out!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Back in Action

Today was my first day back from maternity leave. Thankfully we had a restful night, and our morning with Paxton went pretty smoothly too. I had my coffee, took an extra cup for the road, and left my house feeling excited to see my babies at school.

I got to school with the intention of getting reacquainted with my room, and getting reorganized. I had just settled in at my desk, with my favorite purple flair pen to make an extensive to-do list. Then I got a call from the office. "Good morning Mrs. Conger, welcome back. You're late for traffic duty." Blahhhhhhh. I HATE traffic duty. Instead of getting our morning prep before the kids arrive, we have to stand in the parking lot and breathe in the car exhaust while we monitor the cars, and the kids in the crosswalk. This was not a good start to my first day back. I put on my beautiful, and very flattering, neon orange crossing guard vest, and headed outside. I hadn't even been outside five seconds before the hugs started! I got hugs, and smiles, and "Mrs. Conger! You're back!!" from so many sweet smiling kids this morning. Some kids I didn't even know! One little girl came up to me with a great big hug and said "Mrs. Conger! Welcome back! We started new math groups while you were gone, and I get to be in your class!" I said "Math groups! I hope I know what to do." She told me that she could teach the group for me if I wanted! Very cute. Traffic duty was actually JUST the thing I needed to get my morning started!

From there I went to pick up my class from morning recess on the playground. When they saw me coming, they started running across the field and all rushed me with a great big hug. I really missed them! I'm glad they missed me too. While I was gone, they had a FANTASTIC sub, and I was worried they wouldn't want me back!

We spent most of the day (thank goodness it was a half day) looking at pictures  and videos of Paxton, telling stories about him, and getting caught up on things they had done over the last three months. Our conversation went a little something like this:

"Mrs. Conger, can Paxton eat pizza yet?"

"Mrs. Conger, guess what? My cousin learned how to jump off our roof."

"Ms. Alcaraz, I mean...Mom....I mean....MRS. CONGER!!

"Mrs. Conger, guess what?! My reading level is an 11 now!!"

"Mrs. Conger you used to have peach color on your skin, but now you just look white."

"Mrs. Conger, did you have your baby yet....?" (Really!?)

"Mrs. Conger, am I from China?"

Seriously. I think I might change my name for tomorrow. And most of those beauties were in the first 10 minutes of our day! They were all wound up and ready to SHARE! They wanted to share every little thing with me that I had missed. It was so very cute, but boy did I need a Tylenol and some silence by lunch time!

I think the cutest part of our day was when I dropped them off at Music. I guess they thought I might leave them again because they all started giving me hugs, and saying 'BYEEEE!! BYE Mrs. Conger!" I had to reassure them that I WOULD be back to pick them up in just 20 short minutes. I promise!

It was a very unproductive, but super sweet day. I missed my kids dearly! They can really make a day better with their stories and smiles.

Tomorrow is a full day, YIKES, and we have to buckle down and finish test prep for our SAT 10 test next week. Two more days until the weekend! I think I can, I think I can...

Happy Wednesday!


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Moving On to New Adventures!

I have some sad/exciting news to share! We're MOVING! Our little family is relocating alllllllllll the way to Charlotte, North Carolina. My husband is transferring to a new office in Charlotte for work, and Paxton and I will be tagging along with him!

Arizona has been a wonderful home to us for six years. I started my teaching career here, at a school I will never be able to replace. It's where my teaching heart is, and where I learned everything I know about education. I am so very sad to be leaving all of my colleagues, and friends here behind.

But when I think about how wonderful it will be to be so much closer to our families on the East Coast, and for Paxton to be able to grow up around them, I get very excited! My family heart is still at "home" in Michigan. We will be much much closer. It seems like we are being led on this path for a reason, and I am excited to see where it will take us.

Now the long to-do list beings. Sell our house, pack up, find a new job, find a new house, DRIVE across the country with a baby...! Yikes. We started today by listing our house. Hopefully the market is stable enough for a few weeks and we'll be able to sell it quickly. I also need to find a job! Anyone know anything about the Charlotte area? I have been researching, but its hard to gauge the feeling of an area and its schools from the internet. I've been using the Great Schools website to help me, but I'm starting my search without any background knowledge. I'm working on my resume, and looking at openings daily. It will be very different to move away from Arizona, a state with such a large ELL population, to a state with a much smaller one. I'm hopeful I'll find the perfect job where I'll still be able to use all my ELL skills. I guess I just have to have faith that the perfect spot will find me. It's scary to be ending this year without a job lined up, but I know that new opportunities for me are out there somewhere!

I'm glad to share this news with all of you! It's been very hard to tell people, and say that "we're moving" out loud. It makes it seem more real I guess. Everyone has been very supportive and happy for us as we start our new adventure. Thanks for letting me share that with you! If anyone has any advice, tips, or knowledge about moving to the Charlotte area, please let me know!

Have a wonderful weekend!