Saturday, August 29, 2009

Funny Subbing Moments

I'm sure I'll have a lot of these, but here are some of my favorite moments from my first three days in first grade!

On the first day, the children were given a piece of paper and told to draw a picture of what they did this summer, and write a sentence about it. I walked around the class to help the teacher (still very pregnant, but might deliver this weekend!) One of the boys was sitting there with his pencil poised, chin on his other palm, staring off in to space.
"How is your sentence going, Colin?" I asked him.
"Well, I'm trying to write 'I went on a bus to Las Vegas,' " he explained, "but I can't remember how to spell 'a.' "

On the second day, one of the girls came up to me.
"Mrs. Bakery! Natalie is tattling on me!" She whined.
"She's tattling? Oh no! What are you doing?" I asked.
"Ohhhhh..." Quieted and and seemingly confused, she sat back down at her desk.

But my favorite comes from a child with a huge imagination. Something tells me I will have lots of stories to share about him!

The first thing he did yesterday when he walked into the classroom was walk up to me with big dramatic eyes, and say, "Oh, Mrs. Rudabager, I do not like push doors."
"Push doors?" I asked, confused.
"Yeah," he said, his eyes getting big, "you know, the kind that dragons have?"
"Ohh," I nodded as if I understood, "well, I don't think we have any push doors here at school."
"You bet we don't!" He announced triumphantly, "I already slayed them with my sword!"

I can tell that it's going to be a fun substituting position! I love the kids already, and can't wait to have my turn with them :)

The last week was invaluable, though, because I got to watch the classroom teacher in action, learn her classroom cues, become familiar with the layout of the classroom and schedule, and get to know the kids.
She went to the hospital straight after school yesterday, so I may very well be taking on the class on Monday! I'm really excited!

Here are my names so far in first grade: Mrs. Bakery, Mrs. Blueberry, Mrs. Rudabager, and Mrs. Uhhhh, Teacher?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Winds of Change

My last day at Summer of Hope was on Friday, but since Jesse gets that day off, he surprised me by taking me out for our "last lunch break together" on Thursday. So sweet!
Even though Thursday was his birthday, he told me to forget about that and just enjoy celebrating what a wonderful summer we've had of working at the same place.

Out of the two of us, I'm the frugal one, so I verrrrrrry rarely ever encourage going out for something (Jesse does enough of that for the two of us. I hate to be the bad guy!) but Jesse took me out for a Jamba Juice smoothie. What a treat!

Here we are enjoying our last lunch break together.

I'm going to miss this SO much!

It's been such an amazing thing to work at the same place. Getting to stop by his office on lunch breaks, running into him in the supply room, watching him play with the kids when he needs to stretch his legs...It's been so wonderful.

Leaving that job behind means changing my whole world. I loved being so involved at the church this summer. I was able to attend all of the events, the dinners, spend time with the youth groups, and really develop relationships with members of the church.

It will be so different to only be there on Sundays again. Sigh...

I went to First Lutheran yesterday to meet the teacher for whom I will be substituting this fall. Her due date is September 9th, but she looks like she could pop any time! She's very sweet, and made me feel completely comfortable. She laid out an outline for me, but told me that she's flexible and that if anything doesn't feel right, I'm welcome to change it to fit my own style. After my 2nd half of student teaching, that is a breath of fresh air!

Tomorrow is the first day of school. Christina will teach her 1st grade class until she delivers, after which they are mine for 6 weeks. I'm so thankful that it's 1st grade! That was always my ideal, and I'm excited to finally get a chance to experience it.

There are 18 of them, which, for a private school is a lot. I'm looking forward to meeting all of them tomorrow! I've asked her if I can keep coming to school until she delivers so that I can watch her teach. The kids will be going through enough changes to not need inconsistencies between teachers. Even simple classroom cues are important!

I've begun a new blog for teaching: My Teaching Toolbox. I haven't really added much to it yet, but that's where I'll be posting teaching ideas and things that I learn!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Promised Pictures!

Well, I told you that I would post pictures of our Intertidal Mural that we created last week at the summer program. I was really pleased with their work!

We spent Monday and Tuesday researching animals that live in tide pools. I had them each spend time on computers using websites I had found for them. They each chose an animal, and then wrote a report like these:

(Click on it to see a bigger picture. Then, maybe, you'll be able to read what they wrote!)

Then, the older kids were given web pages to research the different levels of the intertidal zone.

The little ones were busy drawing and cutting out paper organisms to add to our mural while the older ones did their research. Then they got to join in the fun too!

Here is the finished product!

I'm so proud of them!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Beach Day!

Today was my last field trip with Summer of Hope. Can't believe the summer is over already!
We've been learning about tide pools this week, and today we moved our learning into real time as we visited the beautiful tide pools at Laguna Beach. We had a blast!

I don't have any pictures of the actual tide pools because I was so busy showing the kids all sorts of different animal life. We saw so many things! Mussels, barnacles, clams, sea snails, hermit crabs, tiny fish, sea anemones that had the kids screaming with glee, and sea urchins that had them leaning in for a better look. They learned the difference between a univalve and a bivalve (and the hand motions that helped them remember), what a "hollow" in a tide pool is, the difference between high and low tide (and got to witness it over the span that we were there), and how to closely observe the wildlife without tampering with it or causing harm (or at least, that was the idea!)

They've been researching tide pools all week. We made an awesome bulletin board about it, and I'll have to remember to take pictures and post them!

Anyway, here are some pictures from today...

After spending about an hour roaming through the tide pools, we moved the kids to an area where they could be more active and enjoy the beach.

Jessica found a crab! But...a seagull found him first.

That looks really yummy, Matt...

Mary was our hero and came along at the last minute--we had too many kids and not enough seats!

Pretty pattern...maybe lobster?


I loved how interested the kids were. They were learning all on their own!


Everyone with their "treasures" (which were promptly returned to their places)

All in all, it was a great day. We had a blast at the beach, had lots of stories to tell on the way home, and a lot of impressive things to tell moms and dads when the kids got picked up.

I love days like these!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Simple joys of today...

♥ Working the early shift today (7am--3:30) and feeling like there's still an entire day ahead of me

♥ Tomatoes from my garden in my salad at lunch

♥ Making apple pie with my youngsters at church this afternoon (and seeing the pride on their faces as they ate it!)

♥ Finishing reading my 10th Newbery Award book--76 to go!

♥ A rare valley breeze moving gently through this warm little house

♥ The scent of my vanilla candles just from the heat of the day

♥ Knowing that Jesse will be home before midnight tonight

♥ The energy to contemplate baking cookies or cinnamon buns in a few minutes

♥ Picturing Jesse's face when he walks in to yummy smells from the kitchen

♥ Quilting on the couch while watching Jeopardy

♥ Knowing that life is so much better when focusing on the good things in life!

♥ Thank you, Lord, for Joy, Peace, and Love! ♥