Saturday, June 23, 2012

Summer Woes

I wish I could say that I have been enjoying my summer vacation by sitting on my porch swing in the beautiful and breezy 78 degree weather with my ol' standby firefly+ginger ale and a good book but alas I can't. For three reasons:

(1) I live in Virginia, and Virginia summers are NEVER a beautiful and breezy 78 degrees. Instead they are 110 degrees with 4,000% humidity. Okay, I MAY be exaggerating a bit there on the percentage but the severe weather alert on my phone is beeping at me all day every day about the heat index.

(2) I spent this past week working at my county's administration offices re-writing the Language Arts Pacing Guides K-5 with a few other teachers. For the many times this year I wished for a cubicle job, I am truly sorry. If I have to stare at the computer screen all day it better be on Pinterest, NOT on Microsoft Word formatting hell. If I have to type the words phonetic, accuracy, or multisyllabic ever again I may scream. BUT I feel like we really accomplished something. We basically took the old pacing guide (which was USELESS) and a million different curriculum documents and made logical, sense of it all to create something that might actually be useful. Since one of my summer to-do's is to revamp our Long Range Plans, I feel like I've had a head start. I got to keep copies of the documents we created and there is no telling when they will be released to the rest of the county, so at least that is one thing I won't have to worry about come August.

And (3) I am house-sitting a few teenagers this week and weekend too. They are 17 and 15, and their parents went on a cruise and asked me to make sure they didn't burn the house down. They can pretty much take care of themselves, but I am sleeping there and making sure they are feeding themselves regularly so it takes a bit of time away from the porch swing.

I haven't had any genius teacher revelations to blog about  yet, but the summer is still young! My most frustrating task right now is replacing my classroom library baskets. I am very particular about what I want and I can't find it anywhere. I found one basket I liked in a team teacher's room, scoured the internet for them only to find out they stopped making them in 1989. Most people I know get baskets from the Dollar Tree, but I haven't been impressed lately. My students' individual book baskets came from the Dollar Tree, but for my library I want something that will endure the test of time. I think I will look at IKEA since I have been running out of luck everywhere else.

On a last random note, I found these wonderful cloth-covered totes at Target on sale for $6 each! So of course I bought 4. They are Extra Large, and I'm thinking about using two for clip board storage and the other two for reading pillows. I might have to go buy more since they are already out of stock online...


  1. Hi! I just found your blog! I did not realize it got that hot in VA!! I live in the north Georgia mountains and it gets pretty hot here sometimes, but mornings are usually pretty cool! I am following you and I hope you will check out my blog!


    2nd Grade Pig Pen

  2. I work in Orange County and we just spent the entire week working on curriculum. We redid or revamped almost everything (pacing guides, common assessments, benchmarks, syllabi)for every subject. VDOE made a TON of changes! Hello white-tailed deer... There was basically one grade level representative for every subject area. We worked 8-4 ALL week! And several of us mentioned how a desk job is NOT for us! Like you, I feel very accomplished though. It will be nice to not be hit with all of this info when school starts. However, I am EXHAUSTED! I took great joy on Friday morning turning my alarm off, thinking I won't need that sucker for a good long while!!!

    Hopefully the heat will take a break, and you can enjoy some porch time. I am sure you deserve it!

  3. Hi! I just found your blog! I agree with you about not having to put everything on TPT. I appreciate what you put on your blog for other teachers to use, I have already downloaded some of your things... so thanks!! Last year, I decided to change my book baskets in my classroom library. A common color in my classroom is green. I found some great sturdy bins/baskets at Target that were green. Here's a picture of the book baskets - I have some large ones and also some small ones I just got for chapter books. I also have about six of the green bins you showed in your post.

    Have a great summer!

  4. Hey, I feel your summer woes! But, I hope this helps. I am giving you the Lovely Blog award. Head over to my blog to receive it!

    Have a great rest of the summer,
    Wendy Powers

  5. Word formatting can drive me CRAZY. I feel ya.

    Check out The Classroom Library Company! I've also heard such wonderful things about The Container Store.

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  6. We've nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Stop by our blog to pick it up.