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Posts Tagged ‘school’

I keep finding odds and end photos on my computer and I always say “I really need to get that blog post written and loaded”…..but I never get it done.  So I’ve decided to just post some pictures with some explanation.  They will be totally unrelated…but that’s OK with me!

Here goes…

Last year, during the whole cancer business, one of my 8th grade girls brought me a breast cancer awareness bracelet….

I thought it was incredibly kind.  She also bought herself one so that she could show her support.  Wow!  I have pretty amazing students!  Kylie moved to Las Vegas a few weeks after she gave me the bracelet but now every time I wear the bracelet I will think of her.  (yes, I am the pasty white arm on the left!  She was also about a foot taller than me too!)

In July, (I think), Mom, my sister and my niece got together to make jewelry.  We try to do this at least once a summer because we all love to do it!  So here’s our creations!

we always make such a mess!  LOLOL

Mr. Elroy makes me laugh….here are some of my favorite pictures of him.  Some were taken with my phone so they aren’t so good….

He often sleeps like this…and in the middle of whatever I’m working on…..and I have to check to see if he’s still breathing because he looks dead…..

2 different naps ….2 different days…..same old pose….

One night….while working at my computer desk, it got kinda hot….so I turned on the fan….and this is where he put himself….between me and the fan…and again, laid right on top of the paperwork I was working on…..crazy boy cat!

I LOVE cat paws…..these are Goldie’s….and they are HUGE!

I knitted this little sweater for Kaylore….It actually fits her perfectly and I think it’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen….if I do say so myself!!!!

This summer I was invaded by tiny ants…..I planned an ant massacre…..and it worked!!!  You can find anything on the internet!!!

I helped JW with his back to school backpack by embroidering his name on it……

It came with a wallet and everything…..and I think he liked it just fine!

It’s hard to believe he’s in 1st grade already!  Wow!!!

Ok….I think I’m all caught up….Oh Wait!  I almost forgot to celebrate!

Last week I went in for my yearly mammogram (and the first one since my diagnosis and surgery) and I’m proud to announce that ALL IS GOOD!!!  No reason for extra pictures, or procedures!  I’m so very extremely thankful!

Until next time!

JoAnn

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Today I did something I’ve never done before.  Here’s a hint….

 

 

Our school district has raised funds for the OMRF for many, many years and this is one of the events.  I’ve never done a “fun run” before (and NO, I didn’t attempt the 5K) but it was really fun!

My school put together a team shirt…..

 

On the front they honored women in our school who have or have battled breast cancer…..

 

(the picture doesn’t show the silver print very well, but I love that it sparkles!)

I feel very honored to be supported by such wonderful people.  I consider them my school family.  I know that if I need ANYTHING….all I have to do is ask.  It’s rather humbling.

Here’s some of my friends…

It’s also quite surreal to see my name on this shirt.  Even though I am reminded daily that my life has been altered….it’s always a shock to see it in print or have to check a box on a form that says “has cancer”, or to see a friend that I haven’t seen in a while and have to say it out loud.  I’m just weird I guess.

But as Thanksgiving Day approaches….My list of things to be thankful for is quite long.  But I am….thankful for family and friends that remember to pray for me and check on me.  I am blessed!!!

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Marking time….

This is one of the things I do to center myself….

 

Banana Cranberry Bread….

These will become gifts for Bosses Day….

Pecan Cranberry Muffins….

These will be breakfast for the next few days!

Both were very tasty!

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Mrs. Frosty

I really don’t know what got into me….I don’t normally do this sort of thing…but this year I decided to go all out.

 Our principals decided to host a “Festive Christmas Outfit” contest among the faculty.  The person who recieves the most votes (only faculty voting) will recieve a day off while the head principal subs for you for the day.  I really wasn’t interested in the prize as much as I was interested in WINNING!!!

 I had this costume at school the Mom had made for one of my performances 10 years ago.  I got it out, washed it and started in…..OH….MY…..what have I done?  Along with my friend, Dawn on the phone, shopping at Michael’s was a whole new experience….especially when all the Christmas stuff was 60% off.

Are you ready?  here are the pieces….

Snowman Costume….

My hat…of my own design…

 

Elroy wanted to come along also!

The final approach…

costume on…

final touches…

Here’s the final product……be warned……

The competition

We’ll see who wins!

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What an honor!

I don’t get asked very often but when I do, and can, I say yes!  To what you might ask?  To this:

I was asked to be the guest conductor/clinician for an honor choir in Muskogee.

 

I had 150ish 6th and 7th grade students, hand picked by their director, for an entire day.  We had a BLAST.  I’m so sorry I didn’t take my camera.  They were so AWESOME.  Beautiful voices, smart, attentive, adaptable and just plain fun!  To top it off….I had an awesome accompanist as well!!!

 

The concert that evening was super!  The kids thanked ME!  If they only knew how much fun I had with them!

 

I was truly honored!

 

 

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The Summer is a Wrap!

I knew the summer fun had ended when I saw this:

This is my classroom….again. As much as I love what I do for a job, I really enjoy my summer. This was a real wake up call that my time of leisure had come to an end and the new challenges had begun….

I had a few end-of-summer adventures:

Pete and Zoe took me to lunch on Sat. before school started:

Zoe and Goldie became fast friends!

The first week of school just about killed me…..I came home exhausted everyday and it took until Thursday before I was beginning to see daylight. Pete was kind enough to take me to breakfast that weekend. What a treat!

JW started preschool this year and I monogrammed his Spiderman backpack. There will be no getting it mixed up with someone else’s backpack!

Goldie has become one of the family….

Even July is becoming her napping buddy! (notice that Lucy is nowhere around……She’s still getting used to the new creature in the house….)

So tomorrow brings another week of school…….160 kids a day, including my class of 45 8th grade girls in my little bitty room…..it’s a little bit cozy! It should be a great year!

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A moment in the sun

Recently this article appeared in our local newspaper, The Daily Oklahoman:

Yes, they actually printed something about a teacher that didn’t involve, sex, drugs or alcohol or being arrested….shocking, I know.

I never intended for this to get so publicized.  I told my principal and my Fine Arts Coordinator hoping to be mentioned in our district newsletter.  Before I knew it, they had it posted on the district’s home page and then the newspaper.  I guess I’ve had my 5 minutes of fame!  I really am humbled by this award.  I never dreamed of being a recipient!

Thanks for all the kind words from everyone!

I know I have been absent from my blog for quite awhile but school has just about gotten the best of me.  I hope to get everyone caught up this weekend!

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Proof of my job

* disclaimer:  I have debated for some time whether I should show you a video of my choirs. I finally decided I would. There are now identifying words on their clothes. Our school name is not mentioned and the video quality is just poor enough that you can’t really identify my students. I really do worry about exposing them to things/people perverts on the internet.  So I would appreciate you doing the same for them.

These are my kids.  I. love. them.  They have worked extremely hard this year and I’m extremely proud of them.  Here’s a little background.

Our school was last reported to have almost 70% of our families at the poverty level.  Our population has become more and more transient.  (One student who started the school year with me is now at his third school this year).  None of my students take private voice lessons and I only know of one who takes private piano lessons (and she is incredible) , which means that the only training these students get is at school (a few sing at church).  Our elementary schools do an incredible job of training these student in music so when I get them we can just continue to work hard.

The performances you are about to see are excerpts from our District Choir Contest.  At bit of explanation:  Contest has rules…….we have to sing 1 song accompanied and 1 unaccompanied.  We also have to do “Sight-Reading Contest” which is singing a short song that we have never seen before in a matter of 5 minutes, for a judge, who gives us a score.  It’s very stressful.  Ratings are given in numbers ranging from I – Superior to V – poor.  I’ll give you each choir’s scores after their performance.

I have chosen one song from each choir (obviously the one they did the best) so you won’t have to sit through both songs.  Sight reading contest cannot be recorded.

Please forgive the green screen at the beginning of the video.  A student was running the camera and began recording with the night vision button on.  It goes away pretty quickly.  They also cut off the beginning of the 2nd choir.  (Sometimes you take what you get and are glad you got it!)

One last thing (I know I’m starting to sound like a stage mother….deal with it)……..

I could sit here (and I have) and make a list a mile long with all the mistakes.  But MY bottom line is how proud they were of the progress they have made over the course of the year.  I very proud of them as well.  Enjoy!

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Celebration time!

I have been absent for several days because of this:

The end of the year so so exhausting and busy that it consumes me and my energy. There were days I would come home and not get out of my chair and would not have the strength to lift my knitting needles. Pretty sad!

It’s hard to believe that it has finally arrived. We have endured much this year and a full moon to boot. Scoff if you must but ask any teacher if they believe that a full moon can affect kid’s behavior and they will swear by it.

Tomorrow is the last day with kids and Friday is our check out day and then it is freedom for a few weeks.

I will have the occasional workshop to go to but I am planning lots of pool time and knitting and sewing time. It will also be fun to go to Kingfisher and hang out with my parents without having to worry about working at the antique store. (BTW Mom sold the building and the business without having to put anything on the market. Another story for another post.)

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It is finished…..

The new calendar year brings around the most stressful part of the school year for me and my students. Our district choir and solo/ensemble contests are in February and March and it’s during this time that I turn into Jekyll and Hyde. Just ask my students.

I teach 7th and 8th grade boys and girls to sing with good vowels, audible consonants and attempt to get them to sing with expression and musicality all the while trying to keep them singing in tune with each other as well as the piano that accompanies us. Please understand that getting a middle school kid to do more than remember their locker combination over the weekend is quite an accomplishment.

So….we prepare 2 songs, one accompanied and one a capella (unaccompanied) in 2 or three voice parts. Singing with piano is fine but singing with just middle school voices is always a crap shoot. You never really know what is coming out of their mouths on any given day. You definitely have to watch the calendar for full moons and watch the weather for barometric pressure changes and hope they keep their romances intact until after contest. It all seems to matter.

In addition to singing two songs we are also required to sight-read a 16 measure song that we have never seen before in a matter of 5 timed minutes. It’s a rather involved situation but let’s just say that this is what causes me to lose my religion every year. You work and work in class. Spend days timing everything to make sure they know the procedures and hope and pray it doesn’t all fall apart when you walk in the sight-reading room. It’s a wonder I have any hair left on my head by the end of the day. Did I mention that the kids HATE sight-reading?
We do all this for ……. a rating! Yes, just a score. There are no ‘winners’ just a number that tells how well you were prepared.

Here are the ratings:

I – Superior (this score earns you a plaque)
II – Excellent

III – Good

IV – Fair

V – Poor

I ended up taking 3 choirs this year. A 7/8th grade boys choir, an 8th grade girls choir and a 7th grade girls choir.

I am proud to say that the boys choir made a I rating in both their concert music as well as sight reading. (they were walking tall for about a week after contest!)

8th grade girls made a I in concert music and II in sight-reading and 7th grade girls made a II for both concert music and sight-reading. All in all it was a grand day! I was very proud of my students.

Today was the official end of contest season. It was solo/ensemble competition. We took 5 solos and 4 ensembles and came home with 16 medals. Again, I was very proud.

I have been really blessed this year with great kids. Maybe I need to retire while I’m ahead (and still have some hair left!) !

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