Monday, November 29, 2010

Might Cause Crying...

I was able to be a part of the most incredible experience earlier this year with my middle school. One of our special ed students who is completely non-verbal was a part of our 7th grade football team. He has the mental capacity of about a 4-5 year old, but he absolutely loves football. He can memorize plays like a pro!! He stood on the sideline all season and his job was to hand the ball to the ref when he needed it. He took this job so seriously and it was precious. There were many special ed teachers who gave up a lot of time for him to be able to do this. Since he is non-verbal, there had to be a special-ed teacher with him at all times for practice and games. Rhonda Miller took on a lot of the responsibility as his main teacher. At the last home game of the season, in the 2nd half, on the first play - Tyler Francis got to play in the game. The coaches worked it out with the other school and it was amazing. They had designated students to help him run all the way there (it was about 60 yards) and he had even been practicing a "victory dance." The news was going to cover this, but after seeing how much support the entire school gave him, they decided to come to our school and film for a day. Many of my students are featured in the segment that aired Sunday on Newy Scruggs "Out of Bounds" show.

It was an inspiring moment and I am very proud of my school and the people that work in it.

Enjoy. Tyler's Touchdown Story

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful for the Break!!!

Thanksgiving Break is finally here!! I am very relieved to say I have made it this far without any crazy happenings in my classroom, but I am very thankful to have a break for a week! I'm using this week to do nothing but recover, catch up on sleep, and try and complete my Christmas shopping! The week leading up to the break was a little hectic, but very fun! We ended the week with the student/faculty volleyball game! All of my girls were so excited to "see me play" and one of my boys told me, "I thought you were ordinary, I didn't know you were good!!!"  
One of my favorite parts of any week is every other Wednesday. We have study groups for our subjects during our study hall time period.When the English teachers have their "PLC" time, it cuts out a majority of the teachers, since they are double blocked. That always leads to this <-- approximately 60 students in my classroom at the end of the day for 25 minutes. I try to keep them all seated, but it's always a bundle of fun!! It is a wonderful time to hear lots of drama and learn all sorts of new things about the students!
 On Thursday, StuCo put up hand turkeys around the school, the students could choose to write a turkey for a teacher and place it on their door. This was one of my favorites that I received!! For every student that drives me insane, there is one that makes my job worthwhile! 
  One of my favorite activities that I have done so far is more of a reward for the students. In my on-level classes we were wrapping up our Integers unit. In one of my earlier blogs I put up a picture of my racecar activity. We did this as well in my on-level, but sometimes they can use a little extra push. So I told them if they got an 80 or above on their Integer test, they would receive an Integer's Drivers License to drive and operate on the Integer Highway in Math!! :) So, I created a License and had each one laminated. I presented them to the students and I think they really enjoyed them! (If a student made below an 80, they had to correct their   test and then they would get their license!)

A very special treat was delivered to me on Thursday as well! The PTA gives a pumpkin pie to every single teacher at my school! Being new to HMS, I had no idea and was quite delightfully surprised when they brought it to my room! I am very blessed to have an awesome PTA who are constantly doing things for the teachers to make their day. This is definitely part of that! It was delicious, and I might already be looking forward to next year!! :)

Last, but not least, Friday started the 7th grade basketball season! My girls were very excited, so I stayed Friday and worked the games for them. We have some room to improve: all 3 teams lost and the score of the A team game was 28 - 0. Yes, they did not even score 1 point!! ha It was quite comical and very hard not to laugh at certain things (C team scored a basket for the other team, oops!!). They are all learning the sport, and have many more things to learn. Kellie was keeping notes and seriously wrote down: "Don't touch the ball when you're stepping out of bounds." Whenever I start coaching, I expect all of you to come to my games. Feel free to make fun of whatever!! :) 
21 is one of my favorite students, if I had a favorite!!
I hope everyone else enjoys the time they get off to spend with their families!! It's amazing to have a day where we can just sit and think about everything we are thankful for. 
"I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose." - Woody Allen
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sweatpants to Middle School?

Tomorrow is a wonderful day of standardized testing (which I'm not even going to get started on)... it's also a day of mandatory fitness testing. Since I am so fit (ha!), they have asked me to work one of the stations. Therefore, I get to wear athletic pants all day tomorrow!! Yay!!

I'm also being evaluated on Wednesday for my PDAS! This is my one-time evaluation for the entire school year. This determines (not solely, but a big part of) if my contract is renewed or not. So... no pressure, right? Thank goodness I'm used to being observed and I do not really get nervous. I have made sure that my powerpoint is awesome for that day and then we're playing exponent BINGO! It should be a fun day, and I've already threatened all the kids with their lives!! :)  

There is one more situation that was brought to my attention today. One of those situations that, as a teacher, you have to be very careful about. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do, but I want to make sure the situation is handled appropriately. The students well being is obviously at the fore front of my mind, and I'm going to focus on that for now. I am hoping that it turns out to be nothing. 

This Friday is the end of the 2nd 6 weeks! I've officially made it through one third of the school year!! With Thanksgiving and Christmas rapidly approaching I'm sure things will get crazy, but I'll have lots of breaks to get through it!! I am very Thankful for my JOB; I love it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"My dog seriously ripped up my homework."

So as Hannah very graciously pointed out to me, I NEED to update my blog! I apologize. 

My title comes from an email I got this afternoon from a student that simply stated, "Ms. Lindstrom, this is Bobby J. from 2nd period. My dog seriously ripped up my homework, can you send me another copy?" As Math Team was meeting in my room, I had to contain my laughter to a minimum. I could just see this student writing 'my dog ripped up...' then backspacing and... 'my dog seriously ripped up..'. HA! I, of course, sent him another copy and told him I was glad he thought to email me for a new copy! I love 7th graders! 

These past couple weeks have just been great! They go by so quickly and I'm already starting to think about 2nd six week report cards. Unfortunately, I had to fail 2 students for this progress report, so I'm making my parent contacts and letting them know if nothing changes, there student will fail for the six weeks. I, honestly, think it is very difficult to fail my class. I take a majority of completion homework grades and I grade the in-class assignments; it's the students who aren't turning in weekly warm-ups (that we do together), that I have zero sympathy for. The best line was the student who hasn't turned in the past 7 homeworks, 3 warm ups, and made a 46 on the last test because of it. After he received his report card he came in my room and said, "Ms. Lindstrom!!! Why are you failing me???" I had a fantastic teacher response of, "You are failing yourself, sweetheart!" I love when good teacher lines just naturally come to me, because they always have no response. 

Besides that, I'm just rockin and rollin! I will say I'm looking forward to next year already when the majority of my planning will already be completed and I can just look back and make minor adjustments. I spend so much time on everything, and I'm already anxious to see the turn around because of it. I would definitely not mind prayers for patience right now. :) 

And of course: