Whew! We made it :)
Today was quite crazy, as expected. I did manage to get the kiddos to read for a bit this morning (not quietly but they weren't too loud so I let it go) and I finished my December running records and conferences. Yay! I did not work with my newest kiddo because there is just no point when we're DIBELing the 2nd week we're back and I can just do all of my assessments on him then. Our half time resource came and took one of my kiddos and did some testing for her. She is definitely going to pull her for some Tier 3 intervention. I am so, so glad! This child is cute as a button and so sweet but she is clueless. I can't believe that she was never tested before. I told her mom at conferences that I would gladly lose my job over this child because I am not just going to move her onto 3rd grade (and the MEAP test!) if she can't do 2nd grade work and they WILL test her darnitall. Looks like my pushing is at least getting us somewhere!!
My colleagues did their gingerbread houses THIS MORNING, those crazy brave souls. Wow. No way Jose! We did reading and free writing while I finished my RR, then we prepped for the afternoon. I had planned to do our houses after computer lab and before last recess (and it worked out great!). We got out the plates and whatnot and put the houses on them with frosting on the bottom to stick. I spent my ENTIRE lunch break getting plates out for the candy decorations and dividing up allllll of the candy that they had brought. Both of my colleagues told me that their rooms were IN-SANE during the decorating. I had never done gingerbread houses before in my own classroom but I knew I wasn't going to have a lot of parents helping so I made it as easy for ME as possible. My kids sit at 2 person tables so there was an extra plate per 2 kiddos and I piled their available toppings onto those, trying my best to make sure that everyone got some of everything. Then when it was time to do the houses, I just had to come around with the frosting. It got a bit loud but we had no huge messes or anything on the floor so that was good. One of the moms who helped said that she had helped in the other 2nd grades this morning and couldn't believe how much calmer it was in my room. I don't know how they set up their treats and whatnot but I know that having MY class share their goodies on those plates was the best idea I ever had!
A few of my kiddos brought me gifts which I was NOT expecting (I never expect anything so it's always fun when I do get something from them). One of my boys gave me this wrapped box...I totally played it up and pulled off part so there was still wrapping covering it and said, very excited, "Wow, [student name]! I have ALWAYS wanted paper for Christmas!" The kids giggled and laughed and thought I was very silly. So I unwrapped it all and did the same thing with the box ("wow I always wanted a BOX!"). He gave me these super soft socks and some chocolate. Never been given socks before! *wink* He blushed soooo bad. Very cute. I love them actually. Another kiddo gave me a Santa statue that is all glittery and a Santa lollipop made of those jelly type candies. One of my naughtier girls gave me a picture frame that she made with her mom. I also got the usual cards and pictures that the kids hand draw. I work in a VERY low-income area (over 97% free and reduced) so I don't ever expect anything at all and I am always more than humbled when they think of me in that way. One of the moms who helped brought me a 6-pack of Diet Coke (woo hoo! lol), a beautiful candle and a tin of popcorn for my kids. I know this family is struggling financially so for them to extend that generosity to me is very sweet.
I gave all of my kids a new book (I always do SOMETHING educational), a pop-a-point pencil and a "seed notebook". You'd have thought I gave those 2nd graders the key to the world. They were SO excited! So sweet. I got them something else but they hadn't arrived in time so I promised that I would give those to them when we return to school in January (it's sticky tabs that I am going to use to teach them how to "code" their reading for the DDI stuff). I think they told me at least 12 times today how awesome and fabulous I am. They're so much fun, even when they make me want to rip out my hair! :)
I am super glad for a break though. I love them, I do. But I think we're all a bit worn down. I know I will miss them come the end of our break because 99% of the time they just warm my heart daily and I love it. I just hope the break doesn't fly by...some years it seems like Christmas is over in a blink. We also have The Youngest's birthday Tuesday, then Christmas, then our anniversary on the 28th and then New Year's. So it's always a busy time of parties and whatnot anyway. I am hoping to relax and enjoy it.
I was OUT OF THERE by 3:30 today (kids leave at 3:10). I literally dropped the kids off, went upstairs, packed up my holiday decorations to bring home and left. I don't care that some things weren't put away or taken care of. I was out like a light! They told us the building will be open on Tuesday if we want to go in and I kind of chuckled to myself. No thanks! I need a break, not to work! :)
Going to pick up my new puppy in a bit and I'm so excited! I can't wait to get that sweet little guy home! Have an awesome weekend!