Friday, September 25, 2015

California Teachin'

As the kids were coming in on the first day, they worked on this "get to know you" bingo game :)

 I can't believe that this past week began my 5th year of teaching! Obviously, I was very worried about moving to California because I was afraid I wouldn't find a new teaching job. Fortunately, I was able to secure a head teaching position at a new project based charter school. It is definitely going to be a change from the schools I have worked in the past (it is a part-time schedule, so I am also tutoring on my days off), but I am excited for the challenge! I was very drawn to the school's philosophy, where experiential, real-world learning is valued. The calendar year is broken up into 8-9 project themes. Language arts, math, science and social studies are integrated throughout each approximately eight week project session.

The first project theme we are working on in my group (which is a mixed age class of 7/8 year olds) is planting a garden. I introduced the project by reading aloud The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. We then recorded everything we know about seeds through the essential question What is a Seed?

After recording some initial thoughts on seeds, we dissected lima beans. I soaked the beans overnight so they were easy to peel and split apart. The kids used magnifying glasses to get "up close and personal" with the bean and see what parts of the seed they could identify based on the key words we previewed together (seed coat, root, leaves, food). After they observed the lima beans for a bit, the kids completed a diagram of a lima bean and labeled the picture with the key words.

We continued our seed investigation by "planting" kidney beans in small jars (we used damp paper towels). The kids made predictions in their seed journals about what they think will happen to their beans over the next few days:

 Over the next couple of days, students will watch their beans and record their observations of any sprouting or roots! It should be very exciting!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Welcome Wolfgang!

It's been a while since my last post, but that is because we have been extremely busy adjusting to life in California! A part of that adjustment just happens to be the cutest, sweetest, snuggliest little terrier-mix puppy. Meet Wolfgang--aka Wolfie:

If you recall, I grew up with a beautiful mutt named Angie who recently passed away at the age of 15. Ever since then, I have been in doggie-withdrawal. My husband agreed that since we had to move all the way across the county for his job, I could get a little pup to help me feel better about the move :)

I have a friend who is very involved in animal rescue. A few weeks ago while at the Outer Banks on our annual family vacation, she sent me the link for Wolfie's adoption application through 4Life Animal Rescue, a local animal rescue here in Orange County. One look at his adorable little face, I couldn't say no. I completed the application, and the next day his foster family emailed saying they would like to do a meet-and-greet with Wolfie! The day after we got back from North Carolina, we drove out to meet Wolfie at his foster home and completely fell in love. A week later, after they had done a home check, he was ours!

The first night was rough. He cried all night in his crate and it took literally all of my will-power not to get him out and snuggle him :(  Needless to say, he was a tired little guy the next day.

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Since that first night, he has adjusted to sleeping in his crate and doesn't whine at all. He likes listening to NPR to lull him to bed. He is going to be such a well-informed dog! He is also doing pretty well with his house training. He has only had 2 oops in the house since we got him a week and a half ago! Go Wolfie!

Wolfie is quite the Californian. He loves the beach! 

 I am so happy that we found such a sweetie-pie. He is definitely going to make our life out here even better. Even my husband (who never had a dog growing up) has grown to love our little man:

If any of you readers out there have any puppy training tips, let me know. I'd love to hear from you! 
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