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Thankful for Thanksgiving


Senior Member
I thought yesterday would never end. It was the day before Thanksgiving break. I had a full day planned for the class but I could tell by the way they entered the room (all wound up), that I wouldn't accomplish much. At first I tried, but around lunch time I gave up fighting them. I gave them an extra long recess in which I taught a couple students how to play mancala. They loved it. There was a method to my madness because for Christmas I am purchasing a mancala game for each student. I found some wooden ones at Target for $5.00 each. At first I though that sounded like too much, but by the time I buy a scholastic book (that they don't read) and a stuffed animal from Oriental Trading (which they leave in the back of their desk), I've spent nearly $5. So, since school began, every time I go to target I pick up a few mancala games.

My "Self Choice Plan" (I do this in place of a traditional observation by the principal), I am creating literature units for each of the books I do. It's turned out to be one of the most rewarding and useful self choice plans that I've done so far. I made a detailed literature binder for the child's version of "The Last of the Mohicans," and just completed a binder for a unit on non-fiction reading. I will start the next binder for "The Family Under the Bridge" this weekend, maybe.

I guess by blogging this I've confessed that I teach fourth grade reading through whole group instruction. I'm embarrassed by this, but it's how I feel most comfortable, and for me it works. My students love reading, and do as well as any other class on state tests. I'm such a control freak that I feel I need to control every aspect of their reading. There are so many "teachable moments" in the books I select to read with my students. I choose my titles carefully, trying to be sure all students will enjoy the book. I admire those that do reading workshop, but it's just not me. I've tried and became far too disappointed in my results. So many teachers here at proteacher are well-versed in reading and writing workshop, and I envy them. It just isn't for me.

I'm off to do some Christmas shopping today. Our housecleaner is coming this morning, so I have to leave anyway. I already have a few gifts purchased, so I'm feeling pretty good. I'm really going to cut back on my spending this year, and refuse to dip into our savings as I do every other year. No one loves me any more or any less because of the gifts I buy or don't buy. I've discovered this the hard way.

Although I love the turkey, stuffing, and all of the fixings, Thanksgiving isn't always a treat. I'm trying to make the most of it. I have a very controlling (I've decided she's a bully) sister who really zaps my holiday spirit. I'm going to work extra hard to not let this happen. I'll be cooking turnips and sweet potatoes with my mom on Thanksgiving Day to bring to my (bully) sister's house for dinner. On Friday we travel an hour to my husband's family. It makes me sad to think that my husband and I will never host a Thanksgiving at our house. I may try to host one in May, just for fun.

Okay, as long as it's Thanksgiving, here's what I'm thankful for:
  • The housecleaner is coming!!!!!!!
  • A few former students with whom I've remainded close. They have become lovely, fun ladies.
  • I'm thankful that I was able to bring home a macbook to play with over vacation. I'm dying to get into podcasting, and this may be my vehicle.
Happy Thanksgiving if you made it this far!


Senior Member
House cleaners

Wow, I can't believe how much I enjoy having a house cleaner. When we first hired her we thought we'd be paying half as much as we are. My wife was the one to set things up with her and she misunderstood the cleaning lady's price quote. When we discovered what the full cost would be my first reaction was to stop, but my wife said she really wanted to continue. Now I find myself really looking forward to coming home every other Friday to a clean looking and smelling home.

Have a good Thanksgiving.


Senior Member
There is nothing better than coming home after a long week at school to a clean smelling and looking house! It really puts a smile on my exhausted face every other Friday!

I love The Family Under the Bridge. I used that book for several years when I taught 3rd grade. The kids really got into it. I was always fortunate because I taught in a private school and had kids who were great readers, so I could do whole group instruction. Last year I was forced to, because of class make up, to do groups and I found it very hard to do it all. My kids scores soared, but I was worked like a dog! Now I'm in an urban setting with really low students and I just don't even know how to help some of my 6th graders. It breaks my hear, but I persevere!

Holidays can be such a stressful time and I hate that part of it. We are having a very quiet(as you can tell since I'm on here on Thanksgiving) day and I love it!! My son will come home and my SIL will come for dinner too. Rest of family many hours away. Mom will be here for a week at Christmas!

Enjoy your break!

Things I'm thankful for:

My wonderful DH, DS, and DD. Where would my life be without each and every one of them?
My time off from school to recharge my batteries.
My health