Friday, September 30, 2005


Today was the first dress up day of the school year ... Hawaiian day. The kids loved my hat. I took some pictures of the kids which are below. We also did a craft today, owls. They are so cute because each students owl looks just a little bit different. So I am also posting a couple of pictures of them. I love the one owl who is slightly tilted and he is looking up. Lots of fun.

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Yesterday Amber and Nathan were married. It was a beautiful ceremony. They have known each other for 7 years. After Amber graduated from college in May, Nathan proposed to her. Our family had a wonderful time. We saw lots of old friends. Jennifer was the guest book attendant and looked fabulous. Below are some shots that both Jennifer and I took on our digital cameras.

Here is Amber and Nathan with her parents Ellen and Bob. I have known Bob since we were kids and went to the same church in Los Angeles. I have known Ellen since Bob started dating her. Ellen was a bridesmaid in my wedding 25 years ago this coming October 4.

Here is Jennifer with Carolyn, the brides youngest sister. This shot shows the pretty bottom part of Jennifer's dress which had sparkily things going up and down.

Stacy, the middle sister, Amber and Carolyn

I am having problems getting the rest of the pictures to upload. So I am going to post them over on Epson and direct you there for the rest of the pictures. Sigh.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Today we had our pictures taken for the school yearbook. This year staff had to be at school at 7:30 AM sharp. After our group photo we could have our individual pictures taken. Later in the morning our class had their picture taken. The above photo is a picture I took of the picture taker taking my picture :) Below is the staff listening to instructions and then Catherine, my teacher; Diana, the other First Grade teacher; Kathy, the other First Grade Aide. The last picture is our school secretary Cindy talking with Catherine. Through the doorway in the background is our classroom. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera when our class went to get their picture taken. Rats.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Yesterday Paul and I went to this aquarium. We were able to get in for free as senior citizens! I have uploaded some of my better pictures. I have just let them fall into place wherever they choose. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Decided to post in red today in honor of red apples. Though as we found out in our lesson today, apples can also come in yellow or green. So, why all the talk about apples? For the last several years during the second week of school, Catherine takes the students one at a time into the other room and does an assessment test of them. This helps us place them in reading groups and she gets to see "where they're at". They can be reading anywhere from really well to not at all. She also gives them a couple of simple words to spell and just talks to them (like what's your favorite game, TV show, movie, etc). While she is doing this I get to teach the class! That is where apples comes in.

We get a children's newpaper kind of like Weekly Reader called Scholastic News. Usually one of the first papers is all about apples. So I wear a T-shirt with apples on it and lots of apple pins including my Disney Store Johnny Appleseed pin. We go over the paper and this year I brought in four different apples, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious and Gala. I then cut one in half to show them the inside and we also had a paper they could work on with a diagram of the inside of an apple. Tomorrow we will do a cut and paste (and color) of how an apple grows. On Thursday we will do the September calendar and I will read them the story of Johnny Appleseed. Because she is taking her time with the assessments we have to come up with something for me to do with them on Friday. I am thinking I would like to try and find a parent who has the Disney Johnny Appleseed DVD and I can show that to the class.

Basically the class is good. There are a couple of boys who push the boundaries (the same two I mentioned in the other post). Catherine, the teacher, had a conference with G's parents yesterday afternoon. They are concerned and willing to do what it takes to find out what is wrong. The other boy, S, is doing good in a structured setting with consequences for his behavior ... that is all he really needed.

Tomorrow Paul and I are going to take advantage of a senior offer at the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. Seniors (50+) will get into the aquarium for free from 9 to 2. We can stay as long as we want, the price just ends at 2. So I will try and get home as soon as possible from work and we will park the car at the Blue Line Del Amo Station and take the Blue Line Metro Rail into Long Beach and walk over. Paul has never been, but Jennifer and I met Bruce there once a couple of years ago. Bruce can't go as he is working a couple of times a week at a comic book store in the valley. He is now officially retired as of September 1.

I will plan to take my camera and get pictures and post about it here.

I think I'll go eat an apple now.

Friday, September 09, 2005


Here it is the second full day of school and already the week is over and it's Friday. How time flies.

Today I took pictures of each child in the class and then here at home I put them on the computer and transferred them to a CD. I will give the CD to Catherine on Monday and then her husband will print the pictures out. Toward the end of the year we will take the same pose and use the bear as a growth chart. Below is a picture of me by the bear. I cover part of the letters and part of the bear. The children, of course, do not. I hope I do not see any "growth". LOL

Some of the kids in the class are sharp. One boy knew that animals who sleep at night are nocturnal. I was impressed. Most First Graders don't know things like that. The one learning challenged child, I will call him S, is doing well. He is really pretty intelligent. He just has trouble controlling himself and I think he acts up with mom because he knows he can get away with it. He can not get away with it with Catherine. The other boy, whom I will call G, is getting worse. Found out today he was not tested for ADHD over the summer because his doctor thinks he is too young. There is something seriously wrong with him. Catherine will be having a conference with mom and dad soon. The other two boys who are challenging authority had to write sentences about their behavior and have their parents sign the paper. First full day of school and they were pushing the limits. But Catherine is nipping this in the bud, so to speak. Today they were both much better. I don't think the parents were thrilled at this turn of events and they probably got a good talking to at home.

Every Friday is Snack Day and staff brings in something. It is all planned out in advance as to when we bring in snacks. Today Cindy brought in everybody's favorite ... a brick of cream cheese with salsa poured over it and chips. Vicky brought in homemade lemon bread and banana nut bread. If I'm not careful, I will be covering up that bear in no time!

Thursday, September 08, 2005


Ah, the first day of school. Joy, joy, joy!!! Above is our class this year ... 15 children. This is low enrollment for us. Our cap number is 26 (though I have recently been told it has been charged to 20). In the 14 years I have been doing this, this is the lowest number I have seen.

This class is going to be a challenge, though. Most of the class is "young" i.e., immature for their age. Of the 15 students only 6 have legible printing. There are two boys that are already testing the limits of authority. (Back in my day I would never disobey the teacher) There are also two boys who are "learning challenged". The one boy I thought was going to be a terror turns out not to be that bad, but the other one ... The teacher I work for has a background in working with learning challenged kids, but that was on a one on one situation. When you have a classroom full of children it is difficult to give the challenged child the help they need without the rest of the class suffering. For instance, today I observed her constantly having to get the one boys attention over and over again while the others just sat there waiting for the next step in the project. It is a difficult situation.

Nothing says "first day of school" better than new shoes!!!

So, I have been busy but not overwhelmed. How could I be with only 15 students? I also have one parent who is a huge help. Her oldest son was in our class four years ago and now her youngest is in our class. She comes in and helps me whenever I need it. She helped me yesterday with readying the new folders and getting them loaded up with all the first day papers that parents have to fill out.

I am glad to be back at work. I enjoy the other staff people and all the excitement that goes on. I am hoping that in spite of the difficult children we have we will see lots of growth in these kids this year. I'll be keeping you posted!

Here we are headed out to the front of the building to get our first day of school pictures taken. Notice our nice straight line? LOL

Here's Catherine getting her picture taken on the left and this is me taking a picture of the person taking my picture (!!!) on the right.