We "enjoyed" a big snowstorm last weekend, receiving approximately 30 inches of snow. Aside from canceling a day of school, we were relatively unaffected.
On Monday we enjoyed warmer weather and rain, so now things aren't quite as pretty.
I had a "professional day" on Tuesday. Our district performs two "walk-thrus" a month. One is done by administrators only - they visit 5-6 classrooms within the school for 5-8 minutes each to observe kids, teachers, and what's being taught. The second walk-thru includes 4-5 teachers as part of the observing team. I was selected to "walk-thru" my building and the high school. Our directive was to observe student engagement, and evidence of the Common Core being taught. We visited 2 classrooms at my grade level, an 8th grade classroom, 2 7th grade classrooms, and a music class at my school, and a number of classrooms at the high school. By the end of the day I was totally wrung out! I saw a lot of really good things, but I also observed some less encouraging things. In some classrooms, especially in the high school, I didn't see the rigor I expected. I know that a short visit doesn't tell the whole story -- you come in to a classroom in the middle of something so you don't know where the lesson started or where it will end up--- but I was really shocked to see a college prep classroom where the sophomores were doing an activity identical to something I do with my 6th graders. I will say I was very impressed by most of the classrooms I visited.
Wednesday and Thursday were fairly normal-paced days, and then Friday was a workshop day for the district teachers. That was another exhausting day. We were given the day in our building to "play" with technology. We've been given a lot of tools and software over the past 6 months, and we've been given some formal training, but we haven't been given a lot of time to explore possibilities or to test ideas out. So yesterday was the day for this. The nice thing was it was a day of colleagues helping each other and collaborating with each other. Those of us who are experienced bloggers helped newbies set up their classroom blogs, and those of us who use Edmodo got others started. I actually spent most of the day teaching others and didn't get much of a chance to work on a few things I wanted to do, but that was okay.
If anyone is interested, my classroom blog is here.
House construction updates:
The kitchen cabinets have FINALLY been ordered. I don't have pictures yet but they are being made by Candlelight Cabinetry in upstate New York. We chose the Madison style in red birch with the espresso stain. We also finally ordered the kitchen appliances, the bathroom vanities and counters, all the plumbing fixtures, and my husband picked out a gorgeous vessel sink for the guest bathroom. The picture has too much reflection in it, but it's tempered glass and has a coral reef scene within it. It's truly beautiful!
We also finalized the tiles for our bathroom. We're going with a black and white canvas, which I can punch up with color with accessories.
So things are moving along! And I really have to start think about physically making the move over the summer. Most of the time I can't wait, but we have lived in this house for 30 years, and I still do love it. It's just too big for us now. I do keep thinking of all the things that will be better in the new place ---- the 5 minutes I save in my commute, the more logical room flow, the lower maintenance and utility expenses . . . .It will be odd to think of another family living here.
Our February vacation is coming up-one more week of classes. We don't have any vacation plans other than heading up to the quarry to pick our granite for the kitchen and picking out light fixtures. I look forward to not getting up at 4:45am!