Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Star Notes

I realized that the only student's whose names I really know are those who have to constantly be told to pay attention.  I didn't like where this was going so I decided to make Star Notes.  I told my kids about them and now have most of my class willing to do anything because they want to earn a note.  My mentor teacher decided if they save them until the very end of the term, she will add extra credit to their score.  (I will leave the week before the term ends.)  Most of them liked the idea of the note itself but add that with extra credit and everything seems to be going better.  And it is really helping me too!  I am actually learning the names of my students who are always doing what they are supposed to and more by going the extra mile.  It takes me a little bit of time to write them a thank you note but I will keep doing it if the results continue!

One of my classes is quite a handful and it is easy for me to become frustrated.  As I could see myself becoming annoyed, I would think of what Pres. Packer shared at our stake conference this past Sunday.  Although I don't know what it is like to have a kid let alone a teenager, I do know that some parent loves that student dearly. I think of their parent and how they would want their kids to be treated and then try to act accordingly.  If anyone has any great ideas for how to cope with a difficult class, please share!!!  But just so this doesn't become a complaining blog, I will say this--most of the kids in this class really are trying and I do love their enthusiasm for life.  My binder fell today and of course it landed awkwardly with everything tumbling out.  One of the girls reached down and started to clean up my binder and papers for me.  I was so grateful for her kindness!  I definitely wrote her a star note! :)

Today was the first time I had to teach with the sewing machine.  It went well!  We practiced crazy stitching.  The purpose of this activity was to learn control and how to guide your fabric.  They sew around random patterns without thread.  The machines were all still in one piece but more importantly, all of my students are still in one piece.  We went over the rules and then reviewed them and thankfully the kids listened and paid attention.  They were all so quite while they were sewing and watching their fingers.  I am really hoping to make it through student teaching with no accidents!!  Knock on wood!

On a note not related to school at all.  I am seriously the luckiest girl in the world!!!  Casey is SO wonderful and treats me like a queen!!!  The other day I was pretty sure I had time to either eat breakfast or blow dry my hair.  I went with eating because I was starving!!!  My darling husband went and got the blow dryer and proceed to do my hair while I was eating!  He is amazing and that simple act of service meant the world to me as I was rushing out the door that morning with dry hair.  Another example:  Casey spent all of yesterday fixing his car.  The alternator went out as well as some other problems.  By him fixing it himself, it cut the cost by about 80%.  Holy cow--such a huge blessing to be married to someone who knows how to deal with cars.  Different example:  my school does not have you tube and there are some great educational clips I would love to show.  He installed a button so I can just click it to download the video and then he spends some time converting it into the right format.  I have no idea how to do this but am I ever grateful he does!  Last example:  Casey folded the laundry!!!  I for sure did not have time to deal with that.  It was so sweet to watch him squeeze it into his life.

By the way... I LOVE having hot water!!!!!  I know this is something that we all take for granted but after we had to deal with a water heater that would constantly go out, it is so nice to have it work.  A Questar person was working outside yesterday doing some routine maintenance.  Once he finished, he came in to help relight everything.  Casey told him that he could do the water heater because he does it all the time.  The worker then inquired why and then asked if we would like him to take a look at it.  He realized that all of the filters were clogged with dust and went out to his truck and brought in an air compressor to clean it out for us.  And at least as far as I am aware, the water heater now stays lit!  Yeah!

This is such a learning time in both of our lives.  We are so grateful to have each other as we continue through day by day.  And thank YOU so much to all of the love, support and prayers you give in our behalf!  It means so much to both of us!! :)


Patricia said...

I like the star notes idea! I'm sorry about you difficult class. You could try a warning system that leads to staying in after the bell.

Nicole Manwaring said...

I am REALLY interested in getting something to download youtube videos. Could you send me a link to the program you use?