Monday, August 30, 2010

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes- ch. 21-35

Here are my answers to the discussion questions on The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes chapters 21-35. It's been a great read so far! Join on in the discussion from Book Beginnings and Bookends.

1. Do you think Tim is the one sending the money?

I'm not sure. Maybe. It doesn't really sound like something that his character would do especially if there is nothing in it for him. I'm not sure who it could be though. I thought maybe it could be Naomi, but they didn't seem to have extra money that would allow them to do that, so I'm stumped.

2. So far, there's been a lot of discussion on CeeCee/Eve and her choices. What choice(s) would you make differently from her?
Well, I don't think that I would ever get myself into her situation, but I do think that since she has started to live with Mariam, she has made pretty good choice. She has created a new, healthy life for herself.

3. What do you like about Jack? Are there things about him that you don't like?
I like that he is funny and carefree. He seems passionate about life and his relationship with Eve. He also appears to be a great and loving dad. There really is nothing that sticks out about him that I don't like.

4. What are the differences between CeeCee/Eve's relationship with Tim and Eve's relationship with Jack?
Eve's relationship with Jack is real and true from both sides. Obviously CeeCee and Tim's relationship was pretty one sided and just wrong for many reasons. I think that Eve has matured quite a bit which shows in her relationship with Jack.

5. Do you think Eve is to blame for Cory's fears? What could she do, specifically, to help Cory feel like less of an outsider?
Yes and no. Probably part of how she was raised as to do with her fears and Eve is very protective of her. However, part of it just seems to be her personality.

6. Do you think Eve appropriately answered Cory's questions about her father? Do you think Cory will question her father more as she grows older?
They were hard questions to answer, but she went with her plan and stuck with it. I think she did fine answering the questions although I'm not sure that I would have gone with the story that she did. I'm sure that Cory's questions about her father will come up later on in the book.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oh, the Places You'll Go

When I was growing up, we always had some first day of school traditions. My sisters and I would all gather in the living room and listen to my mom read, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss. This became such a tradition in our house that it actually became part of my Dad's speech at my wedding. When my mom would finish, we would talk about the places we might go in 3th grade or 8th grade or whatever grade we happened to be in that year. Then we would always receive our bedtimes for the year.

In the morning, we would always wake up to a place mat at our breakfast spot wishing us a Happy First Day of School. Oh how I loved the first day of school growing up!

I can't say that I have the same excitement tonight as I'm getting ready for the first day of school tomorrow. I am excited to meet all my new students and start off our year on a good note but, I'm also a little sad that my days of lounging around in the morning, laying out in the sun, spending hours trying to figure out my sewing machine and staying up late watching TV are done. Tomorrow I'll be back to prying my eyes open in the morning, keeping track of 21 students, and grading hundreds of papers which although they don't sound half as fun as my summer days I know that I'll love (almost) every second of it.

Better get off to bed- it's past my self proclaimed school bedtime.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Road Trip 2010- Part 2

After we went Boston, we headed up to Bar Harbor, Maine. I had heard that this place was beautiful and the reports were not wrong. It was such a cute harbor town with beautiful views of the water. We stopped at the local grocery store, grabbed some lunch food and went to rent bikes. We then rode our bikes to Arcadia National Park. To get to the park, you have to ride up a steep hill. Now, I'm still going to claim that the gears on my bike were messed up, but Dan would argue otherwise. Either way, I thought that I was going to die right on that hill. I'm not Miss Fitness, but I also am not that out of shape. I just could not get up the hill no matter how hard I pedaled! Once we finally made it, things got a bit better. The park has lots of bridges that you can ride to, so we scouted out a few of those and found a nice spot to eat our lunch. We didn't stay too long, but long enough to have a nice ride and get a feel for the park. We headed back into town to return our bikes, walked around the town and then headed to St. John, New Brunswick.

Nothing exciting in St. John- just a place to stay the night and have dinner at.

In the morning, we started our drive to PEI (Prince Edward Island). I was very excited about this part of our trip since we were going to visit the Anne of Green Gables' house. I love those books and movies! We also got ice cream at a delightful place called COWS and went to see Inception at a movie theater by our hotel.

Our next stop was Halifax. We have a friend that is living there right now, so we were excited to see her. We went shopping and drove around a bit until she was out of work and then we headed to her apartment. She picked out an awesome restaurant to eat at and we ate some more ice cream...who can ever have too much ice cream?

The next two days were a lot, A LOT of driving! But it wasn't as horrible as I had anticipated. The first long day we drove from Halifax to Quebec City. We made decent time and were able to get to Quebec City with enough time to explore the city at night. I was expecting to like this city as much as I did, but I loved it. It was so fun and different! We walked around in the Old City and looked at Le Chateau.

The next day was our drive to pick up Winston and visit with Dan's family...then, we went back home. If you missed part one, you can read it here.

There's one more post coming about our road trip...border presents...I'll leave you in anticipation. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes

When I heard that Rachel and Erin were creating a blogging book club, I knew that I just had to join in! I've always wanting to join a book club!

We are reading The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain. I honestly had never heard of the book and was a little intimidated at the size of it when I went to pick it up from the library, but it really is a great book! Full of suspense, intense characters, and a story line that keeps encouraging you to read more. I'm loving this read.

I missed last week's questions, but here are my responses to the week 2 questions. To join in on the blogging book reading fun, check out Book Beginnings and Bookends.

1. Where do you think Tim and Marty are at this point in the story?
I have no idea, but probably up to no good or somewhere deep in hiding. I do wonder if they had any contact with their sister, Andi or if they figured out what happened in the cabin with CeeCee and Genevieve.

2. What were your thoughts as CeeCee was helping Genevieve deliver her baby?
"This is CRAZY!" I have no idea how she didn't freak out (more than she already was). I can't imagine doing anything like that at age 16...or now.

3. After Genevieve died, what would you have done with her baby if you had been in CeeCee's shoes?
It really turned into such a mess and I felt bad for CeeCee because of the disaster that unraveled. I think at the point I would realize that I was in WAY over my head, and turn myself in to the authorities or a trusted friend.

4. Why do you think CeeCee/Eve is still holding onto hope that Tim will come for her?
I think that she is holding onto that hope because she truly was in love with him. And really, who wouldn't hope that their first love would heroically come for them?

5. How do you think Eve will establish her new identity in Virginia?
I think that she will find a job and get herself together in Virginia. She will somehow move on from her experience and embrace her new life.

6. What do you think of CeeCee/Eve now after she has gone through with the kidnapping, the delivery of the baby, the escape, and the relocation?
I think that she has a good heart and wants to do what is right, but is having a hard time doing it. I like her character, but am still mad at her for going along with Tim's plan. I keep wanting to tell her, "If only you thought about what you were signing up for!" Hopefully she has learned and will gain some maturity from the experience.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Road Trip 2010- The Beginning

As I mentioned earlier, my husband and I took a road trip out east a few weeks back. We had roughly worked out where we would go each day, but didn't have a detailed itinerary or any hotels booked, which I'll admit made me have nightmares of spending the whole week sleeping in the car. Thankfully, that didn't happen.

Day 1- We drove to Dan's parents' house in Canada and dropped off Winston. He was in for a treat of living the life of a country dog for the week.

Day 2- We woke up early and hit the road. The first stop on our journey was to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Obviously, top on my list of things to see. :) Just kidding, but my husband loved it. After a few hours of baseball history and facts, we kept driving- destination: Boston.
We arrived in Boston around 10:00 at night. As I said, we didn't have any hotels booked as we were hoping that Priceline would help us out. It didn't. Not one time. Boston did have quite a few hotel options though and we chose to stay right off the highway at the end of the subway line. On our 5th try, we found a room.

Display of No-Hit Game Balls

Dan studying the Hall of Fame wall.
I was done with this display in about 5 mintues.
Dan was done too- about 30 more minutes later.

Day 3- Boston

I was bound and determined to fit as many things as we possibly could into our one day in Boston. We took the subway to downtown Boston and started our day at the aquarium. My friend had recommended the aquarium and it was awesome. We were there early enough that we were able to see the penguins being fed and cleaned.

Next, we headed to the Swan Boats. This was on my list of things to do as I loved the book Make Way for Ducklings as a kid. Apparently in Canada this is not a popular children's book, so Dan had no idea what we were doing or why I wanted to go. Please tell me that someone else read and loved this book!

Next we headed over to visit the MIT museum which was full of robots and crazy inventions. We also got tickets for a River Boat Cruise later in the day. We then hopped back on the subway towards downtown again with a mission to follow the Freedom Trail.

We followed the line of the Freedom Trail and had fun looking at the small museums along the way. We almost made it all the down the trail, but as soon as we spotted Paul Revere's House, we had to dash back on the subway to make it to the River Boar Cruise.

On the River Boat Cruise, we saw Harvard, the skyline of Boston, MIT's campus and learned some interesting facts about Boston. It was relaxing and fun to do minus the screaming children behind us.

We finished the day with dinner at PFChangs and then headed back to the hotel to rest before heading to Maine in the morning! Next up- Bar Harbor, Maine, Prince Edward Island, Halifax and Quebec City!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

21 Little Cowboys

6 completed...9 to cut out...6 more to make...

if only I would have been satisfied with the pre-made cut outs at the teacher store

at least they're cute- right?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Teacher Week: Online Resources

So, Teacher Week on Babbling Abby's blog was last week, but I'm just now getting a chance to catch up with the last two days. Well, really I'll just be catching up on the last day. Day #4 was classroom tours which I loved seeing and would love showing you around my classroom. But, my classroom is in destruction phase right now as I get everything ready for the new year. I was just going to show you how far along it is right now, but I just can't do it. I need it to be perfect for the new year before it is revealed on stay tuned. I promise to show you pictures when it is ready which needs to be in 10 days, not that I'm counting or anything. :)

On to Day #5- Online Resources...there are so many of them and I'm always discovering and rediscovering new ones. Here are a few of my favorite for myself or for my students.

1. Proteacher- I love finding ideas from other teachers on this website. It is great to get answers if you have questions or need ideas for something.

2. Edheads- If you teach science, you need to check out this website! I use it with my class when we study simple machines, but they also have interactive games for weather, knee surgery, the brain and more.

3. Laura Candler- Laura is a 4th grade teacher who has a wealth of resources ready to use. Check out her file cabinet!

4. Beth Newingham- I love Beth Newingham! I remember finding her website while I was getting ready to set up my classroom my first year and thinking that it was amazing! I still think that and if I could pick a classroom to go visit for a day- hers would be it. She also writes for Scholastic and has a ton of good information there as well.

5. Mrs. Renz's Math Resources- This is a great website to bookmark for your kids. It is full of links to games and activities that go with a variety of math topics.

Have fun exploring!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Teacher Week: Creative Ideas!

Day #3 (which yes, was yesterday) at Babbling Abby's Teacher Week is Creative Ideas. Here a few of mine!

Below you can see a picture of my behavior chart. I spent the first year of teaching trying to follow the exact same behavior plan that my colleague had. I learned the important lesson that you need to do the behavior plan that works for YOU (no matter how cool the other one sounds). Each child starts the week with 5 tickets which are represented by the red squares on the chart. If they disobey the classroom rules, then they loose a ticket. At the end of the week, I pass out the tickets that they have earned and they can buy prizes with them. Pretty simple- which is just how I like it.

My class can earn marbles and when they fill up the marble jar they get to vote on a special day. Although they think that they pick the special day, I have always been able to talk them into voting for the day that I want- which usually has already been planned. Below is one of my favorite special days.

POP day- We learn about onomatopoeias and palindromes. We practice math using popcorn word problems and charts. We learn how PopRocks work in computer lab. We watch movies that show us how popcorn is made. We read popcorn books and popcorn poems. We say a "popcorn" prayer at lunch. And finally...we eat popcorn, popsicles, and poptarts and watch the movie Mary POPpins. :)

Christmas Ideas- I love the month of December and all the Christmas projects and fun it brings. The picture below is of a bulletin board that I have always put up. It starts off as an outline of the manger Christmas scene and ends up being filled with small construction paper squares. The kids love working on the mosiac when they are done with their work.

The other thing that I always do at Christmas time is wrap up one Christmas themed book for each child. I pull a name a day (or two) and that person gets to unwrap the book of the day and decide if they would like to read it to us or if they would like me to read it to the class. They always are anxiously waiting their turn to be called.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teacher Week: Must Haves!

Today's theme from Abby's blog is teacher must-haves- here are 10 of things that I use a lot in my classroom!

1. Craft Supplies- a have a huge cupboard of the most random collection of craft supplies. Somehow just about every item has come in handy at one point or another- glue guns, buttons, ribbon, beads, googly eyes...

2. Ziplock Baggies- I never would have thought that I would use baggies as much as I do- holding flashcards, crayons, random collections that kids find in their desks, teeth that fall out, ice for a bruised knee, left over snacks...

3. Staple Remover- gone are the days of broken fingernails and ripped papers- I adore this type of stapler remover- it makes bulletin board take down so much easier!

4. Spoons and Forks- like a mentioned earlier, my kids eat their lunch in our room with me. I don't think a day goes by without some child needing a spoon or a fork.

5. Laptop- a drag my laptop back and forth from my house to my classroom everyday. I use it all the time to look up ideas, type up worksheets and tests, and about everything else under the sun. I only wish that I had a projector or a smartboard to hook it up to...ah, to dream...

6. Love and Patience- I really don't think any explanation is really needed, but at times I need to remind myself to use these two things continuously in my classroom.

7. Warm Winter Coat- recess duty is really not on my top ten favorite things to do, but nonetheless, as part of my job, I am required to have recess duty once a week during the day, about twice a month before school, and every six weeks or so for a week after school. I live in Michigan and our playground is on an open field- it is cold!!! One of the best purchases I made was a warm winter coat for recess duty.

8. Poppin Pattern Bulletin Board Accessories- I adore these patterns and think that they instantly can make anything look great!

9. Pencils- a have this awesome pencil holder in my classroom, (which I thought for sure I had a picture of, but after looking for a good half hour for it, gave up) but it takes hundreds of pencils to fill it up. And those pencils are usually gone by Thanksgiving time. Sometimes I want get stubborn and refuse to pass out anymore pencils, but really- they need pencils to do their work- therefore, pencils are a must.

10. Candy- yes, I know- candy rots kids' teeth, but it is one of the best motivators that I have found. It is actually quite amazing what a kid will do for a piece of candy- I'm not talking about a huge candy bar or really even a bite size one, I'm talking about one lifesaver or A smartie- really it is quite amazing. Of course, some of that candy is for me. ;)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Teacher Week: Open House

My husband and I just got back from driving 3200 miles on a fabulous road trip. Seriously, I thought that maybe it was a bad idea to drive so far in such a short time, but we really had a wonderful time at all the cities that we visited and driving together. I had planned on blogging about the first part of our trip tonight, but then I was reading Rachel's blog and followed her link on her blog post to Abby's blog. Abby is hosting Teacher Week so I decided that it would be fun to participate.

Today is Open House day so here my little get to know you in number list form...

1. I have always wanted to be a teacher. No problem deciding my major in college, it was decided on when I was 8.

2. I teach at a Christian elementary school. I feel blessed to be able to pray with my students every day and show them God's goodness that is in everything and all around them.

3. I also happen to teach in the same school system that I went when I was in elementary school. It is in a new building and yes, I do teach with one of the teachers that I had. She was my favorite teacher!

4. This year will be my fifth year as a teacher. I can't believe that it is already my fifth year- it sort of makes me feel old. I have taught fourth grade every year. I love fourth graders, but also wouldn't mind teaching a lower grade- manly because I love crafts and well, you can only make fourth grade boys do so many of those (although I try and push the limit every year). :)

5. I love coming up with themes for my classroom every year. Really, I should probably rotate them at some point, but that would be no fun! This year I'm working on a western theme. Yeehaw!

6. My favorite time to work at school is late at night. It doesn't always work for me to go in then, but especially before school starts and I'm getting my room ready, it is the best time. No one else is around (not that I don't love them, but they get be distracting), I can use the copier and laminator without waiting, and I can crank up the music in my room.

7. Two years ago I got married and invited my entire class that year to be part of the wedding. It took some creativeness to come up with that many jobs for them to do, but everyone had some part in the day: handing out programs, playing their violin, guest book attendant, passing out rose petals... They looked adorable and did a great job. I also had fun planning a mini reception for them at the church.

8. One of my biggest annoyances as a teacher is when it is an indoor recess before school starts. Although that does annoy me by itself, my biggest problem is when the kids come in a half hour before school starts and then ask me why I don't have the schedule up yet or where the morning work paper is. I still have 30 minutes to get ready!!!

9. One of my favorite things about being a teacher...ah, there are too many! One of them though would be listening to 4th graders talk to me or each other at lunch time. (We eat lunch in our classrooms.) They are a lovely mix of loving being a kid and trying to be grown up- it usually is endearing.

Blog Design by Sweet Simplicity