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WHAT? Really? NO!!!!

Ok so like many of you know I moved from 3rd to 4th this year
and don't get me wrong I am loving it.
It doesn't fit like a good pair of jeans
but with a little tweaking here and there
and laying on the bed and sucking it in
It will fit nicely!!!

thank goodness I got to keep most of my class
because I have to be
OBSERVED this year
I threw up in my mouth YUCK!!!

YEAH YEAH I have been observed before BUT
in my district or Texas
who cares
one of them says that if you get
Exceeds Expectations on your FORMAL Observation you can
be wavered or passed by for a year or 2
I am not really sure of the exact rule but
you get a year or 2 off is what I am trying to say
well last year I got EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS
(H to ECK yeah)
let me bird walk for a minute
if you are unfamiliar with the term bird walk
think of Doug from the movie UP
you know the dog
that anytime he hears SQUIRREL
he looks the other way and is then taken off track...
I am yelling
and you are DOUG
ok we are off track....
or I am bird walking...

I had lots of reasons I agreed to move
One being I LOVED my Principal
and I knew he would support me
HE supported his teachers
HE had great ideas
HE was the best!!! and so was my VP!!!
They were like ying and yang!!!
Laverne and Shirley
peanut butter and jelly
get it...
AH-SOME together
I would go without markers for the rest of my life just to get them back!!!

well they are gone...
( bottom lip quivering)
my district moved them BOTH
don't ask why
My teacher friends and I
contemplate this very question
at choir practice or in our sleep
or any time we get together
REALLY we do
I am pretty sure we have logged in a few hundred hours
thinking about this...
it will never be answered just like
where is Jimmy Hoffa
we are now ALL in counseling
for this issue
we go as a group
(not really)

ok so now
we have a NEW principal
well here is my issue
I have to be observed because I am new to 4th grade
if it were OLD principal or VP
I would not be stressed BUT it is not
(((getting choked up)))
NEW principal is going to observe me and she wants to get it done soon!!!!
SOOOOOO I get to pick 3 times that I would like for her to come!!!
I really would like for her to come to my math lessons!!!
I am going to be doing some Christmas themed word problems and I would LOVE for her to see
how my class can crack these out

I am pretty sure I canNOT pick 3 math times but I am going to try
I have the other 2 problems figured out...manipulatives and all BUT....
 here is the 3rd problem I am thinking about using...

I have to match it to a TEKS
which in Texas is a Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills
this is our Teacher Bible so to speak

here are the TEKS it covers
4.14  Underlying processes and mathematical tools. The student applies Grade 4 mathematics to solve problems connected to everyday experiences and activities in and outside of school. The student is expected to:
(A)  identify the mathematics in everyday situations;
(B)  solve problems that incorporate understanding the problem, making a plan, carrying out the plan, and evaluating the solution for reasonableness;
(C)  select or develop an appropriate problem-solving plan or strategy, including drawing a picture, looking for a pattern, systematic guessing and checking, acting it out, making a table, working a simpler problem, or working backwards to solve a problem; and
(D)  use tools such as real objects, manipulatives, and technology to solve problems.
(15)  Underlying processes and mathematical tools. The student communicates about Grade 4 mathematics using informal language. The student is expected to:
(A)  explain and record observations using objects, words, pictures, numbers, and technology; and
(B)  relate informal language to mathematical language and symbols.
(16)  Underlying processes and mathematical tools. The student uses logical reasoning. The student is expected to:
(A)  make generalizations from patterns or sets of examples and nonexamples; and
(B)  justify why an answer is reasonable and explain the solution process.

I am sure there are MORE but you don't really care about that
I want them to use manipulatives to help them solve this problem...
I was thinking stickers... maybe I can cut out different sized ornament sizes...
I am really at a loss here
can you help?
I hope so!!!

My kiddos will be using my pencil strategies which you can find here and my 4 square problem solving method... which you can read about  here!!!
They are very familiar with this method... I just need an idea for manipulatives...HMMMM
can any of you creative peeps help me out?

I sure hope so...

I hope you can tell me everything is going to be alright...
I was hoping on having a restful Thanksgiving
but instead I am going to be lurking over my computer and phone
fingers crossed
one of my BELOVED followers comes up with an
for the love of FARLEY
please help!!!


  1. Unfair. Unfair. Unfair. :( We lost our VP this year (he is now a full-fledged principal at a school nearby) and it sucks. SUCKS.
    I don't even understand your word problem, seeing as how I teach first and our word problem would be Miss Mistletoe had $10 and spent $10 on ornaments so how much does she have left?
    I can't think of any manipulatives -- have you looked at The Dollar Tree, Dollar Spot at Target, or a Party Store? Surely there are miniature erasers that are seasonal?? I don't know. I'm sure you will be AMAZING.
    My twin hates TEKS. Says it's sucking the life out of her kids' school and all they do is teach to THE TEST.
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  2. I was just at Wal-Mart (ugh!!) and saw all kinds of those foam christmas shapes...you could use those? Or I've seen stuff at the Dollar Tree... or I just saw a comment on another blog where they found some stuff in the Dollar Spot at Target.
    And I'm so sorry for your observation! Especially since it's with a new admin...so you have NO idea what to expect...or rather what they expect. eek! We are getting our new principal THIS WEEK!!! ahh!!! and our whole district has just changed our evaluation system...O-M-Gosh!!! We are ALL fearful...we have AWESOME teachers who just got like a 7/10 on their PGP portion of the evaluation - HOW is that fair?!!? Just because you can't write the way "they" want you to doesn't mean you aren't a great teacher who deserves a lot of points...writing a paper has NOTHING to do with how much of an "exceptional" teacher you are....sorry, I didn't mean to go off~ lol. i just meant....I feel your pain! because we all have to get observed now (every year!) AND by a new principal...

  3. Easiest way would be to make card stock ornament on your computer. That way you could make them the different sizes you need. I too teach in Texas and this problem is great fo staar. I wish you the best of luck on your observation.

  4. Don't worry. They did away with waivers in our school district so we have to be observed every year now. We also had a complete admin change at our school. You're not alone and I'm sure you'll do a great job. Feel free to check out my class wiki and use whatever may help you.

  5. I totally understand what you are saying! I was transferred this year due to budget cuts and put into first grade, a grade I know little about. The blogs have helped me so much! I have 31 kiddos, which is way too many. I also have a new principal. She is brand-new being a principal. She seems to be very tough.

    We have a new observation/evaluation process. The principal does many pop-in 10 minute observations. We have to formally be observed 6 times this year, but we never know when they will be. We are not allowed to plan ahead and choose a date. I've had one so far. Three have to be done by Jan. 31 and 3 more by May 15.

    Yesterday I was called into the principal's office and she doesn't like what she sees. She gave me two Administrator-Directed Performance Goals. It states things that I have to do. It appears like a plan of assistance. I don't know. I've never had this happen to me before. I used to teach 3rd and 4th grades and did just fine. One other teacher was transferred and she received the same thing. I am devastated and afraid I will lose my job. I work very hard as a teacher, but it isn't good enough. She thinks I can't manage the classroom (something I've always been good at), but first grade is a different story and 31 of them is quite hard to manage.

    I know you'll do well. I understand what you're going through and will be thinking of you.

  6. LOVE THIS - I just taught a lesson very similar.

    For manipulatives - foam shapes that you cut out?

    I also think that your students may enjoy "browsing" in a mini ornament catalog. Mine LOOOOOOVED the idea of "going shopping".

    I'll have my fingers crossed for you. :)

  7. First, let me say that it is a CRIME that someone as talented as you should have to feel this way. I'm so sorry you are feeling stressed when you should be enjoying your vacation.

    Colored cardstock would be easy to cut and you could print them with designs like you did in your "menu." (Target also had several "unbreakable" ornament sets if you wanted to go for realia or use them for props at the beginning of your lesson). For "sparkle," could you print the word "sparkle," give it an oval border and add a few glitter glue dots? This is completely out of my area of expertise, but I am so MAD that you are going through this! If the stores weren't closed, I'd be scouring the aisles on your behalf.

    You're Farley! You're FABULOUS! Can't you just turn in your Blog comments and say, "See! These people know that I EXCEED EXPECTATIONS. Let me get back to teaching!"

    Sorry for the rant. You have an army of cheerleaders. We'll line the halls if you need us.

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  8. I think I would create different sized ornaments on cardstock. Have glitter available to add. Maybe make little signs next to each type of ornament with the price. Then you could give your kids a chance to "go shopping." You could create a little form that they could use to keep track of their spending.

    Good luck with everything! :D My thoughts are with you and I'm absolutely positive that your new administration will see that you are just as fabulous as we think you are!

    Frozen in 3rd Grade


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