As we move into the new year, it’s time to say goodbye to 2015. It’s OUT with the OLD and IN with the NEW.
Here are a few things I’ve said good-bye to and will NOT miss:
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Yup. I cut the cord after 8 years with DTV. Do I miss it? No, I don’t miss paying those high bills to watch just 5 channels. Since then I have signed up with Netflix and Hulu. Couple those with Amazon Prime video and I’m good. My kids have lots to watch on all of those, not to mention FREE DVDs available at our local public library. I estimate that I’m only paying one third of what I was paying to have DTV, yet I have so MUCH MORE to watch. Go figure!
Paying with a Credit Card
Say hello to ApplePay. Many of the places I shop now accept ApplePay. So nice to just tap your phone and it’s paid. Except for the bill which comes at the end of the month. I’m hoping more businesses jump on the ApplePay bandwagon. Hey if the Japanese can buy a soda from a vending machine and pay with a phone, why can’t we?
Back in August, I signed up with Tailwindapp.com. Since I do pin a lot, it was hard to find time to pin everyday and keep track of what and where I pinned. With Tailwind, I can schedule pins for an entire month or more! I can also pin to dozens of boards simultaneously with the Board List option that groups together boards by list. Though it is a little pricey ($14.99 per month), it has saved me a great deal of time and effort. It has greatly increased my repining and has led me to more than double my followers.
Teaching in a Class of 29 or More
This school year, my district made the decision (and obviously found the money) to reduce class size to 26, with the eventual goal of getting it down to 22. I still remember when California started class size reduction back in the 90s…and yes I had only 20 students! But with massive budget cuts, class sizes quickly rose to 30 or more. Researchers and politicians want to tell you that class size does not make a difference. I guess it wouldn’t make a difference then if we cut researcher and politician’s salaries by half. Oh, so now it makes a difference. Of course it makes a difference! It makes a difference in SO many ways that can not be measured by a standardized test or a tally chart.
Yep, my 1959 era kitchen is kaput. In it’s place a whole new kitchen. Though the layout is the same, I was able to push out the kitchen about 1 foot, take out a soffet (why???? why???? why??? do people install those things????), and combine the cooktop, the oven and the microwave to save space. But the best part of all, I have a farmhouse sink! The thing is awesome. I was able to wash an entire turkey in it before roasting it for Thanksgiving. The remodel was a big project that took 4 weeks, and we practically ate out every night. But it was worth it!
Towards the end of the last school year, I and a group of grade level teachers from my district revamped all the district grade level assessments (each grade level had their own committee). We shortened them, revised them, rewrote them and made them more rigorous to keep in line with the SBAC. So this year, it just seems so much more relaxed and less stressful with the district assessments. My students are doing much better on them and I feel more confident that I am teaching the standards well enough that my students can actually apply them to assessments.
What to look forward to in 2016:
- I will be launching a Third Grade Newsletter sometime in the Spring! It will be short and sweet and filled with suggestions, tips and the occasional FREEBIE. Be sure to sign up for it!
- I will have some new resources available on Teachers Pay Teachers starting in January. I am putting the finishing touches on several new resources for Math, Social Studies and Writing. Please consider following my store on TpT for updates and info on new resources!
- Math Tip Monday series will continue through June, so please come back every first Monday of the month too check it out. Please consider following my blog for more Math Tip Mondays!
- I will be updating my Pinterest Boards to focus on more specific areas of teaching and learning Please consider following me on Pinterest!
- I plan on showing more of my classroom in action on Instagram. Please consider following me on Instagram!
I wish everyone a safe, happy, restful and peaceful Holiday Season. Happy New Year, too!