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Five for Friday

Happy Friday  Saturday morning everyone!  I know that many of you have started your summer vacation already, but I still have one more week left.  Many more of my teacher friends go well into the end of June… my thoughts are with you.  We are holding it together with some very thin thread over in my neck of the woods, next week is sure to be interesting!  Here are some random moments from my week:
1
I don’t know if it was because this weekend was Memorial Day weekend, aka the official summer kickoff or what but it was certainly a weekend filled with yummy indulgences!  Between the first gooey s’more of summer and a childhood throwback for my kids, I definitely indulged a little (a little too much- but I loved every bite).  I’m sure it wasn’t stress related at all 😉

2
And then there was this…
I’m pretty sure this was a sign that I should use up the rest of my sick days and start my summer early… but I chose to take hubby’s car and head into work.  After all, I wouldn’t want to miss out on all the end of the year assessments (said no teacher ever)!  What a way to start the week.

3
On Tuesday we celebrated my high school assistant’s upcoming graduation.  Anna was randomly assigned to my room in September as part of a work study program and she quickly became an integral member of our classroom.  I honestly couldn’t have made it through the year without her assistance.  

4
Wednesday was my own peanut’s last day of first grade.  She had a wonderful year with a great teacher!  And she is already going crazy with summer boredom haha.  Its amazing how much they change over the course of a year!

5
We finally got confirmation this week of our classroom assignments for next year.  The majority of my gigantic school (900 students, K-5) is moving classrooms in our attempt to try something different for next year.  It is a big shakeup and we’re all relieved to at least know where we are headed- since we need to be packed up and moved between June 5th and 9th (insert screams here).  This is my 5th year in a row packing and moving either schools or rooms… uff-da (as they say here in MN).  My head is spinning with what to do with my new space.  The storage seems adequate but the room itself is small.  And then theres the color… I am not in love with how bright of a blue it is.  I would LOVE to hear your thoughts/ ideas!!  

Also don’t mind the mess!  The teacher who is in it now is also desperately trying to pack/ organize and this pic was taken on Friday afternoon 😉  One nice thing is that I am going from a room that is original to the building (circa 1965) to a room that is in the new wing, built 2 years ago… and its air-conditioned 😉 🙂 
Well thats about it for my week.  Next week I will be posting about some of our fun end of the year activities so stay tuned!  I’ll leave you with one last picture that made me laugh… I attempted to take a  cool “Friday morning on my way to work selfie” and ended up with this:
A prime example of exhausted end of the year teacher, as well as BRF “B*&cy resting face” lol.  
Have a great week!!
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You Oughta Know- May edition

Hello everyone!  Welcome back for another blog hop sponsored by Jasmine over at Buzzing with Mrs. Mcclain.  I originally had other plans for this post, but I’ve scratched that idea because I am so excited to share with you something that I stumbled upon just a few weeks ago!

If you’re anything like me, gone are the days of after hours working in your classroom – unless absolutely necessary.  When I first entered the profession I would spend countless hours devoted to the perfect bulletin boards, organization, etc.  I had it all together each and every day.  Fast forward a decade later and I am usually out the door as soon as my contract time is up, rushing home to pick up little ones, cook dinner, you name it!  Most things I can do at home, but there are a lot of items that can only be done on my school desktop (smart board presentations are a big one).  That is until a few weeks ago!

I was attending a meeting after school one day with other teachers from around the district.  We were all sitting around chatting and catching up when I looked over at a friends iPad.  I noticed that she had file folder icons on it… like you would see on a desktop.  I asked her what she was doing, and she introduced me to SplashTop!  SplashTop is an app that allows you to remotely control your desktop.  It is free if you plan to use it within close proximity to your desktop (in your classroom for example).  If you want remote access outside of your building there is a subscription (I paid around $16 for the year).  Now I have access to my desktop wherever I am!  I have already used this app in many different ways, and I know that next year it will really help change my world.  

Just a few days after discovering SplashTop I had my first real opportunity to test it out from home.  I had taken the day off to attend a program at my daughters school and then head out of town for my graduation.  While I had everything ready for my absence ahead of time, I logged in before the start of school just to make sure I had everything up- like the correct morning message and I also logged into all the different websites we use during the day (GoNoodle anyone?!).  

Not gonna lie, my youngest and I also enjoyed creepin’ in on the class just a little bit!  I may or may not have caught my sub shopping online for table cloths when my students were in the room.  Note- there is an explanation of the app in my sub plans, should a sub ever need help finding the right item etc.  There is also a pop up that occurs on the screen whenever I turn the app on letting anyone near the desktop know that “Lindsey’s iPad” is accessing the desktop.  

This tool has already shown me how useful it can be… but can you imagine how amazing it will be for those unfortunate unplanned sub days?  We have all had the “request a sub a 3am because a kid (or you) is puking moments”.  And then once things settle down we try to haphazardly type sub plans, explaining where to find things and how to log into things.  Or when all that hard work goes down the drain because a well meaning sub can’t get something to work on the smart board, or can’t find something.  A simple “s.o.s” text could literally save the day… click the app, fix whats wrong, crisis averted.  

Aside from using the app in sub situations I have used it frequently to do just the day to day work.  I used to work on Smart Notebook files from my home desktop, save them and then download them onto my school desktop.  Since I no longer utilize my home PC I’ve really struggled.  Now I can work right from home and no longer need to take the extra step of saving on a flash drive or uploading to Google Docs.  And just this past weekend I realized one of its greatest potentials… I can print at school- from my bed!!!  Can I tell you how many times I’ve scrambled in the morning to print something out or have forgotten items to be copied in my printer at home?  I printed what I was going to need, and picked it up Monday morning!  Amazing.

SplashTop has also helped me in the classroom.  I can not stand being tethered to the smart board at the front of the room.  We do a lot of interactive things, and I really prefer to move around the room.  Now I can do so, and control whatever I need to control.  I completely freaked out my students the first time I used it- I was sitting at my kidney-shaped table doing some reading assessments and played one of our transition songs.  They were in awe and completely weirded out.  

Overall this app has been a great find, and I thought that you definitely oughta know about it!  You can check it out further and download it here!  


Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blogs in the link up! 

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Finally!!

Woo Hoo!  I am finally done (ish) with my Masters!  I say done-ish because I still have to wrap up my capstone… but since I have until the end of July, I put it on pause until school gets out in a few more days.

I meant to write this post several days ago, but you all know how this time of year can get 😉  On May 9th I had the privilege of participating in my graduation ceremony after 2 long years of blood, sweat and tears.  I was excited for my undergraduate graduation, but I don’t think that I fully appreciated it.  10 years, a career and two kids later (oh yea, and a husband too!) I felt on top of the world with my achievement.  I’ve learned so much more about this profession as well as myself during this process and I am excited to tackle what is yet to come.  There is even talk of a Doctorate degree in my (distant) future!  Here are a few pics of the occasion:

Graduate Selfie!
Headed out for a well deserved dinner and evening out!  Husband is thrilled with all the selfies…

Spent our kid-free weekend dining out and walking around downtown Duluth, MN.  A much needed get away!  Aside from being a bit chilly (35 degrees… #springinminnesota) it was beautiful!

The coffee cup I’ve been rockin’ the last two weeks lol! 

While getting my Master of Education degree was no easy feat, I highly recommend it to any of you who may be reading this.  Now that I am done I am excited to be going to go back to “real life” which involves a lot of dishes, laundry and Pinterest (and episodes of the Real Housewives..shh.. don’t judge me).