Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Technology Withdrawal

Technology is a wonderful thing.  I am what my husband calls a "button-pusher"--someone who enjoys playing around with technology, figuring out how to do new things with it all the time.  At my last school, I was fortunate to have a laptop, projector, document camera, ActiveSlate,  iPod, and sound dock in my room.  I was getting pretty good a powerpoints and online lessons, and even smartboard activities with the slate.  I was in technology teacher heaven!

Then I moved.  My new school has a desktop computer, a stereo with CD changer, and.....um......that's it.  Oh wait, there's an overhead projector--as in, transparencies.   Okay, so I taught forever with less than that, right?  I can do this, right? ........ <crickets>.........  I never knew how dependent I had become on all my "toys" until I didn't have them any more!  Wow.  I have had to dig deep into my toolbox of teaching tricks to remember how to engage and excite students.  Some things have been great, others not so much.  I've had my share of failed lesson plans this year, but I think I'm starting to get in my groove (finally!).  I also found a projector no one was using and hooked it up in my room.   I spent Saturday rearranging my classroom to start fresh after the break, and I'm kind of excited! The district is issuing laptops to teachers this year, and I am scheduled to get mine on December 10--yippee!  I think I will be able to update this blog more often then, too.

So I'm looking for ideas now.  I have four sections of 5th grade general music, one 6th grade choir of 22, and one 7th/8th grade choir of 41 (mixed).  What are your favorite lessons, songs, sightreading materials, and games for this age group?  This is new territory for me, so I need all the help I can get!

Please, leave a comment and share your collective wisdom!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know,  it's been a long time since my last post.  Things have been a bit crazy here in South Texas.  We are now living with my husband's parents, still trying to sell our home in North Texas.  Now before you start to feel sorry for me, let me clarify:  My in-laws are wonderful.  They have a large 4 bedroom home with space for all of us to have our own rooms and bathrooms, they are happy to help out with the kids while we are at work, they have a housekeeper who comes once a week (score!), and they are incredibly generous.  I know not everyone could stand to live with family, and we are blessed to be a part of this loving, supportive one.

That said, I am ready to have my own space.  It's still weird living in someone else's house, cooking in someone else's kitchen, doing laundry in someone else's laundry room (especially when you hate laundry like I do), and trying to keep kids and school stuff organized and together. (So NOT mastering this mayhem!)  So if you know someone looking for a home in the Keller area, I have a great one for them!!

In honor of the holiday, I would like to share some Thanksgivings of my own:

I am thankful for....
.....My MIL and FIL, who have been so generous and supportive during this transition.
.....My own parents, who are supporting us in this move even though it takes us farther from them.
.....Our new church home, where we have been welcomed with open hearts and arms.
.....Our church youth group, a safe haven for the boys to build new friendships and grow in spirit.
.....The staff family at my new school, who make starting over a little easier.
.....My husband's new job, which has given him a confidence and fulfillment that he truly needed.
.....A God who loves me and is providing for our needs every day.

Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in the chaos of life and focus on the things we don't have.  I know I have been guilty of that many times in the last few months.  But really, I am so blessed.  I have a job, a stable family, a home (two if you count the one we own and the one where we stay!), plenty of clothes to wear, food to eat, and cars to get us where we need to go.  God provides for all of our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus (Philipians 4:19).

May God bless you and your family with peace, joy, and love this Thanksgiving.