Sunday, June 1, 2014

currently....wowza, it's june 1st!

Did you notice anything new? My blog got a total makeover and I love it! Kassie over at Designs by Kassie did it for me and she's just a great designer to work with. She's actually going to make me another little button because I'm presenting at the Illinois Reading Council Conference this October! I can't wait for that!

So it's time to link up with Farley for Currently! Here's what's up in my little part of the world as of late! JT

This is one of my recent downloads and it's been on repeat for about a week. I never see videos, unless I'm writing this blog, and so just watching the video made me love this song even more....and now all I want to know is: Who are they?!?!

Also, H is watching some baseball and making some corny jokes while I write - "That's the Wong thing to do!" (guy named Wong was batting or in the outfield or something.) But I do love corny jokes, so I def lol-ed.

Perfect start to (almost) summer - breakfast, run errands, watch a little baseball, and then off to a street fest before we watch the Hawks take the Kings and advance to the Stanley Cup championship - love Chicago and all it's amazing teams and traditions!

Loving....this essay from a former student:

When our kiddos leave eighth grade, their Freshmen English teachers always make them write about a great teacher at the end of their freshman year. The English department then sends the essays over, and this one was one of my faves:

What is a "successful" teacher? One who is intelligent, wise and knows how and when to get work done. To me, Ms. Brezek, my 8th grade Lit Studies teacher has shown the qualities that will meet any kids' expectations for a "good quality" teacher. In this essay, I will talk about the qualities of a good teacher and how Ms. Brezek met them.

A good teacher to me is one who knows her students. Who realized things about them, that can work with mistakes, and has patience for any kid that comes towards her way. She will counsel, teach, be humorous, get work done, and applaud you when you're at or beyond expectations. Understand her students, help them on their roughest days. She will get work done! Teach you what's required for or beyond your age level. You will learn valuable life lessons from him/her. Teach you reality in the world. What to expect. Overall, the teacher that is like a second mom. To me, the qualities of a teacher are met like that!

Ms. Brezek was my eighth grade Literature Studies teacher. When I first met her, I did not like her. But when she made me realize that life isn't about girls, money, shoes, and a game is when I realized A LOT. She was kinda like a taxi cab driver. You called her when you needed her, she take you to your location, and you can call unlimited times. When I had problems at home, she'd talk with me. When I'd get off track, she'd put me back into place. I loved reading because of her. I stopped focusing on popularity, girls, money, and all the things that got you nowhere in life. She showed me the value of education. That along the way, things would come later in life, bigger and better. She made me the positive kid I am today. She went beyond my expectations of a good teacher. That's why I can write all day about her.

You don't find a good teacher every year. I found mine in eighth grade. My freshman English teacher is just like her. That's why you take advantage while you're there. These qualities aren't built on the streets, they're built through education and hard work. That's why Ms. Brezek was my favorite, most amazing teacher. She's shown the great qualities of a teacher.

This is why I super love my job!

Thinking...June is going to fly by!

We're about to pay back the three cold days of the Chiberia Winter, 2014...and I have lots to do at work! Mainly just one thing - the literacy coaches and a group of about 12-15 teachers will be meeting to plan out curriculum for the next school year and make common assessments (both pre and post) for two of our units. It's just a bunch to do before I can really be done with school, but after that, lots of fun!

I have a few days before a Father's Day weekend - I'll go to Hektor's family's house since my two dads are far away (love you, two!) and then I'm off to Europe on the 16th with my best friend! We'll see London, Paris, Venice, and Rome, (and get some quality 1:1 time) and return the 25th. The 25th is Hektor's birthday, so we'll have some plans for that the following weekend. I have a mud run that Saturday morning with some girls from work and then H's birthday with his family in the suburbs, and then I'm taking him on a surprise trip on the last Sunday of the month...I'll share with you next month! I guess I'll have a few days to start planning for the PDs I'm doing in July after all that....Of course the summer months would fly by!

PS: I'm planning on doing a Bigtime Blogging Challenge in July! (It's my 1 year blogging anniversary and I'm doing a blogging PD with teachers in my district.) Make sure to follow me so you can stay up-to-date with the challenge and participate! More deets to come on that soon!

Wanting...a new ride

I really want a bike. Like this one...It's a Schwinn!

Last week, Hektor and I rented Divvy bikes - Chicago has a bike sharing system - and they were cool, except you had to check them in every 30 minutes or you pay an overage fee. So I'd rather just have my own bike!

Today we walked down to the bike shop in Hektor's neighborhood - family owned. The bike above was one that was in stock...super nice but super expensive! It's going to cost like $325...not really sure I have an extra $325 laying around. I told Mike I'm going to check out Target, and his reply? "Come back when you need me to fix it!" hahhahaaaa! start preparing for my trip to Europe!

I leave for Europe in 15 days (!!!) and I can't wait, but I have lots to do. I need a new suitcase, one that for sure will fit in the carry on luggage. I need a new backpack that I can carry around with me every day and Heather told me to get a wallet for my passport that is on a lanyard that I can wear under my clothes. I need some kind of rain coat I think, in case it's raining over there. Plus, I need to figure out how to pack for 10 days in a carry on and a back pack. Let's just put it this way: I'm not a light packer, so this will be a challenge! I know, I know. #firstworldproblems, right? I'm going to Europe!

Summer Bucket List

  1. Work on my fitness - running every other day, yoga in between, maybe some volleyball at the beach, ride bikes (when I get one) - anything to stay active. I'd love to say I want to lose x amount of pounds, but I'd rather just be active, have fun, and feel good about myself!
  2. Take a mini-vacay with the bf - we want to go to Cedar Point and we want to go see the cubs play in Milwaukee - I'll take either or as long as I get a road trip with this guy:
  3. Develop some stuff for TpT - I want to make a set of running records that are aligned to Fountas & Pinnell's running records but are using the Reading A-Z books. So that's one project. The other is to work on publishing my social justice plans and resources for middle school. If I could get one of those done, I'd be a happy camper! Do you use running records? Would you use a set of them with Reading A-Z books?

Well, that's all for me today. Thanks again to Farley for hosting Currently for all the teacher bloggers! Hope you're having a great weekend and happy summer vacation, teacher friends!


  1. Hi there! Don't you love hearing from old students? Makes it all worth it. I spent some time in Europe in college, and it was the best time of my life. I hope your trip is amazing!

  2. So jealous of your upcoming trip. I went to Europe years ago, and it was the absolute BEST time ever. Rome was my fave & I'd go back in a second!! Loved reading your Currently,and all your happenings...and so glad to have found your super cute blog. :)

    First Grade Fairytales

  3. Michelle, it sounds like you have an awesome summer ahead! Cedar Point is on our to-do list too. We live near King's Dominion, which is owned by Cedar Fair Parks too and we just went a couple of weeks ago and had a blast. It sounds like you are a baseball fan too. We haven't checked Milwaukee off our list yet, though that would be quite a road trip for us! I'm so jealous of your upcoming trip. What an amazing experience it will be! Can't wait to read all about your summer!

    Also, can I just say that I LOVE this blog design? It is so different and super cute. I love that it's unique!

    Mrs O Knows

  4. Enjoy your trip to Europe and for sure pack your umbrella (although they are for sale everywhere over there!) We went to Germany, Hungary, Austria, and the Czech Republic last May and it rained at some time in all of those countries! Even with the rain it was a fabulous trip.

  5. Oh my goodness, I adore your blog!!! I'm so happy to find another Chicago girl! Your trip sounds amazing this summer, I hope you have a lot of fun! There is a group of Chicago bloggers getting together this summer, let me know if you're interested.
    Short and Sassy Teacher

  6. Your trip to Europe sounds amazing!!! You'll have to take lots of pictures :)


  7. I love that you took a selfie with one of your kids! And SUPER jealous that you're going to Europe!

  8. Wooohoooooo GO HAWKS!!!! I am freaking out about tonight's game. Love finding another Hawks fan/Chicagoan on Blogger (except I live in DC now lol). I am your newest follower!

    Teaching in Flats

  9. I am so glad to have discovered your blog!! I am actually getting ready to move to Chicago area this summer but most likely Naperville. My husband got a job at Groupon in September so it is probably about time to join him. Good luck on your bike hunt:)

  10. Happy Summer! Love that letter from your student . . . maybe I'll have my 8th graders do an essay like that at the end of the year :-) And I just got a Huffy bike for Mother's Day--it's been too rainy to ride this week though, but I've been chained to my laptop for book edits anyway. Hey, my characters visited Cedar Point in my first book--fun place, hope you get to go!


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