Friday, May 24, 2013

Another BIG Braeden Moment

Last Saturday was the annual Fun Run and Carnival at our elementary school. I had been trying to convince Braeden to participate in the Fun Run but for the most part he was uninterested. Until... they had an assembly at school promoting how fun it would be and that all kids who raced and crossed the finish line would receive a prize that others attending just the carnival would not. From that moment on, Braeden was in! He never looked back and was ready to go bright and early Saturday morning. He ran with a couple of friends and had a blast.

It's only a half mile but when you're six and not used to pacing yourself, it can be exhausting!

The pirate necklace was the participation prize.
He was so proud of himself and Roman and I were over the moon that he took the chance and ran. It was a fantastic day!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Part 2

Monday was our big day of fun and activity for Teacher Appreciation Week, but we continued to acknowledge the teachers every day with raffle prizes and daily gifts. We also had several door prizes that were open to anyone in the building.

Tuesday's raffle theme: Classy Classroom

Wednesday's raffle theme: Loving Local Living 
 (The raffle gifts weren't out yet when the picture was taken, but we gave away three separate prizes donated by businesses in town)

Thursday's raffle theme: Sensationally Sweet

Friday's raffle theme: Nurturing Nature

We also gave out magnets as the gift that day so that we wouldn't have to take up any space on the table. We have to keep the table free because Friday is the luncheon and our parents bring in amazing food to spoil the teachers for lunch. 

(phone pic)

One of my favorite parts of the whole week was having the students involved. When we talked about various ways to include the kids, we knew that we didn't want their participation to require purchasing anything or large projects that would take too much time to be fun. We settled on a daily schedule of having the students use various pieces of information about their teachers and then the class that had the highest percentage of participation at the end of the week won a trip to the Creamie! Our daily activities were simple and the kids and teachers all had a lot of fun in the process. 

  • Monday: Wear your teacher's favorite color
  • Tuesday: Bring in the title of a book about your teacher's favorite animal
  • Wednesday: Draw a picture of your teacher celebrating his/her favorite holiday
  • Thursday: Bring in a fact about the state (or country for the Canadian born teachers) where your teacher was born
  • Friday: Create a math problem that has an answer equal to the number of years your teacher has worked at NES
Two classes ended up having 100% participation! It was such a fun week. Now, what to do next year??

Monday, May 20, 2013

Teacher Appreciation Week Part 1

Teacher Appreciation Week was a couple of weeks ago. This year Stacy and I decided to choose a theme and work the rest of the week from there. 

Our 2013 theme:

We began with our usual cleaning and decorating of the Staff Room on the Sunday evening before TA Week started. 

Monday was the day that the "great mystery" was solved for the students and staff. First thing in the morning the staff were greeted with the decorated staff room and their first daily gift and raffle prize along with a wonderful breakfast spread provided by a local store, Mim's Market, here in town. But that was just the beginning. We had been planning and preparing for an afternoon assembly for weeks! The secrecy had the teachers worried which made us laugh because it was a week all about celebrating them. Why would we throw water balloons at them?? Some really believed that something like that was in store..

But no, it was really a red carpet introduction!

Each teacher had a star banner on the wall that was moved to their classroom door after the assembly. They were introduced to deafening cheers and lots of hand slapping. Many teachers said they felt like rock stars. It was a ton of work, but to see the interaction between the staff and students was worth every single minute of preparation. Our Principal was fantastic as the emcee and did a Q&A game that we had created at the end so that we could all learn some new things about the teachers. They have done some really cool stuff!

In the next post I'll share the rest of the week and how we got the students involved (and motivated to stay involved).

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Magical Mother's Day

I don't ask for much because quite frankly I need very little. When Roman asked what I wanted for Mother's Day this year I told him probably some plants and mulch for my gardens. I had every intention of working in those gardens today, but after we were finished with church and breakfast I thought it might be fun to go on an somewhere instead. Kids love adventures and quite seriously, don't we all love an unplanned day trip? So I asked the kids where they wanted to go. It had to be out of state and someplace we don't go often. The original thought was that we'd go to the Lakes Region in New Hampshire, but since we all love any reason to go to the ocean, we agreed on the coast instead. I'm so glad we did because we had the BEST day!! It was so fun and relaxing and special and actually beyond words. I hope that we do something like this every Mother's Day because I enjoyed every minute.

The plan was to head to Southern Maine because along with the beach, I wanted to hit an outlet store or two. After all, it was my day. We stopped in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for lunch at BG's Boathouse. It's on the water and the kids were able to look at boats and throw rocks into the water while we waited. I'm not a huge seafood eater and most of their offerings were fried, but it was worth the experience just the same.

After that we traveled though Portsmouth to get into Maine. What a beautiful old historic city! The kids were amazed to see a submarine sticking up out of a hill beside the road. I've always traveled through Portsmouth but never actually stopped there. We are now planning to return for a visit to explore the city. All of these gems in our back yard. I love New England. 

Then we went to York Beach so that the kids could play and we could walk on the beach and take some pictures. I really thought there was no way that they would go into the water very much because it's still the beginning of May. In Maine. However, yet again they proved me wrong and spent an hour playing in the freezing water!

We were all sand and salt coated when we left. It was wonderful. The water was cold, but the air temperature was warm enough that no one was cranky and freezing by the end. It was an amazing way to spend Mother's Day. I hope the kids keep the memories of days like today locked inside and tell their children about them in the future. I believe we may have started a tradition today. And all because I get the honor of being three amazing little people's mom.