Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!

      copywrite Mrs.PJ 2013Happy Easter Weekend!

Just wanted to share some of the egg dying fun we had yesterday.copywrite Mrs.PJ 2013

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Most of our eggs ended up with little dents in them, but I think they turned out pretty cute.

     Our school district gave us Good Friday off and I am totally enjoying the three day weekend.  Mr. PJ only had to work a half a day so he got to help dye eggs. We always eat dinner together, but yesterday was special. We had crawfish and deviled eggs. I totally cheated and picked up the crawfish from a local restaurant, but we made the deviled eggs. Little Mr.PJ had chicken tenders because he wasn't sure about eating "those crab things".  Little Miss. PJ had a jar of organic baby food of course. It was a nice dinner. I am looking forward to the Easter service tomorrow. Actually, I am really excited about getting to watch all of the little kiddo's hunt eggs. 
     Yesterday also brought some potentially good news. I heard a rumor that the high school close to my house (really close to my house) might be hiring a Geography teacher next year. This roumor was from a pretty reliable source that knows I want to work there. Currently I have about half an hour commute to work. In the afternoons that drive can turn into forty-five minutes. I love the school where I am at, but I would really love to be closer to home. If a spot does open up I am definitely going to apply for it. Then I am going to pray that God puts me where I need to be, because I know that sometimes what we want isn't always what God wants for us.  Have a happy Easter!

Take care,
 Mrs. PJ

Thanks for reading.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

renewed look and lesson plan ideas

        Welcome back to rendered and renewed!  Sorry it has been about a week since my last post. I was waiting to reveal the new look for R&R and I didn't want to post while it was "under construction." After many attempts to redo the banner myself I finally went to Banner Booth, which is probably what I should have done in the first place. I always want to try to do everything myself and sometimes it is just better to let someone with more expertise take over. I hope that you like the clean new look. I guess this was my first spring cleaning project.
         I don't know what it is about this time of year, but I just want to reclaim my home and workspace from the clutter. We already refreshed the flower bed and vegetable gardens over spring break. I have been working on purging my desk of excessive stuff that seems to pile up. Even though the weather is still a little cool I am ready to pack up our winter clothes. I have been revamping a lot of my lesson plans at work.
         I know we still have about two months of school left, but already I am getting into that thought process, "Okay, next year I need to ........."  I am consolidating lesson plans, making digital backups of all of my stuff, searching for new resources to incorporate into next year. By the way, I am way better at planning lessons and executing them then grading them. That is one of the reasons why my desk accumulates clutter. It is mostly work I need to grade. I will get it done, I promise. In the meantime I am enjoying beefing up my lesson plans for next year. Here are some of my favorite teacher blogs:
  • The Geography Lady  - Clearly this website was designed with her students in mind, but it is chock full of Geography content that other teachers can incorporate into their classes (um, I mean mine). It looks like this Lady has been blogging for quite some time about her adventures in the classroom and in her real world travels. She has posted lot's of great stuff here that you can spend way too much time perusing. 
  • Dandelions and Dragonflies - She blogs about teaching a way younger group than what I do, but I love what she does. She always has creative and fun ideas to share including photo's of her very coordinated classroom. This blog is one of the ones that inspired me to start my own. Even if you don't teach, I encourage you to check this one out. 
  •  Edna Sackson - Ms. Sackson is an education expert in Australia and I love reading her posts. She is very active in teaching and leading other teachers and I appreciate that she shares her insights with the rest of the world. It is interesting to see that teachers halfway around the world are facing the same challenges we do here in the United States. 
       If you like those and are looking for more then just check out my page for teachers by clicking on the previous orange text or the link in the left hand column. There are not detailed descriptions there, so it is kind of like a treasure hunt. Most of the things posted to that page are sites that I use on a regular basis, so if you have any questions about them let me know. If you are spring cleaning or planning ahead I hope your end results are what you aim for. 

Take care,
Mrs. PJ


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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Lost and Found

1. Cloth diapers size XL. Stored in a large space bag that may not have had the air vacuumed out. Our house is only so big and I have already checked every storage spot I can think of. Those things have to be around here somewhere. Little Miss. PJ's tush is getting bigger every day.
2. Issues of a magazine I published a decade ago. It was a very small operation titled Feed Your Head and consisted of mostly repurposed English papers. My friends and I created it when we were in community college. It was one of the first projects I really felt proud to be a part of. I lost all of my issues in Hurricane Katrina, but a friend of mine gave me another set. I remember thinking the last time I saw them, "Okay, I will just put them right here, so they will be safe and I will know exactly where to find them next time I need them." If only I could remember where "right here" was.
3. My Spring Break. Where does the time go? It has been a great week, but like every year before it, time is almost out and my to-do list is still miles long. My wedding anniversary and firstborns birthday always fall during Spring Break (because I'm a teacher). We also had family from out of town on both sides. We planted our vegetable garden and re-planted our front flower bed for the fourteenth time. It has been fun and busy, but I am not ready to go back to work yet.
1. I just finished reading Whale Done by Ken Blanchard. It is a business management book and I am a super nerd who really enjoys reading motivational business management books. This one focuses on building positive relationships in the workplace and I can totally see how some of the techniques in it are also appropriate for the classroom.
2. It looks like it has been out there awhile, bit Parent Hacks is a website worth checking out if you have little ones, school agers or work with kids. It is fully loaded with all of the awesome parenting tips and tricks you wish someone had told you about at your baby shower. Seriously, every time I go there I spend way to long perusing their posts.
3. So, last night I was in the grocery store and I saw this woman with two tots in tow. A little boy and little girl like mine. She had the little girl in a baby carrier and they looked super comfy.  I have a baby carrier, but the straps on it are a million miles long and I can rarely get it to work the way I want it to. I had to ask her where she got hers at. She told me that she is actually part of a group of moms called baby wearers. You can check them out here:

Take care,
Mrs. PJ

PS You might have noticed a few new things in the left and column. I have added Rendered & Renewed to a few blog directories to share it with others. You can help by clicking on Top Mommy Blog link or the little picket fence to vote for me. Also feel free to share the link to Rendered & Renewed with your friends!

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Nursing update

   In a previous post, Mommy you feed the baby?, I wrote about how we were having nursing issues due to illness. Little Miss. PJ had a decreased appetite because of an ear infection and I had decreased production because of a sinus infection. We are doing much better now, but we have a whole new issue now. Previously she was sleeping from around 9pm until 4am which was pretty awesome. When we got sick she started nursing around the clock to make up for the measly amount she was getting. I think it comforted her to be back in bed with us when she wasn't feeling well. Well now she is feeling better and is super busy during the day. You know, baby stuff, rolling, trying to sit up, scooting after her brother, putting everything in her mouth except food. I can't get her to latch during the day. Literally she only latched on once yesterday to nurse. Then about two hours after she went to bed she was fussing for it and ended up in bed with us nursing all night. It is comforting to know that she is getting enough to drink, it is just not at the most convenient time. Every time she want's to switch sides she wakes me up by slapping my face with her little baby hand. Hopefully we will get back to a better schedule soon, but for the time being I'm thankful that she is still nursing and getting enough.
Take care,
Mrs. PJ
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Put a little hop into your Spring Break step!

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           Spring Break is in full swing which means time for family fun!  My little ones are really little, so I like to encourage inquiry based play, which basically looks like me asking them a lot of questions. I like to think that being a teacher makes me kind of good at that. Do you want to play with the sidewalk chalk? Do you want to help me make a hopscotch? Then, because squares are a little, well square..... What shape should we make our hopscotch out of? How many numbers should we put in our hopscotch? Can we count them together? What can we make this into? Our circles turned into a caterpillar, but you could use rectangles to make a skyscraper or flowers to make a garden. Should we hop on one foot or two? which number should we hop over? Can you hop backwards? Go outside, play and have fun.
          One more thing, you might have noticed that I added something new to the left hand column of my blog. It is a link to one of my favorite web directories, Top Mommy Blogs . If you like what you read here, then I suggest you check them out too. They have some awesome mommas chronicling the highlights and challenges of motherhood. I spend way too much time randomly reading blogs over there, so I thought I would share that you can enjoy them too. 
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Take care,
Mrs. PJ

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

You say it's your birthday......

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     I feel like declaring working mom victory right now. We had a successful toddler birthday party today despite the fact that all of the outdoor activities were canceled because of rain. His friends were there. Everyone got fed lunch (thank you Momma PJ). Everyone had cake. He passed out goodie bags, opened his presents and played some more. Thank you cards were written within two hours of the end of the party. Most importantly, he somehow managed to save the explosive diarrhea for after the party. Success!
      It now feels like spring break is actually here and I can get some rest. Hopefully the diarrhea was just something he ate yesterday and not a stomach virus. I have to say that I'm pretty proud that he was very well behaved at the party. When you are away from your kids because of work all the time you sometimes wonder how they are doing. They just seem to grow so fast. Anyway, it was nice to see him playing with other kids, having a great time and being polite to everyone.

Take care,
Mrs. PJ

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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Mommy, you feed the baby?
With your boobies?   If reading about breast feeding makes you squeemish then you can stop reading now.  I think that if more women openly talked about nursing, the ups and downs, then more women would be open to nursing. Just like every pregnancy is different, so is every nursing relationship. I nursed my son until he was just over a year old. The little girl is almost seven months old and we are still going strong. Well, sort of. She has an ear infection and I have a sinus infection and we both feel like poop. Over the past week my production has dropped drastically. Literally I was producing half of what I needed to. We had to supplement for the first time with formula while she was at daycare Thursday and Friday.
I felt guilty and stressed which I think just made the situation worse. Mr. PJ started complaining that the formula was making the baby smell funny. I went to my midwife, got on antibiotics for the sinus infection, and she loaded me up on herbal remedies to increase the milk output. The four fixes you see pictured above with the advice to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. My nose is still runny, but the milk is back!  I won't know how much for sure until I have to pump tomorrow at work, but I can tell the difference just nursing her. Hopefully it is not just my optimistic imagination.
It is not easy being a nursing mom and working mom all at the same time. I feel like if I can't be with my baby during the day, at least I can send her to school with milk made just for her. That means I have to pump three times during the day. On my conference period, lunch and after school you can find me locked in a little conference room, hooked up to that crazy pump. It can be a hassle, but it is totally worth it.

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Word up

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My latest word wall.

           I used some old material I found about Africa to create a two part lesson on economic activities there.  The first part is a card sort.  Put up signs around the room labeled Primary, Secondary, Tertiary and Quaternary.  Give each student a card and have them figure out where it goes. Afterword you can have a class discussion about why there are no Quaternary activities. You can get the cards here,  African Economic Activities.          You could make several copies of the cards and use them in small groups instead of whole class. After the card sort you can continue the lesson by having students complete this handout, African Economic Notes.          I also have a standard interactive activity that I use with my word walls. It is a graphic organizer that students complete as a throw down lesson whenever needed. You can get that here, Geoterms Graphic Organizer. To use it your students need to be familiar with the five themes of geography, Movement, Regions, Human Environment Interaction, Location and Place. You can see by how I set up my word wall I kind of help my students out with that.