Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Half-Day Happenings

Today was a teacher inservice day, and since I'm enjoying the only pure benefit of being a student teacher (I don't have to attend all the inservices!) I had a half day. This morning I went with two other kindergarten teachers from my school to visit Lower Gwynedd Elementary School. It was really neat, Wissahickon is a great (very affluent) district, and the elementary school definitely reflected that. We saw some awesome writing conferences and literacy stations, and of course, observed some fun fillers and energizers. As anyone who has ever been in charge of children knows, it's always good to have some tricks up your sleeve for killing those last five minutes, or refocusing the children in a positive way. My favorite activity of the morning was a sight word activity. You know all those little words that aren't quite phonetic (sound like they're spelled) and come up ALL the time in reading? Words like the, she, it, am, and, etc. The students made cards for themselves with all their sight words, and then laid them out on the floor. They threw bean bags onto the cards and then spelled and said aloud the word the bag landed on. So cool, and such good practice.

I ran a couple errands after my visit, and then came home, because I had work to do. Cat lent me her mother's mini steam cleaner, and I had a date with my area rug. Lily is probably 99% housebroken, but those little accidents are ridiculously hard to get out of the rug. Plus we are the third owners of this rug, so there's no saying how long the dirt has been there.

First I moved the (freakin heavy) marble coffee table off of the carpet. It's a ginormous hunk of pure marble, thankfully in two pieces, but it disguises the fact that our rug is really too small for our living room.




As I said, Cat lent me her mother's steam cleaner. It took me a while to figure out how to use it, and I didn't have the appropriate soap, but warm water with a little baking soda did the trick.



It took ages, and a break in the middle to take the dog out, but finally I was left with:



and (brace yourselves, oh weak of stomach):


The rug is only 5x7, so it wasn't a ton of space to clean, but geez oh man that's a lot of dirt.

Finally, it was time for some Lily snuggles.



What a cutie. I don't think she really enjoyed the process, nor does she appreciate the end result. Oh well.