The End of the School Year, Time to Renew and Refresh

Phew!  I know a lot of you are just starting summer vacation (sorry Aussie friends, I know you're in winter right now).  We've been on summer vacation for 2 weeks now.  We are one of the school districts that let our before Memorial Day.... but we go back mid-August.

All I can say is:

Yes, summer vacation was much needed this year because:

It seems like every year I add more and more to my plate.  And as these two monkeys grow

It gets harder and harder to find a balance between family, faith, school, TpT and blogging.  And unfortunately blogging was the ball I dropped this year.

You see, my oldest was in second grade this year and he attends the same school at which I teach.  It is pretty fun getting the mid-day walk by and check in after lunch from my little "Joe Cool":

And my youngest attended preschool at my school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings.  It was a juggling act because someone different picked her up each day and we're lucky enough that both grandmas took a day and a favorite auntie took the third.  We're extremely blessed that a dear family friend, lovingly referred to as Nana, took care of her on Tuesday and Thursday.

 In addition to my normal teaching day I've always taught choir two mornings before the school day and hand bells two mornings before the school day.  Because I had so many 4th graders sign up for the 4th grade group I added an after school choir.  This usually goes year round but this year I decided to put on a musical.  Thank goodness I have an AMAZING colleague who teaches 2nd grade in my building that has a theatre degree and an AMAZING parent volunteer who has a doctorate in musical theater.  Together, the three of us worked with the kids to put on Seussical the Musical, Jr.  All I can say is it was SO much work and SO rewarding:

 We had such an amazing time doing it that we're tackling The Music Man Jr. next year- the kids at school are so excited!

So, between school, my kiddos and trying to work out (my baby IS going into kindergarten and the evidence her birth that is still around my midsection has GOT to go) led to me neglecting this blog.  My goal is to get back into a blogging rhythm, with hopefully a blog post a week (maybe more?).  We'll see.  

Now to the title of this post.  There are two summer goals for myself this summer, to "renew" and "refresh."

Renew.  Okay, I think I can do this one.  Here are my renewing goals:
*  exercise and take some alone time each day.  Those of you that are parents know this is like trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat, it takes so magic.  Thank goodness my husband is also a teacher and home on summer break too.
*  PLAY with my kids.  I spend all day singing, teaching and playing with other peoples children that by the time I get home it's time to feed my two, give them baths and send them to bed.  Not that I don't love my school kids, but my own two need and deserve some quality time.

Refresh, this one has both personal and professional goals in mind.
*  We're remodeling our kitchen!  It's going to be a lot of work but it'll be so refreshing to have the cabinets that are falling apart replaced with new ones.  We'll be putting in new counter tops, floors and appliances.  We're SO excited!
* Professionally, I'm working on song file bundles.  This has been on my "to-do" list forever!  I'm working on the rest bundle now.  Once I get all of them done my goal is to go back and refreshed the ta ti-ti set and the so-mi set.

My son also wants to help with more games.  This spring he helped me conceptualize and make two different games: Hunting for Bigfoot 

 and School's Out!

 The Bigfoot set was so much fun and my 4/5 students were working on recorders that I made this set too:

I know some of you are still in school and not yet ready to Renew and Refresh, so the School's Out bundle is 50% off for today and tomorrow!  This is one of my favorites as it's like a poison game with a twist.  There are opportunities for the students to read the 16 beat rhythmic notation of known songs.  I love the Bigfoot files because they are cumulative and the students end up reading a 16 beat pattern as they hunt for Bigfoot but you also have a chance to test their musical memory by having them recall and perform the 16 beat pattern before they return to the game's "camp site."

I hope you all are having a wonderful Sunday!  I'll be back to blog soon!  If I don't, hold me accountable! 

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  1. I had fun reading this blog post, Amy! I know how hard it is to juggle everything, and you're doing a great job! :)

    1. Thanks Aileen!!! I know you juggle a lot too! :)

  2. I hear you on the juggling act! I'd love to hear more about putting together the musical at some point. What the schedule was like, how many students participated, how long you worked towards it. I have never seen anything done on that level with elementary kiddos but it sounds like your students had an amazing experience!

    1. Yes! That's a great idea for a post, I'll do that this week! Thanks Lindsay!

  3. Amy, (and everyone else)...there is no need to apologize for not writing your blog(s). You had a LOT going on--I think that everyone who teaches totally understands that! I LOVE reading your blog and seeing your wonderful TPT files--BUT your family comes first. Those two kiddos are growing up (and believe gets faster and faster...turn around and YOU are a grandma enjoying your grandchildren like I am enjoying Harrison!). It sounds like you really outdid yourself with all of the school groups/musical/programs that you did this year! You have given your children (your SCHOOL kids--I always considered them MY kids if I had them in school) a WONDERFUL year that they will NEVER forget! NOW--take some time for you and take some time for your family. IF you have time to write (and it sounds like you really enjoy writing)--that is wonderful--but if not--that is OK also!!! BTW--I HOPE that your principal and teachers appreciate you--you are a DEVOTED teacher who deserves lots of kuddos from them!!!

    1. Debbie, you are so incredibly sweet!!! Thank you SO much for all your support!!! It means the world!
      <3 Amy


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