Saturday, April 30, 2011

"X" Week and Outdoors

WOW, what a week! This time I'm not talking about the craziness that has been going on at school. Our state was hit by several devastating tornadoes on Wednesday. In case you don't know, I live and teach in Central Alabama and April 27, 2011 is going down in history as one of the most deadly in the history of the state. As of today, there are over 200 dead and hundreds more are listed as missing. It has been extremely sad. We were out of school of Wednesday and Thursday of this week because most of our area is without power. With all that said, we had a great week at school.

We began our week with everything being normal. Just the normal routine chaos. We started talking about the great outdoors! We put together the CUTEST insect ever. It was anatomically correct; 6 legs, 2 eyes, 2 antennas, and 3 body parts. The rest however was left to the imagination of my class! Aren't they amazing! They were done with nothing more than a cardboard egg carton and some pipe cleaners. I don't think I have ever recited the phrase "6 legs, 2 eyes, 2 antennas, and 3 body parts" so much in MY LIFE. But, we got the message! My class officially knows that spiders are NOT an insect! JOB WELL DONE!

On Tuesday we worked on our wonder letter "X". This letter is challenging at best. But we tried. Today we made a giant "X" with a fun x-ray effect. I started by cutting out a large "X" and drawing little "X's" all over it with a white crayon. Then the children painted it with water colors. Don't you love it? I love their faces when the little "X's" appear.

During the week I hid little "X's" made from different colored tape all over my room. I told the children they were to find the hidden "X's". "X" marked the spot. They loved it! Everyone was looking all over my classroom! SUPER FUN!

We also made a bug jar on Tuesday. It is made with just fingerprints. Everyone loved talking about the different types of bugs that went inside the jar.

My favorite moment appear during our snack time. One of my students moved her goldfish around until . . . .


Then Wednesday happened! A severe storm with straight line winds arrived in our area around 5:30 a.m. After that, everything changed. No electricity so no school. To be honest I thought the worst was over and we would be back in school on Thursday. WRONG! The deadly tornadoes arrived late in the afternoon and early in the evening. Thousands and thousands of people in the state of Alabama had their lives drastically changed.

On Friday we were lucky enough to be back at school. I was shocked to find out that during the storms my sweet friend and fellow teacher, Mrs. Christi was hurt during the storms. She has many, many large trees down in her yard and during the clean up process she was injured. I don't talk about Christi much, but she is an amazingly sweet friend. We are completely different. I actually call us "The Odd Couple". She is Felix, nice and neat; I am Oscar, well you know! Anyway, her injury really hit me hard. Just the thought of her being hurt and possibly serious injuried really upset me. We were lucky because not many children were at school so Mrs. Christi and I joined classes. For the first time, I wasn't upset that we only had 9 students. We decided that no matter what, we would continue on! And continue on we did!!! We worked on an eXtra special dragon fly. The entire project came about because I was out of school and TOTALLY bored without electricity and my mind was raging out of control. I looked through my wonderful supply of scrapbooking paper and we came up with . . . .
I hope that you can tell by the photo that he/she is anatomically correct. The precious wings, both sets of them, are made with tissue paper that was salvaged from Christmas presents! I love using recyclable stuff!

We also headed to the kitchen for a fun "spider" snack. Isn't it amazing what you can do with 'Nilla Wafers, chocolate icing, pretzel sticks and M&M's. SUPER FUN!

Hopefully, next week will be less emotional. Even though my students were not effected by the storm other than the loss of electricity and/or the damage of fallen trees, there is still the constant talk and visual images that are on television. We will be dealing with the anxiety of our students for months to come.

As a footnote, I'm not sure how many people actually read or care about my blog. But if you read it, please pray, please pray for the people of Alabama. We have been devastated by these tornadoes. We need your prayers. THANK YOU!


  1. I'm in Iowa. I have family that have lived in the Montgomery area. One cousin still lives there. We have been praying for you all. We have tornadoes here, but nothing like you had this week. Take care.

  2. Karen,

    We live in Georgia and several parts were hit by the tornado too. It is so upsetting to see the damage and know that many lives were lost. I am glad you are OK and that your friend will be OK too and there was no serious damage to your area or to your school.

    Alyson Levin

  3. Praying for all of you.
    Deedee Buscher Illinois