Week 23, 24, and 25 Pregnancy Updates

Hi Friends!

I apologize for the delay in updates, but it’s been a very busy three weeks.

1.  I helped organize for my school’s Homecoming dance and spent a Saturday morning/early afternoon decorating for the Casino theme.  One of my seniors tried to emulate my baby bump, circa 23 weeks.  I hope this passes for my Week 23 bump pic.

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2.  I began preparing my Scentsy wax bar samples for some upcoming home parties.  After I was done making 300+, the house smelled amazing!!

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3.  Dan and I traveled to Michigan for Thanksgiving, and my aunts and sister threw me a mini-baby shower.  It was absolutely awesome.

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Baby Boy received several awesome gifts, including a book that my niece insisted we read out loud!

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4.  Scentsy just wrapped up (until the end of Friday) the Most Wonderful Sale of the Year, so I’ve been helping clients place their orders.  It was a little stressful while the website was sluggish, but we got all the orders placed!

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If you’re interested in looking around, check out my website: http://amandaferrari.scentsy.us

5.  A student and avid hunter brought me some venison, so my mom made stew from it…so many delicious childhood memories!

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Official Week 25 Pregnancy Update

How far along? 25 Weeks – The baby is the size of a rutabaga and weighs approximately 1.7lbs!

Total weight gain: More than 10lbs.  Enough to cook a proper baby boy.

Bump Alert: Oh yea!  I’m finally able to do the classic “bump clasp” pose now that there’s enough bump to speak of.

Week 25

Maternity clothes? I’m wearing half regular and half maternity tops, but still 100% maternity bottoms.

Stretch marks? Still moisturizing and still luckily stretch mark-free!

Sleep: Tons and I’m always wanting more!  8-9 hours per weeknight and the occasional weekend nap.  This past weekend called for one on both Saturday and Sunday.  The good news is that I’m feeling more refreshed when I finally do wake up.

Workouts: Four or Five days of walking and two days of strength training.  I’m still feeling really good with my routine.

Best moment these weeks: Spending time with family in Michigan!

Miss anything? I’m not missing anything, but it was a bit odd not being able to have a holiday drink or cheers with the rest of the group.  It was kind of sweet when people teased me about clinking glasses with water.

Food cravings: Nothing out of the usual.  After having big meals with my family, there were some super sweet desserts, so now and then I feel like having something sweet.

Labour signs: No!

Symptoms: Slightly swollen feet at the end of the work day and an ever-growing bump.

Belly button in or out? Still an innie despite the belly growth.

Wedding rings on or off: On.

Baby Stuff: We received our stroller from my in-laws and a super cute children’s Michigan State t-shirt.

Graco Fastaction Fold Jogger Click Connect Travel System, Gotham 2015

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Then I had a great baby shower with my side of the family.  We got several cute additions to Baby Boy’s wardrobe and our diaper bag from my sister.

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Happy or moody most of the time: Happy and tired

Looking forward to: I have two Scentsy home parties and two major events at school this upcoming week: a campus tour to the University of Florida and a field trip to see “Victor Frankenstein” with my English IV students.

Preparing for the Fall Part One: Anchor Texts

Anchor Text: The novel/play/poem/nonfiction text that is the primary text that exemplifies a chosen theme.  It is the text that is the source for all the supporting texts and lessons.  The confusion is that this is the book that is taught.  This is wrong.  You do not teach To Kill a Mockingbird.  You use To Kill a Mockingbird as an anchor text to explore the inherent nature of good and evil in people.

Now that my annual plans have been completed and I have attended all the necessary conferences for the summer, it’s time to buckle down and prepare for the fall.  I’ve been sampling classic literature over the summer, which has never been my genre of choice but have been compelled to through my 100 Books challenge, and have finalized my anchor text selection:

  • “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare (Both Standard and Honors)
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (Both Standard and Honors)
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Honors)
  • 1984 by George Orwell (Both Standard and Honors)

Book 2

The theme for 2014-2015 is The Use and Abuse of Power.  We will be exploring those in authority throughout the historical context of each text, how the characters and plot reflect those in authority and the social commentary made by the authors, who is in authority and why, what happens when power/authority is abused, social structures throughout history, and the role of the “average man.”

Book 1

I’ve been working with my colleagues, who are new to the teaching profession, assisting them with their own curriculum, pacing guides, and text selection.  The number one question that they’ve asked me is, “How do you choose WHAT to teach with SO many choices?!?”  The truth is that there are several factors that must be taken into consideration.

1.  Is this a text that I am going to be comfortable enough to teach?

2.  Is this text appropriate for my students, both in text-complexity and content?

3.  Is this text county/admin approved?  How much will I have to fight if there is controversy around this text?

4.  What am I hoping to teach my students by utilizing this specific text?

5.  What supplemental texts (short stories, nonfiction, poetry, etc) can I use to support the theme/Big Picture of this unit?

6.  Will my students be able to relate to this text?  How will I make this relevant to them?  The buy-in factor.

These are all questions that I ask myself as I make the decision of whether or not to include a text as an anchor text.  Once I have identified these texts, which I promise you is probably the most difficult part of curriculum planning for me, I reread the text with the idea in mind of identifying:

  • Elements of Characterization
  • Examples of themes
  • Symbols
  • Significant quotes
  • Vocabulary

Book 3

I will also begin brainstorming project or essay ideas.  I do not begin thinking about quizzes or tests until I’m much closer to actually teaching the unit.

Book 5

Annual Plans

I’m a confessed curriculum nerd, so when I was asked to create an annual plan (otherwise known as a pacing guide) for my three classes this fall, I didn’t look at the request as work, but more or less like a fun, organizational activity.  The format for our annual plan was already selected by our administration, and while I understand the one-size-fits-all mindset might work in some instances, I was less than excited about working with this template.

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Excel and I have never really gotten along and I’ve always preferred to work with Microsoft Word when I had the chance.  I’ve had to watch a few Youtube videos in order to make my annual plan come to fruition, but here are a few excerpts:

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Here is a link to my completed document: Yearly Course Outline English IV

When I think about the purpose of an annual plan/pacing guide, I think about the useful nature of the document for the teacher.

1.  First and foremost, it helps streamline and prioritize the curriculum.  Most teachers will spend the vast majority of their summer vacations researching and organizing units or activities within the unit.  I moved up an entire grade level which caused me to add four completely new text titles because I will be working with the same students two years in a row.  With all of this brainstorming and new materials, I need to be able to reign in the content into an applicable manner.

2.  Identify timelines for how you will be able to cover the vast amount of content into a relatively short amount of time.

3.  Assess the new standards.  For myself and those other teachers who work in states where the new Common Core standards will be implemented, we realize that it’s now time to put up or shut up about our understanding of the requirements of the new standards.  We have been through workshops, read articles, Think-Pair-Shared with colleagues and administrators, and now it is time to put them into action.  Before you can truly understand where you’re going (Pacing Guide) you must be able to truly understand the what and how to implement the standards.

4.  Matching how much your mouth can hold versus how much your belly can.  In my ridiculous method, I am simply trying to say that the pacing guide is used to help trim the fat.  If I could have the entire school year, minus vacations, assemblies, testing, etc, I would add about another three to five novels to my curriculum.  I have utilizing four main texts: selections from The Canterbury Tales, Macbeth, Frankenstein, and 1984.  If I could, I would ask my students to read John Green’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, and Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club.  I know that I can’t afford to do this, go over my time budget, so realistically the pacing guide lets me know how much room I have left on my plate.

Question: How do you utilize your annual plan/pacing guide?