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Fabulous Friday Favorites!

Happy Fantastic Friday!  Today I am delighted to link up with Momfessionals and A Little Bit of Everything for:

Spring Break Getaway Put On Hold

Our family has a 15 and a half year old black lab mutt, Gabi.  A few weeks ago, Gabi had an episode:  she collapsed and could not walk.  The next day we took her to the vet who prescribed additional painkillers and sent her home to be comfortable.  She also gave us a list of euthanasia vets.  That was one month ago.  Gabi is comfortable and eating.  However, my husband and I were so worried that her health might deteriorate that we canceled our vacation to Puerto Rico.  We got airline credits and a refund from the hotel.  The cost of canceling was $200:  $100 per ticket for one set of one way tickets from one of the airlines.

Here is the miracle dog in one of her favorite places on Earth ~ her front lawn:

First Laundry of the Season on the Clothesline!

Right before April vacation, we had two days in the 80's.  The kids were miserable:  "We need air conditioning."  Ha!  My reply:  "They don't turn on the air conditioning until Memorial Day!"  There is a reason for this in Massachusetts:  The really warm weather doesn't arrive until mid-June.

Luckily, the sun was out last week, and I was finally able to hand out my laundry:

New Outdoor Furniture!

My friend and I went to Home Sense.  Outside in front of the store, I saw this furniture set.  I asked my husband to come to the store, and he agreed that we should buy it.  It looks amazing on our new screened in porch, too!

Great Book I Am Reading

I am thoroughly enjoying this book:

This book is easy to read and delightful.  Each chapter is told from the point of view of a different character.  The family home is on Pineapple Street in Brooklyn.  The mom and dad have moved to an apartment on Orange Street.  Consequently, the son and his new wife, Sasha, live in the family home.  Sasha is a "regular" person while all the other family members grew up with incredible wealth.  This book underlines that money does not equal happiness and an easy life.

Make sure to visit the link-up to check out more amazing blog posts!

As always, thank you for visiting the blog today!  I really appreciate you checking in!

Teachers on Strike: Not an Easy Experience!

Hello!  Happy Friday!  I'm happy to link up with Andrea from Momfessionals  and Erika from A Little Bit of Everything to tell you about what it's like to be on strike as a teacher in the winter in Massachusetts.

Please note:  All information in italics is from a Boston Globe article from January 30, 2023.


During the pandemic, the mayor offered the teachers a 1 percent raise on the condition that he would make it up to us at our next contract.  I bet you can guess what happened!  The Mayor, School Committee and Union sat down to negotiate for over a year:   Contract talks in Woburn have been ongoing for more than a year between the School Committee and the union, which represents about 500 teachers, nurses, teacher aides, and others.  The Union had us vote on the new contract, and the teachers rejected it.  

The biggest sticking point was the pay for paraprofessionals.  Their base pay was $22,000 per year.  Consequently, we have several opening with people choosing other districts with a base pay of $30,000 or more.

Now the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) gets involved to help resolve the contract issue.  Eventually, we started doing "rolling" work to rule:  each school has a different day to follow the contract to the letter after holding signs outside for 20 minutes. 

Several months pass quickly by with no agreement.  The Union holds a vote on whether or not to strike.  The strike began on Friday, January 27, 2023.

The Strike Begins

On Saturday we all went to the center and picketed.  Here are some students from my school and one of the moms:

Monday through Thursday, the strike continues with no resolution.  However, support from the community continues:  
Educators in Woburn were not alone in their demands during Monday’s strike as students, parents, and other community members joined them in support.

Friday arrives.  There is no resolution.  The temperatures are dangerously cold.  There is a schedule wherein each school has a 30 minute picketing session.  There was also a live press conference in front of the Boston State House.  I volunteered to go because I needed an adventure!  Here the group of teachers from my school (I'm wearing the purple hat!):

Click here to watch a news clip.

Today, Sunday, February 5, 2023, and the contracts are complete, but the Mayor wants us to reimburse the City for the expenses incurred during the strike:  $250,000.  Right now, a return to work agreement is being written and agreed upon by all.  The amount owed was "reduced" to $225,000, and the return to work and the new contract were approved.

Closing thoughts:  Striking is hard work both mentally and physically.  I really missed teaching my students.  The good news is that the paraprofessionals' new salary will be close to $28,000.  Going back to work last week was exhausting for teachers, but our students were definitely happy and full of energy! 

Make sure to check out more great blog posts here!

Happy Dr. MLK Day and Friday Favorites!

Happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Weekend! 

Hello!    Today I'm linking up with Erika and Andrea for:

The Pilgrims and Morning Messages

Right now we're learning about the Pilgrims (better late than never!).  I love incorporating academics into my Morning Messages.  Check it out!

MWRA = Massachusetts Water Resources Authority

Our school was so lucky to have a FREE visit from the MWRA!  The kids learned about where the water comes from and where it goes after we use it.  In addition, we learned how all building are attached to a water main.  The project included drawing local building and making sure they were attached to the water main:

What Students Are Supposed To Be Learning in Social Studies

Several years ago I participated in an Atlas project for curriculum development for Social Studies.  I wrote about my experience in my Morning Message the next day:

meaning of the Pledeg of Allegiance

During the professional development, I was noting all this information my third graders were supposed to know. Last week I decided to ask this year's students about the Pledge of Allegiance.  Needless to say, we need to revisit the topic.

I'd love for you to ask your students to see what their answers are ~ especially if they're a bit older.  Next week, I'll be reviewing the Pledge of Allegiance question again!

Story Structure 

Our standards-based report card requires us to assess out students in these two areas:
*Demonstrate an understanding of story structure.
*Determine and summarize important ideas and details of a text.

Click here to get your freebie!

As always, you are the BEST for checking in and visiting the blog today!  Thank you!

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