Groundhog Day Ideas & Support Needed!

I am caving to the inevitable...I think we will be having school on Groundhog Day :( This makes me sad because we usually have several snow days at the end of January, early February and I always enjoy that extra time off, but this year we are having a very mild winter, so it does not look like we will getting any snow at all :(

 Even though we haven't been in school on Groundhog Day for 3 years straight I've still celebrated it with my own children at home, so I've managed to collect quite a few Groundhog Day books. Here are some of our favorites - just click the picture to see it on Amazon*:

I saw a cute Groundhog Day idea from Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies  which you should definitely check out! I decided to whip up some cards for a class graph - I usually make my graphs on butcher paper, but you can also use a large pocket chart.
Pocket Chart Groundhog Day Graph

Alright - onto the less fun stuff:

One of my new students breaks my heart every day. She's in a foster situation right now and she did have her older sister with her up until this weekend when foster mom decided she was too much work and traded her in for another kid (seriously, she returned the sister and got another kid instead). Sister is in another home now with the 2 youngest siblings, so that's good but now my little one is all by herself in this foster home without any siblings to support her. She's a clingy little thing (with good reason obviously!) and a bit immature (understandable!) and I'm desperately trying to give her the attention she craves without upsetting the class dynamics too much, plus I don't want her to get too attached because her situation is so changeable at the moment. Today she told me she wished I was a foster mom so she could come home with me :(

And, let me be completely honest here, she has driven me to exasperation quite a few times in the last 2 weeks and yet she still thinks I'm the best thing since sliced bread! Meanwhile I am desperately trying to fill her black-hole-of-neediness without having everything else in my class get sucked up. I say a prayer daily for patience in dealing with her in particular (I know "presence" is supposed to be my OLW, but I might have to change it to "patience" just for her!). I just need some good thoughts sent my way so that I can walk that fine line of supporting her without enabling her dependence, know what I mean? Thanks in advance for any advice or words of wisdom you can give me!

 I am definitely probably maybe going to post my giveaway tomorrow night, so make sure you check back - I really hope you like the prizes!! I pinky promise to have it up before the end of the weekend, it just depends how drained I am after tomorrow!

*Affiliate links are provided in this post for your convenience.

9 Rustle Up A Response!:

Ms. Chrissy B said... Reply to comment

Oh, my gosh, those situations are so tough. These poor little guys come to school with SO MUCH baggage and the world expects them just to deal with it. It's such a tightrope to walk as a teacher.

Maybe a sticker chart or some kind of visual reinforcement for doing things on her own - that way she does things independently but gets affirmation for it? Maybe a set of specific goals that you can go over with her at the end of every day or every so often to see how she's doing?

Good luck and God bless - kids are tough, because we don't know if it worked until years later!

Buzzing with Ms. B

Unknown said... Reply to comment

Thanks for the shout out! =)
I am so sorry about the student is so tough being a teacher sometimes.
First Grade Blue SKies

Teresa said... Reply to comment

I love Groundhog Day. We make Me and My Shadow French Toast- fry both cut out and outline, do light and shadow exploration with flashlights and the overhead- show how to make shadow animals, make a groundhog puppet to pop up, do worksheets on groundhogs. So much fun!!!

First25 said... Reply to comment

Just wanted to say that my heart is with you. I've been teaching first grade for 24 years and I believe each year is the worst, and yet... As teachers, we are CALLED to be educator, parent, counselor, pastor, etc. You are in my prayers.

Erika said... Reply to comment

Keep praying and do what feels right. Kids shouldn't have to live that way dang it! Good luck.

2B Honey Bunch
The Best Endings

Ms. Smith said... Reply to comment

Thanks so much for the information you posted on my blog. I appreciate you! =)

You are stuck in a tough situation. Keep praying and I will pray for the both of you as well.
Ms. Smith
Adventures of Ms. Smith

KinderKapers said... Reply to comment

My heart goes out to you!

I love groundhog day! We explore shadows by tracing our shadow on the playground (at each recess so we can see the movement of the sun). One year we had so much snow we only traced one student and we did it with a stick in a snowy untouched area of our school yard. We join an internet project and keep track of the temperature for six weeks and then vote to see if spring came early (

Terri Izatt

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

difficult situation - the transient kids have so much baggage and it's hard to simply be a teacher - we need to be mother, counsellor etc. Good luck - hopefully time will make this easier. Not sure what the system is for foster kids in USA (I am in Australia) but all my students who were in state care had a case worker I could talk to, who would then liase with the foster carer and/or bios.
:) Liz

Unknown said... Reply to comment

Love the groundhog packet - I'm linking to it on my new blog.

Sorry to hear about the foster situation - it breaks my heart! I agree with the first poster about a sticker or incentive chart. My prayers are with you!