Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Filling the Days (and Boxes) to Fill the Shelves (and Minds)

What a mess... This is what my mom's living room currently looks like... I couldn't start boxing it up until I'd finished buying what needs to go back to Moscow. As any expat knows, it's an art to get a box no larger than 62 inches in volume filled with precisely 50 or 70 lbs, not a bit more, and not a bit less.

I thought I'd have all kinds of free time while the girls are in camp... Instead, I've been so busy doing "work"--but it has been fun.

Let's just say that Barnes & Noble has probably never had a customer get so much mileage out of the educator's discount card...! I carefully (i.e. spent a full day) choosing these books to enrich the curriculum in the elementary school. The poetry books and Mad Libs will also be used in the middle school. Some will be used in class, some read independently, some read and then acted out by the kids. Behold 32 lbs of books:

Then... Here's the really fun part... I've put together a library of educational games to be used in the classroom by all of our teachers. I used many of these the past year, but didn't want to have to keep carrying my kids' games back and forth. The other teachers also kept begging me to use them as well, or to bring back whatever I could...

Here are the games for the elementary school:

And here are the games that will be shared by teachers in grades 4-11:

I figured, if I'm going to bring back extra boxes for the school, I may as well do it once and for all and be done with it! I did so much research in choosing them, imagining how they'll be used, what skills they'll reinforce... I bought duplicates of the most popular games so it'll be easier to share/use them with larger groups. I'll get reimbursed by the school, thank goodness!

My colleagues (and the kids) are going to be GIDDY when I crack open those boxes... I know that a few of them will be like children on Christmas morning!

I'll be glad once everything is all boxed up, though. It has been a tremendous amount of work.


Annie said...

Oh yes! Nothing like new teaching materials to bring a sparkle to the eye!

Tina in CT said...

Tremendous amount of work.

It is a good thing that my living room is in a "transition state" as I'd be insane with the clutter and mess in there. With the size of my house, it's the only place to have as a "staging" area.

Everyone at the school will have their eyes popping out when they see it all. You really put so much thought into all your purchases and many trips to Borders, Barner & Noble and Target.

garnet said...

My greatest, greatest sympathies! We just did this (or rather my husband did) and I am totally in awe at how he did it. Good luck to you.

This is why we insist on having on our place while in the U.S. There is no relative that has room for us to put all our stuff and it would be promptly mingled with theirs.

Of course, lots of it gets shrunk down. Those red-pink boxes I see in the background. I don't bring those back anymore -- one year I deconstructed a whole lot of them and packed them flat and then taped them back together again when we got here and now I keep reusing them. Of course, it's not just an issue of space. We need to try to avoid making things looks like gifts.

I'm looking forward to getting an actual count of how many books we brought back this time -- I think it is the largest amount ever. I'm suspecting over 100, but we'll see.

Tina in CT said...


All the red boxes get heaved as they know that gifts don't come in boxes when you live outside the US.

Where have you been as I keep checking your blog?

garnet said...

Well, I hate trying to wrap presents not in boxes so I'm always trying to salvage something! I'm just about to wrap Christmas presents tomorrow if things go as planned. Might as well get them wrapped before I put them away for the next five months so I'm not scrambling Christmas Eve as I usually am. Life got me this past year but I'm really hoping to get back into recording our time here in Kenya this next one.

kristin said...

Wow you are busy! I have a question. Is Richard Scarry translated into Russian. Is there a way to get one? I would love to get busy town or first words for Klaire. Any website that you can direct me too? Thank you!
PS I wish you were my teacher! They are going to have a blast in that classroom!