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  1. We got our travel papers!!! So we have hit the road!! Kids are excited . So are mom and dad. Currently 350 people have been evacuated out of our tiny reservation. So grateful to be safe!
  2. Thank-you to everyone who has been sending such kind thoughts and support. The first wave of evacuees went out yesterday. Some self-evacuated like we did. Others are going out today I believe. Not sure how the fire is going but the smoke was definitely beginning to affect those with asthma. Currently we are holed up in Thunder Bay which is to the south of us. It is the edge of our children's services district, and is the limit of where we can go until we have official travel papers. We are trying to reach his worker but this is complicated by the fact that she is from the same reserve and has also self -evacuated. Very hard to reach people officially. His grandmother ( who is also deputy chief of the reserve) has told me to just write up my own travel letter and get my son's bio mother to sign it, and use that as the travel letter. While that would totally be fine up north, I feel like it might not fly down south, with children's services. On the other hand, she is super powerful, and I have been told in the past that whatever she says, goes. So maybe? I will continue to try and reach her today. I will let you know what happens next. On an interesting note: firefighters from Mexico have arrived in the north to help fight fires which I think is just amazing!! Takes a lot of bravery and kindness to go fight fires in another country!!!
  3. My grandmother had it done and went around the next day delighted by how bright and colourful everything was. It was a huge success!! My dad had the same surgery and is also pre-diabetic. He took a little longer to heal, but was overall content with the results.
  4. And on a bonus note, we have found a hotel to stay at that will let us keep the cats, which will be a huge relief to everyone!!
  5. Yes, air only. In the winter, there is an ice road from January to March. That is why the evacuation stand-by has been so stressful. When they have evacuated before, the army sends up these huge planes. You can only take 40 pounds cargo and no pets. So we were feeling kind of worried.
  6. Thank you guys for all the encouragement!! It gave me the courage to get on the phone and start making phone calls, rather than just sit around wishing!! We have now got official approval from bio mom, deputy chief and Children's services to self-evacuate as long as we are willing to pay for it! ( which we totally are!!) I went and dropped by the deputy chief's house ( who is also my foster son's grandma) and she said that other people were beginning to self -evacuate and she thought it was fine for us to take him since it was for safety's sake!! Thank-you for all those who mentioned the safety plan. I hadn't been thinking of that part of it, until you mentioned it!! Now we have just been calling around and trying to book hotel rooms and rental cars and find a place for the cats to stay. We are so excited to be allowed to leave and get on the road!! We were already packed last night since the reservation was put on Evacuation stand-by!! The smoke is too bad today for any planes to land, but they think they will be able to get in tomorrow!! Thank-you again! I thought it was impossible until I saw your reaction to the fire issue. 😍😍😍
  7. I am just in conversation with her right now. She is going to talk to her husband about us getting permission to drive down there and visit and then keep on going to see my folks with our foster son, plus the daughter she still has custody of, ( whom we are currently babysitting) Fingers crossed!!! I haven't seen my folks since before the pandemic but didn't want to leave my family to go visit with all the fires going on.
  8. Unfortunately I am fostering on a First Nations rez. The restrictions are pretty strict here about leaving the rez without permission. I might go around the mom and ask the worker although that would probably cause a bit of upset and I work pretty hard to keep the bio family happy and working with us as a team. But yeah, his mom is actually about 5 hours away on a medical appointment, and I am wondering If I could talk her into letting us come "visit" .
  9. Update: The fire has grown almost 4 times its size since we left the community. It is now within 5 miles of our community and they have placed enormous sprinklers at 2 crucial buildings nearest the fire, including the school ( which is right across the street from our house!!! ). They will begin evacuating the elderly, children and those with medical issues tomorrow afternoon. The firefighters are sleeping in the school gym. I am really hoping that neither the school nor our house is touched by the fire. One of my dearest friends is being extremely stubborn and refusing to evacuate despite being in the area of concern. I wish I had any idea what to say to her, and am just praying for her safety. Thank-you again for the encouragement to get our family out of there. I would be beside myself with worry if I was still in community right now!!! ( I am still worried, but grateful to be out of harm's way.) *******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************Original Message: So there is a fire about 10 miles from our area. The wind is pretty bad and it is pretty dry up here. 3 communities to our west have already been evacuated. Last night we were told to be ready to evacuate, so we packed up our bags. And now we are just waiting. And it is making me super anxious. I don't want to wait for someone else to tell me to evacuate. What I want to do is hop on a plane to get out of here, rent a car and then drive south far away from all these fires. But I can't because my foster son's mom wont' give me permission to leave the area yet. She is totally comfortable waiting. I am just a take-charge, take-control kind of person, and sitting around waiting is just kind of killing me. Not really asking for advice, just venting. I am so tired of breathing and smelling smoke. The sky is overcast and gray, not from rain just all the smoke. I hate it so much.
  10. I just want to gently point out that mental illness does not automatically make one unfit to be a mother. Mental illness is a very broad term that covers a wide range of illnesses which themselves have a wide range of severity. I don't think that bipolar= abusive, unfit mother is a fair characterization. I don't know if she is or is not fit. But I must confess to wondering if the reason for the IUD was simply to make sure she didn't get pregnant and stop being the money machine for her father to live on. There also seem to be all sorts of male rock stars who live pretty out there lives, and I don't know how often they end up in conservatorship.
  11. I wish we could just focus on the arithmetic. Unfortunately we also have to teach time, and fractions, measurement, and money, and probability and graphing, and patterns. They just added coding, multiplication and division to our Grade 1 curriculum this year, so that should be interesting, as well. Even if you didn't write a whole curriculum, it might be helpful to see a unit of lessons on adding or subtracting. Where do you start? How do you build it up? That kind of thing. What does a week of math look like when you are introducing a new topic and you are doing a lot of teaching and explaining?
  12. Does she always just get it? Because honestly, the 6 year olds I teach really don't. Not most of them anyways. Any concept needs to be taught and retaught, for a really long time before they can do any of it independently. And we have to constantly review what the adding sign means, and the subtraction sign means, and the equals sign too If I just handed them poker chips, they would pretty much just build towers with the poker chips. 🤣 And truthfully, the curriculum is so full, most times they just don't get the time they need to really grasp a concept before it is time to go on to the next thing. Which means I am constantly reviewing adding , while introducing subtraction and trying to gradually extend their number recognition. It is just not the kind of thing where except for a couple of my strongest students, could I say: "Here, just go do your work." and expect anything worthwhile. Possibly you have been working with stronger students than you realize? Anyways, I am off to go do some laundry.
  13. Okay, so you say "DD5, go work." And she pulls out .... what? her notebook? a textbook? some handwritten problems? some manipulatives? Is she making up her own work? Is she reading the directions and things independently? Is it a mixture of different types of problems? At some point , you must be teaching concepts, right? What do those lessons look like? If she brings her work back and everything was wrong, what do you do? If she gets confused , and doesn't understand what the problems are expecting, what do you say? My impression is you are not following a pre-made curriculum, but maybe I am wrong? If it is kind of all your own stuff, do you have a scope and sequence in mind? I don't think you need to write an entire year's worth of lessons, unless you are really dying to. It would be nice to see the occasional transcript, and some of your thought process. For example: I have noticed recently that DD5 understands how to add to 10, but is having difficulty adding beyond 10. It seems like she is getting confused about ________________________. So today, we are going to try _______________ using ______________________ manipulatives. I am just going to do some oral problems with her. I am hopng she will see_______________. I will be on the lookout for any confusion regarding the concept of ________________. And then any actual dialogue back and forth on the concept. I am probably using too easy as example, but that is the kind of thing I am wondering about.
  14. Yes, that would absolutely be helpful!! I am not just arguing. I really do want to understand how you are thinking, because I know you understand math on a much deeper level. I don't expect to understand it at the same level. But I would like to understand your thinking in this, if I could , in order to help my students. Because I would rather teach conceptually than procedurally, and even when I understand the concepts myself, it is so much easier to show kids a series of steps to do, rather than to help them understand a concept. Especially if they hate math and school and don't particularly want to be there in the first place. So if you show me what you do and say and I can compare that to what I already do and say, then I can see the difference and understand what you are getting at.
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