4/20/14

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!



:)


4/19/14

Five for Fraturday

Oh, I am so so so so so thankful it is Saturday.

This was a week.  

A WEEK, I said.

This post will be slightly different from my other Five for Fraturdays.

That is because nothing happened and because everything was due yesterday.

So I do not have five pictures to share because most of my week was confidential.  It's like I'm a secret agent or something.  Except I am not.  

But sometimes I pretend I am and I try to eavesdrop on my kids' conversations to find out what's cool these days because I want to be in the know.  You know?

So. 




Friday was the last day to submit supply orders for the year.  FOR THE YEAR.

Which means I had to start thinking about August now so that I could have the supplies I need before school starts.  That, my friends, is nearly impossible because I can barely think of what's happening tonight much less what's happening in AUGUST.  

And, when I think too much about AUGUST, I start to get a sick feeling because it will be a new school year, and the summer will be over, and my kids will be babies who don't know my routines or my schedule or anything, and then I'll see my firsties walking all-straight-like in a line in second grade and I will want to cry.

So thinking about August is just not healthy for me.  I doubt my doctor would recommend it.

But I did it.  First, I had to figure out how much money I had left in my supply budget because I didn't keep track.  I intended to, but things like live, actual children got in my way and took priority.  It just couldn't be helped.

Luckily, I'm as sweet as pie and candy to our supply secretary (who also has other jobs but, clearly, supplies are the most important) and she was more than happy to tell me that I had $129 left in my supply budget.

ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY NINE DOLLARS!

EVERYONE!  LISTEN!  GO BUY A LOTTERY TICKET!

I am sad to report that after I added and subtracted and regrouped and erased and started over and finally totaled my order, I had nine cents left over from my $129.  Nine cents!  That's a travesty, I tell you.

I should have planned better.

My Reflection of my Professional Teaching Goals was also due on Friday.

This is where I reflect on the goals I made way way way back in September.

Of LAST YEAR.  I mean, it was 2013 for heaven's sake.

I was pretty sure I'd met all my goals.  

And it didn't mean a thing that I couldn't find my goals or remember the tiny details about them.  I knew the gist.  

They were all about the Common Core.

And by golly, I met them.

So I wrote a bunch of flowery stuff about how I basically just rock.

Shoulder shrug.




Our pinks and blues were also due yesterday.

Do you have pinks and blues?

Sadly, it has nothing to do with Cadbury mini eggs.  :(

It helps us build the classes for next year.  Each student has a pink or blue sheet that we fill out with pertinent information.  Pink for girls, blue for boys.  Isn't that so cute?  Isn't it even cuter when you write a girl's name on a boy's sheet and fill out the whole kit and caboodle with reading, writing, and math grades, as well as behavior and parent volunteer information, and language levels, too, before you realize it SHOULD HAVE ALL BEEN WRITTEN ON A PINK SHEET?

Yes, that's just so cute, too.

Well, as you can imagine, it is a labor of hate and procrastination and thistakestoolongkillmenow labor of love and takes a long time.  It takes an even longer time when you had over a month to complete them, and you wait until Thursday.  Night.

But I wouldn't know a thing about that.  Nope.  Not me.

And then, when you think you're done and you're ready to turn them in, you're told you have to add the little pictures that generally go into the cumulative folders.

Grrrrrrrrrr.

But now they're done.

Ain't no big thang.




Awards for third trimester were also due yesterday.

I told you.

I told you everything was due yesterday.

Who feels sorry for me?  Raise your hand.

I agonize over our awards.  AG-O-NIZE.

I want every kid to get one whilst in first grade.

It's much too complicated now that we have 32 kids and not enough awards. 

UGHHHHHHHHH.

Don't get me started.

Seriously.

And yes, I do class awards and all that jazz, but it is not the same.

It is not.

Wait.  You got me started.

I said not to get me started!


The best news of all about this week?

Absolutely none of that matters. 

Yesterday was Good Friday.

We have the hope of Easter.

(source)



I am so thankful.

:)

4/15/14

Wind Chimes

Did you know the Real Housewives of Orange County returned last night?

It did.

And it did not disappoint.

And I would like to go on the record and tell Vicki Gunvalson that Oklahoma is not an invisible state, I lived there for goodness sake, I visit there every year, and I eat good food including Braums, Ted's, and Taco Bueno when I am there!  Excuse me and thankyouverymuch and that's quite enough of that talk!

Moving on.

I finally remembered to take pictures of what I wanted to blog about!  A very relaxing productive weekend plus trashy quality tv is very helpful to the memory part of the brain.  I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere.  If I remember correctly.

Surely you've heard of Rick Morris.  I have talked about him before.  I'm pretty much his number one fan except that I have never met him and he has no idea.  This is a habit of mine.

Well, he is pretty much a Classroom Management Guru.  A wizard. A force to be reckoned with.

And I either saw this idea in one of his books (I read 4 of them back to back to back to back on the first two days of my Spring Break a few years ago because I am a nerd and I couldn't put them down - true story) or I saw it on his website.

Or, quite possibly, I might have just made this up.   But I don't think so.

I'm not quite the guru.  

Now that I've set you up, are you ready?

Okay.

Wind Chimes Aren't Just For Wind
or Porches or Back Patios!

They're for your Classroom, too!

Who wants to embroider that on a pillow?

But it's true!


I have wind chimes in my classroom.  And there is no wind in there.  (At least not the weather kind if you know what I mean.)

I got these wind chimes at Michaels about five years ago or so.  Now is the time to get wind chimes because it's spring.  SPRING! 

My wind chimes didn't actually look like that when I first got them.  There was some big ole huge monstrosity thingamajig at the top that was like a blue planet of some sort and I am happy to say I bought it anyway because I had vision.

My vision was cutting that monstrosity off as soon as I got out of the store.

So I did.  Then you can see that I was just able to hook the chimes right up over the maps hanging off my whiteboard.  Sadly, that is not a screen.  But maps are better than screens because maps are educational, whereas screens are just white and blank.  Plus I can't really reach them, but that's neither here nor there.

Here's why you might need some chimes.

Rick Morris says if you talk too much, your kids will start to tune you out.

Uh oh.

This may be why I always ask my kids to come back from La La Land.  

Once, one of my extremely mature and focused girls raised her hand after I asked a little guy if he was in La La Land and if so, could he please return to our classroom, and when I called on her, she said, "Where exactly is La La Land?"

She had never been there because she was so attentive all the time.  I visit La La Land during every staff meeting, practically.

Well . . . I try very hard to only use my voice for teaching.  Not managing.

Which is where the wind chimes come in.

As you can see in the picture, the chimes are right next to my Table Points sign.  So rather than say I Love The Way Table 2 Is Working So Quietly, I just ring the chimes.

And when I ring the chimes, every kid looks up to see which table is getting a point.  And then they want to do the same thing that table is doing so they all shape up and I can carry on with the business of teaching.  Because that's my business, people.  I teach.

It works like a chime charm!

I usually only do Table Points during third trimester.  But my chimes are always up.

During first trimester, we're working for gold tags individually, but also as a team and I tally mark how many we earn as a team throughout the day.  And every time I make a tally mark, I ring the chimes.

During second trimester, we're usually working on getting Rudolph to his nose or the Angry Bird to the Pig or what-have-you, and I ring the chimes whenever I move one or the other.

I'm telling you, chimes are a charm!

I would die without my chimes.

Plus they sound very musical and lyrical and light.

It's practically magical.

When the kids aren't talking.

:)

4/13/14

Product Swap AND a very cool Giveaway!

Happy Sunday!

Yesterday was very productive.  I got caught up on some paperwork, did some laundry, walked on the treadmill, and kept myself busy while the hubby watched The Masters.

If you didn't know, the Masters is a golf tournament.  

And it lasts for FOUR DAYS.

It is a golf tournament, I said.

I know.  I don't get it either.

Anywho, today, I'm participating in a product swap with some bloggy friends of mine.



And I was extremely lucky because the product I get to review is from the super talented and creative Jodi at Fun in First.

I KNOW!  Lucky me!!

I asked Jodi if I could review her Weather pack because I was pretty sure I was going to be teaching weather after Spring Break.


Turns out . . . I'm not teaching weather yet.  And I'm not usually this unorganized and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-super-tight-pants-due-to-all-of-the-Easter-candy-I've-been-eating, BUT (and it's a big butt) Open House was so early this year.  It has messed me all up and I was teaching about Pioneers when I was supposed to be teaching about mammals and weather due to the schedule change.  

I'm knee deep in a unit about Mammals.  So there you go.  Now you know.  It's not my fault I don't know what I'm doing.

However, I will be teaching weather in about two weeks time and when I do, I'm using Jodi's pack and Jodi's pack only.

Jodi didn't leave one single thing out.  It is so completely complete.  

Let's take a Weather Walk, shall we?

First, I love the weather vocabulary cards.  Look at the pictures!  There are 27 cards in all.  TWENTY SEVEN!  (I had no idea there were that many words for weather.  This could be because I live in Southern California and we mostly have sunny weather.  And our seasons consist of Sunny with a Chance of Pollution.)


Jodi also included Wild Weather Facts that I know the kids will love.  She suggested reading one per day.  I truly appreciate her suggestion because I tend to get ahead of myself, and I most likely would have read them all on one day, and then I would have been disappointed that I went through them so fast and had no more.

Much like when I eat a box of Krispy Kreme donuts.  Sadly, I have no more donuts.  Where was Jodi when I needed her to tell me to just eat one per day?

Here's a Wild Weather Fact for ya:


This unit includes these topics:  wind, rain, types of precipitation (rain, snow, hail, sleet), clouds, types of clouds, storms, rainbows, and the water cycle.  There is a weather tracker sheet, a couple of different books to make, a word search, fact or opinion, and even a bingo game!

Here are a couple of the Wind pages.




Love love love.  The kids are going to go crazy over these pictures.

Each type of weather has several interactive printables for the students to complete.


Seriously.

Uh-mazing.

Jodi, thank you for letting me review this product!  It is absolutely perfect and now I'm pretty much ready to be done with teaching about mammals and stumbling with embarrassment over the whole mothers nurse their young thing that someone has to raise their hand about and inquire for more information and details every.single.year.

Check out these bloggers for their product reviews!

Chalk Talk
Photobucket
Photobucket
Surfin' Through Second

A Teeny Tiny Teacher
Photobucket

Lastly, Kimberly at Funky 1st Grade Fun is celebrating our product swap (How nice is she?!) with a giveaway!

You have a chance to win a $50 gift card to The Vintage Pearl.  They make handstamped jewelry which, if I'm not mistaken, would be absolutely perfect for my birthday in June Mother's Day that's just around the corner.


Seriously, I am now obsessed with this website.
Can someone please enter on my behalf?

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

4/12/14

Five for Fraturday

Happy Saturday!

I made it through the first week back after Spring Break while simultaneously fostering a dog.  If that doesn't call for a celebration, I don't know what does.  In fact, I celebrated twice.  You'll see.   

Let's take a look at my week.




I put this on my FB page the other day and 105 people shared it.  It is really nice to know I'm not the only one who has Cadbury eggs for breakfast when I am supposed to be trying to be healthy after not being healthy in Jamaica.

But, technically, they are eggs.  So I don't know what the big deal is.




I've been trying to memorize this passage.  I need to live by this passage.  How great is this passage?  I have read it every day this week.



Murphie is basking in her "only child"-ness.  She would rather not share her toys.

Bailey was adopted on Wednesday by a retired widower.  Three families were interested but Bailey picked the older gentleman by circling around him, sitting on top of his feet, and then lying down.  It is perfect because she will be the only dog and get lots of attention.

I'm glad that little adventure was short lived.

I shall go back to saying No We Can't Take That Stray In for the rest of the month, at least.




I told you I celebrated.  

Krispy Kreme.

Yes sirree bob.

Friday we had Donuts with Dad and apparently our PTA ordered way too many donuts.  Which I really don't get because how can you have too many donuts?  Furthermore, in my family, we never have left overs so I was extremely confused by the whole we ordered too many donuts.  One of the parents in my class worked the event and snuck these boxes (THREE DOZEN) over to my classroom.  She had high hopes that I would share them with my class, but apparently she does not know me at all.

I gave a box to my teammate and took two boxes home.  One for me and one for my neighbors.  

I still can't decide if I'll share my box with the hubby.

And yes, I know I am trying to live by that bible passage up above, but I am pretty certain it has nothing at all to do with donuts.  Clearly.

Jon was in school all day yesterday -- yay! -- and since he is not allowed to have sugar, I couldn't share the donuts with my class.  I'm not that selfish.  To my students' credit, not one kid asked what or who or when or why or said one word about the boxes.  And, to my credit, I did not brag that I had THREE DOZEN Krispy Kreme DONUTS!!!!!!!!!




Korean BBQ, anyone?

This was the second celebration.  Although I wasn't sure if I would like Korean BBQ.  But I sort of did.  I think.

Some friends invited us and when we pulled up to the restaurant, it looked more like a laundromat and not like a place where we would eat ever in our lives.  It said Korean Country BBQ in neon flashing lights.  And it was next to a laundromat.

I immediately told the hubby to be prepared to take me to Del Taco afterwards.  I have a delicate palate if you didn't know.  The palate that requires donuts and Cadbury eggs, obviously.

Well . . . after the whole fiasco of I Am Not Good At Using Chopsticks-I Can't Pick Anything Up-Everything Keeps Slipping Out-This Is Taking Too Long-Please Give Me A Fork and then the further fiasco of Let's Humiliate This Girl And Shake Our Heads At Her And Begrudgingly Give Her A Fork-What A Loser, I liked some of it.

I liked the meat.  Which, by the way, my husband had to cook on a grill at our table.  I mean, we could have stayed home where I have an abundance of forks, and I could have been in pjs, and I could have been online looking at blogs while the hubby cooked the same darn meat, but oh well.  We were being social.  (I don't like being social on Friday nights.  Just saying.)

I didn't like the spicy Miso soup that made me cough and sputter and look like a fool because there were jalopenos drowning in it, but I liked the see through noodles that really didn't taste like anything.

I liked the wine, too.

And I didn't need to get Del Taco afterwards.

I mean, I had Krispy Kreme donuts waiting for me so I was all set.

:)

4/10/14

Synonyms and a Freebie

Again, I forgot to take pictures of what I wanted to blog about.

I blame the Just Got Back From Vacation And Now I'm Teaching Again Thing that is going around.

So I'll save it for another day and, instead, show you what I actually took pictures of today.

This week it was all about Synonyms.

Which I cannot say.

I say Cinnamon.

On accident.  Every time.  I swear.  I usually get it right the second time.

I blame the whole I Love Cinnamon Rolls Because My Mom Made Them All The Time When I Was Growing Up And My Siblings And I Had A Scheduled Rotation Of Who Got The Middle One thing that happened every week in my house.  Seriously, we fought over who got the middle cinnamon roll.  

Why?  Why?  You don't know why?

The cinnamon roll in the middle of the circular pan always has the most icing.  

So my mom had to put up a Middle Cinnamon Roll schedule on our fridge.

Just kidding.  Sort of.  We always knew whose turn it was.  We all (two sisters, a brother, and I) had the Middle Cinnamon Roll schedule memorized inside of our heads.  I attribute that early foundation of memorization to my good grades and excellent spelling skills.

Anywho . . . where was I?

Okay, so we were all about synonyms this week.

And rather than play the partner game where I pass out picture cards and have the kids find their synonym partner, I decided to do it more "Write the Room" style.

I decided this last night while we had people over at the potluck.  My teacher brain never turns off.  It is a fact.  There have been studies on it.

I copied this printable from my Antonyms and Synonyms pack:





And then I hung up the matching synonym cards for each word on the printable around my room.


And the kids "wrote the room" as they searched for the missing synonyms on the printable.

They loved it.  And I loved it because there were pictures on the printable and the cards so everyone was successful!  And quiet.  Which was a total bonus seeing as how people didn't leave my house until 10:00pm last night and then I stayed up to clean the kitchen and then it was late.  I might as well have been a vampire and gotten myself an Edward.  

So the on-task-quiet behavior was a pleasant surprise.



Oh, by the way, if the kids donated $1 to Relay for Life, they got to wear their hats ALL DAY today.  We are not allowed to wear hats indoors.  It's a hard and fast rule at my school.  We can play in the bathrooms and throw wads of wet toilet paper up to the ceiling to see how many we can get to stick, but we cannot do it while wearing a hat.  That's an order young man.

So it was a big deal.  My little Goofy Girl wore that huge Goofy hat ALL DAY long.  It's a good thing she sits on the back row of the carpet, too, or we might have had a problem.

And there you have it.

That's what we did today.

I think we did some other things, too, but I can't remember.  I know it was all brilliant and Common Core-y.  You can trust me.  

Yes, you can.

In fact, if you'll just go along with it, you can click {HERE} for the printable.  

You're welcome.

And thank you for trusting me.

:)

4/8/14

Two for Tuesday!

That's right.  Two for Tuesday!

No, this is not a new series.

No, I can't keep this up.

No, it has nothing to do with reality TV.

But it does have to do with me and the random parts of my life.

Truthfully, what's really happening is that I forgot to take a picture of something in my classroom that I wanted to blog about so I am making this whole post up.  Normally I would have said oh well, no blogging tonight . . . but I can't blog tomorrow because our small group is coming over for a potluck dinner so that we can discuss our next study.  And by small group, I mean we are going to have between 22 and 24 people here including kids.  And by potluck, I mean we (the hubby and I) decided to have tacos and pretty much told everyone else to bring chips and salsa and guacamole.  

And I didn't want to wait until Thursday to blog.  That's a long way away!

So I have Two Things I want to tell you about Today on Tuesday.

And the potluck and forgetting to take a picture are not my two things, thanks for asking.

NUMBER ONE:

We are accidentally fostering a dog.

Yep.  It is an accident.  I still don't know how it happened.

No.  We are not keeping her.

She is an Australian Shepherd.  Her name is Bailey, she's almost two years old, she's housebroken, she's crate trained, she knows basic commands, and why would anyone want to give her up?


Bailey

Well, I'll tell you why.

The owner was preggers and already had a six or seventh month old baby and decided she couldn't do it all.

I am not going to get on my soap box and say one darn thing about how I feel about this.

But I will say this.

I feel bad for this dog.  I do.  And my hubby is the biggest softie ever when it comes to animals, and he would foster every single stray if I let him.  But I'm basically a broken record and say no, we can't take that dog in.  No, we can't take that cat in.  No, we can't take that person's iguana, I'm scared to death of it, just look at it, I'm freaking out, GET IT AWAY FROM ME I SAID.

I don't know what made me say yes this time, but I did.  

Now I feel bad for the foster dog AND Murphie.  Bailey isn't so nice to Murphie and if you didn't know, Murphie is pretty much a princess around these here parts and much too dignified to respond to Bailey's rants with anything but her nose in the air and a fine-how-do-you-do.

So.

We are on the hunt for a forever home for this Bailey girl and we have about three people interested so hopefully this little adventure will be short-lived. 

And no, we cannot take your pet snake, we are just so sorry.

NUMBER TWO:
I know I've told you about Sheaffer before, but I'm here to tell you again.  She is Shay's best friend.  Shay is the sister of Sean, the bachelor who married Catherine.  By the way, I think Catherine should spell her name with an S so we can keep this S theme going.

And don't get me started on Sheaffer's name.  That's her first name.  Talk about name envy.  How cool is her name?!

Well, I love her blog Pinterest Told Me To.  Not to mention, I love her because she absolutely cracks me up.  

Before I left for my trip, I emailed her about wearing her must have wedges (which I bought because she told me to) with a pair of shorts I bought, and not only did she email me back, she emailed me back when it was about midnight her time (she lives near my twin and my twin met her at the mall - I told you this story already) AND SHE SAID SHE WOULD CHECK OUT MY BED.

Yep.  She meant my blog, but she was really tired and said she'd check out my BED.  Which really made me nervous because I wasn't sure if I'd changed the sheets or even made it that day.

Well . . . besides all that, Sheaffer got me to wear leggings.  You know how I love my leggings.

And now . . . she has me wearing maxi skirts and dresses.

Even though I'm short.

Because she posted a whole segment on YOUR GUIDE TO LOOKING TALL AND SKINNY.

I said sign me up, where is the guide, I need a highlighter, excuse me, can I get an autographed copy?

Here it is:

Let's be clear . . . I didn't wear wedges to school because . . . well, I teach.  

I teach first grade.

If I could wear slippers I would.  There's no way I'm wearing wedges unless we're doing something absolutely amazing and parents are there and I'm not teaching.  And that only happens once a year at our school auction and we're not even having it this year so no wedges at school.

No, you cannot convince me.

Stop, I said.

But I DID WEAR A MAXI DRESS AND A JEAN JACKET.

And I told everyone about THE GUIDE TO LOOKING TALL AND SKINNY and then I made everyone say I looked tall and skinny.

Today I was TALL AND SKINNY, PEOPLE!

I was THE TALL AND SKINNY TEACHER!

(Even though, in reality, I was short and chubby due to all that I ate in Jamaica but just pretend with me.  Everyone at school went along with it.  You can, too.)


The Tall and Skinny Teacher

My maxi skirt is from Wet Seal.  I tried to iron it this morning and I burned it a little.  That's what $10 will get ya.  Don't iron cheap clothes.

I went with the sleeveless jean jacket because it was about 93 degrees today.

No joke. 

Seriously.

I made a big ole deal out of the sleeves missing with my kids today, and I told them how I threw a big fat fit at the store and said I needed a discount because it didn't have any sleeves and where are the sleeves?  And the kids said I should have gotten my money back.

I just crack myself up.

Well.

That's all.

Two for Tuesday.

Now give me Two Thoughts.

Dogs?

Iguanas?

Maxi Skirts?

Wedges?

Name Envy?

Pick Two.

:)
 

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