10/31/14

Halloween - Here We Go!

Well . . . it's Halloween.  And you know what that means.

I am reminiscing about my first year of teaching.

And the horror that commenced.

If you already know this story --- well, thank you for still following me even though you know I'm human.  And dumb.

And, if you don't know this story, well, I think you're in for a . . . well, you're in for it.


Click {HERE} to read my story.

Happy Halloween!

:)

10/30/14

Prohibiting All Kinds of Desk Movement

Hello.  Happy Halloween Eve.

We have a minimum day tomorrow and that is pretty much the only thing that is going to get me through the day.  Our kids get to wear costumes for the first time ever (at my school) and I am a little alarmed, a little excited, and a little tired just thinking about it.

One little guy said, "Can I wear my mask?"

I said, sadly, "No.  The principal said no masks.  Sorry."

He replied, "I'm going to be a knight.  Can I bring my sword and shield?"

I said, even sadder, "Nooo.  The principal said no weapons or extras or accessories."

He looked off into space and said, "Well that just leaves only one thing left for me to wear . . . "

The injustice, I tell you.

I know I'll just be counting the minutes until 12:32pm and Happy Hour.  Which is 5pm.  Clearly.  Who do you think we are?  But we might start our Happy Hour earlier than that depending on how fast we drive to the restaurant.  

The other day, I shared my Trick and Treat with you which led to a question or two, and maybe an email or two so I am following up on that post.

I shared that I rubber band my desks together because I don't have tables and I cannot stand when the desks move apart and become crooked and slanted and sloping and not in the wonderful, organized arrangement that I carefully measured with a measuring tape before school started.

So I rubber band the desks together in order to Prohibit All Kinds Of Desk Movement.

I have banned Desk Movement in my room.  We refer to it as Say No To Crack.  It is Red Ribbon Week, after all.

I use Gigantic Rubber Bands from Staples.  You can find them {HERE} but I always can get them in the store, too.

This is the same table group as the one before but on the other side. . . you can just never be too careful about Desk Movement.  Once it starts to happen, it's a downward spiral.  That's why we say No to Crack from the very start.

I highly recommend rubber banding your desks together BEFORE you put anything inside the desks.  It's much easier that way.  However, you can do it when all six (or five or four or however many desks you happen to have in a table group) desks are filled to the brim with privacy folders and whiteboards and three textbooks and a pencil box and pencil shavings and crumpled paper and missing work and other assorted paraphernalia.  It is just harder and it's very heavy, but you can count it as a work-out routine and pat yourself on the back and/or eat a candy bar as a reward.
Sometimes, the kids actually DO pull their desks apart as far as the rubber band will allow.  And then I shriek.  And I panic.  And I yell out, "FIX YOUR DESK!  SAY NO TO CRACK!"  

There is still a little teeny tiny crack, but that is the closest I can get the desks to one another without them actually ending up on top of one another (which can also happen, but that's a post for another day).  

And there you go.

My little Public Service Announcement on how to Probit Desk Movement in your classroom.

You're welcome.

;)

10/27/14

Trick and Treat!

I couldn't be happier that Halloween falls on a Friday this year.  And that the Friday it's falling on happens to be a minimum day.  If that's not a treat for me, I don't know what is.

Well, that's not entirely true because a Heath bar or a Take Five would definitely be a treat.  But you know what I mean.

And you deserve a treat, too!


I've gotten together with my Freebielicious girls to bring you some Tips and Treats.  


I have wracked my brain trying to think of a tip to share with you that I haven't shared before.  Let me tell you, it hurt.

Now, in the interest of being completely honest, I thought of a great tip.  But I don't have a picture of it in my class.  I didn't think ahead and I left school at a decent hour on Friday for a little date night with Steve and that was that.  

So you will have to put your thinking caps on and do a little visualizing.

Okay.  Ready?

I use Gigantic Rubber Bands to keep my desks together.

I know.  I'm brilliant.  Except it wasn't my idea.  That's neither here nor there.

I don't have tables.  It has never been an option for me to actually have tables.  We have desks and that's all.  Our kinder teachers have tables and that's all.  Like I said, that's all.

So I have five table groups with six desks at each (and now I have a group of seven, but let's not talk about the oddness of that) and the desks had a tendency to move.

It drove me bonkers.

The kids would lean, push, pull, shove, squish, and whatever else to the desks while they were talking, working, playing, writing, and whatever else.

I just couldn't stand how the desks would be crooked or how the entire table group would all of a sudden be completely off center.  

Because you know I measured.

I also couldn't handle it if there were cracks between the desks.

SAY NO TO CRACK is what I always say.  Really.  I say that.

Thanks to my friend, Christina at Mrs. Winter's Bliss, (giving credit where credit is due!!) I now use these Enormous Rubber Bands from Staples.  And I rubber band the desks together!


It really cuts down on all of the desk movement.  Occasionally, the kids will try to separate their desk from the desk next to them, but the rubber band restricts that.  And then, if I see a crack, I shout out "SAY NO TO CRACK!"  And they push the desks back together.

Like I said, I wracked my brain for this tip.

And now for your treat!


It's a freebie from my Just Fold! Mini Books November edition that isn't even out yet!  

You get all four versions (trace the sight word, trace the sentence, fill in the missing word, and write your own story).  And, the best part?

No collating, no stapling!  Just fold.  At the beginning of the year, I usually have an upper grade student do the folding for me, but as the year progresses, my kids can do it themselves.

Click {HERE}

This little book was one of my faves.  The turkey is hiding because . . . well, you know.  A turkey sandwich with cheese is pretty darn delicious.  Sorry Mr. Turkey.

I hope you can use it!

Hop along to the next Freebielicious friend to see what their 
Trick & Treat is!


Kinder-Craze

10/25/14

Five for Fraturday

It's Saturday!

WOOHOO!

Steve is gone for the whole day because he is taking a BBQ class with some friends.

Yes.

I know.

Apparently, this cook-teacher-guy is slightly famous, has won several contests, and has appeared on the Food Network Channel.  

He was super excited when he left this morning at 6:15am.  I joined in with his enthusiasm by rolling over and sleeping in.

I don't get it.  He's acting like he's meeting Thor or something.



There we are.

This was at the Zac Brown concert.  We had a great time.  It wasn't all country because they also performed songs by Metallica (no thanks) and Billy Joel (yay!) and Red Hot Chili Peppers (what?) and then there was kind of a big finish with a rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Here's what I know.

I can't tell you the last time I went to a concert.

And I can't tell you the last time it took me an hour and a half to get out of a parking lot.

Which reminded me why I can't remember the last time I went to a concert.

Did you know that you can listen to music while sitting on your couch?  Because you can.

You can also do it in your backyard by your fire pit.

Oh, and, as a matter of fact, you can listen to music while you're blogging.  I am.

I am listening to The Fray. 

And when I finish writing this post, I don't have to get out of a parking lot.

Hello.  My name is Kristin and I'm a party animal.

Laurie, me, Meghan

First, let me explain something.  I'm standing on my tiptoes in this picture because both of my friends are tall.  I am not short.  They are just very tall.  

Second, I'm not smiling very big.  Hello?  Kristin?  Say cheese.

Third, I think the look on my face clearly shows that I'm a) hungry and I can smell the delicious food from the restaurant, and I want some, or I'd like some cheese and b) I have to pee.

That's pretty much my look most of the time.  Because I'm always hungry and I always have to pee.

Our community had a huge fundraiser for Jon on Monday.  Over 20 restaurants participated and 20% of the profits went to Jon.  We stood outside this restaurant and passed out flyers so that customers could hand it to their servers when the bill came.

I acted like a whackadoodle and pretty much accosted every single customer in the bar when we arrived and made sure every single person had a flyer.

Hello.  I'm Kristin and I will do anything.

This was huge.

I ate oatmeal.

Except Special K calls it hot cereal.

I'm not a fan of oatmeal because of the texture.  I don't know.  There's just something about the mushy nature of oatmeal that I can't get over.

This oatmeal had quinoa (pronounced KEEN WAH for those of you who might not know what it is.  I can pronounce it but, I too, have no clue what it is exactly) - anyways, it has quinoa in it and it's supposed to be good for you.  I have no idea what else was in it and I would appreciate it if you don't leave a comment and tell me that it also has poison and/or chemicals in it and I am harming my body.

I ate it.  I ate oatmeal with quinoa in it and I'm still alive.

And I ate it, I said.

And I felt healthy until lunchtime when I had mac and cheese.

So there.


Phase 2!

STORAGE!

Steve painted the upper cabinets and is hoping to paint the lower cabinets soon.  For some reason, he thought a BBQ class was more important than my office.  

He is planning on under-cabinet lighting and a counter top for me. I will most likely put the printer and paper trimmer here . . . we'll see.

It is definitely coming along!


I got a new iPhone case!

My other one was falling apart.  Literally.  Pieces were coming off of it.

I got it from My Custom Case and I paid a little extra for the Super Absorbent I Drop My Phone All Of The Time Case.  I also already had one of those clear plastic thingamajigs on the front so I still have that.  So my phone is pretty protected.  I think.

People.  This website has way too many designs.   It took me FOREVER to make a decision.

I'm super happy with it, though, and I love how cute and unique it is.  

That is, until you tell me you have the same one, but with your name on it.

Please don't tell me that.

Alright.  I'm off to shop for a trash can for my office.

I told you I was a party animal.

10/23/14

Reader's Theater Fall Bundle Part 2

It's Thursday.

And it's late.

But I'm here.

And, just in case you were wondering, tomorrow is Friday.  GLORIOUS FRIDAY!

I'm here to announce the winners of the Reader's Theater Fall Bundle and then I'm off to eat some dinner and maybe walk on the treadmill.

And by treadmill, I mean sit on the couch.


Congratulations to:

Sarah
smontano9@cox.net

Amy
qbeepatte@hotmail.com

and

Naina!
nainasood@gmail.com

Now, you may not want to know this, but it's true.  Traci over at Dragonflies in First messaged me and pretty much told me in a step by step process how to get all NINETY of my plays in a bundle and small enough to load on TpT.

Insert SURPRISED emoji here.  You know, the one with the big eyes.  That was me when I read the message.

And then I hit myself upside the head.

Because, truth be told, I'm a little mad at myself for not contacting her in the first place because I've said before that Traci should work at the Genius Bar.  Because she is a genius.  

And I am not.  

Not that I need to point out the obvious.

So maybe I'll try again.

Or maybe I'll just go have some dinner now . . . 

10/21/14

Reader's Theater Bundle

Well.

I tried and I tried and I tried.

And, well . . . quite simply,  I failed.

I cannot give up chocolate.  (I didn't try that hard.)

And I cannot bundle all of my Reader's Theater plays.  I tried very hard to do it.

Somehow, somewhere along the way, I have written NINE Reader's Theater packs.

When I figured that out, I wanted to know how in the world I had the time to do that and which reality show I must have missed while I was writing ninety plays.

So.

I have had a few requests to bundle all of my plays.

And, after hemming and hawing, and eating chocolate, I finally decided I'd do it.

But I couldn't.

The file is way too big.

So I compressed each pack individually, tied it all up with a pretty bow, and then I compressed that.

Nope.

Still too big.

So then I googled it.

Google said to do everything I had already done.

So then I yahoo-ed it.

Yahoo said to do everything I had already done.

So then I asked some friends.

And, even though their advice was good, it didn't work, either.

So I gave up and I ate chocolate.

And I looked at Instagram.

And I took Murphie on a walk.

And then I may have taken a nap because this was after the Zac Brown concert and I was out way too late the night before and I am old and I need more sleep than the regular concert-go-er.

AND THEN I JUST PLAIN GAVE UP.

Instead, I bundled just the Fall plays.  I mean, I have all three Fall packs in a center tub right now so that I can differentiate for my learners so maybe you need to have all three, too.

Shoulder shrug.  

I don't know.



So there.

That's the best I could do.

I mean, it's not like I didn't try.  You heard what I said.  I tried three different times!

It's 20% off.  I think.  It might be a tad bit more than 20%, but I never said I was a math wizard so we'll just call it 20% and move on.  It will always be 20% off.

I gave away three of these bundles on my Facebook page, but I thought I'd give away three more here . . . so just leave me a comment on this blog post with your email address and I'll announce winners on Thursday!

:)

10/18/14

Five for Fraturday

Happy Saturday!

This was a busy week with report cards . . . and school.  And life.  And just living.

I am very thankful for the weekend.  And, even though I said I would sleep in, waking up at 7am is okay if you go to bed at 9pm the night before.

I am a party animal.  Look out.






Oh, Murphie.

I did not my put my shoes next to her.

She found my shoes, curled up around them, and fell fast asleep.  This little quirk of hers cracks me up and I hope she always has it.  She will wedge herself next to a chair or a wall or a bed post or a book or a glass of wine . . . but if we buy her a comfy expensive dog bed, she will rip it to shreds in five seconds flat.




Have you seen Marsha's Spinner Games??!!!  Oh my word, I love them!  Last week, we used her Math Spinners and this week we were busy with the Rhyming Spinners.

And look at how cute the spinners are!!!!  I wish I could take credit, but that is Marsha's idea, too!  You slip each spinner card into a blank CD case!  So it's super easy to switch them from week to week or even day to day.

Our math program came with about 40 clear plastic spinners so I just taped the spinners to the top of the CD case.  My kids love these -- I highly recommend them.  



This just looks like an ordinary bucket, right?  We each have one and we have to keep it under our sink.  It is filled with emergency supplies.

Thursday was the Great Shake Out of California 2014 or Something Like That and because the date was October 16, it happened at 10:16am.  Lots of businesses participate, too.  Our district practices every year -- we are supposed to pretend THE BIG ONE hit and it's an 8.0 or higher earthquake.  

Basically, we duck and cover, exit the classroom, and then our kids sit on the blacktop for about an hour while the teachers run around and pretend to do our jobs.  My job is First Aid.  Because I am CPR certified, as well as fine with blood.  Blood does not bother me.

I don't have to run around.  I have to stay at the First Aid station and wait for victims who show up with placard necklaces that say "Unconscious" or "Lost a Limb" or "Severe Bleeding".  Then my team and I decide how to treat the poor soul which means we make them sit down with us in the shade.  It's usually upper grade students who volunteer for this or a couple of support staff.

We even have a couple of parents pretend to be out of their minds with worry and they try to climb the fence and get their babies.  It's hilarious.  It's not supposed to be, but it is.  Especially when the upper grade kid is trying to act like he doesn't know the mom that is trying to climb the fence, but all of his friends are laughing because she keeps yelling, "TRENT!  TRENT!  MY BABY!!  COME TO MAMA!"

Okay, so anyways, it's good practice for us because we figure out what we could do better or what's not realistic or where a different team should meet, etc.

And, by the way, that bucket is not an ordinary bucket.


That's right.

Once you take out all of the emergency supplies, it's a toilet.

A TOILET.

And I have no doubt I would have to use it because I always have to go to the bathroom.

Always.

I would probably have to use it more than once.

Let's all take a moment and bow our heads to pray that I will never be at school if the Big One hits.




WOOT WOOT!

I am actually typing this blog post at my desk.  Sitting in that chair.

I cannot wait to start decorating.  

First on the list is a desk lamp. 

Steve is currently working on cupboards and a big counter for the closet . . . so you can't look behind me because it's kind of like a construction site on the other side of the room.

I have spent every morning in here reading my bible.  And every night in here grading papers and working on school stuff.

It actually makes me want to be more productive!  

So that's a win for everyone, I'd say.

Although, as you can see, I do have a TV.  That's because I need some background noise -- (Well, not when I'm reading the bible -- I have to concentrate when I'm doing that.) -- like I said, I need some background noise when I'm working.  I just do.



This is Zac Brown and his band.  Or the Zac Brown band.  I don't know.  

I think I know one of his songs.

I'm sorry.  I don't usually listen to country music.  But Steve does.  So that's all I know.

We are going to the Zac Brown concert today with some great friends (my teaching partner and her hubby) and we'll be tailgating and eating tri tip sandwiches, too.  Our friend that coordinated the whole thing is celebrating her one year anniversary of living with and surviving breast cancer.  She has had a long, hard journey, but you would never hear her complain.  She is an amazing person and we are all excited to go and support her and help her celebrate life!   We are all wearing pink!  :)

I got a new, soft, pale pink tunic from Old Navy.  My thought is to wear leggings with my brown boots.  By the way, I can wear boots and leggings and a sweater because it's overcast and the high is only 78 degrees today.  People, that's fall weather.  Steve says my outfit idea is the perfect thing to wear to a Zac Brown concert.  But I'm also aware that others will be wearing jeans and tank tops and cowboy boots.  So I don't know.

I don't own cowboy boots.  Or cowgirl boots.

So I'm still trying to figure out what to wear . . . but at least I know it will be pink!  :)

PS  A tunic is a long shirt or sweater type of thing.  So, for me, almost everything is a tunic.