Shoes and Such

Happy Wednesday!  I am SUPER DUPER excited today because the hubby finally came home from his trip to a faraway land.  I can now say that . . . 1) my husband was in Singapore  2)  it was for 10 days  3)  I didn't post it on Facebook so no one could come and get me or rob me or anything like that. 

My hubs can't stand it if I announce number one or two IN CYBERSPACE because he is afraid of number three and thinks I'm naive to think that nothing would ever happen.  I think he may be just a tad bit paranoid.  

But he is home and I'm going to celebrate with the BEST SLEEP OF MY LIFE because while I might call him paranoid, I am an out and out FREAK when he is gone.  Even with a house alarm, german shepherd mix dog (who is actually a scaredy cat so it doesn't count) and a baseball bat by my bed (which is actually stupid because I am the most unathletic person I know and if I can't hit a baseball, I don't know why I think I could hit a bad man.  Especially in the middle of the night without my contacts in)!!  I seriously can't wait to go to sleep tonight.

SO!!!!!  Onto my post.  

SHOES.  I decided over the summer to embrace my height.  All 59 inches of me.  I stopped wearing flip flops with a cushion and just got the plain old flat kind.  And I am really super lucky because we can wear flip flops to school.  We all do.  Well, with the exception of my partner who has decided she has Fred Flintstone feet and won't show them to anyone except her family.   Call it unprofessional or what have you, but we wear flip flops at my school.  You can go ahead and tell me that I am a bad teacher.  I will have to reply that it actually makes me a better teacher because my feet are comfy and I'm in a much better mood when my feet don't hurt.  On the rare occasion that I decide to wear wedges or something crazy like that, I tend to get a little grumpy.  And I usually switch them out for flip flops at first recess.   

Well . . . like I said, I switched to flat flip flops.  And twice last week, I had two different teachers at two different times ask me if I was . . . you will not believe this . . . it is so mean . . . but they asked me if I was . . . SHRINKING.  UH HUH.  No joke.  

After a little tussle in which I pulled some hair and said some nasty things, I started to wonder if it was because they were used to seeing me in my cushion(y) flip flops.  Hmmmm.  And I also wondered if I should start wearing heels and get those Dr. Scholl's inserts or something.  Just suck it up and do it.  Corns, bunions, and all.

So what shoes do you wear to school??  Are you allowed to wear flip flops?  Do you wear high heels?  I have my eye on these cute little heels.  What do you think?  Are they me?




I have to talk about two new products I found/saw/bought/obsessed over last week.  

First, ya'll, fall is here.  (ha!  I never say ya'll but I'm trying to be cute like everyone else)  Did you hear?  It kind of snuck up on me but I saw all of Blogland talking about it so I figure it must be true.  And since I don't have an actual "theme" in my classroom (gasp!), it's time to change my bulletin boards to fall stuff.  Number one on the list is re-do my door.  We don't have hallways so we decorate our doors.  Or, I should say, we put up a welcome poster and then put cut-outs with the kids names around the poster.   It's THE THING to do at my school.  I try to change my door every single month but somehow August became September and I never knew.  Go figure!

So off I went to the teacher supply store (be still my heart) and I went JUST TO GET SOME CUT-OUTS.  Really.  That's all.  I was picturing pumpkins in my head.  Possibly leaves.  And I found . . . 

I mean, they aren't just pumpkins.  They aren't just orange.  LOOK AT THEM!!!!!! 

LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!  There are some leaves and corn on the cobs but I just like the pumpkins.  There were only 12 pumpkins so I had to get two packs.  I also have to write two kids' names on each pumpkin (or cut out - doesn't matter which month it is) now that I have a million kids in my class.  The door is only so big and I really do need the handle AND the rectangular window to look out for bad guys if we ever have a lock down.  Also, the rectangular window came in handy last year when I had to lock a student OUT OF the classroom and I couldn't help myself -- I had to look to see where he was even though the office and the powers that be told me to ignore him and that they would handle it.  You don't even want to know.  Well, you probably do but it's a long story and doesn't go with this post.  I'm off on a tangent and have to find my way back somehow!

Here's my door:

See?  That window is VITAL.  :)

Second product --- DJ Inkers has a new clipart cd!!  Math and Science!!  Look at it!

So adorable, I can't stand it!  This little pic reminds me of all the blogs that have monster themes.  It's perfect!  I don't have the cd yet but from what I can tell it offers dinosaurs, planets, weather, life cycles, etc.  The math covers fractions, measurement, counting, etc.   Just click the pic to go to their site.  And no, I don't work for them but I wish I did.  I can honestly say that their customer service is amazing.  I have emailed them a couple of different times asking for a specific product to be designed (such as a border with bears) and they always thank me for the suggestion and then follow up later with the product!!  And an email saying that it's out now!!!  :)  TRUE STORY!

Before I go, I have to say I LOVED reading all of your comments about classroom interruptions.  I am SO RELIEVED that I am not alone, nor will I be if I end up in a mental institution.  Phew.  Some of you mentioned that whoever is calling will leave a message if you don't pick up.  What kind of fancy phones do you guys have?  I AM the answering machine.  

Happy Wednesday to you tomorrow!!!


We Interrupt This Program For . . .

PEOPLE!  I am going to lose my mind over all of the classroom interruptions that I am dealing with.  Seriously.  When I end up in the mental ward, people will talk about it in hushed whispers and knowing looks as they tilt their heads in sympathy.  Someone will reluctantly say it out loud -- Kristin lost her mind over all of the interruptions.  Everyone will nod.  They'll feel relieved that they escaped my fate.  But they will worry.  Because if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone.

Could someone, please, for the love of Pete and all that is Peaceful, intercom my room instead of calling me????????????  When the phone rings, I have to get up (yes, get UP), leave my kids on the carpet and go clear across the room to the phone.  CLEAR ACROSS THE ROOM.  Believe you me, I have thought about rearranging my room based on where the phone is located.  But the phone is located on the wall that has tile underneath it.  Call me crazy (mental ward) but I like the kids to sit on carpet.  And yes, I have tried moving the phone.  It didn't work.  So there I go.  CLEAR ACROSS THE ROOM.  And 30 kids are left to their own devices.  Here are any number of things my kids like to partake in --- rock, paper, scissors, poking, pinching, shoving, playing beauty parlor, somersaulting, sleeping, talking, laughing at someone's underwear peeking out from a waistband, shushing each other, sticking their tongues out at each other, threatening to tell on each other, etc.  Pick one.  Or all. 

So I came up with a system.  I'm one smart cookie.

If the phone rings, the Teacher's Pet (I don't have class jobs.  I have one kid of the day and they're the Teacher's Pet) comes up to the front and does sight word flashcards with the kids on the carpet.  The sight words are right there so this is a piece of cake.

However, I think we're having a system breakdown and I need to call somebody.  Except for my phone is always tied up SO I CAN'T.

Who's calling?  Hmmmm.  Let's see.

Any number of people.  About any number of things.  Which one do you think is the best reason for calling me in the middle of my HOLY MOLY, THOU SHALT NOT INTERRUPT, FIDELITY TO THE CORE, TWO AND A HALF HOUR LANGUAGE ARTS BLOCK?

1.  Jack's lunch is here.
2.  Jill's sharing item is here.
3.  Little Bo Peep's going home with her sheep today.
4.  Humpty Dumpty is leaving early.
5.  Goldilocks was in a scuffle and the principal would like to see her.  Oops.  Goldilocks isn't in my class.  Sorry about that.
6.  Little Red Riding Hood's library book is here.
7.  Miss Muffet's umbrella is here.  (even though there is no sign of rain)
8.  Do I know where my partner teacher is?  She's not answering her phone.
9.  Never mind.  Little Bo Peep lost her sheep and she should take the bus.
10.  How many more ELD workbooks do I need?  They just arrived.

Uh huh.  Yep.

I am GOING TO LOSE MY MIND.  And I told my principal this in the Leadership meeting.  In those exact words.  For real.  She laughed.  But I wasn't kidding.  

And THEN -- we got letters to send home to the parents.  These letters are very seriously worded.  All about how we can't interrupt teachers' instructional minutes for this and that and the other SO STOP calling already!!!!!!  And how we need to teach responsibility and we're not going to TAKE IT ANYMORE!  Well, something like that.  You get the jist.  

I almost couldn't believe it.  But it's true.  And I got intercommed today.  Which means I just sat there in my chair and I didn't have to get up.  So my kids actually had to stay engaged in the lesson.  Imagine that.  AND AND AND I only got intercommed twice.  This is a huge improvement.

So what's it like at your school????  Do you get interrupted?  I would love to know.  I need some company in the mental ward when I end up in there, ya know?



Happy weekend to all of my peeps!  I saw The Help again AND I Don't Know How She Does It.  I don't know how any of you moms do it but I admire all of you.  :)  The critics bashed that movie but my friends and I enjoyed it.  Call me crazy but Pierce Brosnan is H OH TEE HOT for an old guy.  

Besides antonyms this week, our curriculum and pacing guide and maps and traps and all of that stuff introduced NAMING WORDS.  Why, oh why can't we call them NOUNS in first grade?  Actually, never mind.  I call them nouns in first grade.  But I must stay faithful and have fidelity (TO THE APPLE CORE) so I use "naming words" and "nouns" interchangeably.  Just to be safe.  I typically call them nouns when no one is watching and then I will call them naming words if someone happens to stop by.  Or if I see someone through my windows and THINK they're coming in.  I am really thankful for my windows.  Windows = noun/naming word

If you don't know by now, I LOVE DJ Inkers.  They have a fairly new Language Arts cd that is just too cute.  They offer about 8 cards for nouns plus a blank template to make more of your own.  So I had a lot of fun creating more and now you can get them, too!  Just click the pic to go to my TpT store.  I made 90 cards (30 nouns, 30 verbs, 30 adjectives) plus headers.

We sorted the cards into the correct categories and then did a follow up worksheet. 

We did the top part of the worksheet together and then the kiddos completed the bottom half on their own.  My kids did a great job and we're ready to tackle verbs --- um, I mean ACTION WORDS --- next week.  And I should clarify that our curriculum comes with cards and a worksheet.  But . . . well, you see . . . it's . . . I . . .

Just read between the lines.  Thanks.

So, whether you teach nouns or naming words or a combination of both, I hope you can put these to some use in your classroom.  If you have a specific request for a card, let me know, and I'll see if I have the clipart to go with it.  For example, my "school" card actually has the name of our school.  :)

That's it for now!  I have lots of work to catch up on because I rushed out of school on Friday for a girl's night.  FUN times!  Can you say Pizookie?????  



I hate antonyms.

JUST KIDDING!  It's opposite day!  :)  Ha!

I actually really like teaching antonyms and my kids are always successful.  It could be because they play the opposite game entirely too much.  I don't know.  But naming the opposite of a word seems WAAAAY easier for my kiddos than naming a rhyming word.   

I used the cards below for a class game.  I gave each student a card and then they had to find their partner.  They loved it.   It's the little things these days.   Click the pic to grab all the cards.  

In the good ole days, I would then put these cards into a center.  Here's the recording sheet I used.  Just click the pic to get it.

Maybe you Daily 5-ers could use it for Word Work?  SIGH.  Yesterday at our PTT meeting (do YOU have PTT?) we took an hour to talk about ATTACK OF THE STANDARDS.  I mean, ATTACKING THE STANDARDS.  And it was all about pulling groups for intervention based on the standard or strand or stand or sand or something like that (I was a little preoccupied with a bug bite) and I got a little excited.  Pulling groups?  For intervention?  Now we're talking!!!!  Yes!  

But no.  Pull ONE group each day for . . . wait for it . . . wait some more . . . 15 minutes!  During our Universal Access time.  SIGH.   

I followed up the class antonym game with a worksheet.  My kids did really well.  No 15 minute intervention group needed there.  Whew.  I was a little worried that I might have too much to accomplish in that 15 minute period when my kids are giving me notes from home, taking out AR books, saying the pledge, and listening to announcements.  What a relief.

Here's the worksheet.  Click the pic and it's yours.

I hope you can use one of these activities in your classroom.  :)  

All right.  I am off.  I have lots of "TO DO" stuff.
1.  Listen to Snookie cry some more on The Jersey Shore.  (stop looking at me like that.  I already told you I watched it)  She is really upset tonight.  Apparently, her boyfriend is visiting and he doesn't like that she shows her underwear in clubs.  I think he should be happy that she was WEARING underwear.
2.  Wait for Grey's Anatomy.
3.  Watch Big Bang Theory.  Love love love Sheldon and I have two of him in my class this year.  :)
4.  Grade American Symbols test.  Nooooo.
5.  GET SOME SLEEP.  Please.

Happy Friday to you tomorrow!!!


Inside My School Bag Linky Party

Hey Peeps!  Well, I had a completely different topic in mind for today (antonyms, as a matter of fact) but then I found this fun linky party and had to join.  I am easily swayed.  And tired.  And this seems much easier, minus the fact that my hubs has my camera.  In a faraway land.  For real.  Which is why I am tired.  Am I the only person who can't sleep when her hubby is gone?  Am I the only person thinking that a bad guy (or two or three) want to get into my house, sneak up my stairs, and . . . well, let's not go there.  I am freaking myself out.   So the camera phone will have to suffice.  Suffice.  Big word!  I'm not as tired as I thought.

Abby over at the Inspired Apple is having a linky party about what's in your school bag!  So let's get this party started!

First, my bag is OLD.  I spent way too much money on it.  It's a Kenneth Cole.  (insert oooh, la, la voice here)  At the time, I wanted a nice bag and let a friend talk me into it.  Since then, I have had the front zipper re-done by a tailor because it broke.  I love this bag.  If I bring my nerd cart to school, my bag is always in the nerd cart. What???  You don't know what a nerd cart is??  One of THESE:

I hate mine but it really helps when I have too much stuff.  It's just not cute.  I can't stand feeling like I'm one of the xerox copier people.  Sorry to any xerox copier people that may be reading.  Oops.

But here's my bag that I put inside of the nerd cart (along with all of the other stuff that my bag won't hold):

And here is what it is filled with (at the moment):

So . . . school calendar (hardly ever check it), last year's yearbook so I could study the pics on my class list and know all of my students before they entered (yes, I am THAT girl), labels, a file folder with to-do stuff, a $10 off coupon to El Torito that my partner gave me, Kohl's coupons that someone put in my box, and a birthday letter from my adorable nephew, Caden.  This was back in June.  He just started Kinder this year.  You can't really see it but the front of the envelope says "TEW CWESTN"  (to Kristin).  I took it to school to show off and now it's just been living in my bag.  AWWWWWW.

Okay, so this stuff was just around the bottom and in the inside pocket.  Let's see.  I have two camera battery chargers.  Hmmm.  Wonder if hubby needed one of those???  And I have two because I broke my camera at my mom's 65th birthday party this summer.  And then I bought the exact same camera for about $200 less because it was discontinued, the floor model, and had missing pieces from the box.  Cha-ching!!!  :)  I've got my "wallet" (I don't know.  Coin purse?  I use it as a wallet), receipts, a binder clip, a bracelet, a random post-it, dental floss (never can be too careful), lip gloss, number cards that I should put back where they belong but I haven't (for about six months or a year -- whatever), lotion, keys, sunglass case (man - that's a big case!  Nothing teeny tiny about my sunglasses!), and contact solution.  The cards next to the wallet are my Table Captain cards that I haven't started yet because I couldn't find them and didn't want to re-make them and now I am really glad that Abby is hosting this party!!!  I can start Table Captains tomorrow.  Woo hoo!  And those yellow rectangles to the left of my wallet are gold tags.  They are what I use for my behavior management plan.  They are everywhere.  But mainly in my laundry.

The zippered pocket in the front of the bag had this stuff:

Wow - how embarassing.  I guess you can tell right off the bat that I care about my hair.  A brush AND THREE bottles of hairspray???  Hmmm.  Well, I am not into fashion or jewelry but I use my hair as an accessory, I guess.  And look at all of the nail files.  Seriously?  I should take a pic of my fingernails.  They are a HOT MESS.  So much so that this morning in our Leadership Meeting when we were discussing the possibility of getting DOCUMENT CAMERAS (be still my heart!  and what will TODD say?), the teacher sitting next to me said "Document cameras show how old your hands are so you have to keep up on your manicures."  Yep.  UH HUH.  Moving on:  (I decided not to dwell on it)  I see a staple remover, some "lady products" and a contact case.  I'm telling you right now -- if you have any kind of hair, nail, eye, or feminine emergency, I'm your gal.  :)  My Mac's charger is also in there but I never need it at school because IT'S A MAC.  Nuff said.

So . . . not too bad.  Considering.  I may have taken some stuff out and made it disappear before I took my pictures.

This is really fun - I am a super nosy person so I love that we get to look in each other's bags.  And you can invite me over without worrying that I might look in your medicine cabinet.  I mean, really.  I would never.  Nuh uh.  Nope.

Don't be late to the party!  Link up with Abby!


I Love Social Studies!

I love teaching Social Studies.  Unfortunately, I have about five minutes per day to do this, what with all of the required reading, writing, math, lunch, shoe tying, nose bleeds, tattling, one or two accidents, scraped knees, and recess.  Nevertheless, I LOVE it!

We have been working on our American Symbols unit the last couple of weeks.  I like to begin before September 11th so that my kiddos have at least some understanding of how great America is, even if they have no clue what September 11th means.  This year, it is taking me forever to get through the six symbols that my team is choosing to cover.  I think it has something to do with teaching math after lunch and/or I am twiddling my thumbs too much.

Our Social Studies curriculum is . . . oh . . . kay.  It's a really big textbook and the kids love looking at all of the pictures.  But as far as the American Symbols go . . . it's about one page with four pictures, some captions, and a paragraph.  And then I am supposed to be able to check off this standard and move on.

No thank you.  I may do that when it comes to teaching Matter in Science (yes, that's right, I said it) but I can't do it with Social Studies!  

Scholastic had these great Welcome books for super cheap and you can also find them HERE at Amazon.  These books are great -- very easy for first graders to understand.  And I created these little worksheets to go with them.  Disclaimer:  there was no Lincoln Memorial book so I have to check one out from our school library.  Sorry about that.  If I could fix that, I would.  Also, the White House does not copy that well - the windows and some other fine lines disappear.  But I actually like that because the kids enjoy drawing all of the windows and fine lines.  Well, some of them do.  Click the pic to grab all six symbols.
Now, if you've been reading my blog for awhile now, you know the technology at my school is still up and coming.   I have my best friend, TODD, (terribly old decrepit dinosaur aka THE OVERHEAD) so I make transparencies and we fill in the blanks together.  You could be wondering why I don't have the kids do a free write or something.  And I'm just of the mind that Social Studies is Social Studies time and I don't want my struggling writers to become frustrated during this time.  Also, I want the kids to like me the best.  And I guess I believe it's about the content, too.  Filling in the blanks together gives me a chance to go over consonants, vowels, patterns, endings, etc.  I usually spell it a letter at a time and the kids echo me.  If I'm feeling really hyper, I will say the letters in low or high voices or baby voices or monster voices or . . . well, I think you get it.  Then the kids color and draw the background.  I took some photos of some of their work but I don't have a Statue of Liberty pic to show you.  That bums me out!  The Welcome book has a terrific picture of the statue with the New York skyline in the background so I teach my kids how to add that.  They turn out fantastic.  But that was our first day and I have long since sent those home before I decided that maybe someone would want to do this.
I used to make this into a book for the kids at the end.  But that was about 10 kids ago and now that they have multiplied, I cannot wade through the paperwork.  Or the poking.  Or the child saying that I haven't stapled their book yet.  Or the poking.  I thought about compiling it into a book before I began the unit, but I am also a control freak and I don't like my kids seeing things before they're supposed to.  Front loading only takes me so far.  I need a little bit of suspense.  Obviously, do whatever you like in your classroom.  I'll try to refrain from bossing you around.

If you need/want/must have an assessment, you can get it HERE.

PS:  I am giving you fair warning.  It's possible that when you're discussing the Lincoln Memorial, your kids will want to know if Abraham Lincoln is dead.  And then if you redirect the discussion and move on to happier things, another student may raise his hand.  And this could be your best and brightest student so you call on him because you just know he's going to tell you that the Lincoln Memorial is on the backs of pennies.  But I am warning you -- he may just want to tell everyone that Michael Jackson is also dead.  There.  You've been warned.

I am a tad bummed that I will not be watching The Bachelor Pad or The Bachelor tonight.  I hear Dancing with the Stars is on but . . . well . . . Oh man!  I guess I have to confess that there is ONE reality  show I do not watch.  I prefer So You Think You Can Dance (or SYTYCD for us mega fans) over DWTS any day.  But seeing as how I am all caught up on my Real Housewives from Beverly Hills, Toledo, New Jersey, Gallup, and Reno, I just MIGHT watch it.  We'll see.   HO HUM.  


Emmy Awards

Here's my fantasy:  I have been nominated for Best Actress in a Comedy series and they have just played a clip of my hilarious show at the awards ceremony.  I have been nominated with four other lovely ladies and we all clap politely for each other.  And THEN, Matthew Fox or Kyle Chandler or Neil Patrick Harris announce MY name!!!!

Ha!  :)

However, I WAS awarded the Versatile Blogger Award by four different bloggers.  AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!!!

Speech Time!!!!!!!!!

First, I would like to thank God who gives me the strength and brain power and creativity to do this (almost) every day.  AND the fact that He understands how much this means to me!  I must also thank my family for always supporting me and allowing me to be as white as a ghost for always staying inside with my laptop.  I have to thank Kimberly over at Funky First Grade Fun and Hadar over at Miss Kindergarten for "spotlighting" my blog when I first started out.   I have to thank all of the people who blog and give me inspiration, too.  And a special thanks to all of the people who actually READ this blog.  Well, I could go on and on.  I'm for sure going to thank Chad Lowe since Hillary Swank forgot to thank him in her Oscar speech.  And I will definitely NOT kiss my brother the way that Angelina Jolie did with her brother.  And I imagine the music is already playing and the hosts are trying to drag me off the stage but I am going to stay up here just like Julia Roberts did because, by golly, this is exciting!!!!

All right, I'll stop.  

Wait - one more!  

You like me, you really like me!! :)

So I have rules that come with receiving this award.

*Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
*Share 7 things about yourself.
*Pass this award along to 15 recently discovered blogs.

Thank you Lori at Bee the Change,  Kim at Starbucks, Standards, and Sharpies, Jess at Rambling about Reading, and Mrs. Magee at First Grade Brain.

I feel like you all know me pretty good so I am going to try to dig a little deeper and think of some new stuff you may not know.  Hmmmmmmmm.  This is a toughie.  

1.  I have TERRIBLE eyesight.  I can't stand it when people get Lasik (sorry) who only have a -1 or -2 prescription.  I am a -10 in my left eye and a -14 in my right eye.  I KNOW!!!!  I am not even a candidate for Lasik.  I would STILL need glasses or contacts.  And just for the record, I wear contacts almost 24/7 because if I wore glasses and the sun was out (and I live in California so let's be real) I might  cause fires wherever I go.  Only my family and SUPER close friends see me in my glasses.  And by SUPER close, I mean one or two who got lucky and I'm still not sure how it happened and I was mortified.

2.  I was in Show Choir in 8th grade.  I auditioned and everything.  I can't sing now but apparently I could back then.  Or they were desperate.  For a teeny tiny person to sing all of the little kid parts.  I don't know.  We had three groups.  Two Mixed and one All Girls.  I was in the All Girls.  And guess what one of our songs was?  For competition??  IT'S RAINING MEN!!!  We used umbrellas for props!  I was 13 years old!!  Is this really appropriate???  Ha!!  But I guess it could have been worse and we could have sang Like a Virgin or I Want Your Sex.  Which were pretty popular at the time.  :)

3.  My parents met in high school in drama.  They LOVE drama.  Every new church we ever went to (we moved three times when I was younger), they started a new drama group.  My sisters, brother, and I were always in their skits and plays.  I love drama, too.  I am not afraid to get up on stage or speak in front of a crowd.  Hence, the Emmy Award fantasy.  I tend to get the drama out when I read stories in class.  It's pretty much my most favorite time of the day.

4.  I am not into fashion.  GASP.  I know!

5.  I am a creature of habit and eat an English muffin with peanut butter every morning.  For like the last year and a half or something.  Oh well.  Before that, I ate nothing for breakfast.

6.  My favorite movies are Footloose, You've Got Mail, and Return to Me.  I can watch them over and over again!  I can quote them.  I am NOT looking forward to the new Footloose but I will go watch it so I can critique it and slam it from here to there.  We'll see.

7.  I hate confrontation and will avoid it at all costs.  My partner at school was arguing with another teacher and turned to me to confirm something and saw . . . no one.  I had tiptoed away.  I do this a lot.

I am passing this award onto 15 other bloggers so if you haven't checked them out, please do!  


Can Do Kinders

Create Teach Share

Curls and a Smile

Ashleigh's Education Journey

First Grade O.W.L.s

Enjoy your blog hopping!  I have to go do my progress reports.  SIGH.  At least I'm in my pajamas and I have junk food nearby! :)


Parents (aka The Paparazzi)

Happy Friday!  Hooray for sleeping in this weekend!  It feels like fall here today.  I actually wore a hoodie when we took our dog, Sid, to the park.  I really wanted to wear my Uggs but thought that might be overkill, seeing as how it's in the 70s, I think.  A girl can dream, right?

Okay, so the paparazzi was out and about today.  This is the danger of living two miles from your school.  I knew I might run into some families at the grocery store tonight (picking up a frozen pizza for dinner because the hubby golfed all day and didn't feel like cooking.  This is what happens when I'm put in charge of dinner.) but was really hoping that I wouldn't.  Not that I don't love my families but just because I am tired, wanted to get out of there fast, and let's face it, I didn't look that good.  My ponytail was more of a . . . well, let's just say that some of it was in a ponytail and some of it wasn't, and my make up had worn off due to all of the yawning and what not, AND I stepped in something that was like gum but wasn't really gum.  It was ALL OVER my shoes, even on the sides!!!!  I honestly have NO IDEA what this substance was on the blacktop, but because my pants were dragging (as almost all of my pants do - see "teeny tiny teacher" title for reference), the bottoms of my pants got the "stuff" on them, too.  I was sticking to everything in the classroom afterward.  Seriously - it was disgusting.   EEEEWWW.

So, I am in the grocery store and I am just there to grab a pizza.  My basket got a little bit full with rolos, ice cream, and Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper (how did THAT stuff get in there??) and then I heard "Mrs. Oldham!" and then I felt a kid slam into me from behind.  Oh, JOY!  It's a little one from last year and she is beyond excited to see me.  At this point, it's okay.  No parents to be found.  ??????????  Just little S and me in the frozen foods section as I contemplate the TGI Friday's mozzarella sticks.  AND THEN, here come the parents.  

About 45 minutes later, I finally left the store.  

Does this ever happen to you?  I just can NOT disengage from the conversation.  Whatever it might be.  And since I have been at my school for 10 years, I run into all sorts of parents. 

I have been known to duck and cover if I see a parent before they see me.  I am not ashamed to go down the Depends aisle if it means I can avoid a weird strange overbearing talkative parent.  My hubs is also really good at helping me if we're out together.  I can usually just say our code word (paparazzi) and he will "block" me.  Or we'll go down a different aisle or take the long way back to the register or he'll finish up while I hide in the bathroom.  Just kidding on that last one.  Okay, okay, that was only one time.

Most of the time, I enjoy seeing the parents and their kiddos.  I am mainly talking about those parents.  You know who I mean so that's all I'm going to say.

One of those parents actually followed me into the bra section at Target a few years ago.  (yes - I shop for bras at Target. There is just no point in the whole Victoria's Secret thing for me.  My height is not the only teeny tiny thing about me, okay?)  And by the way, I didn't go HIDE in the bra section.  I was SHOPPING in the bra section.  And here she came.  WITH HER TEEN-AGED SON.  Folks, I ain't lying.  And then we talked for about 20 minutes, surrounded by bras and g-strings, and an awkward teenage boy.  It was a lovely conversation.  One of the best I've ever had.

So does this happen to you?  What do you do?  Do you hide?  Do you like it?  Do you pose for pictures?  I'd really love to know!! :)

{this is how I plan to look for my next grocery shopping trip}


Writing and All That Jazz

Oh man, all of you enVision people - I wish I had some magic words!  I'm going to have to think long and hard about this one and get back to you.  I honestly have to say that we just keep on keeping on.  I don't know.  We don't have a lot of time to slow down and smell the math equations because our District Assessment is coming up soon and it covers Topics 1 through 6.  It's a NIGHTMARE - I wish I could show it to all of you.  I don't think you would believe me if I told you the District Assessment tends to be about 10 pages long and about 45 questions! I know!  It sounds make believe to me, too!

RIGHT NOW, I am stressing about writing.  ~~~~~  Our Progress Reports are due this Friday (didn't school JUST start???) and I can honestly say that I have no idea where my kids are (academically) in writing.  Beats me.  Insert blank face and empty hands here.  HUH.  I guess my two and a half hour language arts block is more about . . . tends to focus on . . . um . . . anyways!  I have been incorporating our Step Up to Writing program with the Houghton Mifflin curriculum and I'm wondering what all of these writing samples are actually showing me.  So much of it right now is guided and shared pen and all of that stuff.  All good stuff but still . . . I repeat, I have no idea where my kids are in writing.  Are they on grade level, below grade level, above grade level . . .

I came up with this to help me:

First page:  label the dog.  I already told you that rule number two in my class is Must Love Dogs.  Now students Must Write Labels.  I'm checking to see if my kiddos can sound out words.  Fingers crossed.

Back page (or next page):  Correct the sentence.  I'm looking to see if my friends will remember to begin the sentence with a capital and end it with a period.  You know - since we've been practicing that over and over and over and over . . . Oh, who am I kidding?

Also, students have to write their OWN SENTENCE about the pictures.  Yikes.  I don't know how this will go but I really want to see who my writers are . . . because like I said, still not sure.  As you can see, I put pictures of the playground.  That's because 1) I wanted to remind them what it looked like since we haven't seen it in so long and 2) every child has seen, done, been near this equipment, regardless of their background because it's on our playground.  

Click the pic to grab it if you want it.   Although I know that all of you have been shaking your heads at me and judging me for not knowing where my kids are.  I mean, I hope they're at home in their houses with their families, but it's true - I don't know where they are in writing.  I just don't.  At least I'm trying to get to the bottom of it.  

Bachelor Pad (the live part) was CUH-RAZY!  I loved it all except I felt so sad for Michael.  Love hurts, man!!!!  I'm dying  counting the minutes on pins and needles looking forward to the Season Finale of Big Brother tomorrow, as well as the Season Premiere of Survivor.  :) :) :)

PS  I've been having trouble with google docs.  I'm trying scribd.  Hope it works!!!!


Dogs and their bones

Before I begin. let me say that I am blessed to be a member of Saddleback church whose pastor is Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life.  Our service yesterday was dedicated to 9/11 - remembering the events but also about moving forward.  I am so thankful for the first responders and the men and women who fight to keep our country safe.  I can't stop thinking about my partner's son who will be deployed to Afghanistan in October.  My heart is heavy for my friend and her family.  :(  But man, is he ready!  This is why he joined the Marines.  He is READY.

Okay, onto other things.  I have made it to Topic 4 in math.  We use the enVision math program and it's been a learning experience and I still can't decide if I like it or not.  This is 3 years later and the jury is still out.  My biggest gripe is that it tends to introduce a brand new concept (for example, adding in any order) and then that's it.  New lesson and concept the next day and we never see it again until the test.  And as you know from all of my previous posts, it's practically a MIRACLE from HEAVEN that I have enough time in the day to teach math between Language Arts and Recess.  Seriously.

So Topic 4, Lesson 1 introduces subtraction but without really teaching subtraction.  It's the part, part, whole model which is really quite interesting seeing as how that's not how I learned subtraction!!!  :)  At any rate, I just don't like how we jump right into the missing part without really "explaining" how to find it.  I have read the Teacher's Manual over and over to see if I'm missing something but apparently all I'm missing is the missing number.  And it's supposed to just magically arrive in my kids' brains.  Really.  Even the fun little animation video that we watch doesn't explain how to find it.  It just magically appears.  Here's what it looks like:

Well, either the dog ate them or they are in the bowl, right?   I mean, where ARE they?  What kind of question IS that?  I know two bones are missing but that's because I am SMART.  :)  My kids, on the other hand, are just learning how to figure this out and apparently, I get to decide HOW.  I prefer the counting up model . . . as in, one, two, three, four, FIVE, SIX but I present many different ways to help them since the Teacher's Manual does not give ONE IDEA at all.  And let's face it:  this is a life skill so I've got to help them with this!  I use this all of the time!  I can't count how many times I've been to Target with a $20 bill and walked out with $3.  I always know where my missing part is - the Dollar Spot!!!!!  To help the kiddos, I made this . . . 

I printed them on cardstock, laminated them, and stuck magnets on the back.  And then we practiced and practiced and practiced with these.  Maybe you could use them for a center?  Or a smartboard activity?  I don't know.  My kids love them but that's mainly because I have forced my love of dogs onto them and they can't love cats.  Must Love Dogs is rule number three right between Follow Directions and Be Kind to Others.  Click the pic to grab it.

I am off to watch the Finale of Bachelor Pad.  Then what?????  Does anyone know what's coming on next Monday??   


Hodge Podge

Happy Saturday!  It was thundering here earlier but no rain yet.  I would LOVE some rain right about now.

Yesterday was our Patriotic Assembly.  Lots of parents, police officers, firefighters, and women and men of the military.  We sang, listened to poems recited by upper graders, had a moment of silence, and sang some more.  I really wish I could tell you that it was moving and meaningful.  But to be completely honest . . . it was hard to feel all of the emotions that I needed to when I had 30 kiddos telling me that they were hot and thirsty about 30 times each.  I also got a lot of "When is it over?"  "Is it almost over?"  We had made cute headbands to wear and these headbands barely resembled anything but trash about halfway through.  Between me spraying them down with a spray bottle and their own sweaty brows, they basically disintegrated!

As you can see, it's a big deal.  It lasted right up until about recess time.  And believe you me, we were all fired up about possibly not getting it . . . since we had sat outside in the sun for almost two hours already.  TIME TO PLAY!  The powers that be let us play all day!!!  (well, at least we had every recess)
Our church is having a big thing tomorrow to remember 9/11 so that will make up for yesterday.  I DID feel bad for the kids - it WAS really hot.  And meanwhile, I had parents standing in the shade behind us AND hanging out in MY air conditioned classroom drinking all kinds of cold drinks.  I was jealous.  And a little annoyed with myself that I had not locked my door.  I didn't even know some of the parents in there.  FOR REAL.  Which reminds me that a couple of years ago during this assembly, one of my parents took her toddler into my room.  I didn't know until she came out and asked me if I had a stapler.  Hmmm.  A stapler.  In my classroom.  Pretty sure that's a yes.  However, she needed the stapler because her toddler tore some borders down off of my bulletin boards.  You know, the border that I used a LEVEL to staple up on the wall????!!  As I type this, I am just now thinking that I am a bonehead.  You think THAT would have taught me to lock my door.  DUH.

To combat inclement weather schedules, Reagan over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits told me about a TV program called Adventure to Fitness.  It is perfect for Indoor Recess!  I'm on board!  I'm excited!  I google.  I search.  I find.  I begin to create my account and guess what?  California is not on the list of states to choose from.  There are only 43 states listed.  I do NOT get this.  I am about to say that I am from Texas and use my sister's school.  She is not a teacher there but her kids go there.  I mean, honestly!  Do they think Californians only exercise outside?  I just do NOT get it.  If you know anything about this, please help me.  Poor Reagan.  I've already emailed her about this - I don't know what I expected her to do but I just needed to vent to someone.  This is now my new obsession.  I need this program.  I MUST HAVE THIS.  I even want it for regular old PE.  We don't have PE teachers so this program could be my PE teacher.  SIGH SIGH SIGH.

My agenda for today is to stay in my pjs and blog and stalk and eat and maybe nap and watch a movie.  Husband's on board, too.  :)  I made some cute mini bookmarks for my AR sign ups in the classroom.  This is a fantastic management idea from my friend Heather (Hi Heather!) who just went on maternity leave.  She had her 4th baby boy on Thursday!!  I am happy for her but I am going to miss her while she is gone.  She is promising lots of lunches so that is making me feel better.  Anyways, when my kids are ready to take a test, I have them sign up on the whiteboard under the sign "AR Sign Up".  Pretty clear.  But it's not that easy.  First, they really have to dwell and agonize over which color expo marker to use to write their name.  Second, they have to try to write their name in cursive.  And then rewrite it.  Third, they have to argue with the person behind them or in front of them that they are next.  YES, they ARE.  And on and on.  So Heather made some mini bookmarks, stuck a magnet on them, and passed them out to the kids.  Now they grab their magnetic mini bookmark from their pencil box, slap it up on the whiteboard and only argue about whether or not they were next.  So I had to copy Heather and I'm trying this out on MONDAY.  :)  I couldn't copy Heather exactly, though, because she's at home with a cute little baby so I made my own.  AND I found OWLS!  I don't know if you know this but I love owls!  Although if a live one were to come within two feet of me, I'd freak out and probably throw my purse at it.  They freak me out in real life, as do pretty much anything else that flies around and could poop on you from above and/or make a nest in your hair.

But these owls are pretty darn cute!
So on Monday morning, I need to laminate these super quick, cut them out, and stick a magnet on them so I'm ready to go.  If you'd like to make your own, just click on the picture! :)  The clipart is from DJ Inkers and the font is DJ Light.  (I don't know what's happening with google docs right now but it is not happy with this document.  It is working but it's not five pages of seven bookmarks each.  It's more like . . . a few here and there.  ???? I am done trying.  If you want it neat and organized, let me know and I'll email it to you.)

I am off to stalk some of your blogs now! :)


Homework Part 3

I feel the need to number this post.  It is how my brain is thinking right now.

1.  Our amazing custodian fixed the laminator.  But not until about 5 minutes before school started.  This is not how I envisioned it happening.  I envisioned (and prayed!!) that our custiodian would arrive at school at about 6:30am, begin to turn on all of the machines, and then see my lovely little note with all of the sad faces on it explaining that I had broken the laminator and had no money, tools, or handymen standing nearby to fix it.  I envisioned that he would fix it IMMEDIATELY, throw away my note, get the three remaining pages OUT of the laminator, put them in my box, and no one (as in: THE STAFF) would be the wiser.  HOWEVER, seeing as how it was 192 degrees by 7am, he decided to mow all of the grass, and weed, and do yard work because we are having our huge Patriot's Day Assembly tomorrow.  I did not know this when I arrived at school . . . a little bit later than 6:30am.  So my note, and the laminator, and my three stuck pages were just screaming out to everyone, "Kristin broke the laminator!  Look!  Kristin did it!  Did you see it?"  A few laughs, a squeezed shoulder, and two horrified faces (seriously, did they think I did it on PURPOSE?), later, our custodian finally fixed it.  Still not quite sure HOW but I got my 3 pages out of there.  :)  I am so glad I can keep getting my Friday latte instead of saving for a new laminator.

2.  Click HERE to get the **INDEPENDENT**STUDY**PROJECTS**!! (in stereo) in a PDF format. (special request and I deliver!)

3.  We have not had ONE recess all week.  I am about to lose my mind.  The irony of the whole Recess Debacle of 2011 coupled with no recess for an entire week has not escaped me.  I mean, I've got one hand in my pocket and the other one is giving a high five.  So . . . tomorrow the high is only supposed to be 90 degrees.  In a normal school setting, this would be "appropriate recess weather".  Oh, but we are not in a normal school setting.  Because we have a . . . wait for it . . . blacktop.  That's right!  We have a blacktop.  And it has its own weather.  For real.  So 90 degrees on the sidewalk or grass or on a roof or on my toe is different from what the weather will be like on the blacktop.  And it's always hotter on the blacktop.  Face the facts.  (People - I am telling the truth.  The powers-that-be call inclement weather if they think the blacktop will get too hot.  Hand on heart, I am telling you the truth.)

4.  One of my kids with special needs had a melt down today.   He does NOT like transitions from the desks to the carpet.  He has managed very well since the beginning of the year but this week has been extra hard on EVERYONE (see number 3) and he lost it today.  This is what he said as he stood by his desk:  "I do not like this school today.  I do not like this class today.  I do not like this teacher today."  It was kind of hard not to laugh.  I didn't take it personally at all because I was feeling THE EXACT SAME WAY but the rest of my kids were super offended and promptly told me how much they love me.  :)  He got over it . . . a bandaid will fix anything.

5.  Jordan just got evicted.  :(  I am talking Big Brother, if you didn't know.  This leaves Adam, Porsche, and Rachel.  Seriously?  Am I really thinking Rachel should win??  Am I really typing this???  See what no recess will do to a person????



Homework Part 2

Happy Wednesday to everybody (although it feels like Tuesday but tomorrow is Thursday!!)!  I did a little laminating before I left school today.  And, um, well . . . I broke it.  It's not entirely my fault because it was a take home project and this family went above and beyond with the cuteness factor and the laminator couldn't handle it.  And these jelly looking, squishy feeling, raised up, popped out stickers got stuck.  IN. THE. LAMINATOR.  And MELTED.  And three sheets of her book are just stuck in there.  I thought about just nonchalantly walking away . . . whistling or something, walking really slowly, not a care in the world . . . but I didn't.  I left a note for our day custodian who is practically like Superman and MacGyver and Mr. Home Improvement all rolled into one.  I am hoping he can come to the rescue and I do not have to start asking parents to donate to the cause of a new laminator because their child's teacher broke the old one.  EYE YIGH YIGH YIGH.  (I made that spelling up.)

Okay, part 2 for Homework.  Some parents do not think the homework extension activity ideas are enough.  I know!!  This is something I do not get - aren't you busy with sports?  Dinner?  The regular homework packet?  Phone calls?   Um, life in general?  But still, it's true, some parents just want more.  Since I can't explain this (and believe you me, I have tried), I just join them.  And with lots of thanks to Susan (THANK YOU, FRIEND!), I now have these handy dandy Independent Study Projects.  Or, as I should have said, after lots of throat clearing . . . **INDEPENDENT**STUDY**PROJECTS**! (in stereo)
Just so you know, the actual projects that I print out are black and white with no cute border.  We can't have **INDEPENDENT**STUDY**PROJECTS**! (in stereo) looking cute, now can we?  They must look . . . smart.  Impressive.  Something.  I can't find the right word.  The best part is that my friend Susan got this from something called "Teaching Gifted Kids in the Regular Classroom" and it's listed on the Student Project Ideas page.  Oh, yes.  Some parents live for this.  So all you've got to do is click on the picture and it will take you to 9 months of independent study project ideas, student project ideas, and an award.  I always run each month double sided with the student project ideas.  Not all kids will do a project.  I tend to have 4-5 kids each month at the beginning of the school year and then around March it drops off to about . . . zero.  Oh yessiree, I still put it in the first homework packet of the month, you betcha, Bob!  I have had some fun power point presentations and one of my girls last year did a presentation on the overhead.  Poor thing.  She has NO IDEA what a Smart Board or Promethesus Pyramid Parenthesis . . . WE have no idea what that would be like around these parts so we still use TODD (terribly old decrepit dinosaur, aka The Overhead).  Anywho, if you like these or download these, please leave me some love - of the commenting variety!  :)

PS  I did not put PDF files on the download in order for you to edit the dates due, topics presented, etc.  So it will not look as nice as it does with my ABC Teacher fonts.  :)  Sorry about that.  If you want a PDF format, just let me know.  I do not like the way it did not keep true to the margins, etc.  :(

As for last night:  Rachel Zoe and the butterfinger - DE-LISH!  And tonight is BIG BROTHER!  Can't wait.  Need to go cut some laminate (the parts that survived) BEFORE it starts so that I can read all of the whisper captions.  It takes some concentration, you know???  Oh!  One last thing!  We revisited the literature today.  GUESS WHAT?  The cat DOES sit on the mat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :) :) :)



Hey peeps!

Homework . . . ugh.  I mean, I know, I know, I get it, homework is important.  Home school connection and all that.  I hear you.  I do.  But . . . ugh!  I tend to use packets that I have used in the past but inevitably, something changes, something moves from this week to that week or this skill was skipped over saved for the following week or what have you.  So!  I don't know if this is necessary to say, but I am RIGID.  INFLEXIBLE.  I stand up there at Parent information Night and I tell it like it is.  Straight up.  No sugar coating.  THIS IS THE ONLY PACKET I WILL GIVE YOU.

Well . . . okay, you caught me.  Not exactly.  I tell them that I just do NOT care if their child does homework or not.

All right, all right.  I'm somewhere in the middle!!!  And truthfully, we are BUDGETED on our clicks.  Clicks, you ask?  Yes.  That was new to me, too, when I was hired at my school.  Clicks = copies.  It's a BALANCED EQUATION.  Huh!  Who would have thought?  So we are BUDGETED.  And I have a secret passcode to get the machines to work.  And sometimes, that secret passcode betrays me and the machine says that I have reached my maximum.  You do NOT want to be in the copy room with me when of the machines says that.

So I have to be careful about my copies.  Obviously.  So I tell parents to use the packet as a guide.  Differentiate within the packet.  More or less, extra or half, or whatever.  This is THE packet.  I can't make 31 different packets.  I just can't.  I mean, I could, but when would I have time for The Bachelor Pad or all of you lovely ladies?  Seriously.  I mean that.

And then, today happened.  Yes, today.  A TERRIFIC day with my kiddos!  I often find myself thanking God for them all throughout the day.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this class.  But one of the parents stalked grabbed chased ran after caught me after school and wanted to know if I could give her child more of a challenging homework packet.

Well, can't you guess what I did??

Nooooo, I did NOT run the other way.  Honestly!  :)

I smiled really big.  I tilted my head to the side.  I RE-explained (yes, said parent was at Parent Information Night but must have been laughing hilariously at something I had said previously and didn't catch my "budgeted on clicks" news) that I would LOVE to make her daughter a special, challenging, super duper hard, looks like college prep work packet, but I have a click issue.  CLICK CLICK.

And THEN, I whipped out my homework extension ideas for her.  WAAA LAAA!  Or however you spell that.  How about TA - DA!?  Click the pic to grab it if you want it.

Oh, the parent was so pleased.  Pleased as punch.  I said I couldn't WAIT to see each idea implemented and could I please use one of her activities as an example in the future???  And no, I don't just give one of these to every single parent because 1) lots of parents don't want extra homework and 2) I'm budgeted on my clicks! 

Yes!  That last thing on the sheet says Independent Study Projects!  Thanks for asking!  I will show all of you what that's about tomorrow.  I will keep you in suspense.  :)

To tell you the truth, I have to go now because I have to watch The Rachel Zoe Project!!!!!!!!!!  It premieres tonight!  And I think I am going to eat a butterfinger while I watch.  

So I will get the Independent Study Projects organized and up to date for you by tomorrow.  

PS  I just caught up on all of YOUR blogs and commented on lots and lots!  Love all of the new ideas I am getting.   


Drumroll, please!

Hooray for you, Courtney!  I will be contacting you.  As for everyone else, don't go away disappointed!  I have a few freebies for you, too!! :)

Due to the short week AND our Patriot's Day Assembly this Friday (in honor of 9/11.  Does your school do anything?  Every year, we invite families to this big event.  Each grade level sings a song, the whole school sings the National Anthem, we have a moment of silence, our Eagle Chorus sings, and we recognize family members in the armed forces, including firefighters and police officers.  Last year was super special because my partner's son was home on leave from the Marine Corps.  This year will be bitter sweet - he is currently training at Twenty-nine Palms and will be deployed to Afghanistan in October.)  That parenthesis just got gigantic.  I was not expecting that, but I'm sure you were if you know me at all.  As I was saying, due to our short week and the Patriot's Day Assembly (and in case you were curious, yes, this will be happening during our 2 1/2 hour Language Arts block.  Go ahead.  Call the cops.  They will already be at our school so I will make it easy for you.) I will be reviewing Theme 1, Weeks 1-3.  So I came up with (or looked around for stuff I already had) some review activities.  And now you can grab them!  :)  Just click on any of the pictures to get them.

Activity #1:  Rhyming Words  
I shared these before but here they are again:
We are going to play this game whole class and students will have to find their rhyming partner.  Always a big hit -- always, "can we play again?"  I printed mine on cardstock and laminated them so that they would last.  I also made two sets for centers (less arguing and all of that) but as I've mentioned before, centers are now a bad word.  Shame on me!

If we have time, we will do this quick follow up cut and paste worksheet so I can do a quick assessment.  

Activity #2:  Short a word families
We will be sorting short a words into families on the magnetic whiteboard and then the kiddos will go back to their seats to try it on their own.  I believe I have shared this one, too, but just in case you didn't get it before, here it is.  I always copy the words on colored copy paper so that kids have easy access (and no confusion) when they are getting their supplies.  This could also be used in a center or during word work.  

Activity #3:  Compare and Contrast

We will start the review by comparing and contrasting two kids in the classroom.  Think:  one little girl and one gigantic boy.  Lucky for me, I have one of each in my class!  :)  

Activity #4:  Short i word families

Same idea as the short a word families.  I sure hope my little friends don't get bored.  YIKES!  :)  We WILL be revisiting the literature all week, too.  I don't know about you, but I just can NOT WAIT to re-read The Cat Sat and The Mat and Nan and Fan . . . terrific stories, I tell you.  Compelling!  Suspenseful!  WILL the cat sit on the mat?? WILL the cat get fat???  The characters are SO WELL ROUNDED.  I wonder when the movie is coming out.  

So maybe you didn't win the Target gift card but maybe you found something else you can use.  I sure hope so!  I am also working on a cause and effect worksheet but it's not completed yet.

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend.  I had planned on hibernating but ended up with 4 events in 3 days.  SIGH.  I would much rather have 1 event in 4 days and hem and haw over whether or not I should attend.  I did attend the late late late show of Big Brother -- GREAT STUFF, PEOPLE!  It is getting down to the wire and I am loving every minute of it.  Jessie was as annoying as ever but Rachel's reaction was actually quite funny.  :)

Have a great week!  And for those of you FINALLY starting (hooray - more people having to wake up to the alarm clock!  I don't like thinking I am the only one!), good luck!!!!