11/29/11

Giveaway (again!) :)

I woke up again today.  Not of my own free will but because the alarm clock was extremely rude.  Then we had a Staff Meeting.  It's however many hours later and I don't recall what was said in the meeting.  I'm pretty sure I went.


Today is the "first time we kissed so let's call this we began our life together anniversary" day between my hubby and me.  Well, obviously it's between my hubby and me, otherwise he might be a little upset with me.  So, 20 years ago today, we kissed for the first time.  That was also a little against my will, too.  Wait.  That doesn't sound right.  Let's try this again.  He was trying to kiss me and I was fighting him off because he was my best friend's boyfriend and I felt bad . . . oh, that doesn't make me look very good, does it?  . . .  One more time . . . my best friend broke up with her boyfriend who I was in love with (and actually quite close to, really) and she knew that I was in love with him but she went out with him anyway.  And then I was the bigger person and I said, "Let's not let a guy come between us."  Wasn't that nice of me?  Then they dated for like eight months (and seven of those months were lots of fights and I was the referee) and then they broke up.  Her EX boyfriend and I stayed friends, much to her dismay, and then twenty years ago on this very day, he tried to kiss me and I tried really hard to be a good friend, and a good person, and fight him off.  I tried.  Really hard.  I'd say . . . oh . . . maybe after about thirty seconds, I let him.  And then I kissed him back.  My friend and I are no longer best friends or friends of any kind, for that matter.  Remember how I was the bigger person and I said, "Let's not let a guy come between us?"  She did NOT say that.  She said . . . well, we'll just leave it at that.  


Can you tell that this happened in elementary school?  No?  Too early?


Okay, how about junior high?  No?  Still?


All right, it was high school.  Except hubby and best friend were seniors and I was at a community college.  But still.  Twenty years sounds like a long time, but in all actuality, I am really young.  For real.  Age is just a number.


So happy anniversary to me.  And I hope all is well with my ex-best friend.


I don't know how to transition from that story to the reason for this post so I'm just going to start a new paragraph.


Did you know that I am part of another giveaway?  Yes, I AM!!!  :)


I have joined forces with Rebecca from Teaching First, Jennifer from Rowdy in First Grade, and Caitlin from Ms. Preppy.  Rebecca is hosting so you will need to go over to her blog to check out the goods.  Just click on her adorable button.
Teaching First
It's pretty darn easy to enter.  You just have to find someone's boyfriend and then steal them away.

JUST KIDDING!!!!  :)

All you have to do is follow each of us, follow their awesome stores, and then tell a story about what you like to do in the winter with your class.  How easy is that???  

Before you click on over there, leave me a comment about my sordid story.  But you have to be on MY SIDE even though you don't know the whole story.  It's quite clear that my hubby and I were supposed to be together because it's been 20 years!!  HELLO?!  So no nasty comments.  Please.  Remember how I wouldn't tell you what she said?  Uh huh.  That was nasty enough.  Also, if this reminds you AT ALL of the Dylan, Kelly, and Brenda saga, I will tell you that I thought someone listened in on all of my conversations during this time in my life and stole my story and sold it to the 90210 writers.  My only issue was I didn't know if I was supposed to be Kelly or Brenda.  

11/28/11

Recovered

Well, I recovered from my Sunday night blues.  It was a little iffy there this morning (like when the alarm went off and I actually had to GET OUT OF BED) but they went away when I saw my kids on the playground.  Apparently, they missed me.  At least I think so.  I'm taking the dog pile on top of me as an indication.


Our Family Tree Projects started arriving today.  We could call these Christmas trees but we won't.  We will call them Terrific Trees and Winter Trees and Family Tree Projects.  Just to be safe and so no one gets offended.  So far, it has worked.  The majority of the trees come back green and red, BUT I absolutely love the purple and pink ones and/or the Superhero ones.  For real.  My partner just got a THOR tree today.  We weren't sure when we were first deciphering contemplating admiring it because we thought maybe it was a Native American tree . . . really, we thought we saw a warrior . . . but then we found the title (written lightly in pencil so you could see our problem) and it was "THE GREAT THOR TREE".  Of course.   


I just got a tree today covered in coconut.  I do NOT like coconut.  The smell is killing me.  I may just have to disguise it with some febreeze.  I don't know.  Right now, the coconut is winning.


Here's the tree we send home (we enlarge it on the copier):
I also give the kids an award (as in, I staple it right up next to the tree.  We don't have a ceremony or anything because I have to be honest and true and married to my core curriculum).


Here is a partial pic of the Family Trees from last year.  The trees are on "snow" because you never know.  It could snow here.  I haven't finished this year's board because I haven't taken down Harvest Hank the trees are still trickling in.  They are due by Friday.

I have a letter that I send home explaining the project and I'm including it HERE.  It's editable so you can change the date or whatever you might want to. Remember, it's editable.  My fonts won't show up.  And I did not use whatever font shows up (unless it's cute and then I did).  Click any of the pics to grab whatever you might like.

Well, I am off to stalk a little and then catch up on the Housewives.  I caught a little bit of the end of Atlanta and I believe I am traumatized from Kandi's 35th birthday party.  Much like her mom.  Anyone else?  I am thinking of Phoebe from Friends.  "My eyes!  My eyes!"  

11/27/11

Received

First things first.


It is the last day of my Thanksgiving vacation.  I have a serious case of the blues.  Love my class, miss my friends, enjoy my job BUT . . . wish I could do it in my pjs from home.  And not have a schedule.  And go to the bathroom whenever I want.


Oh, and somehow, I accidentally posted my 100th post without even realizing it.  I was mad at myself (after the fact).  I wanted to make a big deal.  They always make a big deal about the 100th episode of a show so I was planning on that, too.  We were going to have a cake and everything!  I was watching for it, and preparing for it, and here I am on my 101st post.  And I'd rather have cake than think about the 101 Dalmatians.


So.


Let's all go eat a piece of cake and come back to reconvene.  How does that sound?


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 


I just searched my pantry for a piece of cake.   There is no cake here.  :(    I had to make do with a 100 calorie bag of chocolate chip Keebler something or other that I found.  I ate them.  Then I looked for something else because they are never enough.  I found a snack sized Butterfinger candy bar at the bottom of my Halloween stash.  I'm pretty much down to Almond Joys which are for my sis, Kerry, who loves coconut.  I do not.  This is why they call us fraternal.


Anyways, now that we're semi satisfied and finished celebrating my 100th post in blogging, let's get to the real reason for this post.


I've been awarded the Sunshine Award.  By a lot of you.  And I think the sheer number of times I've been awarded is because I've failed to tell anyone that I've received it.  So let me be clear - I have received my award and I am honored.  I feel really bad that I keep receiving it.  Like, I'm trying to be sneaky and get it as many times as possible.  I'm not trying to do that but it looks that way.  


Just eat your cake.


So, let me say thank you to the following blogs for awarding me the Sunshine award.  I really really really appreciate it!!!  It made me happy every single time (and a little guilty).



I am really sorry if I forgot anyone!!!  



I have to answer some questions.  I won't answer them 9 times.  :)

Favorite color:  green, although I am color blind like Little Miss Kindergarten.  It is a problem.  And can be embarassing like the time I took a professional development course with PROFESSIONAL people and colored grapes BLUE.

Favorite animal:  dogs (I believe that they are actually people)

Favorite number:  3  

Favorite drinks:  creamer with coffee (yes, you read that right) and coke zero.  I wish I could say water but I don't like it.

Facebook or Twitter:  Facebook but not so much anymore (blogs have taken over my computer)

My passion:  I love the Lord.  I love reading.  I love writing.  Teaching.  Blogging.  TALKING.  

Giving or receiving:  BOTH

Favorite day:  Wednesdays

Now onto nominating some of my friends . . . and I have no idea if they have already been nominated.  :)  Because I'm not very good at this, as you can tell.  I'm nominating some "newer" blogs so you can go check them out.



Thank you again for the Sunshine Award.  I hope everyone has a good week back at school.  I hope we can all wake up tomorrow.  I'm a little worried I forgot how to set the alarm.

11/25/11

Template (and some Talk)

Well, happy Black Friday to you.  Although I think I need to adjust the title of my Black Friday to something more along the lines of Be Lazy and Watch Movies and Stay in Pjs Friday because that's what's happening over here.  We try to avoid Black Friday people at all costs.  They kind of scare me.  No offense.


Well, I wasn't sure if anyone would want the Ornament Template or not but apparently, lots do.  So rather than email a bunch of people (because remember I am having Be Lazy and Watch Movies and Stay in Pjs Friday), here it is.  Click to download. 
Ornament Template

I saw Breaking Dawn on Wednesday.  I loved it.  What's not to love?  But I have three critiques.  Or negatives.  Or parts I didn't like.


1.  Edward's eyebrows seemed too bushy to me.  I felt like they were taking over his whole face and I kept trying to rearrange his features by squinting my eyes, but it didn't work.  Bushy.


2.  There is a scene where the werewolves are talking to one another . . . I felt like I was watching a cartoon.  It was so weird to me.


3.  It ended!!!!  I hate that it ended.  I would have been good to go with a short intermission for a bathroom break, restocking my snack supply, and stretching my legs for a bit.  I thought it was cruel and unusual punishment for it to end.


There was NO ONE in our theater.  It could be because we went to the first showing at 10:30 in the morning, but there were only three "groups" of people.  Some people sat way below us and some people sat way behind us.  Lovely, my friend and I thought.  This is perfect.


And THEN.


Here come three ladies.   They sat on our row and left one seat between us.  I'm all about the more, the merrier, but seriously?  In this whole big empty theater, you have to sit right next to us?  Really?


Here's what they said when they sat down:


"Are you all Team Jacob?  I can't sit next to no Team Jacob . . . hee hee.  Ha ha."


I said I couldn't make up my mind, we laughed, made some small talk, and we settled down.  All was well.


Until the movie started and they TALKED THROUGH THE WHOLE DARN THING AND ANSWERED CELL PHONE CALLS AND TALKED ON THOSE, TOO!!!  At one point, I thought one of them was talking on her cell phone and relaying the entire movie to the person on the other end.  


I about turned into a werewolf myself and attacked them.


Instead, I've just been complaining about it to any and everyone who will listen.  


The women in my life respond with, "Oh no!  That's terrible!  What's their problem?  Why did they even want to see the movie if they were just going to talk through it?''


The men in my life respond with, "Why didn't you say anything?"


Or


"Why didn't you move?"


BIG SIGH.  They just don't understand.  As angry as I was, I can't have those stranger ladies not like me.  


Anyways, I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving.  We had a marathon day of brunch with my family and dinner with the hubby's family.  We were back home in just under twelve hours.  We brought home some leftovers but I'm not big on leftovers.  I know, I know, how awful.  Am I crazy?  Maybe.  I just can't eat the same thing all weekend long (unless it's an English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast OR chocolate).  Hubby already went and got me a turkey sandwich from Jersey Mike's.  I know!!!  That's so silly when yesterday was turkey day.  But it was delicious, let me tell you!


So I leave you with two questions.


1.  Do you like leftovers?


2.  Do you ever have bad movie experiences?  I can honestly tell you that you should never come to the movies with me because I am bad luck and stuff like this happens all the time.  For example, another friend and I went to a movie and it never started.  We had to go tell the people to start the movie.  They did.  Then we had to turn out the lights OURSELVES (this was in the olden days, obviously) and then it was the WRONG MOVIE.  For real.

11/23/11

Student Gifts (are not all they're cracked up to be)

Okay, peeps!!!  I'm going to see Edward and Jacob today!  Finally!  If I could just get Bella out of the picture . . . anyways, I'm not really on one team or another.  I go back and forth depending on who is in the scene.  I'm easily swayed.  If they're both in the scene, I don't really force myself to pick one and I just eat my popcorn.  And milk duds.  And drink my icee.


Yesterday I got stuff done.  It was good.  


I tackled one project that took me about three hours (with breaks for a Lifetime movie called The Perfect Teacher - holy cow, this crazy teenager is hot for her math teacher and she basically sets out to ruin his life.  My little teacher troubles are nothing in comparison!  I just couldn't concentrate on my project).  


I make the gifts for my kids to give to their parents for Christmas.  That's right.  Me.  I know, I know, this is so wrong.  Surely, the kids should do all of the work.  Right?  Then it's all "kid-zy".  I get it.


But a few years ago, I got tired of the Oriental Trading catalog foam stuff that glue does not work on and the kids get frustrated and I have to say, "Hold it and count to 1000 and it will stick!" thirty times (well twenty times because back then, I only had twenty kids.  Can you imagine?) and I had to tell them "No, you cannot wash your hands yet because we have more gluing to do so why would you wash your hands now?!  Go back to your seat!"  I'm getting tense just thinking about it.  


I tried a variety of projects.  None that I remember.


And then a kinder teacher showed us her nifty little idea and that's what I do now.  I consider it more of a present from ME to the parents as a little bribe thank you for their support.  I get big thanks from the parents every year.  It's a KEEPSAKE, people.  It will not end up in the circular file (I hope, anyway).   I do have my kids make a cute reindeer card and the gift bag for the gift.  And they help me wrap.  Plus they make a bunch of crafts at our Winter Party that they take home as gifts, too.  Have I convinced you yet?  I sure hope so because the energy this is taking to come up with valid reasons for doing my kids' gifts is quite exhausting.  You could have already started yours.  Stop looking at me like that.


Here's all you need:

Okay, I'm kind of lying.  That's not all you need.  You have to take pictures of your kids first and then insert their cute little faces into THIS template or another kind of template.  For example, wreaths.  But I couldn't find a wreath with an actual OPEN CENTER causing me lots of grief and utter frustration and a fruitless search online for special graphic programs with no success. (Please do not leave me a comment saying you know how to do this.  Please wait at least two days minimum and then you can.)
Once you've inserted their faces, print them on regular paper and take them to Staples or some such place and get a copy printed on color transparencies.  You could buy the whole box but it's super expensive.  If you end up buying the whole box, can you please leave me a comment and let me know which school district you work for and if they are hiring.  Thankyouverymuch.

Once you've got all of your "transparencied" pictures cut out, you're good to go.  Do not cut off the tab.  You need that so it will stick up in the neck of the ornament and then your picture won't fall over.  Tears and snot. Tantrums and howls. Trial and error, people.

1.  Take off the top thingamajig of the ornament.
2.  Pour glitter (or confetti - I've used confetti before) into the neck of the ornament.
3.  Roll up the little picture so it's skinny enough to slide into the neck of the ornament.
4.  Put the top thingamajig back on.
5.  Tie a bow.

This is what you get.  I used a picture of me but I wished I had taken one of my pup instead.  I could have given it to the hubby this year as a gift.
Please ignore my thumb and the chipped nail polish.  

Can you tell?  I'm transparent.  I'm inside the ball.  INSIDE.  Every year, I have one or two DIY parents ask me how this is done.  You can change this to meet your needs in any way you want.  I tend to stick with blue and silver so that it's not too Christmas-y in case I have families who don't celebrate.  But you could do anything!  I also add the year at the bottom of the pic with a text box.  And, like I said, you could put their faces inside of wreaths or something.  

So that's what I do.  These are the presents that my kids give to their parents.  They do pose for the pictures so that's something, right?

If you want the template, go to {this post} for the link.  But that template works for the smaller balls (that makes me a laugh a little) so if you get a different size, you'll need a different template.   

****Also, please, please, please, I have no idea where this came from except that one of our Kinder teachers gave us the idea, but I am in no way saying that this was my idea, so please don't turn me into the Idea Police.****

All right.  Well, I am running late for my date with a vampire and a werewolf so I'll see you later.  

ENJOY YOUR DAY!!!!!  And if I don't talk to you tomorrow, it's because it's Thanksgiving and my family told me to join the land of the living.  So Happy Thanksgiving and please know that I am truly thankful for all of my new friends in the virtual world.  Really.  In an almost weird way but let's not talk about that.  We'll just say:

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

11/22/11

Too Soon?

I really enjoyed reading every one's Thankful posts from the linky parties co-hosted by What the Teacher Wants and Oh Boy, Fourth Grade.  There was a trend -- most of us are thankful for reality TV.   And there is nothing wrong with that.  Nothing.  No intervention needed here.


Is it too soon to share a December poem?  I had a couple of comments asking for a December poem for after the Thanksgiving break.  I debated for awhile and then I just decided a poem was not something to agonize over.  I mean, really.  It's much more important to agonize over the Beverly Hills Housewives and the rifts between Camille and Taylor, Brandi and Kim, Adrienne and Lisa, and why in the world Kennedy is so disgruntled all of the time.


So here's a December poem without any agony:

December Color



December Word Cards Color
December Fill in the Blank

Did you see what I did there?  I embedded these.  You can't see me but I am patting myself on the back and taking a little bow.  And crossing my fingers that this will work once I publish this post.  


Now, you might notice that the word "Christmas" is in this poem.  And maybe you're not allowed to use that word in your school.  Much like the word "fun" in my school.  Maybe I need to change the word Christmas to something else.  Let's see.  Hmmmm.  Here are some possibilities:


But December brings "weight gain" at the end!
But December brings "family feuds" at the end!
But December brings "credit card debt" at the end!

Oh, I don't know.  They just don't have the same ring.  On a serious note, how about:


But December brings "VACATION" at the end! :)


You can grab the black and white poem {HERE} and the black and white word cards {HERE}.


Well, remember I said I am SUPER THANKFUL for comments so if you like or love these, please let me know.  Also, if you have a different idea for what December brings at the end, leave that too!   :)  And if you really can't have the word Christmas, let me know, and we'll change it to whatever you want.  Within reason.   

11/21/11

Thankful

Good morning and happy day to all of you who are off this whole week like me!  Ahhhhhh.  Regis  and Kelly, (see what happens when you don't get to watch morning television since the summer?  Regis has apparently left the show.  LEFT THE SHOW.) pajamas, coffee and an English muffin with peanut butter.  Life is good!  


Oh shoot.  I really meant to start this post off without rubbing my time off in the faces of the poor teachers who still have to work for a couple of days this week.  (man, that was a LONG sentence)  I don't know how to start over so we'll move on.


Yesterday, I got a comment from Rachelle over at What the Teacher Wants.  Does it need to be said that their blog (she writes with Natalie) has over 3600 followers?  And that I am a just a wee little blog that started its beginning over the summer?  And that I still have no idea what I'm doing half the time?  I didn't think so.


Anyways, she said she gave me a shout out on her blog.


................................................................................#.............................................................................


Those dots represent me passed out on the floor of my family room.    The pound sign represents my laptop which landed on top of me.


People, this was not an ordinary shout out.  


She is thankful for me.  


HUH?


Um, I'm afraid to call too much attention to this because maybe she will change her mind.  So everybody, be vewy vewy vewy qwiet.


Ahem (clear throat).  Cough.


Rachelle and Natalie over at What the Teacher Wants are hosting their first ever linky party!!!  It's called "I'm Thankful".  Let's get started!


{This will be a little difficult for me because I'm not so much of the mushy gushy type.  I tend to be sarcastic (no!).  I'll try hard to be . . . I don't know.  What's the word?  Hmm.  Well, I'll try.}


1.  What are you thankful for in your classroom?
I am thankful for my kiddos this year because I don't have one major behavior problem and this is WAY different than last year when I had a kid who liked to throw chairs and rocks and things.  I am also thankful for their parents who are really supportive but not overbearing.  And lastly, I'm thankful for my close friends at school who let me talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, vent, whine, and talk some more.


2.  What person are you most thankful for?
I am thankful for my hubby who takes really good care of me and pretty much spoils me rotten.  He is very handy, computer savvy, and a great cook.  He supports my teaching and all that comes with it and now supports all of this crazy blogging business (although he says he might hide my laptop one day just to see what would happen.  I'm afraid he might actually do that so when I get home, I check for my laptop first and THEN I kiss him).


3.  What three blogs are you most thankful for?
Of course, I am thankful for ALL of them.  How could I not be?  They inspire me DAILY and make me a better teacher.  But . . . I'll stick to the rules.


Miss Kindergarten - Hadar has been with me since the beginning.  Literally.  And I didn't even ask her to but she spotlighted my blog ON THE FIRST DAY.  We have since been email buddies and we are going to meet up in December!!!!!!!!!!  That alone is all the present I need this Christmas.  She's Hadar.  What else do I need to say?


Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits - Reagan is awesome.  She saved my life with an inside recess tip and now we've also become email buddies.  She is REALLY funny and makes me laugh!  Her stuff is super cute, too, but that goes without saying.


Oh Boy, Fourth Grade - Farley is hilarious.  There's no other word for it.  I think I told her in a comment that I loved her name and that was it.  We have been BFF's (blog friends forever) ever since.  I love her Currently linky parties and all of her cute stationery and poster stuff.  


4.  What guilty pleasure are you most thankful for?
Reality TV.  Obviously.  Maybe I should say TV in general.  And TIVO.


5.  What are you most thankful for?
I could write a book here.  But I won't.  I am most thankful for God who gives me everything listed here and not listed here.  With Him, none of it would be possible.  


My family.  It's little but we are mighty - I'm thankful for my mom and dad, older sister and her two kids, twin sister and her three kids, and my younger brother.  Sure, sure, I'll be thankful for my brothers-in-law, too.  Why not?


My health - that even though I have a serious heart condition, the medicine is working and I'm able to do the things I love and continue working on a daily basis.   
  
My dog - even though we lost her brother over the summer and I can still choke up about it, Sydney is doing really well.  She's twelve but doesn't know it.  I am so glad that she is still here even though her brother isn't.  I was really afraid she would go soon after and she hasn't.  She's amazing to me, really.  (Okay, I get mushy about my dogs.  There.)


I am SUPER THANKFUL for comments.  I am happy for every single comment.  It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  I still can't believe that people read what I am writing.  And some even say that they like my style of writing and all that.  I have always wanted to be a writer (well, that, and teaching, obviously) so it just  . . . I feel like . . . it makes me want to . . . well.  That's enough of that.


You've got to go link up with Rachelle and Natalie at What the Teacher Wants and ALSO my BFF, Farley.  They are both doing this because great minds think alike.  Click to go!


If you're teaching today, I hope your day goes quickly!  As for me, I hope it goes super slooooooowly.  :)

11/20/11

Spin-off

Happy Sunday to you!  This doesn't feel like a normal Sunday because I don't have to run around like a crazy person trying to find and iron something to wear tomorrow, make a lunch, make the coffee, go through my school bag and get all caught up, etc.  I know that sounds like almost NOTHING TO DO compared to you people they call MOTHERS and TEACHERS (all wrapped up in one) but still.  I am happy.  It's not a normal Sunday.  I am going to tackle the laundry but I'm a little bit nervous.  Last weekend, the washing machine was making funny noises.  It has typical funny noises that sound like groaning (nooooooooooooooooo) and high pitched noises during the spin cycle (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee) but last weekend was different.  It didn't sound like it didn't want to wash the clothes (usual), it sounded like it was going to rebel and just up and quit on me and literally bounce right out of its spot (unusual).  I'm worried.  Hubby is generally good at looking at stuff like this, finding the problem, going to Home Depot, returning with the wrong stuff, and going out again.  BUT he really doesn't want to lift the machine seeing as how last weekend, he was put through what no man should be put through.  He's being EXTRA CAUTIOUS.  We'll see.  I think I may pet the machine and speak very nicely to it before I begin.


I doubt you all really care about my laundry woes, so I'll move on. 


I got an email from the creator of Teaching Blog Addict again.  It was titled "Look What You Started".  She has a small publishing company and wants to compile a book of our funniest teaching stories.  See?
She said that my {True} Halloween Ghost Story inspired her and that, surely, the rest of us have some hilarious stories, too.  Uh, yeah you do.  A LOT of you left your stories in the comments section of my Halloween post.  And you need to submit your stories because they were either hilarious, gross, unbelievable or all three combined!  She will also accept funny quotes.  You've got to go over there and submit your stories.  I'm thinking of a couple that HAVE to be shared.  Mandy shared something about a opposum, Jennifer shared something about a . . . ahem . . . well . . . I can't think of a code word for it . . . let's see . . . a condom and Susan shared a story about a green crayon.  


If you've got a story, and let's face it, you know you do, please submit it!  I have another one that I need to share that happened to a friend of mine in kinder, and now I have the little girl, but I need to get all of the details straight first.  I'll just tell you this:  puppies.


Click on the button to head over.



Leave me a quick comment if you've got something!!!  I'd love to know who's doing this with me!  :)

Off to do the laundry . . . here goes nothing.  It's not weird that I'm afraid that the machine will become real and torture me for all of the laundry I've made it do in the past, is it?  Leave me a comment if you have any laundry advice . . . :)

11/18/11

Well, hello there!  Thanks for coming back and accepting my apology about the Morning Work Fiasco of 2011.  I'm still thinking long and hard on what to do and how to do it.  So stay tuned.  I hope most of you are just like me.  You go blog stalking and something says it's free or it's implied or it's FREE,  and so you just click and print.  But you weren't DYING to have my Morning Work.  You just thought it might be nice to click and print AGAIN.  


Today was a good day.


First, and foremost, we got a new custodian.  He is really friendly and nice.  For example, he asked me how long I had been teaching first grade.  When I replied, "Fifteen years," he fell over and passed out. He JUST DIDN'T BELIEVE IT.  I had to wave smelling salts  Elmer's white glue in front of his nose.  When he came to, he asked if I started teaching when I was TEN.  Move over, Edward, I'm crushing on someone else.  Welcome to our school!!  What's your favorite treat??


AND THEN . . . we did ART.  ART!!  It had nothing to do with the fact that both administrators were out today at a conference.  Nothing.  And it also had nothing to do with the fact that the person left in charge told us to HAVE FUN and BE MERRY.  And no one shall know that I changed my schedule all around and maybe, just maybe, cheated on Houghton Mifflin today.  Fidelity went out the window (should have shut it but it was too late).


We started learning about Native Americans in Social Studies this week.  I LOVE SOCIAL STUDIES!!!! (anybody with me?)  Earlier this week, we discussed different types of homes that Native Americans lived in and then we each made a teepee.  I didn't take pictures but they turned out well.  They weren't fancy . . . not made out of tortillas or other edible items . . . just construction paper.  I thought my kiddos understood the whole lesson and the meaning behind it (some Native Americans used teepees because they were easy to move from place to place) but I don't think so.  While I was stapling one little boy's teepee, I heard little voices singing the Happy Birthday song.  When I turned around, gobs of students had their teepees on their heads.  As birthday hats.  Yes, happy birthday to yooooooou.


Today, we learned all about how Native Americans got their food.   The boys were thrilled about the hunting and the fishing (insert "bows flying through the air" sound effects and a teacher voice saying "knock it off  save it for recess") but we concentrated on the THREE SISTERS.  And how the three sisters represent corn, beans, and squash.  We read some stuff (some parts of books that were above their heads and some other little snippets I found online - I am seriously thinking about writing my own little diddy) and then we got busy.  I gave the kids a bunch of different beans, along with corn kernels and pumpkin seeds.  After telling everyone we couldn't EAT the supplies and/or STICK THEM UP OUR NOSE or IN OUR EARS (don't worry, there is no story.  Not this year, anyway!), I told them they could design anything they wanted using the Three Sisters (well almost anything.  I did say no to angry birds.  Something tells me the early Native Americans didn't play that game).  I told the kids to draw with pencil first and then start gluing.  We used brand new bottles so it was a piece of cake.  Now I feel like throwing them out so I can get some new bottles for the next project (whenever that might be . . . two years from now?). 


Here are some GREAT samples.  I think these kids are new to my school because they actually have some Art Skills.  And we don't "Do Art".


Here are some other samples.





Hey, it's not their fault I can't teach art every day, or even every week, and that we don't have Specials.  I like them.  They're real.  And they practically copied my own samples bean for bean!!

I hope this gives you an idea to use if you teach Native Americans.  It doesn't come with a freebie.  Just go buy a bunch of beans, corn kernels, pumpkin seeds and cut some paper.  Oh, and don't forget the brand new bottles of white glue.  There.  See?  The idea is a freebie.  :)

Happy Friday to you!!!  And especially to me because I am off ALL NEXT WEEK (Monday through Wednesday are Furlough Days).  Hooray!  I am wearing my teepee hat to celebrate!

PS  Who watched Survivor???  

11/16/11

Don't Go Away Mad

Palling around with Principals was a HOT TOPIC (as they would say on The View which I have not laid eyes on since the summer . . . for all I know, all of the hosts could have been replaced with new ones or maybe it's even off the air . . . either way, it was SUMMER, aka, the good ole days).  I loved reading all of your comments.  Many of them made me think that I should elaborate.  


While I don't consider myself "friends" with my principal, I do have to say that we are on friendly terms.  She appears to like me, trusts my judgment, and has never moved me out of first grade.  I feel like I can go to her with any old thing and she'll at least pretend to listen.  However, I NEVER go to her for any old thing.  Or any new thing.  I just steer clear, in the same way that a gazelle runs in the opposite direction of a tiger (do you like how I consider myself a graceful gazelle?  Rather than a meerkat?  Or a hyena?) .  And let's be honest.  She doesn't care if we wear flip flops in hot weather or Uggs in cool weather even though SHE wears high heels EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I have yet to see her wear jeans or pants of any kind.  Or any of our spirit wear.  And I have been working with her for NINE WHOLE YEARS.  


Well, I wish I could think of something else to say.  Something to fill up this space before I make you all mad at me.  


OH!  I know!   Here's something!  


Someone asked me if I am into the Twilight books and movies.  Let me answer that question with some questions of my own.  Are you looking forward to Winter Vacation??  Does a first grader tattletale?  Is it true that bathroom doors can cut off fingers?  I THINK SO!!!!!! :) :) :)  AFFIRMATIVE!!


Okay . . . the time has come.  I have some bad news.


When I asked you if you might be interested in the Morning Work that I created, I wasn't offering it up.  I was just genuinely wondering if anyone would be interested because I have created it to go with MY particular Language Arts and Math curriculum and pacing guides and all that business.  I really meant it when I said I had no idea HOW I would share it because it's huge.  It's one folder on my computer with 34 folders inside of it and inside each folder are ten worksheets (five Language Arts and five Math).  Do you see the complexity of this situation??


I would LOVE to just fly all over the country in a helicopter and rain down Morning Work on everyone who asked for it.  Or better yet, instead of a helicopter, in a sleigh with reindeer!!! :)


Oh, peeps, and chickadees, please don't be upset with me.  :(


I am thinking I will offer it up in a giveaway, but instead of emailing you the file (which will be next to impossible the way I organized it on my computer), I will ship you a wonderful package and all of the work will be in there, copied, and ready to go.  A MASTER SET.  Imagine.  I could even tie a bow on it (I am clapping my hands) and give it away to one two THREE people!!!  


And just to butter you up and make sure you don't go away all upset with me (which I wouldn't be able to stand!!!  I wouldn't even be able to lay down and sleep!! I would just have to SIT.  No standing or sleeping or anything.  Just sitting in my own thoughts and feeling really bad), I am offering you THIS FREEBIE.  Which, quite possibly, I have already given away.  I'm losing track.  But next week, we introduce digraphs in our CORE CURRICULUM so I'll be throwing this gently setting this down in front of them for some *fun* cut and pasting time.  I don't know what it is, but this class is SUPER QUIET during cut and pasting time.  I don't know if it's the cutting or the smell of the glue.  Anywho, maybe you can use it in your word work center or whatever.  It's just a bribe for you to still like me.
Click the pic to grab it.  I always copy the pictures onto colored copy paper so that it's less complicated for my kids.  Just a tip.

So . . . I'll let you know when I offer up the Morning Work.  

But, for now, thank you for wanting it in the first place.  I'm proud that you loved my baby after only one look at it. 

I don't really have any questions for you tonight.  Except . . . because I am SHAMELESS (and I have Friends in Low Places!  Garth, anyone?) I do have one.

Are you mad at me?

11/15/11

Principal = Pal

What a day I've had.  Just picture me hitting myself in the forehead as I say it again.  What a day I've had!  But I am alive.  Life is well.  This is not a Grey's Anatomy day in which terrible things happen every single segment (last week's episode) or a Beverly Hills Housewives kind of day in which my friends sit on a pristine white couch and pretty much tell me that they always talk behind my back (last night's episode).


No, no, no.  It's just that yesterday was a To Be Continued kind of day and it continued.  Shall I explain?


Get comfy.  Here come some words.


Our district has a Print Shop.  They copy stuff there.  My principal lets us turn in "grade level wide" masters and units of things for approval and then she PAYS for all of the copying over at Print Shop.  It's sent there, it's copied there, and it comes back to us in boxes.  Shrinkwrapped, collated, hole punched, any kind of copy word you can think of, and it's done.  It's a magical place.  Much like Santa's workshop.  


Well, at the end of last year, our budget was bad.   This is not new (I mean, really).


We had to turn in "first half" stuff and "second half" stuff.  


It's time for our "second half" stuff.  I asked our secretary yesterday if it was turned in, shipped off, or being multiplied as we speak.  Nope.  But she would ASK our principal about it.  She thought she had heard our principal say she wasn't approving anything that was not core curriculum.  


You just gasped, didn't you?  You know that core curriculum comes with workbooks and phonics readers and . . . and . . . and . . . well, that's about it.  Obviously, anything we send to print shop is SUPPLEMENTAL.


Here is one sample that I need for the second half of the year:
Well, I don't know if you can tell from this, but we call this Morning Work.  And it's a weekly review of what we learned in our Core Curriculum from the previous week.  Make 15 copies, cut in half, good to go.  (well, except that I also have math on the back)

So I understand it's a lot of copies.  We do this EVERY DAY.  The kids come in, get started, and we review.  Each day is something a little different.    

Here's the kicker.  This is my BABY.  It took me FOREVER to create these and find the right clipart and blah, blah, blah.  They are not meaningless.  They go with our Language Arts and Math curriculum.  I don't know why I'm trying to convince YOU.  I am preaching to the choir, as they say.  YOU get it.  Thank you, by the way.

Long story short (ha!), the answer yesterday was NO.  NOPE.  And no extra clicks for copying it on our own at school.  We are budgeted on our copies and we call them clicks (don't worry, I don't get it either).  NO.  

Ouch.

First Grade was DEVASTATED.  We were down in the dumps.  And then we decided to RISE UP.  We would RISE UP and STAND UP FOR WHAT WE BELIEVED IN.  So we marched right into our principal's office and we said . . . and I said . . . well, anyways, in my dream, it was BRILLIANT.  I'm sad to say, we didn't do that.  We just hung our heads and hugged one another and said, "The sky is blue.  We can always count on that." (unless it's raining and then it's gray)

But TODAY . . . my partner and I were eating lunch and our principal came in and asked us to see her when we were finished.

GULP (from the food but also from the nerves).

Here's what happened.  She started the conversation with "I consider us friends."

Hmmmm.  That was interesting to me.  I don't have her number.  We never text each other.  And, in general, if my friends ask me to stop by their room or their office, I am usually not afraid that a) I'm in trouble b) I did something wrong or c) I'm about to be fired.  Maybe that's just MY friends and me.   Maybe we're weird.  

Oh, but did I ever nod my head like a maniac that yes, we're friends, because I knew where this was going!!  I could stand to use a new friend!!!  Yes, let's be PALS.  

All in all, she was very reasonable (so were we) and it was a pleasant conversation.    

She gave her reasons, she allowed us to give our reasons, and then we walked out of her office with a YES.   All because I'm her friend.  

Here are my questions for you tonight.  I only have two.  :)

1.  Are you friends with your principal? (and is it okay to talk about this?  I didn't say anything wrong, did I?  oops, that's 3 questions in one but just ignore that)
2.  Are you interested in the Morning Work that I just showed?  It's a HUGE file.  I have no idea how I would share it.  It's 34 weeks long.  FRONT AND BACK (anyone thinking Ross from Friends?  oops, that's a third question but it doesn't count unless you want it to)
 

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