Bears, Birthdays, and a Fall Sale

Apparently, it's the first day of fall.  You wouldn't know that if you lived where I live.  Mainly because you would have passed out from the heat already.  Supposedly, it's going to be in the 80s next week.  Fingers crossed.

Anywho, Happy First Day of Fall.  I am looking forward to this season.  I enjoy it.  I can hibernate without feeling ashamed.

A bunch of bloggers (over 50) are having a sale to welcome fall.

Click the pic to go to Second Grade Math Maniac.  
Casey is our host and you can check out all of the other bloggers who are having sales, too!

I said, why not?  Me too.  Granted, I still only have a couple of things that you might like for yourself, and I can't really call it a store yet, but everything's on sale.  Click on any of the pics to go to my kiosk.

In other news, the twins had their birthday this week.  I got them each a present and we had cupcakes.


I didn't.

Just kidding.

That would be playing favorites and, as you all know, teacher's don't have favorites.  We love all our little stinkers equally.  Hand over heart.

I had to miss half the day due to a dentist appointment (in which we discovered that a bottom front tooth has decided to move.  Even though I have a permanent retainer down there.  It's not moving back or forth.  Or even side to side.  Oh no.  That would be way too common for little ole me.  Instead, it's moving vertically.  As in, up.  UP.  They called it this big scientific name and decided I was not to blame.  But of course I have to go back now because the dentist wants to bond the tooth to the retainer so that it will stop that.  I have since had a talking-to with the tooth, and we are no longer on speaking terms.)

So I had to have a morning sub on the day of the twins' birthday.  I made it perfectly clear in the plans that the sub could NOT play the Birthday Song for them even if they asked.  

I wanted to do it.

It was everything I hoped it would be.

Later, one of them told me he can't wait for his hair to grow out.

He's going to get a wave for the babes, he said.

Another little boy in my class cried out, "Why would you want to do THAT?"

Good times.

Meanwhile, we had to take a couple of tests this week.  I hate tests.  All the "no talking during a test" and "stop looking at your neighbor's paper" and "why do you need another pencil, you just got one" and "I know you don't understand because you've struggled this entire time, but just do your best" and "Someone pour me a drink, please".  It's too much.  Hate it.

One of the tests we attempted to take was on the American Symbols.  I don't feel we really need to test in Science and Social Studies, but that's just my opinion and no one ever asks me for it.

In order to review this week, and liven up the place after lunch because I am not a sane person, we played Hot Potato with our class bear.  In other words, we played "Hot Bear".

***As a side note:  Our class bear is super special because he's about ten years old and my own mother got him for my class at Build a Bear.  Awwww.  My nieces and nephews helped build him, too.  It was a family affair.  My mom even talked on one of those thingamajigs, and the kids wore it out the first year, and I ended up having to have it surgically removed.  He has had to be restuffed twice and he wears different clothes for the seasons.  We named him after my school -- so I'm not telling you his name just in case you put all the information I've ever put on here together in one big package and show up to volunteer or stalk me.  And, just for the record, I have enough volunteers at the moment, but thankyouverymuch.***

We got in an organized circle a discombulated oval that barely fits on my carpet area what with all of the millions of children, and I explained the rules before beginning.

Do not throw our bear.
Do not fight over our bear.
Do not hold onto our bear.
Do not wipe your nose on our bear.
Do not put any part of our bear into your mouth, nose, or ear holes.
If you have to go to the bathroom, do so.  Do not stay in the circle and wet your pants because you are having too much fun to leave for two minutes and take care of business.

If only I'd really included that last rule.  I forgot it.  And yes, we had an accident.  Luckily, our class bear was nowhere in the vicinity.  Me either, for that matter.  

Then I played some fun Patriotic music (to go with the theme of the American Symbols) and the kids passed the bear around the circle.  When I stopped the music, the person holding our bear had to answer a question that would be on our test.  And so on.

The kids LOVED it.  I pretty much wanted to scrap the test and say that we all earned 100%'s . . . but I didn't.  I kept the halo on straight.

And that's about it for me.   

What do YOU do to review for tests?


  1. If I type fast I may be your very first poster!!!

    I don't get it. Social studies tests in first grade????? Is that a district mandate? I really don't get it! Up here is the northern half of the state, we are not required to give social studies tests. That either means we are ahead of you (I HOPE!!!) or behind you (...and will have to start giving those tests).

    Hope your tooth is behaving and all your tooth worries get resolved.
    Love, Camille
    An Open Door

  2. When I taught Core Knowledge at a charter school we had to give S.S. and Science tests and they were HARD! But once I realized I was able to make up my own that helped out the situation a little. Now that I'm in a public school, nobody has really brought it up either way. So I'm thinking I won't until someone tells me I should be and then I can pull the *Sorry I'm new and I didn't know better* card. But in the past we'd play games, like tables vs. tables to come up with the correct answer to any and all test problems so they had at least heard all the right answers one time!

    ❤ -Stephanie
    Falling Into First

  3. We don't have to give tests in s.s or science, but I still think I will steal that hot potato game to review information anyway. Super cute idea.
    Adventures in Room 5

  4. We do common assessments in every grade K-12 for each 6 weeks. We are "Data-Driven" or I prefer to call it, "Test-Driven" (last year we did them every 3 weeks and we barely had time to teach). This year, I'm looking for new ways to review. I usually do a jeopardy style game on my projector. I've done a price is right show called, "answer is right". I set up 4 stations and each teacher ran a game. 2-3 students came up and competed, whoever won got to answer the question. The kids loved it. One was a big spinner (with $$ on it), one was a scooter dash, one was a bowling station (using water bottles, sand and a basketball) and finally one was a bean bag toss onto a target. It worked well, but was a lot of work. Each teacher had their own subject (math, science, ss and reading). It was fun, but a lot of work.

  5. bhahahah! what did you learn!? always explain the bathroom situation! ;)

  6. wow - I can't believe you have a S.S. test! We don't have any curriculum materials for it, (although we do have a pacing calendar)so it's entirely up to us how we teach and assess it. Basically if you participate and pay attention to you get a "3" lol.

    Jennifer @ Herding Kats In Kindergarten

  7. Thanks so much for joining up for my sale Kristin! :)

    Second Grade Math Maniac: Fall Sale!

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  10. We have to give grades/tests in science and social studies too...but I usually make them pretty darn easy because it seems like a LOT for first graders. I love your hot potato idea. Thanks!

    PS - I might pee my pants if I was in your class too, because I wouldn't have wanted to miss a second of that fun game.

    PS #2 - I had major issues while trying to post my comment. I apologize...I'm on cold medicine. I don't konw what else to say for myself.

    What Happens in First Grade

  11. OMGoodness! I will ALWAYS explain the potty rules now. I am glad you and the bear stayed dry!

    We have Science and SS standards but no test as of right now. I do think that is coming though...BOO!

    Come check out my give away when you get the chance. You can win a prize package that includes a $50 Target gift card, a $25 TpT gift card AND a $25 Lakeshore gift card. Since you have been such a HUGE blessing to me, I would love for you to be part of it. =)

    Heather's Heart

  12. I love the hot potato idea for reviewing for tests!

  13. LOVE the bear idea....seriously, how many tricks do you have up your sleeve ????

  14. I love your bear review idea.

    I teach early childhood education at the college level- but I still love review games. (I count them as great modeling activities for future teachers).

    My favorite review game is using a "Bop It" stick. We pass the Bop It - everyone does what it asked (hopefully fast enough) until it "squawks" at someone for not responding correctly. That person answers the question and we start the Bop It going around again. You need to put it on "pass mode".

    It's SOOO much fun! They are really cheap (at Target). I often see them at yard sales- even cheaper!


    Granny Goes to School

  15. You are amazing. I just review for a rest. You are one fun teacher girl!

  16. Oh good Lord above if they make me give another test/learning GOAL/learning TARGET/smart goal/"spotlight kid"/intervention plan/trimester assessment/apple peaches pumpkin pie...
    Thank you for inspiring me! :-)
    patty so

  17. Thank you for cracking me up at 1:40 in the morning! Woke up from a crazy dream, thought "why not visit some blogs like a nut job who doesn't have to teach 22 cuties in 5 hours, started at Shuna p's Pocketful kinders, met her Sunday new person", and voila...ended up right here! You are just too too funny! Glad I found you!

  18. Great packet! Love it!



  19. Love,Love, Love your stuff! I vote..VELMA! :)
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