About Me

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year almost!!!

Happy New Year!!! Thanks for sticking with me even though I've been away for a long time! I have a goal to come back and hopefully with me new MacBook Air, I will be up and running! I know!!!! Thanks so much to my mom and my hubby who went in together to buy me this computer I've been dreaming of! I am so eager to learn. I've been a Windows girl most of my life, so this will be all new, but I'm hoping my ipad will help my learning curve.

If any of you all have converted to a Mac, I'd love to hear your advice. I'm not sure what sort of word processing program I'm going to use, so that advice would be especially helpful.

 I've had a week off from school so far and it's really been a lot of fun. This next week will be more of a challenge because we won't have the holidays to keep us busy. But I'm thinking of a little midweek trip to grandma's, so that will break up the week. Not only did we have Christmas to celebrate last week, but also, my children got baptized!! It was wonderful and we did it two days before Christmas in hopes of keeping our family remembering the true meaning of Christmas. My sons are 6 and 2, so I don't know that that message broke through, but we will keep trying!!!

 I'm thinking of going up to school sometime this week although I already feel pretty good about the week we go back. My lesson plans are done, I just need to clean up some and get things organized for our next semester. The first week back we will be doing an author study unit on Jan Brett, but we are not going the read The Hat or The Mitten since my students have already studied those two in the library this year. So we'll be reading some other great stories like Berlioz the Bear and Hedgie's Surprise. Also Armadillo Rodeo which is one of my favorites.

If I can get myself together, I will try and get some things up to go with each of these books. Stay tuned and I hope you have a great New Year's Eve!!! If you're like me, you'll be at home in bed like every other night, but I'll be celebrating in my sleep!

Monday, October 15, 2012

I've Been Boo-ed!!!!

So, how was your Monday?!?! Mine was cray cray!!! Because the kiddos were cray cray!!! I'm a little worried this may be the norm until after Halloween....Yikes!!! Let's hope not otherwise it's going to be a LOOOOOOONG 16 days! I did have a nice blog surprise, though. Kelly over at Kelly Teach boo-ed me! How fun!!!
Head on over and check out Kelly's awesome blog, after your done reading mine, of course! :)

Behind the Camera and Dreaming
I'm going to share three great read alouds that I love reading this time of year to my kids. The first one is The Vanishing Pumpkin. I already shared this book in my October Currently post. You can read about that here.

Another great read aloud is The Widow's Broom by the author of The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg. I LOVE his stories and illustrations.

Even though this isn't a Halloween story, the kids love it because it's kind of a spooky story since the broom is magic and it belonged to a witch. I love that the witch, I think, is beautiful and powerful, but not evil or unkind. Here she is...

Anyway, it's a great story for comprehension because there are some great vocabulary words and we always discuss why the widow did what she did after the story is over. Don't want to spoil it for you if you've never read it.

And finally, my favorite...

This story is a great one about the life cycle of the pumpkin, but kind of in a reverse order. Instead of starting with the seed and following the growth of the plant, we start with the jack-o-lantern and watch how it rots and decomposes back into the earth. The kids love it because they've all had those rotten pumpkins before, too.

So, there ya go! I hope you enjoy those stories as much as I do.

Now I need to Boo five more of you!
Emily and Antoinette at 4321Teach
A Teeny Tiny Teacher
Curls and a Smile
Going Nutty!  In Mrs. Squirrel's first grade

Please follow the directions and thanks to Lori for starting this linky in the first place!! !


Friday, October 12, 2012

Francais S'il Vous Plait?!?!

So yes, I was one of those brilliant teenage girls who thought I should take French in high school because it's so beautiful and practical. I thought, I'm sure one day I'll need it when I go to France. Well guess what? Paris is not in my apparent future but that's ok. Luckily, even though spanish would have been oh so helpful, I am relived to know that many of my friends who did take spanish in high school don't remember a lick of it. This being said, I just had to share a funny story. This story actually happened several years ago, but I think of it often because of the high population of english language learners in my district. And it's always those real-life experiences that really bring things home for you. So, it was the early part of the year, kind of like now. We were getting finished with the first quarter and I was going to read one of my favorites, Hooway for Wodney Wat You've read it, right?
The story about poor Rodney who can't say his r's. Wodney. And he's a rodent. A wodent. Such a sweet story, by Helen Lester, about insecurities and bullies and how tough life can be as an elementary school student. Well, I love this story and I love to read this story. To wead it. It's fun to wead. And of course, I wead it as it's supposed to be wead. It never occurred to me how this story might sound strange to someone who's first language is not english. So, as I said, I sat down to read this story. And you must understand, this was before the days of the picture walk. Before the days of applying prior knowledge. Before the days of setting up goals and expectations. We picked out a story. And we read it. That was that. Yes, we usually had an activity to follow, but it was often, Write about your favorite part of the story. Done. The End. So, I sat my class on the carpet and said, Today, boys and girls, I'm going to read you a story that I love about a poor rat. This story is called, Hooway for Wodney Wat I began reading. "Poor Wodney. Wodney Wat. His real name was Rodney Rat. But he couldn't pronounce his r's. To make matters worse, he was a rodent. A wodent. What's your name Rodney? Wodney Wat. And what's another name for a bunny, they asked knowingly. Wabbit, he said miserably. And how does a train travel? they winked at each other. A twain twavels on twain twacks." I'm reading along, enjoying myself, when I hear a boy in the front row, one who's first language is spanish, lean to his neighbor and say, "Ummmmm...., is she speaking French?!" Am I what?!?!?! I wanted to say! Poor thing. I just never realized how odd this book had to sound to these guys who were still learning english! What an eye opener for me. Rememeber that the next time you sit down to read! :) So anyway, how're things? I just wanted to share this funny, to maybe make you laugh and remember we're only human and we can't think of everything. Even though I REALLY wish I could. :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October Currently

Hi friends!I've been away...not physically...mentally.


Out of sorts. But you know, it's just life! I'm not going to pressure myself. I'll post when I can and that's ok. Right?!

Well, it's October! I love the fall. It is usually so beautiful here. I'm hoping the summer didn't screw up our fall trees because they are goregeous!!! We'll see.I've linked up with Farley and her October Currently. Maybe I'll get a couple of more followers...I'm getting closer to 100, did you notice?! I guess a giveaway will have to be in my future when that magic number hits!!!Hey, if you have a blog, link up. Like I have to tell you, right?!

I have an addiction to reality tv. It makes my husband crazy. But I figure, if it makes me happy, it's ok. I'm not hurting anyone, right?! I'm not too worried about it.
I really am feeling blessed to have found the friends and the church that I do, in my life. I really don't like the term born again, but I do know I'm really changing as a person and I know I have God to thank for that. It's not something I talk about much because it's kind of private for me, but I'm getting more comfortable and actually...more proud of myself. I'm getting more comfortable sharing that part of my life because it's becoming more comfortable to me! Yay!
I've talked about this class I have this year in other blogs...they're............different. Noisy. Special. I feel like it's taken us FOREVER to get any sort of routine going and that makes. me. CRAZY!!!!!! That being said, I feel like math is almost nonexistent put on the back burner in my room. I've gotta get those math stations going!!!
I need a Mac. Hope the husband reads this. Or my mom. :)
Gotta find the time. The sun is just not cooperating with me. I'd like to run in the morning, but to get to school on time, it'd have to be at like 5:00. I'm skayerd. It's. just. too. dark! Or after dinner. Again. The darkness. Not my friend.
And finally.....The Vanishing Pumpkin!
I love this book! Yes, it's a traditional Halloween story with ghouls and vampires and such, so if you can't read it, sorry, but it's really cute and I love reading in the old man and woman's voice. I love reading in different voices to my kids. I'm generally a pretty shy person, so I guess it's my time to open up and have fun. I'll have to post another time about a time I was reading in a different accent and I really confused one of my students!!! Teaser!!!!
Well, there ya go! I hope you enjoyed this thoroughly long post. It definitely felt good to write because it's been awhile!!!!
I hope to be back soon!  Ya varmints!!!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Behavior Management Linky

Hello friends! I hope you had a great Monday! I spent my Monday in SIOP training and that's all I have to say about that.

 I'm linking up with the gals at What the Teacher Wants for the

I'm currently using a combination of things in my room. I am using the ever popular clip chart. Surprisingly, I had a couple of parents say they didn't like the color chart because their child just didn't feel good about himself if he got below green.........Uh......  Should I mention that her son is THE behavior issue in my room? No? Well, then I won't.
So, I am using the cip chart and I'm also using the now, ever popular "Golden Tickets" that Kristin at A Teeny Tiny Teacher posted about.
A Teeny Tiny Teacher

The students get golden tickets (yellow construction paper strips) if they do good things throughout the day and at the end of the day, if they are on green, they get one golden ticket. The next color up is pink, so they get two tickets if they're on that and so on up the chart. If they are below green, they have to pay me a golden ticket, which no one ever wants to do. At the end of the week, whoever has the most golden tickets gets to go to a "Free Station" and they get to choose first. I start the timer for about 15 mins and the kids with the most tickets get to go to their station they choose first. And I collect all their tickets. By the time I get to the last few students, sadly, most of our free station time is up AND they just have to take whatever station is left open. They do not appreciate this but hopefully they'll work harder to earn the tickets in the next week. I've only had this going for a couple of weeks and I'm anxious to see if it motivates those challenging kiddos. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks for stopping by. On a sad note, I just want to say to my friend Sally who lost her sweet Mom today that I love you and I know Miss Mary is having a ball up in heaven, but it's so hard to see her go. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shhhhh...be vewy vewy quiet...

Howdy y'all! Sorry I haven't been posting as often as I'd like but you know it's still really the first of the year so...Yes! It is still the first of the year. I'm choosing to deny the fact that progress reports go out a week from Tuesday. That's just crazy talk! Anyhoo...I hope you are having a great weekend. We have had rain all day and my team, the Razorbacks lost today. I'm still upset, but I'm loyal. We got killed by Alabama today but that's ok. We'll get me someday! I am so excited though! I am posting today on my brand new iPad!!!!!!! I just got it Friday and it's wonderful. I wrote a grant and got it and now have this wonderful new blogging tool technology for my students to use in the classroom!!! I mean, of course I've gotta test it out and make sure it works, right! Ha! I'm kidding of course just don't tell anyone! I am seriously looking for some great apps to download. The free-er the better! I would love to hear of any suggestions you may have. I did just download Bugs and Buttons and it's good. My 5 year old really likes it. It seems to have a lot of counting and abc activities but I need to explore it some more. Any other great App ideas? Please share and maybe we could all get some new ideas! Thanks! And I hope if you have a team, they won!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

September Currently

Hey y'all!!! I hope this post shows my September Currently. I've had blogger issues lately so I don't know if it'll work. I so want a mac laptop. I'm convinced that will fix all my computer problems actually would probably cause more! Let's give her a try...Check out Farley's site and link up!
Not only a great resource, but Farley's a hoot!
Sorry, it's little...not sure why it's doing that...maybe when I'm saving it?! Who knows?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Just a rant and a Funny!

Soooooo....how's your year going?! We are in the middle of our third week and we are up and running in my class. It's.....different than last year. Last year I had around 19 kids most of the year. I had one child who had behavior issues, but pretty much everyone else was great. This year is......different. I do have great kids! 23 this year. I know many of you have way more than that and I'm sorry and I think that's crazy! But those 4 more in my room are making a big difference! They are just quite a bit more chatty than last year's group. I'm doing the Clip Chart AND they are earning Golden Tickets thanks to Kristin's idea at A Teeny Tiny Teacher. Thanks, Kristin! But we are still struggling. You know the years when you have 4 or 5 talkers that just won't be quiet? Well, I've got about 13 of those! One afternoon, I dismissed the kids who were not talking and let them go ahead and get in the car rider and bus rider lines. The other more than half my class had. no. clue. I finally just had to turn out the lights and yell, "Bus Riders! You're going to need to go get on your bus now!" They looked around, oblivious to the fact that the other kids were gone. Uhh..... We will work it out, though! These are good kids, just noisy. I do have a few kids who I've had to remind that there is one teacher in the room and they need to take care of themselves (I know you've never experienced anything like this before!) Anyhoo, I had to laugh this morning when I heard a student at the table. He said to another student, "You know, I'm not the teacher, but if I were, I'd tell you to STOP IT!!!!" ha! That was a moment I had to turn around and look the other way so they couldn't see me laughing!!! So funny! I'm still introducing the Daily 5 and although we are struggling with our stamina in Read to Self, I'm going to stick with it because I think they'll get it and I think they'll love it once I get every part up and running. I'm staying optimistic! I hope your year is off to a good start and if you have any ideas for me to try, please share!!!! Talk to you soon!!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

An Alphabet Guessing Game!

So as we're getting school underway and with that Common Core, we are beginning the first unit Alphabet Books and the Children Who Read Them. I like this unit at the beginning of the year as a review of kindergarten for those students who need it.
Every year I read one of my faves, Q is for Duck. Are you familiar with this story?
I always read it after I've read several traditional ABC books such as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Annie Bea and Chi Chi Dolores and all those other great ones that there are now. I save Q is for Duck for last and the kids LOVE it! Most of the letters they can guess the answer but there are a few that usually stump them. Then, after we've heard the story and discussed it, I let the students come up with their own idea. I tell the students they can use an idea from the story or they can come up with an idea of their own. I make a big deal about how great it is to come up with your own idea. But I like that it's safe for those kids who aren't really sure or aren't confident and challenges those kids who can come up with their own ideas. My students this year really impressed me! They came up with some great ideas! You could make this into a class book or put it on the wall or bulletin board. We have open house next week so I put them up in the hall. Because of that and because it's the beginning of the year, I went ahead and typed out the correct sentence and let the students glue it on to their paper AFTER they had written the story the "best that they could." I just told them I did that so everyone could see exactly how it should look. They were all okay with that. They turned out great! Here is how it looks on the wall and a couple of great ideas!
Aren't these great?! I loved their creativity! Yay!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First Day Jitters Linky

I'm linking up with Ms. Jessica for her
Back to School Jitters Linky Party
So here's mine!
Head on over to Jessica's site and link up or leave a comment if you have some good advice for this mama! :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Oh my!!! Best iPad trick ever!!!

I will start by apologizing for posting two times today, but I learned this trick in a workshop today!!!

Now, if you already know this, you should've told me this a long time ago!!! If you don't know this, you're going to love it!!!

Are there websites that you are constantly typing into your iPad or iPhone? I am constantly typing in my school's website address. Or always going to blogger to see if my favorite blogs have an updated post? Well, you can turn these sites into an App!!!

So, go to the site you want...like maybe this blog :)

Then, tap on the arrow with the circle around it and up comes this menu.

Select Add to Home Screen. Give it a name and it saves as a short cut, like an App on your iPad! Isn't that great?!?!

I hope you think this trick is as cool as I do! Please let me know if you do!!!

Oh my!!!!

Ok...I'm just testing this, but if this works, I'll post about it ASAP!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

20 Years and a Silhouette?

Hi Peeps! Sorry it's been so long! I have been thinking about my blog, but I've had blog writer's block. It's so strange. You would think this time of year I would have so many things to say, but I think that may be the problem. I have so much going on and so much on my mind right now, that I can't get a hold on just one idea. So good luck reading this post. It might be a little scattered. Oh and my computer is weird. If you have a blog, you know that on the page where you write your new post you have a toolbar at the top. Well, my toolbar is there because if I mouse over something at the top, it comes up, but it's INVISIBLE. I'm not sure if it's blogger or my computer, but one of them doesn't like me. AND, I am putting spaces between my paragraphs, but blogger is not. Soit'slikeallofmythoughtsarecrammedtogether!!!Itmakesmecrazy!!!! So, I went to my 20th high school reunion last weekend. I cannot believe it has been 20 years! It was the typical...we got there, saw people we knew which we love and that was great, then we stood awkwardly and just stared at other people. Most of which I recognized, but didn't really know them in high school, so I didn't know what to say now. I just have to say, for the most part, for us it was the guys who didn't look so great. {smile} As far as school goes, I'm almost ready. I think. Or not. I'm not sure. Well, my room's almost ready. I don't have any plans ready or anything. I will post some pictures as I get finished. I must say, this year is the best my classroom has EVER looked and I have to thank all of you creative people out there because there's no way I would've thought of doing most of this stuff myself. The crate seats, painting my file cabinet, all the cute labels... I'm embarrassed that I used to think I could just make a notebook and hand write the name on the label and slap it on (the horror!) So my latest thought is...should I buy a silhouette cameo? I've decided that's the one I want because I don't want to deal with the cartridges that are required with a cricut. It's a lot of money and I can't decide if I'd get the use out of it. But, since my room is cute now, it's going to have to stay that way. What's a girl to do? What do you think? Do you have one or something similar? PS Head on over to Kelly's blog to enter a great giveaway. Or don't. Just read her funny stories. Don't enter. I want to win the TPT gift card, so forget I said anything.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Made It

Hey there!!!

Well, I had a lot of response from last week's Monday Made It, so I'm linking up again...

I made two things for my classroom this week.  First of all, I finished the main bulletin board in my classroom. I LOVE the scrunchy paper border. I think it just looks so happy and it really pops in the classroom... here's my finished product...
Well, not finished, but the border is finished. Now I'm going to put a frog in the middle and let the kiddos make paper plate frogs the first week, since I'm going to have a frog theme in my room. I'm sure you all know how to do the scrunchy paper border, but if you don't, here are some directions...
1. Choose your paper color. I just use the bulletin board paper on the roll. I tear off two huge sheets, probably 5-6 feet long each, then cut them into strips. About 4-5 inches long, like this...
I usually start in the upper left corner. You simply scrunch the paper up, and staple it. Then, you move across or down, depending upon which way your going, scrunching and stapling, scrunching and stapling. Really you can't mess it up. If you can see the staple, just scrunch the paper and staple again.

After I finished with the white paper border, then I added my polka dot border inside to add a little pop of green to the board. Since I'm doing frogs in my room, I'll put the kiddos paper plate frogs up here the first week of school. Exciting!!!!

Next, this is really simple. I made some white board erasers, which I always need.  Walmart was having a sale on washcloths. I got these for $5.

I simply cut these into fourths.

And now I have a class set of erasers for the white boards!

I don't have anything I made for my home. Are you kidding?! I have a 5 year old and almost 2 year old twins. All boys! I'm lucky my house is somewhat clean. That's it! :)
I hope you're inspired and want to make some simple things for your classroom! It'll pay off in the end, I promise you!