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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Don't Be Afraid...

I just wanted to give you an update from yesterday. 

I wanted to get the boys out today and take them to a Bouncy house kind of place but I was afraid to take them by myself for fear of 
broken bones
lost teeth
lost children
icky germs

Well, glory be, I took them and what fun we had! AND we all made it back safely! I'm hoping too, that we didn't collect too many of the aforementioned icky germs, but sometimes, you've gotta take some risks in this life. (And we all germ-xed up when we were done.)

I must tell you all the boys had a lot of fun and I'm so glad we went. We went to our local place, Boingo Bounce. It was great! It was smaller than the other places we'd been to, which was perfect for us so I could generally keep an eye on all three boys (mostly) at once.

Here's some proof...

I love Taylor's hair flopping around!

Cole's becoming more daring every day!

So, the moral of this story is, go for it! Sometimes, your trips out won't be as successful, but they more you do it, the better they'll get!

Have fun!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This Mama's Gotta Get Out!!!!

As a mother of three little boys, I have to get out of the house. Often. As much as possible.
People always make me laugh because they always comment, You're so amazing! I can't believe how you just go with all those boys. 

If you came over and lived with us for awhile, you'd see why. There's nothing amazing about it. It is the fact that I get tired of picking things up, watching things get destroyed, and hearing one cry because his brother pushedhimdownkickedhiminthefacepulledhisarmscreamedinhisear, etc.

Our first choice is to just go outside. We are blessed with a house with a great backyard with MANY toys to play with and even a field of cows and horses to look at behind it. And also a great driveway, which as a mom learns, is so important to riding, skating, bouncing, etc. But as it is still so cold and my poor twins seem to get ear infections when the wind blows too hard, we can't go out right now.

My regular indoor place to take them is Target. We honestly go there probably twice a week. At least. I love it and I love their family sized carts because obviously, I need one. This was us...

Cole is on the bottom because it is just waaaaaaaay too difficult for him to walk in the store. 

The child can run as fast as lightning, has placed as a 5 year old in our community half mile races, but walking in the store, that's asking too much. His legs hurrrrrt. He gets soooooo tired. 

So, since I needed room for my purchases and I wouldn't let him get into the basket, he chose to just lay down on the bottom of the cart. 

I have since gotten smarter though, and now we ride with one twin in the big seats with Cole and the other twin in the front of the basket, like where those less fortunate souls put their ONE child they take to the store with them. 

I remember those days. Don't worry. I don't wish I just had one child to take to the store. I wish I had NO children to take to the store!!! ;)

But obviously, Target is not the place to take them to get their energy out. I need to get them moving, running, bouncing. Whatever it takes to get them going. So, I'm thinking I may take them to a bouncy house place tomorrow after school. 

What do you think? Am I crazy? Will I regret it? Will this be the last I see of my children in one piece?

I think I'm going to have to do it. For my sanity and theirs. Wish me luck. 
Any last minute advice is appreciated. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

Multiply the Magic!

Happy President's Day to you! Did you have the day off? Not me. Professional Development for us today. Today was a pretty good day, though.
My district is at least trying to make our PDs more useful and productive. And since they can't really let us just work in our rooms which would be the most beneficial thing they are trying to let other teachers guide our PD. So, we were given a catalog of several different 1 hr workshops to choose from and we signed up for our choices online. I only got to sign up for 4 because I presented at the other two sessions. So I got to wear this awesome t-shirt.

Can I just tell you how much I love t-shirts?! I think I started running just so I could sign up for races and get their t-shirts. (My favorite, not mine but one of my BFFs, it says, "I thought you said Rum!!" Love it!)
Anyhoo...this shirt turned out pretty cute. The name of all our elementary schools is on the back.
What did I present, you ask? Well, earlier in the year, our Technology Specialist came to my classroom and shared this awesome story making app with my class. I used it and shared our finished product with her and she was so excited she was like, Could you present this with me at our workshop in February?!  You will just have to share your finished product. She was right and what an easy presentation.
I shared this app called Story Kit. Do you know it????

This is actually an iphone app but it works well with iPad, too. It allows the user to create a story using pictures saved to your device or you can illustrate digitally if you are so inclined. So what my class did, was we were working on our Animals unit. In the past, the students did their own research on an animal of their choice, wrote a report about it, and illustrated it. I would then make it "fancy" by glueing  it to construction paper and laminating it. Well, this time, I took a picture of their illustration with my iPad, (except the cover of the book is just an image off Google the kids chose) typed in their text and then recorded each child's voice reading their own report. It looks like this...

You can't hear it of course, but if you tap on the little gold speaker on each page, it plays the child's voice reading their own story. What I love about it, is that each child participates and is successful, no matter what their ability level may be. My highest students could elaborate a little more, my lowest could dictate one fact. They were all able to illustrate and record, which I helped them with. I will say the recording of course takes a lot of time, but the finished product was so worth it. If you use it, do know that when you select to record the student's voice, the text disappears, so your student needs to have whatever they're recording, written down in front of them. Your non-readers can simply tell you their fact and you can add the text later. When your product is complete you can read it on the ipad like a book and even email it to whoever you'd like to see it! Really cool!!!
Give it a try and let me know how it goes or if you have any questions. I'm really no expert, but the app is so simple to use that I almost feel like one!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What a Week!!!!

Let me just start by saying, Ohmiword, what a week!!!

For some reason my school district always schedules conferences around holidays. First conference the week of Halloween, second the week of Valentine's Day. I'm not sure who's great idea this is, but I don't agree with the planning.  So this past week was, conferences until 6 Monday and Tuesday, Valentine's Party on Thursday. I know. I am still alive, but just barely. I'm only still awake right now because of this...

This is worth staying awake a little longer. :) Notice my sweet girl laying on the floor. She is never far from my side. She looks like she's thinking, Oh great. One of those nights. Ha! How was your week? And let me also ask, do you have two sets of conferences for every student? It is pretty much mandatory that we meet with every parent, too. If we don't have 100% participation, they encourage us to do home visits. Let me say, in 16 years I've never had to do a home visit and I hope I never have to. I just sometimes feel silly at the second conference with those parents whose kids are doing just fine. They know their kids are fine, I know their kids are fine. And we sit and gush about how well the child is doing. I don't know...

For Valentine's Day, we did some conversation heart sorting thanks to Kristin A Teeny Tiny Teacher. I loved that they not only sorted the hearts but then they added them together. Great stuff! Go grab it for next year!!!

Next week we're starting our "American Contributions" unit. The first week we study George Washington, the next Abraham Lincoln and then Benjamin Franklin. I'll try and be more diligent and do some more posting to let you know how things are going. Thanks for staying with me although I have not done very well at keeping up with my blog. Life just seems to get in the way. :)

Thanks for reading!!!