Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Borders and Bossy R Video

The last day of April....where has time gone?  I can't get over how quickly time is passing this year.  A principal I was once acquainted with used to say, "Time is passing, are you?"  My Littles have so much more to do this year.  Of course, we don't get out until June 19th, so we have a while.

I made and uploaded a set of scalloped borders to TPT tonight.  It was my first attempt at doing this type of thing.  It was lots of fun!  You can check them out HERE.

Here is a sampling of them :) You can download a free one in the preview on TPT too!

Also, I wanted to share a video that my Littles are loving.  We have been learning about Bossy R for the last 3 weeks.  (/ar/, /or/, /er/, /ur/, /ir)  To further support my Bossy R packet,  I have played this video a few times during our transition and it has been a hit.

~Happy Teaching!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Math, Mummies and Spoken Word :)

Most Mondays I feel like I am running a race.  I do it to myself.  I should get myself ready before leaving on Friday.  It's usually the same dialogue on Friday afternoon and most of the time, Tired Teacher wins.  Tired Teacher likes to walk down the hall and chat or scoot out and spend time with the Hubby.  Despite my running around, I usually enjoy Mondays.  The Littles are usually agreeable and ready to learn. 

Recently, I added a new tech tool to the Daily 5 Choice mix, a Nabi. 
It's an android tablet made for Littles.  It is super cool and comes loaded with lots of apps already.  It has a "mommy mode" that I can use to access whatever I need to and I can also manage what the Littles have access to.  I downloaded a game called Math vs. Mummies and my Littles love it.  They solve math problems and then annihilate  the quickly approaching mummies.  (Yes, they shoot the mummies, but I have watched enough Walking Dead to know that this might not be a horrible skill to know---no gun hate, please!)  Today one of my Littles was playing this game and after about 1 minute, he would push pause and have to collect himself.  There was deep breathing involved and shaking his body to get it loose.   It was so stinking funny!

Lastly, I wanted to share with you a spoken word clip that a friend of mine posted on FB.  After my last post, you know how I feel about high stakes testing.  This guy sums up a lot of how I feel too.

~Happy Teaching!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Testing, Bossy R and a Giveaway :)

Sunday...I have a case of the Sunday night blues.  I love my Littles, but goodness gracious I am not ready to relinquish my weekend just yet!  I am ready for summer vacation, but I have lots more school year left.  We don't get out until June 19th!  I keep reading other blogs and some are SO close to summer.

Like, they can smell the coconut suntan lotion and taste the frozen drink by the pool close!

I am jealous.

But, I must admit that I love not starting school until the very end of August or sometimes the first of September!  I have to keep chanting this to myself.

This week starts "The Test" in my district.  So much stress for my school.  I teach in a highly diverse, high need school.  We have gotten over 30 ELL refugees since December. They aren't required to take the test, but next year they will.  I mean they will have had a full year of school to catch up, learn the language, navigate the nuances of the written language, answer in complete thought and score well....right?   I understand that testing is needed, I just don't believe that high stakes tests produce the better students.  One of my friends works at another school in a neighboring district.  She works with small reading groups all day.  At her school, reading groups are not allowed to read books during those groups.  She can ONLY use "Test-like passages." You read that right O N L Y !!!


My heart hurts for those students. 

But, here is the kicker: They score well on "The Test."  They win awards.  They are also highly diverse and high need.

Can they read?  Sure!  Can they answer questions?  You bet!  Do they enjoy reading?  NO!  Do they choose to read?  Nope!

I want my students to fall in love with books and reading.  I want them to discover worlds beyond and live vicariously through beloved characters.  I want them to appreciate the written word.  I want them to understand and acknowledge its power.  That's one reason I chose to be a teacher!

In my little classroom this week, we are continuing our investigation of Bossy R.  I finally finished my Bossy R Packet for TPT.  It contains 7 activities and printables to support your Bossy R instruction.  Check it out HERE.

As always, I will give this packet away to the first 3 people to comment on this post!  Don't forget your email address :)

Happy Teaching!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The SkittlesGame/Let's Get Acquainted Linky

I am linking up with Latoya from Flying into First Grade again this week.  The theme is the skittles game.  It works like this:

Red- Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
Orange- Favorite Memory from College
Yellow- Favorite Sports Team
Green- Favorite Fast Food Place
Purple- Wild Card (Tell anything about yourself)

Here are mine...
Red- Favorite Ice Cream Flavor
My favorite ice cream flavor is coffee with chocolate espresso chips.  What can I say...I live near Seattle where drinking coffee is a requirement.  I love Ben and Jerry's Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz.  It is total yum yum yum!

Orange- Favorite Memory from College
My favorite memory from college was meeting and falling in love with my sweet hubby!  I met him through a Christian club on campus and we were in the same close circle of friends for a year and half before we dated.  I thank God everyday that I met him (and that he puts up with me)!

Yellow- Favorite Sports Team
My favorite sports team is the North Carolina Tarheel Basketball team--woot woot!  Before we moved to WA to help start a new church, we lived in NC for 5 years.  During that time, we became diehard Tarheel fans.  This means that we also have disgust for their rival enemy---Duke (Yuck!)  I also really like the Seahawks and the ATL Braves.


Green- Favorite Fast Food Place
My favorite fast food place is Chick-fil-a.  When we migrate south during the summer to visit family and friends, we always make a Chick-fil-a stop.  It's one of those things that you don't realize until you don't have any around. 
Purple- Wild Card (Tell anything about yourself)
My  One thing you guys probably don't know about me is that I am an only child.  I consider myself both an introvert and extrovert--it depends on the situation.  I definitely need my "alone" time.  I sometimes wish that I had a sibling.  Especially now that I am older and my parents live soooooo far away and they are getting older.  It's hard sometimes!  My sweet momma had a miscarriage when I was in the 5th grade.  It was a hard time for our family, but I remember my parents telling me that they were so blessed when they had me and that I was enough for them.  I am sooooo extremely blessed to have them!!!

Well, there you have it.  If you want to link up, click on the pic at the top of the page :)

Happy Teaching,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring Break and Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party~Stranded

Spring Break, 0h how I love thee.  Let me count a few of the ways:

1.  No 6 am wake ups~  Oh, how I adore sleep.  I am soooo good at it.  It's not that I am grumpy when I have to get up early, but I love sleeping to at least 8 am.  Of course, that means staying up till about midnight and such tomfoolery is crazy when you deal with 6/7 year olds.  My theory is either you are ready for them or they are ready for you.  I prefer the former :)

2.  Freedom to potty when you need to~  I love that when the urge hits, I don't have to wait until lunch or recess.  Such freedom!!!

3.  Day long pajama parties~  My pj's are my BFF.  They are pink and stretchy and soft and loose and comfy and warm.  I think that I am a nicer person when I wear them. and during spring break, I get to frequent their company!

4.  Development of new TV obsessions~  I am an avid TV watcher and admirer.  My newest find is The Americans.  It's intriguing and addicting already.  Plus, I have loved Keri Russell since Felicity. 

5.  Shopping during the day~  Such a simple pleasure, but I truly love it.  I pretend that I am a rich SAHM that can craft and bake all day long if I want to.  BTW, I don't have kids and I totally know that most SAHM are not crafting and baking all day.  I just like to pretend :)

6.  I can write this blog post at 12:30 on a Tuesday!

7.  I could clean my house if I wanted to (but I don't want to right now).

I could keep listing things, but it's spring break and I have a lot of *nothing* to do today.  :)

However, I am linking up with Flying into First Grade again.  This week's topic:  What 3 things would you have to have if you were stranded on an island?

I watch Survivor.  I am ready for this!  I would take: 
1.  Flint to use for fire.
2.  A machete to kill things that could kill or scare me. (and to build the shelter and for banging on the flint for a spark for fire)
3.  My hubby.  He makes me laugh and tells good stories. (and, he could use the flint and the machete)  Plus, I can't imagine him not in my life!

Happy Teaching,

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Let's Get Acquanted Linky Party~Favorites Edition

I am linking up for another fun linky.  Ms. Reed from Flying into First Grade hosts a weekly linky party to get to know other bloggers.  Click on her cute graphic to visit her page and link up. This week the theme is favorites. 

Favorite Place to Shop

My Favorite places to shop are Target and Shoe Station.  I love Target because it is not as cra-cra as my local Wal-Mart and it has pretty much everything.  The one thing that I wish Target did carry that they don't....craft supplies.  I had to mention my favorite shoe store too.  Here in WA, we don't have Shoe Stations.  When I go south each summer, it's a must stop for me.  I love that ALL the shoes are out and I don't have to ask anyone to help me.  I look.  I try on....as many as I want!

Favorite TV show

This is a loaded category for me.  I have many shows that I adore.  Currently, I am into The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Scandal, Survivor, Amazing Race, Modern Family.  My favorite of all time would be LOST.  It was so smart and clever.  I was a sad panda when it ended!


Favorite Movie ( I added this category)

My favorite movie is The Goonies.  This movie was a child favorite and it still has a special place in my heart.  I have gotten to visit Astoria, OR several times to see all the places where they filmed.  A couple of years ago, I got to attend the 25th anniversary celebration in Astoria with friends.  It was an AWESOME experience for someone who is a true Goonie!

Favorite Sweet Treat

My favorite sweet treat is tiramisu.  I love the combination of coffee, custard and cake.  The Cheesecake Factory has a tiramisu cheesecake and it is amazing!

Favorite Food/Restaurant


Southern comfort food is my favorite type of food.  We have made a few trips down to Portland to a place called Pine State Biscuits.  OH.MY.GOODNESS!!! It's an itty bitty place that was started by some good old NC boys.  My favorite thing there is called The Reggie.  It starts with an awesome fluffy buttery biscuit and it's topped with fried chicken, bacon, cheese, and sausage gravy.  It is southern goodness on a plate.  They also serve true sweet tea.  That is a rare find in the Pacific Northwest. 

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Currently and My April Fool's Prank

I am linking up with Farley again for the April edition of Currently.  I love this linky party!  I have found so many new blogs to follow through it!  Check Farley out here:

Listening:  My hubby loves watching the first part of The Voice.  He enjoys the fact that the judges can't see the contestants.  I don't really like the show very much.  I prefer Idol, but I must confess that Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey have almost ruined it for me.  They offer little substance or entertainment. (My opinion)

Loving:  I am SOOOOO ready for spring break.  I need a break.  My Littles need a break.  I couldn't not mention the sweet sunshine that WA is currently experiencing.  WOWZERS!  This past weekend was stellar.  It couldn't have been nicer.  Temps hovered at 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky!   This transplanted southern girl was super happy about it!

Thinking:  My hubby and I have not been on a "real" vacation in several years.  I teach and he is a church planter...funds are always limited.  We always go south and see our families, but we are in need of selfish fun and relaxation.  I'm thinking CA or AZ. 

Wanting:  a doughnut....I love carbs.  Carbs don't love me.  I am trying really hard to eliminate unnecessary carbs from my diet.  But, doughnuts are sooooo stinking yummy!

Needing:  I need to organize my house.  I literally feel better about life when my home and classroom are in order.  It's a disease :)

Advice:  Provers 3 5-6!  Its says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."  I need to remember this advice daily...even hourly sometimes!

In honor of April Fool's Day, I pranked my Littles.  I have been planning it ever since I saw an idea on pinterest.  Did you guys see this prank?

Brownies---Brown "E's"  It was so funny watching the Littles try to figure out what was happening.  One even put the paper up to his lips.  Bless HIS heart!  Then one Little remembered that it was "March April Fool's Day"  and that you play jokes on people.  Bless HIS heart too!  I did bring in real brownies...I'm not that cruel!  Once the Littles understood that it was a joke, they thought it was hilarious.  They wanted to offer brown "E's" to all who entered our classroom after that.  I even had some that drew brown "E's" on paper to prank their families tonight!  After the excitement, I had them glue their brown "E" on paper and turn it into something else and write about it.  I wish I would have gotten some pictures of their work, but I didn't.  Some Littles turned theirs into crowns, cityscapes, houses and robots.  It was interesting to see how creative they could be...or not be.  2 of my Littles just made them into letter "m's."   Oh well...

Happy Teaching!