4.30.2011

Fireflies for Nathan unit

Here is the unit for Fireflies for Nathan.  I figured I had better get it done quickly since I will be gone next weekend and won't have time to do it and I will be out most of that week for a math training.  Enjoy!

Fireflies for Nathan here

I realized after I had saved them and put them into PDF that I forgot the titles on them.  I may go through and fix them, but more likely just write it in for now. 

Let me know whatcha think!  Thanks!

Two Greedy Bears Unit

Here is the unit for Two Greedy Bears.  I haven't checked it too closely...I hope it's good.  I am trying to work with a headache, so....I don't want to be working tomorrow so I thought I would work through the pain! 

Two Greedy Bears here

Let me know what ya think!  Thanks!

Big plans down the drain!

I was hoping to have a very productive Saturday.  I had a lot of things I wanted to/needed to get done and so far, I have done 1 thing.  Just one!  I feel very lazy, but for good reason!  We are having a lovely windy day.  And my sinuses are out of control.  I have a major sinus headache, with a touch of a hormone headache, too.  Doesn't make for a happy girl at all. 

But, I did get one thing done.  I got an e-mail last night from a used bookstore nearby.  They said they were going out of business and all their books were 50 cents a pop.  So, we ran down there today and spent $33 on books.  I got a ton of books for school, some for my daughter and my hubby found some books for himself, too.  All in all a good day.  It sucks that the store is closing, but what can you do.  They were awfully expensive for a used bookstore and I am sure their rent was pretty high, too.  But their loss is my gain!  I had hoped to find some books for my author studies, but it wasn't meant to be.  I found some books here and there for fun or for my library, so the kids should like something new on Monday! 

I am hoping to get around to making and posting the next units for reading either today or tomorrow.  I have a ton of laundry to do, lesson plans to write for the 3 days I am gone and a million other things that need to get done by tomorrow night.  I am hoping the meds kick in soon, as I have been waiting a while now.  I am hoping the wind is gone tomorrow and I can feel some relief.  A few years ago I never had sinus issues, but in the last couple years, they have come on with a vengance.  If this is what happens when you get older, then I want to stop right now and stay the age I am!  I am already have issues with my upcoming b'day and the age I will be, but if sinus issues are going to be worse, then I will stop where I am!  Too bad it isn't that easy!  I think I would have stayed 29 then!

Here's to a better Sunday and a restful Saturday night!  Hopefully my dog will sleep tonight and not wake us up all night long whining!  That was last night's fun after an expensive trip to the vet and an unhappy pooch trying to learn to live with the satelite dish collar that will be his friend for a few more days, at least until the drains can come out and we get the OK from the vet.  It's always something, isn't it? 

4.29.2011

I don't think it's good that the planets are aligning!

I was reading earlier today that there are 6 planets that will be aligned in the sky early in the morning for the next few days.  I think it spells disaster.  And not the-world-is-coming-to-an-end type of thing, but the fact that the kids have gone crazy.  Completely and utterly out of their freaking minds!  And boy, am I glad it's Friday!

My day started with a note from a mother who said her son is being bullied every day.  Um, WHAT?  Why didn't I know about this?  When did it start?  Details!!!!!!!  Well, when push came to shove (literally), it was all about handball.  The complainer was upset he didn't get "redo's" and he didn't like that.  Every time he hit the ball, he called "re-do".  So, the other boy said he was gonna punch him the next time he said "re-do".  Oh, and did I mention they were the only 2 playing the game?  I guess there was more about them making up a game called "step on my foot" which then led to pushing.  Um, really guys?  But, problem solved, and they missed recess til we could get to the bottom of the story! 

Then, to make matters worse, I had a student, who is normally very sweet and nice cheat on her spelling test.  CHEAT!!!!!!  I almost died.  And then, to make it worse, she was talking a bit later when we were trying to do something else, so I kicked her out of class.  I think she felt terrible, but not terrible enough to behave all day.  She was playing during library time and hit a kid in the nose.  Oh my word! 

And, the fun wasn't over yet!  I had 2 boys, who are good friends, get into at recess over a "toy", some piece of trash they found at recess and were playing with.  One boy thought the other was done, took it and then the boy punched him.  At least he felt remorseful and completely broke down, cried and told me how sad he was that he hurt his friend.  He even punished himself and moved his clip to red and sat out the Eric Carle video...well part of it any way! 

I have always been proud of my classroom behavior, but today it sucked.  They were crazy, I was bitchy (and I will admit it to them when I am grumpy) and it just wasn't a good day at all. 

Luckily 3:12 came and the kids were gone.  I did my work during the video, finished my bus duty and was gone for the weekend by 3:45.  That rarely happens to me!  But, I was able to come home, go with hubby to pick up my dogs from the vet (yeah, there goes my paycheck this month!) and come home and crash on the couch.  But, I did get to watch the wedding tonight and be up on what happened.  Now, I think I will go back to the couch, check on my poor pooch and veg for the night! 

Happy Friday!

Spelling test example

Here is an example of the spelling test I give my kids.  They are the same format each week, but the skills change depending on what we are learning about.  It's not a typical spell the word test, as there is a lot more and I grade them on how they write a sentence, too!  They love that - NOT!  It helps them get a little more prepared for taking the state test in 2nd grade.  At least I hope it helps them be a little more prepared! 

The Surprise Family spelling test

Let me know what you think!  Anything you would add?  Tweak?

4.28.2011

Does this happen to you?

As the year is winding down, I find myself becoming more and more exhausted.  It's all I can do to stay awake past 9pm!  I am anxiously awaiting May 27th when I can say good-bye to my kids and hello to summer! 

Here is my end of the year ritual, which always puts me into catch-up mode:

1. Bring home papers to grade...leave them in the bag all night long.

2. Put papers that need to be filed on the files...leave them there til they have to go in. 

3. Get items ready for Open House...wait til the week before.

4. Figure out the last week stuff...wait til the week before when I am cramming for Open House.

5. Finish end of the year DRA testing...wait til the week of Open House to test while we are finishing projects.

6. Organize stuff away for next year...wait til the last day of school.

I am pretty organized through the year, but when the last month comes, I lose it all.  I can't think straight, I can't get things done...I AM READY FOR VACATION!

Oh, and then there is the planning I am already doing for next year.  I just have my trusty notebook with me that I write down things I need, want to do, need to buy, etc.  It's get me excited for next year, without going overboard. 

Well, I am off to go and do nothing.  I should be doing plans for next week, but I think I will wait another day.  There is always time tomorrow for what should have been done today, right?

4.26.2011

OK, so I'm needy!

Alternate title: Be kind...comment!

I was sitting here wondering exactly how many people have looked at my blog and some of the ideas I have posted.  I was blown away to see that the jelly bean graphing had over 200 views.  I was a little happy.  Then I got pissed.  Not one comment.  Not one "Thanks" or "Cool" or "suck it".  Then I started looking at all the others things I have posted that have been viewed many times over and again, NADA.  ZIP.  ZERO.  SQUAT.  Doesn't make a girl happy.  Again, I am a little needy right now and am looking for some validation (real, not made up BS like I got from my principal today.). 

I have big plans for the summer and lots of ideas of things to make and post.  And I have been debating about whether or not to put it on TpT.  I see lots of fabulous ideas, but I don't have even a few spare bucks to get all the things and I know others don't, either.  I guess I just want to share the knowledge I have, but I'd like a little something in return.  And, if my stuff sucks, tell me.  I'm a big girl.  A big girl that just wants a little thanks.  Needy?  Yeah, but aren't we all at some point?

4.25.2011

Measurement caterpillars

Tomorrow we are starting our unit on measurement.  The lesson is on longest and shortest and everything in between.  I feel that I have been giving my kids work, work, work and no fun.  So tomorrow, they are going to have some fun with the caterpillars.  I have made a little sheet that I will copy onto different colored paper and cut out the caterpillars.  Then they have to cut them out and glue them in order from longest to shortest or shortest to longest.  I figure it's a quick test to see who knows what they are doing and who needs more help or who is out to lunch!  This was my first "drawing" project after a long SST meeting, so I hope you like it! 

Caterpillar measurement 

Fact Family practice

Here's a quick page I made today for fact family practice.  I will give the kids either all 3 numbers or just 2 numbers and have them figure out the 3rd number (there can be 2 answers, then!).  Hope this is useful!

fact family page

4.24.2011

The Final Five

Tomorrow begins the last 5 weeks of school.  From here on out, there are 5 weeks, each with 5 days.  And then we are done.  And I can't wait!  It's going to be a very busy 5 weeks, with a lot to do, a lot to learn and a lot to complete before it's all said and done. 

We still have 4 weeks worth of stories to cover in our reading program.  The last few weeks have been crazy, so I am looking forward to having the time to do the stories the way I want to and actually get into them a bit more.  I hope it works the way it is working in my head.  Chances are...it won't.  But, a girl can dream! 

Math is coming to an end, thank goodness.  We'll begin our unit on measurement this week and do it for 2 weeks.  We actually have a week or so without math, but there is plenty of adding and subtracting practice that needs to be done, too. 

We are starting to work on plants.  We were introduced to plant needs and plant parts last week and will start to go a little in depth on plants over the next few weeks.  I am doing some new things, and so far I like it. 

I don't know about you, but when I get to this point in the year, my mind start thinking about next year.  I have a ton of ideas that I want to work on over the summer and have ready for school in August.  Some things will be a lot of work and I don't know how I am going to get them the way I am envisioning them, but that's what summer's for, right?  I actually started working on something today, but I don't know if I love it.  I will tinker with it some more til it's what I have in my head. 

I have greatly enjoyed my 3 day weekend.  I am not ready to go back to work at all.  I have loved being home with my daughter and my hubby and spending time with them.  My time will come shortly when I will be home 24/7...and then I will be dreaming of going back to work!  As much as I love my family, I don't think I could be here all the time. 

Happy Easter to everyone.  Here's to a great end of the year!

4.21.2011

Earth Day fun a day early

Tomorrow is a furlough day for us.  It is a much-needed day away from the kids.  After this, I have 25 days left with kiuds - 5 weeks from tomorrow will be my last day of school! (Insert angels singing here!)

Today we did a quick little Earth day lesson.  We talked about how to keep the Earth clean and healthy.  We wrote 5 ideas down (the kids picked from a list of 8....download the template here) and then they made their own Earth.  I found the idea at The Techy Teacher.  We used coffee filters, blue and green markers and water.  The kids then glued them onto black paper.  I think they turned out really cute.  One of my girls (with a little attitude problem) told me that we were wasting paper by doing the projects.  I couldn't help but tell her that she can refrain from projects then if she doesn't want to waste paper!  She didn't like that idea.

Here are the neat Earth's the kids made.  I will definitely do this project again and again.  I may even do it with our social studies unit on maps, too!





    We also did our jelly bean graphing today.  If you need a quick idea for tomorrow, go here for a download!

Happy Thursday!  Today was my Friday so I will get to enjoy being Mommy tomorrow and take my daughter to story time! 

4.19.2011

Field Trip Fun

Today was our field trip to the grocery store.  It was scheduled from 9:15 til 12:30, but, like everything else lately, that time was actually different.  The lady thought we were only going to be there til 10:30.  We ended up leaving a little after 11 to go back to school.  But, it was a good time, just a lot of standing around and waiting for things to move on!

When we first got there, they had us outside and talked about what we eat for breakfast. During this time, they were given some cereal to eat and a sample drink from Starbucks. It was something lemondae, and way too sweet for me!



After this, we went inside the store.  There, we stopped first at the deli counter.  The kids were able to sample chicken strips, potato wedges and cheese...lots of cheese.  It seemed like there were a lot of little mice there! 

Then we headed over to the bakery.  They showed the kids how they made a bunny cake for Easter.  The kids thought it was neat.  And we got to take it back to school!  We will have it tomorrow for recess!

We then went to the veggie and fruit aisle and the kids were given samples of melon.  Most of the kids didn't want to try canteloupe or honeydew, so they stuck with the watermelon.  Of course, this is the part of the trip where one of my kids decided she was tired and needed to sit down on a bench that was sitting on top of boxes.  The bench is not made to sit on at the store, so the bench came apart, she fell into all their windchimes and made a ton of noise.  I could have died.  Luckily she was back with the other class, so they thought she was theirs!  I was ready to have her go back to school about 3 minutes after we got there. 

We went then to the meat and seafood dept.  They showed the kids all the meat and really talked up ground beef.  Could they have picked a worse food to talk about?  I don't eat red meat, and ground beef most of all.  Ugh!  They brought out a lobster to show the kids and they could touch it if they wanted to.  I got to hold it so we could get a picture of us all together! 
We headed over to the milk/eggs/ dairy section.  The kids got to go look in the freezer they have and then we were done.  Even though we did a lot, I was expecting a lot more.  I guess the teacher who arranged the trip has done a lot more hands on stuff there before.  We didn't get a lot of hands-on, unless you count eating, but it was fun.  I am glad it's over.  I am tired and I don't like the stress of taking the kids somewhere.  It's much easier to keep them at school! 

Tomorrow we will write about the trip and I will try to print out some pics for Open House.  The good thing is that this was free - we just paid for the bus to take us there!  We have some other assemblies that will count as "field trips" but those will be later in May. 

For now, I am going to go and make dinner and then crawl into bed for the night!  Happy Tuesday!


Monday randomness

Thankfully today was a lot calmer than last week.  The kids weren't as crazy, but they weren't calm, either.  They were somewhere in between crazy and sedated.  They were losing it by the end of the day, but thankfully they were engaged in the science lesson and then I sent them home!

I am sure the weather isn't helping.  On Saturday, we were over 90* with sun, sun and more sun.  I think Sunday was about 83* and today was a chilly 62* with overcast skies.  And when I say overcast, I mean icky, gross, cloudy foggy crap.  We have "May Gray" and June Gloom", both of which I hate.  But it's April!  Where's my sun?  They say maybe this weekend it will be sunny.  I hope.  I hate it when it's cold on Easter!

I am so ready for the year to be over with.  I am tired.  My kids are tired.  We are done.  Starting at the beginning of August wears us out (that's when we get our heat - Aug thru Oct all 90*+ every. single. day.).  I am looking forward to having all of June and July off, but then August will be here before I know it!

We are going on a field trip to the grocery store today.  I hope it's exciting and fun and my kids are perfect!  Of course, I am still waiting on one permission slip to be signed.  I"ll be a little bummed if they don't get to go, but, I sent home several slips and the cousin's slip was signed, so.....

Glad Monday is over.  I only have 5 more Mondays of school til summer break!  Looking at it that way is much nicer!  Oh, and one of those Mondays I will be at a lovely training. 

4.17.2011

Animal reports

I had my students do animal reports.  It was very simple, but they each had a different animal that they picked.  They had to write in the specifics for their animal and then write it in a report form. 

Animal report

Animal report rubric

Jelly bean graphing and more

I will be doing this with my kids on Thursday.  It's probably the only "eastery" activity they will have.  There is just so much going on.  But, they will get to eay jelly beans and that will make them happy! 

Jelly Bean Activity

The Surprise Family - Houghton Mifflin Unit

Here is the work my kids will do to go along with The Surprise Family.  I won't be doing it til next week, but wanted to get ahead this week.  Too much going on the rest of the year to wait.  I like this story a lot.  It's one of my faves.  Next Friday we will do a chick vs. duck venn diagram, drawing and writing project.  If it looks good, I will keep it for open house.  Here's to hoping!

The Surprise Family 

I love shopping

...especially when it's someone else's money!  I went to Lakeshore today and spent my $300.  It was earmarked for EL learners, so I bought a lot of games, activities and bulletin board sets to help the EL's as well as all the kids in the class.  It was fun shopping, but I was bummed that they didn't have what I really wanted (which they never do it seems.  Check out my loot!!!!

All my bags...the reusable bag is free when you spend $25 or more!  And, I was able to use my coupons I had and they also had one they gave me to use, too! 

Games...sequencing, adding and subtraction, money, word families, middle sounds and changing words.  I hope the kids like them!

This is 3 magnetic game boards - syllables, word families and somthing else (not sure!)

A writing one...I will try it out at centers and 2 science centers - one on weather and the other is little file folder games.  Some look good, some, well, you know!

Bulletin board sets - I always seem to be drawing stuff, this will put an end to that and I can use my time in other ways for my class!  Weather, plants, animals, maps, symbols, parts of speech and winter holidays.  The big ones were all on clearance for like $6!  What a steal! 

I can't wait to get to work tomorrow and really start looking at it all.  I may do it tonight, but I don't want to lose any pieces thanks to a 4 year old (or the dogs!).  There is so much I would love to have if I had a disposable income, but I have been very good and haven't bought much for my class.  I am going to change it all around after the year is over, so I will need to spend a little money then to make it look cute.  I thought I knew what I wanted, but after visiting Lakeshore, I have lots of ideas.  Thinking of stars now, or they have this cute flower idea.  Hmmmmmm...what to do, what to do!

4.16.2011

The freaky week is now over...thank goodness! (lots of pics!)

Maybe it's the upcoming full moon, Easter and spring fever, but it was a freaky week.  I think every teacher commented that their kids were less than stellar in their behavior and in their mental abilites this week.  Mine sure were! 

A couple things of note this week.  We wrote our animal reports.  We spent a very long time learning about animals (I started in January and just finished...there was some time off for other things, but I spent too much time on animals!) and I wanted a final project for them.  So, we wrote reports.  They were OK, not bad for their first reports, but considering I did most of the work for them, I wanted better.


I love the bat!  He took a long time to do it and followed directions when I said to make it big! 

We also had an animal assembly yesterday.  It was only an hour, which bummed me out after we were told 3 hours, but whatever.  We got to see 6 animals that are not native to us - a ferret, an armadillo, a hedgehog, a parrot, a monkey and an alligator.  They were neat animals and it tied in nicely tp what we had learned about animals. 





I loved the armadillo and the hedgehog.  They looked so much alike in the face.  I don't know much about armadillos, but they look so cute.  Maybe they are bad if you live where they are, but we don't have them here in So Cal. 

I have been working with my focus group on fairoy tales.  Last week we read Cinderella and the Korean Cinderella and compared them, wrote about them and made little castles.  This week we read Jack and the Beanstalk.  Interesting story!  Yesterday they had to write about finiding magic seeds and planting them and tell me what they would grow.  I had 4 kids who bothered to finish them and they were very good and imaginative!

This one says the seeds grew into a road and he found a limo.

The seeds grew into a magic apple tree with different colored apples.

A tree grew and there were animals on top that hadn't been discovered yet. 

In math, we are working on adding 3 numbers.  Today I gave them a dice (die?) and had them roll it 3 times.  They had to write the numbers down and then add them together.  I will try to type it up and download it.  My printer at work is out of ink and I don't know if any will appear any time soon!  The kids had fun doing this and it was a good assessment to see if they could add 3 numbers.  I think I will do it again next week, if we have time!

Well, my busy weekend needs to start.  Family day today and then tomorrow will be a mad dash to get everything done.  Oh, and I need to fit in time to go to Lakeshore as I have a $300 PO to go crazy with!  I am so excited.  There is so much I want for my kiddos, I hope they have it all and I can limit myself on what I get!  Yippee! 

Here's to a nice, warm (90*+  woo-hoo) weekend!







4.14.2011

Thankfully it's Thursday!

Boy, this has been a long week.  I don't know why, but it seems to be dragging.  I think it's the end of the year stress that is creeping in and taking over my sensibilities.  Maybe it's just the end of the year that is making my kids lose all their sensibilities.  They have all been crazy...freaky crazy! 

I just got out of the spa with my hubby, put on pj's and I'm gonna hit the hay.  Or at least lay in bed without my glasses on and watch TV.  If I fall alseep, oh well! 

Busy day tomorrow...we have a 3 hour "assembly".  It's a bring-in field trip on animals.  I am so excited.  They promised there won't be any reptiles, so as long as they are right, I am cool.  The first sign of something without legs and I will be the heck out of there.  I don't run, but you will see me running at mach 4 if there is a snake of any kind. 

I stayed late at work today working on stuff that's been sitting there for awhile.  I have a lot to get done, so I need to stay later one day a week to get it done.  I figure a few days should do it (and then it'll be the end of the year! )

Happy Thursday!  It's almost Friday and time for the weekend!

4.13.2011

Wednesdsay madness

I love that Wednesdays are minimum days, but I hate it, too.  Not enough time for science.  Not enought time to get it all done.  But, I have "me" time to work in my room and still leave earlier than any other day. I even went to the used bookstore in town and browsed before picking up my daughter from school and going to visit my grandmother.  Busy afternoon! 

I have scheduled our reading series into the time we have over the next 2 weeks.  I hate having to do it that way, but there are so many things this week and next that take away from reading time.  I would like to just do it later, but I can't with intervention and trying to finish up our animal unit writing project.  Who am I kidding...we are just starting and I hope to be done by Friday.  I am cheating a bit and have changed how I was going to do it.  We are doing it together and they are just adding in their animal names and characteristics.  This is the first time I have done this, so we will see how it goes.  (Note to self...don't spend forever on animals...I am burnt out and so are the kids, but I hope it looks good for Open house!)

Tomorrow we have an assembly by the fire department and Friday we have an animal assembly all morning.  Good-bye teaching, hello fun!  And my mind is spinning trying to fit it all in.  Oh well, there is always next year to make it better!

Happy Wednesday!

4.12.2011

I wish they were kidding

I got word today that I will be sitting in a 3 day training May 9 - 11.  3 days learning how to teach math or something along those lines.  Not sure what we will do for 3 days, but I'm sure the geniuses at work know what they are doing.  This is the week before Open House and 2 weeks before school is out.  I will be sitting listening to other talk instead of working my kids for the last minute "hurrah".  I will be thinking of a million things instead of doing my small groups, which I don't think I would have my sub do.  I just think this is ridiculous.  All my "fun" things I do at the end of the year will be done by a sub or not at all.  I am running out of time to get it all in, and now taking me away for 3 days doesn't help.  Luckily I was able to get a very high quality sub, so I am not too worried about that, it's just the fact there is a million things I won't be doing - like seeing an assembly we paid for.  Or having my kids write their own books.  I normally do this the week before open house and I don't know if I can get it in.  I won't leave it for a sub as there is a lot that goes with it.  I may have to think about it and change my "always" into something new. 

After getting word of the trainings, it just sent my day into a downward spiral.  Too many things, not enough time.  And it topped off a rocky morning with my daughter who didn't want to go to preschool and I had to leave her with a teacher, crying for me.  Yep, I see my Mother of the Year award in the mail as I type!  This is the bad part of working - the mommy guilt!  Ugh!  

No rest for the weary.  I've got to go make dinner, clean the dishes left in the sink, organize the kitchen a bit and watch my daughter put a puzzle together.  Homework is still calling my name, but it is easier than the art class (which there are 2 more of in the future - what was I thinking?).

Happy Tuesday!  Oh, a bright spot....It's the season premiere of Deadliest Catch...love me some crab fishermen (but I hate crab!). 

4.11.2011

We should just skip Mondays from now on!

Wow!  Today was a Monday if I have ever had one.  It was just a crazy day.  My kids were off, I was off and it wasn't good.  I am glad I am home, ready to cozy up on the couch and do some homework.  It wasn't the day I was hoping for.  With just a few days left (33 to be exact), I want to have calm days, fun days and accomplished days.  Today wasn't one of those days.  And I feel like I am losing my mind.  I hate this feeling!

My students are in one of two groups - they know it or they don't.  And it stresses me out when they are in the don't know it group.  I have some who will be retained, some who will be tested and some who will go on to 2nd grade.  And that's just what happens.  They have made their year's growth, tho they aren't at grade level.  But they weren't there coming in is what I keep telling myself.  Then I question whether I have done all I could do for them.  I'm sure the answer is no, but I don't know what more I could have done, other than ignore the rest of the class for months at a time. 

And the behavior?  AWFUL!  I have always prided myself on having a good class, well behaved rule followers.  Now they are showing their old selves from the beginning of the year.  It's ugly.  I have one girl who rolls her eyes at me, gives me dirty looks, the whole shebang.  All her mom says is she does it at home, too and she'll talk to her.  Um, if my daughter did that, she would think twice before EVER doing it again.  It's like my kids' brains were sucked out and replaced with Jello today.  Again, not a good Monday at all!

I was just telling my hubby how much I need to get done for Open House (it's May 19, a week before school is OUT!).  I was having a freak out moment.  He told me that I always do this and yet I get it done.  I know I do, but I don't like this feeling.  It's all piling on now at the end when there is very little time.  I need to breathe, stop planning complicated-for-me stuff and move on.  They are 6.  They don't care about it a whole lot. 

Oh, and to top it off, we (first grade teachers) have to go to a training for math in May.  It's 3 days out of class (so 3 days of sub plans - UGH!) at the district office to learn how to teach our math program that we have been using for 3 years.  And we don't get to go together.  2 teachers will be going the first week of May, which is our benchmark testing time.  Not good planning on the part of the district, but whatever.  Rumor is there will be trainings the next 2 weeks after that.  I am hoping for the 2nd week, as the 3rd week is our Open House and the training would be the day of and 2 days before.  And I would miss out on end of the year stuff and assemblies that we have paid for.  Am I being picky and petty?  Yes, but who in their right mind does training at the end of the year?  Why not do it in the summer and pay us instead of a sub? (It's cheaper to pay a sub than us, I know, but I wouldn't mind the $$$). 

I think I am going to go and sit on the couch, watch the news and fold laundry.  It's boring and mundane and exactly what I need right now! 

4.10.2011

Oh, what a week!

I am glad that last week is over and this week will be a new start.  It was a long week back from vacation and it ended on one crazy note.  I was so glad to get home Friday night and veg on the couch all.night.long.  I needed it! 

Anyway, Friday morning, we were expecting a late "winter" storm.  Remember, in SoCal, we normally have warmer weather.  But, it was pretty chilly that day.  As I was driving to work, this is what I saw:


It may be hard to see, but that is a dusting of snow on the hills.  Those are hills, not mountains.  That means the snow level was down to about 2,000 feet.  We didn't get snow in the winter there this year, even with our coldest storm!  But, it was melted before most of the kids woke up and were at school, so they weren't all excited about the snow, but the fact that we were that cold was enough to make us go crazy!  Oh, and top off the fact that 2 kids didn't have jackets!  WTH?

We had our monthly student of the month and writing assembly inside.  That made the kids a bit cooky, just since it was out of their normal.  And, our principal lets them get away with talking and being rude in the assembly.  Discipline isn't her thing, which is a big bummer.  ( I had a girl drop the f-bomb the other day - NOTHING!).  

We finally get to class, take our spelling test for the week and then started working on our directed drawing turtles.  I thought this would be easy for the kids, but I was a bit (a lot) wrong.  Some are adorable, some are, well.....


During the time after recess til lunch, it was getting really cloudy and windy.  Not our normal weather at all.  And then it got loud.  



It started to hail.  I know for some of you, it's no biggie, but we don't get hail that often.  I think I have seen it hail 3 times in my life here.  The kids were all freaked out and we had to walk to lunch in it.  It was only the size of peas, but still, it made for an interesting walk to the lunchroom!

After that the day was shot.  We spent math time working on fact families.  I learned a valuable lesson - make sure there are lines for them to write the problems on.  I had them playing a game, but they didn't "get it" since I didn't draw all the lines on their papers.  I had it on the board, but it wasn't the same.  Oops!  We have been working on them like this:

and we've been working on them like this, too, which they love!



I am hoping that this week is a lot calmer than last week.  We went from 85* on Monday to 50* by Friday.  They were crazy, I was cold and it didn't make for a pretty picture!  I know this week will be a bit crazy because we have 3 assemblies, all during our reading time.  So, I'll lenghten the week of reading to 2 weeks, wich will give me a whopping 6 days out of 10 to do something with it!  Plus we have a field trip the following week and a furlough day to end that week, right before Easter.  Fun!  Oh, and Easter????  I have taught around Easter once in 12 years.  I have nothing!  Do I need to even do something?  I guess I should start figuring it out!

On a side note, I spent all day yesterday doing homework for my art class.  I'm not the greatest student when it comes to my assignments for an independent study class.  But, they are all done but one (it was still drying last night) and I have just 2 more things to write and I can get it in the mail tomorrow!  Yes!  1 class down, 4 more to go!  And all by Sept. 1 so I can get my pay raise!  It will come in very handy next year with more furlough days and a rate hike for insuarnce (as if $250+ a month wasn't enough).  Maybe I should start playing the lottery!  Anyway, here's a look at what I had to do for the class (my hubby laughs that it's a grad. level class!):






Well, time to get the last items done, sent off and get ready for Monday. 
 Oh, and let me just say that in my opinion, Picasso was a freak!  I amnot a fan, as you can tell by my "work" of his!  Happy Sunday!

4.07.2011

Long week!

I am very glad it's almost Friday.  It has been a long week already, with one more day to go.  But, I feel it has been productive and I have enjoyed being with (most) of my kids this week.  We have been busy writing our descriptive essays.  So far, we have written about cats and are finishing up turtles.  Tomorrow they will write whatever they wish.  I have pics, but my camera is in my car and I don't want to go get it!  :) 

I introduced fact families this week and I am so proud of my kids (and me!).  They seem to get the concept.  I hope they truly understand what it means.  I took pics of what we have been doing with them, but again, the pics are in the car.  I am going to do an activity tomorrow with it, as long as I have it all prepared.  I haven't stayed late this week - I didn't want to.  I have a lot ready for next week, so I just have been coming home and enjoying being at home. 

Behavior has been a major issue this week.  The kids are IN.SANE.  I don't know what has gotten into them, but it is a freaking circus right now.  All my kids moved their clips since they were crazy in the lunch line.  And my kids are just being weird.  I hope it's the weather and that it will change next week.  We were 95 last week, 85 on Monday, it was 65 yesterday with sprinkles/rain, 57 today with sprinkles and it's supposed to be 50 tomorrow with rain.  Remind me please that I live in sunny southern California!!!! 

We have a board member visiting tomorrow and we got no notice.  I need to get to work a bit early and make sure things are cleaned and look super!  Happy almost TGIF! 

4.05.2011

They seriously make that for kids?

I am completly flabergasted when it comes to the clothes that are made for kids.  Maybe it's because I am a prude and like everything to be covered that should, but I think the clothing for girls in absolutely ridiculous.  Anyone agree?

I have seen more baby buttcracks that would put a plumber to shame.  My girl students wear the lower cut jeans and high rise shirts.  I dont want to see your butt.  And neither does the person who sits behind you.  And, that's if they remembered to put underwear on that day!  Today, one of my students had on pants that were a size too big, but were low rise, so all day she was literally sitting on her butt on the carpet.  I understand that the parents are doing what they can to clothe their children, but COME ON!  Make sure the clothes actually fit before they walk out the door! 

And v-necks, low cut and spaghetti strap tops?  I am very glad that most little boys have no desire to look down the shirts of little girls, but still.  No one needs to be seeing any of that.  I worry more about all the perverts and such out in the world that get their kicks from little kids.  Some of these 6 year old girls are dressed like they are 16 or older, walking around strutting their stuff they ain't got. 

It blows my mind that clothes are made for little girls that should or shouldn't be worn by adults.  Again, I am pretty much a prude when it comes to clothes, but I think little girls should look like little girls, not short street walkers!  But sadly, some little girls dress like that - and the parents are the responsible ones who are doing this to them.  One of my other little girls came to school in new boots - and the heel was over an inch tall and pretty thin.  Another teacher told me she looked like her shoes were for walking the streets - and it was hard to disagree. 

Just last week, Ambercrombie introduced their bathing suits for tween that were padded.  What does an 8 year old need with a padded cup for a bikini top?  And why in the world is an 8 year old wearing a little string bikini?  There is obviously a market for this items, or the companies would not be making them.  But why in the world are we (as a society) OK with dressing up our little girls to look like they are 18? 

I want my daughter to be little as long as she can be.  A lot of people think she is younger than she is simply because of the clothes she wears.  She is almost 5 and will dress like an almost 5 year old.  She's not 15 and won't dress like she's 15.  She may hate me, but I am here to protect her and keep her little as long as I can.  I will dress her as cute as I can, as long as her butt is completely covered and her shirt goes past her butt, too! 

I wish all the parents would realize that their little 6 and 7 year old is only 6 and 7 years old and they should want them to be a little girl for as long as possible.  They grow up fast enough, why make them older (or look older) than they really are? 

Thoughts?  I'm curious to see what others think, especially the mommy teachers of the world! 

Welcome back bliss

I always like the first day back after a break for one reason - good behavior.  I don't know if the kids are tired, overwhelmed from getting up early or what, but the first day back normally has very good behavior.  Yesterday was fairly good, but I am having to crack down on my kids for the stupid little things - talking in line, shouting out in class and talking during work time.  It almost feels like August with their behavior, but it's spring fever coupled with crazy weather.  It was in the 80's yesterday and by Friday they are predicting we will be about 53* with rain and wind.  The last couple years, spring has taken its time getting here, and this year is no exception.

We have 38 days left of school.  I keep telling my kids they have 38 days to show me they are ready to be 2nd graders.  Most of them have risen to the challenge and are well above the first grade standards.  Thank goodness for motivated students.  The others - I will have less hair by the time May 27th rolls around, simply because I will be going nuts to get them higher.

But, starting today, I will have my lunchtime tutoring group with me and we are going to work on reading.  Just what I want to do on my lunch, but it's got to be done.  They don't give us time to do it otherwise, since we don't give state testing in 1st.  They offer tutoring for 2nd thru 5th, but our kids get the shaft.  So, I give my time at lunch and hope for the best.  It worked for some the last few weeks with math, so we will see.  Unfortunately, the ones that aren't 100% motivated will be the ones with me. 

Here's to hoping that today goes as well as yesterday.  And, we have collaboration today, so it's bound to be great! (Please note sarcasm!).  Happy Tuesday!

4.03.2011

Vacation is now over...

Well, my short spring break has come to an end.  It went very quickly, faster than I would have liked.  But I did get some things done that I needed/wanted to get done, while other things are still on my to-do list.  But, we only have 39 days of school left before we are on summer vacation for 2 months.  I can't wait! 

This week, I was able to get most of the weeds out of the flower beds.  Mind you, there are weeds throughout the rest of the yard, but they are the responsibility of the hubby!  He gets to ride around on the tractor, pulling weeds!  It was nice to be able to work outside in the warm sun(OK, hot sun - it was 95 on Thursday and Friday, but was only 73 yesterday) and enjoy the spring day.  I am glad I wasn't at work when it was nice, but know the weather will only be getting nicer as the weeks go on, and then it will be downright hot soon enough!  I got my house mostly clean, which is something I need to work on.  But, it's hard with a 4 year old and a hubby who doesn't care about the house.  So, I guess I will just live with it the way it is. 

I did get some school work done, but not as much as I had planned.  I may do some more later on today, or I may not.  I figure tomorrow will be here soon enough and I will have to be back "on".  I did spend the large part of a few evenings doing homework for my class.  But I am still not done.  It's taking me longer than I had hoped.  I took my daughter to story time on Friday at the library and was able to read through a book for another class I am taking.  It's all about mapping out the school year in all areas.  I already do this to a degree, so it's not going to be hard, just time consuming.  I will be able to do it better when I can start fully thinking of next year.  As I was reading the book, it made me a little sad.  The book talks all about planning as a grade level or team.  I would love to do that with my team, but we can't even agree to be on the same topic in math.  It just makes me sad that we aren't a team.  And that thought makes me not want to go back to work at all.  Sad, I know. 

But, there are 8 weeks of school left.  8 weeks to get my kids ready for second grade.  8 weeks to cover all the remaining standards and hope they get it.  8 weeks to have a little fun, while doing some fun projects.  I realize I am so hell bent on them learning and working that we don't take as much time for fun as we should.  So, I will be changing that for the last 2 months of school.  I'm going to let my kids have some fun, while I really work with the kids who are struggling.  And even then, some of the strugglers will be retained and will hopefully embrace the opportunity next year to fully learn, mature a bit over the summer and be really good students next year. 

In these last 8 weeks of school, we have lots of testing, lots of writing and lots of meetings.  We will have to test our kids on their reading and math so we can have semi-accurate scores for their pinks and blues, plus we have to test for progress reports and report cards.  I have to have my kids writing more and using the elusive adjectives in their writing.  I am going to take a step backwards and cover adjectives again, so hopefully they get it this time. 

Just putting this all in writing is scary.  There is so much to do and not much time to do it in.  Yikes!  I guess it's time to panic and hope my kids are ready.  Does anyone else worry about their kids moving on?  I know deep down my kids are ready, but I also know that the 2nd grade team expects them to know more than they are supposed to in 1st grade.  They want them coming in all at grade level knowing how to do it all.  That would be wonderful, but it isn't realistic.  I beat myself up about where my kids are all the time, but I then I have to look back at where they came from and realize they have worked really hard to get there (most of them anyway...some are still working on the beginning of the year standards) and have made excellent progress.  It's just disheartening to hear that the 2nd grade teachers want us to teach them XYand Z when it isn't our standards and they want them to do AB and C when it isn't our standards.  I wish we could tell that to Kinder, then!

Well, it's time for me to start my day.  I am sure today will go by very quickly since tomorrow is back to work.  It'll be a busy 7 weeks preparing for end of the year and open house.  Yep - we have open house 6 days before school is out.  Jealous, huh?

Happy Sunday! 

4.01.2011

Problem Solving - Insects

Even though we have already learned about insects, I thought this was a little more springy for the next week.  We are going to start our next addition unit in math.  We haven't even touched fact families yet, so I have my work cut out for me with that.  It seems other math programs have been there, done that, while we will get there, do that in the next few weeks! 

Insect problem solving here

Houghton Mifflin Unit - The New Friend

I am trying to get ahead of the game and be done with this for the next few weeks! 

The New Friend here

Houghton Mifflin unit - When I am old with you

I am getting back into the swing of doig work for school.  This unit has taken me a bit since I don't care for this story.  It makes me sad since my grandparents have all passed.  But it makes me sad because a lot of my students won't get these experiences with their granparents or their parents for that matter.  But it is a good reminder for me to make sure I spend all the time with my daughter I can! 

When I am Old with you unit here

Enjoy!