11.27.2011

A wonderful day

Today was a great day!  While my mountain of laundry is still waiting, I got a ton of stuff done for school.  My creative juices were flowing and I was able to make a lot of games for my kids.  There are a couple posted below and some posted on TpT.  I feel inspired today and ready to go conquer the world tomorrow.  OK, maybe not the world, but at least my classroom.  I am excited to go back to work and get working in these next 3 weeks.  I know these next 15 days will fly by.  Yikes!  I hope we have a great 3 weeks with a lot of fun and learning. 

Now that my school work is mostly done, it's time to get my daughter in bed, get some laundry done and hit the hay myself.  Working at the computer all day has me pretty tired! 

I am planning to have a fabulous week at work and wish you all the same!  Happy Sunday!

Counting by 10's Freebie

One of our math lessons this week is on counting by 10's.  My kids have mastered the skill, but I wanted to give them something fun to do once we finish the lesson (since it will be so quick!).  I made this cute little activity for them to order the numbers 10 - 100.  We will do it whole group several times and then they will do it at their seat and glue it on to a strip of paper.  If you would like it, you may download the counting by 10's freebie here!  Enjoy!

Cookie Sort

I made this up quickly tonight for my kids to use at centers.  They are good at sorting when it's cut and dry, so I wanted to see how they do with this activity.  I know some will think it's too easy, but there will be some who wonder what I was thinking! 

It's a freebie for you!  Enjoy!  All images are from Scrappin' Doodles...I love them!  All I ask is for a quick thanks!  Happy Sunday morning!

11.26.2011

Vacation is coming to an end...

I have very much enjoyed my time off of work this last week.  In fact, I barely thought about it at all.  It was nice to be away from the daily grind and do things that I wanted to do.  I didn't get as much done as I had hoped, but I still got some things done and my house is decorated for Christmas.  It's basically just my living room and the outside, but I would need more decorations and a bigger house.  I like my little living room decorated and lit up and then the rest of the house "normal".

I sat down tonight to make up some things for school.  I am trying really hard to make sure I do my daily problem solving in math with my kids.  I made up a quick 4 day problem solving kit to go with Christmas trees/decorating.  I have decided to put it on TpT, but it's only $1!  I noticed an item I had put on my blog last year had over 900 views...and 2 comments.  I am hoping maybe someone will want it and like it and tell me so.  I am a bit needy and like knowing that someone thinks my creations are OK. 

Here is a freebie of the problem solving unit.  This is the problem we will do on Monday.  The students have their math journals and they will draw and write the answer in their notebook.  There is no question for them to glue on (maybe next year?), but they work it out and then come and show me.  If they get it right, they get a star on their paper.  Big deal, huh?  But they love it cause I use the Mr. Sketch markers and they think I am the greatest person in the world!  And, I just ordered another set of markers to make sure I don't run out!  I think 3 sets should get me through til the end of the year! 

I am planning to sit at my computer for a bit tonight and get some things created.  I am feeling a bit creative, which is good, cause it's been missing for awhile!  Here's to hoping the next 3 weeks go quickly and smoothly and we all have a great time with our kids!

11.22.2011

Enjoying vacation

I realized it's been over a week since I posted. Don't know if anyone reads this, but for my own sake,it's been a week. There hasn't been that much to post about. I took pictures last week of whatwe did, but they are still on the camera. And this weeks vacation, so I haven't done anything worthnposting about, unless younwant to read about the Super deep cleaning of my house or the time I have spent doing a lot of nothing.

I brought home a lot of work to do. But, it's going for rides in my car with me. Haven't even bothered to take it out yet. Maybe this weekend. I really do need to do some work, but I also want to enjoy my vacation. Mind you, deep cleaning isn't fun, but it's rewarding tom see all the junk I don't need in the trash and the dust bunnies gone. Of course, I cleaned my floors (I have wood floors in my whole house) and then it rained and my dogs thought it would be fun to roll arund outside and then come inside. The joy of living on 5 acres of dirt! It's a double edged sword...I love my property (and no neighbors!!!!!), but I hate all the dirt and dust and mud that goes with it.

I have really enjoyed my 2 days off so far. Today I went to my daughters school all morning and helped get ready for the feast. I liked being a parent and not a teacher. Luckily she is off tomorrow, so we will sleep in and relax a bit. She is having a friend over, so the middle of the day will be busy with 2 little girls running around like wild banshees!

Tonight I hope to sit on the couch in front of the fire (it's chilly to is!), make a cup of tea and sit and read. I don't have to be up too early, I can stay up late and indulge in my book for a bit. Happy Tuesday!

11.14.2011

A good Monday

Today was a good day. Even better that there are 4 days left before a weeks vacation. I can't wait. 5 days of not having to go to work! I am so excited to be able to get things done and get some good reading done. I just finished Danielle Steel's book Happy Birthday and bought the new one Hotel Vendome last night. If I get my stuff done,I can start tonight!

I got a new student today. Well, new to me this year. I had him in my class last year. He wasn't the top of the class, but hen worked with an extra aide and managed tom get very close to grade level. His guardian didn't want him to repeat, so he went on to second grade. Now, I know nothing happened over summer, he came to 2nd grade behind. For this year, he hasn't been very motivated, gets no help at home, but was getting lots of extra support at school until his attitude got really bad, then the help stopped. Somehow, it came to be that he would go back to first grade. There were 2 openings, and one wouldn't have been good, so he came back to me. I am a little worried, since I already had him and didn't get him to grade level. Hopefully he will be higher at the end and get the gaps filled in that he has. I noticed on his writing today he is still low, which is scary considering he has been in 2nd grade for almost 4 months!

I wonder, silently of course, what goes on once the kids leave us. I know it's not a good thought to have. We are supposed to have trust in the other teachers we work with, but I am losing it quickly. We have had several kids be moved down to first grade this year and it's like the others don't want to work hard. I bust my butt to get my kids as far as they can, but it doesn't seem like others do. There seems to be a lot of "fluff" going on in the grade above me, whereas we are doing work, work, work and a little fluff. I don't know...I guess we shouldn't say much until we are in their shoes, but I know they couldn't do what I do without extra help and some complaining. But, I know I will do my job as best I can and I am just one person. I can only get them as far as I can I one year and I hope for the best.

I guess it's time to play chutes and ladders. my daughter is sitting there questioning my if I am ready. I need to go do that, do dishes and make my plans for Wednesday...can't wait for a nice, fun family day at D-land! Happy Monday!

11.13.2011

Thanksgiving Freebies

I have 3 days this week to teach about Thanksgiving.  Really, I have 3 days to get in all the fun stuff we should be doing, but won't because we are worrying about standards and acountability.  We will get the social studies standards in one way or another and hopefully learn something along the way. 

Tonight I made some pages that we will work on in class.  They are more educational than fun, but I hope my kids think they are fun and that they get something out of them, too!  Don't worry, though.  I am not all work and no play!  My kids will do more than their share of craftivities for Christmastime!  They will be crafted out by then!  ;)

The first page is about Pilgrims.  We have already compared Pilgrims to ourselves and all the ways we are different and all the things that we have now that they didn't.  This one, the kids will fill in after we discuss what the Pilgrims could do, had and were.  It's a take on can/have/are, but since it's the past, I changed it!   

The second page is about Thanksgiving.  It's very similar to the top page, just what we can/have/are at Thanksgiving.  I want my kids to understand what we have Thanksgiving for and that it's more than just turkey! 

The last page is a writing page I will have them do on Thursday, I think, about what they are thankful for.  We will brainstorm ideas of all the things we are thankful for.  I really hope we can get past the xboxes and wii's and crap like that and get to the nitty gritty, like family, food, and free education! 

I am also planning to have the kids made a Thankful turkey.  I have to make the pattern and trace it and all that fun stuff, but that will be for tomorrow.  I will trace the body and then hopefully copy feathers onto different colored construction paper.  On each "feather", they will write one thing they are thankful for and glue it on.  I hope this will pass with my girl who is a jehovah's witness!?!?!  In all my years of teaching, I have never had a student in my class who doesn't celebrate the holidays.  Kinda makes me panic a little! 

Well, this is more or less the extent on my Thanksgiving fun and games.  I wanted to do so much more, but there just isn't time.  I could not teach reading or math this week, but I don't know if that would be my best option.  Happy Sunday! 

11.12.2011

Love/hate relationship

So, I have to confess. I have a love/hate relationship going on right now. And it just started. I am little bit late to the game, but I joined. Pinterest would be the new game I have joined. And dang if it isn't addicting. I spent about 3 hours last night pinning stuff just because I could. Some things are great ideas for school, some are great ideas for my home, some make me laugh til I can't breath while others are just a nice thought. But, after 3 hours on my couch, I got nothing done, except for wasting time and getting a sore neck. Hubby wasn't too thrilled I didn't return a phone call and decided to do dishes at 9:30 last night. I said he could have done them (right ladies????) but then I got the response of, well.....

Today I was a bit more productive. My daughter went to a friends house for a play date, sadly her first, and hubby was out running errands. I finally got my bedroom and bathroom deep cleaned and looking nice. Now to keep it clean and nice for the remainder of the month! I still have laundry going, but that is a never ending process in my house. And dishes will be done in a few! Tomorrow I'll be saved for lesson planning, lesson writing for Wednesday and figuring out still what I am going to do this week thanksgiving-y for school. Nothing like the last minute! And I need to make Wednesday plans so we can play hooky and go to Disneyland! Hubby has a friend/client who works there and we will get in for $0! Score! So, I will play sick for that and have some good family time without the crowds! Yippee!

Well, time to get off my butt and get more done. Happy Saturday!

11.11.2011

Time off

Today was a much needed day off. And I didn't do much at home. Hubby had to take his car in to be fixed (and we will get it tomorrow), we went to visit a couple of his clients and then we did lunch and went to Hobby Lobby. We must got a new Hobby Lobby 2 weeks ago, so the new is still there. Luckily it's a ways down the road, so I don't go there all the time. This was my second visit, and we have given them money each time. I got stuff for Christmas crafts for my home and school as well as some other fun stuff and gifts. We left at 8:30 today and got home at 4:00. Then it was rime to make dinner and then I got sidetracked with the computer. What else is new?

I am trying to figure out what I am doing for thanksgiving craftivities with my kids. There isn't a ton of time for me to do them, and I need to figure out what to do that won't offend my one student whose parent told me theynare Jehovah's witness. I didn't know and she was doing all the halloweeny stufF, tho it wasn't anything major. Isn't that something you should have told me in August? But now, I am trying to figure out what to do that will be fun, educational and PC. And I only have a couple days, really, to get it all in. We are still mandated to do our regular reading and math and I don't want to deviate too much. We have someone at the site who is "spying" on us, so I want to make sure everything I do is clean and in line with the pacing guide. Good thing we are an award winning school and know what we ate doing!

I am planning to spend some time on Sunday getting some ideas together for Christmas stuff for when We come back. I try and do a Christmas around the world thing, but I really need to beef it up. I may scour TPT and break down and buy something. It goes against what I want to do, but I need some help. Christmas will be here and over before I know it. I just put away Halloween...not really ready for Christmas!

Well, time to veg for the night and catch up on the DVR. Good thing someone invented it so we can be coach potatoes! Happy Friday!

11.10.2011

A Much Needed Break

Well, I have made it to November and survived!  The stretch from Labor Day til Veteran's Day is very long.  It's actually the longest continuous time we have with our kids without any interruptions other than the weekends.  Crazy.  Today was the first day without kids.  And I needed it.  And I loved it.  I am sad it is over and that I didn't get my mountain of a to-do list done.  But I did get some things done, and that's all that matters! 

Today was our "Teacher Work Day".  It's the union's fancy way of saying conference day without telling us to do conferences.  We don't get half days or any of that "normal" stuff.  We get one day in the whole year to be at school without children.  We can use it to meet with parents, or we can meet with parents before today and use the time to work in our rooms, which is what I did.  Some teachers don't schedule conferences and hope parents come today, but not me.  I scheduled a bunch, met with 17 of my 22 and told those who didn't bother to send me a paper back any of the times I sent them home that I would be available today.  No one came and I am not sad! 

I had big, lofty plans, but then I got side tracked.  I wanted to put my read aloud books in buckets, but I am not a good visual perception person, so my buckets were too big and my shelf too small.  So, I took all the books out of the buckets, put them back on the shelves and then tackled my student library.  I "leveled" the books there, but there are really only 3 levels instead of the gazillions I should have.  Baby steps.  Now I need to buy some colored stickers or lots of tape to mark so the kids know where to put the books back.  I wasn't prepared to do that project, so I wasn't prepared to finish it.  But, the library isn't a disaster anymore and the kids can stop asking me if it's a test book or not! 

I also cleaned off my board, threw some stuff away that had been there for months and cleaned up some charts.  I made some new anchor charts, go some things organized and then left for the weekend.  I am getting a sort of new kid on Monday, but I didn't prepare for him.  Oops!  I know what I will do on Monday morning, don't I?!  In my defense, the custodian never did bring me the extra desk I had asked for today, so I had nothing to put his stuff in.  He'll survive...he knows me!  I had him last year.  He wasn't the highest in my class, but he was able to hold his own.  Well, I guess he isn't this year, which is a whole other bee in my bonnet.  Let's just say we don't love our 2nd grade team and wonder what they do with the kids we give them. 

But, I have the next 3 days to myself.  Or with my family.  Soccer season is now over, so there are no more early Saturday morning soccer games.  There will be nice, lazy Saturday mornings where I may actually get laundry done.  I might get to work in the my flower beds and make them look nice for winter (I do have to wait for it to not rain on the weekend...last week and this week...really?!?!?!?!).  Or I may just be lazy and do nothing and enjoy being home.  Which is what I think I will do now...the couch is calling my name, along with a blanket.  It's chilly today for us So Cal people! 

Happy Thursday, which is my Friday!

11.06.2011

Scarecrows, corn and some rain

Wow!  Last week was a whirlwind!  Halloween, hot days, some actual real, live teaching and some rain.  Yep.  That was our week. 

We started the week with Pumpkin Day.  We did all sorts of pumpkin activities.  The kids had fin, they weren't too crazy and it was a nice to day to carve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. 

We spent the rest of the week learning a bit about corn.  And when I say a bit, I mean a bit.  Teaching about the "fun stuff" has ended up with teaching just enough that the kids had fun, they learned something and we still got the real important stuff done.  For our poem this week, we read a poem I wrote about a scarecrow.  I read some scarecrow stories after lunch as well and we talked about what scarecrows do for farmers.  On Friday, we did a 2 part, all day project.  It was so much fun and they turned out so darn cute!  Take a peek for yourself! 
 First, we water colored the background with the fields and the sky.  Oh my word.  My kids were silent when they were painting.  All I could hear was the breathing.  I need to paint more often! 
I gave them a choice of some scrapbook paper for the shirts, then we made the pants, the hat and the head and put them all together.  Here is our wall of scarecrows.  No birds are getting into our room!





I love that each one is different and they all have very similar personalities to the kids who made them!

We also learned a bit about corn.  We talked about Indian Corn and how the kernals are different colored.  So, we made our own Indian Corn to hang up for the next 2 weeks. 


I hung them on the window, some facing in and some facing out.  Now that people walk by my room, I feel obligated to have something on the window, even though the fire marshall says no, no!

We have been working all year long on the personal narrative.  Here is the last step in the process.  I made the chart and hope the kids will follow it. 


This last week and this week, we have been enjoying the stories by Karma Wilson.  I absolutely love the Bear books.  I have some at school and some at home that I have taken to school for the weeks.  We are making a mini author study chart to use with the stories.  I hope the kids get something from it, but at least we are having fun with the stories.  I have noted in my yearly plan to use these with Seasonsnext year since they will tie in nicely. 


As I mentioned, we had some rain Friday.  It rained all day at school, which is fine, but the kids were a bit wild from it.  It was 90 earlier in the week, so I don't know why they are nutty when it's only 54.  Hmmm.  Here is a view outside the classroom and in the parking lot to show what it looks like on a CA rainy day!  Enjoy!

 This is looking out my window to the East.  Not the best view, but on a clear day, I can see the top of the mountains out east.  Could be worse!
This is looking toward the east.  The clouds were mean looking, but it had stopped raining by this time.  It was already after 5pm, and the sun was setting.  No more staying late now since it will get darker so much earlier.  The only downfall to Daylight Savings ending is the dark at 4:30 thing.  Yuck!

On tap for this week...not really sure.  We are finishing up some stuff and will venture into Thanksgiving learning I think.  We have a 3 day week this week, then 5 days next week and then we are off for the week.  November is a very busy month, but there are lots of times to rest, as well.  If I get rambunctious and make something blog-worthy, I will post it for anyone reading who would like a freebie.  I am tired of seeing all the cute stuff that costs money.  Time to put my not-so-creative mind to work!  Happy Sunday!

11.03.2011

Amen...it's almost Friday!

I will be glad when its about 3:45 tomorrow afternoon. I will be able to clean my classroom, getnthings ready for next week and come home and collapse. Or at least I hope that's what I get to do. And to top it off, it's supposed to be cold and rainy tomorrow. It was 84 today and 90 the other day. Tomorrows forecast is 56. Brrrrr! Nice and chilly and fall-like.

No ewe so far on my foot. I need to call in a bit (they are open 24/7!) and see if the results are in. Ifi have to, I can run down there tonight and have them take care of my foot. I have managed to make it 6 days with no meds and can still walk. I picked up my meds tonight, but they are steroids to bring down the inflammation in my foot and a med form heartburn that the steroid can cause. Lucky me! I will take them in the morning and start the road to recovery...hopefully.

This weekend is my daughters last soccer game. It has been long 3 months of soccer. I will be glad to have my Saturday's back, but I will miss watching her play. She will
Lay indoor soccer in the winter and also basketball...her choice. I am also hoping to get her into 4-H since she loves animals so much and I think it's better than girl scouts. I want her to do something educational and more fun for her. We'll see how it goes!

Well, time to put sleeping beauty to bed. I have dishes (since no one else does them) to do and some tracing to do for tomorrow. I threw caution to the wind and changed my lesson plans for something fun. I like it and so do my kids. :). Happy almost Friday!

11.02.2011

One step forward, two steps back

Today's post isn't about teaching. I AMA little stressed, bummed and freaking disappointed. Plus I am physically in pain, so it's not a good combination. I would like to sit and cry, but I don't want the hubby to get on my case.

Long story short...last Friday, my right foot hurt. I didn't think much of it, wore my tennis shoes, went to work, taught, did the carnival, all in a little pain. Saturday I wore my trusty flip flops all day, again in pain. Sunday, same story. You get the idea. Monday and Tuesday were horribly busy, so today was the day. My own dr. Closes at noon on Wednesday's, so to urgent care I went. 90 minutes later, still not sure what's wrong with me. Originally, the PA told me it was planter fasiiutus. So I don't know how to spell it, but if that's the case, my flip flop days are over and I may need some xanex to get me through it. But, I took xrays and then he changed his tune. He told me, and I think he made it up, that he thought it was a bone island. Seriously...I couldn't make it up. He said there are extra bones in hands and feet that can cause problems. He wnted an xray of my "good" foot to compare. Guess what...not there! So now, there is fear I have a stress fracture in my foot. WTH???? But their xray screen isn't great, so he has to send it out to someone better and then let me know on Friday. Ugh. He gave me a list of drugs, but I haven't got them filled...waiting to see if I can wait til Friday before I fill them. I guess there is a lot of inflammation in my foot, so they want me to take these super anti inflammatories and a steroid. And no exercise. I'm not the queen of exercise, but I have been starting to enjoy it and am liking the results I am getting, no matter how how small. It has been a week and I am not liking what I am seeing. Then to make matters worse, my husband is being a big jerk about the whole thing, which makes me feel like an idiot.

Worst case, it's a stress fracture and I will be unable to walk on It for a few weeks. That means no exercise til it heals. And I would have to wear the lovely black boot and possibly be on crutches. If not, I just have to go buy dr. Shols things and wear them in my shoes like an old lady. Not happy about that, either. So tonight, I feel like a slug who cant do anything and I am crabby and getting crap from the hubby. Gggrrrrrr! Just when I think I am making good progress, something happens to derail it. Makes me mad, sad and pissed.

Think I will take some Tylenol and hit the hay. Another busy day of hobbling around and trying to do my job. Happy Wednesday!

11.01.2011

We survived...and other random thoughts

Well,we survived another Halloween season. My kids were angels yesterday on Halloween. We did pumpkin day, or a short, abbreviated version of it. I just wasn't feeling it. My kids didn't seem that into it, either. Kinda sad. But, the day came and went and they went home. I told them, er warned them, that they were to bed on their best behavior today and to not eat all their candy for breakfast. They were very good today and we had no problems. One of our better days, really. Kinda scary if you think about it. Tomorrow will hopefully be just as good.

We had an assembly today for red ribbon week. Some DEA officers were there talking to the kids about what red ribbon week is for, how it all started and to remind them tom say no to drugs. The best part of the whole thing...they landed a helicopter on the field. So cool! They unfortunately didn't bring any dogs, but it was good nonetheless. The agents were there all decked out, been with their weapons. The kids were in awe. And so was their teacher. A neat way to end the day!

I started conferences today. I met with 3 parents, and they were all pretty easy. 2 were OK, the other is really low, but he needs testing and I am working on getting him to that point. It makes my Jon a bit harder to have to jump thru hoops, but I am doing it. Fun.

It was interesting talking to a parent. The kid is new tom school and sweet as can be. The parents are super supportive and want to make sure their child is doing well. I love that, and feel bad that I had the wrong impression of the dad. My first impression - Gang member. Sad, but completely possible. Tats all over, dresses like one, etc. I've talked with dad a lot and he is the nicest guy. In fact, he is a good dad...takes care of the one in my class and helps with the baby while the mom is helping her mom. Makes me so happy to see dads take an active role in their child's lives. There are too many who aren't there are who don't care. My hubby makes sure he is involved, and he has helped several times in my daughters class.

I will be doing conferences every afternoon from here til next Wednesday. I may have some next Thursday, but it is a teacher work day and I would rather work than conference. We'll see how that goes...if that goes. I want to clean, organize and wrap my mind around the next trimester. I need to make things nice and neat and more prepared than I am now. Lucky for me, the kids have no idea what they are supposed to be doing!

Well, my daughter decided tom write all over herself with a black sharpie, so it's time to scrub away. Happy Tuesday!