A month in review

I haven't been the best blogger out there.  I haven't even been good.  But, life has been busy, I have been a bit stressed, and I haven't made the time to blog, nor was it a priority.  I have some time tonight, so what better way to spend the night than by updating my blog.  Here's some stuff from the last month...or so!

We celebrated the 100th day of school in January.  I have had the kids do a "family project" for many years.  They are to create a poster with 100 things, whatever they want.  Some are very creative and there was a lot of thought put into them, while others aren't as creative, but the child and their parent worked together for a bit!

 Students wrote their names on a 10x10 grid and then colored it in to make a name quilt.  We did this during a rotation time, so I have 3 classes doing this for an hour.  Most kids didn't finish, as they had 20 minutes.  I was surprised at how many kids didn't "get it".  I guess I didn't explain it well enough. 
 I saw this on Pinterest and had to do it!  I punched out the numbers at school, showed them an example and they went for it.  I loved the creativity of some!  It was amazing to see what they came up with.  I was surprised to see that my daughter's class did the same thing a week before me and I saw it a week later!  Pretty neat!

 Making the ever so popular fruit loop necklace.  This to them forever to do.  I don't know why!
 Groundhog Day...One of my favorite days at school.  I don't know why, since I don't ever remember doing anything with it as a kid!  This is the graph we made the day before.  It was in the 80's for us the day before, so the kids just knew the groundhog would see his shadow.  I don't mind, since we haven't really had winter here this year!  Though it was cold and rainy just the other day!
 My new favorite project!  We made these the day after and they are too cute!  I saw it on Teacher Bits and Bobs and just had to do it.  The kids loved it and were so happy with how they turned out.  I am sad to see them go, but it's time for something else to go up!

 Duriong our RTI time, we were reading a Scholastic Phonics reader called Pizza Cook.  So on Thursday, we made pizza.  The kids thought it was fun and it was a good thing for them to use their creative side. 

 My new favorite author - Mo Willems.  I had never read his books til this year.  Oh my word...I was living under a rock.  I haven't laughed so hard and had the kids so engaged in a long time.  Here are our pigeons.  Love!  They wrote about what the pigeon found to eat. 
 Our graph of our favorite book...but who could really have a favorite?  They are all good!  And Piggie and Elephant?  I know what I am shopping for now...the whole series!  I would have bought more, but I spent way over my limit last weekend and was limited to 1. 
 We learned about Abraham Lincoln this week.  These are their directed drawings.  Somehow mine didn't look like him at all.  Good thing I had 3 examples that did.  But, they aren't bad!

 In learning about the symbols of America, we made our own bald eagles.  I saw this on Deanna Jump's page and just had to do it.  Too fun!  We also did a directed drawing of the Statue of Liberty.  I don't know where the pics are of those, but the actual pics are in our office right now!  I have never done this unit justice in the past, but I did a bit better this year.  I actually did more this year than in all the years combined.  And I had fun!  Now to add to it to make it even better for next year!
 I saw this on Pinterest and did it last month with my kids.  Oh my word!  Love!  I got the bandaids at Dollar Tree and they are perfect.  My kids really, truly have a better understanding of contractions and got 100% on our district benchmark test on contractions!  They know what the contractions mean and where they letters went.  I will do this every single year from now on! 
 And finally, in our reading series, we read the story Red-Eyed Tree Frog.  The kids always like seeing the toucans in the story.  In the past, we had done and enrichment week later in the year when we read a story about the forest.  We compare the forest and the rain forest.  This year, I changed it up and we did our enrichment week this last week.  We learned more about the rainforest, the parts, etc and then ended it with the directed drawing of a toucan.  This is my all time favorite project.  This was the first directed drawing I did about 4 years ago.  I was never brave enough to try it with the kids and then decided to do it a few years back.  Then, after taking 3 art classes this summer, I feel a tiny bit more confident in my abilities.  I am not an artist by any means, but I don't mind trying.  I wish I had that same level of confidence back in high school or college...I may have taken an art class or tried something new then instead of waiting til now.

If anyone is still looking and reading, thanks!  I hadn't realized how much we have done til now!  This year, I have used way more construction paper than ever before, but we have done so much more art - cutting, drawing, painting, etc.  I hope I ahve given my kids and appreciation of art just a tiny bit.  I would like to do more, but there is so little time with the standards being shoved down our throats.  I need to find a way to do more without compromising anything. 

This week will be a crazy week.  On top of being a short week (Amen!), I have to finish all my testing for report cards.  I need to get math testing done, along with the DRA's, word tests and a writing sample.  It's never boring, that's for sure.  But, to get the testing done means there is yet another week where we aren't doing reading groups and working on reading at all the levels.  Hmmm...what's a teacher to do?  I would love to take the day off and test, but I doubt my principal would go for that.  How great would that be...a whole day to get testing done without missing instruction?  What a concept! 

Happy Sunday all!  I am so glad I have an extra morning to sleep in and get things done.  I am so looking forward to laying in bed to watch GMA and maybe even eating breakfast in bed!  What a glorious thought!  Here's to the start of a great week with the thought of another night of blogging in the future!


  1. Hi Kristen,
    How lucky I am that I found you...I teach in sunny southern Cal too. I grew up out here as well. I'm in Temecula. Come on over and visit me I'm brand new to blogging. Love all your stuff, we do a lot of the same fun stuff. I will definitely be poppin in more often. :o)
    God Bless
    ~ Vicky
    Traditions Laughter and Happily Ever After

  2. Hi Kristen! I also teach in southern California. I teach in Lakewood/bellflower. Anyway, our 100th day is this Tuesday and we'll be doing that 100 project with the diecuts. yours came out so cute!

    - sally

  3. You do some great activities in your class. Your students are lucky to have you as a teacher!

  4. Oh my gosh I love all of the art!! I am TOTALLY stealing the band-aid contractions activity. How fun! I love some of the groundhogs eyes...so cute!

  5. Love your blog!! Come check out mine!