1.29.2012

Busy week...in review

Well, here it is Sunday again and I didn't post once during the week.  I have too much going on, and something had to give, so it might as well be blogging. 

It was an incredibly busy and exhausting week, starting with Monday.  Monday was a rainy, cold day for us.  My kids were all hyped up with it being Chinese New Year.  Mind you, they wouldn't have known it was Chinese New Year if I hadn't told them, but since we were doing stuff that day for it, they knew.  I had never done anything for it before.  And now I will plan it every year!  It was a lot of fun.  And very tiring.  And it lasted all week long.  Ugh!  Here are some pics from Monday, as it was the only day I took my camera! 
 Cherry blossoms...not sure if this is really with Chinese New Year, but it looks cute up (note to self: don't put it on the yellow background!)

 Chinese lanterns...these were up all week...the kids loved making them.

 Eating Ramen noodles with chopsticks...the kids loved this!  So cute!  They all got a fortune cookie when they were done.  They went around reading their fortunes, giggling and thinking they were all silly. 

Our dragon masks.  The kids got to color them and cut them out and then those that were lucky (who had time) got the string on them and could wear them home. 
We also did a writing about having a pet dragon.  They turned out so good, but I have no pictures and we aren't done yet!  I am a bit behind with the gobzillion things we are trying to get done!  And they made little fish kites, too! 

Tomorrow is the 100th day of school.  It's all downhill from here on out.  Crazy!  We will spend the morning doing our "regular" routine before going all 100th day crazy after recess.  We will do a 3 way rotation between recess and lunch and then they are all mine after that.  We will do some writing, some fun math projects and just make it a fun day.  The kids are to bring in a project with 100 things on it.  I am always impressed and disillusioned with what they bring in.  Some are so thoughtfully planned out and others look like junk glued on in 30 seconds.  But, it's the work of a 6 year old and their family! 

We will also be doing some fun Groundhog activities on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Wednesday we will graph our predictions about whether he will see his shadow or not.  Here in So Cal, it's supposed to be clear and in the 70's so I know we will see the shadow!  Thursday we will write about what really happened and then do some fun little things and then on Friday we will make a little paper groundhog popping out of the ground.  I really love groundhog's day, though I am not sure why!  It's just too cute!  

Well, I have a bunch of stuff to do still.  Blogging is fun, but time consuming.  I am trying to be more planned and organized this month coming up.  I normally am, but in January, I was in a funk, so planning and organizing and all that stuff went out the window.  Not cool!  Getting it back now, though, so that makes me feel good! 

Have a great week!  See ya next Sunday, if not sooner!

1.22.2012

I guess I just post on the weekends!

Wow!  I haven't posted since Tuesday, but there hasn't been a lot to post about.  The shortened week was a week from you know where.  My kids were good, but it was a weird, stressful week.  I am glad it's over!  I am almost ready for this next week...I just hope it's a little more calm and stress free than this last week! 

Tomorrow we will learn a little bit about Chinese New Year.  I have never done anything with it before, but this year I am going to do something with it.  I don't know why I decided to do this, but I gave myself the challenge to learn something new and do something different.  I hope I do it a little justice, since I know nothing about it, other than what I have found in my teacher books.  If I remember, I will take pics and show you all what we did.  If nothing else, it will be a fun filled late morning/afternoon for me and my kids! 

We have entered the world of long vowels.  Most of my kids understand the magic e and are doing well with it.  They "get it".  I have a couple that are still struggling and it makes me sad that they don't get the extra help at home with it.  But, if all kids got the help at home they needed, then we wouldn't have the heartaches we have.  Anyway, we are going to be doing long o and long u this week.  Long u is so hard as there aren't many true long u words.  So, I am going to focus on long o this week and just focus on the long u words that are in our program.  I made a word sortish thing to do whole group with my class.  I am hoping they start to really see the difference between long and short vowel words!  If you would like a copy, you may get it here!

We are reading one of my not-so-favorite stories this week.  We are reading The Sleeping Pig.  I like the story, but it isn't my fave.  I haven't got into it in the past, which I think would have helped.  Mind you, we have been using this series for 10 years now...I have my favorite stories and my not so favorite!  Only 6 more years til we get a new reading series!  Yeah, horrible.  Welcome to California.  Anyway, this week, we will do a sort between people words and animal words.  It should be easy enough.  If you would like a copy of this, you may get it here.   We will also focus on our story comprehension skill of the story structure.  I think the kids have this one down, but they don't always remember to do it when they are orally retelling a story (as required through the DRA testing).  I made this repurposed it from the TE book for my kids to do later this week.  It really goes along with the story, but it can be used for many stories.  If you would like this, you may get it here

In all our spare time this week, I hope we will talk about snowmen.  They are so fun and cute and not part of our everyday lives.  I found some cute art projects through Pinterest and blogging, but I don't know if I will have time for them all this week.  I basically have 2 days this week for snowmen stuff - not the ideal situation, but I will try to make the best of it!  Depending on what I decide for Friday, you may or may not see snowmen projects on Friday (or whenever I blog about it). 

Well, I am still trying to unwind from last week.  I hope that week does not repeat itself and I can get back into my regular routine.  It is supposed to rain tomorrow and then be in the 80's by the end of the week.  Can you say crazy?  And crazy in all sense of the word - crazy behavior, crazy weather and crazy allergies.  Yuck! 

I am off to go for a walk and talk to myself for the next 30 minutes.  Happy Sunday!   

1.17.2012

A quickie for the night

Today was a great day!  My kids were awesome, they loved the lesson activity we did, and it all seemed to fall into place.  And they were even good all morning, despite the fact that my heater wasn't working and it was 55 degrees in the room until 10:30 ( even then it was only 62).  It was a great day! 

We did the contraction activity that I found at The First Grade Parade.  My kids loved doing surgery on the words to make the contractions!  I don't have any pictures, since I was too busy having fun to take pictures.  But, if you do this, go to Dollar Tree for the bandaids.  They are brightly colored and cheap! 
I don't know how I will top that tomorrow...maybe something fun with penguins. 

I am off to go watch Wheel of Fortune with my daughter.  She's having a Monday kinda night, so time to snuggle on the couch and guess letters!  Happy Tuesday!

1.16.2012

Long Overdue post...and 2 freebies

Alternately Titled: Thank Goodness for a 3-day weekend!

Wow!  Last week did me in!  I was so tired by Thursday morning.  I am amazed I managed to make it to work on Friday.  It was a long, first week back, but I was so glad to be back and see my kids.  I missed them over vacation, but did not miss getting up early.  But we are almost back in full swing with our routine and all the fun that goes into the school day! 

It wasn't until Thursday that all my kids came back!  One girl was sick and then just didn't want to come back to school.  One of my boys said he was sick, but he doesn't like coming to school and Mom is OK with him being home, so he didn't show up til Thursday and he went home early on Friday.  I would love to work 1 1/2 days some weeks!  He is my lowest student and came back even lower, if that is possible.  I have to get mom in to meet with her again (she came once then dropped off the radar) and start putting the bug in her ear about retention.  I don't know if that is the answer for him,  but he can't go on to second grade - he is way too low and has missed way too much school (he's missed 14 days out of 90 so far and has gone home early about 10 - 15 times, too).  It's sad, really, but I can't do much when the school won't back me up on his attendance. 

Anyway, my kids were very happy to be back.  We "worked" a bit on writing some goals for the year.  We talked about setting goals as things we need to practice more or things we want to do better.  Each student (who was at school, anyway) wrote 3 goals and then made their own little party hats and faces to celebrate the new year, just a few days later!  They turned out pretty cute and the kids thought it was the best thing ever, even if it took us 3 days to get them done! 


With my focus group, we spent the week talking about snow.  We read some stories, did some words with the -ow family,  and did a reading comprehension activity.  Then, it just so happened that on Friday morning, I saw this cute activity here from Tales of a Teacherista.  So, we made little snowglobes and wrote about what we would do if we had a snow day.  We haven't had many rain days, so a snow day is very far off the radar (though we did get our first rain in over a month last night!).  The kids in my focus group loved this and thought it was so fun!  I didn't break out the glitter this time, but they got to use silver paint for the snow.  I will definitely do this one again, maybe even with my homeroom this year!



 
On Friday, I got a wild hair to move my room around a bit.  I never liked the way it was, so I changed it.  During the spelling test.  With the kids watching me thinking I was nuts.  Not my greatest teaching moment, but I felt so much better by the end of the day.  I moved my teacher desk to the other side of the room along with my teacher book shelf and then my classroom library by the door.  My desk was by the door and I didn't like it there.  I don't sit at my desk during the day, but I do like to sit there after school and grade papers.  I am not ready to completely get rid of my teacher desk yet as many have, but I may get there in the future if I can get my room cleaned and uber-organized.  I have a lot of crap in my desk that needs to find a new home.  With moving things around, I have made more work for myself at school, but I will be so happy when it's done.  I have added a new area to display student work (or it will be added once it's all re-done) and I am now closer to the cabinet area that I can utilize for my stuff rather than just collecting junk.  Again, it will be a long process, but I will be much happier being there rather than where it was. 

This week in my focus group (which is our RTI time), we will talk and read and write about snowmen.  We are also going to focus on compound words, too.  I made a couple pages for my kids this week.  The first worksheet is on compound words.   The other page is a writing page we will be using later this week.  We will also be "making" our own snowman later in the week to go with the writing. 

As for the rest of the week with my class, I'm not totally sure what we are doing!  We will continue learning about penguins, which will be the focus of our writing.  Then on Friday we will be making our own little penguins.  We are also moving on to 10's and 1's in math.  I am hoping for a very easy math unit, but you never know!  We have our major benchmark test in 3 weeks.  I am worried about how some will do, but then I shouldn't really care.  It's just another way for the kids to freak out and panic over something that really has no impact on them at this point in their 6 year old lives. 

As for the next couple weeks, we will be busy, busy.  Next Monday, we will celebrate Chinese New Year.  I have never done this before, so I am looking for ideas to share with my kiddos.  The Monday after we will be celebrating the 100th day of school (my favorite!) and then 3 days later will be Groundhog's Day (another favorite!).  Who would have thought February would be here this quick?  Yikes! 

I have enjoyed having the extra day, even though I have done nothing.  I need to get more done, but I am not motivated.  I should be, but I'm not.  I'm in a little slump/funk right now, so once I am out of that, I will be back to normal!  Until then, I will enjoy being lazy and getting my workout in sometime later this evening!   Happy Monday! 

1.09.2012

Made it!

I made it through my first Monday back to work!  I am tired, but it's more from lack of sleep than school.  It's been a busy few days wrapping up vacation and it's catching up to me. 

On Saturday, we went to the OC Marketplace (swap meet) to walk around and get some fruits and veggies.  We ended up getting the fruit and veggies, some greek yummies, some bread and some books.  Oh, and we also ended up buying a new spa.  We had one, but we didn't love it.  When we bought it, it was "new technology" where the water was heated by convection.  It got warm, but nothing that we could sit in during the cooler months.  This new one is a *real* spa - it has a real heater and real jets and lights!  It was delivered last night...er, this morning really.  They were supposed to be here between 6p-9p last night, then they called and said it would be after 9:30.  They got here a little after 11:30 (as I was woken up by my dog barking) and they left at 12:30 or so.  Hubby waited for them, not I!  Poor hubby had to work all day yesterday to get it wired and then spent today finishing the wiring.  He got it all done in time to go to some appointments tonight.  He'll get to enjoy it tomorrow night! 

Yesterday was crazy!  I went to my WW meeting in the morning.  Last week sucked so bad, so I was determined to be *good* this last week.  It paid off with -5.4 pounds!  I then had to go to Sam's Club to get food for lunch, came home and cleaned out the fridge and then finally got to lesson planning.  I didn't do great plans, as I didn't have it in me to write out big, wonderful plans.  My daughter came home from Disneyland and was wired for the night.  It took forever to calm her down, but once she did, she was a goner! 

I forget how dark it is in the morning.  When I get up, there is no hint of sun.  Made me sad, really.  I am a sun person, not a night person.  But, I was up and ready to go.  Too bad my entire class didn't bother to be up and ready.  I was missing 5 kids today!  OK, 3 really, since 2 went home by 9:30.  One looked like crap and said she was going to throw up (she was sick on Saturday with the stomach bug...it ain't gone!) and the other one said she had to go throw up in the bathroom.  The nurse said she had a cough, so maybe she was spitting up phlem.  I don't know, but they were gone, so that left me with 18.  That seemed like so few kids!  A couple years ago we only had 20, so 18 was nothing, but today it seemed like I was missing a bunch of kids.  I hope they are back tomorrow - the high schools and middle schools were off today, so I am hoping they just hung out at home with siblings.  Or didn't bother to pay attention to the 27 phone calls to let us know that school started today! 

At least it's better than a few years ago.  6 or 7 years ago, in CA, they had May Day or something.  Hispanic parents were encouraged to keep their children home, not go to work, the whole shebang.  I think on that day, I had 5 kids in class, if that many.  It was a wasted day as you couldn't teach much without having to reteach it the next day.  I remember the Governor said the schools would get their ADA for that day, even though hardly anyone showed up. 

I'd better go and get something done before laziness overwelms me!  I can see that happening quickly tonight!  Happy Monday!

1.06.2012

One goal down...for this month anyway

Oh my!  Vacation is now coming to an end.  By this time next week, I will be packing my little darlings up for a 3 day weekend.  I am not looking forward to the alarm though on Monday morning.  5:15 will be here way too quickly. 

On Wednesday, I ran to Target to buy some more laminating pages.  I also bought this book:
Oh my word.  Loved it!  Yep...I started it a bit on Wednesday, read it last night while fighting the Nyquil and then finished it up today.  I couldn't put it down.  It was sad, happy and every other emotion you can think of.  I have just started to read Kristin Hannah's books and I have like the 3 that I have read.  I have a couple more in my book cabinet, but I don't know if I want to start a new one or wait for a bit since I have to go back to work.  I did say I want to read one fun book a month, so that was it.  Maybe I can store them up and carry them over?  Nah, I'll just start a new book and read when I can. 

I am off to finish laundry for the week, go get some frozen yogurt and hang out at home for the night! 
Happy Friday!

 

1.05.2012

Denial

I am in denial about going to work next week.  I haven't done anything really to get ready.  I have stuff lmainated and cut out and ready, but that's it.  As for actual teaching plans?  Eh.  I know what I will be doing on Sunday, though.

I was sitting outside getting sunburned today making bird feeder things with my daughter and I was thinking about what I want to do on Monday with my kids.  I would really like to spend some time in the morning talking about goals for the new year, picking some goals and writing about them, but then I think of the language arts time for phonics and reading that would be gone.  Dilemna time....If only we didn't have our focus group/RTI time in the middle of prime learning, I could get a lot more done and have a lot more leeway with my schedule.  Grrrrr!

Tomorrow is the last day of vacation.  I don't count the weekends cause I have them off anyway.  Saturday we are going to spend the morning at the OC Marketplace (fancy word for swap meet) and then maybe head to IKEA or to the beach to watch the waves.  Who knows!  It's supposed to be chilly that day, like 66 or something!  It was 87 here today...but we really do need the rain and snow.  The weather guy said in maybe 15 days it will change.  Hubby laughed and said he could guess the same things, too! 

Well, I have nothing exciting.  Happy Thursday!  

1.04.2012

A wasted day...or not

Today has been a slightly wasted day, slightly loved day. I am still fighting this cold/allergy/make me unable to breathe and give me a headache thing. It doesn't want to go away. Grrrr. At least I am home and not working. But today was the laziest day by far. I took my daughter to school and drove to my school, hoping it would be open. But, it's not. I don't know how the custodians bet in all their days when they take more time off than we do. I came home and haven't done much since.

I did get a bunch of things laminated and cut for the next couple of weeks. That was a chore in itself. But I got it done, put into bags and they're all ready to go for Monday. Now I just need to plan for the next few weeks. Or at least Monday. I haven't wrapped my mind around the fact that we have to go to work. I have enjoyed being home. But, all good things must come to an end.

I have watched a lot of TV today. I watched Tori and Dean, the Biggest Loser and Parenthood. I also watched a couple episodes of Big Bang Theory and now have it on Dr. Oz. The guy he is talking to seems like a nut. I should watch something else. Or go for a walk. I took a short nap, too. My hubby's work phone I coming here today, so I am playing secretary girl. I was woken ip from the loveliest nap earlier and that was the end of it. Guess tonight will be an early to bed night.

I guess I should go outside and enjoy the sunshine. It's only 85* today. I am laying in bed with a blanket, but it's comfy cozy. I should go walk, decide what's for dinner and get my daughter off the TV. She has been alternating between the TV and building Legos. She's a very good girl when I am not feeling well. But, we do need to do something, so...Happy Wednesday!

1.03.2012

This is why I work...and a freebie

My daughter is at school right now.  I don't like being home when she is at school.  It seems wrong.  I will be going to get her in a few minutes and then we are off to the airport to pick up our neighbor.  It's too quiet when she is at school...I should be getting a lot done, but I am not.  Hubby and I went out to breakfast today (McD's oatmeal is yummy!), ran to Dollar Tree and then Staples.  Exciting times, huh? 

When we go back to work next week, we will jump into the world of long vowels.  A lot of my kids know how to read long vowel words, but they don't know why they are long vowel.  We will cover that on Monday.  I hope.  I made a quick little word sort that my kids will be able to do next week in their centers.  I already know there will be about 8 kids who will do it.  The rest will play with it and then be done.  They don't like the writing of things down part.  Oh well.  If you would like the word sort, you may get it here for free!  Yeah, I have decided to give up on my TpT for now and just give it away.  I figure I'm doing it anyway, might as well share! 

I went through all the stuff I brought home, took it out of my bags and put it into a pile.  I tried to write out a sketch of the month, but something's gonna have to give.  There is too much fun I want to do (it's still learning, but not the big bad standards) and not enough time to do it all in.  I still need to figure that all out.  But for now, I will be off to the airport.  It's about a 40 minute drive there are back.  I hope lunch is in the plans for us!  Happy Tuesday!

1.02.2012

It's Monday...and a freebie!

Today is my last Monday on vacation.  I am going to enjoy the week I have ahead of me.  I plan to clean up a lot of crap I have collected and plan for the next couple weeks of school.  They will be a busy few weeks.  I don't know how I will get it all in and I haven't even opened up the plan book to try.  Too scared! 

I enjoyed my morning being lazy watching the Rose Parade.  I love doing that to start the year.  I like the floats and the bands.  The horses, not so much, but they seem to always pay closer attention to them.  I planned to watch it on ABC (so I could listen to Josh Elliott from GMA), but they had commercials.  WTH?  Commercials during a live parade?  Ridiculous.  So, I watched it on our local channel that didn't do commercials.  Don't really love the commentators, but they were OK this year.  Anyway, I finally got up, took a shower and put on lazy clothes.  That's as far as I have made it today.  I am so sorry for those of you that had to go to work today...it seems criminal. 

I did get one thing done today!  I made a problem solving mini unit.  I found the cutest graphics at Scrappin' Doodles and just had to make something to go with it.  Too cute.  I almost (not really!) wish I was back at work to use them.  Next week will be here soon enough!  ;)  I was going to upload it to TpT, but it wouldn't work.  I think it was a sign telling me to share.  Many bloggers have been so generous and sharing their fabulousness.  I will share my mediocrity with you all, too!  I want my kids to get their brains thinking again, so I made this one a little simpler than normal.  I know they will have vacation brain when we get back, but they have to do work, too!  You can click here to download my little problem solving unit.  If you do download, please leave me a little note that you did and tell me what you think! 

I am going to try to make some problem solving units to last me through the end of January, but right now it's just a thought.  I need to make some lunch for my daughter and I and then tackle some of the mess.  Or go sit outside where it is a toasty 83*.  I'm not a fan of winter heat, but it beats the snow any day!  We will be cooling off to the 70's and 60's soon, and I figure it will rain when we have to go back to work.  But for now, I will enjoy sitting on the couch with the windows open in January!  Happy Monday to you all!  If you went back today, I hope your day was fantastic!  If you are still on vacation, continue to enjoy! 

1.01.2012

Day 1

I am not very creative today in terms of coming up with a catchy title.  I have been doing laundry, cleaning and just gone done working out.  Yep, 1 day down, a lot more to go!  Actually, it was just the next day in the workout cycle, so I kinda  had to do it.  And a crappy weigh in today is much more motivation!  It wasn't what I was wanting, but it never is, really.

We managed to stay up til midnight last night.  We watched the lsat 3 minutes in NY before the ball dropped.  Kinda anti-climatic, really.  Then I went to sleep.  I had to be up early to hear that I had gained weight.  Yeah, sucky start to the year.  We stayed up and watched movies last night.  We watched Our Idiot Brother and Horrible Bosses.  Eh, not the greatest, but they did kill time.  That and playing Fishdom in my iPad helped the time go quickly.  Fishdom is kind of a dumb game, but it's so addicting!  My hubby and I try to play it together.  I had to laugh when he told me he just figured out the object of the game after playing it for a while.  Too funny!

Fortunately for me, we have another week off.  Most of the district around us are off for another week, but some do go back on Tuesday.  My daughter, who is at a charter school, goes back on Tuesday.  I am sad that she will be at school and I will be home.  I want to be able to be with her.  Luckily she is out at 11:30, so it's OK.  It does suck that I have to get up and be presentable at 7:30 to take her to work.  That's not so good.  Good-bye pajama days, hello having to get dressed.  :(  I am hoping I can make time for myself while she is gone and get some stuff done for my kids as well as get some things organized.  I have a ton of crap at home for school that I need to go through, but it just gets piled up higher and higher.  My goal this week is to get it done, figure out what I need to take to school and then start taking in a bag of stuff each day once we go back.  I also have a goal to get my room organized, but that will be a work in progress.  I want to move things all around.  I never liked it as it is, but I ran out of time before school started.  I think if I just move a couple of things, I will like it better and it will be more functional.  We'll see how it goes. 

Well, time for folding more laundry.  I am starting the new year off with a cold, so that's a big bummer.  I haven't really been sick much this school year (knock on wood), but to get one now is a bad sign.  I hope it's from our wacky weather (80's degrees in the middle of winter!!!!) and not the beginning of something that won't go away.  Lots of water and vitamin C...hope it goes away!  Happy New Year to all my bloggy friends!