2.25.2012

I love the weekend

Well, most weekends.  I have to work on report cards this weekend and I am doing everything in my power to avoid them.  Today, I did this:
We went hiking this morning at the Santa Rosa Plateau.  I was worried it would be cold (it was foggy and windy and crappy when we woke up), but it was a glorious morning!  We then went and added calories to our bellies with a fab Mexican lunch!  My new fave...veggie enchiladas.  I have had them the last 2 weekends at different places and they were both good!  We then went shopping for veggie plants to add to hubby's greenhouse.  Then I came home, put groceries away and then went to work on report cards and cleaning and laundry and instead, I updated my facebook, played on the computer and cleaned off my desk.  Now I am going into the spa to relax and prepare to fall asleep early!  Maybe tomorrow after WW, shopping and a lovely massage (thanks to hubby for a V'day gift of a 3 month membership!!!!!), I will be able to work on report cards, plans for the week and get all my Dr. Seuss stuff ready to go.  Or not!  Happy Saturday! 

2.20.2012

Wow...two posts in one week and some freebies!

Wow!  Having a day off gets me working!  And blogging!  I have been semi-productive so far today, and it isn't even noon!  I woke up at my normal time of 5:30, rolled over, went back to sleep just to be woken up by the cats.  Fed them, crawled back in bed, got comfy just to be woken up by the dog.  Let him out, went back to bed just to be woken up by my daughter.  But it was almost 8 then, so it was OK for me to be up!  I got my Josh fix on GMA, ate breakfast (not in bed) and then went for a walk.  Then I came home and started working on school stuff.  I have a ton to do (self imposed, really) and I don't mind sitting down to do it today!

Last year, I started making mini packets to go with the stories for the week.  I had wanted to do them this year for the whole program, but I never got around to it, my class wasn't ready for it and paper was in short supply.  But, I figured it's time they get ready for second grade.  Our second grade anyway gives the kids a ton of work to do each day.  I am amazed at how many kids are working outside at recess.  And I don't know if it's totally valuable.  But, I figure this will help my kids become a bit more independant, though mine already are, thankyouverymuch!  Anyway, I created this little mini packet for our story, That Toad is Mine.  It covers spelling, sight words and some of the story activities for the week.  You can get it here for free!  Enjoy, just please let me know you got it and what ya think! 

This week, we will start our author study on Dr. Seuss.  The stories are super long, but the kids like them and that's all that matters, right?  I was thinking that during my RTI time (I have the high group of EO's) we would focus on Cat in the Hat.  It isnt my favorite story in the world, but I am going to try to make it more exciting!  I created 3 activities to do with the kids this week, but of course they are all on seperate files, so there are 3 downloads.  Sorry for that, but my brain and my computer are not on the same wavelength today!  I hope you can use these with your kids in the next couple weeks!  Enjoy!

1. Here is an -at family quickie activity - the students will write as many -at words as they can think of in a given time.  This should be easy since we are way beyond the -at family!

2. Here is a writing activity about the Cat in the Hat.  Students will write about what they would do if the cat came in their house. 

3. This is a writing activity from the perspective of the fish.  I hope the kids "get it" and have fun with it! 

On Friday, we will decorate our own paper cat in the hat hats.  I have done this many times on Dr. Seuss/literacy night and the kids love it.  It's so simple that it's ridiculous...trace a quick outline of the hat, and you are done!  Kids cut it out, color it how they want, and they go home/go back to class! 

We are having our literacy night on March 1.  I am going to read part of The Lorax and then the kids will get to plant a little seed of something to take home.  Too cute, right?  I hope I don't have 100 people at my door waiting to do this!  I might do it with my homeroom the next day, just for fun! 

As for the rest of today, I need to organize my school stuff.  I brought home a mess and want to go back without a mess!  I have big ideas, but they just stay in my head.  I would love to be uber-organized, but it isn't happening any time soon.  Maybe this summer I can have the time to organize the way I want to be or think I can be in my head!  I am condensing my yearly folder and lesson plan folder into one bigger notebook so it's all at my fingertips.  We'll see how it works! 

Happy Monday, everyone!  I have seen a lot of people that had to work today.  That seems so wrong that it's a ntional holiday and people are at work.  And for those who had last week off or this week off, I am sad and crying right now!  5 weeks til spring break...I can't wait!  My daughter was off last week and it was a big bummer.  And her spring break is the week after mine, go figure!  I can't wait for summer when we get to have the time together and get to do some fun things for a change, other than the daily grind of work/school, work/school!  Happy Monday!

2.19.2012

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!

2.08.2012

Humph

I have wanted to post over the last few days, but life has gotten in the way. We celebrated the 100th day and I have pictures, but not on my iPad. We celebrated groundhog day and made a cute groundhog picture. Again, I have pics, just not available.

Life manages to find a way to hit you again and again. But, it will eventually calm down. And hopefully everyone will get better and stay well for a long time! I'm hoping March will be a good month! Here's to hoping!

On the bright side, I got a new to me car (truck). We bought a new to us trailer for camping, so it was time to get a new truck. We had a truck, plus 2 cars. So, we will sell my car and our truck and now I get to drive the new truck! It's so big and beefy, yet it looks so nice! Now to get it trailer ready so we can go camping before the summer!

Until then, I will plug along, working to next weekend. A 4 day weekend!!!!! We have big plans to go to the fair and date festival (out in the desert) and then stay home. Before that, we will try to survive valentines day and all the fun that goes with that. Until next time!