Monday, December 31, 2012

January Currently

I have had so much fun blogging and stalking over break!  I do not think I have posted this much ever!  It has become like an addiction and I am going to go through some major withdrawal when school starts back.  Boo!!!!!!!  I also cannot believe all the sweet comments that I have been getting on my posts.  Also I am getting closer to my 100 followers.  Yahooo!!   I linked up with my fav blogger, Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade and her awesome January Currently.  I love reading everybody's Currently posts.  It is like reality TV for bloggers.  So check in and enjoy the other January Currently.


I definitely have a theme running through my Currently, New Year's Eve and Christmas Break.  Well the New Year's Eve is obvious since I am blogging on the Eve.  Now that I am older (meaning not in my 20's)  I enjoy just staying in my warm house on New Year's Eve.  When I was young I had these romantic expectations for New Year's Eve but the reality was far from my visions of what I thought New Year's Eve should be.  Now I so cherish my warm house and being with my hubby and kids.

But I should be grading papers since I go back to school on Thursday.  Big BOOO!  My break just flew by and to make it worst my three kids do not go back until the following week.  So Thursday and Friday are going to be rough, short but rough.  Maybe I will get home early and keep my resolution to get out of school at a decent time.  I am smiling at that thought. 

Then my OWL is happiness.  My happiness is my hubby and three kids.  Life is good!  I hope everyone's New Year is filled with happiness!

Happy New Year! 

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P.S. - Don't forget Farley's rule of 3.

Friday, December 28, 2012

2013 New Year's Resolutions Linky Party

I usually do not make resolutions because I NEVER keep them and then I am just disappointed in myself.  But Amanda over at Teaching Madness is have a sweet linky party that I just have to join.  I have read a lot of other teachers' blogs that have linked up and they say if you make resolutions publicly you have a better chance at keeping them so here I go....  Take a look around Amanda's linky, it may inspire you to make a few resolutions, it did for me.

Teaching Maddeness



Work Resolution - I am not alone on this one.... to leave school at a decent time (3:00 / 3:30).  We end school at 2:30 and can leave at 3:00  Especially since my youngest has to stay at aftercare at her school until I am done which then effects my next resolution.

Family Resolution - This resolution is a BIG one that desperately needs attention which is our family debt.  I really want to work on becoming debt free, as in NO credit card debt.  Three years ago I lost my job due to budget cuts but thankfully I quickly found another teaching job at the school I am now at and LOVE.  But with the change in job I lost $6,000.00 in my salary.  Ugh! I really did not think it would effect us as much as it did but it did and our credit cards are screaming!  So to go back to my school resolution of getting my butt out at a decent time I will then have to pay less for aftercare for my youngest.  I know that is small beans compared to what we own but every little bit counts.  We also sell on Ebay and Craiglist.  My husband is notorious at finding and bringing this or that home to sell.  I hate to admit it but some of his  junk "finds" have sold for a nice price.  Just check out taxidermy pheasants (they were given to the hubby by one of his restaurant stops that they were just going to throw them away) on Ebay. So if I do not keep any other resolution but this one I will be a happy camper!
 
Personal Resolution - To eat less processed foods.  At our house we eat a lot of process foods due to our work, school and sport schedules we need cheap, quick and easy.  So I need some cheap solutions to avoid some of the processed foods that everyone will eat.  We have a very diverse eating preferences in our house.  Hubby is a meat and potatoes kind of guy which is the opposite of me because I am a vegetarian.  The girls will eat just about anything but our son is extremely picky!  Think of a diet of only chicken nuggets, mac and cheese and hots dogs.  Yuck!  So please pass along any ideas or suggestions you may have. 
 
To continue while I am on a roll I am going to also link up with Teaching with Moxie.  I just found Diane through one of my favorite blogs Surfing to Success.  Thanks Mercedes:) 
 
Classroom Resolution - To start a math notebook with my fourth and fifth graders when we get back.  I did this last year but thought I could not do it with our new math series, Go Math.  But we so desperately need our notebooks with all the new concepts they are learning and they really have no where to look to review the steps.  So I have requested that all the kids get new notebooks during break. 
 
Blog Resolution - To reach 100 followers......I would love a few new friends.
 
Happy New Year,

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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Sharp, Sharper, Sharpest

My 4th & 5th graders & myself got an early Christmas present this year by way of our first ever product review.  Yahoo!!!!   We were sent the Quietest Pencil Sharpener to try out & keep.  I have been reading on other teacher blogs about a pencil sharpener that is super quiet from Classroom Friendly Supplies.  So I had to investigate.  My classes were so excited to try out the new pencil sharpener especially since...

our "traditional" wall sharpener was not so efficient.  The old wall sharpener was only great at devouring pencil after pencil & we had become quite frustrated.  I did buy an electric sharpener that broke thankfully since the noise drove me crazy every time someone went to sharpen their pencil.  We even had a student who had a hand sharpener that would sharpen all our pencils by hand because the wall sharpener was so crummy.   So we were definitely up to the road test challenge.  Here is the fancy new pencil sharpener which reminded me of an old fashion electric can opener.  My kids were like, "Huh???"  I know I am showing my age - sorry.

I had a quick training session for each class but after you get the routine down WOW what a great little sharpener. Quiet, quick, & sharp points every time. No more pencil eating monster.   The fifth graders went crazy and became very protective over "their" sharpener, not wanting the fourth graders to touch it!  One of my fifth graders who is very artistic said that he wanted his mom to buy one for him for Christmas.  I did have to eventually hide the pencil sharpener from the fourth graders since they thought it was ok to have the entire class in line up waiting to sharpen their pencils while I was teaching.  Ugh!  But this sharpener is definitely worth every penny.  I also think it is very cool that this amazing little sharpener was designed & sold by a teacher.  So if you are looking for the Quietest Pencil Sharpener this one is up for the job.  Check out Classroom Friendly Supplies.  We also wanted to thank Troy over at Classroom Friendly Supplies for giving us the opportunity to road test the Quietest Pencil Sharpener.  We LOVE it!!!!
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

12 in '12 Linky


I am linking up with A Teeny Tiny Teacher and Miss Kindergarten for their linky party....


 So here I go with my top 12 favorite things.
12.  Favorite Movie - Hmmmmm?  I am not a big movie person just because taking a family of 5 to the movie could cost a family a mortgage payment.  Ugh but I did enjoy taking my kids to see the Lorax.  I remember being so impressed with the animation. 

11.  Favorite TV Series - I enjoy Parenthood even though lately it makes me sad that the mom is fighting breast cancer.  Just a little too close to home since my closest aunt (the one that filled my mom's shoes after she died of lung cancer 17 years ago)  died 2 years ago from breast cancer.  I do a lot of crying during that show.  I also love Modern Family and The Middle which makes me laugh my head off and I need that after watching Parenthood. 

10 Favorite Restaurant - Great Lakes Brewing Co - Had a romantic date night with the hubby on a warm summer night.  Ate a delicious dinner and drank beers under the stars:)  We need to do that more often.

9. Favorite new thing - One word Blogging!  Wow what an amazing other world.  I love writing and sharing about my class and I really love reading other teachers' blogs.  I have "borrowed" many ideas from some amazing teachers.

8.  Favorite gift - Ok I am going to be corny but the greatest gift I ever received was my 3 children.  I truly believe that they are a gift from God.  Even though they may drive me to the brink of craziness.  They are my pride and joy!

7.  Favorite pin - This is a tough one since I LOVE and I mean LOVE Pinterest.  I am truly addicted and can get lost for hours scrolling through all those pins.  Then I get wrapped up going from one blog to another. This is my favorite and one of my first pins which I will tell you more about when I tell you about my favorite post next.


6.  Favorite post - This goes with my favorite pin from above and was one of my first posts and first linky parties.  I linked up with Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for Made It Monday to show off my hallway table inspired from my Pinterest pin from above.  Ugh I can't find the picture so I will add the link so you can look at it for yourself.  Here!

5.  Best Accomplishment - Hands down was earning my teaching degree!  I worked full time while living on my own and went to school full time.  I looking back and can't believe I had the energy to do it all and planned a wedding for the week after graduation.  I can only dream of that energy now 17 years later.

Favorite picture -
 
 
 This is our newest family member, Bella.  We adopted her from a humane society outside of Toledo which is about 2 hours from our house.  We already have an adopted, white, deaf boxer named Gigi who has been lost since we had to put asleep our other white boxer.  My hubby and kids have been begging me for a bulldog and we have been looking on the internet for one at a shelter or humane society.  Those rescues are way to picky and pricey. Bella's story is she was rescued from an Amish puppy mill outside of Columbus.  She is about 5 years old and had about 8 puppy litters in her lifetime.  She was and still is terrified of people, loud noises, sudden movements and only knew life in a very small cage including doing her business in that cage.  She did not know how to potty outside and I compared her potty training to potty training an 80 year old. lol  She has come a long way in a short period of time but will not be like a typical dog.    All of us including Gigi have fallen head of heels in love with her and can't imagine our home without her.  Please think twice about buying that sweet puppy from a pet store.  Your local shelter & humane societies are overflowing with cute sweet puppies and dogs and yes some are even purebred.

3.  Favorite memory - Watching my two bigger kids make their first homerun and soccer goal.  Our little one is starting soccer this Spring. So no picture yet.  I love seeing the surprise and happiness on their faces.  I am their biggest fan and I hope they will always know that. 



2.  Goal for 2012 - Trying to reduce my worrying.  I am always worrying about everything and it just brings me down sometimes.  It is just not healthy.

1.  One Little Word - Grateful - Everyone needs to find things they are grateful for.  It is just too easy to get trapped into moaning and groaning and all those negative thoughts.  Take a look around and find your happiness.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

1st Product Endorsement - WOW!!

Ok I can't wait for my new teacher friendly pencil sharpener to come from Classroom Friendly Supplies.  For the next week I will be racing to the mailbox each day after school for my first product endorsement.  I have been reading on all my favorite teacher blogs about this amazing pencil sharpener.  The most recent was Mercedes at Surfing to Success who mentioned that you could request to do a product endorsement and you get the pencil sharpener FREEEEEEEE!  Yahoo!  So last night I went on the Classroom Friendly Supplies website and clicked the link and left the required information. Guess what I got an email this morning!  At first I read it and it said that I had to have at least 100 followers.  I only have 61:(  Boo!!!!! But then I kept reading and the owner Troy said I had a really cute blog and my blog was the type of blog they are looking for to endorse the pencil sharpener and get the word out.  It felt like Santa had came early for me.  I was hootin' and a hollerin'!   So I am writing about my first endorsement before I even get the product because I cannot contain myself to wait for the sharpener to come in the mail and for my class to take it for a test run.  I also wanted to thank Mercedes at Surfing to Success and Troy over at Classroom Friendly Supplies.  I cannot wait!  Yippee!!  Come back soon to see how this pencil sharpener stands up the pencil destroyers, A.K.A. my fourth and fifth graders.







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Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Currently & Ornament Swap Linky

What a fun blog to write today.  I can't wait to share Farley's December Currently for this month.  Especially since I at last figured out how to do the December Currently!  Yahooooooo  I did download a free 60 day trail of Microsoft Office to get the powerpoint software.  Hmmm I may need to invest in the software & buy the program.  Ugh! 

So Ta Da here it is...
I am listening to (not watching because I am typing this blog post) my favorite thing to do on the weekend which is to watch the weekend news shows with a hot cup of coffee.

 I am loving the fact that I was able to finish decorating the house for Christmas.  Some years I am into decorating and some years I am not.  It is just so time consuming probably because as I am putting the Christmas stuff up, I am also cleaning.  Ugh!  It was quite precious this morning to listen & watch my youngest run around ohhh-ing & ahhhh -ing over the decorations that were magically put up while she was sleeping.  Sweet!  There will not be many years of that so it was so worth all the work.

Ok this is always what I am thinking on Sunday, that I need to do my lesson plans but what fun is that? 

I am so wanting Christmas break this year to come quicker.  I am not sure why since I am having a pretty good year at school.  I have been feeling this year a nagging feeling to stay home with the kids so I can be there for more activities. It frustrates me that there is many school things that I cannot go to because I work especially with my youngest who is in preschool & I hate the fact she has to go to aftercare until I get done with work.  I have been racking my brain for a job that I can do from home but make decent money.  I even looked into teaching at one of those online schools but wow it is a ton of work with little pay.  Oh well off to work I go.

I am always in the need of more money especially this time of year. We do sell on Ebay & Craigslist & that helps.  I would love to open an Etsy shop.  Hmmmmm  maybe a summer project.

My RAK is do give my Advent Prayer Buddy a little something extra to pick up her spirits.  We are only suppose to pray for our buddy but my buddy is having a really rough year & needs a little more then prayer.  So I am going to leave her s little something in her mailbox at school every Monday so I need to think, think, think!

Wow this is a long post, sorry.  Trying to avoid breaking that blogging rule of only posting once a day.

So on to my last thing that I want to share which is that I linked up to this really cute linky party which was an ornament swap over at Ginger Snap Crafts.  Jennifer's rules were that you can buy or make an ornament for your partner that she assigned you trying to stay with the partner's blog theme.  My partner was Alecia over at Mrs. Leigh's Blog.  She has a cute blog about her daily life as a new wife & college student.

Here is my "melted snowman" ornament I made.  I saw this all over Pinterest & couldn't resist.
 
Here is what Alecia sent me.....
 
 
It is so cute on my "teacher tree."  Thanks Alecia!!
 
Well I hope everyone has a nice Sunday.

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Is It A Solid or a Liquid? & Thanksgiving Prediction Buddies

Is it Thanksgiving break yet?  Last week was absolutely crazy & I have been sick again!  This time with a fever & sinus infection that I at last gave in & went to the doctor for some meds.  I am so looking forward to some time off.  Last Friday my 4th & 5th grade science classes did a buddy project with the first graders.  First my fourth graders & their first grade buddies did a state of matter lab where they tested the properties of Oobleck.  We discussed what the molecules of solid, liquid & gas look & act like.  Then we tried the slow finger poke, fast finger poke, pour, bounce, form it in a ball and after each test we tried to decide if the Oobleck was acting like a solid or liquid. 

Oh boy did we make a mess & can you believe I forgot to take any pictures!  Every year I tell myself never again but it must be like giving birth you forget the "pain."  LOL  I think we are still finding corn starch in the most unusual places and I am still getting dirty looks from our school janitor.  LOL  I only wish I would have taken a few pictures. 

I did take pictures of the fifth & first grade buddy project.  This was really fun for the kids & the teachers!  This project is definitely a kepper.  First the first grade teacher read us a book about the Mayflower.  Then my fifth graders got their first grade buddies on the Scholastic Mayflower Virtual Tour in the computer lab & they toured the Mayflower together.  Next on to the science lab where we discussed prediction.  The first grade teacher found this buddy project on First Grade O.W.L.S.  We had a lot of fun first trying to make a boat out of clay that would not sink.
 
 
Boy was this tough.  The secret was the wider the bottom of the boat the better the boat floated but watch out for those holes.

Voila!  We got the boats to start floating with a few bears.
 

Then on to predicting how many bears our little boats could hold.  Hmmm? 5, 10, 15, 20, 100?????
The maximum bears our boats would hold was 19!
 
We had so much fun with our first grade buddies.  This was so much better then the Thanksgiving webquest that I usually have my fifth graders do.  Now I need to come up with a great first & fifth grade buddy project for Christmas.  No corn starch please!
 
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!


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Saturday, November 3, 2012

November Currently YAHOOOO!

At last I figured out how to post Farely's ( I love that teacher & would love to work at her school)  Currently linky from Oh Boy 4th Grade.  OMG I even looked at another teacher's website for the directions on how to do Farley's Currently.  It said to copy and paste the image to your powerpoint program.  Guess what?  I do not have a powerpoint program on this cheap notebook, only a viewer!  UGHHHHHH!  So I tried to copy and paste the image to my Microsoft word and insert a textbox.  Nooooo I was left with a giant white textbox that I could not make disappear.  I even asked my 13 year old son.  No help!  Then I tried to download Openoffice program and that would not download, for some error message kept popping up!  I at last tried Paint and guess what?  It worked!  Whoot whoot!

Here is my first Currently!  Yeah for me!


Listening - My youngest giggling while trying to sneak up on her big brother and stick a cut out of the mail flyers' picture of Obama.  Ever since we have been buried with election flyers my two biggest kids have been getting a kick out of sticking pictures of Obama in weird places. 

Loving - Fall is definitely here is Ohio since the tropical storm Sandy blew through.  The only bad thing is that all the beautiful leave are gone due to that crazy wind.  But there is a fall chill in the air.  I just wish for some sunny skies. It has been grey and raining since Oct. 29th.  Booo! 

Thinking - I definitely need to do my lesson plans.  Enough said on that!  Ugh!

Wanting & Needing - More money in my paycheck.  After getting my job cut three years ago due to decreasing enrollment caused by many of my parents losing their jobs but after given the gift of getting another job right away.   I should not complain.  But it has been tough with a $6,000 pay cut and no raises from my current school for the entire three years I have been there.  Booo!  I worry I may have to quit teaching.  My family is barely scraping by.  I keep thinking I should try to sell things on TPT or Teachers' Notebook but just haven't gotten the confidence or the time to devote to that project.

Music - Ok this is my pet peeve.  My four year old has picked up the 13 & 12 year olds wonderful habit of turning the Ipad / Iphone up to maximum volume while I am trying to work.  I do like Katy Perry even though I think some of the lyrics are not appropriate for my 4 year old.  I just think I am definitely getting old.  Ha!

Ok now it is on the small side but I can't fight with it right now.  I have to go serve spaghetti at my school's annual fundraiser. Yahooo!  I hope they make a few bucks that they can pass on to the teachers.  I hope you come back soon!



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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mad, Ears, October SIB, Booed

I am so mad at myself!  I have so ignored my blog which frustrates me.  I have been dealing with a double ear infection and it has taken about a month to feel close to "my" normal (I have a hearing lost in both ears due to chronic ear infections as a child).  So the double ear infections really diminished my hearing which was exhausting me by my struggle to hear, and the infection.   I could barely keep my eyes open long enough for schoolwork so the blog got put on the back burner.  Now I am back, close to 100% and wanting to share my October Science in the Bag (SIB) experiments for my school....

Kindergarten - Second Grade - Discovery Box
I made a discovery box of magnetic & non-magnetic items to explore using a wand magnet.  I got the idea from Pinterest (fav!)  at Chalk Talk. Mrs. Larremore used an open tray of items and a wand magnet to pick up the magnetic items and then sort them by magnetic & non-magnetic. I used a large clear storage container and placed various items in the container. 

The students then used a wand magnet to find which items are magnetic.  Then they were to journal / draw about those items in the science notebook & why they thought some items wouldn't move or stick.

Third - Fifth Grade - Floating Magnets
This one I really cheated on or you can look at it that I struck gold by finding floating magnet kits in our science lab closet.  The kits come with donut magnets, rubber washers, a pencil & foam base.  The students are to figure out that if you stack the magnets a certain way (The same polarity repels.) they will resist and push against each other and float on the pencil.  So far the kids have thought this was really cool.
Sixth - Eighth Grade  - ???????
This one I have not figured out yet since last month's "Magic" Ketchup (last post) was a little too challenging for them.  Many of the students just brought the bag back not even touched. Ouch!  Hmmmmmm?  I first thought of having them make a homemade compass by rubbing a magnet on a needle or pin which floats on soap in a bowl of water.  Again too challenging? 
I am really leaning towards sending the Floating Magnets home with them too. Not very creative but I think it will be a quicker experiments for those busy middle schoolers with all that homework and easier on me.  What do you think?
 
 
I saw this really cute Halloween linky party at Tori's Teacher Tips where you "Boo" other teacher blogs.  I think that may be my next post, barring no more ear infections or other cooties:)  So come back soon and see who I "Booed!"

Happy Fall,
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Science In A Bag Club and Linky

Well my first bags have gone out.  I am talking about my Science In A Bag Club that I started last year at my school.  I am the fourth & fifth grade science teacher and  I absolutely LOVE science.  This club was a way for me to share my passion with my entire school so I started this club.  Anyone in grades kindergarten through eighth grade can join and last year out of 150 students at our little school 77 students signed up for the club.Wow!   I was really overwhelmed because I had no idea what I was doing making adjustments along the way. Such as I eliminated the lab sheet since the families were telling me that it was too much work to do a lab sheet and a journal in one night.  Last year I managed this club on my own, this year I have an awesome friend who volunteered  was recruited, the first grade teacher to help Thank you! This year we have about 55 students signed up out of 160 students.  So far it is looking good.

I was trying to figure out how to do a "club" without meetings after school. Our school has a lot of bus riders so I did not think an after school club would work.  So I came up with Science In A Bag!  In the bag is an experiment of the month specifically for kindergarten through second grade, third through fifth grade and sixth through eighth grade.  I also include all the directions, supplies, tools and a lab book to write or draw their observation and if they liked the experiment.  The bag needs to be brought back the following school day so it can be reloaded with supplies and sent home with the next student. I change the experiment each month so I end up sending home about 8 experiments a month.  I try to keep all the experiments in a binder so I don't do repeats but I figure after year three I should be able to start rotating the experiements since the students should be in the next group.  Right?????

Funding????  Last year I had a wonderful parent who contacted Walmart who donated a $50.00 gift card. Boy did I had tears in my eyes!  This year I have been creative trying to find experiments that use common household supplies or supplies that we already have in our impressive science lab (It is huge, stocked and I want to live down there!  lol)   at school.  My sweet husband did go to Circle K last weekend and bought a pop so we could get some ketchup packets for the middle school experiment.

Here are my 3 experiments for this month...

Magic Ketchup 6th - 8th Grade


Capillary Action 3rd - 5th Grade

Magic Cup K - 2nd Grade



Also I am linking up with  Megan over at I Teach, What Is Your Super Power for the "What I am Lovin' Linky! Science In A Bag of course!

Happy exploring,
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Fun Friday Linky & Facts, Facts, Facts

Hello Guys,
Well I keep slipping up on my blog posts.  It is not like I am short on ideas just time.  Aren't we all?  This time I wanted to link up with  Kelly at Teaching Fourth Fun Friday where we share something we are using in our classrooms.  This year I am trying to move away from the traditional paper and pencil timed multiplication facts quizzes.  This felt like it would take forever to take, peer check and then I would quickly check them again. Let alone the amount of paper I would use to print out the quizzes for the kids & the time to print all the copies.  Big time UGH!  If the student passed with 100% I would give them a sticker on the class chart. If not they needed to retake the quiz next week until they pass.


Now we take our quizzes on Fun 4 the Brain website which has math type games and self-checking addition, subtraction and multiplication quizzes.  The student types in their name and clicks start to start the timer.  There is 36 multiplication problems they need to complete.  When the student clicks finished and then print, it also prints out the date, time and score. I then collect the quizzes.  They can take home the quizzes under 100% and practice the facts they got wrong and then retake that quiz next week. Those that pass get a sticker on the classroom chart.  My only complaint is that my students with test anxiety (I have quite a few) get overwhelmed with all the problems shown at once and just freeze up.

 Does anyone know of a online quiz that only shows one problem at a time? Please leave me a comment!!!!  I would LOVE it!

 It seems to be going well after a bit of training with the kids.  I do not think it has cut down on time yet since I have not been setting a time limit.  So for those quick test takers I let them play a math game on the Fun 4 the Brain website while the slower ones finish up.  I told the kids as they get the hang of the new quiz I will be setting a time limit, I just hope it makes this new procedure quicker & more efficient for the kids & myself.  The kids love using the computers so the interest level is high.
Soooo I hope you enjoyed my Fun Friday.  Leave me a comment and enjoy the others that have linked up.

Happy Friday,

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pooped , Tummies, & Planning

Hello Blogger Friends,
I can't believe I have 3 days of school under my belt already but I haven't blogged even once. OOPS  I have been just POOPED!  Wow it has been a whirlwind.  My fifth graders use to be my fourth graders last year so I knew everyone and wow have they matured.  I was a little worried at the end of last year that they were still on the immature side.  Summer has once again waved the maturity magic wand.  YES!  They are ( I am singing) awesome!!!!  We had FUN for the first two days with no switching I just had them all day but NO SPECIALS which means no breaks.  Ugh!  I think that is why I am so tired.  Then Friday we switched so I met my new fourth graders.  Oh boy and I mean Oh boy....  out of a class of 16 I have 3 girls and 13 boys.  I know many of you are saying a class size of 16 you are sooooo lucky but all those boys and I mean squirrely boys.  There was constant movement and wiggling!  I have my work cut out for the next two years to model them into middle schoolers. 

Then to add stress on the second day of school I got the dreaded morning call while getting ready for my school day with students in my room...... my middle child tummy's was hurting!  So with eavesdropping ears I try to pinpoint the reason for the tummy issue.  Fever - no, where does your tummy hurt?... all over, Do you feel like you are going to throw up or need to go to the bathroom?.... with tears,... I don't know, Did something happen at school yesterday?....wailing, NOOOOOO!  Ok I tell myself I think there is something about starting middle school even though it is day two! hmmmmmmm  So I tell her to try to eat something if you throw up you need to stay home but I think you need to go if you don't.  I am placing bets it is nerves just like her momma.  I am the 'Queen of Nervous Tummies.'  She mentioned something yesterday about a "mean" computer teacher after her first day of school.  Hmmmmm?  Well Grandma was there watching my youngest and you know super-sympathetic Grandmas.  The middle tummy hurting child stayed home on only the second day of school.  Ugh!!!  Grandmas can be a Godsend and a hindrance at the same time.  I love my mother-in-law because without her I would not be able to do my most favorite thing..... TEACH but...... Did I mention she also does our laundry on the two days a week she watching my little one?  Talk about a Godsend do I need to say more? 

So on day three the tummy hurter (I know not a word but it fits.)  got up and was fine then I saw the tears....my tummy hurts again.  Seemed strange that I mentioned that "mean" teacher and the tears appeared.  Ah Ha!  My eighth grader tries to reassure her that he is one of those teachers that needs to yell, scream and talk down to his students to try to establish control of his class but as the year goes on he has NO classroom control and not to worry.  To quote him exactly, "If I haven't gotten into trouble the last two years with him, you will be fine."   Ok I say to myself, what does that mean you are a troublemaker???  LOL So I leave for school and my hubby pushes her onto the bus with her big brother by her side for support.   I cannot stand those types of teachers and we all have had those.  My middle child is just like me super sensitive and takes everything personally even though it may have nothing to do with her.  Fast forward to after school on day three... smiles...  SMILES!  My tummy hurter met her advance language arts teacher and she thinks she is AMAZING!  I am tempted to email that teacher and thank her for making my daughter's day at school wonderful and less scary!!  THANK YOU!!!  Tears comes to my eyes thinking that teacher will be forever in my child's heart and has re-instilled her love for school.   On a side note my daughter mentioned that day she was LATE to the "mean" teacher's class.  Well?????  I say, did you get in trouble?  Nope everyone was late.  Smiles!!!

Ok now my therapy is done I wanted to share a website that I use for my lesson planning.  I started it last year and then this year all I had to do is merge the two years and presto... lesson plans done for the most part but for my new classes.  Love it.  It had some bugs that year that I fought with but they seem to be resolved this year.  Planbook.com  I don't have to print out tons of pages to turn into my principal for review or share with another teacher I just give them a code word and the web address and when I need to look at them I just pull them up on my computer or ipad.  The website also has different state standards and common core that you just need to copy and paste.  You can use your own template, save links, and  view the plans daily, weekly or monthly.  You can also download your plans onto your computer so they are not held hostage by the website.  Plus the best it is cheap!  I paid $10.00 for the year even though I think it has gone up a few bucks this year.  The only downfall is I can't figure out how to spellcheck which drives me crazy since I am a messy typer ( I know not another word.) 




Well I think this post may be a little one-sided this time, me needing to relieve some stress compared to me sharing awesome school stuff.  Sorry:(  And I thought this was going to be a quickie post?  Come back soon for some more drama and hopefully useful school ideas.  On to the crazy house cleaning, running to one child's sports to another's and lesson planning weekend.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

A Little Classroom Deco for Monday Made It!

This will be my last Monday Made It with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics due to school starting on Aug. 22nd.  I am sad because this may be my last before school starts and summer just flew by!  Maybe I can squeeze in one more but I will have to see how it goes.  I am feeling the clock ticking and I have a boatload of stuff to do before the open house next Monday and then the first day of school on the following Wednesday.  UGHHHHHHHHHH!  It always gets done but jeepers do I always have to feel like this!  Okay enough complaining it is not like everyone else is not feeling the same panic!

Here is my favorite Monday Made It so far my, Ipad /  iHelp job board.  I have seen quite a few of these on Pinterest and I desperately needed a new job board
so here it is...

Oops I cut of the one side a little but you get the idea.  I used a black poster board and then mounted silver bulletin border behind.  My awesome team partner let me have the bright library pockets and I will use index cards with the students names on them to assign jobs.  I just typed up the job titles and heading.  I saw one on Pinterest with really cute clip art but my printer ran out of ink and you know my patience!  Zip!!   I usually change jobs every week to try and keep the kids from getting bored or overwhelmed with their jobs.

Here is my other Monday Made It for this week.  It isn't as cute but more functional.  I made a quickie curtain for my metal shelving unit.  I bought the length of fabric (light green with white polka-dots can't tell with my stupid phone) I needed to cover the front and a tension rod.  Then I hemmed all four sides on my sewing machine.  I thought this was going to be zip, zip, zip, zip but noooooo!   Was that a pain after my four year old messed with all the knobs on the sewing machine.  I think I at last readjusted the machine to the right calibration on the last hem.  Note to self do NOT leave sewing machine on dinning room table unsupervised.  It is a little wrinkled due to me holding it on my lap on our drive over to school to hang it.  But a spray bottle with some water should do the trick.  Don't mind the Priority Mail boxes I forgot to get out of the picture.  I saw something on Pinterest of course! On how to make mail boxes for my colored construction paper.  I do not know if I will get to that project but  maybe if Tara has one more Monday Made It for next week. MAYBE!

I have to give another shout out to Tara over at 4th Grade Frolics for the awesome Linky Party she had all summer!  THANK YOU!  She kept me motivated to complete home and school projects and I have seen some fantastic inspiration!

Grab a cup of coffee and take a look around.  I love comments and some more new friends.  Come back soon for some more adventures.

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Monday, August 6, 2012

Organized, Attitude & Monday Made It

I promised pictures of my crazy messy cabinet all neat.  So here is the before ....
OMG Scary!
Here is it after today, much neater and organized by subject on each shelf.  Ahhhh Better!!
The 16 sided spheres on the bottom are examples of my "Biome Balls"  that the fifth graders complete when we are studying biomes. I will be posting about these soon.  They are tough to store so I just kept them in the bottom of the file cabinet.  Ahh looks like I need to make a stop at the Dollar Store for a container to corral my cleaning supplies. 
I also wanted to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics one more time for Monday Made It.  One is for my house that I have been wanting to complete for two years now and I did it and love it.

My very dirty and beat up (three kids that beat on everything) side door from the garage.  I saw this on Pinterest and Etsy and knew this was the solution for that beat up door.  Wow it was hard to get the hinges off but everything else was a piece of cake.  Remove hardware, tape, steel wool,two cans of black spray paint and a vinyl from Etsy.  Voila a new looking door!  I am working on the other side by painting it white but ran out of paint, of course! Now it is time for school to start.  Yahoo!!

Then I made a Pinterest inspired "poster" for my classroom door but I forgot to take a picture.  That's what I get for taking my four year old with me to work in  my classroom.
Here she is with her nice attitude at the front of my classroom!  

 She was so good and then poof we were there a minute too long and the crabby attitude came out and it was nasty.  So I will try to describe what I did...   Here is the Pinterest picture.  I would love to have linked it but it doesn't work anymore.
I changed a few lines to better suit my classroom and then mounted the poem on green fadeless paper which I laminated.  Not too sure about the lamination which wrinkled and made the words a little crooked.  Double ugh!!  I then used the two leftover pieces of Dots on Chocolate border on the top and bottom.  I guess I will have to look at it in the morning and decide. With my luck I will notice a spelling error and then in the trash it will go.

When you enter this classroom...
You are Scientists
You are Mathematicians
You are Explorers
You are Important
You are Loved
You are Respected
You are the reason we are Here!
Love,
Mrs. P

Please come back soon for more happy craziness from 4th & 5th Grade!

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